Los Angeles International Airport
A tall well-built man elegantly dress
with piercing blue eyes scans the parking lot intensely. He had
the feeling he was being watched, finding nothing he unlocks
the trunk of the sleek blue jaguar. Two bags are carefully stored
before he closes the lid. Opening the drivers' side door he slides
gracefully behind the wheel and inserts the key into the ignition,
turning the key he hears the high-powered engine roar to life
settling into a soft purr as he shifts the car into reverse.
Backing out he heads toward the exit, checking his rear view
mirror once more before leaving the lot.
His mind is filled with the job just
completed. His eyes grow hard as his mind travels back several
hours. The bastard had been easy to find and even easier to destroy.
That's one piece of scum that would never touch an innocent again
Into the quiet of the Jaguars interior
his eyes glistening with unshed tears he whispers, "That's
another one for you Sis."
Several hundred feet to his right,
a dark brown mini van exits the parking lot, along with a black
Chrysler sedan heading in the same direction as the Jaguar. The
two vehicles swap places continuously, barely keeping the fast
moving jaguar in site. After fifteen minutes of driving the Jaguar
stops at a red light. As the light turns green, a huge dump truck
runs the red light, slamming into the passenger side of the jaguar.
The trucks momentum throws the jaguar across the road rolling
it over several times, before it slowly comes to rest, now a
tangled twisted lump of metal and broken glass.
Backing away, the driver his face
hidden behind the darkened windows of the truck, guns the engine
moving away from the scene. Several cars including the minivan
and sedan hurriedly come to a halt as their occupants run toward
the wreck. The driver of the brown mini van a tall, balding man
turns as the truck drives by, but he can's see the license plate
it has been splattered with mud and he is unable to read even
one number or letter for further identification.
Swearing he rushes toward the jaguar,
kneeling down all he can see is a trickle of blood coursing down
the man neck, coming from his ear. Inside the wrecked jaguar
the balding mans partner feels for a pulse, saying, "He's
alive, but for how long I don't know."
Pulling his cell phone and wallet
out he flashes his badge to the on looking crowd. "FBI he
says, please clear the area!" Dialing 911 the agent calls
for an ambulance.
Silver Star Hotel 1245
Hermosa Beach, Ca
In his office Matt Shepherd leans
back in his chair running his hands through his hair in exasperation.
Paperwork, god how he hated paperwork, his eyes light up as an
idea pops into his head, maybe, just maybe he could talk Margo
Suddenly the door to his office flies
opens, a tall distinguished man wearing an impeccably tailored
black suit walks in, anger written clearly on his face.
"Trout" Matt sneers, don't
you ever knock."
Ignoring him, Trout walks up to the
desk, throwing a manila envelope on the desk and saying, "I
think you have a problem Matt, your man has crossed the line
Opening the envelope Matt looks up
at Trout saying, "What the hell are you talking about."
"Your man Mr. Benny Ray Riddle
has crossed over, gone Rogue."
"Explain," Matt says.
"Two days ago he was spotted
in Lucerne, Switzerland and yesterday a man died. Looked like
a contract hit. We also have evidence that he took out two others,
one in London two weeks ago, and the other in New York City a
Pulling the pictures out of the envelope,
Matt looks carefully, several pictures are slightly blurred but
the man is definitely Benny Ray, as he thumbs through the rest
of the pictures he sees the last one. Throwing it on the desk
he turns it to Trout saying, "What's this?"
"That, Matt is a picture from
this morning, Mr. Riddle was critically injured in a hit and
run accident this morning leaving LAX, right now he is in intensive
care at County General."
Laughing Matt stands up saying "Trout
I think you have the wrong man."
"I don't think so Matt, it's
all right there in front of you in black and white."
"Follow me!" Leaving his
office Matt motions for Trout to follow. Outside the Silver Star
they walk along for the beach several minutes. Pointing to a
tall, athletic man playing volleyball. "What do you say
Calling a halt to the game, the tall
man jogs over to where Matt and Trout are standing. "Trouble
Major, he asks."
"No, Benny Ray, just taking
Trout for a short tour to show him the sites. When you finish
the game get cleaned up and come to the ops room.
"Roger that, Sir." With
a nod to Trout, Benny Ray heads back to the volleyball court.
Turning away the two men head back
to Matt's office at the Silver Star. Back in the office, both
men are silent for several minutes, clearly puzzled by the evidence
in front of them.
Matt, thumbing through the pictures
one more time says, "I think we need to find out who this
guy is, don't you."
Opening his briefcase, Trout pulls
out another file and a palm pilot computer, handing them to Matt,
"this is all the information we have at this time. I'm sorry
Matt, I jumped to conclusions here, and I hope you and your team
will look into this matter."
"You can bet your life on it
Trout," is Matt's answer.
Silver Star Hotel 1400
Hermosa Beach, Ca
In the operations room Margo, Nick,
Rico and Benny Ray wait patiently. Several minutes' later footsteps
can be heard descending the long flight of stairs.
