Sonny sat in darkness.
The plane shuddered, its twisting motion echoing the sick somersault of his insides. It strained, bucking the wind as it fought to climb. He heard the twin engines’ screams as it struggled upward through the dark, roiling clouds.
The plane righted itself momentarily and he knew a moment of relief. Then there was a flash and the plane canted sidewise and a sickening slide followed them back down into the murk of the clouds.
Not knowing why, only knowing he couldn’t stay strapped to a chair, with no control over what was happening, Sonny tore loose the belt holding him in his seat and lurched forward until he reached the cabin. He slammed his fist against the door, then jerked it open. “What’s going on?” His voice rose above the scream of the storm. “What was that light, that flash!?”
The co-pilot spared him a quick glance, his eyes wide with fear. The pilot never turned his head as he fought the controls. “We’ve lost an engine!”
“We gonna make it?” The silence gave the answer; Sonny didn’t question them again. Even as his heart thundered in his chest, he refused to go back to his seat. His hands grasped the ides of the door in a death grip. Sonny’s body jerked and swayed with the shuddering movement of the plane but somehow he managed to stay upright. He stared through the cockpit into the inky darkness of the night. Flashes of lightning jagged thru the sky, almost blinding him with their fierce bright light.
Then the plane was spinning out of control. There was no up or down any longer… the fury of the storm raged against the plane and it was dwarfed by the elements. Never was Sonny more aware of the fragility of man made elements against the elements. This was war, this he understood. A greater power against the frailness of man. And only the strongest would survive…
His thoughts returned to the present. He blinked and the darkness resolved itself into his car’s interior. The storm’s thunder was moving away, its crackle and boom no longer over head, but the rain still came down and pummeled the car in sheets of cold wetness. Somehow, they’d made it down, the pilots’ efforts nothing less than miraculous. They were still at the airport; he’d given orders from the back seat of the limo and then had ordered that he be left alone.
Sonny drew in one deep breath and then another. Back on solid ground, he could think again, and his thoughts were crafted of pure rage. Someone had betrayed him, had meant for him to not survive the trip home to his family. And for that, when he discovered the traitor, they would pay.
There was a knock at the limo door, then Jason was there, taking the seat opposite him.
“As soon as I got your call, I put our men on it, Sonny. But so far…nothing…”
Sonny nodded slowly. “I didn’t expect anything so soon. Whoever put this plan in motion, planned this. I left earlier than I’d originally planned. To know my movements, whoever this was had to be already inside. So, whatever rat is buried in our organization, is buried deep.”
“So I’ll have to go deeper to dig them out.”
Sonny nodded. This is what Jason was best at, eliminating any and all threats to his power. “When are you going in?”
“Tonight.” Jason said. “I’ve already started on some preliminary groundwork. I’ll dig a little deeper myself. Don’t know how long I’ll be under.”
Jason watched as the limo’s tail lights disappeared into the darkness. Oblivious to the pouring rain, He flipped open his cell phone and dialed a now-familiar number. But there was no answer. He let it ring several times before signing off with a quiet sigh…Jason couldn’t trust any answering machines, not when he was preparing to go deep undercover. He only hoped she would understand once she realized he was gone.
Back in her apartment, Eliana sat staring at the phone as it rang and rang. For all their sakes, she didn’t dare to pick it up.