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Vanquish the xander king.., p.21

Vanquish (The Xander King Series Book 2), page 21

 

Vanquish (The Xander King Series Book 2)
 


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  Vanquish

  A small glass door in the middle of the massive white airplane hangar had been propped open, awaiting his arrival. Xander knew that Sam was probably right. There was no way they were going to let him out of there alive; win or lose. But just because someone doesn’t let you do something, doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Stupid of him to think this way, but he knew Sam wouldn’t leave. He knew she wouldn’t be calling Kyle and the helicopter full of his allies, telling them to turn back. All he could hope for is that they could bail him out one last time after he put an end to this chapter of his life. He would have plenty of time to make it up to them later. And if he didn’t make it, he had left enough of his fortune to Kyle and Sam to be able to take care of everyone without him. Come what may, this would be the end of his lifelong quest.

  Xander walked through the open glass door and into what was an empty office. More like a reception area, actually. Generic gray carpet covered the floors, the walls all painted white, and pictures of different types of aircrafts, old and new, sporadically filled the voids. The only person in there with him was at the far end of the room, it was Melanie—or Melania. Just one of the many painful betrayals of the last couple of days. She wore a sarcastic smile and opened a door for him. The door that led to the area where all the planes were stored. The area where he would finally face his demons.

  Well...Demon.

  He wasn’t exactly sure what awaited him in the next room. His father made it seem as though he wanted to actually fight Xander to put an end to this. Something Xander found absolutely absurd. The only chance the old man had at beating Xander would be to shoot him as he was unarmed. And maybe that was the plan. Maybe all he wanted to do was get Xander unarmed so he could show all of the people that worked for him just how ruthless he could be. Mercilessly gunning down his own son, proving that no one could cross him and live to tell about it. Or, maybe the son of a bitch was crazy, and thought he could actually take Xander in a fight. One could only be so lucky.

  Xander walked through the door, not giving Melania a second look. Once through, the ceiling vaulted to over forty feet. Massive fluorescent light fixtures hung down in rows, illuminating a wide open space that could fit at least six or seven of Xander’s G650 sized aircrafts inside it. As it were, there was one such plane—not his—on the far left end of the hangar, the rest was empty except for a circle of rare, collectible cars that had been parked in the middle. In the center of the circle of cars—old Mustangs, Lamborghinis, Rolls-Royces, and such—was an open circle about the size of a UFC Octagon. Seems that Martin King has a flare for the dramatic. All around the cars were what looked like extras from the set of the movie The Expendables. Half of the Russian thugs were even wearing those stupid beret hats. All of them in their militant style combat clothing, all of them armed.

  Xander was fucked.

  In the middle of the circle and the cars, surrounded by all the ridiculous looking spectators, stood a man about the same height as Xander, in a navy blue suit who had white hair and a white beard. As the goons parted and Xander entered the ring-sized circle, he could see that his father’s face was tan and leathery. He must not spend much time in Russia. He had already removed his suit jacket, and rolled the sleeves of his white, button-down shirt up to his elbows, two buttons undone at the top. The air in the hangar stank of jet fuel and arrogance, the warmth in it enabled the foul body odor around him to linger as well. Leaning against the hood of a vintage, black, Porsche 911 Turbo, sinking the nose of it almost all the way to the floor, was a fat, ugly son of a bitch with a pock marked face, and terribly black died hair, sucking on a cigar. Elvis, if he’d survived and ate pierogies six times a day for the last thirty-nine years.

  Dragov.

  Amazingly, with danger all around him, his once thought dead father and the looming threat of death possibly just moments away, Xander found himself completely calm. He was ready for this. He stopped twenty feet from his father and just looked him solemnly in the eye. Xander’s face held no emotion. Mostly because he felt nothing. The time for all of that had past.

  “You look good, son.”

  Xander didn’t speak, his face still void of emotion. Over his father’s broad shoulders, through the open hangar door, the sun was just beginning its trek across the sky. It cast a light shadow over his father’s face, hooding his eyes, making him seem even more sinister than his deep and gravely voice could manage alone.

