These characters don't belong to me, I'm making no money, it's just for fun.
This is a follow on to my last story 'A Weekend Break' it's taken me a long time to get around to writing it. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed my last story. Hope you enjoy this one too.
Mr Thomasen paced the floor of his hotel room as he waited for his men to return with the diamonds.
The robbery had gone without a hitch and plans were made to leave Canada to sell the diamonds to his customer waiting in Miami. That was a week ago, now he had to resort to smuggling because someone gave the cops a tip off. After that particular person was dealt with, they put another simple plan into action. Buy some toys, hide the diamonds inside and send them along with Simmons, the toyshop owner, to the fair in San Francisco. Simmons owed him big and he knew the small man wouldn't dare to double cross him. He, along with Lewis and Michaelson, his two most trusted men would follow and 'buy' the cars at the toy fair.
His thoughts were interrupted when the door to his room opened. However, instead of his men carrying three remote control beach buggies, in came Simmons looking scared, flanked on either side by Lewis and Michaelson.
"T-they said I should come and t-tell you myself." The timid man said. He took a deep breath before continuing. "The cars are gone."
"WHAT!!" Thomasen exploded as he strode across the room and grabbed the front of Simmons' shirt, slamming him into the back of the door.
"I-it wasn't my fault!" Simmons squeaked desperately. "I had to leave my stall to go to the restroom another guy looked after it while I was gone. He sold them before I got back. I-I didn't notice until Lewis and Michaelson came for them. Please you have to believe me."
Thomasen dropped Simmons to the floor and turned to Lewis for confirmation.
"It's true boss, I spoke to the guy. Some old dude came up and admired them. The guy thought he was doin' Simmons a favour by getting' a sell for him."
"We do have a lead on him." Michaelson added. "The old dude was quite a chatty fellow, seems he was here for the weekend, up from L.A. He bought the cars as a gift. Works in some community hospital. He's a doctor, tall distinguished looking with white hair and moustache."
"He paid by credit card." Simmons said quietly as he picked himself up from the floor. "Maybe you could find out where he lives from that."
"You'd better hope we get those cars back." Thomasen said menacingly. "Get out of my sight."
As Simmons scurried out of the room. Tomasen turned to his men. "Find out where this doctor lives and contact my man in Miami to let him know we'll be delayed.
Jesse sat on the beach and sighed happily as he looked at his days work. He spent the time building a racetrack for the remote control beach buggies that Mark had given himself and Steve.
The little car was the only thing that kept Jesse sane as he recovered from the injuries he got when he and Steve had gone on a 'relaxing' weekend break.
Whilst he was recovering, Mark and Steve suggested he stay with them. The beach was perfect for driving his car and he was getting really good with all the practice he'd had.
He stood and looked over his racetrack which he built using sand, pebbles, driftwood and anything else he could find. Deciding to alter a bit here and there until he was satisfied, he got so absorbed in his task that he didn't realise the time. He stepped back to admire his final alterations.
"You've been busy."
Jesse smiled as he recognised the voice behind him. "Yeah, I've taken my buggy round it a couple of times, but I'll let you and Mark do the same before I officially challenge you." He turned and grinned cheekily up at Steve.
"Oh, so you think you can beat me!"
"Think again, pal."
"So you accept my challenge?"
"Steve!, Jesse!, pizza's arrived." Mark called, interrupting the banter between the two friends.
"Dad, come see what Jesse's been up too."
Mark strolled out onto the deck and looked down at the younger man. "Glad to see your medical degree is being put to good use." He chuckled.
"Mark, I would go back to work in a second but I've got this real strict Doctor who won't let me."
"That's right, you do and I'm not letting you until I've removed all those stitches and am convinced you're well enough." Mark told him as he inspected the course. "Very impressive Jess, I hope you two don't mind being beaten by a professional." He finished, his eyes sparkling with mischief.
"We'll see." Jesse answered, before passing the two older men and beating them in to get first bite at the pizza.
