From the moment Jason realized that the delivered letters were from Mike Corbin, he excused himself from Sonny's penthouse.

To his surprise, Sonny's wife Carly followed suit, excusing herself to go upstairs and check on her young son Michael. Jason could only hope Carly's sudden sensitivity would last during the time he was away from the penthouse.

Silently he rode down in the empty elevator. His mind whirled with details of things that he would need to handle in the days to come. Jason knew that he could have entrusted some of the menial tasks to those men who had proven themselves loyal to Sonny in the past. But he was not given to delegating such details to others. It was not about a lack of trust in his men. It was about an almost compulsive desire to see that matters were handled correctly. Such personal attention to detail had become a part of Jason's reputation.

Still, he did not like leaving Sonny alone. Security in and around the penthouse had been tightened, but Jason knew that Sonny's head was not totally in the game. Mike Corbin's violent death had shaken the mob boss, leaving him distracted and off balance. Jason would not rely too heavily upon his friend to be at his best during these truly dangerous days ahead.

And there would definitely be peril ahead for all involved. Distracted or not, Sonny's wishes concerning Anthony Sorrell were crystal clear. In killing Sonny's father, Sorrell had committed an act that could not go unanswered. The fact that he had done so with no hesitation signaled to Jason that the rival mob boss was prepared for the blood bath that would inevitably result.

There was no getting around it. Jason reflected with a quiet satisfaction that Sonny had not flinched at his observation that all eyes would be watching for Sonny's response to Sorrell's first move. Despite the knowledge that they would be under the scrutiny of both rival families and the police, Sonny and Jason had formulated a plan of action that would begin with this single bold step.

Jason peered through the binoculars as he had done five minutes prior. There was still no sign of the limousine that the inside informant had promised. The narrow, winding road was for the most part unoccupied by traffic.

A subdued cloud of dust materialized just within the range of the binoculars' vision. Jason raised his hand to signal to the men hidden about that the time had come to put into action all that had been planned.

Moments later the big armor-plated limousine came barreling down the dirt road. Shots rang out as it drew abreast of the spot where Jason and his men hid. In slow motion the big car careened over onto its side, the result of two strategically placed sharpshooters simultaneously placing a single bullet each into the front and rear tires of the limousine.

Before the limo even came to rest, a swarm of black clad men rushed out from among the dense foliage and surrounded the overturned vehicle. The majority were armed with semi-automatic weapons loaded with armor-piercing bullets. Two were armed with the common rescue tool known as the “jaws of life” and another two were armed with plasma torches capable of cutting through metal.

As Jason calmly watched, the four men went to work cutting and prying open the overturned limousine. Just as calmly the rest of the men stood guard with weapons trained.

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