The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic

The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic

Friday, May 29, 2015

Murmansk! Chapters 20, 21 & 22

Every week or so I will be putting up an advance chapter or two of my newest International Thriller...

Murmansk! You can of course find the earlier chapters further down the page.The book should be

 published around July of this year!

**Note this is first draft so be gentle LOL :-)




Chapter 20
December 9, 2000

The man took a long drag on the cigarette, blowing smoke toward the ceiling after holding it in his lungs. Lying in bed, he reached to the table beside him and flicked off his ash before sucking in another lungful.
The woman beside him stirred, rubbing her hand up and down his belly before dropping off again.
Ivan Primalov barely noticed; his thoughts on the mission at hand. Yesterday he had received a communication from is sister Magda, letting him know that the girl was in transit overland.
But she never made it to her aunt’s house.
Instead, she had arrived at his location several hours ago…the plan had gone off without a hitch!
The woman beside him snorted. Glancing her way, he sneered at the ugly shlyukha (whore).
Dax!
What was it about all of the whores taking the one-word Americanized names?
Dax, Score, Bone…Did they think it would make them less ugly? That men would hear their name and get a hard-on? Did they think men so stupid?
Aggravated, Ivan flung the cigarette across the room and into the flames of the fireplace.
He should wake the bitch; she had been long enough in his bed!
His thoughts turned suddenly to his new boss…his leader.
Never had a woman so enchanted him…and yet never had a woman aggravated him to the degree of that one.
“Printsessa I’da,” he mumbled with a smile. (The Ice Princess)
Thinking of her stirred something under the sheets, something he would use to claim her before this was all over.
“Hey!” he growled at the woman sleeping beside him, “Wake the fuck up!”
“Wha…what is it lyubovnik (lover)?” the woman whimpered sleepily. “I thought you were done.”
Throwing the covers off of the bed, Ivan lifter her effortlessly and shoved her into the wall at the head of the bed, crowding in behind her on his knees.
“I’ll tell you when I am through with you, you white-haired bitch!” he growled as he pushed deeply inside of her.
Something in his voiced warned Dax to keep quiet as she played her part, panting and moaning in time to his thrusts. Something in his voice had warned her all right…that and the fact that she had black hair…


