Alex sat down on the corner of his desk,”Thank God for that.”He replied softly,”So what do the police have to say?”
Peter shook his head in frustration,”They’re not really saying anything. The press has chalked it up to another IRA bombing.”
Alex glanced at Helene,”And you don’t think the IRA were involved.”
Peter shook his head as he stopped just outside of Gabrielle’s room,”It just seems to coincidential,Sir. If they were involved they wouldn’t have just targeted our office. The restaurant below would have been a more public target.”
“Agreed.”Alex said softly,”And Peter try to keep the police out of Suzie’s kidnapping. Whatever reason you tell them I’ll back you up just don’t tell them about her.”
Peter nodded,”We’ll bring her home,Sir.I promise you that.”The blond man replied as he ended the conversation.
Stone quickly set his cup of coffee down on the small coffee table in Gabrielle’s room as he saw her try to get out of bed.
“Whoa,where do you think you’re going?”The former SEAL demanded as he quickly reached the right side of her bed catching the blonde woman by her shoulders.
Gabrielle shook him off as she struggled to move past her friend,”We have to find Suzie.”
Stone blocked her path,”We will.”He assured her as he tried to get her back into bed.
Gabrielle shook her head wincing slightly as the room spun a little,”That bomb was a warning. They know we’re here and why we came. She’s running out of time,Stone. Now let go of me so we can get out of here.”
“You’re not going anywhere.”Stone said firmly,”I didn’t drag you out of that office just to have you collapse the first time you stand up.”
Gabrielle glared at her friend,”I was standing just now and I didn’t collapse!”
“Only because I had a grip on your shoulders!”Stone replied not envying a nurse’s job.
Peter stepped into the room having heard the raised voices,”Is there a problem here?”He asked as he came to stand at the foot of the bed.
Stone gestured to Gabrielle,”I caught her trying to escape.”
Gabrielle glared at Stone before turning her plea to Peter,”We’re wasting time staying here Peter.”
Sinclair moved forward to stand next to Stone,”You have a serious concussion,Gabrielle. The doctors want to keep you here to make sure you’re alright.”
Gabriele glared at him,”What do they know about me that I don’t?! I’m fine and going stir crazy. We need to be out there looking for Suzie.”
Peter placed a gentle hand on his friend’s shoulder,”We will find her but you won’t be any help to her if you don’t take care of yourself.”
Gabrielle nodded as she leaned back against the pillow her head starting to pound,”Okay I”ll rest but I want you to promise me that you’ll get me out of here first thing in the morning.”
Peter laughed as he pulled the blankets up around her shoulders,”Yes Ma’am,I’ll see what I can arrange.”
The light of dawn was barely coloring Dublin’s sky and Gabrielle Jamont was in a car headed toward the airport.
Peter glanced back at his friend from the driver’s seat. His blue eyes tinted with concern. He didn’t like the paleness of her face or the numerous bruises he had seen.
He knew her well enough to know when not press issues.
Gabrielle leaned forward,”So what did Suzie’s friend find out about the bomb?”
Peter handed her a single sheet of computer printout,”Not much I’m afraid. Whoever planted it knew what they were doing.”
Gabrielle skimmed the printout,”All that was left was a few pieces of C4?”She asked,”No identifying traits to tie it to anybody?”
Peter shook his head,”At least not yet, forensics should have more in a few days.”
Gabrielle tossed down the report in frustration,”Suzie doesn’t have a few days.”
Peter nodded,”Stone’s back at the plane upgrading the computer software. We’ve both decided we need a new strategy.”
“Peter, what if we’re looking at this wrong.”Gabrielle stated softly.
“How so?”Sinclair asked as he turned into the airport parking lot.
“What if the bomb wasn’t meant as a warning but it was meant to point us in the wrong direction.”
Peter frowned,”Hell of a way to put us on a wild goose chase. But it makes sense.”
Suzzanne Addington glanced up as the door to her room opened. Their was a presence about the man that told Suzy that he was the reason she was here.
That this tall well built blond man in his early thirties was the cause of this nightmare.
A million questions flew through her mind as he shut the door. All of them demanding answers.
“Why?”Suzie asked simply her hands clenched tightly at her side.
As her captor walked further into the room and sat on the corner of the bed she realized she had seen him somewhere before but couldn’t place him.
When he finally spoke his green eyes were as calm as a Caribbean ocean,”I bet your Daddy has all the banks waiting on standby.”
Suzie frowned at his accent,it wasn’t Irish or British. Scottish maybe?
“So this is all about money?”Suzie replied as she shook her head,”No, if this was all about money you would have made the ransom demand the first day I was here.”
The man smiled and again Suzie was struck by the familiar of that smile,”You’re a bright girl,aren’t you? Yes this is not about money. This is about revenge. Pure simple revenge.”
“There is nothing simple about revenge.”Suzie replied evenly.”
The man laughed as he studied her,”Very astute.”He replied quietly,”I bet my brother took a shine to you.”
