“You lose this time, Smith!” Fursey yelled triumphantly. With a spray of bullets and a shark’s grin, he leapt into his sleek car and sped away.
“Hannibal, he shot out two of the tires!” B.A. shouted. “What do we do?!”
They had to catch Fursey. The corrupt auction house head had been trying to grab Mrs. Robie’s jewelry collection for months. The collection was extremely rare and precious with some of the pieces dating back to Elizabeth I. A widow with no children, Mrs. Robie had planned to donate her jewelry to the Hunington. That is, until Fursey started harassing her. Finally, at her wit’s end, she hired the A-Team. They had been doing pretty well jerking Fursey’s chain until he had surprised them with a bait-and-switch burglary. Face wanted to wipe Fursey’s smug grin off his face, but it would be impossible to fix the van’s tires and catch up with him. They couldn’t let Mrs. Robie down, though.
A rich, low thrum met Face’s ears, and he turned to see a motorcycle pulling to a stop across the street. A Ducati, no less. Hannibal followed his line of sight. Their eyes met, and Hannibal nodded. Face dashed across the street just as the rider dismounted.
“Hey,” Face began. He was slightly breathless. Good, he could use that. “Can I borrow your motorcycle? My wife has just gone into labor, and I need to get to the hospital.”
The young man, dressed head to toe in black leather (smart, though a bit theatrical, Face thought) pulled off his helmet. To his credit, he looked a little skeptical. “Well…”
Face summoned up all the desperation he could muster. “Please! We’re having triplets! It’s our first! Our first, and we’re having three at once!”
“Okay, okay!” He pushed the helmet into Face’s hands along with a card with his contact information (again smart).
“Bless you, kid!” Sliding the helmet on, Face mounted the motorcycle. “I’ll try to get it back in one piece.”
“Wait, what?” But Face had already raced away.
He cut through traffic easily, the motorcycle purring delightfully under his legs. Fursey was still too far ahead of him. The car picked up sped. Fursey must have noticed the chasing motorcycle and ordered his thugs to drive faster. Well, Face could go faster too, and a lot more neatly. He turned and ducked into an empty alley behind a row of stores. It was a narrow, tight space, but the Ducati handled it without any problem. Face rode faster. In the corner of his eye, he saw Fursey’s car. So close. He increased his speed again until he was just ahead of his quarry. The wind whipped against him, and Face felt himself getting high on the jazz. With a sharp turn, Face burst out of the alley and zipped in front of Fursey’s car. It swerved violently to miss him, losing control, and plowing head-on into a light post.
Face climbed off the Ducati just in time to see the van pull up. B.A. grabbed two of Fursey’s thugs and shoved them hard onto the concrete, while Murdock knocked the other upside the head with his copy of A History of Art in the Western World.
“That’s what you get for messing with masterpieces!” he told the goon.
“Nice, Face,” Hannibal said. He took the case of jewelry out of the back of the car.
“Well now.” He lit a cigar. Fursey slid to the ground, disoriented and defeated. “I’m sure Mrs. Robie appreciates your graciously stepping aside so she could make her contribution to the library.” Hannibal handed Face the case for safekeeping.
Case safely stowed away in the van, Face finally took off the helmet. Murdock approached him, eying it and Face appreciatively. “You know, Face, you should really wear a motorcycle helmet more often.” He grinned. “It musses up your hair. I like it.” With a wink, he climbed into the van, singing Steppenwolf at the top of his lungs.
Face stared at Murdock and resisted the urge to smooth away the hair on his forehead. He was too old to be blushing like this.