“This is between you and me! Leave her out of this!”
“This has everything to do with her. You took my son, now I’m going to take her!”
Nechelle trembled as she sunk into Hondo’s side. She heard him grimace in pain as he tried to wrap his arm around her.
“You’re not going to get away with this!” She promised.
“You sound like him now. Like I told him, I will get away with it. I will!”
S.W.A.T. Headquarters –
Hicks had sent help to Red’s location, an old, abandoned warehouse in the heart of skid row. Red had given them a description of the van that had brought him and Hondo to the old warehouse and now they were searching for traffic cameras in that area in hopes of finding Hondo’s new location. The chances were slim, and it was a race against the clock, but it was all they had for now.
Luca’s phone rang and he stepped out of the noisy command center to take the call. It was the community center. He had been working with Hondo and Nechelle on mobilizing the community to reduce violent confrontations between citizens and police officers. He wasn’t sure what to say, none of them had contacted Hondo’s family or Nechelle about what was happening. His heart sunk as he took the call.
“My name is Tasha Mackey, and I met you last week at the community meeting.”
“Yeah right, I remember you. How are you?”
“What’s going on?”
“It’s Nechelle! Some men grabbed her as she was leaving the community center! I forgot my jacket and when I went back, I saw them dragging her toward a dark van! I tried calling Sgt. Harrelson but he’s not answering!”
“No, worries, I’m glad you called. I’ll take care of it from here!”
“Please, you have to help her!”
“Don’t worry, I won’t rest until she’s safe, I promise!”
Tan continued running searches of owners of late model dark colored vans. The list was long, and it was like finding a needle in a stack of needles.
Luca rushed back into the room. Things were getting worse by the minute.
“We have another problem!”
“What is it?” Deacon asked.
“One of the volunteers from the community center just called and some men just grabbed Nechelle! They were driving a late model dark van.”
“Tan, find that van, NOW!” Hicks barked.
Unknown location –
Arthur and his men had left Hondo and Nechelle alone with a promise to return. Arthur Novak was a confident man who always planned for the long game. Hondo knew that the man wanted him to suffer and knowing that he would make him watch as he took Nechelle’s life was torture. So, making the two of them wait to anticipate their deaths was all a part of his sick plan of revenge.
“Who is this man, Hondo?”
“We ran into each other in Mexico.”
“You never told me about what happened when you were there.”
“There’s nothing to talk about.”
“Obviously there is, he said you killed his son is that true?”
“Yes, it’s true.”
Nechelle pulled away and looked into his eyes. She saw past his physical pain and saw a darkness that she’d never seen before. It frightened her but she needed to hear the truth.
“Talk to me. Why is this man going to kill us?”
“No, Hondo, if a man who I don’t know is going to kill me, I want to know why!”
“Arthur Novak and his son AJ were trying to steal land from a woman and when she wouldn’t sell, Arthur kidnapped her daughter. I tried to rescue her and I got there just in time before AJ killed the girl.”
“Oh my god. I can’t believe this is happening.”
“I’m so sorry. I never wanted any of this to touch you. Whatever it takes I’m going to get you out of this.”
“How? Look at you, you’re hurt, you can barely move! That maniac will be back anytime!”
Hondo began surveying the room, looking for a way out but there was none. He couldn’t let Arthur kill her, but he had nothing, no weapons, nothing but his sheer determination not to let Arthur win.
S.W.A.T. Headquarters –
“I found it!” Tan shouted.
All eyes were glued to the monitors on the wall. Tan had searched and found four traffic cameras near the warehouse where Red was found and extending out toward the main streets leading to the freeways. Accessing the past recordings from the time Red called until now, garnered their first big lead.
“Right there!” Tan pointed to the monitor. “This was forty-five minutes ago!”
“Please tell me you were able to get a license plate!” Hicks pleaded.
“Yes Sir! The van is registered to a Macon Boyer and I just sent the address to our tablets.”
“Go get out of here! Bring Hondo and Nechelle home!” Hicks commanded.
Without another word, the team rushed toward the exit.
Unknown location –
“Nechelle, I need you to listen to me; if we’re going to have any chance of getting out of this alive, I need your help.”
“Okay, just tell me what you need.”
Arthur loved making Hondo and his lady wait and anticipate his next move. Hondo was a smart man and he had to know that there was no way out. Arthur had spent several weeks in jail planning and calling in favors to ensure that his next meeting with Hondo would mean the end of his life. There was no one that meant anything to him except his son AJ and Hondo had taken his life and for that he would suffer.
The trip out of the city limits was eerily quiet. Deacon was in charge and knew the odds of getting there in time. They had lost too much time to predict a positive outcome for his friends, but he had to do everything in his power to save them. Hondo was resourceful and he was a fighter, Arthur would have a battle on his hands no matter how outnumbered Hondo was.
“I know what we’re all thinking, but I need us to focus. What would Hondo say right now?” Deacon asked.
“Keep your head on a swivel!” Tan began.
“Stay liquid.” Chris chimed in.”
Street looked at his watch then to the others.
“We’re ten minutes out. I hope Hondo knows we’re coming for him.”
“He knows, Street, he knows.” Deacon assured.
