Well guys, the end of book Four.
Do you like the turn this one took? I know some people are not open to the idea of more of a plot in this story line, but the next two books are plot orientated.
I will be releaseing Book V: Carter's Fortress in a day or two. Stay tuned.
Feedbacks a bonus, let me know your thoughts.
As usual Comments or questions direct to email@example.com.
Did Weippert care how many lives he was destroying?
Will felt like shit, he sat at his computer in the basement staring blankly at a spreadsheet that no longer held any meaning. Six thousand employees across Canada, six thousand lives. Family men that supported their children. Single mothers dependant on their pay cheques to keep going from day to day. Kids fresh out of college. Old men literally days from their retirement who had given most of their lives to Avery-Woods. Each one had a face, had a name, and had a life.
And Will sat there watching their lives come to an end.
He had been sitting there all night staring at that spreadsheet, the coffee was stale and burnt after hours of being reheated, but Will drank it anyway. He needed to think, to rationalize what would possess a man to drive so hard for something that he didn't care what he did to achieve it. He had never had that passion, never faced it, he did his job and tried to stay ahead of the game, but the game was driving him into the ground.
Robert Avery was more than a boss, he was a mentor. Everything about him inspired trust, confidence and loyalty. He had seen something in Will and had guided him. But now when Avery needed help, there was nothing Will could do.
He sat there watching everything Robert had striven for come to an end.
He should be yawning, blinking back sleep. Instead he sat there paralysed, locked inside his own thoughts, looking at a list of names and feeling responsible for each of them. Just like he was responsible for the young man upstairs.
Marc had been dragged into the middle of the mess by happenstance. He was nothing more than collateral damage in Weippert's war against Avery. Marc's life splintering under the pressure of everything that was bearing down upon him. He had gone from being a happy, carefree young man, to one with dark circles under his eyes staring at a bag of cocaine for the answers.
And still Will sat there, watching one young man's existence come to an end.
Will's eyes flicked to the bag of cocaine sitting on the edge of the desk next to Lucas's automatic. Drugs and guns.
He was sitting there watching his own life come to an end.
What could he do about it though? He wasn't a media mogul and he wasn't a police officer. He was just a Director of Human Resource at a communications firm. He hired and fired people. He did as he was told, he processed papers, and he added and removed names from a list. He wasn't anyone.
But at the end of the day, there was no one else. Robert was helpless, struggling to protect his family but giving up his dreams. Marc was self-destructing. And the names on that list in front of him had no idea what was happening.
That left him.
He kneaded his temples with his fingers. So much for saving the day, he wasn't a hero. Weippert had lied, cheated, and stolen to manipulate them into his trap. He had them; there was no proof against him, nothing that would convict him in any court of law.
There were no rules to the game, what ever you could get away with you did. Will had learned that lesson the hard way. Being a player meant you did what you had to do.
He set his coffee cup down; they had been playing Weippert's game, by Weippert's rules. In his arrogance he had just assumed no one would play dirty. Like any bully, they were so confident that they could intimidate people in submission.
He murmured what he had told Robert before everything had begun, "knock `em down once and if they get back up, put them down again."
He stood up and walked back to the coffee pot, adding coffee grounds and water as a plan began to form in his mind. He would need help, that much he knew, but who could he rely on?
"That fresh coffee?" Brody asked as he walked into the kitchen, readying himself for one of his meetings.
Will hadn't even noticed the dawn; the sun shining as spring finally took hold. He looked out of the window a moment at the street, and nodded. "Yeah it should be ready soon..." he stopped and looked at the man that would always be there to help him. "Brody, I am going to need your help."
Brody paused his pouring of milk onto a bowl of cereal, "Yeah?" he asked, a note of caution in his voice.
Will took a tight breath, "I am going to need you to help me do something..."
"Is it sketchy?" Brody asked finishing pouring his milk and setting it back into the fridge.
"Yeah." Will replied simply.
"Are we going to get caught?" Brody sat down at the table and looked at his friend.
