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H&K: Path of Knowledge

Book 1 of the H&K Series: Chapter 13

By Shawn David KelleyPublished 2 years ago 20 min read
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Chapter 13

Hank and Sarasin sat at a far table in the darkest part of the historic building being used as a bar now. The cell phone they had taken from Billings buzzed as Samantha Craig called. They looked around to observe a young woman standing at the entrance. It was not Samantha Craig. The two stood up and made for the door to leave. They passed by the woman who was looking around the bar for those she was to meet.

As the young woman exited the bar, Sarasin followed closely behind. Hank stood off at a distance to cover her, watching all the parked cars. The young woman tried to use her phone, but Sarasin had a handheld signal jammer keeping her from making the call. The woman opened the driver’s door of a silver Toyota Camry. Sarasin got into the passenger seat.

“Excuse me, who are you?” the woman asked.

“Billings sent me. He’s a little indisposed,” Sarasin told her, jamming her Browning Hi-Power 9 mm pistol in the woman’s ribs. “Now who are you?”

“I’m Ms. Craig’s legal secretary, Adrian Smith. I was supposed to meet Mr. Billings and two others here as Ms. Craig instructed.”

“Where’s Ms. Craig?”

“She’s overseeing some project concerning a witness in Buckingham and the fugitive Officer Bob Roy.” The woman was white with fear.

“Got all that?” Sarasin said into her earpiece.

“Got it. Take Craig’s secretary with you. Squeeze her. Follow whatever avenue you see fit. Reach out to Officer Roy. He has the third burner phone you gave me. Let him know their location is general knowledge now. Give him the location of the safe house in Phoenixville where his family can be safe,” Hank said. “I’m going to meet Ms. Craig.”

“Your wife will be with them?” Sarasin asked.

“Yes,” Hank said as he raced to the other car to make his way to Karen’s house.

Sarasin smiled at the young woman, producing a syringe that rested in her right hand. She jabbed it into the young woman’s leg. A moment later, the woman was unconscious. Sarasin pulled the unconscious Adrian Smith into the passenger seat, fastening the seatbelt about the young legal secretary before producing two sets of zip tie restraints. She bound the woman’s hands and feet and then produced another single zip tie. She lifted the young woman’s arms to the hand hold over the door, securing the young woman’s hands to it. Sarasin exited the passenger side of the vehicle, closing the door behind her. She walked to the driver’s door, climbing behind the driver’s seat. Sarasin headed back to the safe house where Jerome and Sanchez waited with Martin and Johnson. She would leave the interrogation to Sanchez this time knowing that he had a way of eliciting information without getting physical. Besides, she had a rendezvous with Officer Roy and his family.

Hank appropriated a black Cadillac from a train car holding area for new vehicles. There were hundreds of brand-new Cadillacs of all makes and models in the train yard waiting for delivery. Sanchez had “borrowed” an old pickup from a Philadelphia Impound Yard a few days earlier, which Hank used to drive back to Philadelphia in. He had brought with him a variety of toys and accessories that he may need. He transferred them to the trunk of the Cadillac.

Hank approached Karen’s home near midnight. All the streetlights were out along the street. Parked in the driveway were several cars. The house had lights on in almost every room. An uneasy feeling came over him. He pulled his newly acquired Cadillac into the driveway of a house down the street from Karen’s, one he knew to be vacant. He waited a few minutes, scanning Karen’s home and perimeter. Two dark figures were standing guard outside the house. His intuition had come in handy once again.

Hank stepped from the vehicle and went to the trunk. Opening it, he eyed the sniper rifle. Hank lifted the weapon out of the trunk. He closed the trunk and stepped to the far side of the vehicle. He placed the bipod on the trunk lid and sighted it on the home. Several figures moved about inside the house, in the family room. The curtains were open. Hank could see Karen cowering on the couch, clutching her two older children to her with baby Julia crushed to her chest. He counted at least five inside the home.