  “I must admit, you’ve got balls. Maybe not so heavy in the brain department, but you’ve got balls.”

  Xander stood stoic.

  “You’ve got nothing to say to your old man after all this time?”

  Xander held his posture, his arms down by his side. “I don’t have a father. He died ten years ago. You know, the CIA operative.”

  Martin King made a face.

  “You’ve been talking to Jack, I see. He tell you he slept with your mother, too?”

  “He did. He also told me you were about to take down that fat son of a bitch.” Xander pointed at Dragov.

  “It’s true, I was.”

  “Let me guess, he made you an offer you couldn’t refuse?”

  “Xander, one last lesson if I may. Life is all about change, that’s the only constant really. Now, it’s not the change that makes a man, it’s how he adapts to it. I adapted to change when I saw the opportunity. I want to watch you put that into practice, right now. You think you can do that?”

  Xander just glared into his eyes.

  “I know you’re used to doing things your own way, I was too. Now, I’m not telling you it will be easy, but I think if you and I came together, we could make a lot of money. We could run shit, me and you. Maybe even change the world.”

  “And what would that world look like exactly?” Xander placated him.

  “That’s the beauty of it. It would look like whatever the hell we want. With what Dragov and I have built here, and with your connections and reputation in the U.S., we could do some great things.”

  “So, that would be the team? The World Dominators starting lineup would be you, me, and Dom Deluise over there? No thanks.”

  “I don’t understand you, boy. You left the military cause they were doing things you didn’t agree with, right? So what’s the problem? We do things much differently here.”

  “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

  “You think you know it all don’t you?”

  Xander kept a calm voice, “I know that you are a liar, a traitor, and you could really use a new tailor.”

  “I am not a traitor!” His father slammed his fist down on the hood of the Lamborghini behind him. Losing his cool for the first time. The men around him shifted their guns to Xander. Martin King held up his hand, gesturing for them to stand down. What a sweetheart.

  “No reason to take out your frustrations on such an innocent Italian classic.” Xander prodded.

  His father took a few steps toward him. “Would you rather I take them out on you?”

  “You see me running?” Xander held stance. He hoped that no one could see his heart pounding in his chest. His muscles were begging him to do what he does best. His instincts screaming at him to end it, and end it quick. But Xander had to hold his cool while his father goaded him. Giving him time to scan the hangar, piecing together a plan to escape after this—whatever this ended up being—was over. There was nothing jumping out at him at the moment. He had to remain calm. Suppress the dragon.

  “No, I don’t see you running. You may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but at least you aren’t a coward.”

  “See, I told you, you and I are nothing alike.”

  “You think I’m a coward? You think a coward could build what I’ve built here?”

  “No, I think a coward murders an innocent woman and leaves his children all alone.”

  Martin King took a couple more steps forward. He was within arm’s-length now. His face morphed from a scowl to an arrogant smirk. “Boo-fucking-hoo.”

&
nbsp; Xander held his judging gaze.

  “Never thought you’d turn out to be a fucking baby. I knew your mommy coddled you too much when you were a kid.”

  Xander’s body temperature shot up several degrees with the mention of his mother coming from his father’s—her murderer’s—lips. He called her mommy.

  “What’s wrong, you gonna cry?”

  Then he shoved Xander. Xander’s expression didn’t falter, he swallowed his rage and stepped back where he was, never losing his father’s stare. He couldn’t react. Not until he—

  It was then that he noticed, off in the distance, through the open door of the hangar, almost a like a boat a mile off the coast in the ocean, there was a helicopter. Xander blinked for the first time, making sure he wasn’t seeing things.

  “Awe, poor baby boy doesn’t like being pushed around?”

  His father pushed him again, a little more force this time. Xander was moved back a couple of feet, he shuffled his legs to maintain his balance. He looked back toward his father’s eyes, but his focus was over his shoulder, where it was now clear that it indeed was a helicopter. They were coming to get him. A wave of emotion came over him as he thought of his friends risking their lives for him. A wave of emotion that was abruptly cut off.

