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It only took Deckard a brief second to glance down to review the alert on his phone. The call ended abruptly, but the program installed already captured the location. A few seconds later the coordinates were transmitted to his sat nav. The capturing software was a present from a former client and one that he frequently used. Most recipients would ignore a one ring call, thinking that it was a wrong number. But he knew the caller’s MO.

Checking his driver-side mirror, he took a sudden hard right turn onto the side street that would lead him to his new query. The route took him to the opposite side of town, away from his original destination: The tube. He scowled as he navigated around the traffic in his Aston Martin DB9. He would have to make new arrangements to get him to his job in Spain.

Dusk was covering the city when he arrived at the outskirts of the rundown warehouse district. His headlights uncovered his brother standing there, waiting on him. He could almost see a small flicker of a smile on the dark-haired man’s lips. His posture was relaxed and calm. Then again, his younger brother always appeared calm, despite his constant running into trouble when he was a kid. Most times, Deckard had to be the one to get him out of the scuffs. Deckard, on the other hand, had the quick temper; especially when it came to protecting his family.


Wasting no time once he parked the vehicle, he exited it and shut the door behind him. “Brother.”

Owen gestured in acknowledgment with his head. He stood proudly in a very low customized framed vehicle. “I’m impressed that you could find me so quickly when the authorities cannot.” His statement was boastful.

Deckard retracted the urge to roll his eyes. He wasn’t going to share his prized toy, especially to his younger brother. “Skip the pleasantries.” He snapped back sharply. He tried to avoid London as much as he could. As much as he loved his family, his mum currently resided there and whenever he lingered too long, she would find him and give him the same old spiel about why her sons were stronger if they worked together. Ever since their father passed away, she constantly reminded them, especially him about how strong family ties were. Owen never received the constant lectures even though he valued family less than he did. “I have work.”

Owen chuckled a little under his brother. “Another side job?”

“Probably bigger than what you have.” Deckard interjected as he pointed towards the car behind his brother. “How much did that cost? Hundred quid?”

Owen seemed to toss the question aside. “You know why I’m here, brother.” He seemed to emphasize the latter as if he was using that card again.

Deckard didn’t have to guess. A few months ago, he received a scrambled call from a potential client that was interested in hiring him. He couldn’t tell by the software they were using if they were male or female and his hi-tech phone couldn’t track their location. All he knew was that they were calling themselves, “Cipher.” The job was to help locate a device called “Nightshade.” The pay wasn’t the problem. Deckard just didn’t like to take on jobs when he really didn’t know who he was working for and their lengths to cover themselves up just didn’t set right with him. He could smell a double-cross a mile away. The Shaw brothers were notorious with their distinguished pasts and expertise in several aspects of combat. It made perfect sense that when he told Cipher to bugger off, that they would go after Owen. Of course, Owen would not refuse the job. Owen’s dark eyes met his. “A new player has entered the game.” His stance became stiffer as he spoke, as if the matter didn’t set right with him.

Deckard caught on to this and stifled his laughter. Like old times once again. “You want me to come save your bum again?” He looked at his younger sibling, appalled by the hint of his statement. “Not this time, brother.”

“Cipher thought I could talk sense into you.” Owen continued calmly. “I will split the pay of course and I’m sure it will be more than what you will receive now.” A beat. “You know I don’t like asking for your help any more than you like helping me.”

Deckard shook his head and moved back to his driver’s side door. “I’m not being an errand boy.” He paused briefly in anticipation that Owen would try one last effort to plead his case, but surprisingly, his brother made no such attempts. Again, the dark-haired man remained calm and composed. “Bloody wanker.” He huffed under his breath as he got back into his Aston Martin and gave his brother one last look in the headlights. Despite his feelings towards family, he had more pressing issues to get to than help his brother out.
A few miles down the road, his phone lit up again. Sighing hard, he glanced down. Surprisingly it wasn’t Owen calling him back. Instead, it was a blocked number and his software produced an error code when trying to trace it. Aggravated, he tapped into his Bluetooth ear piece. There were a few seconds of silence before the caller began talking. “You know who this is.”

“Ya? So, what. Did my brother call you?” He was getting pissed with the constant interruptions.

The caller laughed. “He doesn’t have to. I see everything. You are making a big mistake, Deckard. Bigger than you know.”

“That a threat?” He shot back. The line disconnected. “Bloody hell.” He groaned as he spun off to continue to the tube station. It was time to leave London.
“That went well.” Connor Rhodes couldn’t help but to remark on the outcome of the phone call that Cipher just had with one of their hopefuls. He enjoyed seeing her squirm, even when her face and emotions didn’t show it. The red-haired man knew that in her mind she already knew what players she wanted part of her outlandish plan and refusal was not an option in her mind. Deckard was pressing her buttons and Rhodes could tell it.

