Disclaimer: As much as I love them, I don't own any of the awesome characters from National Treasure. I just own both movies :)
Summary: Pre-movie oneshot. Powell didn't know what to expect when a loud pounding was heard on the door of his motel room in the middle of the night. But whatever it was, it certainly hadn't been two Brits who gave him an offer that would change his life.
Characters: Powell, Ian Howe, Shaw
Author's Note: So, I'm back with another National Treasure oneshot, this time focusing on Ian Howe and his associates. For as long as I've been working on my trilogy, "Three Words," "The Forgotten Heir," and now "Gentleman's Masquerade," I have always had the philosophy that Ian is not an evil man at heart, and neither are the men who have chosen to work for and alongside him. This anti-hero instead of villain approach has been a continuing theme in those stories, and I also wanted to explore how five men from different places and different walks of life all came to work together. The first who came to mind was Powell, and this story is the first in a series of how Ian came to recruit him, Shaw, Viktor, and Phil– the others will be covered in their own stories. A couple references to the trilogy may pop up in this story, but it can stand alone. So, feel free to read and review, just no flames please. The rating is for a small mention of blood and a couple minor swear words, along with Shaw's temper. Enjoy! :)
He had expected his stay in England to only be a temporary one. After all, it was only for business, for his job of selling and distributing computers, both desktop and laptop, internationally often brought him outside his homeland of Scotland.
But of course, his experience working around computers went beyond his day job. He could usually be found relying on them for extensive research, and along with his mechanical knowledge, he distributed and often helped crafted a variety of explosives and other weaponry with a small Scottish group that he had been working with for a couple of months to individuals who had the right kind of money and need for them so he could earn some extra money. He never asked questions when an order was placed, for he simply didn't want to know what his handiwork was responsible for. He had learned his first day in the business that it was better just to turn a blind eye to the whole thing.
However, by some cruel twist of fate, Mother Nature had decided to unleash her anger early, and even though it was only the first week of December, the entire country had been covered in soft but heavy snow, and there was no end in sight as it continued to fall late into the night. Of course, his flight had been cancelled, and it appeared it would be for a couple days at least. The only upside was that he had enough to cover the small motel room for that amount of time, at least hopefully, and he had remembered at the last minute to pack an extra book from his house since he had finished his first one on the plane. Maybe being stuck for a couple extra days wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.
That was, of course, until there came the fateful pounding on the door of his motel room.
Powell glanced away from his laptop screen after eating a couple kernels of some freshly popped popcorn he had just made, having been making sure that all of his computer orders for the next couple days were taken care of, as he paused "Paint it Black" by The Rolling Stones that had been softly playing through the small speakers. For a moment, the only thing he heard was silence. But before he could pick up where he left off with his emails and one of his favorite songs, a second loud series of poundings on his door were heard.
For a minute, Powell was stunned. He had no idea what someone could be doing outside when the snowfall was still so heavy, or why someone would feel the need to come banging on his door in the middle of the night. But when it appeared that whoever it was had no intention to leave, the Scotsman sighed and got to his feet from the table. He first walked over to his luggage bag where it sat on the floor next to the single bed, digging through it until he pulled out his own personal handgun. Feeling a bit more comfortable with it, he concealed it beneath his brown jacket before he slowly walked toward the door when yet another impatient pounding was heard.
"Coming, coming," he said a bit irritably. Checking one last time to make sure that his weapon was well hidden, Powell sighed as he pulled open the door.
He had to resist every impulse imaginable to draw his gun.
Two men wearing matching leather jackets, who both appeared to be younger than himself, were standing out in the heavily falling snow, both appearing frozen to the bone though also appearing adamant not to show it. The first man his attention was drawn to had a black baseball cap over his bald head, and his blue eyes were icy and narrowed as he gazed back at him. Powell had the sneaking suspicion that this was the obtrusive knocker.
The second man had blond hair that fell to his chin, and he appeared weary as he leaned slightly against the other man for support. Powell took in his paler face and light eyes, but before he could say anything, his bald companion beat him to it.
"Move aside," he stated immediately, his quiet tone laced with a strong English accent.
Powell opened his mouth to argue, but he immediately closed it when he watched the unexpected guest move aside his dark coat to reveal a shining handgun resting on his belt.
"And no funny business. Do I make myself clear?" he added.