Chapter 21
December 9, 2000

Shivering, I pushed open the door, hoping to find some hint of civilization nearby. The hinge squeaked slightly as I exited into a blizzard of blowing snow and wind. Taking a step out into the blinding whiteness, I decided that maybe this wasn’t the best option. Turning around to make my way back, I found that the building was no longer there!
Wondering if I could actually freeze to death while in a dream, I decide to head back the way I had started. The snow was deep, at least two feet of it by my reckoning as I slowly trudged through the heavy whiteness.
I went on for what seemed like hours, my energy draining away with every step as I lifted one heavy leg at a time forward. My aching bones seemed ready to snap, and my muscles felt more like Lead than anything living.
I stopped suddenly in midstride; my senses controlling my actions as I was blinded by the whiteness around me. Suddenly, I could make out the edge of a crevasse before me, the bottom unseen in the swirl of the wind and snow.
Although I had been warned to stop somehow, I had no energy left to try another route. My body was now spent, and my faith in anything had waned into nothingness.
Falling to the ground, the heavy snow fell in around me, covering me in an icy coldness that now seemed fitting for my end.
***
I sat up, panting from the exertion of the dream while trying to get my bearings. I felt lost and alone, like I really had been entombed in an icy grave. When May stirred beside me after a few seconds, I was instantly relieved.
My bedroom…5:30 in the morning…as usual.
Sighing with relief, I laid back on the pillow to catch my breath as I stared at the ceiling.
It had been so real!
I shivered from the coldness in my body…what one would feel had they actually been buried in snow.
This is crazy, I thought to myself, almost like the last time.
In point of fact, I had had this dream before…or at least part of it.
Over a year ago now, Wolf had started his attacks on me with just such a dream. In it, he had let me travel until I could go no further before seemingly saving me and offering me salvation.
His brand of salvation.
We had eventually found a way of combating Wolf’s dream attacks, with the help of a few angels and the comfort of my dream room.
But the angels had left me to my own devices now…and I hadn’t dreamed of my room since Wolf had been defeated.
I missed it! The comforting warmness of the room, the magic elixir of the unending coffee, and games of chess played with my grandfather.
And of course there was the occasional appearance of my lovely Betty.
Betty was my first wife, taken from me by a crazed killer three years ago now. She had last come to me in the room when I thought I was dead during the battle with Wolf at the Vatican.
I had given up the ghost so to speak, ready to spend the next eternity with her.
But she had gently reminded me…forced the reality back into my mind that I had left others behind…my friends…my daughter…my granddaughter!
It had been enough, and I had come back. I often wondered however, what would have happened had I chosen to stay?
Frustrated at my thoughts and still cold, I slid out of bed and got dressed. Although my place in bed beside May was warm and inviting, I needed the warmth of an infusion of coffee.
As soon as I reached the kitchen I got the coffee around and poured the water. Turning from the pot, I spied the red dossier sitting on the table. It had arrived soon after we had returned from the restaurant last night.
As promised, the mission would involve cold weather and a working knowledge of the Russian language.
Abby jumped at the chance to use her extensive linguistic skills on the job, and all in all it seemed pretty straight forward.
A girl had been kidnapped, and McGruder needed us to fly the ransom to Russia and bring the little girl home.
According to McGruder, this sort of thing was fairly common in the former Soviet Union. Her father was also well to do apparently, and could easily afford the payoff needed to get his daughter back.
After a bit of discussion, I had called McGruder around 10:00 the night before and accepted the assignment.
Now I wondered if we had made the right choice…about any of this new tack our life was taking.
Although we were all enjoying the added challenges of the work, I was still unconvinced that we should have accepted working with Patrick.
I mean, it wasn’t like we hadn’t done most of this before and weren’t qualified for the work, but there was a different…attitude surrounding our new occupation.
Secrecy cloaked in deception. Confrontational attitudes from even those we were trying to help.
And let’s not forget the traveling!
Before our trip to Rome the year before, the only time I had been outside the country was during the war. Now there was the potential to be flying around the planet most of the year!
Realizing I was tense, I turned from the table and pulled out a clean mug, filling it with the fresh coffee. Moving to the table, I took a chair in front of the file and started glancing again at the pictures inside.
The picture of the little girl showed a happy child with golden curls tumbling to her shoulders, her bright smile marred only by the gap of a single missing tooth.
Juliana Rascoff, I mumbled the name of the girl under my breath.
Father Frank, or Frenk originally. Immigrating to this country twenty years ago, he had worked hard and made something of himself. Now a successful industrialist, he was a true success story.
But now he needed help. His daughter had been taken from him, and he was afraid to go himself, knowing it would be worse if they got both of them.
So he had hired Patrick, and Patrick, in turn, had hired Savior.
I still giggled whenever I thought of our code name.
“What are you giggling about husband?”
I smiled as I looked up, watching May approach the table from the living room.
“Nothing much,” I admitted before we kissed, “Just our stupid code name.”
May nodded as she moved to the counter and secured her own cup of coffee. “I find it very comforting,” she continued as she moved back to the table and took a seat beside me. “After all, you have saved me more than once…as well as many other people.”
Leaning over toward me, she kissed my cheek before whispering into my ear.
You also saved me from being a sad and pathetic old woman,”
Grinning when she pulled away, she took a sip from her coffee, her eyes dancing over the rim.
“Whatever,” I smiled. “There are plenty of old men like me around.”
May rolled her eyes. “There are plenty of old men around Gabriel Celtic, but there is no one like you!”
“I’ll second that,” Abby crowed as she entered the room. “Kind of makes you think about erecting a museum in his name or something doesn’t it May?”
“Indeed,” May grinned again, “Although he would be the only one that wouldn’t go to see it.”
“He’s kind of self-deprecating like that,” Abby agreed.
“You do know I’m right here, right?” I mentioned then.
Abby waved away my statement. “Yeah, but we’re trying to capture the essence of you…not the boring-assed real thing.”
May burst out laughing as Abby grinned from ear to ear.
I sighed and got up for some more coffee, glancing at my watch as I poured.
“We need to be at the airport in two hours by the way,” I mentioned as I came back to the table and glanced at Abby, “You going to be ready?”
“Yeah, yeah,” she groused good-naturedly, “I’m going to feed Ya Su in a few minutes and then I’ll get ready.”
We had decided on a three-man team for this mission. Abby was, of course a no-brainer since she was the only one that spoke the language, and Preacher was the muscle.
“Why am I going again?” I asked then, “I think you and Preacher could handle the exchange fine without me. Hand over the money and bring the little girl home…easy peasy.”
Abby glanced at May, “He just doesn’t get it, does he.”
Shaking her head, May followed with, “Not a clue.”
Placing her hands on her hips, Abby turned to face me.
“You’re the brains in this outfit dummy,” she stated emphatically, “And as such, you are responsible for guiding those of us less experienced.”
I had to smile at her proclamation. I also had to admit that it was heartwarming to think that Abby felt so strongly about my abilities.
“I figure,” Abby continued then, “That you’re so old that you have to know more than the rest of us!”
The heartwarming feeling of only moments before shattered into a thousand pieces.
I could only sigh as the room filled with the gay cackling of my girls.