Will shrugged, "I don't know."
"Okay." Jared said, "Should I be worried?"
Will explained his plan. Brody sat for a moment digesting it, before nodding, "Cool, alright dude when?"
Will shook his head, "tomorrow night, I have a few other people to see first."
Brody nodded again, "sure, hey what's the worst that can happen, we all go to jail and I get to be someone's prison bitch." He rolled his eyes, "How do I get involved in these nefarious schemes?"
Will smiled, that was one.
* * *
The Jeep rattled its way along the road, bouncing through the potholes that were forming as the ground beneath the road thawed after winter. The last time Will had been down in the bluff's he had been shot at. It wasn't a pleasant memory, he sat tight lipped and tense as he drove, occasionally looking over at Marc in the passenger seat.
The young man was unusually quiet, contemplative and Will left him alone. It had been a rough few days on all of them, and after last night Will couldn't blame Marc for being silent. But Will missed the cocky young man that had walked up to him on a street corner and boldly asked him for weed. Will hoped that letting the kid help in the plan would go a long way to restoring the confidence that had been lost.
Will pulled the Jeep over to the side of the road and turned in his seat to face Marc. "You sure you want to be a part of this?" he asked softly.
Marc sighed tiredly as he slumped back into the seat, looking over at Will, who's hair had fallen from it's usual swept back style, it made him look so much younger, more his own age... "Bastard tried to kill Libbet."
Will studied him a moment, "But are you up to it?"
Marc turned knowing what Will was asking, "You want to know if you can count on me after last night..."
Marc turned back to look over the lake, "I... don't know what I was doing last night, I just...needed to escape."
"But you stopped me," he shook his head, "Knight in shining armour and shit. And here you are doing the same thing for other people, you can count on me." His green eyes flicked back to meet Will's, "What ever you need."
Will sat quietly as he watched Marc's body language, "I'm not going anywhere." He said after a pause.
"What?" Marc asked in some confusion.
Will shrugged, "You need my help just as much as anyone else, I'm telling you I'm not going anywhere if you want to talk about it."
Marc shivered noticeably, "Yeah I know, I don't know why though. What did I do to..." he shrugged, "why?"
Will shrugged, "It's my thing, that and sarcasm." He smiled, "and you just need someone you can depend on."
Marc, on impulse leaned across the Jeep and kissed Will, "You love me." He said realizing it for the first time.
"Something like that." Will said with a smile as he started the Jeep again, "Lets get this over with."
* * *
The Jeep pulled up outside the general store and Will got out, shifting his coat as he looked about him. It was still early, and he was relieved to see the store was open, ready to catch people on their way to work. He looked at Marc who stood on the other side of the Jeep looking uneasy. He remembered all to well the last time they were there.
Tyrone was working the cash register and didn't seem to notice Will as he walked through the aisles, and crossed to the counter. He helped himself to a mug of coffee and reached into his pocket for some change.
Tyrone's eyes widened when he looked up to see who was handing him the money. A moment of flashed tension between them as he recognized Will, and he looked nervously around him.
"What do you want?" he demanded as he rang up the coffee.
Will took a deep breath. "Your dad needs your help."
"He can go to hell." Tyrone replied as he slammed Will's' change back onto the counter top, "Now get out of my store."
Will shook his head as he methodically drew out Lucas's automatic and laid it on the counter alongside the change, "Some one tried to kill your little sister the other night."
Tyrone stared down at the pistol recognizing it, and he looked up at Will, "Lucas?"
Will shook his head, "His father."
"What? Why?" Tyrone glanced about him again as he reached out for a magazine and covered the pistol before anyone walked in from the street and saw it.
Will sighed, "He's trying to get your Father to sign control of his company over to him."
Tyrone's hands tightened into balls, "That fucking company again!" he swore loudly, "It killed Mom, drove me out of the house, and now its going to kill Libbet." He uttered a string of profanity, "And what, this son of a bitch is threatening Libbet if he doesn't do it?"