Leaning against the wall, Matt begins,
"I think you all saw Trout earlier, and he has given us
a very interesting case directly involving you Benny Ray.
"My family Sir!"
"No Benny Ray, your family is
fine," holding up his hand, he stays any more questions"
Nodding to Margo, she dims the light
and presses several keys on her computer. Seconds later, a picture
of Benny Ray is visible on the wall screen.
"This, indicating the screen,
is one Alexander Reyes."
"Yes Benny Ray your Double"
"Trout believes him to be a
assassin for hire. Over the last several weeks three men, young
wealthy business men have been killed, supposedly by this man
- Alexander Reyes."
"Our mission is finding out
why they were killed and who Mr. Reyes works for."
"This morning while returning
from Switzerland, Mr. Reyes was critically injured in a hit and
"Your job Benny Ray is to impersonate
this man and discover who he works for."
"Sir" Benny Ray begins.
"Not yet Benny Ray."
"Margo, tell us what you have
"I've discovered that Mr. Reyes
is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and his family currently
lives in Barcelona, Spain, he comes from a wealthy family, he
is highly intelligent with a bit of an attitude. - Sound familiar"
- Margo smiles as she looks at Benny Ray.
Six months ago Mr. Reyes dropped
out of site. He has been living here in LA in an upscale house
in Beverly Hills. From the information I pulled off his palm
pilot, he was definitely a busy man, Switzerland, London and
New York City all in the last month, all coinciding with the
dates the three men were killed."
The planner also includes an appointment
for next Friday at 1330 at a small café in Hollywood.
Looking at Benny Ray, Matt says,
"You Benny Ray will keep that appointment." "This
might be our introduction to whoever wanted theses men killed.
It gives us five days to find out as much as we can about this
man and for you Benny Ray to become him."
"I want everyone to get your
gear together we are moving to Beverly Hills."
Sitting silent Benny Ray waits until
Rico, Nick and Margo leave before approaching Matt. "Sir,
I'm not sure I can do this."
"Benny Ray if I didn't think
you could pull it off, I wouldn't have suggested it. Shaking
his head, Benny Ray says, "Give me a target sir, something
I can place within my sights, but asking me to be someone else,
to step into their shoes and pretend to be them Sir, I just don't
"We need to find out who wanted
these men dead, as far as we know they were innocent, young,
intelligent, businessmen. Without you this mission will certainly
fail, with you we have a very good chance of stopping him."
"We'll be there with you Benny
Ray, you know that."
"Roger that Sir." Silently
Benny Ray leaves, his mind whirling with doubts about his being
able to play the part laid out for him. Knowing his team would
be there as backup gave him the courage to attempt something
this crazy. Hell if Nick could go undercover and pretend to be
someone else why couldn't he.
Beverly Hills, Ca
A black suburban pulls into the drive
stopping at the entry gate, reaching out Matt punches in the
code that will open the intricately designed wrought iron gates.
The drive up to the house is dimly lit and lined with huge trees.
A two-story Spanish style house greets them. A circular set of
polished granite steps leads up to a large arched entryway. The
house is huge with at least 10 bedrooms sitting on an acre of
land surrounded by a six-foot stonewall. The lawn and gardens
seem to be well maintained though it's hard to tell in the dark.
Looking out through the front window
of the vehicle Benny Ray whispers "Damn."
"Now dis is what I call a house,"
Nick says, every word emphasized by his New York accent."
Turning to Benny Ray as he steps
out of the suburban, Margo can see that he is hesitant to go
into the house. Grabbing his arms she practically drags him up
"Alex, she says, "I think
I'm going to like it here."
Scowling down at her, Benny Ray reluctantly
Around the corner, a small dark skinned
man watches as the suburban pulls up to the gate. Opening the
door to his little black SUV he steps out, moving stealthily
to the wall, with a quick leap he settles himself on top. Pulling
a small pair of binoculars from his pocket he watches as the
suburban pulls up in front of the house. Swearing softly he is
surprised to see Alex Reyes get out of the vehicle, the well-planned
"accident" from that morning should have killed him.
But here he was whole and to all intent unharmed. Silently he
jumps down from the wall hurrying back to his vehicle. He knows
his superior would not take the news well.
Inside the house, Nick lets out a low whistle of surprise. The
foyer is simplistically elegant. Light green Marble tile covered
the floor and the wide curving stairway leading up to the second
floor. Large Vases with yellow and white gladiolas line the walls
and tables. Beautiful watercolor pictures in gilt frames depicting
Landscapes are hung in a neat row going up the stairway.
Large double doors open on each side
of the foyer. To the left is a large sitting room, which opens
into an even larger music room, complete with a shiny new Baby
Grand Piano. On the right is the library, it's walls lined with
rich dark mahogany shelves filled with leather bound volumes
their titles etched in gold. Walking through the library to the
study, the team sees a very masculine room filled with large
overstuffed leather chairs in a rich nutty brown color. The desk
centered on the wall to the right of the door is canted slightly
to look out the large windows at the end of the room.