Not seeing too much of a choice at the moment, and slightly concerned for the well-being of the quiet blond man standing out in the frigid cold and thick flurries, Powell backed away from the door, allowing the two of them to step into the small motel room. Without even the basic courtesy of bothering to brush the snow off their shoes or their coats, the bald man helped the second to sit down on the bed. The blond man seemed to be slightly frustrated as his companion hovered for a moment, pushing him away a little.
"I'm all right, Shaw... Just get what you need from the car."
The bald man named Shaw sighed quietly as he nodded once, turning around to face Powell with his gun drawn and aimed at him. "I'm only going to be a few minutes," he said, watching as the Scotsman raised his hands slightly in a peaceful gesture. "One small step out of line, and you will deal with me. Am I clear?"
Powell thought it best to go along with the flow for now, so he simply nodded. It was clear to tell his adversary was very comfortable around the metallic weapon and was not afraid to use it when the most minute excuse presented itself. Shaw kept his gun aimed at him as he made his way back to the door, pulling it open and hurrying outside before shutting it again behind him.
The blond man sitting on the bed chuckled quietly, and Powell turned his attention to him now that his bald companion was gone. By all appearances, he appeared to be harmless, slouched forward slightly with his hand hovering near his left arm. But yet there was still something about him that made him uneasy as he gazed into his impassive face since it appeared that he was the one in control despite his more subdued demeanor. He had to wonder if he had some sort of firearm on him as well. It wouldn't be too far of a stretch.
Slowly, he drew his handgun from under his coat, made sure it was loaded, and aimed it at him.
A tense moment passed before the blond man looked back at him, a slight but confident smirk appearing on his face. Once more, Powell felt unnerved as his intense, calculating eyes bore into him as though picking through and studying every fiber of his being piece by piece. Other than the ghost of a smirk at the corner of his lips, his pale face still remained completely unreadable, and for one wild moment, he imagined that he could have been one hell of a Poker player.
"I would advise you to put that away," he finally muttered, his smooth tone containing the same English accent as Shaw's. "Pulling that trigger would prove to be the biggest mistake you ever make."
For a moment, Powell considered doing what the blond Brit suggested, but he stopped himself. He couldn't take a chance with this man, not when he didn't know if he was armed and dangerous or what his intentions were. "Are you armed?" he chanced to ask.
"If there was a possibility that I was, I highly doubt you would want to pressure me into using a firearm at the present time," was the only answer he received.
Powell sighed quietly to himself as he took a couple steps closer, keeping his gun trained on the other man, who had yet to reach for any concealed weapons. But even though he hadn't done so yet, there was always a chance that he could at any moment. "What are both of you doing in my motel room?" he continued to press.
The blond man smiled slightly. "Now that is a rather interesting story," he replied. "One that I do not feel the need to fully divulge to you in our current state. At least not yet. Possibly not until my friend returns."
The Scotsman was really starting to feel uncomfortable now, and he lightly placed a finger on the trigger. The other man, however, appeared to be unfazed and was instead regarding him with what almost appeared to be amusement. "I believe I have the right to know considering you have forced your way into the room I've been paying for."
"True, I suppose." The blond Brit sighed, and it was then Powell noticed the slight wince of pain that crossed his face. "If you must know, my friend and I have just finished a job. We were on our way to our downtown apartment when it was clear the roads were impassable. Considering we were stranded without any options, we came to the first place we stumbled across. Is that enough for you?"
Still, Powell didn't lower his gun. "Why not get your own room then? And what kind of job?" It was then that he truly felt afraid being around this seemingly harmless man. There was something very unnerving about how calm he remained. He couldn't think of any occupation aside from law enforcement, which these men certainly were not involved in, where employees were permitted to carry firearms like the bald man had.
Unless said occupation was similar to what he was involved in.
The other man simply smiled, however, when the door to the motel room opened again as Shaw returned. Powell quickly hid his gun behind his back as he aimed his gun at him and shut the door behind him, wondering what was in the pack he had brought back with him.
"Any problems?" the bald Brit asked, glancing at the other man as he kept his gun trained on Powell.
The Scotsman glanced at where the blond man was sitting on the bed, once more unable to read his completely impassive face. A nagging feeling grew in the back of his mind that if Shaw found out that he had threatened him in his absence, he would be dead even before he got the chance to raise his own firearm in his defense.
It was an unexplainable feeling of dread knowing that his very life now rested in the hands of a complete stranger.
The blond man, however, shook his head slightly as he gave Shaw a small smile. "None at all," he answered, casting a pointed glance Powell's way.
