Oscar paced the length of the airport waiting room, glancing out the window for the umpteenth time hoping to catch a glimpse of Steve’s plane in the distance. After twenty minutes of sheer anxiety, the military aircraft finally made its appearance. Oscar hopped in his car and drove to the tarmac just in time to meet with Steve as he exited the plane.
“You got it?” Oscar asked tensely.
Steve flashed a triumphant grin and handed the folded documents over to his boss. “It’s all in there.”
“Did you have any trouble?”
“None whatsoever, It was a piece of cake.” He cocked his head to read Oscar’s troubled expression. “You were worried, weren’t you?” he chaffed with an elfish wink.
“Me? No,” Oscar spurted out scornfully, after which he cracked an embarrassing grin. “Well, okay. Perhaps I was. A little.”
“I had everything under control. In fact it was too easy if you ask me,” Steve opined with an edge of apprehension.
“What do you mean?” Oscar queried with concern.
“Well the fact that there weren’t any guards and that the security system had several flaws. You wouldn’t expect those guys to be so careless.”
“Perhaps they wanted you to steal the file,” Oscar inferred with trepidation. “Then that would imply that what we have here is a fake.”
“I don’t think so Oscar. I perused the notes on my way back here. It’s the real deal. Maybe they overestimated their security system or that those guys are dumb.”
“Either way you’re safe. That’s the main thing.”
They reached the car and both took seats in the back.
“Now if you don’t mind Oscar, I’d like to get home to my wife. I miss her something terrible.”
“Sure thing, pal,” Oscar chuckled. “The debriefing can wait until we get skim through the file. I’ll call you later to set up an appointment.”
Oscar requested of his driver to detour by Steve’s house to drop him off before heading to the office.
With a bounce in his step Steve headed up the pathway to the front door. Finding it locked, he took out his keys and unbolted it.
“Cassie, I’m home!” He frowned at the stillness that greeted him but shrugged the disquiet off, thinking his wife had stepped out for a moment. He went to the kitchen to pour himself a glass of white wine and ambled to the bedroom to slip into a shirt and jeans. With his glass in hand he sauntered outside to the patio and made his way to Cassie’s flower garden hoping he might find her there tending to her prime blooms.
As there was no sign of her he retraced his steps to the garage where he found her car. He figured she might have gone for a walk, as it was customary of her to do when the weather was mild. He shrugged and returned into the house.
Steve’s restlessness grew as the hours wore on. As he marched over to the phone to call Oscar, it rang.
“Hey Blue Eyes,” Cassie exulted at the other end. “How was your trip?”
“Not bad. Where are you?”
“Oh you’d never guess.” She glanced up at the woman standing to her right. “I’m apparently in the company of a former girlfriend of yours,” she quipped.
The woman yanked the phone away from her mouth and spoke. “That’s right Steve. Remember me?”
“Who are you?”
“Oh Steve, I’m hurt,” she emoted; glowering down at Cassie bound hand and foot to a chair. “How can you not recognize my voice?”
Steve’s eyes suddenly bulged out in fear as an icy clutch of dread suddenly seized him. “Jenny Fraser?” he hazarded.
“That’s right. Missed me, darling?”
“What have you done with my wife?”
“Why nothing, Steve. She’s right here beside me, safe and sound, except for the necessary restraint. You know you married a feisty broad. She’s more stubborn than you ever were.”
“What do you want?” Steve spat, striving to suppress the vials of wrath raring to spur out.
“Simple. I want to file you stole in my boss’s home yesterday.”
“How do you know?” Steve queried, heedful not to reveal more details than necessary.
“You were caught on camera, Sweetie. Too bad you didn’t smile. You have a fetching grin,” she continued to quip, adding fuel to the fire.
Steve slowly resumed his seat, shock registering on his face. Here was the reason why snatching the documents had been an easy task.
“You have twenty-four hours to ask Oscar to give you the file back, after which I will contact you with instructions on the drop.”
“What makes you think we haven’t made copies of the file already?”
