A man is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms, only one of which may insure his survival. The first room is full of raging fires, while the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Being an astute observer, he picks one of the doors...and lives. What did the man know that lead to his decision? Find the answer HERE!
As promised, here are some more chapters from my new International Thriller...Murmansk! Hope you enjoy this week's offering! New posts every Friday! Available now at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble (See links at the bottom)
December 12, 2000
Patrick McGruder watched the clouds
pass below. Puffy and white, the blue sky surrounding them reminded him of a
cool pool of water even as they reflected the magnificent sun of the day.
McGruder sighed…if only his outlook
could be so bright.
“You ok?” Michael Montana asked
McGruder turned to his old friend,
a tight smile forming on his lips.
“Yes Montana, I’m just not so used to being on
this side of the equation I guess.”
Michael nodded in understanding.
“It can happen to any of us Patrick…nature of the beast.”
Returning his eyes to the front,
Michael smiled at the sight that met him.
A very sexy Beth Montoya, his Forensic
Accountant/Field Operative was leaning over Joe Bright’s seat. Joe was the
other operative that he had brought along on this mission.
Two of only three in his inner
circle, Michael had brought the best of the best along for this particular
mission. But it wasn’t Beth’s work in the field he was thinking about at that
Having had an on and off sexual
relationship with her over the last couple of years, his mind was absorbed on a
past exploit in the bedroom.
Catching himself, he cleared his
throat before turning back toward McGruder. “You’ve made the right choice today
Patrick, this will give us an edge when we get on the ground.”
“Indeed,” McGruder nodded, “One
which I hope we can take full advantage of if everything goes according to
“It will,” Michael grinned, “It was
thought up by two of the best in the business.” A movement in the aisle claimed
his attention again; Joe Bright and Beth were now moving toward him.
A hulk of a man, Joe came off as
fat in his usual tacky jacket and slacks, but Michael knew better. Having met
Joe on the very first day of Michael’s first operation, they had been together
ever since. An ex detective, Joe was a chain-smoking, uncouth individual that always got results.
“Pilot says two hours,” Joe mumbled
as he approached Michael’s seat, “Bethy and me’s gonna break out the gear and
set it up.”
Michael smiled at Beth’s grimace;
Joe always called her Bethy, much to her dismay.
“Good idea,” Michael responded.
“Don’t catch anything on fire.”
He knew part of the reason that Joe
was volunteering to go to the cargo hold was his need for a nicotine infusion.
“Fucking pissant,” Joe muttered under his breath before raising his
voice, “If I do, I guess you’ll be one of the first people to know.”
Beth rolled her eyes as she followed
Joe into the rear of the plane.
“It’s good to see Joe again,”
McGruder observed when they had passed. “A good guy…although I think you may be
the only man that he could ever hope to work for…at least for any length of
Michael had to laugh at Patrick’s
observation. “You may be right about that…it takes a mind with a certain bent to
“Peculiarities?” McGruder finished
Michael’s sentence. “Yes, I suppose it would. Still, I’m overjoyed that he is
here, as well as you and Beth.”
McGruder’s smile turned to sadness
again before he turned his face once again toward the window.
“If they are as good as you say
they are Patrick, they will come out of this fine.”
McGruder turned again toward
Michael. “I hope they are as good as I think they are too,” he responded before
turning back toward the window.
“I hope to hell they are good enough.”
December 12, 2000
“Here you go buddy, just a little
I had Preacher’s head in my hand,
raising it slightly while trying to feed him some powdered soup I had found in
My return trek had been yet another
Burdened with the additional weight
of the sled, I sunk down ever farther into the snow with every step back. My
legs now felt like they would never work properly again.
Around half way back to the shack,
I lost all sense of my previous trail. Stopping and taking numerous sightings
on the North Star as I traveled, it could have only been God’s hand that had
allowed me to finally step back into the relative warmth of the shack.
Betty’s…or maybe both.