Book Two
To Russia With Love

Chapter 22
December 9, 2000

I leaned back the seat a notch as I got comfortable, starting to feel the tug of a nap as we hurtled through the sky.
The plane that McGruder has chartered for our trip was plush! Seating twelve, Abby, Preacher and I were the only passengers. Glancing across the aisle, I once again checked on the bag full of money. We had no idea what the amount of the ransom was, but it filled a duffle with little space to spare.
We had strapped it into the seat as if it were another passenger.
Abby was sitting beside me, talking away while Preacher sat behind us, reading his Bible.
My eyelids continued to get heavier as I tried to concentrate on Abby’s conversation.
“Did you know Murmansk is the largest city in the world north of the Arctic Circle?”
I jerked myself more awake at her question. “No, I didn’t,” I answered somewhat groggily.
Abby nodded as she continued reading from the brochure in her hand.
“It was the last city founded during the Russian Empire. During World War I, Russia constructed a railroad to the area to use in receiving supplies shipped by their allies for use in the war effort. Originally called Murman Station, it quickly grew to include a port as well as a naval base.”
I nodded, but my eyes were now so heavy I could barely hold them open.
Rousing myself again, I glanced over at Abby…only to find that she too had fallen asleep.
Smiling at finally being able to allow my eyes to close, I was comfortably dropping off until a commotion behind me suddenly jerked me awake yet again.
“Son of a bitch,” Preacher exclaimed suddenly as I heard the clasp of his seatbelt click open.
Rising to his feet, Preacher was agitated, his attention drawn to the pilot’s cabin. Moving sideways out of his seat, he started striding quickly down the aisle toward the pilot.
I was as yet not sure what was going on when Preacher suddenly dropped face first into the aisle way.
 Feeling a panic building up in side of me, I attempted to release myself from my seat restraints to check on Preacher.
My arms wouldn’t move!
Then I heard it…the hissing of some sort of gas coming from the pilot’s bulkhead.
As my eyes located the source of the noise, my mind tried to fathom what was going on.
What looked like a small pipe sticking through the bulkhead was spewing some sort of gas into the cabin!
With my last available reserve, I finally got one of my hands to move to the seatbelt and claw at the buckle.

The rewarding sound of the belt’s release was the last thing I remembered…

Copyright 2015 J.T. Lewis

Quote of the day 5-29

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference

 

Winston Churchill

Thursday, May 28, 2015

FW: Quote of the day 5-28

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the

answer is always no. If you don't step forward, You're always in the same space.

 

Nora Roberts

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Quote of the day 5-27

Please give me some good advice in your next letter. I promise not to follow it.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

Minute Mystery Monday - The Masked Maurader

Joe leaves his house unnoticed, wearing a mask and carrying an empty sack. An hour later he returns. The sack is now full. He goes into a room, turns out the lights, and goes to bed before happily falling asleep.

What has Joe been up to...and why is he so happy?

Find the answer HERE

Quote of the day 5-25

That which you believe becomes your world.

Richard Matheson

Friday, May 22, 2015

Murmansk! Chapters 17, 18, & 19


Every week or so I will be putting up an advance chapter or two of my newest International Thriller...

Murmansk! You can of course find the earlier chapters further down the page.The book should be

 published around July of this year!

**Note this is first draft so be kind ;)








Chapter 17
December 8, 2000

“Savior is here sir,” the man with the assault rifle muttered when he peaked around the door.
Horace Castile glanced up at the interruption, seemingly perturbed until the name rang a bell in his head.
“Really?” he exclaimed then, “Send him in!”
Hearing the exchange from the hallway, I pushed past the guard and into the study.
“Monte!” Castile shouted excitedly when he spied what was on the leash in my hand. Pushing himself to his feet, he quickly made his way around the desk and strode toward me, dropping to his knees when he reached the canine.
“Oh my God, Monte!”
His hands were cuffed around the dog’s head as the Bluetick happily licked the man’s face.
Looking up at me, I noticed that his glasses had been knocked askew…and that a tear was making its way down his cheek.
“How did you find her?” he implored before his face darkened. “Who did this to me?”
“I think we should sit down Mr. Castile, I have a lot to tell you…or would you prefer Mr. Aiken?”
***

“So you know,” the man said after a few seconds.
Pushing himself to his feet, he took the leash from me and started toward his desk with Monte in tow.
“Have a seat Mr. Savior,” he called back over his shoulder. “Can I offer you anything?”
“Coffee would be great,” I replied as I sat in the same chair I had weeks before.
Nodding, he picked up his phone and punched a button.
“Brownie, would you mind bring coffee for two into the office?”
Nodding at the response of whoever he had called, he then set the receiver down without another word.
Taking his own seat, he then settled his soulful eyes on me.
“I’m not sure how I feel about you knowing my identity Mr. Savior. I had purposely kept my name from Timepiece as a matter of security.”
Annoyance flashed through me for a second before I reined it in.
“Let me assure you that our discovery of your true identity has and will stay within our group alone. Once we realized however that this couldn’t be a simple theft, it was imperative to learn who we were dealing with. It was, in point of fact, who you are that led to Monte’s abduction.”
I had his attention now, but our conversation was interrupted by a knock at the door.
“Enter,” Aiken called out while his eyes continued to rest on me.
“You coffee sir,” the man entering the room uttered succinctly, the same man I had seen briefly in the hallway on my first trip here.
The butler or whoever he was set the coffee service on the side table before bowing and leaving the room.
Aiken stood and moved toward the service. “You take anything in your coffee Mr. Savior?”
“Black’s fine,” I replied as I watched him pour two cups of the steaming brew. Setting down the pot, he then lifted one of the cups and moved toward me, the cup and saucer shaking slightly along with his hands.
He then lifted his own cup and moved back to his seat at the desk while Monte took the opportunity to lay her head on his lap.
I sipped at the strong coffee while I waited for him to speak.
“Who was it?” he finally asked nervously.
“A man named Jason Allen,” I replied while watching his reaction. “You know him?”
A blank look crossed Aiken’s face.
“No, should I?”
“Probably not,” I admitted, “He’s the new Deputy Comptroller at Jupiter Halifax. It looks like he probably started there about a year after you left.”
Nervousness crept into Aiken’s face, although he did a bang-up job of hiding it.
“I don’t quite understand Mr. Savior…a midlevel manager at my old company took my Monte? To what end?”
I sighed inwardly. I was tired of pussyfooting around with this asshole.
“He wanted a big chunk of your fortune Mr. Aiken,” I started, watching his face intently. “He wanted some of the money that you siphoned from Jupiter Halifax before you left.”
“Those are dangerous claims Mr. Savior,” he responded angrily, his eyes trying to pierce a hole in my head. “Even if it were true…how could you know such a thing?”
The edges of my mouth ticked up just a little.
“We have our ways…”
***
December 1, 2000
Seven Days Earlier