When the meal was eaten, Jesse decided he would clean up the kitchen so that Mark and Steve could go out and practice. A mixture of laughter and groans floated up to him as the two older men raced their buggies around the course. Smiling, he quickly put the last plate away and went to join them.
It was late evening before they finished racing. They declared the evenings racing a draw and as they drove their cars towards them to be put away, Steve's shot forward just as Mark's car was steered the wrong way. This resulted in a crash.
"Oh boy Steve," laughed Jesse. "I think you need to re-sit your driver's license."
Grinning Steve shot a mock glare at Jesse. "I think the good doctor over there needs a lesson or two."
The doctor in question was meantime untangling the cars. "No harm, there's nothing broken." Mark told them, picking up his car. When he did, a small panel fell off the back and an even smaller package tumbled out.
"What's that?" Steve asked as he joined his father. He picked up the package and they took it and the cars inside.
"This panel is false, you can see that the car doesn't need it now that it's come off." Mark declared as he examined his vehicle. He turned when he got no answer to see Steve and Jesse's shocked looks.
"Well, it wasn't that much of a revelation!" he told them.
Steve simply pointed at the table and when Mark looked he was just as shocked. Sitting on the table in front of them was a small pile of diamonds.
"Uh guys, do you think that the other cars have the same extra compartment?" Jesse asked.
They continued staring for about 2 seconds then grabbed the other cars. Steve's had the panel and when he pried it open with a penknife, another package fell out. The same happened with Jesse's.
"Oh boy! this has to be worth a small fortune." Jesse exclaimed.
"Yeah" agreed Mark, "but who put it there and why."
"Looks like they were being smuggled somewhere, probably the proceeds of a robbery. I'll call it in." Steve told them as he put the diamonds and the packaging into an evidence bag.
Jesse found a box and with Mark's help, parcelled up the cars for Steve. When Steve hung up he told them that he would take the diamonds and cars to forensics in the morning as it was late and no one else knew they were there. They would be safe enough. Mark had an early shift in the morning so decided to go to bed and Steve followed his lead. Jesse was too wound up so with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book, he settled down on the sofa to read.
Thomasen sat impatiently in the back of the large hire car. It was early morning and they were finally heading to L.A. It had taken nearly two weeks to track Dr. Sloan down. But now they had an address. A call to the hospital the night before gave them the information they required. Dr. Sloan would be on duty from six in the morning. He usually left the hospital around three in the afternoon. That would give them plenty of time to get to the doctor's home and find the cars. He would at last have the diamonds back in his possession. He patted his jacket pocket, feeling the thin cardboard folder that held his airplane ticket to Miami. He would be there late this evening and the deal would be made almost straight away. By tomorrow, he would be a very wealthy man. He checked his watch again, nine thirty.
"Can't we go a little faster." He asked of the two men in front.
Lewis and Michaelson looked at each other and rolled their eyes.
"We're already at max. boss." Michaelson calmly told him. "We don't want nothin' else goin' wrong now, what with bein' so close and all. So I'd rather not get pulled over for speedin' by some bored traffic cop with a death wish." He finished.
"Alright, alright." Was the only answer Thomasen gave. He knew that Michaelson was right. Nothing else was going to go wrong. He simply wouldn't let it. He settled back in his seat and watched the scenery flick by the window as they continued on their journey.
Jesse woke late with sunlight streaming through the guest room window. He yawned and stretched as he pulled himself out of the bed. He headed straight for the shower. A little while later, washed, dressed and shaved, Jesse felt human again. He made a fresh pot of coffee and raided Steve's supply of breakfast cereal. He guessed the other two men were already at work. The box with the cars was gone. Steve would have taken it with him. As he settled into a seat at the table to eat his breakfast he glanced at the clock. Ten in the morning "Wow" he said happily " I never sleep this late, must be the sea air."
Once breakfast was over Jesse quickly cleaned up after himself. He decided to take a stroll along the shore. He headed for the patio doors which lead to the beach.