“Simple. The paper is imbued with a special substance that prevents any copying of picture taking of any sort. There is only the original and we want it back,” she warned.
“Alright. I’ll call him. In the meantime, don’t you dare touch a hair on my wife’s head or I swear I won’t make light of the fact that you’re a woman.”
“Are you threatening me, my darling?” she teased. “I don’t like that. You’d better be sweet or I might touch a hair or two on your lovely wife’s head,” she purred as she twirled a finger around a tendril of Cassie’s hair.
“Don’t hurt her. I’ll get you what you want,” Steve spoke earnestly, striving to mask the underlying tone of defeat in his voice.
“And no funny business, now. Our agents have their eyes peeled. One wrong move and your wife is toast. You got that?”
“Yes,” he mumbled peevishly underneath his breath.
“I didn’t hear you.”
“I said yes,” he lashed out.
“Good. I’ll call you later this afternoon to see what progress you’ve made.” She hung up the phone with a conquering grin on her lips and turned to Cassie. “You’re very lucky, you know that?”
“It depends on how you look at it,” Cassie mocked.
“I meant about being Mrs. Steve Austin. He’s quite a catch. How did you persuade him to slip that ring on your finger?”
“Whatever it was…” she paused to stare Jenny straight in the eyes, “ you don’t have it.”
That provocation sent Jenny senses reeling. Her hand reached up to slap Cassie in the face.
“Hum,” Cassie moaned, her face twitching to dispel the stinging sensation in her cheek. “Did hit a nerve?” Cassie’s taunting needled Jenny into a fit of rage but rather than venting her anger on the prisoner, she stormed out of the room, banging the door close behind her.
Outside, she stepped up to the guard and gave instructions to take the woman down to the cellar.
Steve grabbed his car keys and flew out the door to jump in his car. He put the pedal to the metal to the OSI.
“Callahan, Oscar in his office?” he asked breathlessly not waiting for her to answer before bursting into the office.
“No he’s not,” she finally said after managing to catch up with him. “What’s the matter, Steve?”
“Where is he?”
“I don’t know. Didn’t he pick you up at Andrews?”
“Yes he did. After dropping me off at my house he said he was coming over here.”
“Maybe he decided to make a stop somewhere?” She frowned worriedly at the terrorized expression registering on Steve’s face. “Steve, what’s wrong?”
Steve brushed past Callahan and dashed out of the office to grab the courtesy phone. He dialled Oscar’s home phone number. No answer. Frustrated Steve smashed the receiver down in its cradle before lifting it again and dialling Oscar’s private car number. Still nothing.
“Do you have any idea where he might have gone?” a flustered Steve asked.
She shook her head negatively. “No. He just said that he was going to pick you at the airport. That’s it. Steve, I’ll try to get him for you if it’s that important,” Callahan offered obligingly, somewhat frightened by Steve’s erratic behaviour.
Steve went to the office to pour himself a tumbler full of whiskey that he nursed while waiting for the phone to ring. He continued pacing to settle his nerves, but the tension would only mount with each passing minute.
Finally Callahan buzzed the desk with good news. “Oscar’s on line two.”
Steve nearly ripped the phone of the hook. “Oscar! Where are you?”
“I’m with Hanson over at the NSB. Callahan said you needed to speak to me? Is it urgent?”
“Yes it is, Oscar. Cassie has been kidnapped.”
At the other end, Oscar reacted to the news. “What?”
“I just got a call from…get this, Jenny Fraser.”
“She’s in jail, pal.”
“Obviously she got out and she has my wife. She won’t hurt her unless we bring her the documents I stole.”
“The MNS project?”
“That’s right. The mission didn’t go without a hitch as I originally thought. They caught me on camera as I was breaking into the safe. She’s giving me twenty-four hours to get it back, then she’ll contact me to schedule a drop off.”
Oscar sighed in despair at the gridlock they were thrown in. He could not part with the file. The Minister of Defence would not allow it, not even to save a woman, especially an agent. They know the risks involved. If caught they are often sacrificed.