"Then my father should just give it to him." Tyrone exclaimed angrily, "Or is his damn company more important than Libbet's life?"
Will squared his shoulders, "Your father wants to do it."
Tyrone paused studying Will's face, "Your serious aren't you?" he shook his head incredulously, "He was going to give up everything just to make sure she's ok."
Will stood impassively and inclined his head in assent, "Yes."
Tyrone shook his head in utter disbelief, thinking the situation over, "just like that, he's letting someone win." He sighed, "and he wants my help... why didn't he ask me himself?"
"Because I'm asking you, he doesn't even know I'm here." Will set his mug of coffee down, "you can stop this, and make sure this son of a bitch never touches any of your family ever again."
Tyrone nodded, "How?"
Will explained. Tyrone listened intently, glancing over at Marc who nodded along.
"Alright, I'll help." He said after Will had finished, "but I have a condition."
Will nodded, "alright."
Tyrone lifted the magazine to show the automatic, "No guns. If he pulls a gun I will put him down and put him down hard, but no guns, got it?"
Will nodded, "No guns."
Tyrone rolled his shoulders, "Good." Chapter Thirty-Seven Will went to work; he was arriving late but didn't particularly care. Things had changed so much since for him that it was as if he was looking through the eyes of a complete stranger; distant, dispassionate. He looked at familiar faces; familiar places and they held a different meaning for him.
Alicia was sitting at her desk as she watched him cross the floor toward her; staring at him sadly and he wished he could bring her into it, to tell her what was going on. But even if he did she wouldn't be able to help, she would try, but he doubted there was anything he could do besides worrying her.
He smiled at her tightly, "I'm going to be upstairs for a while, if anyone calls tell them I will get back to them."
He stepped into his office and changed into his suit jacket, and slipping on his tie. He didn't particularly care that it was crooked, or that he looked rushed. He walked back across the floor sparing a glance at the team board; despite his distraction lately they were doing well. He had a good staff that worked hard for him. The least he could do was work hard for them.
He met Sam Conner's coming out of the elevator, the young recruiter stepping aside to let him passed
"That coffee?" Will asked pointing to an unopened cup of Tim Horton's coffee in Sam's hands.
Before Sam could answer Will took it from him, opening it and taking a sip as he pushed the button for the executive floor. He raised the cup in a salute to the protesting recruiter as the doors slid shut and he ascended to the executive floor, sipping the coffee as he mentally preparing himself for the showdown to come.
He swallowed the last of the coffee as he stepped out, ready to do battle.
The secretary tried to stop him as he marched past her towards Weippert's office, but he ignored her protests and barged into the office anyway.
He strode purposefully into the centre of the room and saw Weippert standing at the windows looked up angrily at the interruption. The wolf in their midst.
"I'm sorry sir, he just went right past me..." the secretary seemed helpless.
Weippert looked past Will, "It's alright Nina, go back to your desk." As the door closed Bruce turned his full attention back to the interruption, "What do you want Will."
Will stuffed his hands into his pockets and crossed to before the desk, "I'm going to the police."
Weippert started, and went pale.
Will capitalized on the moment to continue; "You may think that you should get away with blackmail and attempted murder, but I don't." he looked over at Weippert who was turning red with rage.
"You can't." Weippert said with an even tone, though his hand shook perceptibly.
Will shrugged, "I can, and I will. If Robert signs those papers tomorrow morning me and my entire staff will be laid off, really I have nothing to loose." He looked up at Weippert again, "I can't let you get away with it. He signs and I go to the police first thing in the morning and tell them everything I know."
"I'll deny it." Weippert said with venom, "you have no proof."
"It doesn't matter if I have proof." Will replied, his voice was dangerously calm, "It'll be enough to convince the shareholders to delay their vote. And once Robert knows I am going to the police with or without his permission he will never sign the company over to you."