The rifle coughed twice as the sentries dropped. He walked around the vehicle. Opening the driver’s door, he slid the weapon onto the passenger seat. He climbed in and backed out of the driveway. He approached Karen’s home with lights on as if nothing was wrong. He stopped behind the other vehicles.

As he got out and headed to the front door, a man appeared at the front door opened.

“Can we help you?” the man asked as his hand slid inside his suit jacket.

“Yes, actually. I am here to pick up Ms. Karen and her children and take them to the airport as arranged. I’m sorry I’m a few minutes late, but I had a flat on the way,” Hank was saying as he walked nonchalantly toward the front door.

The man looked over his shoulder at someone behind him. He then turned back toward Hank.

“She has decided to stay home,” the man stated.

“Well, I still need her to sign off that I did come out to pick her up. Otherwise, I won’t get paid,” Hank said as he stepped up to the front door threshold.

The man again turned toward the person inside the family room off to the right of the front door. His hand eased slowly, further into his jacket. Hank drove his twelve-inch Tanto blade to the hilt in the man’s chest, between the ribs. The man stiffened and fell forward slightly as Hank caught him.

Hank carried the man as he entered the house, using the body as a shield as he confronted not four remaining individuals but seven.

They were all in motion at once. But Hank was faster. The silenced HK45 was in his hand, under the dead man’s left armpit, and firing. Two of the occupants went down with the first burst of gunfire. With his left hand, Hank withdrew the Glock .40 caliber from the man’s shoulder holster. The second weapon barked and another assailant went down. The four used the furniture as cover as Karen pulled her children onto the floor, covering them with her own body.

Hank dropped the dead man’s body which had taken several rounds from his compatriots. He rushed into the room, leaping over the couch to catch two more off guard. The two weapons in his hands barked, dealing death to both. A sudden searing pain bit into his right side as a bullet found him. He dropped to his right knee and fired at the attacker, catching the woman in the throat. The last living assailant grabbed Karen by the hair, pulling her up in front of her.

“Back off, asshole,” the dark-haired woman ordered, using Karen and baby Julia as a shield. Karen’s children huddled on the floor in front of the couch behind the woman and Karen.

Suddenly, Karen’s son Michael Jr. nudged his sister Cyndi and nodded toward the woman. His sister nodded back, acknowledgment, as the two leaped forward, wrapping their arms around the woman’s legs, and dragging her to the floor. As soon as Karen felt the forward movement, she elbowed the woman in the ribs with her left free arm.

Karen fell, pulling her baby daughter close to her chest with her right arm. She turned and delivered a swift kick to the woman’s face, breaking the woman’s nose in the process. Karen kicked at the woman’s hand that held the Glock 40 caliber, dislodging it from the woman’s grasp, and sending it sliding across the floor toward Cyndi. Another kick to the woman’s solar plexus toppled the woman onto her back, gasping for breath. Junior’s grip on the woman’s legs came loose with Karen’s assault. Karen’s daughter scrambled forward to retrieve the Glock before the woman could recover from the attack. The woman rolled onto her stomach, attempting to rise as she brought her hands up underneath her. Cyndi leaped up with the pistol in hand, rushing at the woman as the woman struggled to raise herself from the floor. Cyndi leaped forward and dropped heavily onto the woman’s back and shoulders, her knees driving into the woman’s shoulder joints. A loud snapping sound was heard as the woman’s shoulders popping out of their sockets reverberated through the room. Cyndi placed the barrel of the pistol to the back of the woman’s neck.

“Don’t twitch, bitch, or I swear to god I’ll pull this trigger,” Cyndi growled at the woman.

Michael Jr. leaped at the woman under his sister’s weight, adding his weight to the woman’s waist and legs. Hank placed the Glock from the dead man in his waistband, reached his free hand out to Karen, and lifted her to her feet.

Overcome by joy, stress, and the ordeal, Karen grabbed Hank with her free hand, pulling him close to her and kissed him. Tears rolled down her face as the kiss lingered just for a moment but spoke volumes.