“I know what you’re thinking Oscar and the answer is no,” Steve spat, aware that Oscar’s silence meant that he was sorry but no deal. “Have your engineers concoct another file or something to switch with the real deal, but I’m not jeopardizing my wife’s life for some cheap project, no matter how important it is for national security.”
“I know how you feel, pal…”
“By that tone of voice obviously you don’t, “ Steve snapped. “I’ll get her back myself. You won’t need to involve any other agent. Just get me that file. I‘ll make sure you get it back somehow. It’s my bargaining chip.”
“Okay Steve. I’ll see what I can do. Meet me at my apartment in one hour.”
Oscar turned to Hanson with a forlorn expression. “What’s wrong?”
“Colonel Austin’s wife has just been abducted,” he informed solemnly.
“Is there a ransom?”
“Yes,” he pointed to the file lying on Hanson’s desk, “that. In exchange for Agent Miller’s life.”
Hanson shook his head. “No way, Oscar. We worked too hard to get our hands on this file. Our agents know the risk.”
“For God sake Hanson! Miller wasn’t on mission, she was right at home when they took her. “
“So this piece of crap is more important than a human life. Is that what you’re saying?” Oscar barked with eyes shooting daggers.
“Normally no, but this isn’t any ordinary piece of crap, Goldman,” he countered with the same vehemence. “The security of this entire country depends on our keeping it safe. One life against millions, Oscar. I call it sensible.”
“Austin can get it back. He just needs it as a bargaining chip.”
“Too risky. They could kill him and run away with it. Steve was the only agent who could steal the file. Now that we have it, we’re not going to give it back, certainly not for a woman.”
Oscar’s rage reached a boiling point. He balled up his fist and smack Hanson in the jaw, sending him crashing to the floor. “I ought to kill you right here,” threatened Oscar, rage consuming him to the point of losing his countenance.
At that moment, Hanson’s associate entered the room, brushed past Oscar to go assist his boss to his feet. Oscar shot Hanson one last murderous glare before stomping out the office.
“Are you alright Mister Hanson?” asked the young man with grave concern.
“Yeah, yeah I’m fine,” he heaved out, rubbing his aching jaw.
“What was that all about?”
“A grudge, Stevens. Goldman’s hankering for my job and he’ll do just about anything to get it,” he said, nourishing the innocent man’s belief that Goldman was capable of anything.
The young man frowned quizzically at the meaning behind this statement. In his uneducated mind, he contemplated the likely possibility that the OSI Director could actually resort to extreme measures to bump his boss off his position, and that his threat cannot be taken lightly.
Later that afternoon, Steve met with Oscar at his apartment. Barely had he set foot inside stepped inside that he broached the subject of the file.
“You have it?” The forlornness of Oscar’s expression sent Steve’s senses reeling. “Where is it, Oscar?” Steve insisted with a clenched jaw, edging toward him with a predatory look.
“I don’t have it. Hanson wouldn’t give it to me.”
“Did you insist on the fact that Cassie’s life was at stake?”
“Of course I did,” Oscar defended fiercely. “But you know the answer to that. An gent knows the risks.” Steve swirled on his heels and stamped up to the door. “Steve, where are you going?”
“To see Hanson.”
“Steve, I wouldn’t advise it.”
“I don’t give a damn about your warning, Oscar. I’m marching in that office and taking that file, even if I have to punch Hanson’s lights out to do.”
“Steve, you’re not serious? Hanson will have you arrested on the spot. You could be deactivated.”
“I don’t care Oscar!” Steve lashed out. “My wife’s life is more important that a piece of governmental trash.”
“Steve, don’t do this. We’ll figure something out,” Oscar pleaded with the incensed man intent on doing some major remodelling.
“You can’t stop me, Oscar. I’ll just borrow the documents and give it right back. I just need it as a bargaining chip.”
“I understand, but you’re dealing with Hanson.”
Steve flashed an evil grin and headed out the door.
At the NSB office, Steve stormed into the reception area, startling the receptionist with his jerky entrance.
“Is Hanson in his office? I need to have a word with him,” Steve demanded as he marched toward the man’s office.
