A Timeless Place Ch. 18

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Amateur

At 2 am in the morning Anton Mikhailovich picked up the hand piece of the phone. He knew it was – him – the man that had called him two mornings prior offering him a large sum of money for a special favor. And he had been waiting for his call to come. His expression showed approval as the phone began to ring the second the long hand struck the hour.

When he answered it, the same static came over the phone as it had the first time they had spoken. He waited for the greeting the voice on the other end made before he gave his answer.

“I have decided to accept your offer,” he stated, then listened to the instructions from the other end as to what to do to receive his payment. “It will be done as you say,” he returned, realizing the person on the other end wasn’t a fool at all. He had to perform a certain duty in order to get his money wired to his Swiss bank account.

It seemed the voice on the other end knew it was the only account he held that his government could not plunder, or investigate, especially after he had split the entire sum up into several smaller accounts that would cloak the transaction. When he hung up the phone, he sat for a minute thinking before he picked up the hand piece again, and dialed a number, waiting as it rang.

***

Peter stepped off the train in Russia, his stomach rumbling from hunger. His travel had consisted of the flight from the States to the U.K. From there, he had flown to Germany, where he had taken the train. All in all, he had had no sleep, and very little to eat.

Looking both directions at the station, he turned left starting toward the exit. He suddenly veered to his left again, headed to the washroom, when he spotted two men of his organization were heading toward him. As soon as he did, two more blocked the door, forcing him to turn back toward the way he came, seeing yet two more coming toward him. Realizing he was trapped, he stood still and waited for them to approach. There was no use in running and costing innocent civilians their lives for his freedom.

Converged upon, he was handcuffed and taken to the waiting area in the customs department. An hour later, he was taken out of the room and accompanied onto another train. They pushed and shoved him trying his patience, trying to provoke him to retaliate, but Peter was somber, quiet and submissive the entire time.

They situated him in a private compartment, leaving him there with a guard posted at the door to ensure he didn’t escape. Peter soon felt the train moving and had expected it to be headed further north. Instead, he found himself headed back the way he had just come. Confused, hungry, tired and dejected, he laid down on the small bed provided and tried to sleep.

***

It had been two days since Jonathan had been admitted. He still lay in the original state he had been in the past forty-eight hours. Bruce and Greg began to wonder what Tony was up to. He hadn’t shown his face since he had left the hospital to return to the mansion and sleep. They both had attempted to call him, but each time were told that Mr. Santini wasn’t around. They both began to suspect that Tony had gone out looking for Peter to bring him back and possibly get him to wake up Jonathan, or at least inform him that Jonathan had been injured.

Each one took turns in their vigil to watch over the boy, talking to him, reading to him, and just being there in case he did wake up. The doctors had informed them that Jonathan had suffered a severe concussion and fracture to the skull. His brain had begun to swell and he quite possible might never wake up. They all prayed he would make it through each night, their tears flowing heavily as the realization of loosing the kid was dangerously close.

***

Tony sat with Stacy and Aaron in David’s office going over files and past orders while a crew worked at repairing the roof of the club, cleaning up the water, replacing all of the damaged equipment and furniture, and blown flood lights beneath the dancefloor, so on and so forth.

He had set a deadline as to when he wanted to reopen the club, making it a grand opening, with new management and a new name to boot. Everyone was working arduously to accomplish it by the date set and with Tony to oversee it, they didn’t sit down for breaks too often. In the evening, when the dayshift crew canlı bahis went home, the nightshift came in to continue the work at hand. Tony headed to the hospital to check on Jonathan, Bruce and Greg.

When he arrived, Greg was curled up in a chair in the ICU waiting room. He inquired about Jonathan from the man sitting at the desk with the phone, who called back to the nurse’s station asking if Tony could go in and see Jonathan. The man told him he would have to wait for Bruce to come out before he could go in. so, he sat across from Greg watching the man sleep waiting for Bruce to come out of the kid’s room.

When Bruce entered the room, his expression was hopeful. It gave Tony a sense that Jonathan must have moved, or spoken at least. The man amble toward him, parking in the chair next to him before he said anything.

“Did you find him?”

“Who, Bruce?” Tony eyed the man curiously.

“Peter.”

“Oh, no. I didn’t find him.”

Then Bruce’s countenance fell somewhat. “I wonder where he could be, Tony?”

“I think I know, but I can’t be certain, just yet. How is the kid?”

“The same. No changes at all.”

Tony sighed heavily. “We’ve loosing him this time, ain’t we?”

“Tony, please don’t give up hope. You know Greg will sense that and loose faith completely.” The expression in Bruce’s eyes told him the truth, though they were all hoping the best for Jonathan.

Tony nodded fighting back the mist that clouded his eyes. “I need to see him, Bruce,” he admitted then.

