John tensed and held his breath. This was not how he’d hoped things would go down. He heard Simon swallow loudly next to him.
‘Hello, dad,’ John breathed, his breath shaking. ‘I’ve been hunting you for a long time.’
‘As I’ve been hunting you, son.’
Simon remained petrified, staring jaw clenched at their mother whose eyes were pleading, her face streaked with tears.
John pressed his lips into a thin line. He had tried so hard to keep them safe. But his father, just like he’d been all thirty years of John’s life, was one step ahead and ready to do the unthinkable.
John cursed himself internally. He had his earpiece in his ear still, but he had switched it off after the altercation at his brother’s bar. He needed a way to switch it back on without arousing suspicion, without tipping his father off.
His father was like any other criminal he’d taken down, though, he had to remind himself. He had to get him off his guard to get the upper hand. To do that, he had to find out what made him tick. And to find that, he had to keep him talking. Knowledge was key.
He considered reaching for his gun and realized he should have done so the moment they had walked in.
The muzzle of a gun pressed against John’s temple as someone behind him stepped towards him and unclipped his gun, tossing it towards his father. Someone else held a gun to Simon’s temple. Their father’s lackeys, a man behind John, by what he could gather, and a woman behind Simon, were smirking.
‘Now, sit, boys. Let’s catch up.’
John had to keep his nerves in check, allowing his breathing to keep his heart from beating out of his chest completely. He saw Simon wasn’t faring so well. Without the training John had received, he reckoned he’d be in an even worse state than his brother was.
Their father’s lackeys shoved Simon and John to some chairs and sat them down, binding their hands behind the backs of the chairs. The rope was brittle, it splintered and burned, but John knew how to get himself out of it — if he was careful and worked slowly. Getting to his gun was another story.
Their father turned to them. ‘Now, let’s talk about that disappointment of a son I have who decided to betray me and became, what is it, an agent, detective?’
‘Detective John Miller, Mr. Miller,’ John replied professionally. ‘I’m sorry you saw it as a betrayal, dad, but at the end of the day, Tyler Miller is just another criminal.’