Overwhelmed Benny Ray just plops
himself down in one of the overstuffed chairs, the others quickly
follow suit. Turning to Matt he whispers 'Sir, this is my worst
Grinning Nick says, "Nightmare
Benny Ray, dis is a dream come true."
Wanting to throw something at the
little man, Benny Ray contents himself with an angry glare.
Getting everyone attention Matt says,
"I think we need to start using his new name so from here
on out it's Alex. I want everyone to familiarize themselves with
the house and the grounds, make sure you know where all the exits
are. According to his records, Mr. Reyes has daily maid service
and a housekeeper sans cook. So we will have to be careful tomorrow."
"Right now I think we all need to find our beds." "The
master is at the top of the stairs to the left, the rest of you
just find something that suits you, there are certainly enough
rooms in this place to go around."
Watching as Nick, Rico and Margo
leave the room Matt looks over at Benny Ray knowing enough to
wait and he will eventually hear what's on the snipers mind.
Standing up Benny Ray begins to pace
across the thick carpet. "I don't know about this Sir, it
just doesn't feel right. I'm a country boy, this place..."
stopping Benny Ray shrugs his shoulders and throws his hands
Crossing the room Matt places his
arm around Benny Rays shoulder leading him out and up the stairs,
stopping only when the double doors to the master suite are reached.
"You'll handle it Benny Ray,
like you always do and we're here to help any time you need it,
you know that."
"Good Night," he says,
"don't worry about it, it all works out in the end."
Grumbling to himself Benny Ray opens
the doors to the master suite turning on the light. Again the
room is huge, with a four-poster bed in a dark cherry wood centered
on the wall at the far end of the room. The room is decorated
in emerald green and maroon. Walking around the room Benny Ray
can see that no expense was spared in furnishing the room, but
it was too cold, too austere, it was as if no one really lived
there. Opening the doors to the closet Benny Ray is surprised
to see only a few articles of clothing hanging within, three
suits all in dark shades of blue, black and gray are nestled
in one corner, several pairs of pants and shirts line the opposite
wall. Shoes and boot were sitting neatly in a row on a shelf
at the bottom of the closet. Closing the closet door he takes
off his jacket throwing it over the little chair next to the
closet. Sitting on the side of the bed he opens the top draw
of the nightstand, inside he sees a watch, a cigarette lighter
and several small scraps of paper. One of the scraps of paper
has the date, time and address of Alex's meeting for this Friday.
The others are receipts but give no clue as to what was bought.
In the second draw, he is surprised to see several small books,
opening the cover of the first book, he quickly snatches a picture
out of the air before it falls to the floor. Looking at the picture
he sees himself - or Alex with an older gray haired man and two
young girls. Turning the picture over he reads the inscription.
"Your always there for me Alex,
Studying the picture he can see the
likeness. Though older the man in the picture is easily identified
as Alex's father. Placing the picture back in the book, Benny
Ray slowly thumbs through the pages. Making himself comfortable
Benny Ray leans back against the plush pillows, as he begins
to read the diary.
"Father was very angry with me again today, it seems I forgot
to attend one of his blasted meeting to meet the new clients."
"No matter what I do or say I'm always wrong." "He
said he told me about the meeting, if he did, then I truly forgot."
Reading through the pages Benny Ray
can see that Alex seems to love his father, but doesn't know
how to please him. Learning the business had been hard for him,
his father drove him relentlessly."
Continuing to read Benny Ray begins
to understand about Alex's family and the deep love and affection
he holds for his younger sisters. Larissa especially, though
Carolin is mentioned in the diary but not as often.
Several hours later Benny Ray finishes
the first book. Knowing he should get some sleep but too involved
with Alex and his family Benny Ray takes the second book and
wanders down to the kitchen. Making a sandwich and grabbing a
glass of juice he heads for the study.
Looking at his watch he's surprised
to see that it's nearly 3am. Settling into the chair behind the
desk he flips on the small desk lamp, which throws out just enough
light to read by. Turning his chair to the side propping his
feet up on the desk, he opens the second book. Several more hours
pass and Benny Ray has now immersed himself into Alex's character,
his thoughts and feelings have become a part of him.
Several passages in the book have begun to disturb him. His father
and Larissa are always fighting, with Larissa storming up to
her room to cry.
"Larissa and father fought again today, I know Father is
reluctant to let her grow up but she is nineteen now and has
found someone that she likes very much, but Father is adamant
about her going out with him. Says he's a fortune hunter and
will eventually hurt her." "Larissa is old enough to
know her own mind. He will have to let go of her sooner or later."
Larissa didn't come home tonight. When I called the school, they
couldn't tell me anything. I tried calling several of her friends
but they don't seem to know anything either. I finally got Maria
to talk to me, she said Larissa met a man after school and they
were going out for something to eat."
"Larissa came home very late last night - it was almost
midnight. Father was furious. I actually thought he was going
to hit her. Larissa stood straight and tall - defying him to
the end. We talked late into the night, she told me she had fallen
in love with Stephen and was prepared to run away with him. I
tried to talk her into taking more time but love has a way of
"Their argument this morning was the worst I have ever seen.