The door at the top of the steps opened and a sliver of light pierced the darkness. The steps creaked as the man descended toward him. Nechelle shot a glance toward where she knew Hondo was seated and began her own count from under the stairs.
The man was alone, cautiously he made his way down the steps. He’d been warned about the injured man. Arthur had learned the hard way what he was capable of. Still, the man was confident, he had the gun and the advantage.
It was time and Nechelle was determined not to let Hondo or herself down. She’d never been in a situation like this before, but she wasn’t going to allow this monster to take her life without a fight. So, taking a deep breath, she reached upward toward the space between the steps and with all her strength, grabbed the man’s ankles and yanked.
Hondo had just come into his view when suddenly he fell face-first down the stairway coming to a hard thud against the concrete floor. The jolt sent his gun flying out of his hand and across the room. Hondo quickly pounced on the man and began a fight to the death. Then the sound of the stairs creaking again sent a chill through the air.
“Don’t move!” Arthur ordered.
Nechelle watched from her place under the stairs as Arthur quickly descended, careful not to fall to the same fate as his employee.
“Get off him or I’ll put a bullet in your head!”
Hondo did as he was told and turned to face Arthur.
“I suggest you come out where I can see you unless you want me to kill your boyfriend right now!”
Arthur shot a quick glance over his shoulder then back at Hondo. Nechelle quickly came into view and rushed toward Hondo.
“You are a nuisance my man. I’ve never met anyone like you before.” He chuckled. “What I could accomplish with a dozen men just like you.”
Luca pulled Black Betty to a stop in front of the house. The black van parked in the driveway confirmed that they were at the right place. One by one the team jumped out and waited for Deacon’s orders.
“We do this by the book. The van is still here so we’re taking that as a good sign. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.”
The others shook their heads.
“Let’s make Hondo proud!”
Arthur grabbed Nechelle by the hair and pulled her to her feet. He could see and feel her fear and it gave him a jolt of pleasure.
“You’re a pretty little thing. Such a shame you have to die. I’d love to spend some time with you.”
“Take your hands off her!”
Arthur placed the barrel of the gun to her forehead. He watched the tears tumble from her eyes as her body shook with fear.
“Say goodbye sergeant.”
“No, don’t do this!”
“I never had the chance to plead for my son’s life, so I guess that makes me a better man than you, Mr. Harrelson.”
“Nechelle, baby, I’m sorry!”
Nechelle shook her head, as the tears streamed from her eyes.
Arthur’s attention was drawn to the top of the stairs.
“The cops are here! They found us!”
Frustrated and angry, Arthur released Nechelle shoving her to the ground roughly. Hondo began to move toward her. Both men had one thing in common, they didn’t like losing. Deacon and the team had arrived and now were on the premises; time was running out and Arthur had to make a choice.
Hondo saw the look of evil in the man’s eyes. The cold look was one of finality as a sick blank stare focused on Nechelle. He raised the gun and Hondo knew the time of reasoning was over. He watched as the gun was aimed at the woman who meant the world to him. Then just as Arthur pulled the trigger, Hondo made his move.
The sound of gunfire filled the air…and screams…then blood, lots of blood. Deacon led his team down the stairs to the basement. He’d ended things between Arthur Novak and Hondo with one bullet to the wicked man’s head. It was close and the price for vengeance too high.
St. Mary’s Hospital –
Nechelle sat quietly next to his bed staring at him as he slept. She still couldn’t believe that the last several hours had happened and that they had both survived. She wasn’t sure that she could handle a life with Hondo, seeing into his world and becoming a victim of his past was too much for her. Still, here she was, still trembling and still wiping away tears as she waited for him to wake up.
“Hey,” he whispered.
She smiled and took his hand in hers.
Hondo saw the tears and the confusion in her eyes, and it scared him. She wasn’t built for what she had just endured, and he wondered if it would destroy what they had together. Perhaps in the end, Arthur Novak would win.
“Are you okay?” He asked.
“Hondo, I don’t think I’ll ever be okay.”
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t want this to happen.”
“But it did. It did happen Hondo.”
“What were you thinking?”
“If I could have…”
“What were you thinking, jumping in front of that bullet that was meant for me?”
“I couldn’t let him kill you.”
“The doctors said that another centimeter and you would have been killed.”
“I’d do it again if it meant that you’d be safe.”
The next few minutes were spent in silence with Nechelle trying to make sense of things and wondering if she were in over her head with a man that seemed to thrive on danger and violence. The one thing she was sure of was that she loved him and that gave her more concern than anything that had happened earlier.
“Are we okay?”
She watched the fear swimming in his eyes as he waited for an answer.
“Are we okay?” He repeated.
Then she smiled wearily.
“Ask me in twenty years.”
“Vengeance, retaliation, retribution, revenge are deceitful brothers—vile, beguiling demons promising justifiable compensation to a pained soul for his losses. Yet in truth they craftily fester away all else of worth remaining.” – Richelle E. Goodrich, The Tarishe Curse.
*We do not own S.W.A.T. or its characters. We are not affiliated with the show or its creators. We have created our original characters that will come out to play from time-to-time*
Photo Credit: Seat42F