Shaw looked from the other man to Powell and back before he lowered his gun, sticking it back on his belt before he quickly walked to the bed. The Scotsman let out a low breath he hadn't fully realized he had been holding as he slipped his own gun back under his jacket. He still wanted to keep it close just in case it was needed, but he also didn't want the bald man to know he had it.
"All right. Lie back, Ian," Shaw said as he set the pack on the bed next to the other man.
Despite himself, Powell took a couple steps closer to the bed to see what was happening, watching as Shaw helped the blond man named Ian to remove his leather jacket before carefully rolling up the left sleeve of the black t-shirt he wore underneath. The Scotsman's eyes widened a bit when he saw the deep crimson that stained his arm as well as what appeared to be a bullet wound right beneath his shoulder.
"Shouldn't he be taken to the hospital?" he wondered. The bald man narrowed his eyes at him in return before he turned back to his patient while Ian said nothing.
"How did you even let that happen?" Shaw quietly chided with a small smile directed at his friend, much to Powell's disbelief. Getting shot was certainly not a laughing matter.
Ian simply rolled his eyes. "Neither one of us took into account that she had a gun," he replied.
"Lesson learned, I'd say." Shaw shook his head slightly as he opened the pack and began pulling out bandages, needles, and spools of a thin stitching material, as well as a few other tools that the Scotsman wasn't too familiar with but appeared to be medical in nature.
But also, Powell realized that at that moment, with the bald Brit's back turned and with Ian occupied with the injury, it would be the perfect opportunity to gain the upper hand. He immediately knew that his two unexpected guests were involved in some likely illicit activities, not that he could say anything different about himself, but they couldn't be trusted.
However, despite his misgivings, he left his gun where it was under his jacket. "Those need to be sterilized," he spoke up. "As does the needle. Especially when you're dealing with an injury like that."
Both Englishmen glanced up at him at these words, and Shaw narrowed his eyes. "I know what I'm doing," he spat. "I've cared for many injuries over the years, so I'd be grateful if you kept your nose out of my business."
Powell raised a hand in a placating gesture, but Ian gave him a thoughtful look from where he was leaning back against the headboard. "There is nowhere here to heat the needle," he muttered. "It would not work in the microwave you have here."
"There's a kitchen just down the stretch here," the Scotsman explained as he gestured to the door. "We could use the stove to heat the needle there. Or, if you want me to do that while you're removing the bullet, it'll be ready to use to stitch."
However, Shaw immediately protested this plan. "You are not leaving this room without one of us," he stated. "How do we know you won't call the police?"
Powell stood his ground, meeting the bald Brit's menacing stare. "I haven't yet, have I?" he posed. This he knew he hadn't done mainly because he had been too afraid to even reach for the phone with these two men in his company. Plus, he knew he could easily be found out himself if he were to do that.
Shaw's eyes narrowed. "And you won't if you know what's good for you," he murmured. He once again moved his leather jacket aside to flash his gun before he turned back to Ian. He reached into his pack once more and pulled out a cloth, folding it a couple times before holding it out to the other. "Here."
"Thank you." Ian folded it once more before he stuck it in his mouth and gave Shaw a nod.
Powell watched, wincing slightly, as the bald man proceeded to expertly use the tools to carefully remove the bullet from the other man's arm. Finding it to be intact, Shaw dropped it into a container and stowed it away in his pack. Ian, pale-faced and sweating, removed the cloth from his mouth as he worked to catch his breath.
Shaw proceeded to temporarily wrap the other man's bleeding arm in the bandages he had brought before he rose to his feet, drawing his gun and aiming it at Powell as he turned to him. "You said the kitchen was close?" he said.
"Yes, it's a few doors down," Powell confirmed with a nod.
"Good." He gestured to the door with the metallic firearm. "Lead the way."
Seeing no other option, Powell sighed as he turned away from the bed and walked toward the door. He didn't feel comfortable leaving Ian in his motel room by himself, especially with something valuable like his computer in plain view, but in his current condition, he didn't see him being capable of too much. Plus he could always hold the fact that he had helped them over their heads if it came down to it.
But still, it was with a heavy heart that he pulled open the door and stepped out into the cold, snowy night, followed by Shaw with his gun digging into his back to keep him going.
"So, where did your car get stuck?" the Scotsman wondered as they slowly and carefully made their way through the ankle high snow in the direction of the kitchen at the other end of the stretch. Walking grew uncomfortable for him as snow continued to fill his shoes, but his bald companion seemed not to notice.
