Anthony had been drawn in to a lot of wrong choices in his life. He had chosen the wrong lovers and allowed these men to take advantage of him until he got smart and kicked them out.
He was drawn into working for the wrong con artist in Florida. He transferred money until he got wise. Deciding it was time to leave before he got caught in the illicit traps that would catch his boss.
But it all caught up with him with the hard gray eyes of the leader of a Special Ops guy that wanted something that he could provide on his computers, but also wanted something more personal from him. Lust and desire was obvious in those gray eyes and Anthony was not sure if he was willing to be drawn in to what those gray eyes offered.
They were sitting in the average sedan, watching the quiet neighborhood. They had done their best to blend in. This small community had been their biggest worry of the six people they were watching. This young man lived in a residential community full of retirees and professional people.
They had carefully worn the right clothes when one of them had jogged through, smiling as he passed the people. This type of community watched out for each other. Strangers were noticed. They had come through as delivery people, as someone looking to buy, anything that would not raise suspicion.
This morning they would leave as the young man did, looking like just another couple of guys going to work. They couldn't risk staying and going through his home. It was a shame, because he had a nice place. It was also a shame he was mixed up in all of this.
The boss would have liked to see the inside of his small neat home. There is only so much you can learn about a person from the Internet and their bank accounts. Under different circumstances he would have been checked out pretty clean.
Of course there was the alert that was on him that was different from the other five. The other five were definitely losers. He was not. Oh he was a computer hacker. They had found traces of some government boys being interested in him. It had peaked their interest in him, at least from the home office.
The two men in the watch vehicle became alert for two reasons, someone was walking their dog and looking at the car too close. This happened too often in this neighborhood watch area, and the young man was backing out of his garage. But there was some kind of hang up with him that put them in a spot with the man who was staring at them.
They decided to play it safe, waved, smiled at the guy and pointed at the dog like they were interested. They slowly drove away in the other direction. They knew his route to work and his routine. They called in and were instructed to join up with their team. They left the development ahead of their quarry.
* * * *
As usual he was late. Tony backed his Ford SUV out of the garage and pushed the button to close the overhead door. He continued to back out into the street, reaching for his cell phone all in one motion. He yelped as he stomped on the brakes as his automatic backup warning system beeped and he realized he was about to run over the neighbor's garbage cans.
Tony sat there for a second, deciding it was better to be really late than to have the smell of garbage in his garage. He left his car in the middle of the road and pushed the button on the garage door. As it lifted he ran in and got his own can, pulled it out to the curb. He heard a honk and looked up to see that he was holding up a resident who was sitting behind his car that was blocking the road.
Shit, he was still wiping his hands against his jeans. Waving, he rushed back and jumped into his car, without buckling up he quickly pulled away. Looking in the rear view mirror he recognized a local man, although he didn't know his name.
Even though he had lived in the little neighborhood for almost two years, he didn't know many of his neighbors. He knew the neighbor across the street and the neighbor next door. The neighbor across the street often traded off with him, asking him to pick up their paper or mail if they were only going to be gone for a day or two. When his parents were alive they had also asked this neighbor to do the same for them.
The neighbor next door had a big dog that most people were afraid of but he loved. He had never been afraid of dogs and this big bruiser was just a baby around him, wanting a lot of loving.
When he came to the first stop sign he checked, seeing no one behind him. He took the time to buckle his seat belt. That stopped the four bells that the Ford Assembly Plant had decided should remind him to stay safe. Oh yes, don't forget the good ole government that dictated the rules to the carmakers.
Tony thought about the fact that he didn't know many of his neighbors. The neighborhood was safe. He had been so glad for his parents to have the safe little home to spend their last years. Unfortunately, he had wanted it to be years and years. It had turned out to be a much shorter time. He was aware that he never made an effort when his parents were alive to meet the rest of the neighborhood. Now he was just too busy and might be leaving. All of this was rattling around in his thoughts as he made a couple of turns and finally drove past the guard gate to exit into the traffic light that was on the main street. He made the turn toward Tampa automatically, since he drove this way most mornings, and reached for his cell phone again.