"Umm did we just take the wrong turn?" Angela hadn't said a word since we left Canberra and I was beginning to get more than a little worried about her. "I thought Melbourne was straight ahead but we've turned right."
"No, we didn't take the wrong turn, we're actually heading north."
"But you told the guy at the Hertz office that we were going to Melbourne?"
"I was just trying to lay a false trail in case someone came looking for us although I'm not sure how much that guy would remember, he seemed to be a little distracted."
"A little distracted? I thought he was going to cum in his pants when I leaned over the counter." She giggled and squirmed in her seat.
"And you didn't do that on purpose did you?"
"Would it bother you if I did?" she asked quietly.
I let my hand wander up her thigh till it reached the hem of her dress and then extended my fingers till they were resting on her pussy and she giggled.
"To tell you the truth I must be a total pervert because watching you flirt with other guys seems to be a major turn-on for me."
Angela giggled, "Is that why you sat me in the front seat of the cab? That poor man nearly had a heart attack when my skirt slid so far up my thigh when I got in that he knew I couldn't have been wearing any panties."
"I just wanted to make sure that he remembered us in case someone came looking for us ... and I'm sorry I used you like that." And I really was sorry about using her like that. I had not felt good about it at the time and now I felt even worse.
Angela reached over the centre console and put her hand high on my thigh and a moment later my cock began to grow as two of her fingers teased it through my jeans.
"Babe there are two guys I happily do this sort of work for, Grant at The Black Door pays me a lot of cold hard cash for the jobs I do for him, and you who pays me in something that's a lot more valuable to me than cash.
"With Grant I'm a little choosey, I don't do seductions. I don't like where that can lead for others and I don't want to have to do something that I would be ashamed of.
"For you, I'll do anything you want me to do because I know that you won't put me in a position where I would feel dirty ... so use me as much as you want." The sultry tone of her voice made my cock throb and she laughed when I groaned.
We drove in silence for a while. I had taken my hand back and had it firmly planted on the steering wheel but her hand was still on my thigh, although the teasing had stopped.
"OK, so if we're not going to Melbourne where are we going?
"In a situation like this the only thing we should do is go to ground but where do you hide in a place like Canberra when you don't even know who your enemy is?
My experience suggests that the Infantry's contact response is the best thing to do in this situation.
"When someone opens fire on you, but you don't know exactly where that fire is coming from, you run, drop, crawl, aim and fire. So right now we're running to a place where I know that the enemy isn't ... yet.
"Once we get there we will drop out of site, move to a good location and be ready to do the rest of the routine if the bad guys get to us first."
"And where is this place that we're running to?" she looked at me and even with just a glance I could see fear in her eyes. "And why have you chosen it."
"We're heading for Appledale and that's where I live. I know the town and I know the area and there are several people there who I can rely on for help, but we won't stay there. Mt Conbola is a short distance from town and we'll move to a small farm up near the top and hide there till help arrives."
"And if help doesn't arrive?"
"We'll re-assess the situation then." I said quietly.
She took her hand away from my leg and turned to look out the window on her side, "Yeah ... what you really mean is that we're fucked and just prolonging the agony."
"Why are we stopping in this shitty little town?" Angela was suddenly alert, anxious.
I laughed, "I'm sure that the good people of Booroowa don't share your opinion and I'm stopping to use the public toilets and that strange and ancient machine over there ... you know, the one called 'a public telephone'.
She wasn't in the best humour as she wandered off in the direction of the toilets complaining about how cold it was and how she really didn't want to be here while I headed for the phone. I came away from the phone call smiling, what Grandfather doesn't smile when he gets to talk to his granddaughters?
Unfortunately Angela's trip to the toilet must have been less than pleasing, "Holy fucking hell! How do they expect any woman to take a piss when the toilet seat is so cold you could get frostbite from it even before you sit down?"
It seemed that the good people of Booroowa wanted to make toilet cleaning easy so there was no seat, just the stainless steel rim of the stainless steel pedestal to sit on and the outside temperature had dropped to 18 degrees Celsius as sunset got closer.