Cipher’s icy glare could have made any other person back away quickly and pray that she didn’t try to kill them in their sleep, but not Connor. He leaned up against the doorway that led to her makeshift office with his arms crossed in a relaxed position. “What do we do now?” He couldn’t help but to be smug about it. Connor knew that he was her number one guy for any job, no matter what she asked. Even though he wasn’t all tech savvy like a lot of her lackies in the other room, he could kill, hurt, maim anyone that she asked without a second thought. He would never ask why. In her mind, she saw that as loyalty. But to him, it was pleasure. Sadistic murderous intent pleasure.

Cipher swayed a little in her computer chair as her methodical mind was already constructing their next phase. Owen Shaw was already working on his part, but the latest hiccup was becoming more of an annoyance than anything. She didn’t see this as anything close to as a threat. Deckard could have helped his brother relieve the pressure he was feeling, but it was his loss. “Give me all the data you can find on this new team.”

Rhodes huffed a sigh of aggravation through his nose, giving her one final look before leaving to carry out his task.

Months later….

Deckard walked back to his car away from the small cantina he came across, carrying a takeout bag. Just as he sat in the car, he heard his phone ring. Looking down, he recognized the number and the location. London. Cursing silently, he tapped his Bluetooth link once more. “Yes, mum.”

The caller on the side burst into tears. “Where bloody were you?! I told you to always look after your brother! If your father was alive today to see this- “

Her lashing out alarmed him as he tried to piece together everything through her tears. “Hold up!” He shot back defensively. “What happened to Owen?!”

“He’s in the hospital, dying!” His mother screamed again through the tears. “I begged you to not leave London! We are a family! I can’t do this!”

Deckard glanced upwards at the ceiling of his car as he rolled his eyes. It had to be Cipher! Part of him wanted to defend himself and say that he didn’t force his brother to take the job and point out that he was the smarter of two by refusing it. Then again, the other half of him wanted to console his mother. The latter of the two won. His voice softened, “Calm down, mum. Where is he?”

Shockingly, her demeanor quickly changed to a calmer person. “I’ll send you the coordinates. Heard he was in Spain on some job.”

Spain? Deckard pressed against his car seat with his back. Even in the same country! His phone chimed with the link and he began to coordinate it with his sat nav. “I’ll check on him.” He restrained himself by pointing out the obvious that throughout his entire life with Owen, that his younger brother seemed to always get himself in situations to where his older brother had to get him out of.

“Remember.” His mother’s tone became serious. “Family first. Avenge him. Get the twat that did this to him.”

“I will, mum.”
No sooner that he hung up with her, that his phone came to life once more. Cipher. Before giving them the opportunity to speak and try to explain themselves, Deckard quickly answered, “Turn off the scrambler and then we can talk.” He terminated the call. He was tired of these games.

Seconds later, the phone rang again. Same caller. This time when he answered, a female voice came through on the line. “That better?” Deckard remained silent. “You should have helped.” Her statement accusatory.

“Bollocks! You think I’m goin’ to buy that?” He pressed on the gas harder as anger coursed through his body like petro. “If you think I’m going to help you now- “

“What happened to your brother was a minor setback. He did tell you another player entered the game.” Cipher pointed out. Deckard clenched his jaw. “You want to know who did it?”

“You are going to tell me. Just like that?”

“Dominic Terretto.”

Deckard could have easily severed the call after the information was given, but something told him to stay on the line. “I’m listening.” He had the name and with the right contacts, he could track the guy down. But that may take some time. More time than perhaps his brother had. Time, he didn’t have. He wanted this guy dead.

“I can track him down easily and kill him.” Cipher continued. “But wouldn’t you think a slow death would be more fitting for what he did to your brother?”

Deckard merged onto the highway that would lead him to the city where his brother was at. “Quit screwin’ around.” He didn’t like how she was dangling the information out like a hook to a fish.

“He has a team. They are his family.” She strongly expressed the last word. “The team is divided up. I think it would be fitting to take them out one by one. Kill him slowly.” She paused.

“I don’t work for you.” He flatly said. “Is that clear?”

“I assure you that Terretto will continue to be involved. You keep him clear and you can have your revenge on him and his team.”

Her offer now was temping. He wasn’t a lapdog like his brother and they both knew that she could find Dominic a lot faster than he could or so he thought. “Where is this team?”
“Go to Japan. I’ll send you all the information you need. Let Terretto know that you are coming for him.

“I’m not fetching.” Deckard reminded her. “I’m seeing my brother first.” He hung up. He would let Cipher send him whatever she wanted to send. Once he was done with Terretto, he would go after her.