He stopped when he saw two large men tearing Mark's room apart. He only realised there was a third man when a hard shove from behind sent him sprawling across the room onto the floor.
"Who the hell is this." Mr Thomasen yelled.
"Dunno boss, found him lurking outside the room." Lewis replied.
"I wasn't lurking." Jesse stated defensively as he stood up. "I don't lurk."
The three men surrounded Jesse who was more than a little apprehensive of the situation he found himself in.
"So who are you?" questioned Lewis, "the doc's son."
"That's more than likely." Thomasen told Lewis. "Where are the cars your father bought?" he then asked Jesse.
"I don't know what you're talking about." Jesse told him. He decided to try to bluff his way out and call Steve from his car.
"Come on, the remote control buggies he took home from San Francisco." Thomasen questioned.
"Look" Jesse said whilst trying to keep his voice steady "I don't know anything about any cars. I was out on the beach looking for places to rob. This one was open, I came in. I'll just let myself out now and forget I ever saw any of you, okay!" He backed towards the door as he told them this but was stopped when Michaelson put an arm around his shoulder.
"Nice try kid." He said smiling at Jesse. He handed a framed photograph over to his boss. Thomasen grinned when he saw the picture. It was of Mark, Steve, Jesse and Amanda at a Christmas party. Jesse's shoulders slumped he knew he was in trouble.
"We've been here long enough." Thomasen said as he threw the frame onto the couch. "Take the kid, we'll use him as leverage, his old man will have to give us the cars when he knows we have his son."
"I'M NOT HIS SON!" Jesse shouted as he took a few steps away from Thomasen. He was grabbed from behind and a gun was shoved into his side.
"Just shut up kid and don't give me any reason to use this." Michaelson told Jesse.
"I'm not a kid!" Jesse cried indignantly, but as he was dragged from the house and pushed into the dark car sitting in the drive, he didn't think any of them were paying him the least bit of notice.
Mark finished signing the last set of notes in his in-tray just as Steve walked into his office.
"Ready to go to lunch dad?" he asked
"Oooooh yeah, it's been a busy morning."
They had a leisurely lunch at BBQ Bob's chatting about nothing important. After lunch they headed back to their respective workplaces with Steve's promise to pick his dad up as Mark's car was in the garage until the next day.
Jesse fidgeted on the floor of the car where he currently sat. He was uncomfortable and scared. He didn't have a clue where they were headed, he knew they'd been travelling for around 45 minutes. As he squirmed about trying to get into a more comfortable position, he spotted the lock on the door wasn't engaged. He decided to attempt an escape. After a few minutes, the car slowed to take a turn and Jesse made his move, a quick shove sent the door swinging open. Jesse powered up from the floor and dived out the door. He landed hard on his right arm but ignored the pain that radiated up to his shoulder and pushed himself to his feet. Stumbling a few steps, he found his balance and ran. He didn't get far before someone plowed into him from behind. They both went sprawling into the dirt at the roadside.
Struggling desperately, Jesse tried to get out from under the much bigger man. A blow to the side of his head stopped his struggles as he sank into darkness.
Rolling off of the unconscious young man, Michaelson put his gun away and got to his feet.
"Hurry up, get him back in the car." Thomasen yelled. "I need to contact his father a soon as possible."
"Sure boss." Michaelson muttered as he picked the smaller man up and carried him back to the car.
When the call came, Steve was in Mark's office.
"I don't know what you're talking about, my son's right here with me." Mark said astounded.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm not talking about the cop. I'm talking about the short blond kid."
Realisation dawned and Mark scribbled a message on a pad of paper on his desk. Gesturing for Steve to read it. "Call Jesse?" Mark nodded and Steve dialled the number as Mark kept the man busy on the other line.
"You have Jesse!" Mark asked.
"Jesse, is that the kid's name, yeah we have him and if you want to see him again, you'll bring the diamonds to us. There's a small warehouse at the end of pier 42. You have 30 minutes." With that the phone clicked off. Mark looked expectantly at Steve.