"And that reminds me Steve, what am I going to do about clothes?"
"I've taken care of that," I said smugly. "We'll be in Appledale by 7.30 and one of my daughters will have dinner ready for us and she can help you with some more suitable clothes." I thought that I had solved a difficult problem but Angela wasn't so sure.
"OH NO! OH NO ... I AM NOT MEETING YOUR FAMILY! NOT NOW! NOT DRESSED LIKE THIS! I'm not ready for it, we're not ready for it and I am sure that they will never be ready for it."
"I'm sorry Angela but you can't avoid meeting them because they have the key to our hideout."
There was much muttering and complaining for the next half hour but it all ended when she finally turned to face me, "OK, I've over-shared with information about me so now it's time to tell me about you ... and don't leave out the part about your family."
"OK, so should I phrase this as if it were an application for the job of your very special friend?"
She punched my leg, "Just start talking big boy," she tried to snarl but ended up giggling.
"OK, you know my name so let's start with my age, 46. I'm divorced, I have three adult children, two girls and a boy and I have two granddaughters who think that their Grandpa is a grumpy old fart who loves them dearly.
"I served in the Army before being moved to a part of the Diplomatic Protection Unit before moving again to a unit that is supposed to be part of the Federal Police, although they're not actually mentioned in any formal FP document.
"I retired due to health reasons and now I'm pretty much a bum when I'm not being a recluse. I can't really tell you what I did with those units but the scars that seem to cover a large part of my chest all came from that time.
"My wife left me about three years ago and I had a breakdown. 'I retired on medical grounds a year after that and moved to be closer to my kids and now my daughters think that I've become a recluse.
"They will be very surprised to see me turn up with a beautiful woman and they will probably suggest that there could only be two reasons why you're with me. I either drugged and abducted you or you are certifiably insane.
"In either case they will undoubtedly offer to help you escape but secretly they will be as taken with you as I am.
"The daughter who is going to feed us and help you with clothes is my eldest daughter, Grace, but don't be fooled by her name. Even I'm scared of her." I think Angela thought that I was joking.
"Her partner is a guy called Dale. He's not the brightest bulb in the chandelier but he just about worships the ground Grace walks on and he loves his kids so she's happy enough and I think that he's almost good enough for her.
"My other daughter is Penny, she is a really nice young woman who is so sweet and gentle. Even her boyfriend thought that until he tried to beat her up because his favourite football team lost the grand final. That's when he discovered how quickly Penny could smash his kneecap into so many fragments that he will walk with a limp for the rest of his life.
"He left town when a very large and very angry man suggested that his life would be very short if I ever saw him again." I still remembered the rage I felt when I spoke to the little weasel of a man and watched him wet his pants when he thought that I was about to kill him on the spot.
"Your shaking," Angela almost whispered and she was right.
"Yeah ... sorry ... men who assault women are just piss-weak cowards in my book and men who assault my girls are ... well ... it still makes me angry."
She rubbed my leg gently and when I had calmed down she asked another question, "What will you tell them about me?"
I laughed, "I'll tell them the truth, that you are a very beautiful and highly intelligent woman who, sadly, is slightly deranged and mistakenly thinks that I'm a wonderful person."
She punched my leg again, "And what will you tell them about my occupation?"
"I'll tell them the truth," I heard a sharp intake of breath from Angela's side of the car, "that you're a graphic designer."
She squeezed my leg, "That's not just some sort of front to hide what I really do. I genuinely am a graphic designer and I make enough money from that to live quite comfortably ... it's just that the other thing is a lot more fun."
I laughed, "And I'm glad it is fun for you."
Once we got into town I did a drive-by of my house just to see if anyone was watching the place. My house sits on a corner block so I approached it from both streets but there was no sign of anyone watching the place and the cars parked in the streets all belonged to neighbours.
"What are we doing?" Angela asked as we drove by the house a second time.
"Just checking to see if anyone is watching my house." She instantly sat up straighter and looked around. "It's OK, the only cars parked in the streets are the ones that are always there."
"I wasn't looking at that silly, I wanted to see which house was yours. Can we do another drive-by and you point it out for me?"