“Mister Hanson is in conference,” she stuttered, as she threaded on his heels to prevent him from bursting into the office, which he did. “I’m sorry Mister Hanson. I couldn’t stop him,” she said apologetically.
“That’s okay, Andrea,” Hanson reassured. “Close the door behind you.” He waited for the secretary to do his bidding before speaking. “Austin, what brings you here?” he quipped, winking at his associate standing to his right behind the desk.
“This,” Steve pointed to the file in Hanson’s hands. “I want it.”
“I expect you do, but you see this is government property now. It’s too valuable.”
“A woman’s life is at stake!” Steve fumed.
“I heard. Your wife, agent Miller, isn’t it?” He asked with cynicism, sending Steve stewing in his own juices. “She knows the risk associated with her work.”
Steve rounded the desk to come stand inches away from Hanson. “If you don’t give it to me, I’m gonna have to take it by force,” he threatened with eyes shooting daggers, which frightened Hanson’s associate, Stevens, who took a few steps backward to stand out of the line of fire.
“You do and you’ll be sorry,” Hanson countered without flinching. “I’ll have you deactivated and even amputated if I can manage it.”
“That file will be back on your desk before you know it.”
“What guarantee do I have?”
“You know I have the power to retrieve that file when my wife’s out of harm’s way.”
“That’s too flimsy, Colonel Austin. I cannot risk it.”
Steve looked down at a letter opener. Slowly he picked it up and admired the power of persuasion it possessed. “I wouldn’t try that if I were you,” Hanson warned, a bit apprehensive at the thought of Steve resorting to drastic measures.
A few minutes later, Steve was seen breezing out of Hanson’s office with the file in hand, The receptionist watched him with a puzzled frown as he cut left instead of heading towards the elevator. Seeing the office door closed she assumed the matter was confidential and returned to her work.
“Andrea, get in here!” the frantic voice shouted. She rushed in and gasped in horror at the scene before her. “Andrea, call security. Have them arrest Colonel Austin before he exits the building,” he ordered. “He just killed Mister Hanson.”
Steve quickened the pace down the corridor and took a short cut through a window. He jumped down and headed toward his car parked a few blocks away.
Jenny bringing a tray of food for her prisoner interrupted Cassie’s train of thoughts. “I hope you like beef stew? I made it myself,” she gloated rather proudly s she set the tray on a nearby table.
“You wouldn’t be trying to poison me?” Cassie qipped.
“Is that an insult to my cuisine?”
“What do you think?” Cassie sneered with a matching grin.
“I’m hurt, Miss Miller,” Jenny emoted.
“That’s Mrs. Austin to you, dearest,” Cassie corrected with cynicism.
“I’m wondering whatever Steve saw in you.”
“We’re both self-conceited, in case you haven’t noticed.”
“Ah yes. That’s one of Steve’s flaws. But mind you his qualities largely overshadow his weaknesses. “
“Steve doesn’t like backstabbing louses, if you’ll pardon me the expression.” Jenny flashed a leer before ambling over to Cassie lounging on her cot, fingers casually laced behind her head.
“I’m very curious as to how you and Steve met”
“You’re a nosy one, aren’t you?” Cassie teased, amused by the obvious envy veiled in the question.
“I’m just wondering, is all.”
“Why don’t you start by describing your unfortunate encounter with him.”
Jenny dismissed the sarcasm with a wry smile and proceeded to relate the story of her meeting with Steve, hoping to stir some whiff of jealousy within Cassie.
“He just took one look at me and was smitten,” Jenny said wistfully. “I admit I did things that were a little out of the ordinary but so did he.”
“He never betrayed his friends, nor tried to have them killed for a lousy sum of money.”
“Ten million dollars is NOT a lousy sum as you put it.”
“What happens once you get that file?” Cassie asked rather rhetorically as she already suspected the answer to that question.
“My boss will decide,” Jenny sneered.
A knock at the door interrupted their conversation. Jenny met her partner halfway with a concern expression.” What is it?”