Weippert swallowed his eyes flicking too and fro as if he were trying to decide if Will was serious. His smile went broad as he made a decision. "You have nothing." He said calling Will's bluff neatly, "Get the hell out of my office."
Will smiled inwardly, "Tomorrow Bruce, I'm serious about that. If Robert signs I go to the police and I will have you thrown in jail."
He turned and stalked out of the office, slamming the door shut with a well-practiced motion.
He breathed tightly; he was forcing Weippert's hand and that was risky, but Will had little choice. When he returned to his floor he returned to his office and settled in, stroking his chin as he stared out of the window, the question was now how to give Bruce an opportunity to do something. With the pressure on, Weippert would have to act to do something about Will before could talk to Robert that evening. The secluded executive parking lot was the most likely place for an ambush and Both Weippert and Will knew it well.
Will reached out to tap his intercom, "Alicia I need a favour from you."
"Yeah boss?" she asked quietly, "what do you need?"
"I need you to tell Nina that I am going to be working after hours tonight."
She hesitated, "Boss?"
Will smiled, "Be discreet Alicia, I just need her to know."
"Ok Boss." Alicia said, confusion evident in her voice, "I'll let her know."
"Thanks." Will clicked off the phone and turned back to his desk, "alright you son of a bitch lets see if you like a little of your own medicine." He picked up the phone and dialled an old friend.
Andrew Hamilton answered, "Hello?"
Will paused, taking a deep breath at the familiar voice, had it really only been a year that they had been separated? Had it been six months since they had last spoken? It seemed like an eternity. "Andrew, it's me."
"Will, are you okay?" Andrew asked, the concern evident in his voice.
"No," Will confessed, "I need your help."
"Anything." Andrew said without hesitation listening as Will explained what he needed.
"I can draft something and have it emailed to you in a couple of hours."
"Thank you," Will said tapping his pen on the table, "I- I mean that, thank you"
Andrew sounded tired, "Any time Will, you know that... and Will... don't be a stranger..."
Will wasn't sure he would come, and if he did how he would come or even when.
All he could do was show an opportunity and give him a solid motive. He had provided a time and circumstances had provided the location, now it all depended on how desperate Bruce Weippert really was. The Shareholder's meeting was first thing in the morning, Bruce was running out of time and with the pressure on he would have to act. Whether he would accept Will's invitation to act, well that was anyone's guess.
Bruce Weippert, the new Vice President. In a couple of years he would have been President of Avery-Wood's if only he had the patience to remain loyal.
Will breathed a heavy sigh, thinking about what it took to saw through a young woman's brake lines knowing it would probably kill her. Bruce had crossed a line that he wouldn't hesitate to cross again. Especially considering what was now at stake. If he could target an innocent girl to send a message that he was serious about his threats, then he wouldn't hesitate to act a second time.
Well, Will thought coldly, you have no choice now.
The thought of murder was enough to make the hardest man flinch. Bruce would have met Libbet at the party, talked to her. Gotten to know her as the boss's daughter over the years. To act against a complete stranger was one thing, but to kill someone you knew...
Bruce probably hadn't gone to the party with the intention of hurting Libbet, he would have sat on the Tri-Tech stock a couple of extra days, force the board to vote against Robert Avery and remove him from control of the company. He hadn't counted on Rena Allison being so candid with Robert. That had forced his hand. And once a man turned dangerous he became predictable.
Will was sitting with these thoughts not behind the wheel of his Jeep, but on one of the hard concrete steps of the parking lot's stairwell. The door was propped open and the light above him had been unscrewed to cast it in shadows. He could see much of the open lot and the Jeep sitting by itself towards the middle facing the lot entrance. A few people were heading home after work after a late shift, unlocking their car doors and driving out of their spaces. For them it was business as usual, unaware of the hunt going on about them. Driving their cars down the narrow strip of pavement between the two rows of cars that made up the temporary lot.
