CHAPTER FORTY NINE

"Mama?"

"I'm here."

"Where?"

"Here."

"Where? I can't see you."

"That's okay. I'm still here. Your father, too."

"Why can't I see you any more?"

"You don't have to, honey. Just know that we're here. We'll come back for you, one day."

"I want you here. I want to see you."

"Some day. Some day, soon."

"Come back! Please! Come back!" He started running after the voice, running and running...


*****

Dr. Garr shook his head.

"So?" Randy was standing next to him, and he was not happy.

"I'll have to bring the sedation back up."

"How long is this going to go on, Doc?" Hannibal watched Sam. For the last couple of hours, Sam's hands had been twitching almost constantly; his head would jerk suddenly to the side, then back. Occasionally they could make out a slurred word or two.

"It could take another week, maybe two. It's just the nature of the beast. On a more positive note, his blood tests came back at near normal levels, and the shoulder is healing nicely. And that's probably due to his being sedated, not moving it around." The doctor looked at both men. "Look, if we don't keep him under, he's going to go right back to what he was before. You don't want that, do you?"

Randy just looked angrily away. Hannibal shook his head.

"We'll keep trying to reduce the sedation, monitor his reaction to it. When I'm convinced that the withdrawal is over, then we'll bring him completely back." He frowned down at the man in the bed. "What you do after that is up to you."

Dr. Garr left the room, the metal door swishing closed behind him. Hannibal sat down, next to the bed, looked at the equipment arranged around it. Another week, maybe two. Then what? Who would come out of it, in the end? Sam? Or Face? Or nobody at all?


*****

"I don't like it. What about the nurses? They're already talking about it. Wondering why the cops aren't more involved."

"Kurt and Daryl are dealin with that. Everbody thinks they're Feds."

"I still don't like it. I don't trust Garr."

"He ain't gonna say anythin to anybody. He's too scared of Randy."

"That's another thing. Why is he so scared of him? What's that all about?"

"Hannibal knows what's goin on there. He don't seem worried about it."

"I..."

"I know. You still don't like it. Don't matter. Long as Stockwell don't find out, we're okay."

Murdock sighed. They had moved Face to the local hospital the day after the shooting. Over the next few days, they had spread rumors about a big FBI case. Witness protection, the whole spiel. The guy in the grocery store had added credence to it, with his tales of hit men and secret agents. Kurt talked to the local authorities. Murdock didn't know what cock and bull story he'd given them, but it seemed to have worked.

Seemed to. For now.

Murdock still didn't like the fact that so many people knew they were here. Stockwell had feelers out all over the place. It wouldn't take long.

They had to get Face out of here. The sooner, the better.


*****

Dr. Garr hurried to his office. He desperately needed some time alone. Time away from Gerald and his cronies.

His secretary handed him a stack of memos as he passed into his office. On top was a phone message. He glanced at it, did a double-take. Long distance. Frowned. Sitting down at his desk, he pulled the phone book over, looked up the area code.

Virginia.


*****

Randy stood by the window, watching the meanderings in the parking lot. He was feeling closed in. Something told him it was time to move. Time to get out. That sixth sense that had served him so well over the years. He looked over to the bed.

That was the only thing holding him here. Every instinct in him said to leave, but he couldn't, wouldn't, walk out on Sam. Not until he knew if Sam was coming back, anyway. If he did, then the two of them would go to Europe. Spain. Greece. Didn't matter where. As long as they got away.

He didn't think about Sam not coming back. Time enough for that if it happened.


*****

"Stockwell's probably having kittens by now."

"Probably."

"We're going to have to report back to him sometime, Kurt. You know that."

Kurt just nodded. The idea of returning to the organization, to Stockwell, just didn't appeal to him any more. He'd hated the idea enough after Redondo. Now, it made him feel sick. Trapped.

Daryl watched him. He knew what was going on in that mind of his. He'd seen it coming for some time now. This thing with Randy and Sam had just brought it to a head. He knew Kurt would be cutting his ties with Stockwell. The question was, would Daryl go along?