“Alan spied Austin coming out of The NSB building. He guesses he has the file it. Do you want to place the call? Might be wise to make the exchange now.”
“You’re right. “ Jenny turned to Cassie with a triumphant grin. “Looks like your hubby came through for you after all.”
“That’s my Blue Eyes!” Cassie cheered, the pet name sent Jenny fuming inside. She left the room, banging the door close behind her. “That woman is one frustrated bitch. She needs a man,” Cassie chuckled. “But she’s not getting mine,” she grinded out resolutely.
Steve practically yanked the phone off the hook when it rang. “Do you have the file?” Jenny asked.
“How would you know?
“We have spies. Well? Do you?”
“I do. Let me talk to Cassie.”
“She’s down in the cellar. She’s fine. We’ll bring her with us when we meet.”
“You know the old Acme garage at the angle of 7th and Ridge Street?”
Steve pictured the building in his mind as he scribbled down the address. “Yeah I know the place.”
“In three hours. You come alone and no funny business or your wife will suffer the consequences.” She hung up, smiling triumphantly as she savoured the sweet taste of success. She turned to the two-armed guards. “You know what to do?” They simply nodded and went on their way.
Aware that Hanson had probably unleashed his hound dogs by now, Steve decided to lay low until the meeting. He stuffed the file inside his jacket’s breast pocket and crept out back as he suspected the streets to be crawling with agents.
With a heart pounding down his throat, Steve made his way to the rendezvous place, his nerves stretching to their limit of endurance as he neared his destination. He swept the area with his infrared lens to spot Jenny’s spies. He noticed two men concealed in bushes armed with rifles at the ready. No doubt their orders was to shoot once the exchange was made.
He peeked inside the warehouse and stepped in.” Anybody here?” he called out to bring the enemy out in the open.
“Here we are,” Jenny piped up. “Very punctual as always,” Jenny’s praise fell on deaf ears as he focused on his wife in the claws of this beefcake he craved to make mince meat with. The couple exchanged conniving winks.
“You have the file?”
Steve produced the folder from his pocket. “There it is.” As Jenny reached out to take it, he snapped it away from her. “First, you untie my wife.”
She beckoned the guard to accede to the man’s request. Once free from her restraints Cassie rubbed her sore wrists and threw an signalling wink at Steve who proceeded to hand over the file to Jenny but let it dropped to the floor just as she reached for it.
“That isn’t clever,” Jenny scorned with a leer to match. As she bent down to pick up the folder off the floor, Cassie swung a back kick into her captor’s stomach, sending him into the throws of pain. As he dropped his weapon she proceeded to finish him off while Steve grabbed Jenny in a neck hold, twisting her arms behind her back.
“You and me are going to take a little trip down to the authorities. It’s a shame you did this Jenny. You were out for good behaviour. Now you’re going back for another ten to twenty years. Hell of a lot of good that did you. Haven’t you learned by now that crime doesn’t pay?”
“Steve you’re hurting me,” Jenny griped, her face twisting in pain.
“That’s nothing compared to what Oscar will do to you, my sweets,” He hissed through a clenched jaw. He turned to Cassie busy pinning her catch solidly to a beam. “You okay 35?”
“Piece of cake, 34,” she mocked. “Is that the real deal?” she asked, motioning to the folder.
“Yeah. I had to rough up Hanson to get it.”
“Oh! Then you’re in for a spanking once you get back,” she teased.
“You were more important than this,” he said, waving the folder in the air.
“You are an angel,” she cooed, reaching for his lips for a deep lingering kiss designed to get Jenny’s dander up. Cassie then turned to her and sneered, “Jealous?”
“Go to hell!” Jenny spat.
Satisfied with the results, Cassie turned to Steve. “I’ll go call Oscar and tell him we have two on ice.”
“Make that four.”
“Outside. Two more. “
“Let Oscar and his men handle them. I’ll advise them to tread carefully when they get here.” Steve acquiesced and kept his eye on his wife as she made her way to the small office to make the call. Jenny tried to seize the moment to wrench herself free but with no luck.