She stormed out slamming the door behind her. I tried to talk
with her, but she was too angry, all she said was "I'm leaving
Alex" I could only watch as she saddled her mare and galloped
off across the field.
"Her horse came back this afternoon,
limping and bloody. We searched for hours but couldn't find her.
Father finally called the police. The detectives are here now,
planning a search.
"The men have been searching for two days, but haven't found
anything. Where could she be? Father sits at his desk, he won't
say anything, and he won't eat. Caro is frightened and so am
They called off the search this morning, said she probably ran
away, when she was ready she would come home. I didn't think
so. She would never leave without saying goodbye to Caro and
I. Something has happened to her, I know it. Please God let her
"I found her yesterday."
"God how could this have happened, when I rode out that
morning I didn't know what I would find. I just knew I had to
go to the old mine, to try and think. Why didn't I think of the
cave before? I found blood on the rocks. It scared me, but I
knew I couldn't leave. I found her bruised and broken body inside
the small cave. She was still alive even if only for a few moments.
Pulling her into my arms I looked down into her face smoothing
the soft skin of her cheek with my hand, brushing the hair out
of her eyes. She looked at me then, finally seeing who I was.
I could see the joy light her eyes as she spoke to me for the
last time. Taking off my coat I wrapped her body in its warmth
and held her close to me. "I Love you Alex she whispered
through dry cracked lips. I've been waiting for you. I knew you
would find me. Take me home Alex, please." She closed her
eyes then, I held her in my arms and cried for her, for the sweet
innocence and light that had been extinguished from this world.
I don't know how long I sat there. I was numb at first but that
numbness soon changed to white-hot rage. There was a storm welling
up inside of me that I couldn't control. I kicked, I screamed,
I broke anything that I could find. Exhausted I lay down beside
her and wept again. I dreamed of catching the men that did this
to her and I began to realize that maybe they had left something
in the cave that would help me find them. I searched the cave
floor and surrounding area. I found little things like cigarette
butts. Several different brands and matchbook covers, picking
them up I dropped them into my pocket. I discovered her clothes,
balled up and stuffed in a corner. I vowed then that I would
kill them, I'd find them and kill them, all of them. Who ever
had done this would pay with their lives.
Benny Ray read several more entries
that told of how Alex had broken with his father over the death
of Larissa. His father had become a shattered man, and wouldn't
lift a finger to find out who had killed her.
It had taken months but Alex had
finally found his targets. The matchbook covers were from a hotel
in Barcelona where all the men had been staying. By talking to
the waiters, waitresses, maids and bartenders he found out the
names of the four men, Casey Finch - London, Daniel Clairmont
- New York, Mitchell Caine - Lucerne and Stephen Hart - Larissa's
Stephen? Entries in the diary told of how he had confronted Finch
and Clairmont and convinced them to confess. He had put the gun
to their head, but he had made them pull the trigger.
But try as he might he could not
discover the whereabouts of Stephen Hart. If it took his last
breath he would find him and make him pay.
Benny Ray hearing several voices
coming from the foyer looks down at his watch, surprised to see
that it's almost 7am. Seconds later, Matt, Margo and Nick come
walking through the study door, Margo flicking on the light as
she walks by.
Surprised Margo turns to see Benny
Ray already in the room asking, "How long have you been
Turning his chair toward the door
he replies, "Most of the night I found
But his words
are cut off as the tinkling of breaking glass can be heard from
across the room. All Benny Ray can feel is blazing fire in his
head as he is thrown backwards out of the chair. Blackness descends
and his fingers go numb, the precious diary skidding across the
floor to lie unseen beneath a small table.
Sinking to the floor Matt, Margo
and Nick pull their weapons. Reaching up Nick turns out the light.
Crossing the room, Matt pulls the curtain aside to see a shadowy
figure leap from the wall. Firing Matt is unable to tell if he
hit the target. Closing the curtains he says, "Nick you
take the back of the house, Benny Ray, south wall now"
"Margo you take the front."
"Running from the room Matt
heads for the wall, but all he can hear is the squealing of tires
as a vehicle pulls away.
Margo the last one to leave the room
turns toward the desk, she can see Benny Ray sprawled on the
Pulling the desk lamp closer she
can see a small dark patch beginning to form on the beige carpet
near his head. Placing two fingers on his neck she feels for
his pulse, weak, but there.
"Oh God she whispers, Benny
Ray, Benny Ray can you hear me."
Running out of the room Margo looks
up to sees Rico descending the stair, weapon in hand. "What's
going on Margo?"
"Benny Ray's down Rico, hurry!"
Turning back Margo runs back into
the study, Rico close behind, tucking his weapon into the back
belt of his jeans.
Pushing the chair out of his way
Rico kneels beside the still unconscious Benny Ray. Preliminary
check shows his breathing is shallow, his pulse is weak and thready.
Carefully Rico moves Benny Rays head to survey the damage. A
deep gash just above the right brow and temple is bleeding freely.