Either way, I was exceedingly
thankful to have made it back, especially with the small load of supplies that
gave us a fighting chance at survival!
The first thing I had noted upon my
return was that the portable heater had stopped working. Grabbing one of the
new propane tanks, I quickly exchanged it for the old and lit it with a kitchen
match. Turning it up all of the way, I set the snow I had collected earlier on
it and proceeded to dig through the sled’s contents. I had brought the sled
inside with me earlier, and I moved it closer to the fire to look through it.
My teeth were chattering so bad I
wasn’t sure that they would ever stop, but it felt like I wouldn’t be able to
move from the stove for at least
Finding a box of instant soup, I
immediately poured two packets into the warming water before examining the rest
of the stash.
In the sled I found 6 canisters of
propane, one of which I had already utilized. The box of soup had contained ten
individual serving packets, of which I had already used two, so four more meals
there. Eight if I stretched it.
There were also two arctic sleeping
bags, four Russian Army surplus canned meals, and six batteries for the
I sat back on my haunches and did
some math in my head. If we were ultra-conservative, we could probably hope to
live here comfortably for three days…if we stretched it a little further…maybe
I glanced over at Preacher, who was
resting more comfortably with the added heat and the food in his belly. But he
still needed help sooner than later, and five days was way longer than I could
risk his life for.
We needed a plan of escape! And I
would start on that immediately…as soon as I got some rest. I wasn’t even sure that
I had the energy left to pull myself into a sleeping bag, but I was determined
to give it a try. I had to get some
sleep, and some rest for my extremely overworked…old muscles.
With numb fingers, I worked at
untying the straps that held the sleeping bag. When I finally got them
released, I pulled off my boots and parka and crawled into the bag, pulling the
zipper up as far as it would go.
In that moment I worried over the fate
of Abby, as well as concern for May. I was sure that she was at the very least
worried about us by now just from the delay of our return, even if she didn’t
know of our abduction yet.
That, however was the last
conscious thought I could claim as my heavy eyes slid down and a fitful sleep
It was the sleep of the dead, and I
could only hope that it wouldn’t be my last.
December 12, 2000
“What the hell!” Abby gasped as she
pushed Gregor away.
“Chto na tebya nashio mudak?” she
yelled at the man. (What’s gotten into
“Vy seychas moi malen’kaya printsessa,”
the fat man exclaimed in a slur, obviously sloshed. “Vy poluchili dlya
menya.” (You are mine now little princess…you have been given to me.)
Abby’s eyes closed to slits. “Like
hell I have,” she shouted while bringing her foot up into Gregor’s crotch.
Howling in pain, Gregor bent over
at the waist. Planting her hands on his greasy hair and pushing down, Abby
quickly brought her knee up into his face, grinning at the resounding crack
when his nose broke.
Screaming now, Gregor swung his
meaty hand around and caught Abby in the side of her head, knocking her onto
the cot, dazed.
Barely able to stand straight and
bleeding profusely, Gregor still grinned as he removed his apron, his teeth now
stained with blood.
“YA poshel na khuy seychas,” he
uttered as Abby moaned on the cot, “Vy budete blagodarit’ menya, kogda vse
zakonchitsya!” (I will fuck you now…you
will thank me when it’s over!)
Dropping his pants, he waddled over
to Abby’s position, his dirty slacks still bunched around his ankles. Abby’s
eyes were closed as another moan escaped her unconscious lips.
Reaching down, Gregor started
working on her pants, getting both jeans and underwear down to her knees before
stepping back. Tugging off her shoes, he then worked at sliding each pant leg
past her feet before letting the jeans fall to the floor.
Hard with excitement, he reached
down and effortlessly pulled Abby up off of the cot by her shirt before turning
and throwing her over the sink on the opposite wall.