So much had changed since California. They still worked as a team, but it was no longer just surveillance. That was Clifton's doing. The man had influence. Too much influence. Kurt and Daryl had had to take on jobs they abhorred. Had to. California held over their heads. Randy and Sam and everything that had happened. The things Kurt and Daryl had done. And each new job added to the list of things Stockwell could use to keep them in line.

Daryl sighed. Stockwell would not be happy about this last fiasco. They were supposed to report as soon as they found Peck. It hadn't occurred to either of them to actually do that. The moment they'd learned of the new assignment, it had just been taken for granted that they would do whatever was necessary to make sure their quarry was safe.

Well, he was, more or less. He was being taken care of, and he'd have Smith between him and Stockwell when he got out of here. Whether things between Sam and the team would work out or not, he hadn't a clue. And there was always Randy to consider. Would he let Sam go that easily? Would Sam let go, accept reality, let Face come back and stay? And if he did, what would Randy do?

Daryl looked back at Kurt, who was still frowning, staring off into space.

What would any of them do now?


*****

"It's just routine, Dr. Garr. There's no reason to believe that our man is even in your area, but we like to let hospitals and private doctors know, just in case. We're already working with the local authorities, of course."

"Of course."

"Just a word of caution, Dr. This man is dangerous, and should be treated with extreme caution, regardless of any possible injuries he might have sustained. If he should show up, treat him as you would any other patient, but call us immediately. We know how to deal with him."

"Certainly."

The connection was cut, and Dr. Garr sat, holding the receiver, thinking hard. On the one hand, it was obviously his opportunity to get rid of Gerald, once and for all. On the other, who knew what he might tell the authorities. At the time Gerald's brother had died, Garr had been under no requirement to report anything. That didn't necessarily absolve him legally. And he hadn't reported anything that happened to Gerald himself after that, law or not. Max Lindstedt was just too powerful in the area. Too many 'friends', if one could call them that.

Maybe Gerald wouldn't say anything at all. After all, he was not completely innocent. Garr knew he'd had some hand in his grandfather's death. He just couldn't prove it. And Gerald knew that. He could open up that whole can of worms and walk away, the innocent victim.

Damn him. Damn that whole family...


*****

"We might have a problem."

"Might? That's all we've had lately, Randy." Hannibal glanced over at Sam. Satisfied he was remaining back in the depths of sedation, he sat back in the chair and waited for Randy to explain.

"Garr got a phone call last night. From Virginia."

Hannibal straightened. "Stockwell? How'd he find us?"

"I don't think they found us. Not yet. It was Stockwell's people, though. Putting out the word. Garr didn't say anything last night to them, but I don't know how long he'll hold out on them."

"You listened in?"

"No, I just have a trace on his phone. But if he'd said anything at all, this place would've been covered with Ables long before now. But he's got to be thinking about it."

"Well, he's been thinking about it ever since you showed up at his door."

"But he didn't have anyone to go to until now. He had nothing on me, other than kidnapping. Which could easily be explained as panic at having a friend seriously injured."

"And now, he not only doesn't have to prove anything, he has people just waiting to come and take you off his hands."

"Versus my making what he did for my grandfather public."

"Hmm. Yes, there's that. Which is why he didn't jump at the chance last night. He needed to think things over. What, he could lose his license? Probably not do any jail time. Not after all this time. So he's thinking if his license is worth getting rid of you."

"And for how long. He'd also have to decide how much confidence he has in Stockwell making it a permanent removal."

The two men sat, silent. Thinking.

"We have to move. Tomorrow at the latest."

"That's what I was figuring. But where?"

"Maggie would help us out, but she's too obvious. Especially after the last time. Stockwell probably already has her under surveillance."

"We could work around that. Take her someplace."

Hannibal nodded. "Easily. So the only question is where."

"I might be able to help you with that."

The two men swung around, startled. Daryl had come into the room completely unknown to them. He smiled, apologetically.

"Habit. Sorry, guys. But like I said, I might be able to help."

"Daryl, I appreciate it, but we've gotten you guys in enough trouble already."

"Well, Kurt and I were sorta planning on severing ties with the general anyway. Now's as good a time as any."

Randy and Hannibal looked at each other, then back to Daryl.

"Okay. Let's hear it."