Checking his pupils, Rico sees that they are fixed and dilated,
a concussion and a serious one.
A commotion in the hallway signals
the return of Matt and Nick.
"Matt, Margo calls out, we're
in the study."
Coming into the room all Matt can
see in the shadows in the prone body of Benny Ray. "Damn,
he growls, Rico how bad is it.
"Looks bad Matt, I think we
need to get him to a hospital and I mean now!"
"Yeah, but if we take him to
a hospital, the cops will be all over this."
"What about Diana, Margo asks,
she has that clinic about 20 minuets from here."
"Call her Margo, find out if
the clinic can handle this. If not we'll take him to the hospital
and let Trout worry about the cops."
Dialing her cell, Margo talks quietly
for several second and hangs up. "She'll be waiting Matt."
"Don't move him, Rico states,
I'll be right back, several minutes later Rico returns putting
a rigid neck brace on Benny Ray. Easy now, we need to move him
to the suburban as smoothly as possible.
In a little over 20 minutes the harried
group reach the clinic. Diana is watching through the door as
they pull up. Wheeling him into the clinic, Diana motions Matt
and his team toward the waiting room. Unwilling to sit and wait
Matt tries to follow, putting her hand on his chest Diana says,
"Matt, Rico and I will do our best, I promise."
Nearly an hour later with Matt up
and pacing the small waiting room, Diana standing silhouetted
in the doorway a grim expression on her face, motions for all
of them to follow her. Her office wall is lined with several
lit X-Ray viewers the film still wet, stands out in stark contrast
to the bright light.
All business, Diana explains what's
on the x-rays. "There is a lot of swelling, here and here,
she says, indicating the areas with her finger. If we can't relieve
or lessen the swelling, I don't think he's going to make it.
Right now I've given him massive doses of anti-inflammatories.
He's still unconscious, but his pulse and respiration are stronger,
all we can do at this point is wait and hope.
"Brain damage, Matt asks?"
"Don't know Matt, he got hit
pretty hard if the swelling continues - here Diana pauses, taking
a deep breath and continues, it's possible."
"Damn" Matt says as he
turns away, I should have known this would happen. I should have
"Matt, take it easy, how could
you possibly know this would happen, Diana asks?"
"Can we see him Diana,"
"Yes, but please don't stay
too long. Rico is with him now and I'll be here until he wakes
up, I promise."
Leading them down a short corridor
Diana opens the door to a dimly lit room. Benny Ray lay unmoving
a slender white bandage on his forehead. His face pale and drawn,
the tubes and wires running from his arms to the machines placed
around the bed quietly tell their story.
Staring at the bed and the machines
for several minutes Matt silently raises his hands to rub then
across his face, shaking his head in denial, he walks out of
With his back to the wall Matt waits
as Nick and Margo come toward him. "Nick, Margo I need you
to go back to the house. I saw someone in the trees outside the
study. Find something, anything that might give us a clue as
to who did this." "I'm staying here."
"Matt," Margo begins.
"No Margo, I'm staying here,
this is my fault, he didn't want to do it, but I talked him into
it and now
Now he's lying in there
Knowing there wasn't much she could
say to change his mind or help the way he felt, Margo leans into
him placing her arms around his neck and hugging him. Relenting
Matt hugs her back desperately needing someone to tell him it's
ok. Whispering into her ear he says, "What if he doesn't
come out of it Margo."
"He will Matt, Benny Ray is
strong, he'll pull through!"
Monday 0300 hrs
Vale Emergency Clinic
Benny Ray had been unconscious for
nearly 18 hours. Silently he lay there, with only the quiet bleeping
of the machines to break the deathly stillness of the room. Beside
him half asleep, sat Diana waiting and hoping that he would soon
Attuned to the sounds of his rhythmic
breathing, she unexpectedly hears a difference. Standing up Diana
can see his fingers begin to clench and unclench. Soon his whole
body begins to thrash about his head swinging from side to side.
Leaning over Diana places her body on top of his, trying to keep
him still. "Matt," she yells.
Pushing the door open, Matt rushes
in, moving to the bed and grabbing hold of Benny Rays arms. Diana
reaches up catching his head between her hands, listening.
"I'll find him, I'll find him,"
over and over again he repeats the words I'll find him.
Speaking softly Diana tries to quiet
him, knowing his movements will only aggravate his concussion.
As quickly as it began the thrashing
stops, his eyes flying open staring intently into Diana's.
"Benny Ray, do you know who
I am," she asks. No reply.
"Do you know where you are,"
again no reply.
"Can you tell me your name?"
Faintly she can hear his answer "Alex"
as he closes his eyes, returning back to unconsciousness.
Surprised by his answer Diana looks
across at Matt.
Releasing him, she checks all the
tubes and wires making sure none have come loose during his struggle.
Motioning for Matt to leave the room
she follows asking, "Who the hell is Alex." "That
is Benny Ray in there isn't it?"
"Yes, that's Benny Ray he says,
and begins to tell her about the mission.