Will looked up at the open sky, dusk was settling into darkness, and the local bustle died into the relentless roar of Toronto city traffic. It was a matter of waiting now, letting the silence settle in as he sipped on the cup of coffee he had brought with him, cold now from the length of time he had sat there. He sat rehearsing in his mind all sorts of plans, how was he going to act, what was he going to do once the trap was sprung.
Every so often he got up and stretched, letting go of some of his nervous energy that was building inside him as he paced up and down the single flight of stairs before sitting down again. He knew he was nervous, he had every right to be, but he had to just wait as the hands on his watch crawled past eight... nine...ten...
He thought of Marc, and of their last conversation.
"This is the son of a bitch that cut Libbet's brake lines?" Marc had asked angrily, his fists balled at his sides, looking small in the uniform. The Avery-Woods logo plain with the word Security under it, he looked the part.
"Yes," Will wasn't about to hide that, he knew how badly Marc needed to make amends with Libbet, how much he felt that he owed her, at least tonight he could settle some of those debts.
"Thanks," Marc had said, a sincere look in his eyes, "Thanks for letting me be a part of this."
Will nodded again, "I wouldn't think to leave you out of this." He reached out to squeeze Marc's arm reassuringly.
"Let's do this." Brody said interrupting the moment setting the Avery-Wood's security hat on his head.
Will squared his shoulders getting to his feet again, Bruce was taking his time. Avery-Woods had a rigid security schedule. The office was locked promptly at Eleven O'clock sharp, security patrol's making their rounds under Sean Iver's watchful gaze. No one was permitted to work passed that time, and so Will knew that if Weippert was planning any kind of physical attack he would be in the lot well before that time. Seeking some shadow to hide in.
He hadn't come in before seven; Will had searched the lot carefully before taking his spot in the stairwell. It was a closed lot, only one way in or out aside from the stairwell Will was sitting in, and if Bruce had come in that way there would have been trouble, but Bruce had no reason to use the stairwell entrance which left the road.
Ten-thirty crawled around and Will was beginning to grow nervous, stretching his legs, the anticipation was killing him.
At Ten-thirty Seven the prey approached the bait.
William Carter, Director of Human Resources turned hunter had waited for that moment, praying silently to whatever god actually bothered to listen for Bruce to come. And yet, when that moment finally came, Will felt anxiety, the man was there to kill him... he was being hunted just as he now hunted Bruce.
Bruce walked openly down the center of the parking lot moving towards his BMW his steps were slow and deliberate. Bruce wasn't in a hurry, his steps falling in the rolling gait of a man that had all the time in the world. Too bad it had just ran out.
Bruce was looking about the lot, the dim light from the single street lamp behind him lighting his features. There was no mistaking Bruce standing in that light. He was confident, arrogant, and that sneer on his face was menacing.
He drew closer, and it became apparent to Will that he wasn't looking for a place to hide. He was looking for the Jeep and when he saw it he stopped looking around and headed directly towards it.
Will's breath caught in his throat as for one, agonizing moment, Bruce looked directly towards the partly opened stairwell doorway where Will was standing. Will held his breath, hoping that his dark clothes would meld with the shadows. It was only after Bruce appeared to see nothing to alarm him that Will allowed himself to breath again.
Weippert was there, and despite the fact that Will had no idea how things were about to unfold, at least that was a small victory. He was there, right in front of Will's eyes and his plan was actually falling into place.
Bruce looked up suddenly, towards the entrance to the parking lot, but nothing stirred back there to alarm him.
He rounded the Jeep once, taking another cautious look about him as he stopped beside the passenger side, pulling something out of his pocket. He fiddled with the lock a moment as the distinctive sound of the automatic locks echoed around the parking lot.
What are you doing? Will murmured, as he watched Bruce lean over the seats and a second later he heard the Jeep's hood unlatch as Bruce pulled the release inside the vehicle. He straightened up and walked around to lift the hood, propping it open as he leaned over the engine clicking on a small maglight. Anyone entering the parking lot would just assume he had broken down and ignore him, it was clever.