  “Your mommy didn’t like when I pushed her around either.”

  His last thought about the helicopter, before Xander’s eyes glazed over with rage at his father’s statement, was that everyone else would notice the helicopter at any moment. It was almost time to make his move.

  Thirty seconds.

  His internal clock started ticking.

  “She definitely didn’t like these—”

  Martin King brought his left arm up and jabbed at Xander’s face. But Xander’s face moved in a fluid motion to dodge it, and it moved in the same fluid motion back to the other side to dodge his father’s oncoming right hand, and did the same to dodge the left hook that followed.

  “Zero for three, old man.” Xander had channeled his rage into pure, laser-like focus.

  Twenty seconds.

  Martin threw three more punches, which Xander easily parried, then blocked a head kick that quickly followed, with his forearm. The old man had speed for his age, but it might as well have been slow motion for Xander.

  Xander couldn’t help but smile.

  “Zero for six. That must be hard on the ego.”

  His father’s face turned from aggression, to frustrated rage.

  Ten seconds.

  The helicopter was within earshot now. If everyone wasn’t so entirely enthralled with seeing Martin King—their fearless leader—looking like a fool, they would have already heard it. They also would have seen Samantha Harrison poke her head around the corner of the open hangar door. Martin took a couple more swipes at Xander, missing wildly. Then, in a last ditch, and spineless effort, he attempted to kick Xander in the pills. Xander caught his father’s shoe, lifted and pushed forward all in the same short, powerful burst, and sent his father flying several feet backward, landing with a thud on his ass. His over-tanned face flashed red, all the way down his neck. First in embarrassment, then in rage.

  Three.

  Sam had managed to duck inside the hangar and hit the button that lowers the massive, tri-folding vertical door. It lurched, making an awful cranking noise and as it began to lower toward the concrete below, everyone’s attention was instantly divided.

  Two.

  Xander’s father looked back from seeing Sam rush out the doorway, his eyes burning into Xander’s.

  “Looks like your girlfriend is as dumb as your mommy was, just doesn’t know when to leave. She’ll be dead just like her, too.”

  One.

  Xander stalked toward his father. Toward his mother’s murderer. Toward the man that had been trying to kill his own son. All he could see was red. Martin King rose to his feet. Frozen in shock that Xander was finally coming for him. Outside the hangar door, which was now only a few feet from being shut, Sam let off a few rounds from her AK-47, and it drew exactly the attention she was hoping for. Everyone in the hangar looked out toward the gunfire in surprise.

  Everyone but Xander and his father.

  Xander turned his stalk into two short bursts and leapt into the air, in what looked like the technique of a superman punch. But Xander, in midair—when his father had assumed he was pulling his arm back for a punch—instead had unsheathed his knife. As he carried it forward, backed with the power of over ten years of built up rage, he plunged its six inch serrated blade, straight into the right side of his father’s neck.

  Cut and Run

  Before the blood had a chance to shoot from the hole in his father’s neck, and long before his now lifeless body hit the ground, Xander was gone. As soon as his feet had hit the concrete, he went into a hurricane-like spin and stabbed Vitalii Dragov in the left side of his fat neck. Blood spewed from Dragov’s open jugular like an open fire hydrant. But Xander wasn’t there to actually see that either. He had already taken two steps onto the vintage Lamborghini’s hood, long jumped over the back end, and was halfway to the hangar door. The hangar door that was just a little over a foot from being completely closed. Sam hadn’t expected Xander to carry out the two assassinations before he bolted for the door when she went to shut it. In hindsight, she should’ve known. Otherwise, she would have never hit the close button. Now she was frantically waving her arm like a third base coach waving a runner home, as he raced for the closing door. The speed with which Xander was able to kill both his father and Dragov was so astonishing, so blindingly fast, that the hired guns hadn’t yet recovered. But as Xander reached max speed and the door rolled relentlessly toward the floor, he knew their reaction was coming.