"How much does he know about
this man Alex?"
"Not much, only what was in
Trout's dossier." "Name, age, just the basics, we didn't
have much to go by."
"Then why is he identifying
himself as this man Alex."
"I don't know, I was as surprised
by it as you were."
"Lets hope the next time he
wakes up, he knows he's Benny Ray!"
"You think there will be a next
"I do now!"
Vale Emergency Clinic
Curled up in the cushioned chair beside the bed, Margo sits reading.
A low groan issuing from the bed shakes her back to reality.
She is elated to see Benny Ray is finally awake.
"Hey, she say, how are you feeling"
Looking up, he says, "hey Sweet
Pea, kinda like someone's tap dancing in my head."
"How long, he asks?
"Hmm, about 36 hours."
"36 Hours, is everyone else
"Everyone else is fine, it seems
you or your alter ego Alex was the target."
Turning his head to the side he whispers
to himself, "Alex."
"Do we know who took the shot,"
Benny Ray asks?
"No but Nick uncovered a shell
casing by the wall outside the study. Found one decent fingerprint
on it. Nick is running it through FBI, Interpol and a couple
other databases. Hopefully something will turn up."
"Good," he whispers
Over the next several days Benny
Ray improves drastically. But his team has notices that though
he has always been quiet, suddenly Benny Ray has gone silent,
speaking only when spoken to and staring out the window for hours.
His demeanor has gone sullen and morose, almost angry, the look
in his eyes turned to flint. Yet when questioned about it, he
never has anything to say.
After five days of lying quietly
in bed, Benny Ray was like a caged tiger. He was ready to go
home and finish the mission.
Vale Emergency Clinic
Restless, but not really knowing
why Benny Ray was dressed and waiting as Matt and Diana entered
the room. Before they can utter a word, Benny Ray says, "I
think it's time I went home, and we finished this mission."
"No," they chime in unison.
"Look," he says turning
back to face the both of them, I started this mission and I'm
no quitter. Beside, now I have a damn good reason to want to
see this thing thru. I want this guy, and I'll find him.
Grabbing his bag as he leaves the
room, head pounding Benny Ray marches to the Suburban parked
just outside the front doors climbing into the passenger side.
Coming up beside him, Diana laying
her hand on his arm says "Benny Ray"
Snapping his head around to look
at her, Diana takes a step back, shocked by the look of naked
hatred in his eyes. Recalling himself, he says, "Look Doc,
I've heard it all before, I'll take it easy, and take my meds,
Surprised and hurt, Diana turns away
without saying a word.
Matt, knowing anything he said would
only make matters worse, starts the suburban. When they reach
the house, Benny Ray steps out, slamming the door behind him.
Before he reaches the front door Matt calls to him "Benny
Ray, I think we need to talk."
"Not now sir."
Several minutes later in the library,
arms crossed over his chest Matt says, "I want to know what
the hell is going on here! It's time you get it off your chest
what ever it is, and quit acting like a spoiled child."
"This mission is at an end as of now!"
"I don't think so Sir! Standing
up Benny Ray gets to within inches of Matt's face his voice low
and deadly he says, "I want this guy Major, I'll do it with
you or without you, makes no never mind to me."
"In your state of mind, this
"Foolhardy Sir, this guy shot
me and took several day out of my life, I'm going to make dam
sure he never hurts an innocent again."
Looking at him Matt could see that
the sniper had a mission and he would be relentless in his pursuit
of the target wondering what exactly he meant by hurting an innocent
- again. "We do this my way Benny Ray, do you hear me. My
way, the first time you get outta line
leaving the rest
of the sentence unfinished.
Stepping back, Benny Ray giving him
a mock salute, "I hear you sir," he drawls before walking
out of the room.
"Damn," Matt says!
Stepping into the library from the
study Margo smiles gently at Matt. "Well you told him."
With a snort of disbelief, "I
don't think he heard I word I said."
"Oh, he heard you Matt, he heard
every word, but whether he'll comply is another story."
"That's the part that worries
"Did Nick uncover anything on
that shell," Matt asks?
"As a matter of fact,"
Margo says, "The name Tomas Cortina came up, and it seems
our Mr. Cortina used to work for Alejandro Reyes, Alex's father.
A little over two years ago, he was fired, for negligence. It
doesn't go into much detail but he was very irate and threatened
reprisals against Mr. Reyes and his family. He currently lives
in Llobregat, Spain, about 10 miles from the Reyes ranch.
"The question now Margo, is
Mr. Cortina working on his own or for someone else."
Beverley Hills, Ca
In the library, Matt's team sits
listening to how the afternoon meeting is planned out.
Rico, I want you outside the front
entrance. Nick you're in back, contact us immediately if anything
looks suspicious. Margo and I will be inside. The café
is fairly small with several windows lining the front dining
room. It's too open, I don't like it, but we don't have much
choice. One of the notes in Alex's palm pilot says to wear a
white rose. I assume this is how you will be recognized. I want
everyone in place 15 minutes early. We're not taking any chances
this time, so be prepared people. We'll take three vehicles,
two suburbans Nick and Rico in one, Margo and I in the other,
Benny Ray you will take Alex's Mercedes it's parked in the garage.
