Standing Up by Chris James    Standing Up
by Chris James
Chapter Seven

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Standing Up by Chris James
    Sexual Situations
    Rated Mature 18+
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The sun was drifting west over the mountains when Matt returned to Colorado Springs. Bill had been about to meet the boys for dinner when Matt used his pass key to open the door.

"Hello, Sweetheart ... how did it go?" Bill asked.

"Pretty well. Miller gave us more to ponder and no real answers. But the Captain has informally assigned me to keep tabs on what happens here. He can't get involved, except he plans to send your old buddy T-Bone out to Victor to see why the militia is interested in that place."

"Victor? I didn't know they had any interest in the town."

"Maybe they don't, but Miller and some of his buddies were out that way. At this point we need to look under every rock for clues. But I need a shower. Were you about to go to dinner?"

Bill nodded. "We waited for you."

"How sweet," Matt said and gave Bill a good solid kiss. "I'll only be a few minutes."

"I'll go round up the family. See you upstairs in the restaurant."

"Great, I'm starved."

Bill waited a few seconds to watch Matt peel off his shirt before he scooted out the door. A lot of gay guys had cop fantasies but he had never thought much of it…until now. Matt was in great shape…a shape Bill knew very well. He left the room as Matt headed for the shower and went down the hall to knock on Tim's door. It took a few moments but BD answered the door.

"Dinner time?" He asked.

"Yeah, Matt just got back and he'll join us after he takes a shower."

"Tim just finished his…I guess we fell asleep," BD said.

Bill detected something subtle…something had changed. Tim exited the bathroom all dressed and ready to go. But that smile was different, had they…no, it was too soon.

"Hi, Dad…did I hear Matt was back?"

Dad, Bill would never tire of hearing that. "Yes, he's going to meet us."

Like most hotels this one had a restaurant, the Bistro Colorado. Being a Radisson, the food was upscale, the dining room decorated with exquisite taste, and the view through the long windows gave the diners an impressive view of the mountains with Pike's Peak in the distance.

Andy and Mitch had already taken a table by the windows with enough space to seat them all, and that is where Bill found them.

"Rick will join us shortly," Andy said. "He was still on the phone."

"Matt is back and says he didn't get much, but he's unofficially on the team," Bill said.

BD and Tim were seated side by side with Mitch across the table. Rick walked in with a smile on his face and sat across from Bill and then Matt made his entrance.

"Glad everyone is here," Rick said. "I had a nice long chat with Jocko and he'll be here in the morning to view our intelligence."

"That's good news," Matt said. "My boss understands the difficulties, and although he officially knows nothing about this he supports the effort."

"So what did Miller tell you?" Bill asked.

"We were right about Joab having his own inner circle the others seem to know nothing about. It wasn't much of an interview, just some rambling story about the militia on maneuvers ending up out in Victor."

"Victor?" BD said. "That's where my father's family came from before they moved to Castle Rock. My grandfather was born there."

"Coincidence perhaps?" Bill said.

"You don't really believe that, do you?" Rick asked. "The militia already has a member living there."

"I guess that all depends upon which group of the militia he belongs to," Andy said.

"I've never been there, have any of you seen the place?" Rick asked.

"I have," BD said. "It used to be a boom town in the early 1900's because of the gold mines, but that all closed down. Now there are only a few hundred residents. My father took the whole family out there when I was a little kid as a reminder of where we came from.

"My great-grandfather and his two brothers are buried there. They were killed in a mining disaster I was told, but I don't know the whole story. They still mine for gold, only now everything is above ground. I guess it's still a good industry since it's the only one in town."

"Gold is almost thirteen hundred dollars an ounce," Matt said. "I checked on that earlier when Captain Willows said he was going to send our old friend T-Bone out there to look around."

"Ahh, he's a good detective," Bill said. "So you think the gold could be the attraction for our militia boys."

"Could be, they mined almost a quarter million ounces of it last year."

"Oh, that's a huge sum of money," Bill said. "They might spend all year mining and processing but they sure wouldn't leave it just lying around for someone to steal…would they?"

"No, I'm sure they don't," Rick said. "It probably goes out by air or truck to Denver. I doubt if there's enough shipped at any one time to interest anyone."