“Oh no you don’t, Missy! You’re staying right here with me.” He roughly pulled her to a chair where he proceeded to tie her up.
“What do you see in her, Steve?”
“Everything you’re not,” was his waspish reply.
Oscar and his men made great time converging on the scene. They quickly apprehended the two men hidden in the bushes and headed inside to pick up the two bundles kept on ice.
“Good work Steve,” Oscar patted his friend on the back. “Oh and you too, Cassandra.”
“We make a good team,” Steve boasted proudly to his wife as he hugged her with all of his might.
“Where’s the file?” Oscar asked.
Steve briefly disengaged the embrace to point to the table. “Over there. Safe and sound like I told you it would be.”
“Euh Steve…” Oscar began before a brashly young agent cut him off.
“You are under arrest for the murder of John Hanson,” he slashed, slapping the handcuffs on Steve’s wrists.
“What?” Shocked, Steve turned to Oscar for an explanation. “Oscar, what’s the meaning of this?”
Embarrassed, Oscar could only give a straightforward answer. “Hanson was found dead in his office this morning. It happened when you were there.”
“That’s ridiculous, Oscar!” Steve lashed out in his defence. “I admit I roughed him up a bit, but he was merely unconscious when I left him.”
“Unconscious?” The agent retorted with indignation. “The man was found with a letter opener through the heart.”
“What? That’s impossible!” Steve defended vehemently.
“We have two witnesses, including Hanson’s associate who was in the room at the time of the aggression. Your fingerprints were on the letter opener.”
Steve closed his eyes in despair as he remembered briefly holding the crime weapon in his hand. Cassie pulled him closer with a puzzled stare.
“Steve, what are they talking about?”
“A set up, Cassie. Someone set me up and I’m betting it’s Hanson’s associate. He saw me threatened the man.”
“Why would he do that?”
“I don’t know? Maybe to take his boss’s place?” Steve surmised, his mind whirling with different conjectures.
“They did name him to replace Hanson in the interim,” Oscar confirmed, Steve having planted the seed of doubt in his mind.
“There you go.”
“Come with us, Colonel.”
“Don’t worry Steve. We’ll clear this matter up.”
“Oscar, you don’t honestly believe I could have killed Hanson? If I wanted to I would have done it with my bare hands you know that.”
“I believe you pal, but the evidences are largely against you.”
“Of course they are,” Steve quipped, going voluntarily with the officers. Cassie was denied access to the police car. Instead, she caught a ride wit Oscar to the NSB where Steve would be interrogated.
On their way Oscar confessed to Cassie that indeed Steve was being set up.
“He mentioned Hanson’s associate,” she pointed out.
“Maybe. Trouble is his fingerprints weren’t on the letter opener. “
“He could have erased them,”
“If he had he would have Steve’s fingerprints as well.”
“Then perhaps he used a handkerchief and drove the dagger in Hanson’s heart when he was still unconscious,” Cassie inferred. “Who’s the second witness they mentioned?”
“Was she in the room when it happened?”
“No. From her deposition she came into the office after Steve had left.”
“Did she see the letter opener sticking out of Hanson’s chest?”
“I don’t know. I don’t believe she was specific on that.”
“I think we ought to clear this little detail. Steve’s life could be at stake.”
At the NSB offices, two agents were putting Steve through the grinder.
“I’m telling you Hanson was just knocked out when I left,” Steve groused with marked annoyance at his interrogator’s redundancy. “I don’t care what his associate told you.”
“He was a witness. Your fingerprints were found on the murder weapon,” the chief continued to grill.
“I told you why. I did pick up the letter opener to scare Hanson but I put it right back on the table and used my fists instead.”
A knock at the door brought Oscar away from the table. “Yes?”
“Miss Cunningham is in your office, Mister Goldman,” advised the young officer.
“Very well.” He closed the door and went to Steve. “I’m needed in my office. A little matter that we need to clear up.” He turned to the interrogator. “Do you have anymore questions? New questions that is?” he quipped.
“No, that’ll do for now. But we can’t let him out, Oscar. I have my orders.”
