Chapter Twenty-Part One ~Travis~

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Had the other Hunters not shown up things would have played out so differently. What the fuck were they doing there? How did Jim not know? Why didn't he warn us? I'm instantly enraged. "Pull over," I demand.

"What's up man? Need to take a leak?" Sanders replies.

"No. Just stop the car. Now," I demand again.

He immediately pulls over. I grab the Jim issued cell phone out of the glove box and exit the car, slamming the car door shut behind me.

Hitting the only number saved on the phone, I hold it to my ear, moving further away from the car with every ring. No answer. I hit the call button again. "Answer the damn phone Jim." It continues to ring and still he doesn't answer. "How fucking convenient." I call again, and on the second ring, he finally answers.

"Travis," he says.

"What the fuck Jim? How did this happen?" I growl into the phone.

"Calm down Son," he replies.

"Calm down?" I yell. "Do you understand what the fuck just went down? Maddie is on her way to the Compound Jim. Do you understand what this means?"

"I understand you're upset," he replies, his voice calm and steady. Nothing riles this guy.

"Upset? Upset doesn't even begin to cover what I'm feeling, Jim," I scream into the phone. "How did you let this happen? How did you not know other Hunters were coming? And I'm supposed to trust you? Your Intel is shit Jim. Shit."

"Where are you now?" he asks, and I take a breath trying to calm myself.

"We're on our way to the air strip to fly the male back to L.A. We pulled over to call you," I respond.

"Get back in the car and get to the air strip. Once you land in L.A., you will be met by—"

"I'm not meeting anyone," I cut him off and continue. "Once we get to L.A., I'm dumping this kid off and going straight to the compound. No delays."

"And do what when you get to there, Lieutenant? Grab Maddie and run? You and I both know you're not ready for that to happen," he says as a matter of fact.

As much as his words piss me off, he's absolutely right. I am in no way prepared to get Maddie out of the compound undetected.

"We can help you Travis. We can make sure Maddie is not harmed in any way," he continues, "You just need to hear us out."

"Fine," is my only reply before I slam the phone shut and head back towards the car.

On my approach I notice that Sanders' eyes are closed and his mouth won't stop moving. And what is he doing with his arms? I draw closer to the car, still trying to figure out what the hell I'm seeing and that's when I hear him. He's singing. Wait. Is he singing "I'm A Little Tea Pot" or have I just lost my mind?

I get back into the car and slam the door, but even that doesn't faze him.

The kid in the back seat yells, "Make it stop."

I'm staring at Sanders in disbelief, but undeterred, his eyes remain closed and he continues singing, "I am a very special pot. It is true. Here's an example of what I can do. I can turn my handle into a spout." He lifts his right arm and actually forms the shape of a spout, leaning towards me as he continues, "Just tip me over and Pour. Me. Out."

Done with his performance, he opens his eyes to find me staring at him, eyebrow raised, shaking my head with a look on my face that could only scream, "What the hell is wrong with you?"

"Sorry man, I got a little carried away I guess. Brings me back to my childhood. My late Nina, may she rest in peace," his hand gestures the sign of the cross, and his face suddenly grows very solemn. Is he for real right now? "She'd sing that to me when I was a little bambino," he says as he mimics rocking himself as a baby. "I was so afraid Man—" he suddenly stops, looks me dead in the eye, and then cracks a huge ass smile. "I'm just messing with you Brennan," he says shoving me. "Bro, if only you could've seen the look on your face," he begins laughing. "When I busted into the story about my Nina— Priceless man," he continues, cracking himself up until he registers that he's the only one in the car laughing. "I haven't lost my mind, if that's what you're thinking," he adds, raising an eyebrow.

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