"I don't believe that's any of your concern," Shaw replied, keeping in pace behind him.
"You misunderstand me," Powell tried to reason. "I don't want anything that you may have in there. I was just thinking if it's on the road in the morning, it may be towed when plows start coming through..."
A small smirk appeared on Shaw's face as they continued along. "Oh. Well in that case, you have nothing to worry about," he assured him. "The one thing you may have to be concerned about, though, is that it's most likely on the grass in front of your room."
Powell inwardly groaned. Possible property damage was one thing he couldn't afford at the moment.
But then, the Scotsman gasped when his foot slipped on a hidden patch of ice, and he reached out and grabbed onto the snow-filled railing to keep his balance while Shaw did the same behind him. However, the sudden motion caused his gun to fall from its hiding place in his jacket and hit the porch with a muffled thump.
Powell froze in fear while Shaw stared down at the firearm for a moment before he glared at him. "What the hell are you doing with that?" he demanded. "Planning on shooting us when we weren't looking, were you?!"
"No, no!" Powell tried to defend himself. "I swear, that's not it at all! It was just for protection..."
His sentence miserably trailed off as the bald Brit bent over and picked up the metallic weapon, brushing some snow off of it as he inspected it carefully. "I'll be keeping this," he muttered, sticking it on his belt. "I want to know who registered it to you."
"I don't... I don't think that's important right now," Powell stuttered. Even if Ian and Shaw were involved in their own ring of illicit activities, he didn't think it was a good idea to identify himself with a possible rival group. That could be worse than keeping up his charade of innocence.
Shaw sighed as he kept his own gun trained on the Scotsman. "I've been involved in gun running for years. I recognize the handiwork." He made sure his gun was loaded and aimed it directly at the older man's forehead. "Who are you working for?"
Powell kept calm. "I think what we need to do now is get your friend Ian's arm stitched up, wouldn't you agree?" he asked.
For a moment, Shaw was silent. But then, he hesitantly lowered the firearm, causing Powell to let out a relieved sigh. "All right," he answered quietly. "But as soon as we return to the room, I want answers."
Powell had never felt so much pressure in his life as he did in the few minutes it took to heat the needle Shaw had brought on the stove after the bald man had forced the lock on the door to get into the closed kitchen. He stood with the end of the thin, sharp tool in the blue flames, making sure it was nice and hot, with Shaw's gun digging into his back with more force, if that was possible. Clearly, the trust that hadn't existed between them before was even further gone now that he had been discovered.
But the tension was at least lifted somewhat when they returned to his motel room to find Ian, who was sitting up a bit more on the bed than he was when they had left. Shaw slid his gun back onto his belt after casting a wary look in Powell's direction before he sat beside the other man, quickly unwrapping the bandages from around his arm before he threaded the needle and began to stitch up the wound he had sustained. The blond Englishman's gaze flickered occasionally while he worked but otherwise didn't show the pain he must have been feeling. They talked in quiet tones so that the Scotsman couldn't hear them, though he had the sneaking suspicion that they were talking about him, and not knowing what else to do, he sat back down at the small desk in the corner of the room and went back to his emails and snacking on now cold popcorn.
"You don't want to move it much yet," he heard Shaw advise. "Just in case the stitches come out."
Powell quickly moved his gaze back to his laptop screen when the two Brits glanced in his direction, not wanting to make it seem like he had been eavesdropping. He wasn't nearly prepared for the interrogation he knew Shaw had in mind for him, and he had the feeling they were both painfully aware of it.
But to his surprise, the man who rose from the bed and approached him was Ian.
"The bathroom's right over there," the Scotsman said before he could speak a word, pointing to a door across the room from them. "If you would like to step in and wash up your arm a little, feel free. Just be careful not to get your stitches wet."
Ian's face remained impassive as he nodded once. "That is kind of you. I may have to take you up on your offer," he replied, his tone not reflecting his true intentions either. "But I would like to have a word with you if you wouldn't mind, Powell. We could step outside if you'd like. I realize my friend can be... a bit intimidating." He glanced over his shoulder at Shaw, who was holding his gun in his lap as he watched them with a tad of disappointment since it seemed that he wasn't going to get a chance to use it.
However, Powell's blood had run cold since the blond man somehow knew his name. He glanced at his computer screen and inwardly sighed. Even though everything appeared normal, it wouldn't surprise him if Ian had managed to scour his files to learn about who he was. This meant that he knew about his day job and about what he did otherwise.