Abby felt the double clunk as the car passed over some railroad tracks.
It was the forth time that had happened since the trip had begun, although it did little to tell her where she was.
Feeling an itch on her cheek, she brought her hand up off of her lap and scratched at the mask that covered her head.
“I’m sorry for all of the cloak and dagger Abby,” McGruder mentioned from the driver’s seat, “I hope that one day you will better understand my need for such secrecy.”
Abby turned her masked head toward the voice. “And I hope that one day you will not feel such a need with me.”
Although she did understand McGruder’s need for security, Abby still rebelled against the idea that he couldn’t yet trust her!
“It is not trust that I lack Abby my dear,” McGruder spoke as the car slowed to a stop. “In part, it is protection for both you and me. If you are captured, your lack of knowledge may prevent untold torture being brought upon yourself. Should you be tortured anyway, your lack of knowledge will protect me in the process.”
Abby’s head turned toward the voice again. “That’s a lovely thought Patrick! Thanks for that!”
“It is likely that I would be the only one able to mount a rescue in such a circumstance Abby. It would extremely complicate matters if I were to be in hiding from the enemy at the same time.”
“Point taken,” Abby muttered when his logic set in.
“But…torture?”
Patting her leg, “Let’s not dwell on that remote possibility Abby,” he continued as the car suddenly moved forward again, albeit slowly. “We have arrived at our destination.”
Hearing a motor running overhead as McGruder shut off the car, Abby waited in her seat as he got out of the vehicle. When the motor stopped running, she could hear the clicking of McGruder’s leg braces as he made his way around the car.
“You can get out now my dear.”
Opening the door and stepping out of the car, her nose was assailed with the scent of old oil and dust.
A garage! Then the motor noise overhead was probably a garage door opener.
“If you would lay your hand on my shoulder, I will show you to the elevator,” McGruder said then, starting forward once he felt her hand.
Abby was silent as she obediently followed McGruder, first across the uneven floor of the garage, and then into the elevator. When the lift finally started rising McGruder spoke again.
“You can take your mask off now.”
Removing her mask, Abby watched as floor after floor of old brick and concrete passed by the slatted, wooden gate of the freight elevator.
Nothing high-tech about this place, Abby mused to herself.
Arriving finally at their floor, Abby waited while McGruder lifted the gate and then pushed open the metal door to the floor.
“Holy crap!” she breathed when she saw what was before her.
Row after row of computer racking, every slot filled with switches, routers and servers.
“Holy crap!” Abby repeated as she stepped off the elevator and saw the extent of the room.
The building appeared to be an old warehouse. If she had to guess, she would have to say that the room they were in was at least fifty feet by a hundred…with almost every square foot occupied by some sort of computer equipment.
“This is amazing,” she uttered under her breath.
The day before, Gabe had called McGruder, asking for some help in tracking some of their suspicions on the case. Unfortunately, McGruder had explained, he was neck deep in another project. As an alternative, he had offered to bring Abby to his operations center.
She had readily accepted, excited at the prospect of working on a real computer system.
She’d had no idea that McGruder’s resources would be so extensive!
“I’m a little in awe here Patrick, I gotta tell ya,” Abby finally got out when she could speak again.
McGruder laughed heartily. “Yes, it is an extensive system, but such a pain when I have to move it.”
Abby’s jaw dropped, “You move all this?” She exclaimed, her hand sweeping the room, “How often?”
McGruder shrugged, “Sometimes several times a year.”
Before Abby could comment however, McGruder was moving past her. “Let me show you to your terminal Abby, I must get back to my other project.”
When he got close, McGruder pointed her along with his crutch.
“That’s your terminal there Abby, let me know if you need help with anything.”
Turning to head back, Abby noticed the pain and exhaustion starting to show on his face.
“Sure thing Patrick, I’ll try not to bother you.”
Nodding in reply, McGruder clicked off to another part of the room while Abby made herself comfortable in the small, rolling chair in front of the keyboard. Interlacing her fingers, she flipped her palms away from her and stretched her fingers.
“Ok!” she whispered then, “Let’s see what we can did up about Gerald Aiken’s life.”

