A rookie guard opened the cell door and waited nervously as Michael and Robert took their time entering the cell. The door slammed shut behind them and the guard quickly locked it.
Michael wasted no time issuing demands. "I'm allowed one phone call," he hissed, gripping the bars with both hands. "Where's my legal counsel? You're denying me my rights."
The young guard raised both hands in the air, trying unsuccessfully to silence the prisoner.
"I'll have your badge, cop," Michael shouted, enjoying the disruption he was causing. Those that had a part in his capture would remember his stay for years to come. "Unless I get my phone call, I'm going to sue you and the rest of this police force."
Broderick rushed down the stairs, glaring at the two prisoners before he issued an order to the rookie. "Williams, go upstairs and make sure their papers are filed correctly."
"Yes sir," the guard replied, and then went upstairs.
Broderick folded his arms, and stared at the tall prisoner. "What I wouldn't give for two minutes alone with you."
"Well, I'm shocked, I didn't think you were that type of guy, Sarge," Michael said, grinning at the desk sergeant. Broderick had enjoyed booking him and Davis into the holding cell. In fact, the man had gone out of his way to deliberately stretch the fingerprinting process, and now Michael was just as determined to return the favor.
"If your last name wasn't Blaisdell, I'd…"
"Oh, you're scaring me," Michael said, interrupting the threat. "Now open this door and let me make my phone call."
Broderick angrily unhooked the keys from his belt. "Step away from the door," he ordered, and then waited until Michael retreated a few steps before he inserted the key into the lock and opened the door.
Michael took his time walking out of the cell, deliberately swaggering just to aggravate the officer. "I want a satellite television in here when I return."
"Shut up, wise guy," Broderick said, slamming the door behind him, and then relocked it. "Give me your hands."
Michael held out his hands, and allowed the handcuffs to be placed around his wrist.
Broderick turned him around and guided him towards the stairs. "Stay in front of me so I can keep my eye on you."
"Like the view back there?" Michael asked, deliberately taunting the man. He smiled when the desk sergeant muttered a curse as they walked up the steps and through the door to the front desk.
His good humor died the second he saw Kermit and his father standing by the front desk watching him, obviously expecting him. In an angered voice, he asked, "Here to gloat?"
"I never gloat," Kermit declared. "I get even."
Paul shoved the phone in Michael's direction. "You have two minutes. Make your call."
Michael held up his handcuffed wrists, and asked sarcastically, "What do you expect me to dial with, my nose?"
His father snapped his fingers, and Broderick stepped forward and unlocked the cuffs.
"Make it quick," Paul said harshly. "Call your lawyer and then get out of my sight."
"Who said I was calling my lawyer?" Michael asked, glaring at his father before he picked up the phone and dialed a long distance number. "It's collect," he said, watching everyone carefully as he waited for the connection to be made. "Hello, is Joyce Matheson home?" He savored the shocked reaction on his father's face when he said his mother's name.
Before he could enjoy the moment, a voice came back on the line. "I'm sorry sir, but Mrs. Matheson is busy at the moment. Can I take a message?"
Damn. That hadn't been planned. "Well, give her this message," he said, knowing it would be delivered once he revealed his identity. "Tell her that Michael called and that I'm in jail." He paused, looking at his father before continuing, "Paul Blaisdell's precinct. She'll know what to do. Bye." He hung up the phone, smiling at the scene he had just created, and turned to Broderick as he held up his hands to be handcuffed. "Take me back downstairs."
Kermit waited until Michael was gone before he asked, "Joyce married Matheson?"
"It's not important, Kermit. Michael's behind bars and this nightmare can now be put behind us," Paul said, walking out of the precinct, making it clear that he wasn't going to discuss the subject any further. He made his way across the parking lot and started to get into his car, but Kermit stopped him.
"She married Matheson? Even after she..."
"Ex-wife, that's all she is to me," Paul snapped, stopping the conversation before it started. He climbed inside the car, shut the door behind him, and then looked up at his friend. "She's the mother of three of my children, but the world would be better off if she were six feet under."