"Ah ... no, we're already on our way to my daughter's house."
"Oh god," she sighed, "what am I going to say? Your daughter is going to hate me, daughters always do!"
"You will be fine, just tell her the truth."
"Yes but we have only known each other for 24 hours, she won't understand and she will think I'm a gold digger." Somehow it seemed as if I had known Angela for months and yet she was right, we had first laid eyes on each other just over 24 hours ago.
Damn! Even I was feeling nervous as we turned into the cul-de-sac Grace and Dale lived. There seemed to be a lot of cars parked around the place including a late model ute parked on one side of Grace's driveway and an upmarket sedan on the other.
None of them seemed out of place, all had NSW rego plates and party lights and a lot of noise coming from the backyard of the house across the street suggested that those two, and all the others in the street belonged to guests at the party. So I felt comfortable easing into Grace's driveway.
Grace had the front door open even before we reached it and then she was in my arms, hugging me and kissing my cheek. I wasn't accustomed to such a warm welcome but I wasn't about to complain. When I could I turned to introduce Angela to Grace and found her hiding behind my back, just peeking around to see my daughter.
Grace laughed when I introduced them and hugged Angela almost as hard as she had hugged me. "Come on and Dad, I've got a surprise for you."
We walked into the house and suddenly I had three females clinging to me. Two little pink things attached to my legs yelling. "Grandpa, Grandpa!" and Angela clinging to my arm and trying to hide behind my back.
And then I noticed that the room seemed to be rather full of people ... men type people ... big muscular men who looked rather uncomfortable in jeans and t-shirts ... and another man ... an older man ... a man who looked completely at ease ... and in charge.
"Umm ... Angela, I would like you to meet my son Nick, a guy I don't know, Grace's partner Dale, and a man who used to be the Australian Ambassador to a couple of dusty African countries, Nigel Blackall. Guys this is my very good friend Angela Comparo and Angela, these are the good guys."
Nick made no move to get up to hug me or shake my hand and that came as no surprise to me. I guessed that I was probably the very last person on the planet that he wanted to see and it had been like that ever since his mother walked out.
"Hello Dad," at least he acknowledged that there was a family connection. "This," he said gesturing to the guy next to him, "is Warrant Officer Doug Winters."
Unlike my son, Doug sprang to his feet and shook hands. His grip was as firm as I expected it would be, "I'm honoured to meet you Steve. I've seen some of your record and it's one you should be very proud of."
I looked back at Nick who was staring at his boss as if he had just gone mad. "I've never told my kids what I got up to so don't be surprised if Nick looks a bit dazed for a few hours."
I turned to Nigel and smiled, "Nice to see you again sir. I'm not sure if I'm glad or scared that you turned up."
The old man laughed, "You have never told your children what you did? Well I'll tell them right now. Young man ... and Grace ... your father saved my life. Not only did he rescue me when I had been kidnapped by some rather unpleasant guerrilla fighters. but he also stepped in front of a me when one of my guards was about to shoot me.
"Your father took three bullets in his right side. They smashed his ribs, damaged his spleen and liver and he still managed to kill the shooter with his bare hands when the shooter's gun jammed. Your father then walked me 10 kilometres to a dust-off point."
Now everyone in the room was looking at me as if I had suddenly sprouted an extra head. "Umm ... Grace, clothes?"
My daughter suddenly snapped back to reality and in a few moments she was leading Angela out of the living room and down the hallway and telling her that she was sure that she would have some clothes to fit her.
"Ah Dale, do you think it's the girls' bedtime?" Despite a lot of wailing and complaining about wanting to see Grandpa the girls did go off with their father and I found a chair and collapsed into it.
"OK, the SAS and the group that has no name are in my daughters living room and Angela and I have been running from hit squads so what the fuck is going on?"
"OK you can turn round now."
Oh god, I never knew that a pair of old football shorts and a t-shirt that was too small could look so sexy ... but then they were being worn by Angela. She giggled when I reached for her and evaded my lusting hands long enough to slip under the doona.
