The following Monday, Lou Washington and his two new recruits, Warren Carter and Ted Levin, were in Lou’s two-year-old Chrysler van on Route 7 west from Tysons Corner to get their first view of Conrad Conner’s house and maybe the man himself, if they were lucky. Both Warren and Ted had been part of Lou’s surveillance team before he retired from the FBI. All three of them were in their sixties, in good health, and active. Like Lou, Ted and Warren were bored with retirement after the first six months. They kept waiting for it to get better and it never did. When Lou called with a job offer, they jumped at the chance, even before he told them they could make $250,000 per year with all expenses and good benefits. When Ted asked who they would have to kill, Lou smiled and said, “No one, but it can get rough. I took a lucky shot in my chest last year and almost lost a lung. My pay never changed and all bills, medical, and otherwise were paid. So I’m still working for the same guy, a Marine recon sniper and ex-homicide cop in Pittsburgh who has more money than you can believe. Lear jet, fantastic house, beautiful wife who is ex-CIA and very lethal. Everything is first class. Including the people who work for him. The rules are simple. Follow orders, keep your mouth shut, and keep no records. There are no second chances. Nothing bad. Just you’re fired. It’s all volunteer. Anyone can refuse any assignment with nothing said.”
“I like the sound of it but why is he doing this?” Warren asked.
“The quick answer is because he can. He’s a super patriot. Believes that in certain circumstances America is in danger because the current application of the law and order approach is too little, too late when it comes to terrorism, drug running, and human trafficking. He believes, and so do I, in many of these cases the bad guys shouldn’t have and don’t deserve the rights reserved for U.S. citizens. Also, his father was killed in his home by a team of well-armed men who were never identified. Jack believes they were terrorists seeking revenge on his father. That’s all I know.”
“Yeah. Good answer. I like being a good guy. It’s a habit I picked up. I always hated seeing the bad guys walk on some technicality. So I’m in and happy for the opportunity.”
“Goes for me too,” Ted added. “Thanks.”
“Okay. Let’s go to work.”
Warren turned to look out the window. “My wife loves Leesburg and was always dragging me out here to shop, search for antiques, and even to check out some real estate,” he said. “Great place to live but I couldn’t deal with the commute. According to our directions, this guy Conrad lives next to the Leesburg Shopping Center in one of those cookie cutter developments. Take the Route 15 Bypass north and pull into the shopping center on the far northern edge. We can get some coffee and then drive into the entrance of his subdivision, which is the first road after we pull out. He drives a green Chevy pickup truck and I see some kind soul has hacked the DMV to get the plate. So coffee, a bag of doughnuts, and we’re on our way. Feels good.”
Pausing at the stop sign at the exit to the mall, Ted said, “Look! That green pickup coming out of the development could be our guy?”
“Right on!” Warren said, checking the plate numbers. “The plate matches. He’s turning north.”
Lou couldn’t believe their luck. “What a stroke of luck! Maybe we’re just good. I’ll give him a big head start. He may be checking his six.”
Lou kept four or five cars between them and the pickup all the way up Route 15 to Route 70 where the pickup turned east. “It looks like we may be in for a long ride. Ted, pass me one of those doughnuts. Good thing I’ve a full tank.”
“You know if this guy goes north on Route 95 he could be going to see his buddy in Atlantic City,” Ted put in.
“It’s possible,” Lou responded. “Atlantic City is at least another three and a half or four hours. I’d better check in.” He took out his phone and speed-dialed Jack.
Jack answered quickly. “Lou, do you have anything?”
“Maybe. We’re following Conrad, or more correctly, his truck. Haven’t gotten a good look at the driver yet. We’re speculating he’s going to a meeting with his buddy Dom. If so, I believe we should follow Dom. Agree?”
“Yes, if he’s meeting Dom, it may mean that my friend, Jim Marshall, decided he had to warn his buddies. If so, both of them will be spooky. Better to lose them than be spotted. If you do manage to follow Dom, stay with him. I’ll come up with some help and bring some gear with me. I’ll get it ready now in case you call. Do you have enough cash?”
“We’re okay. He’s going north on Route 95. We may be in luck. Call you later.”