A few seconds later, he clicked off the flashlight and closed the hood gently; pushing down on the hood rather than letting it slam. Avoiding the excess noise as he walked back around the Jeep to close the passenger door, there was no mistaking the wolfish smile on his face.
Will wondered what he had done to his Jeep, what ever it was it wouldn't be pleasant.
Bruce was leaving, returning up to the entrance of the parking lot, and passing a couple of other cars. Behind him Will emerged from the stairwell, his steps light on the asphalt of the lot, his sneakers silent as he jogged quickly up behind his quarry. His thumb depressing the button of the security radio in his pocket, the prescribed signal.
"Bruce!" He bellowed, turning on his own flashlight and shining it directly on Weippert's back.
Weippert froze. Baser instincts freezing him like a deer in headlights as he turned in slow motion, surprise etched on his face as he recognized Will shining the Flashlight on him. He turned to run again, as the security car roared to block the far end of the lot in a scream of sirens and flashing lights, two security guards leaping out of it.
Weippert ran sprinting towards the security guards, hoping that they would recognize him for the Vice President of the company they worked for... Except the two men in the Security uniforms didn't work for him. They lifted their own flashlights and trained them on Bruce, each drawing night sticks from their belt loops. Marc fumbling with his a second before he held it properly.
Bruce skidded to a halt, the man's eyes wild as he turned back to Will, the two Security guards catching him by the coat and dragging him back down the aisle of cars. Brody reaching to his belt and roughly slapped handcuffs over Bruce's right arm.
For all the noise they made, no one interfered. No one that lived in Toronto would interfere when it came to dark alleys and security officers. They left well enough alone and assumed the matter was being handled. Which was fine with Will, it left them alone to do what came next in peace.
Brody manhandled Bruce, who was yelling at this point that they had no right, that they were breaking the law, as Brody handcuffed him to the roll bar of the Jeep. Bruce wasn't going anywhere. Will didn't have the heart to tell him, that just in case he had hired both Brody and Marc into the security department. Sean Iver had been only too willing to lend him the equipment he needed and not interfere after he had been sufficiently bribed by a bottle of twenty-year-old Scotch Will had been given for Christmas by Robert Avery.
Will gestured to a small white van with tinted windows, and Tyrone stepped out of the back of it, setting down the rather expensive video camera in the back of the small van. It was another favour to another department of Avery Woods. The advantage of working for a media company was the ability to get a hold of a fully equipped news van at short notice. This one had cost Will a couple of hockey tickets for the engineers.
He looked about at his makeshift troops, they'd all been positioned and waiting since seven, probably more comfortably than Will had. They'd been prepared to wait all night if they had to.
Will turned back to Bruce and shone his flashlight in his face, Bruce for his part was cursing at them, telling them they were all making huge mistakes, ones that would land them all in jail.
"Shut up!" Will barked looking over at Tyrone, "Was there enough light?"
Tyrone nodded lifting the camera again and patting it, "Plenty for me to capture it all." He set the camera back down, Will noting the direction it was pointing and the little red light on the side.
Weippert's mouth fell open, and for the first time realized he was in serious trouble.
"So," Will said drawing out his cell phone, "we have three eye witnesses as well as a recording of Bruce here messing about with my Jeep. I think it's time to call the police."
Brody and Marc squared their shoulders, looking threatening, knowing full well Will was bluffing. Marc looked impressed. Weippert, on the other hand, had no such knowledge and began to struggle with the cuffs.
"There's an alternative." Will stated flatly.
Weippert stopped struggling glaring at the young Director, "What alternative?" he spat out.
"That you tell me what you did to my Jeep."
"Yes, tell me."
Bruce was caught, panicked and not thinking straight, he was struggling to get free, "Who warned you? How did you find out about this?" he demanded.
Will folded his arms across his chest, "So, what, you decided to do to me what you tried to do to Libbet Avery? Make it look like an accident?" He shook his head in disgust; "I have an accident on my way home from work, conveniently in time to get me out of the way for the shareholders meeting tomorrow?"