“Mom!” both her children simultaneously shrieked as they saw their mother kiss Hank.

“Oh, sorry,” Karen said, pulling away from Hank. “Kids, this is Hank. He always seems to be around when we need him.”

Hank stepped past Karen as she moved away from the tangle of arms, legs, and knees before him. He gently took the gun from Karen’s daughter’s shaking hands. He motioned for Karen’s son to release the woman and back away. Karen’s children joined her, wrapping their arms around each other for support and comfort. Baby Julia started to cry, but all three began to soothe her into silence.

“Well, let’s see who you are,” Hank stated as he pushed the woman onto her back. He tossed the second Glock across the room.

Holding the HK facing the woman, he searched her and found her identification in the right inside pocket of her jacket.

“Marison Levey, State Department. Did you happen to know Samuel Billings?” Hank asked.

Levey glared with his jaw clenched at him. Her hands curled into fists. Seeing the blood soaking Hank’s shirt, she delivered a quick punch to his gunshot. Hank staggered back, the wind knocked out of him, pain shooting through his body. His gun hand drooped slightly as the woman advanced.

Instantly, Karen was in motion. Like a tigress, she pushed baby Julia into her daughter Cyndi’s arms and leaped forward. Karen had been beaten and held down for so long by Martin, her ex-husband, and so many others; the rage and frustration had built to an explosive outburst. She was on the woman before either even knew it. Her hands and feet were blurred as Karen landed punches and kicks, one after another on the woman. With her passion rekindled, her anger flowed out with only one single target. This one woman, left of all her compatriots, was receiving the brunt of Karen’s long pent-up anger and frustration. The sounds of bones breaking reverberated through the room. The woman crumpled to the floor unconscious, a bloody mess as Karen landed a final sidekick to the woman’s chest.

“Enough, Karen!” Hank called, pulling her from the prone, unconscious form.

“Wow, Mom!” the older children said as Karen turned, flipping her hair back.

“That felt good,” Karen stated.

Then all eyes fell on Hank who slowly sank to the floor, blood showing through his shirt. Karen was at his side, tearing his shirt open. The gunshot had entered his right side but missed all his vital organs. Though extremely painful, it was not exactly life-threatening. Karen helped him up and to the couch.

“Michael, get me my medical bag from my room,” Karen instructed her son.

A few minutes later, Hank was stitched up, cleaned, and bandaged. Karen forced him to take several painkillers and antibiotics.

“We need to leave. Grab a few things. My car is outside.

Unfortunately, you’ll need to drive,” Hank told Karen.

Karen again kissed Hank, this time on the cheek before ushering her children upstairs to gather overnight bags. Twenty minutes later found the Cadillac heading to Pottstown and a safe house. Karen made a quick stop to half force her sister, brother-in-law, and their three children into the Cadillac. Cramped as it was, Hank explained it was the only way they could be sure that they weren’t tracked. Hank insisted that everyone leave their cell phones at Karen’s sister’s house before departing.

The safe house was a seven-bedroom two-story mansion near the Pottstown Police department. An elderly Oriental man answered the door.

“Mr. Owens, it’s nice to see you again,” the man at the door greeted.

“Dan, these are friends of mine in need of some TLC for a while. Can you help?” Hank asked.

“You never need to ask. My door is always open to you and your friends for as long as you have a need.”

The group entered the safe house into the main sitting room, admiring the décor. Ancient vases and tapestries lined the walls. Persian carpets adorned the floors. A young Oriental female entered the sitting room.

“Mr. Owens, what have you gotten into this time?” she asked, coming to him as she saw his torn shirt and bandaged side.

“Flesh wound,” he stated. “Kim, your grandfather has graciously invited my friends to stay with him. I hope that won’t be an inconvenience?”

“Not at all. I will show you to your rooms as Grandfather relays a few tidbits to you in his study,” Kim led the group, all except Karen and Hank upstairs.