Peter changed out of the hospital gown and into his streets clothes. He had taken refuge in the bathroom when Mary Johnson, the lab technician, came to get another blood sample. Tired of waiting for her patient, she informed him that she would be back in twenty minutes. That was long enough for Peter to make his escape.
He opened the door and stuck his head out to see if the coast was clear. Several nurses were working around the nurses' station, blocking his planned escape attempt. He quickly shut the door, and started pacing the room trying to figure out another plan. A magazine hit him in the face. "Eppy, cut it out," he said, before picking up the magazine and angrily tossing it on the empty bed.
"I don't know why you got an attitude. You're outta here," Epstein shot back as he tried to get comfortable without moving his right shoulder. With an evil glee in his eye, he added, "That is after that wonderful nurse gets through giving you a goodbye present."
"Wonderful nurse?" Peter said, keeping his voice low. "She claimed she got her degree in the nursing, but I'm willing to bet she majored in dart throwing." He went back to the door, looked out, and then declared, "I want out of here before she comes back."
"Stop your whining, you're not the one with a bullet hole in the shoulder."
"If you hadn't been following me, you wouldn't be here," Peter said, walking to the foot of Epstein's bed. He stared with amusement at his former partner, realizing for once Epstein wasn't the one in charge. The tables had finally turned in his favor and Peter tried unsuccessfully to hide the grin on his face. This was going to be fun. "In fact, how many Eppy rules did we break? Three? Four? Let's see if I remember correctly, rule number 48, never sneak up on a partner who has his..."
"That's rule number 78 and as usual you got it wrong. It's never sneak up on a partner who has a nervous trigger finger," Epstein said, and then grabbed the cord to the call button. "You forgot the most important rule to live by, rule number 81."
Peter's eyes widened, remembering that rule all too well. The payback rule. "You wouldn't!"
"I would and I am," Epstein said, grinning as he pressed the button. Instantly a female voice answered, asking what he needed. "Please tell Nurse Johnson that Mr. Caine is waiting for her. Thank you."
Chained to his seat, and locked inside a white police van, Michael stared out the window, watching the steady stream of concrete buildings pass him by on the way to the courthouse. In less than an hour he was due for arraignment, and he had no desire to speed up the process.
He leaned his aching head back against his seat, trying to dull the pain brought on from the previous night's sleeping arrangements. It was bad enough that he had been locked inside a cell and forced to sleep on an uncomfortable mattress where broken springs kept popping him in the back, but sharing the same cell with common drunks and druggies was undignified.
Only when a self-proclaimed innocent individual was thrown in the mix and started screaming obscenities did he take matters into his own hands. With a quick snap of the neck, the man's last sounds had been a muttered scream. Silencing the idiot did nothing to improve his mood. He swore he would get revenge on all those responsible for locking him behind bars again.
A siren caught his attention, and within seconds the flashing lights of a police cruiser appeared behind the van. The driver of the van slowly pulled off to the side of the road and waited. Seconds later, a police officer emerged from the cruiser and cautiously walked up to the van. With a wave of his hand, the officer signaled for the driver to roll down the window.
"Sorry to do this to you," the policeman explained, once the order was obeyed, "but headquarters received a tip that someone might try to help the prisoners escape. We are changing the route just to be on the safe side. If you would follow us, we'll make sure the prisoners get to court on time."
Michael glanced to his right, but Robert just shrugged at him. Michael shook his head and returned to staring out at the window. Moments later, as the scenery changed from concrete buildings to trees and woods, his curiosity got the better of him. Confused, he wondered why they were taking the long, scenic route when the ride to the courthouse was only fifteen minutes.
The patrol car pulled onto an insolated dirt road, and the van followed obediently for several miles. Michael started to worry. This was the perfect place for an ambush. Perhaps one of his many clients had decided to double cross him while he was vulnerable.
"Quiet," Michael hissed at his companion. Robert was on edge, apparently his friend felt the same uneasiness as he did. Before he could plan his next move, the police cruiser came to a complete stop. The van's driver slammed on the brakes to keep from hitting the vehicle in front of him. Both passengers in the front seat cursed out loud.