“Go ahead. I’ll wait out here,” Bruce gave a small smile as Tony stood and walked out the door, headed to ICU.

***

Peter woke abruptly; realizing the train had stopped. The door of the compartment came open suddenly, and the guard began issuing orders for him to get up and follow them. He was stuffed into the back seat of a car and driven to the airport, where he was held in another waiting room in the customs area. Three hours later he was escorted onboard a plane by the very six men that had arrested him, and placed in the first class section.

Once he was buckled in and the plane was about to leave the concourse, his hands were freed and were handed a yellow envelope and instructed not to open it until he was in the air. The six men exited the plane leaving Peter strapped in his seat, still tired, hungry and very confused. He leaned toward the portal window looking out at the concourse, seeing the six men watching the plane to ensure Peter took off into the air with it.

Eyeing the envelope in his hand, he felt the plane begin to taxi away from the building and out onto the runway. He had no inclination as to where they were sending him, or what his mission was when he got there. The envelope in his hand was an obvious significance to his next assignment, so he followed the instructions of his comrades, waiting until he was in the air to open the envelope.

***

Tony sat in a chair beside the bed and held Jonathan’s hand loosely as he wept soundly, pressing the hand to his forehead. His supplications went up in sobs of utter remorse for not being there to prevent what had taken place, causing Jonathan to be in the state he was in at the moment. Every once in a while, he would look up hoping to see the kid’s eyes flutter, or open, hoping Jonathan would come back to them. Then, he would plead with the boy to return to them and give them all another chance to prove to him that they all loved him so very much.

His heart torn to pieces at the thought of Jonathan leaving them forever, Tony could scarcely hold his head up for the physical exertion he was applying to his prayers. Over and over again, he prayed the same prayer begging that Jonathan be returned to them sound and whole again. He even offered that his life be exchanged for the boy’s so that Jonathan could live out a full and contented life. His body soon became wracked with pain from his travails, his head throbbed because of his sobbing and crying. But, he would not stop, no matter what; he just wouldn’t end his vigil, in the hopes that it might bring Jonathan back to them.

***

Peter held his breath as he opened the envelope and pulled out the contents. He became even more confused when he first saw the certificate of honorable service to his country and the organization. Slipping it behind bahis siteleri the rest of the packet, to read the letter that accompanied it a cheque fell from the packet onto the floor in the aisle. Picking it up, Peter scrutinized it with some surprise at the sum, as well as with utter bewilderment. Stuffing it into his breast pocket, he finally began to read the letter.

It seemed a long flowery dissertation about how Peter had given most of his adult life up until then to the organization and his country. It placated him for all the marvelous works he had done to keep his people freer of criminals and such, recalling to him of some of the assignments he had so successfully completed. Among those was including the death of Mr. James Bowman, who the powers of his organization had noted as a notorious criminal.

Finally, in the very last paragraph, he was thanked for his service to his country and the organization. “…However, it has been seen fit that your services are no longer needed and hereby terminated. You are instructed to leave the country and never return as long as you live, without the express permission of the government. Furthermore, a cheque has been issued to you for your separation from this organization. You are instructed to exchange it for the amount printed at the Bank of London, prior to your departure of the United Kingdom…”

Tears filled Peter’s eyes as realization sank in.

“Sir, can I offer you a drink?” the flight attendant asked politely.

“Yes, please. A vodka tonic,” he answered brushing the tears from his eyes hoping she didn’t see them.

“Is anything the matter, sir?” she asked quietly for only him to hear.

“No, miss. Everything is perfect,” he looked up at her with a broad smile. “Do you have anything to eat? I have not eaten in over forty-eight hours,” Peter queried then.

“Certainly, sir. I’ll see to it right away.” She handed him his drink then maneuvered up the aisle to the attendant’s compartment.

***

For hours he had been sitting with Jonathan, crying and praying over him. Finally, he had fallen quiet, his head rested upon the railing and Jonathan’s hand against it. Tony felt a cold chill and the tiny hairs stood up on the back of his neck, as well as on his arms, just prior to feeling the hand that came to rest upon his shoulder. He lifted his head from the bed railing, and removed the back of Jonathan’s hand from his forehead to look up.

There, standing over him, was none other than Mr. Bowman himself. A saintly smile graced the man’s handsome face that was so much encouragement to Tony even before the man began to speak to him. He shivered from the iciness that surrounded him because the man’s presence.

“It’s going to be alright, Tony. Go home and rest. Let Bruce or Greg come and sit with him now. Your prayers have been heard, my friend. They couldn’t help but hear them,” the man chuckled.

Tony laughed, “You’re serious?”

“Go home, Tony,” the man repeated.

Tony looked down thinking for only a second, “but, I –” he stopped short when he looked up again to see that the man was gone. With a sigh, he stood, lifted Jonathan’s hand to his lips where he held it for a long moment. He then lowered it to the bedding gently, leaned over Jonathan to plant a kiss on the boy’s forehead. “You’re gonna be all right, Jonathan,” he spoke low to him and with conviction that what he had been told was the truth.