"Um, sure," he finally brought himself to agree. "That sounds good."
Ian grabbed his coat from the bed and slid his arms through the sleeves, careful of the stitches in his left one. He gestured for the Scotsman to go before him, and Powell slowly trudged through the door back to the snow-covered porch with Ian right behind.
Neither man said a word for a moment until Ian cleared his throat. "Here," he muttered, pulling something out of his jacket.
Powell glanced down, surprised to see he was offering him his gun. He slowly reached out and took it, gazing at the blond man questioningly.
"I know that you don't trust me, and I do not necessarily trust you," Ian explained. "But I will also inform you that I myself do not carry a firearm. However, if you try anything, Shaw is right inside."
"I know." Powell slowly put the gun back on his belt, keeping a careful eye on Ian. "But why are you telling me that you are unarmed after you hand me back my gun?"
Another moment of silence passed before the Brit turned back to him. "I want us to be on a somewhat even footing as we have our discussion, Powell," he told him. "Under the circumstances, this is the only way I thought we could have a little... temporary trust."
Powell nodded slightly. Since he had a weapon and the other man didn't, he certainly felt a little better about his current predicament. He would hear him out, but if he even suspected any sign of ill intent or foul play, he could at least gain the upper hand.
"So, you distribute computers internationally?" Ian suddenly questioned with a small sigh.
"Yes, that's my job," Powell confirmed stiffly. "I've repaired a couple as well."
"Good. So you have that kind of mechanical knowledge, as well as connections, behind you." Ian paused for a moment before he turned to the Scotsman thoughtfully. "What group hired you? And I'm not talking about computers."
Powell's heart sank. This was what he had feared Ian had found out about him. "It..." He paused with a sigh. "It's a small underground ring in Scotland. They..."
"Distribute and craft weaponry and explosives," the Englishman finished for him, smirking slightly at the look of surprise that crossed the other man's face. "I have connections all over Europe. Shaw and I worked with that particular group once a couple years ago, but I do not believe you were there at that time. I can't say that we had the most pleasurable experience with them. You do not want to work with them if you can help it."
"I've only worked with them for a couple months," Powell informed him. "And it's not like I had much of a choice. I... I needed the extra money, and it's the only place I could find where I could put my skills to good use. But since you've worked with them before, what group do you work for? Is it here in England?" Maybe that arrangement could work out better for him? After all, he didn't necessarily trust the guys he worked with since he had only expected it to be a temporary solution, but that bond of trust that was lacking for him was clearly seen between Ian and Shaw. If he was going to be involved with illicit activities, he figured trust was one of the most important things.
Ian regarded him for a moment. "I work on my own," he finally said. "Shaw was my first hired hand that I took on about six years ago. But I met and befriended him in college, and we've helped each other pull jobs before I officially hired him." He paused. "What do you need the extra money for that made you work for that particular group?"
Powell's gaze faltered. "My mother has been very ill," he explained. "She's been in and out the hospital for the past couple months, and the bills are expensive. My job working with computers won't cover it, and... well, as I said, it's the only thing I could find. I needed to do something."
Another moment of silence. "Does your mechanical knowledge cover weaponry, then?" Ian finally asked.
"Yes," the Scotsman answered. "But why does that matter?"
A small smile appeared on Ian's face. "Tell you what," he muttered. "I have a business proposal for you, Powell. Shaw and I have been discussing lately how we need another person to join our team. Tonight proved that recruiting another hired hand would not be the... worst idea. Someone with your experience and knowledge of mechanics, and your connections with technology, would be greatly beneficial to us. And clearly, you have no trouble being around a firearm." He glanced down at the gun Powell had on his belt. "In return for your services, I will pay you more than you are getting from both places you are working, but you will have to leave both to work for me. Your mother's hospital bills will all be taken care of. And if there's any property damage to the lawn here because of Shaw, I'll cover that as well."
Powell stared at the Englishman for a long moment in disbelief. Despite all that had happened, he was offering him a job opportunity? Pulling his gun on Ian had probably been a smarter move than he had thought, as well as unintentionally giving the blond Brit opportunity to scour his laptop for his information.
"How do I know I can trust you?" he finally pressed. His proposal sounded ideal, but he just had to make sure.
"I will give you time to think over my offer," Ian told him. "If you want to take it, we will recruit you for an operation to see if you wish to continue. But be warned. If you do not wish to continue after said operation, I cannot promise what Shaw will do. Nor can I promise what he may want to do if you do not accept the offer. I have already revealed much about our operations."