“Suka!” he exclaimed as he aimed
himself at her. “Mozhet byt’, ya trakhat’ svoyu zadnitsu pervym!” (Bitch! Maybe I fuck your ass first!)
in toward her, he was unprepared for the back kick that suddenly landed on his
flabby stomach. Flailing backwards, he looked up in time to see Abby turn and
quickly jab her hand at his face. Before he knew what was happening, Abby’s
fingers had entered his eye sockets, damaging at least one eyeball beyond
Howling in pain again, Gregor
continued to stumble backwards when the heel of her foot landed on his jaw from
a hard side-kick. Falling to the floor, his head bounced off of the greasy
Abby was on him in a rage, landing
on his chest with both knees and knocking the wind out of him before pummeling
him over and over with her fists. Screaming obscenities in Vietnamese, she
continued to pound on her ugly attacker until her mind was lost to her.
When the red world of rage finally
cleared from her vision, she found herself straddling the dead man, naked from
the waist down, her fists cut and bleeding.
Seeing the bloody pulp of what was
left of Gregor’s face, she quickly stood and raced for the sink, retching the
contents of her stomach into it until there was nothing left.
Tears streaming down her face, she
found the closest thing to a clean rag she could find and ran it under the
water. Grinding a bar of soap into it while sobbing loudly, she started washing
herself…scrubbing hard at her skin…trying to erase any trace of the man that
had attacked her.
After twenty minutes of endless scrubbing…she
finally stopped. She had no more tears left to cry, and not enough energy to
waste on feeling sorry for herself. Dropping the cloth to the floor, she
stepped over to her jeans and pulled them up, leaving the underwear on the
floor. Sitting on the side of the cot, she pulled her shoes toward her and
inserted her feet into them.
Then she sat…staring at the
opposite wall…unsure of what to do next…unsure if she wanted to do anything at
Slowly, her head turned to what was
left of Gregor. Revulsion of the man worked its way up from her stomach before
she once again looked away.
She didn’t know what to do next…she
had never felt so alone.
Jumping up suddenly, she reached
down for Gregor’s discarded apron and pulled it loose from under his cooling body.
Grimacing, she reached into the pocket and extracted the wad of Russian bills
she knew would be there.
Pushing them into her pocket, she
then stepped over the body and moved into the bar area. Ducking behind the
scarred wooden structure of the bar itself, she first went to the cash register
and opened it, taking all of the paper money available there. That done, she
turned to the mirrored shelves behind the bar before pulling down two bottles
of the best vodka in the house. Hugging them to her chest, she turned once
again toward the back room.
Grabbing one of the lit candles
from off one of the tables as she passed, she entered the back room without
looking down at the dead man. Setting the candle aside, she uncapped the first
bottle and started pouring the contents over the body. Stepping over the body,
she then grabbed her Parka and shrugged into it, slowly bringing up the zipper
as she stared at the man again.
Uncorking the second bottle of
Vodka, she started pouring the bottle over the cot before moving around the
room, dousing anything that would burn. When she was done with that, she
stepped over the body one more time and lifted the candle in her hand before
turning around. She spent a few moments staring at the man…the man that had
imprisoned her…the man that had violated her.
She wanted to scream at him, to
curse him in every language at her disposal…to kick at the dead flesh…
But she had no energy left…her
emotions drained away to nothing.
Sighing, she then tossed the candle
toward the floor. Landing next to the body, the glass around the candle
immediately broke, the flame easily catching the high-proof vodka aflame.
Staying only long enough to make
sure that the fire took, Abby turned and made her way through the kitchen, grabbing
a sharp, six-inch knife off of the counter before letting herself out the back
door and into the alley.
Shivering from the cold, she pulled
the zipper of her coat the rest of the way up as she looked around. Not knowing
where exactly in the city she was…or even what
city for sure, she determined that it really didn’t matter.
She just needed to go!
Still clasping the knife in her
hand, she inserted it into her right coat pocket.
Turning to the left, she walked
quietly away from the bar, staying to the shadows as much as she could.
It would be a long time before she
let go of the knife again.