"You brought it on yourself," Bruce spat, "I would have this company by now if you hadn't meddled. Every time, you got in the way..."
"Yes," Will admitted, "By the way I spoke to Gavin yesterday night. I had a good long talk to him and he told me everything. The pension fund, Rena Allison, everything. He was remarkably co-operative once I promised not to send him to Jail. I even have his signed statement."
"Bastard," Bruce swore, "he's a coward, he doesn't know anything. And that doesn't prove I tried to kill Libbet."
"Did you mean for her to die?" Will asked.
"Who the fuck cares?" Bruce said, "Just so long as Robert signed." He pulled again on the cuffs, "Let me go!"
Will studied him and reached into the back of the Jeep pulling an envelope of documents from his briefcase. Thankful Andrew had managed to get them to him in time.
"Stop struggling," Will barked in annoyance, "And listen carefully."
Bruce struggled harder.
"Brody, call the police..."
Bruce stopped struggling, and Brody paused his dialing.
"You want to go free?" Will asked, "Then you have to sign these contracts."
"What are they?" Bruce demanded, looking over their impressive appearance.
"They constitute an agreement between the board of trustees of the Avery-Woods pension fund and its owner Robert Avery. It restores control of the company shares to him, and gives him the authority he needs to use them."
He was angrily and bitterly astounded.
"The company is mine... I run it now... I will never agree!"
"You'll have to," Will said prosaically as he gestured to Tyrone.
Tyrone nodded and pushed rewind on the camera, looking up at one of the monitors that jumped to life with Bruce. The angle was askew, but it was clear who it was.
"Did you mean for her to die?" Will asked just off the screen
"Who the fuck cares?" Bruce said, "Just so long as Robert signed."
Tyrone pushed stop.
Bruce's shoulders sank, no doubt thinking of the other incriminating things he had said, and the fact the camera had been rolling since he entered the parking lot.
"I have Gavin's evidence," Will said, "I have you on tape sabotaging my Jeep, and threatening Libbet's life. So it's your choice, sign the contracts and you go free or go to jail."
"I won't give up the company..." Bruce struggled again, "You can't..."
Will stood patiently, "You really have no other choice, except going to jail for attempting to murder both myself and Libbet Avery." He was surprised at how calmly he said it, like he was ordering a pizza...
He still refused to face facts: and perhaps he felt as outraged at being coerced to sign against his will as Robert Avery had done.
Will nodded again to Brody who began to dial again.
"Stop." Bruce called desperately.
Brody paused again. There was sweat in great drops on Weippert's forehead, running down. He was struggling frantically still with the handcuffs, but also trembling too much to succeed.
"I have control of the company," he said feverishly. "We have Tri-tech, we were all going to make a fortune. I'd have power. I'll give you a million... more... if... you get Avery to sign..."
"No," Will said flatly, and turned away again, pointing to Brody to dial again.
"All right, all right..." he gave in completely, finally almost sobbing. "Put that thing down... put it down."
He showed Weippert the contracts more closely and saw the flicker of fury in his eyes when he saw the document was almost identical to the one he had tried to force Avery to sign.
"We need your signature four times." Will said, "On each front page, and on each attached document. When you sign the attached documents, put your forefinger on the red seal beside your name. The three of us who are not in any way related to Robert will sign under your name as witnesses."
Will put his pen into Weippert's shaking right hand and rested the first of the documents on the hood of the Jeep.
Weippert signed the form. Will turned to the last page of the longer contract and pointed to the space allotted to him. He signed again, and he put his finger on the seal.
With enormous internal relief, Will produced the second set for a repeat performance. In silence, with sweat dripping off his cheeks, he signed appropriately again.
Will put his name under his in all forms, followed each time by Marc and Brody.
"That's fine," Will said, when all were completed. "Robert Avery's lawyers will put the contracts into operation at once. One of these two contracts will be sent to your lawyers." Will put the contracts back into their envelope and handed it to Tyrone, who put it inside his coat, hugging it to his chest.