“Karen, can you go with Kim?” Hank asked.

“You’re my patient, and until you are completely healed, you’re not getting rid of me,” Karen retorted.

“Okay, fine.”

Dan smiled as he led them into his study, closing the door behind him. The door was a good three inches thick and made of solid oak. There were no windows in the study. Dan stepped to his desk and pulled out a small lever under the left side of the desk. The top of the desk flipped up to expose several monitors. Two large screen monitors slid down from the ceiling. Dan’s hands danced across his keyboard at lightning speed.

“Jerome sent the location and information on State Senator Jason Ramsey. The senator is connected with the human trafficking business somehow. He will be in Philadelphia at the Ritz Carlton tomorrow night for a fundraiser for the Global Centurion foundation to combat human trafficking. Adrian Smith revealed a lot of information concerning Samantha Craig’s dealings with organized crime in Philadelphia with links to the district attorney and mayor. Sarasin has made contact with Officer Bob Roy of the Philadelphia Police Department. He has been placed in charge of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force now that all charges have been found unsubstantiated. It seems that the charges were fabricated by a well-organized terrorist group on the East Coast with a lot of political influence. Sarasin is running lead, keeping an eye on Officer Roy. His four companions are with friends elsewhere. Preliminary reports show the assassinations of the director and assistant director were professional, military-grade hits. Sarasin has attached a memo for you. All it says is ‘Villa,’” Dan highlighted the reports that came in.

“Thank you, Dan. As always, you are very efficient.”

“If it weren’t for you, the Triad would have ended me long ago. So, it is an honor to always be of assistance.”

Dan pushed the lever back in, and the room returned to its original state. You would never have guessed the hidden electronics and other hidden secrets within the room. An audible click sounded from the door. Karen couldn’t see the door once it had been sealed. The three exited the study. Dan excused himself to attend to his guests with his granddaughter.

“Who are you?” Karen asked as Hank thought about Sarasin’s memo with the word villa on it.

What did all this have to do with the villa? He snapped out of this thought to answer her.

“I’m just an average run-of-the-mill internet security consultant,” Hank smiled as he walked toward the sitting room.

“Average, my damn ass,” Karen breathed.

“Mom!” Karen’s teenage children both gasped as they descended the stairs with baby Julia.

“Oh, you’ve heard worse,” Karen replied.

“Not from you,” her daughter said.

“Okay, folks, I’m going to need your cooperation. Dan and Kim will provide you with anything you need. But you can’t leave the estate. Not until this all blows over and I give you the all-clear. Whoever is behind these attacks is still out there. They have long arms.” Hank was telling the group as they sat down to a five-star meal Dan had prepared.

“Aren’t you staying with us?” Karen’s daughter asked.

“I have business to attend to,” Hank stated.

“What about us?” Karen’s brother-in-law asked.

“You need to stay here as well. Just for a week or so. Since you work for Karen, I am sure your boss won’t hold it against you for your absence,” Hank replied.

“But don’t make a habit of it,” Karen joked.

“Hank, I have a question,” Cyndi spoke up. “Why do they call you Mr. Owens?”

“It was an alias I once went by when I first met Dan. I got him away from some pretty nasty people he had gotten mixed up with because of his son. When this place was set up, he volunteered to remain as the caretaker. I just haven’t been able to get him or his granddaughter to call me anything but Mr. Owens since,” Hank was smiling as he explained.

*****

Sarasin called Officer Roy and informed him their location had been compromised. She gave him directions to a safe house in Phoenixville outside Philadelphia. She instructed him to get to the location as soon as possible. After they had arrived, Sarasin met them and introduced them to the caretaker Merium, an elderly woman who seemed anything but vulnerable.

“Officer Roy, you have been named the director of the East Coast Anti-Terrorism Task Force if you decide to take the position. You are now officially reinstated, but your reinstatement will remain classified for the time being due to the assassinations. There are certain factions inside and outside our government, both local and federal, that would do their best to shut us down. We have forty-eight hours to accomplish our mission before they pull the plug.”