"So what did Jocko tell you?" Andy asked.

"He asked me why I was stupid enough to let the boss get captured by a bunch of Boy Scouts."

Rick let that sink in and then smiled. "He's like that, it doesn't bother me."

"Wow, he must be brave to slap you down like that," Tim said.

"He is brave…and very good at what he does. He wasn't happy when I told him he can't kill anyone just capture them. But you'll get to meet him in the morning and judge for yourselves. Meantime, let's eat."

Bill noticed that BD was pretty silent during dinner, except for a few whispered comments to Tim. Perhaps he was tired since it had been a pretty long day with a lot of physical demands. But Tim still seemed energetic despite that early morning hike and the tension caused by the militia intrusion.

So T-Bone was on the case, which should prove interesting. Rick was probably right about Victor. The militia couldn't be interested in the small amount of gold that might be on hand at any one time. Businesses like that had lots of security and years of experience in handling the precious metal.

Bill didn't think that Christianity had anything to do with Joab's activities, it was just a smokescreen. Of course the wealth of Tilden's ministry was funding the militia and God's Chosen had access to all of that. Still, BD had sown some doubt that the Bishop even knew of these clandestine militia activities.

It was reasonable to assume that Boze and Ed had been captured on Joab's orders and that left Bill wondering who this man was, and how he became the Commander of God's Chosen. They would get no answers until the militia compound was taken.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Monica's spirits had been lifted by that short stay outside, or perhaps it was the clean clothing she now wore. Of course she had heard the clanging of the door across the hall and the muttering of voices. The walls might be concrete but they were not sealed at the top and there was a space under the door. The voices mumbled indistinctly for a while and then she heard the door slam shut and the bolt slide into place.

Were there other people held captive? The man in black seemed to treat her well, probably because he knew she didn't know where BD was. The first two nights she had worried about him but realized none of this would be necessary if they held BD captive. So who was across the hall?

On her return from the cage, Monica had been escorted by a young guard who seemed friendly. Flirting with him would get her nowhere, but she smiled at him. The same young man brought her dinner so he must be working this evening.

It was dark outside, and with another long night ahead Monica would have too much time to think. She could see the sun was down through that little window high on the wall…and then she heard the music. For several days she had occasionally heard some snatches of conversation and then some quiet music.

The control room was on the other side of the wall, the place where she had seen the guy sitting at several monitor screens. Now there was music again and she recognized the tune. It had to be the young guy over there, perhaps he wanted her to hear what he was playing…and she began to sing.

" ... I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean, Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens, Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…" And the door to her cell opened. The young guard stood there and smiled.

"You have a lovely voice," He said.

"I've never been much of a country music fan," Monica said. "But my mother used to play that song for me when I was a little girl. I make an exception for Lee Ann Womack."

"You know Lee Ann? She's a cousin on my momma's side…Texas folk. My name is Douglas."

"Douglas ... not Doug?"

He shrugged. "My mother always called me Douglas."

"So won't you get in trouble for talking to me?"

"Not tonight, I'm the only one here and I have the late shift all week long."

"What are we doing here, Douglas?" Monica said.

"I don't know why you're here…none of us does. You must have done something the church didn't like."

"It isn't me they're after, it's Brian, the Bishop's son."

"Barry's brother? Oh…I've seen him at church. What did he do?"

"That's a very good question…nothing as far as I know. You should stay out of this or you'll get in trouble," Monica said.

"Then you shouldn't be here," Douglas said.

"Look, I don't know Brian's family except I think they're a little creepy. I've never even met them."

Douglas smiled. "But you have. Commander Joab is Brian's brother Barry. I don't think anyone really knows the Bishop. He's never been here, Barry made all this."

"Then he's not a very nice man…"

And across the hall Ed looked at Boze lying on the floor with his ear to the crack at the bottom of the door.

"What are they saying?" Ed asked, but Boze waved him off.

Boze listened for a few minutes longer and then Ed heard the door to Monica's cell close and the bar slide shut.

"And?" Ed said as Boze stood up and returned to the cot.

"Shh, the guard is back in the control room," Boze whispered. Then he leaned over and

told Ed what he had overheard.

