RICK KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG. Very wrong. Ruyah wasn’t in his head and all he heard were the usual hotel sounds; the TV, snoring, couples arguing, and couples moaning in ecstasy. But still, something wasn’t right.
Plus there was an air of tension in the hallway. War zone tension. The kind that a soldier, and a dangerous one at that, brings with him.
So, he plastered himself against the wall and eased slowly forward. With gun drawn and pointing towards Room 406, he quietly assessed the situation noting that the light at the end of the hall was out and that there was a slight breeze coming into the hall from that direction. He reasoned that the soldier, armed no doubt, who’d put so much tension in the air, had come in that way.
His heart pumped Adrenalin enriched blood throughout his body. He began to sweat. His muscles tensed. And his breathing became more labored. Even so, he was one hundred percent focused on his target, Room 406 and whoever was in it, now. Because, if his instincts proved right, Ruyah was either a prisoner or dead. He had to know.
As he inched forward, against his mounting fear, his face registered a slight tick. Nothing that the ordinary person would have noticed, but any one of the soldiers and other agents he’d served with would have told you that that tick was a sign that he was going in armed, hot, and ready. Don’t get in his way.
He advanced another yard. Stopped and listened. There were no sounds coming from the room. Not even the TV.
As fast as his heart was beating, he was sure that Ruyah would have known that he was outside. But still no sounds of alarm came from her room. He eased the safety off his gun, inched down a little lower on the wall, and moved closer to Ruyah’s room.
With the gun positioned just under his right eye, he reached out his left hand and tried the door to see if it was locked. It wasn’t. He pushed it open. He was about to broach entry when he heard, “Rick Miller! Drop the gun and put your hands in the air!”
Indistinctly, he fell forward, curled into a ball, and fired off two rounds before throwing himself through the open door.
Roy and another agent chased after him.
Rick grabbed the minibar from against the wall and pushed it in front of him as cover.
“Give it up Miller,” yelled Roy. “There’s no place to go.”
Rick fired off another three rounds while backing into the bathroom where he discovered there was no way out.
Demayan never moved.
Rick thought fast and hard. If he gave up now, he could claim that he was merely hunting for the terrorist woman, Ruyah al-Basir, that Daniels had with him when he escaped. He was trying to be patriotic, that’s all.
“Don’t fire. I’m coming out.”
Rich threw the gun out first. Then walked out of the bathroom with his hands in the air.
Demayan never made a sound.
“Rick Miller, you’re under arrest,” Roy informed him as the other agent with him snapped cuffs on Rick’s wrists.
Roy pushed Rick out of the room and into the hallway.
“Search the room,” Roy ordered the other agent. Sweat popped out on Demayan’s forehead. But he neither moved nor made a sound.
“What are doing here,” Roy asked.
“I was just trying to be a patriot for my country. I know Daniels had that terrorist woman with him when he came into town. I was only trying to catch her.”
“And how do you know that,” Roy asked.
“I may no longer be a Secret Service Agent, but I still have contacts in the agency,” Rick answered.
“It’s all clear,” the other agent reported back to Roy.
“Let’s go,” Roy said, pushing Rick ahead of him down the hall. “You can tell it to Director Loudoun. She’d be very happy to hear about your contacts and your patriotism.”
Demayan waited until he heard the ding of the elevator arriving on the fourth floor and then waited one more minute, making sure no other agents were outside, before sliding his tense muscled body from beneath the bed. He had to be quick. He knew other agents would arrive in minutes to process the room for evidence.