"Now let me go," Weippert said, wiping seat away from his face with the backs of his hands.
Will said, "Remember, we'll always have Gavin's affidavit and the video recording of you. And we all heard what you said. Stay away from the Avery's, don't fuck with Libbet, and most of all no more shit."
Bruce shot Will a sick, furious and defeated glare. Brody reaching in to undo the cuffs.
Bruce rubbed his wrists walking away from there, shooting Will another glare. It was an unwilling acceptance that his campaign was lost. He gave them all a last comprehensive, unashamed, unrepentant stare, and with Marc and Brody stepping aside to let him pass, he walked away along the parking lot, that nose, that jaw, still strong, but the shoulders sagging.
They watched him in silence until he reached the end of the parking lot and turned into the street, not looking back.
Will let his shoulders slump as he breathed a sigh, he'd bluffed and won.
Tyrone swung his car he had borrowed up the gravel driveway to his father's house, the last chore of the night. Coming to a halt Will made to get out, but Tyrone caught his arm, holding him back a moment. They were alone, Brody and Marc had gone back to the house with the security car Will had talked Tyrone into accompanying him to give the signed papers to his father. He didn't trust his Jeep, and needed a drive.
He looked at Will a moment before speaking, "What we did tonight was wrong."
"Yep." Will replied with a tight sigh, "What we did was exactly what Weippert was doing to your father. Extorting a signature under threat."
"We took the law into our own hands." Tyrone said as his shoulder sagged.
"Justice," Will said, "In our own hands."
"And there's a difference?" Tyrone asked sincerely.
"He's free, unpunished and I doubt he will be employed by Avery-Woods in the morning, and I know that's not justice, not really, but he won't and can't hurt your family anymore. It's a fair trade in my mind."
Tyrone nodded as they entered the house.
Robert Avery was sitting up in his study despite the lateness of the hour, and he looked confused to see them, he stared at Tyrone for a long moment before he stood. "What's this about?" he asked looking directly at Will.
Will shrugged, "You taught me to think on my feet, and to be a bit more aggressive."
Tyrone pulled out the envelope of documents and handed them to his father who studied over them, before he set them down on the desk. "How did you get him to sign these?" he asked, still not believing his eyes.
"You don't want to know." Will replied.
"I doubt I should ask." Robert said seeing the look the two younger men exchanged.
"He's unhurt, and still breathing." Tyrone replied.
"And the police?" Avery asked turning to Will.
"No police," Will said, "We had to promise no police to get him to sign."
"A deals a deal I suppose." Robert said tiredly, "Can I fire him?"
"I would." Will said coldly, "I couldn't have done it with out your son." He clapped Tyrone on the shoulder, "I should leave you two to talk." He turned and left the house, calling for a cab to take him back to his home and the bed he so desperately craved.
* * *
He walked out of his office and looked about the floor, at his employees busying themselves with the day to day running of the staffing department of Avery-Woods Communications. The news that morning had contained a brief blurb that Robert Avery had shot down a shareholders move to replace him as the President of the company. To the world it was minor news, to the people that worked for the company it was a clear message that they were going to remain employed and protected.
There was renewed life to the building as Will rested on a cubical partition and looked over the bullpen. His employees worked hard and he was once again grateful that he had them. The news that Bruce Weippert had been fired and that Mary Connors had been awarded the Vice-presidency of operations really paled behind the fact that everything was going back to normal. The way he liked it.
Well perhaps not back to normal, he thought remembering that Marc had chosen to stay, to give Will a chance to figure out exactly what it was about those mischievous eyes he found so mysterious. In time the kid would sort himself out, find a job he liked or returned to school. And Will couldn't help himself but smile; they had gone through quite a bit for a fledgling relationship.
"Coffee boss?" Alicia offered extending his cup to him.
He accepted it with gratitude, "Thanks, call the staff together we have work to do."