For those of you that have been anxiously waiting for either Minute Mystery Monday or continuing chapters of Murmansk, I must apologize.
During the last two weeks, my dad suffered a series of strokes which led to hospital stays, a stint in a nursing home, and then back to the hospital. On Thursday, July 16th, he passed from this world.
As you can imagine, posting new material was the last thing on my mind during this time of high stress, but there were some positives that came out of the experience.
For one, we became closer as a family, and worked with each other to make sure that mom always had someone with her. And we told some stories of things long forgotten as well as some more current memories.
But there were two big things that I got to experience that have left me at least somewhat content.
On Tuesday night after his last stroke he couldn't speak, but he could still communicate somewhat. Before most of the family left, he said goodbye to each and every one of us. Taking our hand in his, he looked at us as we told him we loved him, and then nodded his head before pointing to mom.
The message was clear...Take Care Of Mom!
Although he lived two more days, he didn't communicate much, and I will be forever thankful for our chance to say goodbye.
The second thing I am thankful for is spending the night with him on Tuesday night. While mom settled close by on a cot, I sat by his bed.
It was a restless night. Although he indicated that he wasn't in pain, he was at the very least uncomfortable...at most a little afraid of what was to come.
I held his hand most of that night, which seemed to comfort him as it did me. I guess I'll never know if I really helped him or not, but spending that time with him helped me. Being next to him that night couldn't ever come close to evening the balance sheet for everything that he has given me in this life, but I hope it helped is his way to the next one.
He was a great man that never gave a second thought to helping others, and it showed on the faces of those coming to say their last respects at the funeral.
I can only hope to try my best to help fill the void left by this great man.
Richard Thomas 'Dick' Lewis
September 22, 1932 - July 16, 2015
Following is his eulogy.
A Glimpse Into The Life of Richard Lewis
O Captain! my Captain!
Our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d
every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the
bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the
steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
From which he’d always led
O Captain! my Captain!
rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the
flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and
ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the
swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! Dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
fallen from where you led
My Captain does not answer,
his lips are pale and still,
My father does not
feel my arm…he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d
safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the
victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
From which he’d always led
As we sat in that
dark hospital room, watching a part of the foundation of our family drifting
away from us, the words of Walt Whitman’s epic poem kept flashing through my
O Captain, My Captain!
I wondered about
it at the time, this incessant verse that would not cease. I wondered what our
dad, mom’s husband, would think if I shouted it out.
O Captain, My Captain!
At another time in
his life, he would have probably just glanced up over his glasses quietly, his
Don’t take yourself so seriously!
But no more will
we hear his quiet wisdom, no more that meaningful look.
heart I watched as the ravages of time overtook him, all of us wanting just another
week…another day…another hour with him before he left us.
O Captain, My Captain!
Truth be known, I
wasn’t quite sure what the poem was about, only that it reflected the grieving
of the crew for the loss of their Captain, which certainly fit our
But I’ve came to
see that it speaks of so much more.
The Captain has
led his crew through the trials and tribulations of a difficult voyage, showing
the wisdom and courage to spur them on to the end. And although the Captain has
shown exemplary skills in leading his crew all the way back to port…he doesn’t
quite make it to the end.
O Captain, My Captain!
It is hard enough
to put into words what makes a life worth living…harder still to put a finger
on the makings of an exemplary one. But this is what one does in these situations
when one has too much time to dwell as we did.
So I thought about
what made my dad the man he was to all of us. I thought about the makeup of an
Lewis, Dick to friends and family, was born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana
in the midst of the Great Depression on September 22, 1932.
I think he took
pleasure in the fact that he wasn’t born at the beginning of the
Depression…that way no one could blame it on him.
While the house of
his birth was small, the family inside wasn’t. As one of eight siblings, he
soon learned the value of asserting himself…especially around the dinner table!
