“Agent Haughn would like to know if we’d be willing to kidnap a certain agent and his family.” Edna paused. “Theoretically, of course.”
“Of course,” Richard agreed, bemused. “The more the merrier.” He looked across the airport lounge where Samuel was surrounded by a small swarm of dark-eyed kids he’d organized into demolishing hamburgers and a fruit bowl. Sam himself was working phone and laptop, keeping tabs on the mini-army Edna had set moving to get Maria’s kids here, grab any of what few clothes and personal items they wouldn’t leave without, and clear out Anne’s condo properly this time.
Edna had insisted on going with him for that, bless her. His wife had a soul of steel; this was going to be painful to Alan, he knew it was, but everything Special Agent in Charge Haughn had uncovered so far about the Shays was more proof Alan could not be here while the investigation went forward. They owned too many people, inside the government and out.
But not Haughn, Richard thought gratefully, still unsettled by both what Haughn had honestly admitted he’d known had been going on, yet couldn’t stop, and what the agent had managed to finally get proof of in the wake of a wrecked warehouse, an attacked firehouse, a now-exposed child slave camp Haughn had been led to by one of Alan’s street contacts, and various other scenes of destruction. That didn’t even get into the shiver in his soul Richard had felt, searching through what had been left of his son’s life here. Too many memories with Anne’s face….
But Edna had gripped his shoulder and told him it was alright to cry, so long as they got this done. And what they’d found because she had-
Richard shook off that odd thrill of Alan’s crazy secret compartments, and focused on now. “Has he found that family? Theoretically or not-”
His cell beeped.
Hey! Phone still works. Awesome!
Simon, Richard sighed, and put in his own call. “Should I ask why you’re surprised the phone still works?”
“Richard!” Simon sounded sincerely glad to hear from him. And more than a little tired. “Well, it’s a long story… the important thing is, we found the kids. They’re okay.”
Richard braced a hand on the back of a lounge chair. Because Alan was alive. Alan was alive, those brave youngsters were alive, that was what mattered-
And I am going to ground him until he’s twenty, for the love of god-!
“Richard, just breathe,” Simon said calmly. “We’re okay. It was a little dicey, we ended up picking up some unusual help – you know Agent Dominguez, yes? He’s okay, too. And Sarah, and Matt. We’re all fine. We just need to – er – work out a few logistics….”
“Logistics nothing.” Malachy’s voice, flat and final. “Drakon, forget the car. We need to go.”
“But,” Dominguez tried to protest.
“The cops can haul your ex-partner in later,” Tiburon’s voice cut across them all. “We all did a great and wonderful thing, and if there were any justice in the world we’d spend the next week on the beach with hot lovelies in designer swimsuits and enough cold drinks to float on. Given there is no justice, we need to exfil out of here before someone sends the Air Force to investigate the massive explosion and heat pulse.”