Not that the information would do them any good in this situation, Ed thought. But discovering that Joab was Barry put a new light on the involvement of the family. Understanding the structure of the opposition was always important, but it didn't provide the motivation behind Barry's actions.

If Boze was right then Rick would be making arrangements for a covert rescue operation. Having learned that there was only one guard on duty in the evening was important news. But that only meant that the defensive systems for this compound were probably automatic and high tech.

Ed didn't think for a minute that one guard would be the only resistance to an opposing force. There were others out there, patrolling the perimeter, asleep in a bunkhouse or awaiting their turn on guard duty. With automatic detection equipment a motion sensor would trip an alarm in the control room and the guard would alert the rest of the forces.

Whoever it was that Rick would send in would be aware of such things and it only made the job more difficult. Ed wanted to quiz Boze about these things but the no talking rule made that damn near impossible. Waiting for something to happen was the hardest part, and Ed lay back on his cot with a sigh. Hell…and this was only the first night of their captivity.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The night before Tim and BD had stayed up for hours talking, working out the nervous energy of the upcoming mission. But tonight they were exhausted and fell into a deep sleep that should have lasted the night.

Tim wasn't sure what time it was, but he was groggy when BD slid into his bed. The beds at the Radisson were doubles and Tim might not have noticed except BD snuggled up close and waited for a reaction. Tim smiled in the darkness and then rolled over.

"Good morning," He said, reaching out to take BD in his arms.

"Not yet ... too early," BD replied.

The hugs they shared yesterday had led to some affection but little else before they napped. There was now a quiet energy in their embrace and all things seemed possible. Kissing and touching seemed inevitable and they began, only to pause.

"Who are we?" BD asked.

"Friends for now," Tim said. "I don't have any experience at this."

"No experience necessary…I'm an amateur. I never had a boyfriend. It was too difficult in my family for anything like that."

"But you had dreams…desires…needs."

"I had a sexual experience in seventh grade," BD said. "The only words to describe that would be inept and messy."

"For you or for him?"

"Both of us."

"Well at least you had some experience," Tim said.

"Yeah, it was just masturbation and after me he turned to messing with sixth grade girls. I don't think he ever got caught, but it shows you how weak his mind was."

"That's tragic," Tim said. "He must not have had a good self-image to go after younger girls."

"True," BD said. "He should have stuck with me a while longer."

"So you've never done it either."

"Nope, but my day will come, as will yours. Maybe they will coincide."

"I like you, Brian. I don't know what that means."

"It means we can have fun as friends and save the heavy stuff for later. What's the rush, I'm not going anywhere."

"Have you thought about what you want to do when this is all over?" Tim asked.

"You mean after the church falls into ruin? That's inevitable, you know. My father and maybe my brothers will go down with the ship. My mother will stay afloat…she's too smart to sink."

"You never talk about her."

"Not much to say. Her life has been dominated by everyone around her except maybe me. But she has some money squirreled away, and yes, I've seen her secret bank account. Once you hack into this family's business a lot of things become apparent. Her life is separate from his and so she'll end up on a quiet beach somewhere while he rots in jail."

"So you do have feelings for her," Tim said.

"Not many, she didn't stand up for me when I needed her and here I am. Monica is the only woman I trust."

"I hope she's all right."

"She's a chameleon…one of those adaptable people…she'll be fine," BD said. "Every gay boy needs a Monica. What do you need?"

"Tomorrow is another day so who knows," Tim said.

BD slid a hand down and grasped the hardness between Tim's legs. "It's already tomorrow so let's take care of this."

A boy might spend years in self manipulation without knowing the touch of another hand could be so different. Tim returned BD's slow languorous touch until the moment of climax became mutual. It was enough to require a thorough clean up and they shared the shower before returning to bed.

Only then did Tim look at the clock and see that it was three-thirty in the morning. Too early for anything except more sleep. BD returned to slumber first leaving Tim to his thoughts. They had been kind to one another without any pressure to perform since neither of them was ready for that just yet.

In a perfect world they would have met, learned to know one another and perhaps slowly fallen in love. But there was no perfect world, just one filled with chaos. BD was smart enough to realize that he might not be strong enough to endure without help. Tim felt protective if not a little bit physically overbearing.