In 1948 he and his
family moved to Guilford, Indiana… on the banks of the meandering
Tanner’s Creek. And it was while attending school at this truly back-creek town
that his life in fact started to change.
To hear mom tell
it…she fell in love with him at first sight when she passed dad in a doorway
that first year.
True to form
however, dad held his own emotions close to the cuff. Coyness was a skill to be
honed, and even at that age he was sharpening those skills.
Be that as it may,
they did start dating in high school, even attending the prom before he
however, things went unexplainably off kilter. While Dick went off to work and
eventually the Army, Clara finished school and then also joined the workforce.
It seemed like it
was not to be.
On a day in 1954
however, a friend called up Clara out of the blue and asked her if she would be
willing to go on a blind date. Agreeing to the setup, she was surprised by who
turned up…Dick had once again entered her life.
Once they had
found each other again, they never let go.
started working at making a life together, marrying in 1956 and starting
production on a family soon after. In a matter of a few short years they had a
new house, four kids, and a mortgage.
They were living
the American dream.
childhood, dad and mom were involved in almost every facet of our lives. Not
one to sit on the sidelines, dad became in turn a baseball coach, a 4-H leader,
a Soap Box Derby car designer, and a Scoutmaster.
While most men his
age were starting to lay back and take it a little easier, dad would lead us on
a thirty mile hike. When at our first camporee our troop came through it with a
lackluster showing, he worked with us and our equipment for months so that we
could give a good presentation of ourselves.
And we did. In
fact mom now has a basement full of awards our troop won over the years…dad’s
troop. Dad continued to mentor scouts until there were no more scouts to
mentor, and I think back fondly on those days when he was with us wherever we
Dedicated to his
family, dad was always available to help out whenever something went awry in
our lives, or if we just needed something done. There are four houses and a
barn on our combined properties, and dad had a hand in each and every one. His
work ethic was enviable, his energy astonishing.
But while the
labor of life happened around him: work, kids, houses and barns…he still
We all remember
mom and dad going out to dance from earliest memory. And when they came home, they
were always smiling after spending the night together.
Western by the way…none of that new age country they are trying to pass off
Dancing is not,
however, something that they passed on to their kids.
Not that they
wouldn’t have enjoyed us being around them on the dance floor, it just wasn’t
part of our generation. It harkened back to an earlier time…it wasn’t cool.
But they didn’t
really care, because it was what they enjoyed. Even when health problems
started to plague him, they still went when they could.
couples I know, mom and dad always did everything together. If the car had a
bench seat, they sat beside each other when they drove anywhere. They were made
for each other you see, and they worked to make sure nothing came between them.
As their kids
grew, got married and started having their our own kids, our busy lives
sometimes precluded seeing them as often. But this did not keep them from
coming to every family event, and making sure that they talked to everyone
If they couldn’t
see their family often, they made sure that they saw them at every available
Their love and
commitment to each other has been an inspiration to us, as well as to others.
When dad started
experiencing physical changes these last few months however, he began to worry
about the future, a future that seemed not
to include him. Always a man of quiet faith, I think he did a lot more talking
to God during those months, because he needed to know that the love of his life
would be ok…that mom would be ok.
The true test of this came on the last night
we could communicate with him. He said goodbye to all of us one at a time as we
huddled around the bed. And although he couldn’t speak, he made one thought
abundantly clear to those that were gathered around the room.
Take care of mom!
O Captain, My Captain!
Faced with the
uncertain, he still made sure he had everything done before he left us…certain
that we were heading to port before releasing the wheel.
Oh Captain, My Captain!
And now we must
continue without him at our backs, but he would want us to move on. He has
given us all the skills we need to accomplish the voyage we must all take… this
thing we call life. He has helped fill our hearts with love and caring…if not
the ability to dance.
O Captain! My Captain!
Dick Lewis loved
life, his children and their children. And he loved mom. His smile was
genuine…his voice soft-spoken. He led an exemplary life, and seldom met someone
that didn’t call him friend once they had met him. There are few people in this
life that have made such an impression on so many.
