*Warning: Adult Language*
Mason stood in front of the mirror in his small cell and examined his face intently. He saw wrinkles, a thick beard, and his long hair tied back. By no means was he old, he was actually still in his late twenties. But time...time had taken its toll on him.
His light blue eyes that were once filled with mischief now sat with a cold and calculated look. Yes, the years had not been kind to him. Only because of the god forsaken people that kept him away from his girl.
Those people kept him locked in this white roomed cell and always had someone constantly watching him. It didn’t use to be like this but he tried to escape once, because he couldn’t handle it anymore. The things they made him do...Mason shuddered at the thought and leaned down to wash his hands, knowing there was always someone watching him made him even more anxious.
The one thing they had allowed him to have in his cell was her picture they got from her high school ID. His will to keep living and the sole person who kept his heart beating in his chest. When Mason stared at it at night he knew the reason they gave it to him wasn’t because he had asked for it but as a reminder that if he ever tried to get away again they knew where she was and he knew what they could do to her.
One random day, Mason didn’t keep count anymore, Lenny ,the bosses little dog, came and stood in front of his cell as he was doing his daily set of push ups, sit ups, and squats.
“Everytime I see you Brownstone, you look even more fit than before.”
Mason continued to pump out more push ups and let out a breath,
“Gotta stay fit so I can kick your ass someday Lenny.”
Mason looked out of the corner of his eye and saw Lenny’s cynical smile falter.
“The boss wants to see you today.” He said with a grim voice.
Mason stopped mid push up and held it there, relishing in the feeling of his muscles burning.
After about a minute he sat up on the balls of his feet and stared up at Lenny,
“What the hell does he want with me now? Let me guess, he wants me to kill someone else for him?”
Lenny motioned to a guard stationed at the other end of the hallway to open up Mason’s cell door. Mason got up quickly and balled his fists, ready to fight at a moment's notice, but all Lenny did was hand him his usual black suit. The ones they made everyone that worked for The Organization wear when duty called.
Mason knew this wasn’t a joke. When he was handed this outfit it meant something serious was going down.
As they were walking down the corridor to the large french doors that led to the boss's room Mason felt a sense of foreboding. He was tired of doing this. He didn’t want anymore blood on his hands.
When they entered the room the head of The Organization, Richard Lorenzo, was sitting all pretty in his fancy leather chair surrounded by armed guards. Behind him Mason noticed there were dots on the electronic map he had up, tracking the people that worked for them and the people they were trying to kill.
Richard Lorenzo was by no means a nice guy. Yea you have that nice and polished exterior but you cut him open and he’s as dirty as they come.
Mason glanced around his smiling boss at the bags of money and the pile of gold bars lying behind him. Evidently they were about to jump ship from this base too and move on. He always kept about a million dollars close at hand just in case, and when he had it all packed up like that it was a sign they were moving again.
Mason’s thoughts were interrupted by Richard,
“Mason my boy! How good of you to come out and see me!”
“Well sir. It isn’t like I had much choice in the matter.” Mason said with an edge in his tone,
Tension filled the room and Mason noticed the bodyguards shift from one foot to the other and reach into their coats, which obviously housed some sort of weapon.
“Now, now, is that anyway to treat the man who is about to release you from your contract?”
Mason’s back stiffened,
“Ahhh I see I’ve caught your attention now Mason.”
Richard leaned back in his chair and crossed his legs,
“See my boy. Your contract with us is almost up give or take a few years, and I’ve decided to be generous. You have gone well beyond what I ever imagined you would, you took out some of our biggest opposition! I feel loyalty like that should be awarded!”
Mason had no idea what to say. Richard motioned for him to come closer to the desk,
“Lenny. Grab the files, the ones from a few years back.”
“NOW.” Richard practically yelled,
Lenny scurried over to one of the many shelves lined with books and files and picked up an old one dated back more than 10 years ago.
Richard snatched it out of his hand and laid it gently on the desk in front of Mason.
He motioned towards it and said,
As soon as Mason picked up the file to open it an old magazine fell out.
He felt his heart almost stop.
It was Harley. She was on the front of a catalogue dedicated to mothers, and was holding a baby. As he skimmed the front page he realized that she didn’t have not one, but two babies. When he looked up at the date…
It was published 10 months after he left her alone in his house.
Memories came flooding back to him that he tried to repress for all these years. Harley smiling and laughing at him, teasing him about the burgers he made. The first time they kissed when he was trying to protect her…
Then the last night he saw her. The last time they made love.
Mason whispered something incoherently,
“Speak up my boy, I can’t hear y-”
“HOW DAMN LONG DID YOU KEEP THIS FROM ME?!” Mason yelled as he slammed his fists on the desk so hard it’s glass cracked,
Unphased Richard said nothing. Lenny piped up,
“You know we keep tabs on your darling Harley and when that magazine came out. Oh boy was it the icing on the cake.”
One of the bodyguards snickered as Lenny looked on at Mason with that same cynical smile he always gave him.
Faster than anyone could see Mason had grabbed Lenny buy the tie and was strangling him with it.
“You kept my children away from me all these years you bastard.” Mason angrily whispered into his ear.
Richard cleared his throat and patted Mason’s tensed arm,
“Now Mason. If you kill Lenny I’m afraid I’ll have to extend your contract to, oh let’s say another 10 years?”
Mason glared at Richard and begrudgingly let go of his tie.
“Now let’s talk terms Mason.”
After everything was said and done Mason was free. The Organization gave him fresh clothes and about $5,000 in cash with a bus ticket to the next city. They burned all the files they had on Harley and the Belles swearing to never track them again, because they were no longer a target for any of their clients. Of course they would always keep tabs on him, just to make sure he wasn’t slipping up.
As Mason sat in the middle of a town square, staring at a fountain. He couldn’t help but smile for the first time in years.
Even though he didn’t know where he was he knew one thing.
He was going home to be with Harley, and his children, once and for all.