“I understand,” Steve cut in with a sigh fraught with exasperation. “Put me back in the ice house. I’ll be good. I just want to settle this the clear way.” Steve stood from the table and willingly followed Oscar and the man out the door.
“Oscar, what’s this urgent business of yours,” Steve queried as he was being led down to his cell.
“I’m not sure yet, but I think it’s the missing link in this situation. One that will get you off the hook.”
“Great! Why don’t I go with you?”
“You might scare that chance , pal. Your wife and I are on the case. Not to worry.”
“It was her suggestion. I’ll keep you posted.”
“You do that.”
The two men parted ways. Oscar went up to his office where Hanson’s secretary, Russ and Cassie were waiting.
“So, did you find out anything?”
“Plenty,” Cassie smiled from ear to ear. She then turned to Andrea. “Tell him what you told us.”
Andrea swallowed hard before Oscar’s imposing stance and bowed her head in shame. “I’m sorry if I caused so much trouble. I thought Colonel Austin had committed the crime. I just didn’t see it at first. I was in shock, you understand?” she babbled much to Oscar’s puzzlement.
“Could you elaborate on that?”
“In my deposition I said that I’d seen Mister Hanson with the letter opener in his chest.”
“Well Cassie here,” she motioned toward Cassie sitting to her left, “asked me if I’d seen blood n Mister Hanson’s chest seconds after her husband left the room. I didn’t. Mister Stevens just urged me to call security and off I went, but I remember I didn’t see any blood.”
Oscar and Cassie exchanged glorious smiles of relief. “So that proves that Hanson’s associate did the crime. He plunged the letter opener in the man’s chest when he was alone, after Steve had left and after he urged the secretary to call the guards. When the police arrived on the scene, it looked like Steve had done it. He thought he had a reliable witness who could testify on his behalf.” Oscar turned to Cassie. “Good work, Agent 35.”
Cassie flashed a satisfied grin. “So I take it I can have my hubby back?”
“I’ll go down with you to the holding cell. Russ, you have everything on tape?”
Russ waved his tape recorder in the air. “Right here, boss.”
“Good, you and Miss Cunningham come with us. We’ll all go together and clear the charges.”
“What about Stevens?” Russ asked.
“He’s mine,” Oscar crowed malevolently.
“Get in line, Oscar,” Cassie said.” I think Steve is going to beat you to it.”
“You bet I will!” Steve snarled as he was being led out of his holding cell some time later.
“Steve you’ll make matters worse. Let me handle him.”
Steve was incensed. It took all of his wife’s cuddling and cooing to mellow him out. He finally yielded to Oscar’s wish. “You failed and he’s mine Oscar,” Steve cautioned
“I won’t. I’ll get word out to you when we’re ready to prosecute. We’ll need your testimony.”
“No problem. I’ll be there.”
“In the meantime, you and your wife get yourselves a few days off. Maybe you could work on the little project you mentioned?” Oscar hinted with a teasing wink.
“What project?” Cassie asked, puzzled.
“It’s already under way, Oscar,” Steve teased back.
“Will you two please tell me what you’re talking about?” a frustrated Cassie insisted, annoyed by the conniving looks exchanged before her.
Steve turned to her and gave her a small kiss on the lips. “Humour me, pumpkin.”
And if it hadn’t been for both Oscar and Cassie’s doing, Steve would have gotten a piece of that trash, but lucky for him Stevens was taken into custody before Steve could get his hands on the coward. Stevens admitted wanting to get rid of his boss for quite some time to ascend to his position. He saw the perfect opportunity when Steve threatened his boss.
Cassie and Steve were off to Hawaii on a second honeymoon when Stevens got the authorities the slip. Oscar deployed all available men to find the fugitive but without success.
Steve was briefed on the escape once back in Washington. Despite Oscar’s warnings, our bionic man set out on tracking the man. He was on a personal mission and relentless to locate his quarry. Steve would report his progress to both Oscar and Cassie but one day, the calls ceased. Both Stevens and Steve were nowhere to be found.