Captain did not make it to the end of the voyage, he made it as far as he
could. While we mourn his loss, he certainly didn’t leave us rudderless. And as
we grab the wheel of the ship of life, we have but one thought in our head.
It is our turn
Oh Captain, do not
fear, for we have got this now,
Your skills at leading
our ship through life have passed to us and how,
The storms that come
when next we sail we can weather because of you,
The treasure we seek
is love and life and we will claim it too;
As promised, here are some more chapters from my new, upcoming International Thriller...Murmansk! Hope you enjoy this week's offering! New posts every Friday! Available at a savings on pre-order now at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble (See links at the bottom)
December 11, 2000
The man sat up in his cot, noticing
some unusual movement on the monitors. Swinging his stocking-clad feet onto the
floor, he rose from the cot and shuffled across the floor unsteadily.
He had been deeply asleep and was
having a hard time getting the buzzing in his head to clear.
Plopping into his chair, he tried
to focus on what was going on in front of him. Expanding the kitchen camera’s
image, he pulled the headphones down over his ears.
have contacts all over the world…I’m pretty sure I can find someone that knows
where she is,” the dark-haired man muttered as he punched in some numbers
on the phone.
going on,” the man thought to himself as he watched what was happening in
real time. He would need to roll back the footage when he got the chance in
order to put this conversation in perspective.
But he could tell by the looks of
everyone in the room that it wasn’t good.
biggest problem is that Noon Byrk is the most ruthless bitch I’ve ever come across,”
the dark-haired visitor continued before connecting with someone on the phone.
As the scene continued to unfold,
the observer was further confused by the other man’s sudden use of Italian on
Sighing loudly, he leaned back in
his chair. This was an unusual development…whatever
it was. Once he had a chance to look at the footage, he knew he would have
to place a call to his handler.
He was pretty sure this would be something he would be
Taking the headphones off, he rose
from the chair and turned toward the stairs. It was starting to look like it
was going to be a long night…a night that would require more than just a bit of
December 11, 2000
My legs were burning as I trudged
through the deepening snow. I had no idea how far I had gone at that point, but
it felt like at least five miles. Even though I had my face covered with a
scarf, I could no longer feel the ice and snow pelting me.
Visions of the dream I had had a
couple of days before were now haunting my thoughts.
it only been a couple of days?
To tell the truth, what with being
on the other side of the world and being ensconced in total darkness…I wasn’t
even sure what day it was!
shit don’t matter…
In spite of everything, I couldn’t
help but smile when the saying struck me. It was one of Frank’s…my old partner.
He had a stable of eclectic sayings to fit every need, always delivered in his
dry, unemotional voice that I suddenly missed very much.
that I’d wish you were stuck in this hell with me,” I mumbled to Frank’s
spirit, “But sometimes I really wish you
were still around.”
Frank had been murdered a couple of
years ago now, when he had gotten too close to the truth on a series of
murders. I had been gone at the time…out of the country…trying to get my head
on straight after the death of my wife.
I still felt a pang of guilt when I thought about him…dying alone
without backup…if I’d only been around…
My self-inflicted guilt came to a
sudden end when my foot caught on something and I unceremoniously tripped, my
face plowing into a bank of snow.
Crawling slowly out of the pile, I
turned to see what I had stumbled over. Unable to discern anything, I was ready
to continue my trek when my mind finally kicked in.
are looking for something that might be buried by now…idiot!
Falling to my knees, I started
scooping away snow from whatever had caught my foot. It wasn’t long before my
hand scrapped against something solid. Tugging at it, I realized that it was a
small tank of propane!
With renewed energy, I started
digging deeper…a real chore since the blowing winds quickly refilled the holes
almost as fast as I could dig them. Finally realizing I was getting nowhere, I
started throwing the scoops of snow into the wind and letting the breeze
scatter it farther away.