“I’m in,” Bob told Sarasin. Bob turned to Tess.

“I love you. I have to do this to make sure you and the kids are safe.”

“I know. We’ll be okay. Go do what you have to do.”

Bob kissed Tess hard on her lips, hugging her tight, holding her close for several minutes before Sarasin made a coughing sound. Bob hugged his son and daughter before turning to Katharine. He kissed Katharine lightly on the lips before turning to leave.

“Let’s get started. You both will be safe here,” he told Tess and Katharine more to reassure himself.

“Please remain here. You will be safe. Make no calls out. Merium will take care of everything,” Sarasin said as she closed the front door of the safe house.

The next morning, Hank was up early. He was dressed in a tuxedo as he ascended the stairs from the basement where three additional bedrooms were, which were not included in the original seven upstairs. Karen’s daughter whistled as he entered the sitting room.

“You clean up nicely,” Cyndi said.

“He does look dashing, doesn’t he?” Kim commented entering the room behind the others.

“He always turns the heads of the right women, that’s for sure, and some not so right. But that tuxedo doesn’t fit right,” Karen said as she blushed.

“Well, sometimes you have to go with what is available. Luckily, Dan had a couple in storage,” Hank said.

“And where perchance are you going all dressed up?” Karen demanded.

“I have a fundraiser to attend.”

“Do you have an invitation?”

“I won’t need one.”

“To this one, you will. And I just so happen to know someone who has an invitation, plus one,” she said, taking his arm. “It’s a quick stop at his office in Doylestown, and off we go.”

“We?” Hank eyed her.

“You can’t go without your wife, can you?” she stated. Everyone eyed her quizzically.

“Wife?” Hank replied.

“The invitation is for Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell. So, like it or not,” she cocked her head with a smirk. “You’re stuck with me for at least a few more days. Besides, we have to get you a better-fitting tuxedo if you’re going to the fundraiser or you’ll stick out like a sore thumb.”

“Great. All I need is another wife.” Hank rolled his eyes.

“You could do worse.” Karen smiled.

*****

Michael Mitchell of ETI Communications Security Unlimited quickly stood up and crossed his office to greet Karen with outstretched hands. His smile faded as Hank followed her in. Karen was wearing a gorgeous red open-back evening gown with a plunging neckline that showed way more cleavage than he had ever seen her show before. It was evident from the amount of bosom that she had gone braless. Her four-inch-high heels clicked even on the carpet of his office as she approached.

“Karen, I have been trying to contact you all day,” Michael Mitchell started as he took her arm, pulling her away from Hank and toward the chairs near his desk. “I have been receiving calls all morning concerning Doctor Martin, and the news is reporting all the things he has been doing to women for years. I am so sorry I didn’t believe you. Can you forgive me?” he pleaded.

“Michael, I need the invitations for the Global Centurion foundation fundraiser tonight. You never go, so you have no use for them,” Karen said in a monotone, her expression never changed from one of indifference.

“Karen,” Michael started again, turning his back on Hank, “I’m trying to apologize. Please forgive me and let’s put this behind us. If not for what we had, for the kids.”

“I can forgive but never forget. You didn’t believe me even when our son showed you the video; you still accused me of having an affair. Then you tried to alienate the children against me. I will always love you, but I can’t trust you. You weren’t there for me when I needed you most,” Karen replied. “Now what about those invitations? I need them.”

“What? And he can be there for you?” Michael indicated Hank.

“Actually, yes, he has been there for me when I desperately needed it. He’s ten times the man you ever were, and before you even think it, no, sex has nothing to do with it. He and I have never been anything more than, well whatever the hell it is that we are, but nothing sexual to it,” Karen fumed. “Now at least be a man, give me the invitations, forget about what could have been with us, and start being a real father to your two children.”