"I can't get him dad, what's going on?"
"Someone has Jesse and if we want to see him again, we have to bring them the diamonds."
"Steve dialled the station requesting a forensic team to his home and back up to the warehouse with no sirens or lights. He didn't want whoever had Jesse to get spooked.
"Lets go get him back dad."
Jesse woke slowly, his head hurt as did his arm. A quick assessment told him his arm was broken and he tucked it gently into his jacket to give it some support. He also realised that blood was running down the side of his face, but knew there was nothing he could do about it at that moment.
He stood and looked around the room, squinting a little because of the band currently marching about in his head. The room was small and the door locked there were no windows. He slumped dejectedly to the ground and sighed dramatically. Then he felt the breeze, it was slight, puffing at him from his left. Further inspection showed him a small gap in the wooden wall. He judged it to be Jesse sized and quickly squirmed through.
He saw the three men near the front of the building. Jesse knew there was no chance of him getting out past them even though one was busy barking instructions down the phone. The man ended the call by saying 30 minutes.
Jesse crept to the back, as he moved carefully through the forest of crates, he noticed signs on some of them for flammable content and risk of explosion. There were other things that made him shudder, weapons, drugs and oil lamps which he guessed they used because there was no electricity.
He found a door at the back of the warehouse but it was locked. Frustrated, Jesse began checking the walls for any weaknesses that would allow him to escape. When he reached the end of the wall, he heard a car pull up at the front of the building. He continued searching along the next wall and smiled in triumph as he found a loose wall panel. He began working on loosening it to make a hole big enough for him to get through.
"Do you have my diamonds?" Thomasen asked Mark.
"Where is Jesse." Was the reply.
"All in good time, he's safely locked in a room in back, now show me the diamonds then I'll send for your son."
"I want to see that Jesse's okay first." Mark told the criminal firmly.
It was a stalemate, neither side willing to give, the five men stood looking at each other. Then with a sigh Thomasen turned to Lewis. "Go get the kid." He barked.
Lewis found Jesse trying to pry a board off the back wall. "Hey quit that." He yelled "get you ass over here."
"No way!" Jesse shouted and pushed the top half of his body through the gap and found himself stuck fast.
"Stupid kid." Lewis muttered to himself. He grabbed Jesse's foot and began pulling him back inside. As his injured arm connected with the wall, Jesse let out a yelp of pain and kicked wildly backward catching the thug in the chest and sending him sprawling. Lewis crashed into some of the crates sending an old oil lamp to the ground. Flames flared all around quickly consuming all the crates full of flammable material.
Lewis took one look at the damage and ran back towards the front of the building, leaving Jesse stuck in the warehouse wall.
"Go tell Lewis to get his ass in gear, how hard can it be to fetch one kid." Thomasen was getting nervous this was taking much too long, while waiting he spotted uniformed police officers hiding not too far away. He needed the kid as a hostage to get out of this now.
However Michaelson didn't have to move, just at that moment Lewis came running out of the warehouse shouting, "GET DOWN!"
Suddenly and overzealous rookie cop broke cover and fired at the three criminals. Then all hell broke loose. A firefight started and as Steve dragged his father to the safety of his car, the warehouse exploded, flames billowed upwards and outwards, debris rained down on both parties ending the gunfire as everyone ran for cover shielding themselves from harm.
"Thomasen grabbed Lewis, "What the hell have you done, you idiot." He spat.
"The kid pushed me, I fell and knocked over one of the lamps, a fire started!" whined Lewis.
"What about the kid, where is he?"
"Still in there, I guess." Lewis mumbled. Uniformed cops surrounded the three men who where cuffed and lead away.
Mark and Steve stood up looks of shock and horror on their faces, then Steve cried out "Jesse!" and began running towards the flaming building but was stopped by his dad.
"Steve you have to calm down, there's nothing we can do." Mark told him gently.
"No, he can't be dead," Steve croaked, "he's Jesse!"
