Ducky sat across from the young lady fawning on him and he just knew something was off about her. As the last flicker of sun glanced off her face he tried to lock on to what it was but he was lost.

“So where did you grow up?” He asked. Taking another swig of Merlot she replied. “I grew up in Stillwater Minnesota.” Ducky sat back amazed. “No shit, one of my best friends is from the area.” She smiled at him. “So where are you from?” Ducky had to ponder this. For all intents, he was from where ever his line of work took him. He was a person without a country, a family or home. So he tried to skirt the issue. “I am from around the way. Been a lot of places.” She was surprised by the answer. “Mystery man, how do I know you won’t kill me in my sleep?” Ducky answered plainly and seriously. “You won’t. It’s uh how I live my life. I get calls and I work. My employers take good care of me, Margo.” That was all she was due. Better that she does not know much to have deniability if she was tortured. Fuck I have to consider her torture. What kind of life am I leading? “I’m sorry, I lead a really fucked up life and I wish could tell you about it. But yeah I keep it close.” Margo was sympathetic to this. “We all have secrets Ducky.”

He turned and looked at the sun as she graciously kissed the bay saying good evening. He was just beginning to relax and maybe ponder some more adult fun with Margo when his phone buzzed. “Time to make the donuts.” He said to her with a smile.

Hey Buddy

Remember that incident in Minneapolis? We have some cleaning up to do. See Mrs. Johnson at the local Cub Foods Saturday at 6 am in the bakery.

E

The flight to Minneapolis was uneventful as was rendezvousing with Mrs. Johnson. She left with him during her lunch break. Knowing she would never return there alive.

The ride out to the state park was largely done in silence. Mrs. Johnson stared out at the scenery passing like she had never seen prairie before. “So Mrs. Johnson have you been to this park before?” Her face never left the glass. “Ducky this is the furthest from home I have ever been.” Ducky pondered this. He had literally been all over the world. He couldn’t imagine staying in a small geographic area but… It was an honor for him to lead someone on their first adventure. “So Mrs. Johnson how did you get wrapped up with the terrorists?” Smiling she turned towards him. She was a gorgeous woman of 55 with gray that perfectly sprayed her head with age and wisdom. “Well Ducky, my friend Lilly had been attending that crazy ass church for years. I told her to get her ass out of there. But she said he was a gift from God. Well, that gift got her killed. I just want to do right by her memory.”

They rolled up to Kettle Moraine State Park shortly after noon and after a brief stretch began the short hike to the trailhead. There they found the rock that looked like a giant mixing bowl. The wind created a whistling sound that was both eery and otherworldly at the same time. Standing there was a young White woman of 30 and a small child. “Hello, young lady!” The child’s face beamed “Grandma Johnson!” And she sprinted to her. The young lady handed Ducky a simple note.

Hey Buddy,

Mrs. Johnson is persona non grata in Minneapolis now. Please bring her to Monaco and employ her as your assistant. I have prepared a triplex for and schooling for her Grand Daughter. There will be money in your account to cover their living expenses. Ducky, Mrs. Johnson is a good woman and loyal friend take care of her.

E

Ducky smiled, took a deep breath of the clean Minnesota air and walked towards his new assistant. “Mrs. Johnson are you ready to go?” Mrs. Johnson looked back with a panicked look of a deer. “So soon we just got here?” She clutched her granddaughter like diamonds. Ducky looked at the young lady but she was gone. “I guess we are all together now. Let’s go ladies.”

Spring in Minnesota is brutal. The air hangs heavy as nature paints her canvas with various shades of white. But just an hour later the sky shone with tones of cobalt blue and bright sunshine. As Duck handed the keys to his Ford to the sales clerk the little girl turned and asked him. “Mr. Ducky where are we going?” Ducky knelt down to eye level with the little girl. “We are going somewhere very special but we need to be very quiet until we get there. Can you do that?” The little girl nodded. “What’s your name honey?” The little girl said with a toothy smile. “My name is June.” He stood up took June by the hand Mrs. Johnson by the elbow. “Ladies our chariot awaits.”

As they left he noticed off to the right a man with his phone up. Not unusual for an airport but odd for it to be pointed at him. He ushered the ladies to side entrance within the security perimeter giving the pilot instruction to get them to Monaco and wait for his signal. He waved goodbye.

