A/N - Sequel to "The Hunter" but doesn't neccesserily need to be read to enjoy this. Just same characters :)
First draft but hope you enjoy:
Wrong Place. Wrong time.
Chapter One: Bank of Canada
Ottawa Monday January 27th, 2014
He was watching her again.
Detective Chief Inspector Anna Thompson could feel the man's eyes burn into her from across the room. An unkempt man, probably in his late forties, with a long beard and even longer hair. He'd been taking a very keen interest in her ever since she had walked through the doors to the Royal Bank of Canada and for some reason it made her feel uneasy. She had worked through the simple explanations, such as perhaps he found her attractive, or even had seen her in the newspaper following the whole Hunter fiasco. But it seemed to be something more than that. He didn't smile, or have any emotion at all. He simply stared, over and over. It was a little unsettling and every time she tried to return the gaze, to unconsciously tell him that she knew he was staring, he simply stood there, stared some more. Every now and again, he would stop, play around on his mobile phone, but then his gaze would be back. Burning, relentless. It made her skin crawl.
The Royal Bank of Canada was a truly magnificent building. Situated on Wellington Street, it was one of the largest banks Anna had ever been to. From the exterior,
steps took you into the building via an extremely large grey stone façade. It must have been a hundred foot tall, and just as wide. It backed on to a thousand glass windows, and was topped off, rather patriotically, with the Canadian flag. Inside, it was just as large, decorated by different plants, even a few large ever-green trees, which made a change from the naked branches that lined the pavement outside. The design was minimal, yet effective, clean lines, white walls, highly polished wooden floor. There was even a Museum part of the Bank, if you felt the urge to take a look.
The line moved another inch and Anna sighed loudly. It had been a long day. Her shift had begun at six that morning and now, at three in the afternoon, she was well and truly exhausted. She'd been promoted recently to D.C.I and the paperwork side of her job had gotten to be a lot more intensive, something she did not enjoy. Her wrist ached and her head wasn't much better. She just wanted to make a withdrawal, but stubbornly wouldn't ever use an ATM Machine. She just didn't trust them; after all, in her line of work she'd seen it all, from card catchers to daylight robbery, it just wasn't safe. No, the Bank was better, more secure. No one handled her card then, besides herself. After she was done, she wanted to head to the store for a couple of bottles of wine, then go home and enjoy the rest of her evening. She fantasized about getting in from the cold, winter weather, wrapping herself up in her duvet and eating excessive amounts of chocolate.
Startled by the vibrating of her mobile phone, Anna made an audible gasp. Embarrassed by the amused stare of an elderly woman in front of her, she smiled, blushed, then answered the call.
"You've really got to learn to answer the phone with "Hello" one of these days."
Her sister chuckled. It had taken time but the two were finally getting their relationship back on track. After Mark's death, they had been at odds for a long time. The guilt still plagued Anna but Jayne for the most part, seemed to have started to forgive her for that fateful evening. In truth, Anna was just glad that they had started to move on and that all the awkwardness of the past had disappeared.
"So did you get my gift?"
"Oh," Anna giggled, "Yeah, I got that. Very cheeky, aren't you?"
She smiled, remembered the box of "Nivea Anti-Wrinkle Cream" her sister had left her.
"Hey, it isn't your Birthday until tomorrow, why did you open it?"
"Because," Anna smirked, "I was excited. I shouldn't have bothered! All it did was insult me!"
"You are nearly forty!"
"Uhuh. Until tomorrow."
"Okay, okay. I'm getting old, I get it!"
Anna had endured these jibes for the best part of a week, both from her sister, her friend Elena, and from her colleagues at work. She still had two years before she would be turning forty, but thirty-eight seemed close enough and the middle-aged jokes had been rolling in. With the recent snow Ottawa had seen, ten inches or so, Jill had joked to her that perhaps she should buy a walking stick, incase she fell and broke her hip. In was all meant in jest, though Anna never did think that she'd be turning thirty-eight. Not in her life.
"I'm just at the Bank." Anna said eventually, when the giggling had died down.
A few people had given her disgruntled looks, seemingly irritated by the level of noise she was making on the phone. The Bank was always such a serious place, so quiet and hushed. Anna didn't really understand why but she dropped her voice an octave in the hope of keeping the peace.
"Oh, buying me anything nice?"