During the whole trip I want you to stay between the suburbans,
I'm not taking any more chances on another accident. Everyone
is to meet back here at 1230.
They all pipe up with a quick "No
Alex / Benny Ray dressed in the Steel
Gray silk suit and a matching light gray high collared shirt,
stands staring at his reflection in the mirror. Only the white
bandage on his forehead mars the perfection of the image. But
the thoughts running through his pounding head are not of impeccably
tailored suits or little white bandages, instead his mind is
filled with thoughts of possibly finding the man who killed Larissa.
Regardless of who he meets this afternoon he would hunt Stephen
Hart until he found him and exact revenge. He knew now there
was no one else behind the killing of the three men except Alex.
Pulling the Glock 21 out of the top
dresser draw, he checks to insure the clip is full before reinserting
it back into the weapon, placing the weapon snugly in the shoulder
holster under his suit jacket.
In the library the rest of the team
waits, turning towards Benny Ray as he enters the room. With
a low whistle from Nick saying, "Geez, I guess when you
take on a role you play it to the hilt, dat is one hell of an
With a distaining glance at Nick,
Benny Ray says "Are we ready to go."
"Not yet, Margo says moving
forward, Benny Ray warily steps back as she moves toward him.
"Are you ok Benny Ray, Margo says a questioning look in
Looking down at her he sees the white
rose in her hand and says, "I'm fine Margo can we get this
Pinning the rose on his lapel, she
hands him a small earpiece. Taking it he places it inside his
"I've placed the transmitter
inside the rose," she says patting it one last time before
stepping back. Without even a thank you Benny Ray turns and walks
out of the room.
The rest of the team quickly follows
as they head outside to the waiting vehicles.
The Café is a medium sized
building with a parking lot along the front and south sides of
the building. Upon reaching the Café, Nick drops Rico
about a block away and drives to the rear of the building taking
up a position with a good view to the back door and surrounding
Rico waits, taking up a seat in the
small park across from the restaurant. Parking in front Matt
gets as close to the entrance as possible initiating a communications
checks before going into the cafe. Inside the little café
it's fairly quiet, with most of the lunch rush having already
left. Over the com link Matt describes the layout of the café.
Benny Ray walking into the café several minutes later
is greeted by the Maitre'de and is a little surprised to be referred
to by name. "Mr. Reyes, your party is waiting," he
says. Winding their way to the back of the restaurant, Benny
Ray is taken to a small table by the north wall. A gray haired
gentleman sitting with his back to the room stands up as Benny
Ray is led to the table.
Taking a look at the gentleman Benny
Ray utters one word. "Father," before turning and walking
away. "Alex Wait," the older man pleads.
Alex / Benny Ray stops, turning back,
anger and contempt written on his face he says, "Wait! Wait
for what father, for you to crawl out of your hole and avenge
your daughter's death. Laughing Alex / Benny Ray continues, "Well
don't bother, I've taken care of it for you."
"What have you done Alex,"
the older man asks?
In his ear, Alex / Benny Ray hears
Matt asking, "Benny Ray what the hell are you doing.
Ignoring Matt's voice, Alex / Benny
Ray continues, "its taken me months Father, but I finally
found them and they will never harm an innocent again. Ever!"
Shocked Matt and his team are enthralled
by the drama being enacted in the small café. Listening
intently as Benny Ray continues.
"Only Stephen eludes me now,
and I won't rest until he's found and disposed of like the others.
"My God Alex, I didn't know!"
"Didn't care is more like it
Father!" "Larissa was nothing but a toy for you to
play with, a pretty doll that you could dress up parade in front
of you friends. What was your plan father, to marry her off to
one of you business associates?"
Sinking down into the chair the old
man cradles his bead in his hands.
Moving back to the table, Alex /
Benny Ray stands staring at the old man. He could see that the
old man was in pain, but his heart could not forgive him for
driving Larissa away.
Sinking into the chair opposite his
father Alex / Benny Ray waits.
Looking up into his sons face the
old man, tears in his eyes reaches across the table saying, "your
Pulling back, Alex / Benny Ray raises
his hand to ward off his fathers touch. Harsh laughter escapes
Benny Ray's throat as he says, "Hurt Father, this is nothing
compared to what Larissa endured. Do you remember father, when
I brought her home, wrapped in my coat, the bruises on her arms
and legs, burns on her body." "This," he says
brushing the bandage on his forehead, "is just a reminder
of what I must do."
Looking up, Alex / Benny Ray stares
out across the room. "It was our fault Father, yours for
driving her away, mine for not stopping her." "I could
have stopped her that day, talked with her, been with her, maybe
I could have prevented it if I had."
Silence reigns as both men examine
themselves and the thoughts running through their heads.
Alex / Benny moves to stand up as
the older man says, "Please stay Alex, I need to talk to
you, I need your help!"