Turning away from his tail he made his way towards the restroom near the baggage area. He needed to get the tactical advantage. In a stall, he remained silent as he heard the man walk back and forth to the washroom. This man was definitely waiting for him. His phone buzzed. Looking down he saw the plane was already up and away. Ducky was relieved. Standing he quietly unlocked the stall waited for the man to approach it and …

The door struck the man in the head drawing blood and partially blinding him. Ducky kneed the man in the groin then quickly threw the man with an Aikido-like toss into the sinks. His predator was not going down that easy. He threw a left hook catching Ducky in the jaw and stunning him long enough to stomp his foot eliciting a muffled scream from Ducky. Ducky grabbed the man by his coat and shirt reversing his stance and began the process of choking him.

He didn’t notice the far stall open and small Asian woman emerge with a taser. The last thing he remembered was searing pain and blacking out.

The old home had a musty smell to it. It smelled of dampness, cigarette smoke and something else. The first thing he noticed was he was tied in a stress position. The second thing he noticed was he was naked. He struggled against the ropes looking for a weak point but found none. The woman from the restroom appeared again.

“Hi. Ducky right? Your employer has been a very bad man. He thought that by throwing money around he could buy off the movement?” She caressed his balls. “He thought wrong and squeezed them eliciting a scream from him. “What is he planning Ducky?” This time tasing his ball sack. Each shock tore energy out of his soul replacing it with rage. “You really think fucking with Mr. E is a wise idea?” He replied. He continued to squirm looking for a weak point. “I know fucking with you will get his attention.” she hissed and then tasered his sack again and again. Each time eliciting screams that went unanswered. Each time filling the rage bucket.

Knots are funny. The always appear unbreakable but there is always a stress point that can be weakened. On the fifth taser, he found that weak point. She kicked him, again and again, sending her message. But she kicked him one too many times.

Ducky’s leg slipped the stress knot and landed between the woman’s chin and chest crushing her larynx. Her two guards jumped into action immediately.

Rage does things to people. He went for the first guards with a round kick followed by a blow to the jaw. Just enough to time to relieve him of his knife. He took that knife and punched it over and over into his chest and abdomen until he fell.

Turning to the second guard he plowed his foot into his ankle breaking it like bread. He turned with a leg sweep and brought the man down with a thud. He brought the knife midback into his spine paralyzing him from the waist down.

The other two clearly dead now he whispered into the man’s ear. “Tell your boss he should have killed me. It’s not polite to play with your fucking food!” And with that, he slipped into the night. Naked.

Ducky hated St. Paul mainly because the street had no order to them. And they were poorly lit. Ironically tonight that would work to his advantage. Holding his cloths he thumbed his phone but instead of his pilot answering it was Mrs. Johnson.

“Mrs. Johnson, I need a lift out of here.” Mrs. Johnson didn’t miss a beat. “The casino jet is circling the airport and your employer has a couple people en route to you.” Ducky smiled as the Cadillac Escalade rolled up next to him with Ginger helping him into the back. The last thing he remembered was hearing. “Don’t worry Duck you are going home.”

Mrs. Johnson had readied his patio with a jacuzzi, scotch, and cigar upon arrival. He slowly lowered his sore limbs into the warm water. This would take time to heal. she circled around the tub and whispered in his ear. “A Ms. Margo is in the guest room for you. If you can manage to get there.” Ducky could feel his bruised ball say no but his ego saying yes. “Thank you, Mrs. Johnson.”

Maryann and Ginger entered the patio shortly after Mrs. Johnson left. Ducky knew the conversation was now or never. “Ladies, thank you for helping a brother out today.” Ginger didn’t look pleased. “Ducky you keep getting yourself into issues that we have to help you out of.” She sat down across from him. “We are your new partners. We divide up the spoils by thirds. No more bullshit Ducky. Are we clear on this?” Ducky was relieved because it saved what was left of his ego. “Affirmative Ginger. We’ll see you both Monday.”

Ducky made his way to the guest suite and found Margo laying in bed waiting. He slowing crawled in. Margo straddled him on top and opened the black silk robe. “Surprise Ducky! No secrets baby.”

Ducky was stunned by what he saw but it shouldn’t have surprised him given his last 48 hours. He just laid back, looked into her browns eyes and said. “No secrets baby.”

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