Nathan continued stringing the blowhard along, teasing information out of him, pushing buttons, in turn stroking his ego, silently applauding as Jessop dug himself and his cohorts in deeper and deeper. His desire for Nathan’s approval, pathetic on every level, before long he’d divulged enough information about how his operation worked, how his connections were made, that lines could be drawn easily connecting the dots. It was an avalanche of self-incriminating proof, delivered on a platter by the gloating bloated egotist himself.
“Time’s up, Nathan. I tire of the game. It’s game set and match, my favour! Wished I could say it’s been delightful, but you’ve cost me a fortune and it’s time to pay the piper. And you certainly will!”
He turned heading toward the door when Nathan called, “Where is Emma? Where are you holding her?”
“In a location from which she’ll never be found, Nathan.”
Nathan’s tightly reigned in anger, rage, even touch of fear rose like bile and he lunged from the chair. Instantly Jessop’s thugs were on him, punching him in the face, stomach, and kidneys. Blow after blow fell and Nathan felt nothing. His mind was blank. He’d make it, he had to!
Jessop cringed at the sounds of the body blows. He paid these men big bucks to do the dirty work so he didn’t have to. He hastened outside, running to escape the sounds exploding in his ears. Suddenly he was body slammed to the ground and three quick blows rendered him unconscious. Jim grabbed his hands and clasped handcuffs on him with distinct pleasure. He turned, motioned to his men who silently moved toward the barn that held Nathan. Breaking into two teams, they entered the rear of the barn and keeping low moved stealthily forward. They could see Nathan tied to the chair, his face bloodied laying on the ground. A single shot rang out immediately felling the blackguard with his fist in the air about to land another blow. It wasn’t a kill shot but it took him down. They rushed forward and following a satisfying fight, he was knocked cold and cuffed while the other cohort who’d used the opportunity to flee, was slammed to the ground by a flying kick that landed directly on his back. Before he could move, Nathan’s man was on him.
Jim handed Jessop over to one of his men and raced to the front door witnessing the brutal battle. Before hurrying to Nathan’s side, he frisked both men for the lock to the cuffs, “Got you, Nathan. You’re safe.”
Nathan’s breath was laboured, but he nodded while attempting to catch his breath. “Emma!”
“We have her, Nathan. Jessop’s men were only too happy to talk once they found out they weren’t leaving the compound alive unless they did.”
“Good. Good. Get me up.”
Jim bent close, wrapped an arm around Nathan and assisted him to a sitting position. Nathan valiantly attempted to hide the pain, but Jim knew better. From the look of him, he probably had a broken rib or two while one eye was already swelling shut. His arm hung limply at his side.
When he could speak Nathan asked, “Clean me up. Can’t see Emma like this.”
Jim helped him to his feet and Nathan made it to the jeep where his gear was stored, tore it open and cleaned his face best he could. Wincing every time he hit a bruise, he knew he was a mess. Nothing a bit of ice couldn’t take care of he assured himself but relieved Jim arrived when he did. He was getting the use of his arm back which had gone numb from the angle at which they’d attacked him. Ripping open a bag containing clean clothes, Nathan dragged them on, eager to get to Emma and hold her in his arms, reassure himself she was alive and well allaying the fears swirling through his entire body.