I quickly followed her and took a deep breath as I slipped my hand up under her shirt and wrapped my fingers around the firm curves of her breast but she pushed me towards the edge of the mattress, "You haven't turned the lights off."
I groaned and crawled off the mattress and got to my feet. Finding the light switch was no problem but as soon as the light went off finding my way back to the mattress on the floor that was our bed wasn't so easy. I shuffled around in the dark till I tripped on the corner of the mattress and only narrowly avoided landing on Angela.
She laughed as I sorted out the tangle that was my arms, legs and part of the doona and when I was finally settled she pressed her body against me. Somehow, while I was busy turning the lights off Angela had been busy taking off her t-shirt and the feel of her naked boobs against my chest started to make my cock throb.
"I like your daughter and her family, your son maybe not so much ... at least not yet."
I ran one hand over her bare back and down into the pyjama pants till one finger was gently teasing her anus. "They are all good kids and I'm very proud of them. Nick has issues with me and most of them are probably my fault ... I wasn't the best father they could have had."
"And so you should be proud of them ... but why did you never tell them about what you were doing in the Diplomatic Protection Unit and the one after that?"
I sighed and took my hand away from Angela's cute arse as thought back to those times when I would arrive home with injuries and nightmares. When eager little faces would greet me at the door and be happy that I was home while my ex would berate me for taking risks and not thinking about my family.
It didn't matter what I said, she never seemed to believe that she and the kids were always in my thoughts and on more than one occasion the need to get home to them had been the only thing that had kept me going.
"I didn't want my kids exposed to the things that I had to deal with. I was carrying enough scars for everyone and they didn't deserve to hear the tales that I could tell."
"You're a good man Steve Barrington and I'm sure that I owe you my life too."
"Don't speak too soon, we are not out of this yet. I understand why we need to be the bait that will lure these terrorists out and I know that I couldn't hope for better guys to protect us but even the best laid plans can go bad so anything could happen."
Angela shivered, she now knew the risks, the Old Man had explained them to her and given her the chance to back out but she had told him that if I was going to do it then she would too. The Old Man had skirted around the reasons why Angela was involved and, in a quiet aside had told me that there was no need for anyone else to know how Angela had become involved, but he hadn't skirted around the challenges we had already overcome.
He told Doug and Nick that Angela and I had taken out a large chunk of the terrorist team that was going to attack Parliament House and the terrorists had now put those plans on hold. Unfortunately for us, they were still chasing Angela because they thought that she knew too much and might give all the information she must have gleaned from the attaché case to the police.
It surprised me that they apparently hadn't even considered that our Intelligence Services might already be on to them and watching their every move but their fixation on removing Angela gave the Old Man and his team the perfect opportunity to take out even more of the terrorist team, including men in deep cover, without alerting the Press.
I agreed to the plan because I could see no guaranteed way to remove the threat to Angela's life unless we absolutely smashed the cells that were involved in this crazy plan but I hadn't been expecting Angela to agree. Now I not only had to look out for myself but I also had to take care of Angela as well.
I kept that thought in the forefront of my mind as we had gone over possible scenarios that we could use to achieve our goals before we finally settled on the simplest one. We would make easy for them to find us and then sit and wait for them to come.
Previous experience in other countries with people from this terrorist group had taught our SAS team that these guys liked to get the job done fast so we knew that we wouldn't be waiting long
Slow, careful approaches to a fixed target just wasn't in these guys' makeup. They preferred hard and fast frontal attacks with plenty of firepower and noise ... go hard and then go home if they survived.
Fortunately for us there were some impediments to that kind of attack if they we were up on Mount Conbola so they would have to be really coordinated if they wanted to attack the house we would be staying in from several directions at once.
Once again that was a plus for us because in previous engagements they had shown little aptitude for coordination and seemed to prefer to attack in numbers from one direction and simply overwhelm the defences.
What were the numbers that we were likely to face? It seemed that Naziri was calling on a number of cells on the East Coast, from Wollongong to Newcastle to join the attack so we thought that there could be as many as 30 to 40 terrorists on the ground that we would have to deal with.