***

December 8, 2000

“You’ve made some very dangerous assumptions Mr. Savior. You do know that this compound is surrounded by armed men, don’t you?”
“I am aware,” I replied, hoping that I was hiding my own nervousness better than he had.
“But is this the way you usually treat someone that has helped you…by threatening them?”
A small smile spread across Aiken’s face. “Just being cautious, please continue your story of Mr. Allen.”
I crossed my right leg over my left as I got comfortable in the chair.
“It seems that Jason Allen is somewhat of a bulldog when it comes to digging into numbers. His position allowed him access into the books of all of the divisions of the company…including the black ones buried deep in the bowels of company gossip…even the one no one was supposed to know about…even one buried as deep as Blue Lightning.”
“Are you expecting me to admit to something here Mr. Savior? Is this the part where you threaten to expose me unless you too are paid a…bonus shall we say?”
My jaw tightened at his accusation, but I held my peace until I could speak calmly.
“Unfortunately, I’m not the law Mr. Aiken, at least not any more. You hired us with a certain expectation of privacy, and as long as someone’s life isn’t threatened, why would I care what you have done to some huge corporation…or the government for that matter?”
Another smile graced his lips then. “You are well informed Mr. Savior. Of those few that worked on that project, even fewer knew the truth about the source of the funding.”
“And again…I don’t care,” I reiterated. “I was hired to find your dog. Whether the government does or doesn’t find you is none of my concern.”
Aiken seemed to relax a little in his seat…finally.
“Very well, continue please.”
“As I was saying, Jason Allen is a scrapper when it comes to numbers. Seems he can sniff out inequalities in his sleep…which in your case was not a great thing. When he realized what you had done…he got greedy too.”
“Assuming all of this is true, why’d he steal my dog? Why not just send a threatening letter…or an email?”
“According to him, he was scoping out your life in an effort to figure out precisely how to get money from you. He went as far as to walk by your house one evening when he happened across the dog alone in the yard. I assume that your present level of security was not present at that time. Apparently she came right up to him, so he led her to his car and took her home with him.”
Aiken closed his eyes for a few seconds, relief showing on his face.
“You are correct about the security at that time. But why didn’t he contact me after he had the dog? It’s been over two weeks?”
“Basically,” I started, “He’s a coward. He couldn’t figure out a way contacting you…or even bringing her back without exposing himself.”
Nodding quietly, Aiken seemed to be taking it all in.
“I can assume that your…intrusions into the company database can’t be traced back to me?”
“Timepiece assures me that they won’t be traceable to anyone.”
“So the only loose end is this Mr. Allen then,” Aiken replied worriedly.
“He’s been handled. He has accepted a bribe, with the understanding that we hold information on him that would threaten his job…and his freedom.”
“The bribe will be added to your bill by the way,” I added with a smile.
The sneer on Aiken’s face told me he didn’t appreciate my humor.
“Maybe I’ll just handle Mr. Allen on my own,” he stated then.
“We also have enough on you to put you away for the rest of your life Mr. Aiken,” I smiled at him again. “We have assured the other party that no threat will be forthcoming from you.”
This riled him plenty. “Maybe I’ll just have you shot then Mr. Savior…somebody needs to get shot!”
I sighed, getting fed up with this asshole’s attitude.
“If I were you Mr. Aiken, I’d just be glad that you got your dog back. If anything happens to me or my crew the same thing goes as before…Timepiece buries you…and you never see the light of day again.”
With that I stood and turned for the door, enjoying the quiet coming from the man behind me.
“Timepiece will send you the bill,” I exclaimed as a parting shot as I left the room. Making my way out of the house, I skipped down the steps to the car and let myself into the passenger seat. Glancing at Preacher, I noticed the red dots on his chest for a few more moments before they disappeared.
Starting the car, Preacher pulled down the shifter and started making his way out the driveway.
“How’d it go?” he questioned as he pulled out on the road and accelerated.
“Ok,” I uttered, “But there’s one part of this job I don’t think I’ll ever get used to.”
“Oh yeah?” he replied as he grinned at me, “And what would that be?”
I shook my head before looking back up at him in frustration.
“Customer relations!”

Chapter 18
December 8, 2000



“Sweet!” Abby gushed excitedly as we walked back into the kitchen.
I thought maybe she was just happy to see us…until I noticed her grinning at a sheet of paper in her hands.
“We’re back,” I uttered then, “Dog delivered and customer happy…sort of.”
“I know!” Abby exclaimed, “We already got the check!”
May brought me a fresh cup of coffee and a smile. Kissing me on the cheek, she then handed me the cup.
“She’s been staring at it for five minutes,” she grinned, “I don’t even think she would notice Josh if he were here at the moment.”
Josh was the fine young man Abby had been seeing for over a year. The pilot of Raven’s plane during our European excursion last year, he inevitably volunteered to work with us on the case after we had landed. His contribution in distracting Wolf’s flying demons had been instrumental in helping us to overcome the self-proclaimed King of the world.
He was also a welcomed addition to our growing family, as he too now lived in the house with us.
“Is there enough in there to spring for supper at Lenny’s?” I asked with a smile, the taste of one of his famous Stromboli’s already on my tongue.
Abby finally took her eyes off of the check when I mentioned food. “I do believe we can spring for that tonight,” she replied with a wide grin. “All of this cloak and dagger makes me hungry!”
“Why don’t you call Josh and see if he can come,” I mention before noticing Abby shaking her head.
“He’s still in California with Raven and Snake…I think they’re coming back late tonight.”
“Well I can’t wait that long…how about we just load up and go now!”
As if on cue the secure cell phone twittered on the table.
Sighing at the interruption, I unfolded the phone and held it to my ear.
“Hello Gabriel!” McGruder responded to my hello, “I see you made it back from Lancaster in one piece.”
“No thanks to Mr. Aiken, I think he wanted to shoot me!”
“Ah yes,” McGruder soothed, “Some customers are hard to satisfy.”
“Speaking of customers,” he continued hurriedly, “I have a new one for you…a rather urgent matter as a matter of fact.”
“Do we have time to eat supper first?” I asked halfheartedly.
McGruder actually laughed at that. “Yes Gabriel, but I will need you ready to catch a plane first thing in the morning if you accept the assignment. I will have the details couriered over to you place in a couple of hours. You would need to pack enough for three or four days, including your warmest cold-weather gear as it is very frigid there.”
That last part got me a little worried, as I could think of no place colder than where I was at that moment.
“Any other clues you can give me as to where we might be heading?” I asked then, hoping for something I could tell the others over supper.
“Well…there is one thing,” McGruder replied after a few moments of thought.
“How’s your Russian?”