Powell took a deep breath. The ire of Shaw was definitely something that he didn't want to deal with anymore than he already had. "I'll think on it," he muttered.
"Good." Ian held out his hand toward the Scotsman. "Unfortunately, I do not believe we will be able to leave tonight. But Shaw will not shoot at you if you give us the same benefit of the doubt."
Chuckling quietly, Powell reached out and shook Ian's proffered hand. "That sounds like a deal." Then, he sighed when they each dropped their hands. There was still one more thing he needed to get cleared up. "So, say that hypothetically I thought about your offer and chose to accept it. What would I do about the group I'm already involved with? It's not like they'll just let me leave considering I've been working with and know all about them."
The smirk that seemed characteristic of him returned to Ian's face. "Well, hypothetically, if you accept my offer, I will allow Shaw to handle that," he said. "He tends to be good at matters of that nature."
Powell didn't want to imagine what that could possibly mean, and for the moment, he wasn't going to question it. Ian chuckled quietly as he turned and made his way back toward the door of the motel room. "So, may I ask what happened?" the Scotsman suddenly wondered.
Ian paused and glanced back at him, watching as the other man gestured to his injured left arm. He arched an eyebrow as he shook his head slightly. "I will say that it shouldn't have been such a surprise that a man who wronged Shaw after they were involved in the gun running trade for so long together has a maid who carries firearms herself," he replied before he opened the door and stepped back into the room.
For a moment, Powell had to wonder what sort of operations he'd be getting himself into if he were to join with Ian and Shaw, but he didn't have too much time to dwell on it as he followed the blond Brit inside.
The rest of the night was awkward to say the least. Considering his injury, the Scotsman let Ian have the only bed in the room, and Shaw claimed the cushioned chair that sat in front of the window. This left Powell to sit at the uncomfortable desk in the corner of the room with his computer, the light from the screen the only one in the otherwise dark room. Both of his guests appeared to be light sleepers, though it may have been Ian's stitched arm that kept him tossing and turning. But Shaw, on the other hand, appeared to wake with a start at every quiet sound his computer made, grumbling irritably under his breath as he shifted position to try to go back to sleep.
Finally, Powell closed his laptop since the bright light was finally starting to hurt his eyes. After waiting for a moment to let them adjust to the sudden darkness, he grabbed a bottle of water from the mini-fridge next to the microwave and sat back down at the desk, taking a sip before he tried to make himself as comfortable as possible.
Somehow, he managed to doze off, but when he woke up the next morning to make some coffee and offer some to the two Brits, he was startled to see neither Ian or Shaw anywhere. Powell rose to his feet quickly and rather stiffly before he made his way over to the window and pushed aside the blinds, seeing that there was no car in sight as the roads continued to be cleared. The only indication one had been there at all was the set of tire tracks on the snow-covered lawn.
Feeling a bit disheartened since he had seriously been starting to consider taking the Englishmen's offer, the Scotsman turned away from the window, surprised when he saw a small slip of paper resting in the middle of the bed. Curious, Powell hurried over and picked it up, startled when a few twenty dollar bills fell out and landed on the bed. Unsure of what they were for, he turned his attention to the paper in his hands.
The number below is for a disposable cell phone. It cannot be traced. However, the offer from us still stands, and if you are certain you wish to take it, then give it a call. I will make all the arrangements. If you do not, then disregard this note and dispose of it thoroughly, and our paths will not cross again.
P.S. The money enclosed should cover any property damage.
Feeling a renewed sense of hope, Powell quickly pulled his cell phone out of his pocket. But then, he hesitated for a moment, wondering if this was what he really wanted to do. He had never fully trusted the group he was already with, and Ian had promised that all his mother's medical bills would be taken care of if he decided to work for him and that Shaw would take care of any problems he had if he tried to leave the Scottish underground ring. The blond Brit had even kept his word on paying for any damage to the motel property, and that was a sense of trust he didn't even have with the men he worked alongside already.
Taking a deep breath as he made up his mind, Powell dialed the number that had been left for him and brought his phone to his ear. The call was answered on the first ring as Ian's familiar voice came from the other end.
"Hello, Powell. Good to hear from you."
Author's Note: All right, that's Powell! Shaw will be up next with the story "Iron Pen." Thanks for reading! Your reviews are much appreciated. Thank you!