"What's that idiot doing?" the driver shouted as he unbuckled his seat belt. He turned to the guard sitting in the passenger's seat. "Simpson, I'm going to see what's going on. You stay here and guard the prisoners."
The driver got out of the van, and slowly approached the police car. Surprisingly, when the back door opened, the driver got into the car and the door closed behind him.
Simpson, who had been riding shotgun, muttered, "I don't like the looks of this." He picked up the radio, but before he could speak to the dispatcher, the police car's back door opened and a man wearing a SWAT uniform climbed out of the car.
Simpson released a sigh of relief, returned the receiver to its location, and then opened the van's door. He stepped out and spoke to the SWAT officer. "Commander Stiles, I'm sorry sir. I didn't know it was you."
Stiles? Stiles. Michael tried remembering where he had heard that name before, and within seconds he had his answer. Bartlett Stiles. He elbowed his partner and whispered, "I think our luck just changed."
Outside, Bartlett Stiles pulled out his gun and shot Simpson in the head. "Sorry, but business is business. I hope there's no hard feelings," he said before checking on his victim. Satisfied that the man was dead, Stiles signaled back to the police car and instantly another shot was heard. He reached down and retrieved the keys from Simpson's pocket.
"You know that guy?" Robert asked, watching nervously as Stiles slowly approached the van.
The van's side door open before Michael could answer, and the SWAT Commander stuck his head inside. Stiles stared at both men before asking, "Michael Blaisdell?"
Michael returned the stare, still suspicious of Stile's motives. "What's it to you?"
"One-hundred thousand dollars to be exact," Stiles answered, and then tossed a set of keys to him.
Michael caught the keys and quickly searched through them until he found the one that unlocked the handcuffs. Once free, he unfastened the shackles around his ankles and did the same for Robert. Both climbed out of the van and waited on Stiles' next move.
"I've got a bag in the patrol car with a set of clothes for each of you," Stiles said, walking back to the police car. As the SWAT commander approached, an arm reached out from inside the car and gave him a black leather bag. He turned back and tossed the bag at Michael. "There's also two plane tickets to Paris, fake passports and an overseas bank account, all complements of Joyce Matheson."
"What did I tell you, Robert," Michael said, slapping Davis across the back as they walked towards the police car. "Mom came through."
A man climbed out of the car, pulled the dead body of the van driver out with him, and started to drag it back to the van.
"Gentlemen, I hope you realize that you will be blamed for this little ambush," Stiles said, indicating the two dead police officers. "This escape attempt will get national coverage, so I suggest that unless you want to find yourself on death row, you disappear fast."
Michael took a step towards the police car, but Stiles grabbed his arm.
"We need to talk," Stiles said. He glanced at Davis. "Alone."
"I can take a hint," Robert replied. He walked to the car and waited, clearly annoyed at being dismissed so easily.
"Michael, there's a little matter of you owing me," Stiles said. "I didn't risk my career because of your mother's generosity. Someday, I may be in need of your services. Since we both have no love for your father, I'm sure we can work something out."
"And that, Commander, will be my pleasure," Michael answered with a laugh. "You have no idea how much I want to pay my father and his little family another social visit."
"Not for at least a few months. In fact, your mother believes it would be safer if you stayed away for a year," Stiles suggested as they got inside the car. "You two need to make yourselves scarce, very scarce."
They drove to an abandoned building where a black limousine was parked inside. As they existed the car, Stiles moved to the limousine. "This will take you to a private runway where a plane is fueled and ready." He shook Michael's hand and said, "Have a good trip."
As Stiles' car drove away, Michael and Robert stood alone with the limousine driver, who quickly opened the vehicle's door. "Gentlemen," the driver said, moving aside in order to allow his passengers to enter. Once inside, the door closed behind them.
Michael waited until the vehicle pulled away before he switched on the television set and started to change into the clothes that was inside the leather bag.
"Well Robert," he announced smugly, "I always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower."
The End ?