Chapter 19
December 8, 2000

The man easily picked the lock on the back door of the house.
Having to wait until it got fully dark, he would now have to hurry to make sure he got done before they returned.
As he let himself in, he felt cloaked in warmth, the scent of good coffee still in the air. Taking a moment to enjoy the homey surroundings, he gave a quick thought to the cold, empty apartment across the street.
Sighing at his plight, he quickly made his way to the stairway. He always started at the top and worked his way down if he could. He would much rather leave by the back door as opposed to being caught upstairs if they came home early and having to crawl out of a window.
It was harder to make it look like no one had been there if you had to use a window. Trying to close a sash while hanging on the side of a house was perilous, especially if you were afraid of heights!
Moving quietly, he was up the stairs and entering the master bedroom in seconds. Using a small penlight, he scanned the room for useful places for his equipment. Finding an air vent on the wall over the bed, he decided that was his only choice.
From there he would be able to see most of the room except for the bed. He smiled with the thought that he would prefer a location where you could actually see the bed…if for no other reason than entertainment.
Stepping up on the mattress, he removed a screwdriver from a pocket of his backpack and set about loosening the screws on the grill. Once he had the grill off, he pulled out a wireless camera and battery pack. Connecting the battery, he initialized the camera and set it in place on a little ledge in the wall.
The camera was good to a thousand feet, and the receiver across the street was much closer than that. His only worry was whether the on-board microphone would work at that distance, as he had never used this model before.
Laying the grill against the wall, he started the screws into the plaster, holding the penlight in his teeth.
Stepping off the bed, he spent a few moments straightening the comforter before moving off again into the hallway. Finding no other good location upstairs, he then made his way to the ground floor.
The bedroom down here offered even better opportunities, as the grill in that room look out on the bed. Happily, he worked off the grill and started installing the second camera. Closing that back off, he then moved out into the kitchen.
From watching the house over the last two weeks, he knew that they spent a lot of time in the kitchen, the light being on almost constantly. Panning the light around the walls, he found a perfect placement for his third camera. Over the cupboards, there was yet another heating grill that looked out over the table.
Moving a stack of clean dishes aside, he pulled himself up on the counter and got to work on the grill. Pulling out the camera and battery, he had just connected the two when he heard it…
The slamming of car doors!
Cussing to himself, he quickly set the camera inside and pushed the grill back over the hole.
He could hear voices now…coming up the sidewalk…getting closer. He quickly pushed the screws in and gave each a turn by hand before jumping back off of the counter.
It would have to do, he thought. There was no time for anything else.
Moving to the back door, he pulled it open enough to slide around the edge just as the light came on behind him. Pulling the door closed slowly behind him, he turned the knob with his hand until it had come to its resting point. Ducking down, he crawled off the porch and made his way quietly to the alleyway behind the house.
When he was sure that he hadn’t been observed, he stood and started walking toward the end of the alley. He would walk several blocks away in a circuitous route before heading back to his empty house so he could be sure that he wasn’t observed.
He smiled when he realized how buzzed he felt, the adrenalin from the close escape having poured copiously into his system.
This was why he did what he did, and this is why he could handle the hour upon hour of boring observation that his clients paid him for.

 Copyright 2015 J.T. lewis

Quote of the day 5-22

The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. It's not about

the circumstance, but rather, what you are made of.

 

Unknown

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic Collection!

It's Finally Here!




The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic collection is now live...get it for only #99CENTS for a few days only!

Starting with the first book, you will get sucked into the Adventures of Gabriel Celtic thriller/mystery series, where Gabe has to trust his intuition…and sometimes even the added help of mysterious visions to get down to the bottom of the mystery. 

In Murder! Too Close To Home, Gabriel is confronted by a series of murders unlike anything he has ever encountered before. A mysterious card dropped at the scene of each murder points to someone that calls himself the ‘Ghost’ as the doer. Little does Gabriel know that the Ghost has someone controlling him, and the reasons for her murderous spree will topple all of his theories…and cost him the ultimate sacrifice! 