Leaving the room, he went to the ICU waiting room to find both Bruce and Greg asleep. Ambling to a nearby sofa, he sat somewhat heavily realizing just how exhausted he was. He knew he should follow Mr. Bowman’s orders and return home, but he so wanted to be there if any change was to take place. Then his mind began to wonder if his actions were being tested. Was this a test to see where his faith truly was? If he stayed would it be a sign of his doubt? And if he went home and something happened –.

“Tony, wake up,” he heard Greg’s voice softly speak to him.

Tony lifted his head from the bed railing and the back of Jonathan’s hand slowly. His neck was stiff and achy because of the position he had settled asleep in. as he started to sit up, a sharp pain caught him in his lower back.

“Oh, my god, I fell asleep,” he mumbled.

“Yes, and you need to go home and get some rest. Bruce bahis şirketleri is going with you too. I’m gonna stay with Jonathan until noon, then you or Bruce are gonna come relieve me, so I can go home and get a shower and rest too. The doctors told us that we need to get back to some semblance of normal life, now,” Greg informed him.

“So, that’s it? They’re just giving up on him?” Tony’s voice was full of alarm and disbelief.

“No, Tony. They just want us to get on with out lives. They’ll call us if there’s any change.”

Tony could tell Greg was lying. And it pissed him off. He stood angrily, glaring at Greg. “I refuse to give up on Jonathan. If you want to go home, you can just go. I’m staying. You and the president’s army couldn’t drag me away from here. So, git – go on home, take yer shower and whatever, I’m staying here with Jonathan, period,” he stated vehemently.

“Tony, no one’s giving up on Jonathan,” Greg was stung by the man’s sharpness and the implication of his words. “We all want to be here when he wakes up. But, honey, we’ve got to take care of ourselves too. If one of us gets sick because we aren’t resting properly, how is that going to help Jonathan?”

Tony sighed with realization, “you’re right, Greg. I’m so sorry.” He took the doctor into his embrace for a long moment. “Please forgive me,” he pleaded.

“Tony, I love you. I will always love you. And none of this is your fault, now. You need to realize that and stop blaming yourself.” Greg’s arms pulled Tony closer hugging the man strongly. “Now, please go home and get some rest. You can come back at noon until eight. Then Bruce can come in and sit with Jonathan and let you go home.”

“Ok, I’ll go. But, I’m still not giving up on the little squirt,” he jested though he was more than serious.

“Okay,” Greg chuckled as he spoke, pulling back from Tony’s embrace. He watched the exhausted man leave hoping if only for Tony’s sake that Jonathan did make it.

***

Peter clipped his American money inside his breast pocket. The few pounds he had exchanged one hundred dollars of that was kept in his wallet to purchase a hot meal and a drink or two while he waited for his flight back to the states. His stomach rumbled again as he walked from shop to shop just browsing, deciding it was time to feed that beast and make it shut up for a while.

He found a small quiet place to sit in a tiny little pub that also had a food menu, ordering a pasta plate and a nice wine to go with it. Watching the clock on the wall over the bar, he wondered what the guys back home were doing. His thoughts wondered as he waited for his meal to arrive and pondered calling ahead or surprising them all. Finally, he decided to surprise them, when the waitress brought his plate and wine. He ate it leisurely passing the time away until it he could board his plane to the states.

And it seemed to him to be dragging by. He only had to wait a little over two hours, but that time just didn’t want to go by fast enough for him. After all the hours of no sleep or food, he only wanted a nice hot shower and a large comfortable bed to sleep in. the food situation was being taken care of, as he shoveled a fork of the pasta into his mouth almost ravenously.

But, soon, he new he would be stepping off that plane and onto American soil for all time. He could now naturalize and not have to look over his shoulder and wonder if he was being followed or watched, or if one of his organization was going to pop up somewhere to take him back to his homeland. But, his homeland, now, was across the ocean and he could scarcely wait to get back there.

The time did come that Peter boarded his plane and took his window seat in the first class section once again. Buckling in, he said his silent good-byes to the home that once was his. He knew his heart was no longer there, but across the ocean with his beloved friends. If anyone might have asked him a year prior to that day, he would have had a completely different answer. It made him realize how much his life had changed in the matter of only a few months.

With a deep sigh of contentment, he leaned his head back against the seat, closed his eyes and thought of Bruce. The warmth of the man’s arms surrounded him comfortable. A kiss was being pressed to his lips that drew so much emotion to the surface. He could feel their pliancy and warmth so keenly. They would offer him all the pleasure and comfort he longed for. And those arms would keep him where he was, never again to leave Bruce, the guys or his homeland again.

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