Dec 17th - Braking and Acceleration

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Sorry for taking such a long break. And sorry for only skipping in and being gone again. But I just had to continue, the story not leaving me alone :-D I hope you all spent some very nice Christmas days! Condolences to everyone who has to get up tomorrow for work, for all others: Enjoy the days "between the years", as we call them in Germany :-) One of you will give this story the 500th vote. Thank you so much up front, who ever it will be.

Lot's of love and thank you for bearing with this story, Lulu


After the excitement of having something to do, somewhere to go, a new bout of boredom and pacing ensued. This time on the other side of the pond in Glasgow. Gabriel had no idea how Adrian still had the patience to watch him go from room to room without trying to kill him.

Odalie had informed them that the man who had been in the shop with them was named Tobias O'Donnell. She had even found photos of the two of them on an old myspace.com site that Linus's mother had abandoned years ago that proved them to be friends dating way back.

Tobias had the right to hold Linus in the bright light of day, making so many emotions not his own swirl through Gabriel he had a hard time staying sane. But the dark blue and greens of comfort that followed for hours after Odalie had lost them again had given him room to breath after so many days of highs and lows and so much darkness.

Gabriel's phone chimmed.

He practically pounced on it.

"I have movement." Odalie's voice was steel. "Men from the Beauchamp Pack just formed a convoy. I'm about to pull the address from their SatNav. Get in the car."

Relieve.

Fear.

Gabriel thought his heart would give out under the onslaught of adrenalin.

"You are staying here for more nearly a week now. Don't you think it is time to unpack the bags?" Toby asked while he sorted through DVDs on his lap. "Oh, hey, Bad Boys." He held it up for Linus. The DVD had been in the box of 'Steel Magnolias'.

"We don't know when we will have to move, so the bags stay packed. Always", Beatrice said. She never gave a vote on what they should watch. But she watched every single film with them. Linus would have loved to know which one she already knew, or which she liked or disliked. She only ever raised an eyebrow, not deigning him with an answer whenever he asked as much as 'Do you like this one?' or 'Are you having fun?' He would have to find other ways to get into his half-sisters head. Somehow there had formed a tender bond between them in the days since she picked him up on the side of the road, showing itself in the little side glances she gave him whenever he came into the room, checking in to make sure he was okay.

"Any news from the Mystery Man?" That was what Toby called The Elusive Tom, as Linus had dubbed him in his mind.

The phone in Beatrice hand rang.

"Speak of the devil", she said with no further inflection in her voice.

"Take the next left ahead." Odalie's voice guided them through the streets Calton, the address they were going only minutes out.

Gabriel never tried to judge, but knowing that Linus - Linus, Linus, Linus. He thought the name over and over in the back of his head. His name was Linus - was staying in this part of the town made his skin crawl with fear for Linus. He needed to see the man again. He didn't know why, but it was the most important thing in his life. Nearing the place he would meet him again made his blood rush even faster through him, leaving Gabriel feeling overly alert and slightly dizzy at the same time.

"Out the kitchen window", Beatrice snapped and Toby was on his feet before he knew what he was doing, throwing one of the backpacks over his shoulders, holding the second one for Linus while Beatrice slipped the third one on.

Toby felt like he had conjured up the situation with his question, shaking his head at himself in silence.

"I can't believe this", Linus was muttering while they waited for Beatrice to clear the window and hop down on the little shed behind the pub that occupied the next house in the row of houses with shops in ground level and flats above. The stupid pub had made it impossible for Toby to catch some decent sleep. He was spoiled by the quiet of his home in Inverness.

Toby couldn't believe it wither that he was fleeing out a window from guys that wanted to catch Linus to do heaven-knew-what with. All that Beatrice and Linus had told him in the last few days had tested the limits of his ability to stay calm and the boundaries of what he could wrap his head around. Linus being pregnant... it was weird, but why not. The whole "trying to sell the bastard son as baby-deliverer" story was what had him eat more than his granda on a bad day and watch all the Jason Bourne movies without uttering a single word until he was sure he had a grasp on it. Ezekil Beauchamp would very much regret the bloody day he would make the unfortunate acquaintance of Tobias O'Donnell. He would hurt the bastard on Linus's behalf.

Then Linus was out the window and let himself down the side of the shed to wait for Toby, standing beside Beatrice.

The last thing Toby heard was the door of the flat being kicked in.

"They arrived", Odalie said in a voice so icy, Gabriel felt the chill in his bones.

"They knew they are coming", Gabriel said, nearly choking on the rush that came through from Linus. "They are on the move." It felt like fleeing, but not in a panic. This was an orderly, but urgent retreat.

Wild cursing in French came from his phone. Odalie. Beatrice had stolen Toby's phone and had left it in the parking lot of the supermarket. She was good, knowing what they were up against. But somehow, Ezekiel had found them anyway.

Adrian hit the brakes hard, Gabriel being thrown hard into his seatbelt.

"That's Linus", they said in unison, while the young man that had stumbled over his own feet while nearly colliding with their car was howled up by the man coming after him and dragged to the other side of the small road between the houses.

Adrian was already lowering his window when Gabriel saw that already their pursuers where coming down from between the houses.

"Right", he said sharply to catch Adrian's attention.

The cars parked left and right from the little alleyway Linus and the two others had burst out of crashed together, their car alarm bursting to life, catching the first of the pursuers between them, making his colleagues run into him and the wreck that just happened.

The car Gabriel and Adrian were in was already moving again, the tires squealing, the motor roaring.

"Second left", Odalie yelled, and so they passed the first side street, taking the second way to fast, but Adrian kept the car under control.

Another left and down another road, Gabriel opening his seatbelt and lowering the window, starting to yell for Linus before the glass was down even halfway.

The three figures burst from between the houses to their left, a blond woman up front, the tires squealing pitifully again when Adrian hit the brakes so hard the heck of the car fishtailed slightly.

"Get in, get in, get in", Gabriel shouted at them.

"It's him, it's okay", he heard Linus pant and then the back doors of their SUV were opened and backpacks and people piled in faster then he would have ever imagined possible, Adrian making the doors slam shut with stepping on the accelerator again with his whole foot.

"Incroyable", Odalie said and sounded as if she was trying to make up for her outburst earlier with absolute understatement in her voice.

Yes, it was unbelievable.

"Turn right at the end of the lane and then I will make you disappear."

Gabriel was never more grateful to have her on his side for this.

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