In Gabriel’s Revenge, Gabe is hiding from the world as he marks his days on an archeological dig in South America…until the death of his friend back home draws him back to the states. 
Meeting a mysterious woman on the flight back, she seems intent on trying to drag him out of his dark mood. Her efforts unnerve him however, as he fights the feeling that this “girl” seems just a little too familiar with his past. 
Meanwhile the investigation into the diabolical murders of his friend and others will soon lead him on a journey that will end at a place that he had never expected… the darkest corners of the Catholic Church! 

In Case of Death finds Gabriel confronted by a different kind of problem. Two lost loves from his past want to hire him to investigate the deaths of their husbands! 
Having moved away from law enforcement, Gabe and his newly discovered daughter Abby have started a private investigative firm. 
Taking his friends case, Gabe and Abby soon find that men are dying by the same man’s hand all over the world! And if that weren’t enough, they then discover that he lives in their own back yard. 
Tracking the murderer becomes cumbersome as he hides in plain sight, his name hidden behind the gibberish of a mysterious book. When they finally do start getting close…he brings their world crashing down around them! 
Set in southeast Indiana, In Case of Death weaves a global story of action and suspense that will leave you begging for more! 

And finally, The Book of Gabriel starts to answer some of the spiritual happenings of Gabriel’s life as he suddenly finds himself embroiled in a biblical prophecy! 
Ancient scrolls found by archaeologist Julien Taylor in present-day Iraq have foretold the end of the world, as well as the man tasked with stopping it….Gabriel himself. 
Presented this unbelievable revelation by his old friend, Gabe is hesitant to believe, much less accept the massive responsibility seemingly thrust upon him until the Beast of Biblical prophecy makes it deadly personal...recklessly attacking Gabe and his family in their own home! 
Forced against his will to get involved in the far-fetched prophecy, his faith is relentlessly tested as he raises a ragtag army to combat the man that calls himself Wolf. 
Doing so will put everyone he loves in added danger…but to do nothing…risks even more! 
The End Is Near! 

Also included are two of the prequels to the series! The first, The Journal, has young Gabe dealing with the death of his grandfather, an important figure in his life as you can see in the rest of the stories. In the abducted, I delve into a little known, little talked about aspect of Gabriel Celtic’s life. 




Get it on Amazon

Quote of the day 5-21

Peace of mind is more valuable than wishful thinking.

 

Randy Maxwell

 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Quote of the day 5-20

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth

George Washington

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Quote of the day 5-19

The higher we are placed, the more humbly we should walk

 

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Monday, May 18, 2015

Minute Mystery Monday- The Murderous Sister!

Leona Livermore takes her sister Lesley to court, presenting incontrovertible proof that her sibling has murdered her husband Larry Livermore.

Hearing all of the evidence, the judge agrees with Leona, but declines to punish Lesley, declaring the situation to be "The strangest case I've ever seen!"

Why wouldn't the judge send Lesley away to jail?

Find the answer HERE

Quote of the day 5-18

You might as well answer the door, my child, the truth is furiously knocking.

Lucille Clifton

Friday, May 15, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Murmansk Chapters 14, 15, & 16

Every week or so I will be putting up an advance chapter or two of my newest International Thriller...

Murmansk! You can of course find the earlier chapters further down the page.The book should be

 published around July of this year!

**Note this is first draft so be kind ;)



Chapter 14
November 25, 2000

The woman with the icy eyes felt the trickle of sweat running down her nose before it dropped to the quickly-moving belt of the treadmill. Reaching up, she punched at the buttons on the console to raise the speed even more…driving herself…always driving herself.
As she ran her eyes stared ahead toward the large window. The window revealed the barren wasteland that she now found herself in, the frozen prison that the world had taken upon itself to relegate her to.
All because of one man!
Anger rolled in her trim belly before working its way up, welling threateningly in her chest. Her head now ached, her vision focused down to a pinpoint on the man now standing before her.
“Argh!” She shrieked, frustratingly punching again at the buttons for more speed, the fury threatening to boil over her being at any moment.
With the realization that she was already at the maximum speed of the machine, genetics took over.
A warrior yell escaped her lips as she reached for her weapon. Clasping the hilt of the blade in her fingers, she deftly wound her arm back and flung the blade without missing a step.
Even as she continued to run at full speed, her mind focused on the spinning knife as it left her hand. As if in slow motion, she watched in fascination as it tuned end over end toward the head of the man responsible for her plight.
When it finally hit the target however there was only a strange, muffled crackling sound.
Emotionally spent the woman slowed her step slightly, allowing the machine to eject her onto the floor behind.
Deftly landing on the carpeted area, Noon Byrk brought her hands to her hips and leaned forward slightly, working at capturing her breath before moving again.
Her eyes never left the target through all of this; her icy eyes focused forward, her long, dark hair now plastered to the pale alabaster skin of her face.
After a few seconds, she moved forward toward the window, staring at the hilt of the knife now protruding through it.
The man had only been in her mind.
Pulling at the knife, the laminated Plexiglas bent in with it before releasing the blade, the shattered window now a spider web caught between the UV-blocking laminate sheets.
Shit.
She would have to get that fixed, the icy wind of the prison landscape already piercing the room.
Sheaving her blade, she turned and moved back into the room, shutting down the treadmill as she passed. Stopping in front of the mirror, she ran her fingers along the side of her face to brush back the nearly-white hair. Pulling it tight and tying it into a pony tail, she then stared at her reflection in the mirror.
The slant of her exotic Asian eyes always drew everyone’s attention first…even hers. They were her mother’s eyes, at least on the outside. The icy blue irises she could blame on her father and his Viking ancestors.
She smiled, knowing the combination usually elicited caution to those that didn’t know her.
And fear in most of those that did!
The scar entering her hairline got her attention next. Glowing white even against her pale skin, it was a constant memento of what the man had done to her…and now a reminder of the retribution now close at hand.
She sighed with the realization that she felt better!
Although she hadn’t yet killed the bastard responsible for her current circumstances, even the practice of doing so had lightened her heart.
Soon, She whispered to her refection, Soon you will know the real thing.
Turning from the mirror, she made her way to the desk across the room.
There was still much to do to prepare.
The trace of a smile was tugging at her lips as she walked, and the realization of that made her heart skip a beat. She liked the feeling.