  A clamorous orchestra of bullets rang out just as Xander slid feet-first for the bottom of the door. As he slid underneath it, it was so close that his nose actually grazed the bottom of the gate as his head made it through. As the smooth poured concrete of the hangar floor turned to the blacktop of the tarmac, tiny rocks and uneven pavement burned a rash up his back at the last of his slide. Like a symphony of firecrackers, the bullets that were meant for him, smacked against the now closed metal door, a literal hair behind his head. The first thing he saw from his back was a helicopter hovering above him. Kyle, Sarah, and Zhanna were already on their way down a rope ladder, and he could see a cowboy hat peeking up behind the chain gun above them.

  Jack.

  It was a comical sight. Even in that moment of battle. It was like a terrible version of The A-Team. The B-Team if you will. Sam reached down and lifted Xander to his feet.

  “You’re bloody crazy, Xander King.” She shouted over the deafening thwap of the helicopter’s rotors as she handed him the pistols he’d left behind in the parking lot just moments ago.

  Just then Kyle came running over and threw his arms around Xander. “You made it! Let’s get out of here, Bob spotted the G650 over there.” Kyle pointed to the beautiful bird just as Sarah caught up and wrapped her arms around him. A hug had never felt so good. The plane was sitting off to the right of the hangar, about a football field and a half away. The sight of the silver crown on the tail of that plane sparked a pang of longing in Xander’s core. He was beyond ready to be done with this chapter of his life. And it was right here, in his grasp.

  They turned toward the jet together. Zhanna and Bob were in front of them, halfway to the plane.

  Sam shouted at Kyle, “Why wouldn’t you answer your phone damn it!”

  Kyle looked at Sam, then smiled at Xander and said, “I was busy.”

  Sam made a face.

  Xander pulled Sarah’s phone from his pocket, as Kyle showed his phone. Both cell phones were on a call. Sam didn’t have to ask, she already knew it was a call to each other.

  “You beautiful wankers, that’s how you knew not to come in too early!”

  “We could hear everything,” said Kyle. “We had been circling around for ten minutes!”

  Xander’s
face went from smile to serious. They weren’t in the clear yet. “What about Jack?”

  Kyle said, still shouting as they ran, “I tried to get him to let me stay behind and cover you. But he insisted. He’s gonna man the chain gun until we’re clear, then he’s going to go back to the Ukraine with Viktor, and wait for you to send a plane. Oh...here.”

  While Kyle was explaining, he had been doing something on his phone. The chain gun began to spit its venom above them, in the direction of the hangar. Jack was already pushing the Russian thugs back. Kyle handed Xander his phone. He had been dialing Jack.

  Xander heard the phone ring once. “Cowboy’s phone, this is Viktor!”

  “Viktor, get that helicopter out of here!” Xander screamed over the rolling thunder of the massive machine gun and the swoop of the helicopter. The four of them were at Xander’s G650 now and Bob had already begun firing up the engines.

  “Boss? Boss, you made it! Cowboy and Viktor are busy saving your ass, but will call you from Ukraine and tell you where to send big check!”

  Xander hustled onto his jet after everyone else was in and shut the plane’s door. “Okay Viktor, nice work! I’ll make sure the check is delivered by a couple of knockouts, just for you.”

  “Viktor like knockouts, boss. But Zhanna can deliver, okay? Sorry boss, time to go. Man have rocket launcher.” Viktor stated that last line with the casualness of a man watching what he was seeing on a movie screen. Crazy bastard.

  The call ended. Xander looked out the window, back toward the hangar. Gunmen were crawling out from the side door like bees from a shaken hive. Some were firing at the helicopter, some were being ripped to pieces by Jack Bronson and his chain gun. Xander felt helpless as the jet began to move.

  Bob shouted from the cockpit, “Buckle up back there! This could be rough!”

  Sam noticed Xander eyeing the release button for the door.

 
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