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Capture of the Defiance (Breaking Free #2)

By:S.E. Smith

Capture of the Defiance (Breaking Free #2)
        Author: S.E. Smith

       
         
       
        
1

Hong Kong



The figure of a man pushed through the crowds gathered along the Graham Street Market, uncaring of the curses he was drawing. Sweat beaded on his brow despite the cool breeze and temperate weather. His gaze swept the collage of faces. Almost immediately, his eyes locked with the intense, dark gaze of a man searching the crowd  –  for him.

Gabriel Harrington swallowed and backed away. He stumbled when he ran into an older woman who turned and began admonishing him. Pushing past her, he ignored her tirade when she continued to yell after him. His frantic flight that had started earlier that morning was now one that meant life or death.

Turning sharply, he cut between two of the merchants' booths, pushing the colorful material hanging down on display out of his field of vision as he rushed through. He had already passed the irritated merchants before the men could say anything. He made another sharp turn along the sidewalk toward the busy intersection, urgently glancing behind him. If he could just get across it, he could lose himself in the crowd of pedestrians.

The skin on the back of his neck tingled and he could feel the sweat sliding down between his shoulder blades under his shirt. He slipped his hand into his pocket for the small box. It was still there.

He breathed a sigh of relief and glanced over his shoulder again. Slowing to a fast walk, he relaxed a little. He didn't see the man who had been following him. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his cell phone and quickly dialed the number he had memorized.

"Do you have it?" The voice on the other end asked in a terse tone.

"Yes, but I'm being followed," Gabriel muttered, glancing both ways before entering the intersection.

"Where are you?" The voice on the other end demanded in a brisk tone. "I'll send backup."

"I'm leaving the market near Shelter Cove. I'll …  Shit!" Gabriel hissed, pausing about three-quarters of the way across the intersection.

"What is it?"

"There are two of them," Gabriel said hoarsely. "I'll try to get the package to you."

"I have a team en route," the man said.

"It's too late," Gabriel replied with resignation, turning and seeing the other man he thought he'd lost standing not more than fifty feet from him. "I'll hide the package and notify you of the location as soon as I can."

"Negative," the man hissed, but Gabriel was already turning to cross the intersection at a diagonal angle.

He had only taken a few steps when he saw a third man appear on the corner in the direction he had been about to go. Twisting, he bumped into an older man carrying several canvas shopping bags. Gabriel muttered an automatic apology under his breath, even as his hand slipped the package from his pocket and into one of the bags. His gaze swept over the old man's face, trying to memorize it before he backed away. 

He darted across the intersection. He was almost to the curb when a van, trying to beat the red light, turned the corner. Gabriel registered the impending impact just seconds before his body hit the windshield. He rolled several feet before coming to a stop. In the distance, he could barely make out the old man turning to see what had happened before everything went black.



*.*.*





Makayla looked around the Customs area of the airport from her place in line. There was a sea of people arriving from all over the world. Her lips curved upward when she saw a harried mother trying to grab a wayward toddler in front of her. The smile turned to a sympathetic grimace when the little boy started crying when his mother picked him up. Several people standing behind her gave the woman an annoyed glance.

Makayla started to turn away when she noticed that the woman had dropped her passport on the ground when she had bent to pick up the little boy. With a murmur, she motioned for the two people behind her to go ahead. With a tired sigh, she waited until they had passed her before she stooped to retrieve the fallen documents.

"You dropped this," she murmured, glancing at the woman's name on the open passport. "Would you like some help, Hsu?"

"Oh, yes, please," the woman stuttered, startled, before she breathed out a tired sigh. "It has been a long trip."

"Where are you traveling from?" Makayla asked politely, adjusting the diaper bag that had fallen off the handle of the stroller before she pushed the baby carriage forward along with her own carry-on.

"Seattle," Hsu replied with a grateful smile. "Thank you so much for your help."

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