Chapter 15
November 25, 2000


“Gerald Aiken,” Abby read from the dossier when it arrived an hour later. “AKA Jerry Aiken, looks like he has spent most of his life working as an accountant for various large companies.”
Reading some more in silence, it was several moments before she continued.
“Looks like he quit his last job at a place called Jupiter Halifax in August of 1997…then he just dropped off the radar.”
“Is he in witness protection?” Preacher asked suspiciously.
Abby shook her head, “Doesn’t appear that way, and I would assume that Patrick would have added that if he had known.”
“Ok,” I started aloud. “What would prompt someone to quit a job with what I assume is a large company and then just disappear?”
“Maybe he stole something,” Preacher offered, “He’s an accountant, so he siphons off a small fortune and then disappears into the obscurity of rural Indiana so he can spend it.”
“Maybe,” I nod, “It’s a good theory to start with, although that leaves the question as to just who stole the dog?”
“I’m thinking Jupiter Halifax,” Abby postulated aloud while concentrating on the folder, “They want their money back.”
“Why not just have him arrested then?” Preacher asked while spreading out his hands. “If it’s their money he stole, and if they now knew what happened to him, wouldn’t they just call in the authorities?”
We quietly digested the information before Abby once again piped up.
“I think that one of two scenarios could be in play here. One may be that there is a shadow area of Jupiter Halifax that isn’t public knowledge. Maybe they do something off the books to hide it from their investors or the government. If I worked for a company like that and wanted to skim some money off for myself, that’s where I would get it.”
“And since the money was off the books, you wouldn’t want to call in law enforcement in case they started poking around in your books,” I added with a nod. “But taking the dog? It seems rather…small. A company that large stealing a man’s pet to get their money back?”
Abby nodded with a grin. “That’s what I thought too. That’s why the second scenario is my favorite.”
“And what is that dear daughter?” I smiled.
“That some individual is aware of the theft, maybe someone Jerry worked with, and they want a piece of the take.”
I nod thoughtfully before responding.
“Those are both good theories Abby, but we haven’t even established that corporate theft is at the heart of all of this. Before we jump to conclusions, I think we’re going to have to do a little more research on Jupiter Halifax and see if anything jumps out at us.”
“And by us, I assume you mean me?”
Abby smiled tiredly as she said it. Although she was definitely the most computer savvy of all of us, and usually loved delving into the mysteries of the internet, I knew that she was chomping at the bit to get back out in the field. Unfortunately, that situation was also hampered by her new daughter’s appearance in our lives a few months ago.
“Sorry kid, I guess Preacher and I could give it a try…”
“Never mind!” she groaned while laying her head down on the table. “I’ll do it.”
Suddenly she raised her head again, her eyes set intensely on mine.
“But I get to be in on the takedown! Promise me that!”
I grinned. If that’s what it would take to keep my only daughter happy, who was I to deny her?
“It’s a deal!”
“Yesss!” she replied, pumping a fist in the air. “Kicking ass and taking names!”
I shook my head in wonder.
What had I released onto the world?


Chapter 16
December 7, 2000

“Do not fret my little Juliana,” the giant of a man whispered as he hugged the girl, “I will join you in a week. Besides, your Aunt Margot is looking forward to taking you Christmas shopping!”
“But why can’t you come now Papa?” the ten-year old pleaded, “You are the boss, so you can take off whenever you want!”
“I explained that Munchkin,” the man replied patiently, “I have a lot of long days ahead of me this week…important negotiations…you would seldom see me even if you stayed.”
Sighing, Juliana finally released her arms from around her Papa’s neck.
“Ok,” she grumbled sadly.
Taking her hand in his, he gently pulled her toward a middle-aged woman in a brown coat. “Go with Magda now Munchkin, she will be with you the whole time…there is nothing to be afraid of.”
Planting another quick kiss on his daughter’s cheek, the man then turned and headed for the limousine.
“I’ll see you in a week!” he called back over his shoulder before entering the back of the car.
Juliana watched the car pull away before relenting to Magda’s gentle tugs toward the plane.
“I’m coming, I’m coming,” she exclaimed with a smile, “I get the window seat!”
Although she was sad to leave her father, she really was looking forward to this trip. It would be her first time going anywhere without her father…her first big girl adventure!
If she knew what lay ahead however, she wouldn’t have been so excited.