Deadly Obsession (excerpt)
The black Lincoln Town Car entered Highway 280 at the 6th and Brannan exit. It merged with the late night traffic heading south. The driver followed the sign for San Francisco International Airport which took the car onto Highway 101. He stayed in the outside lane and fastidiously observed the speed limit.
‘Turn off here,’ Felix Hayek ordered.
The Lincoln slipped off the highway and onto an unlit service lane. It slowed then stopped. With its headlights extinguished the car practically vanished from sight.
Hayek had been hired on the basis of his reputation. A reputation built on delivering what the client asked for at a reasonable price. Whilst he prided himself on his meticulous planning, he remained alert to the fact that any plan could quickly become derailed by the unexpected. During his long military career he’d experienced many such unexpected events. Now, he ensured he always had a contingency plan.
Hayek turned around in his seat. He spoke softly. ‘This is where you leave us, Doctor.’
Wedged between two muscular minders, Dr Carl Brown shuddered uncontrollably. ‘Where are we?’ he asked, the words barely more than a whisper.
The question went unanswered.
The tall gorilla on Brown’s right opened the door and slipped out into the night. Cold air, heavy with the threat of rain, invaded the car’s interior, causing Brown to shiver.
‘Get out of the car,’ Hayek ordered. A revolver had appeared in his hand.
Brown didn’t move, mesmerised by the muzzle of the gun hovering inches from his nose.
‘I’m going to count to six,’ Hayek said, ‘and if you’re not out of the car, I’m going to blow your fucking head off.’
‘Jesus, he’s pissed himself!’ exclaimed the squat cube of granite beside Brown. He slammed a meaty hand into Brown’s back, thrusting him across the soft calf skin towards the open door.
The gorilla’s huge hands reached in and grabbed Brown’s shoulders. Brown flew through the air and crash landed on the asphalt. Razor sharp stones embedded themselves in the soft flesh of his hands and knees. He cried out in pain.
Hayek returned his Beretta to the holster beneath his left shoulder. He got out of the car and strode over to where Brown lay spread-eagled on the ground.
‘Please don’t kill me,’ Brown pleaded.
Hayek crouched down and seized a handful of his hair. He twisted Brown’s face towards him. ‘Don’t even think of moving from here for at least the next hour or we will shoot you. Someone will be watching.’ Hayek dropped Brown’s head then stood. He turned and walked back to the Lincoln.
Brown squeezed his eyes shut.
The sound of car doors slamming was quickly followed by the roar of the Lincoln’s engine. Like a black panther on the prowl, the car crept past Brown’s prostrate body and rejoined the highway traffic.
Frozen with fear, Brown lay motionless. It started to drizzle. Within minutes the drizzle had turned into heavy rain. A thousand wet nails hammered into his back, drenching his shirt and chinos. A moat formed around his body.
The ceaseless rain washed away Brown’s track of time. Eventually he prised his eyes open. Ten feet away, a barrage of vehicles pierced the thick curtain of rain.
He tried to get to his knees but his stiff legs refused to move. Instead, he pushed himself over onto his back and slowly sat up. Holding his breath, he waited for the promised gunshot that would end his life. He exhaled deeply. He was still alive.
He clambered to his feet. His legs buckled, propelling him out onto the highway, into the path of a swarm of headlights. Instinctively he threw an arm across his eyes.
A moment later, a red Columbia freightliner transported him into the next world.