"Maybe." Anna let her gaze trail over the line. There were still about twenty heads in front. "Listen, I might be a while. We could catch a drink later if you'd like?"
"Sure. I'll catch you later, Sis."
She stuffed the phone back into the pocket on her ankle length, beige coat and sighed. She'd been inside the Bank for a good half an hour and had moved about four-foot. It was a waste of time, draining and boring. Anna debated about whether she should leave and call back in the morning, when she spotted the strange man pointing his phone at her. The laid back phone call had distracted her momentarily from his presence but now her attention was well and truly focused on him.
"Hey, what are you doing?" She snapped.
He grinned, as the flash on his camera went off.
"That is illegal you know, without permission." She left the line to approach him, pulled her badge out and flashed it in his face angrily, "See? Now what is your problem?"
He didn't answer.
"Hey." She pointed at him threateningly, "I'm talking to you."
He flashed a callous smirk and then proceeded to walk away, towards the exit of the bank.
He took my photograph! The cheeky bastard. Anna thought.
She called after him a few times but received no reply. Irritated by his rudeness she went to return to the line, only to be met by an ice cold glare from an elderly woman.
"You left the line."
"Ma'am, come on. The line hasn't moved, I was ahead of you all the way."
"You left. Stop trying to push in." The elderly woman snapped.
"For God's sake." Anna muttered.
Unbelievable. She looked into the piercing blue eyes of the woman before her, debating whether she could push the subject further, but decided against it. She meant business and certainly would not let her return to her former position infront of her and from the expressions of the people behind her, they wouldn't let her get in the queue either. Defeated, Anna turned on her heels, flashed the woman a glare of her own, then began to walk.
People smirked as she made her way reluctantly towards the back of the ridiculously long line. Infuriated by the injustice of it all, Anna decided she may as well just pick up everything she needed the following day to save waiting. Her feet ached and she just needed to relax. So, she continued past the long line of people, made her way down a flight of stairs and found herself in the main lobby, several feet from the exit. The strange man was nowhere to be seen and for some reason the empty lobby felt quite eerie.
That was when she saw them. Anna felt her jaw drop and her eyes widen at the sight.
This can't be happening.
"Get down on the fucking ground!" One yelled, "Get down on the fucking ground now!"
In shock, Anna laid on her belly. She was unarmed, carrying only her purse and her badge. Off duty, she usually left her gun in the car, preferring not to have it on show during simple errands such as nipping to the bank. It was a choice she was now regretting. She stretched her arms high above her head in surrender and did her best not to look any of the assailants in the eye. She didn't want to draw attention to herself. She was already a target in their raid, if they discovered she was also a police officer, well, she could guess the outcome. Her heart raced and her breathing began to falter as she fought to remain calm and in control. She dared raise her head to assess the situation.
Masked men, dressed head to foot in black swamped the building. They wore balaclavas and gloves and carried an array of weapons, some with shotguns, others with machetes. They moved with precision and order. Organized. They were yelling orders to each other and to the people inside the bank. Anna counted six, then eight, then ten, as they secured the building, locking the doors, baracading any fire exits. Once satisfied that they were sealed in, they ordered that the shutters be closed on the windows. No one could see them, no one could access them. She was trapped. All of them were.
"Everybody get down on the floor!" The man yelled again.
The men dispersed, running from room to room rounding the people inside up like sheep. A loud crack of gun fire rang out as one of the group shot at the ceiling. He was probably doing it to prove the guns were armed, but Anna didn't doubt that the men would use violence.
Shit. What am I going to do?
Amidst the commotion Anna seemed to lie unnoticed, walked past and stumbled over, until an arm reached out and dragged her by the collar of her coat to her feet. He was a big man, nearly twice her size. His breath smelled of stale liquor. He roughly man-handled her into a bear hug. Anna fought to get him off, and received punch to the kidneys as a reward.
"Don't fuck with me!" He spat down her ear, "Move it."
With that, he pushed her forward with such force that she fell to her knees. Then, he came, picked her up again, and repeated the process until she was back up the steps and with the other hostages. Winded and bruised from the sustained attack, Anna tried in vain to catch her breath. Pandemonium was the scene she was met with. Crying, screaming, begging. One hostage had already been wounded and was bleeding profousley in the corner. The staff were pale and terrified.
Anna groaned in pain. She was in the middle of a nightmare. And, by the looks of things, it would be a good while before she got out of it.
If she got out at all.