Suzie blinked in surprise,”Your brother?”
The man stood extending his hand,”My apologies I don’t know where my manners are. My name is
Ian Brenner, I believe you knew my brother, Luke?”
As soon as Gabrielle walked into the main room of the jet Stone instantly ushered her over to a chair as he handed her a cup of coffee.
Gabrielle glared at her friend slightly as she excepted the mug,”I’m perfectly capable of getting my own coffee,Stone.”
Stone grinned as he sat down on the corner of the desk,”Humor me and rest while you can.”
Peter suppressed a smile,”How’s the new software,Stone?”He asked quickly diverting them to another topic before world war III started.
“Everything’s up and running.”Stone replied as he swiveled a computer monitor toward them so they could see the selection of new programs,”Mr. A. even sent over a top of the line tracer program. If the bad guy ever rings we’ll be able to know what he had for breakfast and what chicken the eggs came from.”
Gabrielle absently traced the rim of the blue mug,”Suzie’s been missing for nearly two days. We should have gotten a ransom by now.”
Suzanne instantly backed away from her captor, eyes wary. At the man’s mention of Luke her mind had instantly become flooded by memories of the gentle man. Luke had been killed protecting a man he had hardly known. This man before her couldn’t possibly be related.
Ian grinned,”I see you don’t believe me.”He commented as he sat down in a chair by the window.
Suzie stood next to the bed her arms crossed firmly over her chest,”Luke had no family.”
“We were separated when our parents divorced.”Ian replied,”Luke never knew I existed.”
“Why now?”Suzie asked as she studied the man,”Luke’s been dead for almost six years.”
Ian nodded,”Its taken me that long to track my brother down. When I finally did he was dead and for that your father has to pay.”
Helene Previn came to stand next to her boss as he ended the phone call. "How's Gabrielle?"
Alex motioned for her to sit down on the sofa. "Very lucky."He replied wearily as he sat down next to her. "She has a concussion, a few cuts and scrapes but nothing more serious."
"Thank God."Helene whispered.
Addington turned to face the dark haired woman. "Have we looked through the team's files?"
"I started to but you wanted us to concentrate on business contacts."Helene replied as she started to stand.
Alexander shook his head. "This is too personal to be business related."He replied quietly, "Get Bennett in here....we need to cross reference every file since I started the team."
Helene nodded as she walked toward the door. "Yes, Sir."
Stone sighed as he slammed the receiver of the phone down in its cradle. "Pete, I think next time you need to deal with the cops. They weren't too forthcoming with information."
Sinclair nodded from his seat near the window. "I'll track down our green gilled friend and see if he can shake a few trees."
Stone was about to reply when a red icon on the computer screen in front of him caught his attention. "Heads up, guys, somebody's dialing Mr. A's vidphone."
Gabrielle quickly came to stand behind him. "Can you trace it?"
The former SEAL nodded. "Computer's already running a trace."
All three friends turned to the small video screen behind the desk as the computer allowed them to see a copy of the call Alexander was receiving in Paris.
Helene, Bennett and Alexander had just begun the daunting task of searching through the team's files when the vidphone flared to life.
"Since you appear to be busy I'll make this short and sweet."Ian Brenner began with a smile,"I have something that belongs to you."
Alexander stood walking toward the small screen. "How much do want?"
Ian smirked. "Do you honestly think this is about money?
Alexander fought to keep his temper in check. "What is it about?"
"Revenge, Mr. Addington."Ian replied,"My name is Ian Brenner, I believe you knew my brother."
"Oh my God."Helene whispered as she glanced at Bennett.
"Luke didn't have any family."Addington replied in a tight voice more concerned at the moment for his daughter's safety then the Brenner family tree.
Ian smiled grimly. "Not that he knew of. We were separated when we were infants."
"Let me see my daughter."Alexander demanded.
"You're in no position to make demands, Mr. Addington."Ian replied with a smirk.
"There will be no deal unless I am assured that my daughter is safe."Alexander replied grimly.
Ian shook his head. "This will be on my terms and mine alone, Mr. Addington. Though I am a man of my word I assure you that your daughter is safe for the moment. I will call you later with further details."
"Now wait one damn minute..."Alexander replied as he took a step forward just as the screen went dark.
/end of transmission./ The computer announced breaking the silence that had fallen over the room.
"Do you think there's any truth to his story, Pete?"Stone asked as he turned to face his friend. "You knew Luke the best."
Peter shrugged as he sat down on the corner of the desk. "Luke was a private man but I'd like to think he'd have mentioned to us if he had any siblings."
"Did the computer get anything, Stone?" abrielle asked quietly as she stepped forward.
Stone glanced at the monitor and frowned. "Son of a bitch! He's had her here all along, Pete. This phone number is twenty miles outside of Dublin."
Sinclair's eyes narrowed as he grabbed his coat. "Let's go. If he is Luke's brother I"d like to know why Luke never mentioned him."