Michael stood up, his shoulder hunched and head held low. He retrieved an envelope from his trash can. He handed it to Karen, who took it before turning to walk away from him.

“I hope you make her happier than I ever did,” Michael whimpered as he watched Karen miss a step but continued out of his office, head held high.

“She makes herself happy. I only keep her safe, but more recently, she’s been keeping me safe. You threw a great woman to the wolves and abandoned her. Live with it,” Hank remarked as he started to exit the office. “Say hi to the new wife, Luanne,” Hank whispered so Karen wouldn’t hear.

Karen began laughing as she climbed into the Cadillac. Hank was driving now that he was feeling better with the painkillers. Karen slipped off her high heels and placed her feet on the dash. Her slender, smooth legs glistened in the sunlight. She had put lotion on them before leaving the safe house.

“That felt awesome,” Karen remarked. “I have wanted to say that for so long. I heard what you told him after I left the office. Thank you for that.”

“You have definitely become the old Karen. I felt Michael should know what he threw away,” Hank replied, smiling at the contentment that shone on the woman’s face next to him.

“No, not the old Karen; a newer, more confident stronger Karen. One that will not be used or made to feel less than she is ever again. Now, husband of mine for the day, where are we going since we have all day before the fundraiser begins?” Karen teased.

“I was thinking of paying a visit to a certain assistant DA,” he said.

“Would that be utilizing our time together appropriately?” Karen asked as she stretched her legs further up until they touched the windshield, lifting her hips off the seat.

Karen took hold of the hem of her dress with her left hand. Hank became all too aware that Karen’s dress was sliding slowly up her legs, past her hips, to expose the bottom part of her bright red thong, which in reality was more of a string and a tiny piece of cloth. She used her right hand to pull the top of her dress down to expose even more of her cleavage than was already visible, which was substantial.

“Uh, Karen, aren’t you forgetting someone?” Hank asked.

“Oh, Katharine? Don’t worry, Hank. She’s told me on more than one occasion that I should take you for a spin. Of course, that was after we both had a few drinks you know,” she giggled. “From what she has told me, you are, how did she put it, tonguealented and well worth the experience and not shabby in the other department either,” she squealed with laughter as Hank blushed, nearly causing an accident.

But she finally took pity on him and lowered her legs, but took the opportunity to tease him just for a few more moments. Her legs stretched back up to the windshield as she pulled the hem of her dress up to her neck, exposing her whole body to Hank. Driving was beginning to become even more difficult for Hank as he tried to concentrate on the road.

“I’ll just have to ask Katharine if I can borrow you for a night or two,” she giggled a few moments later as she pulled her dress back down.

After twenty minutes, Karen noticed Hank had regained his composure and was keeping his eyes on the road. She shifted again. The hem of her dress slid up to her belly button. She acted as if she had an itch under her thong as she slid her right hand down to the thin material. She briefly pulled the material to the side giving Hank a full view of her nether regions.

Hank turned three shades of red and had to adjust his trousers but kept the vehicle on the road without causing an accident. Satisfied with her teasing, Karen lowered her legs and smoothed out her dress. She continued to grin as they drove.

“I feel more alive now than I have ever felt,” Karen stated to no one in particular.

She was indeed becoming more confident and self-assured, not to mention desirable as a woman and not just an object to be owned by someone.

“How’s your side?” Karen asked after a bit.

“Not great but I’ll manage,” Hank said as he winced in pain.

“Then tonight should be fun for everyone.” Karen smiled as she noticed Hank trying not to steal a glance at her but failing.

The fire was once again burning fiercely within Karen. She was ready to show the world that she was no longer scared and refused to hide anymore. Whatever tonight brought, she was ready for it, and damn anyone that got in her way.

AdventureMysterySeries
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About the Creator

Shawn David Kelley

Prior Service, saw the Berlin Wall dismantled and the aftermath of the Gulf War/ Desert Storm/ Desert Shield. He has drawn upon his unique views of life and science fiction to bring together an alternate reality of excitement.

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