"I don't know how he could have got out if he was locked in a room." Mark said sadly.
"Oh god, Jesse!" Steve turned and pulled his father into a hug. Tears welled in both men's eyes as they stood looking in disbelief at the burning building watching fire-fighters tackle the blaze. Neither man wanted to leave, neither man wanting to believe their young friend was dead.
Just as they turned to go, the warehouse next door began to collapse as it too started to burn.
"Dad, how are we gonna tell Amanda"
"I don't know son, " Mark answered, "but we'll do it together."
"Tell Amanda what, what are you gonna do together? Can I come too?"
Mark and Steve froze, they looked at each other then slowly turned. Standing before them was a very dirty and dishevelled but very much alive, Jesse. He was looking up at both of them with a glassy eyed stare and a goofy grin.
"Jesse, you're okay, you're not dead!" Steve exclaimed staring at his friend.
Mark started forward when he saw the slightly vacant gaze and the lines of pain on Jesse's face. "He's alive, but he needs medical attention, I think he has a concussion." Mark couldn't help smiling widely at his son as he told him.
"I've had one of those before." Jesse told Steve seriously. "They thought I was your son Mark." He added as his eyelids started to droop. "My head hurts, so does my arm."
Mark and Steve supported Jesse as he sank to the ground. "It's okay Jess." Steve comforted him. "You're safe now and dad will soon have you patched up again."
"You would have to be my big brother, that would be cool." Jesse muttered as he lost his battle with consciousness.
Steve brushed Jesse's hair away from his face, "I already am buddy, I already am."
Jesse woke in hospital as a patient once again. "This is getting to be a habit." He told no one in particular. His right arm was in plaster and he had a killer headache. He was anxious to find his friends because something was niggling at his memory. He slid down off the bed and grabbed the robe lying at the bottom. He opened the curtain and decided that because he was in the ER he wasn't being admitted. He made his way unsteadily over to the doctor's lounge where he found both father and son.
"Jesse, you shouldn't be up yet" Mark admonished as he helped the younger man to a seat.
"I know, but I just felt I had to find you guys. You really thought I was dead didn't you."
Mark and Steve looked at each other. "We were told you where locked up in a room, we couldn't see how you could've got out." Steve explained.
"We care about you, you're one of the family." Mark added.
Jesse beamed, his face glowing at the thought.
"So Jess," Mark started. "How did you get out?" he asked as he handed him a cup of water.
"Well there was a hole in the wall of the room they put me in and I climbed through. I checked along the walls and found a loose panel. I worked on it until Lewis came, we fought and I got stuck half in and half out, the explosion pushed me into the next warehouse. I guess I must have blacked out for a minute or two. When I came to everything was on fire so I got out as quick as I could. Then I saw you guys looking like someone had died…….
Jesse trailed off then, realising what he said finding the empty cup in his hand interesting. "I'm sorry." He told them.
"What for?" Steve asked confused.
"For getting you guys all worried."
"Don't be daft, we're just glad you're okay." Mark told him. "Now lets go and get your discharge papers and go home. It's been a long day."
Jesse smiled up at them both. "Hey Steve, is there an award for finding the diamonds? I mean we could split it or maybe we could go on a holiday with it." Jesse was on a roll. "We could do one of those adventure things, trek the Amazon or cruise the Nile."
"Jesse don't you think you've had enough adventure for a while. Besides I don't like the idea of having to reason with an anaconda or a crocodile just because they think you're a tasty snack!"
"Okay, what about surfing, we could go to Australia!"
"Safari in Africa?"
"What about Ireland then, there's nothing dangerous in Ireland."
"Huh, they don't eat people!"
"No, but they would probably want to adopt you, they are known as the little people after all."
"I'm not that little!" Jesse laughed. "Come on then, you suggest a place." He challenged.
"Home, lock the doors and handcuff you to a bed so you can't get in any more trouble." Steve told him as he walked out the door behind his father.
"That's no holiday, besides you wouldn't do that, would you?" Jesse asked as he too followed.