The past two years Tim's whole life had been terribly physical and filled with challenges, this was far different and he welcomed that. He was just forming a family with Bill and Matt while BD was losing his long term family relationships. Maybe there was something he could do about that.

Tim awoke at the sound of the phone on the nightstand. Unfortunately he had to crawl over BD to answer it.

"Jocko is here," Bill said. "Are you guys coming to breakfast?"

Tim looked at the clock. Yikes, it was almost eight. "Sure, we'll be there in a few."

He hung up the phone and looked down at BD. The smile and those ever so blue eyes seemed to twinkle which called for a kiss. They were naked and BD pulled Tim closer…that was all it took. Belly to belly, the motion of two bodies filled with desire soon produced results. This was more sex than Tim had ever experienced in his whole life, perhaps it would start a trend.

"Did I hear him say Jocko was here?" BD asked.

"Yeah, but we aren't going anywhere without another shower."

BD grinned. "I was always a messy boy."

"It seems nothing has changed."

A shared shower took less time. It was one of the few times they had been completely awake and naked which allowed for some comparisons. They were the same height and the equipment was about the same, but that is where the similarity ended.

Tim was all muscle and BD couldn't resist a touch and a hug. BD was slender and lacked the muscular development, but he wasn't out of shape. In fact Tim quite liked that shape, especially with a view from the rear.

"You do have a nice ass," Tim said.

"It's one of my nicest features," BD said. "I have lots of practice being an ass."

"Don't start that again, none of this is your fault. I think the easiest way to erase all that guilt is by doing something to change this situation. Let's go meet Jocko."

The man might be English by birth, but he was Southern California now. The green and yellow Hawaiian shirt covered in huge hibiscus blossoms looked very out of place here in Colorado, but it looked right on Jocko.

Everyone was seated and had been served breakfast as BD and Tim slid into a couple of chairs.

"Didn't think you were going to make it," Bill said.

"I was up at three-thirty and fell back to sleep," Tim said.

Bill could believe that, but the blush on the boy's face revealed something else. Oh well, it was bound to happen. BD looked perfectly pleased with himself but Bill wasn't interested in the details. Jocko was introduced and got up to shake hands with both boys.

"Nice to meet you, lovely place this Colorado," Jocko said.

The accent was nearly gone, Tim decided. Of all these men associated with Boze only Rick could be considered a big man. Jocko was of average size which belied the strength it must take to be a warrior in their business. But there was hardness in the eyes which spoke of above average intelligence, and suggested that a dangerous person lived inside.

Tim considered the strong grip as they shook and made note of the callouses on those hands. Those were working hands and much like his own.

"Colorado is all about the great outdoors," Tim said.

"I can see that," Jocko replied, sweeping a hand at the view of mountains in the distance. "Have you been up there?"

Tim nodded. "Many times, it's a great place to climb."

"Tim just graduated from a wilderness school," Bill said.

Jocko nodded as he sipped his coffee. "The pioneering spirit of the Americas is still astounding to me. In Britain you have to go all the way north into Scotland to find a suitable mountain to climb."

"Is that where you trained?" Tim asked.

"Oh yes, we spent weeks in The Munros. The Cuillin Traverse is a ten thousand foot cake walk in spring and summer so of course we had to make the attempt in winter. Nasty Highland Sergeant in the lead, thought he was God's gift to the military…turns out he was." Jocko laughed. "The special services seemed like a breeze after that."

"I want to try El Capitan in Yosemite Park," Tim said. "That's a real endurance test."

"Testing yourself against nature isn't always a straight climb towards the sky," Jocko said. "Survival in the wild tells a man more about himself. What do you think, Rick?"

"You're asking about jungles and deserts? I'd rather free fall from ten thousand feet than have to climb that high."

Jocko smiled. "All a matter of timing, isn't it? A two day climb versus a ten minute fall."

"Skydiving?" BD said. "I always wanted to try that."

"Why would anyone jump out of a perfectly good airplane?" Bill asked.

"We're talking about a HALO jump," Rick said. "High altitude jump with a fast descent and a low level opening of the parachute. Sends a hell of a shock through your boots."