After about twenty minutes, I was
able to make out the frame of a sled. About six feet long, it had an assortment
of supplies that would make our internment a little more hospitable.
I sat back to catch my breath,
still amazed that the voice on the phone had been telling the truth. Finding a
strap attached to the front of the sled, I slowly stood and trudged toward the
front of it, readying myself to pull at it and try to free the sled from its
I ended up having to tug one way
and then the other to wiggle it enough to release it from its icy grip. Finally
pulling it to the top of the snow, I dropped to my knees to catch my breath. As
I breathed in the frigid air, I glanced around at my surroundings.
A barren plane of dimly lit ice and
snow with no discernable point of reference to anything.
the hell had I even found it? I asked myself as I stiffly stood and faced
the way that I had come.
My heart sank when I realized that
my footprints from the trek here were now almost totally obliterated.
if those were disappearing…what about the earlier ones?
My eyes turned toward the heavens. “I hope you are with me Betty,” I
mumbled before lowering my head and taking the first step back to the shack, “Because if you aren’t…”
December 12, 2000
Noon Byrk tensed when the big
Russian started speaking.
“English!” she barked over her
shoulder from her spot in front of the window.
In a good mood when he had entered
her office, the rebuke put Ivan on edge.
“My apologies moy Rukovoditel, but
my excitement over the current…how you say…success of the operation has left my
mouth detached from my brain I thinks.”
only you had a brain for your mouth to attach to, Noon thought to herself
before turning to face her hired hand.
“Everything is as planned then?”
she questioned the man before smelling the vodka on him.
reeked of it!
She had a hard time keeping her
revulsion from showing.
Ivan nodded in reply, his greasy
hair now spread across his forehead like so many dirty fingers.
“The two men are stashed in the
outpost, the little girl is with Magda, and the woman…Gregor thanks you for the
A sly grin crossed his pockmarked
face before he spoke again. “He would like to discuss with you the possibility
of keeping her on full time. He says his business has never been better…plus I
tinks he wants to have deti with
Noon smiled in spite of her
company. Gregor had been a good friend over the years…was this so much to ask?
“Tell him I don’t care what he does
with her…for now. I will leave the possibility open as to him keeping her
Ivan proffered an unsteady bow. “As
you wish moy Rukovoditel.”
Noon turned away from the drunken
sot, staring out once again at her icy prison.
“You have confirmed McGruder’s
“V opredelennom smysle…how you
say…in your senses?”
Noon sighed, “Do you mean, in a
“Da!” Ivan grinned. “McGruder did
not use my friend’s charter service, but he was able to track him on another
one…they took off an hour ago.”
Noon nodded, excitement tingling
her spine at the thought.
Turning to Ivan once again, “I have
made a decision. Since his operatives are a part of McGruder’s organization, we
will dispose of them in time. Gregor may keep the girl; you can leave the other
two to freeze to death. After I have had my fun with the little man, I will
renegotiate with the little girl’s father for yet another ransom.”
Her proclamation done, she turned
to her desk, stopping only when Ivan cleared his throat.
“You have something else to say?”
she asked in a warning tone of voice.
“Alexie and I could easily dispose
of the men,” Ivan responded.
“No,” Noon replied succinctly, “I
need you here for McGruder’s arrival.”
“What of after moy Rukovoditel?
Alexie is young…he has yet to draw his first blood. It would be a great honor
for him to do this.”
Slavic’s! Noon thought as she continued to her desk and sat down.
“After,” she finally spoke. “After
I have secured McGruder and have him under my thumb…then you can take your
man-child out to give him his much needed practice.”
“As you wish,” Ivan responded
before turning to leave the room.
“Many things will be different after I have McGruder,” Noon called
out as he reached for the door.
Thoughts of the white-haired bitch
taking it while he leaned her over the desk came to his thoughts. A sneer
formed on his lips at the thought.
“Da,” he uttered as he turned the
doorknob, “I can see that they will.”