Laughter erupts from across the table,
as Alex / Benny Ray says, "When have you ever needed my
Walking away from the table, the
older man reaches out grasping Benny Rays wrist. Stopping Benny
Ray yanks his hand away and continues to walk away.
"If not for me Alex, stay for
Swearing Benny Ray turns back, his
voice low and menacing as he says, "how dare you bring Carolin
"I dare because Carolin is in
danger Alex, someone is trying to destroy me, my family and my
company. They have already made one attempt on her life."
"The police will not listen they believe it to be the foolish
raving of a old man." "A fire broke out at the factory
last week, I was with a client, but Carolin was in the office
finishing some homework, if the shop foreman hadn't been there
Alex she would have died. I would have lost her like I lost Larissa."
"Please Alex I can't loose her,
not now, not after Larissa. There have been two other attempts
since them, please help me Alex"
"Go home Father," Alex
/ Benny Ray says as he walks away.
"Alex," the older man whispers.
Outside, Benny Ray climbs into the
Mercedes, pulling out of the parking lot he speeds away before
the rest of the team can stop him. Climbing into the suburban,
Matt sees the white rose and earpiece lying on the seat. Swearing
Matt jumps in, saying, "hurry up people, maybe we can catch
Without any luck catching up with
him and not knowing where he might be going the team heads back
for the house. The Mercedes is sitting in front of the house
as they pull up. Sitting in the car for a few seconds, Matt tries
to calm himself down. To Margo sitting beside him he says, "what
the hell is going on with him?
"I don't know Matt, but I think
it's time we found out. At least we found out what's been on
his mind for the last several days."
As Nick and Rico pull up, Matt says,
"Check the grounds, lets make sure no one left us any surprises
while we were gone."
Walking up the stairs, Matt stops
just inside the door to see Benny Ray sitting on the stairs,
a small book sitting beside him.
Slowly Benny Ray looks up, a glazed
look in his eyes, his face flushed. "Major, I
Picking up the book, Matt sits down
beside him, waiting.
"I can't seem to keep anything
straight in my head anymore Sir."
"I can't even remember who I
am." "This afternoon it was like I was in the middle
of a fire fight, surrounded on all sides with no where to go."
"Benny Ray how did you know
that was Alex's father, better yet, how did you know about Alex's
family, Matt asks?"
Pointing to the book in Matt's hand,
he says, "The diary, I was reading it the night we got here,
the night I was shot." "One had a picture of his father
and sisters in the front cover."
"When I woke up at Diana's clinic
Alex was in my head, everything he had written had become a part
of me, all I could think about was revenge, his revenge for the
rape and murder of his sister."
"It was sickening what they
did to her, Matt." "This Stephen Hart, finds young
innocent women, then sells them, for one night of terror and
pleasure." "He doesn't care what these men do to them,
as long as he gets paid!"
"What are you going to do now
"I'm going to help
father!" "I have a hunch that Stephen Hart might be
behind the attacks, especially if he's after Carolin."
"Do you mind if I take this,"
Matt asks indicating the book in his hand.
"Benny Ray I want you to get
some rest, we'll talk more about this later."
Half an hour later, after Matt having
asked Rico to check on Benny Ray, Rico enters the study, where
the rest of the team is gathered discussing the diary and the
"How's he doing Rico,"
"He's running a fever, I gave
him a sedative and something for the headache," Rico replies.
"He's hurting pretty bad from what I can see."
"Will he be able to travel?"
"I don't think you could stop
him Major, Rico answers"
"Ok people, it looks like our
original problem has been solved. No one except possible Alex
Reyes was responsible for the deaths of those three men. Our
decision now, is whether we are going to continue the mission
and find Mr. Stephen Hart."
Across the room sitting behind the
desk Margo punches a few buttons on her computer. "I did
a little research on this guy and of course found absolutely
nothing, whoever he is he doesn't exist at least under the name
Stephen Hart. Digging a little deeper, I did find several news
stories in Europe and the US about young women, found raped and
murdered. They all had the same MO, secluded area. All of the
women were young fifteen to twenty years old, they were raped,
tortured, and left for dead - none of them survived the ordeal.
During one of the cases, a man actually turned himself in, said
he couldn't live with what he had done, but he was killed in
an accident three weeks later while being transported to another
prison. Hit and Run accident - sound familiar?"
"In his confession he described
the man as early 20's, tall, Blonde, hair, pale blue eyes, athletic,
muscular build. Said he met the guy one night in a bar. Paid
him $1,000 for a night with an innocent young lady, unaware exactly
what he was getting involved in." Turning Margo looks at
Matt saying, "My vote is we take this guy down."
Nodding his head he turns to the
other asking, Nick, Rico?"
From Rico, "I agree Major we
need to get this piece of scum and put him away."
"You got my vote Matt,"
"Glad to hear that people, Margo
please make the reservations, I have a call to make, Trout is
going to be a very unhappy man."
"All I have to do now is get
Benny Ray under control, he says mumbling to himself."
Double Take... Chapter
Two: The Game... by LadyD
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