"That's crazy," Bill said.

"Ah, but you can land on a dime," Rick said.

"Is that what you do?" Tim asked.

Jocko nodded. "When the situation requires it. But we'll talk about that later."

Okay, these guys were seriously crazy, Bill thought. But perhaps in their line of work that was an asset.

"Let's finish breakfast and show Jocko what we did yesterday," Rick said.

The meeting that followed was highly descriptive as Rick laid out the plot of the militia compound and explained the information they had gathered with the Shadow. Jocko studied the thermal imaging carefully and then shook his head.

"They have seven outpost observation points but only three of them are manned during the day. One at each gated entrance and another along the east side facing the lake overlooking the dam. I imagine that configuration might change at night. But with a broad perimeter that indicates some passive sensor locations.

"That would mean an entry point for us on the west side, either from the trees or the lake. Sometimes technology is our friend if they put too much faith in being able to cover a large area of ground with it. I'd say place a diversion on the east side by the dam to cover the insertion from the lake on the west."

"You think dropping into the lake will be quieter?" Rick said.

"I don't mind getting my feet wet and we'll have to drop in the lake if we need to take an equipment pod with us. We'll make a FLIR run at ten thousand feet before lining up for the jump. A scan like that from the bird will give us a weak thermal return but a strong IR image to detect their passive defensive locations."

"Is there any way you can repeat that in plain English?" Bill asked.

"Oh, sorry," Jocko said.

Rick laughed. "This stuff has a language of its own. Basically a high altitude picture of the site will allow us to compare thermal imaging in real time before the jump. The software will make an immediate comparison between old and new information and highlight the differences.

"It would be nice to know which outposts are manned and if there are any patrols in operation. But the infrared scan will pick up any invisible light beams they might be using to cover areas without patrols. The shoreline along the lake is their weakness and they know it. I would put sensors out there if I were defending the property."

"How would you defeat something like that?" Tim asked.

"Six guys in two man squads," Jocko said. "One wears night vision goggles the other doesn't. The goggles will show up any infrared beams of light while the man without them can spot any physical traps like a tripwire. The goggles are a disadvantage in a firefight since any intense heat source causes them to flare and blind the user."

"Won't the guards be using them, too?" Bill asked.

"Perhaps, but they are disorienting after long periods of use," Jocko said. "Besides, we won't be using live ammunition to subdue the militia, just air power."

That got him puzzled looks and he shrugged. "Have you ever heard of flechettes?"

"Darts?" BD said.

"Exactly. Only these are packed with a nitholene derivative. Just a little something the CIA invented. Actually it's made from milk and a few secret ingredients. Quickly absorbed in the bloodstream, it doesn't kill, just puts the target to sleep for about three or four hours."

"Cool," Mitch said.

"You wouldn't think so if it got in your system," Rick said. "You wake up with terrible muscle cramps and a massive headache."

"Well at least they won't be dead," Mitch said.

"There is that."

"So you plan to jump in the lake from ten thousand feet, sneak onshore and knock out all the militia…then what?" Andy asked.

"Then we'll need a truck to haul them all out of there…to jail we hope," Jocko said.

"I think we can trust the State Police to accomplish that," Bill said. "But if we manage to catch their commander then we'll need to pry some information out of him. We all suspect these guys are up to no good but we don't know their plans."

"You want to interrogate him?" Jocko asked. "Wait until he wakes up. He should be so miserable by then he'll be willing to tell you everything just to make you shut up. The drug affects the auditory nerves, even a whisper is painful."

"I imagine they'll be asking for lawyers right away," Bill said. "But with illegal guns and a kidnapping charge I imagine the FBI will be very interested in them."

"Not a word about us," Rick said. "I don't know how Boze wants to handle this but the less said about us the better."

"Won't there be traces of the drug in their bodies? How do you avoid revealing how they were subdued?" Andy asked.

"Drug leaves no trace…its milk after all. I don't know what the State Police will make of all this," Jocko said.

"We should leave that to Matt and his Captain. Just releasing the girl and our guys won't end this thing," Rick said.

"Unfortunately that's true, but it will be a good beginning," Bill said.

On to Chapter Eight

Back to Chapter Six"

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