Where Do We Go From Here – Chapter Ten

I have made the decision to take one of my micro flash fiction stories and flesh it out into a serial. The story that I chose to do this with is “Where Do We Go From Here?” (https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/where-do-we-go-from-here/) . I have no idea how long this serial is going to be. It will have some twists and turns, and it will end when it ends! Enjoy!

Scene: Trinidad/Tobago, in the Caribbean. An office building in downtown Trinidad, where a private elevator services the top three floors.  We are listening in on a conference room on the third floor, where several people are seated around an oval table, laptops in front of them. Represented are three high powered, very discrete private organizations whose job it is to monitor the goings on in the political world. A well known, well respected individual appears on the laptop screens. Formerly with the CIA, he is founder and CEO of the Berkley Group, a privately funded International group that monitors everything from terrorist alerts to monetary crisis. His name is Jean-Michel Bertrand.

 “I want to thank you all for a job well done. Each of you in your own way has played a very important part in this story. I am going to speak in very general terms. Several different organizations are represented here – they will debrief their own people.”

There was quite a bit of tension in the room, with everyone trying to remain calm. The last 48 hours had been hair raising, including a couple of minor snafu’s within the organizations represented. Each organization was a law unto itself – for them to work on a cooperative venture was a huge step forward.

Bertrand continued: “A brief background on this mission, and how it dovetailed with all three of your organizations. There has been chatter for over a year now about an unknown terrorist group. This group has been very deep into the shadows of international terrorism. We knew three things for certain: (1) they were based in Europe, (2) the leader was a female, and (3) their efforts were focused on simultaneous strikes in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. As information came through to each of your groups, it was acted on, and cells were taken out. When it became evident that there was an endless stream of money coming into this group, your groups began sharing information, as the threat was too great for one group alone to handle. The Berkley Group has acted as a clearing house for this information. That is our purpose, and we were happy to do so.”

“Karl, under the shadow of working with the think tank that is the Koenig Foundation, you cover largely the UK and central Europe.  The Koenig Foundation, did an excellent job of recognizing the threat that this terrorist group presented. The information that was shared was crucial to shutting them down in Europe. It was touch and go, but the mission was accomplished.”

Karl sat quietly, closely watching Karin. Was she the allie that she was purported to be? He hoped that her friendship with Annie was genuine, for Annie’s sake. As far as working with her … that might not be a problem, as her work was based largely in the US., and his was based in Europe. That was one of the very sharp edges to the game … who do you trust, even when they seem to be on your side.

Karin was watching Karl and the others. She had not made the auspicious start to her new position that she thought she had. She was going to have to back up and regroup. Coming to Trinidad herself, in disguise, was the tipping point that had netted them the head female terrorist. No one but a woman disguised as a man would recognize another woman disguised as a man. However, in doing so without letting anyone know, she had created new problems. She hoped that she was going to be able to continue her friendship with Annie. For her, this was a connection with the “real” world, which in her line of work was sometimes tenuous. Hearing her name spoken, she brought her focus back into the conference, and the man on the laptop screen.

“Karin, your role was a difficult one. The Centre For International Policy (a think tank cover organization in the UK) posted you in the U.S. as a liaison between themselves and Creed Ltd., a deep undercover group that runs covert operations. It is hard for international groups of this nature to share information, and even harder for them to back each other in an operation. It is clear that not enough information was shared over this latest terrorist threat. The Berkley Group will be conferencing with the heads of the organizations involved to see how to prevent a large scale snafu like we almost ran into here from happening again. There is no reason that this had to happen. Your individual debriefings will cover this.”

“As you all know by now, Annie’s father was deep undercover for the Berkley Group. His death, and her mother’s, was highly questionable, but we were never able to find out exactly what happened. This is why the surveillance equipment was placed in her home. It was a standing request between her father and I, should he die under questionable circumstances, as he did.”

“Are there any questions?”

There were no questions (each individual wanted to debrief with their own organization, so too much information was not given away). Laptops were closed, and everyone stood up, shook hands, and quickly left the room.

Karin was headed to the UK, for a private meeting with her bosses, before she headed back to the U.S. Karl was headed to the safe house, where he would pick up Annie, and they would have lunch and go sight-seeing. They would be shadowed by his people, but it was safe. The threat had been averted. The female terrorist had not given up easily. In the end, she had been killed. They would monitor chatter closely for a while, but he did not foresee any lose ends.

Annie sat in the living room of the safe house, sipping coffee and gazing out the window. She understood Karl’s world … after all, it had been the world of her father also. She also understood why he had waited until he asked her to marry him before telling her what he could about his job. She had watched her mother deal with this all of her life. She knew that she could handle it. She also knew that the Berkley Group, at the request of her father’s friend Jean –Michel Bertrand, had done an extensive investigation into Karl’s past and present, sharing only what she needed to know. Whatever life brought them, it would be a life spent together. She hoped that Karl would be okay with her continuing to be friends with Karin. That was a touchy subject, and she would take his lead.

As a reader, do you see this as a plausible scenario? Do you think that it could really happen? Even if you think it too far fetched, I hope that you have enjoyed it!

Prequil – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/where-do-we-go-from-here/

Chapter One – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-one/

Chapter Two – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-two/

Chapter Three – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-three/

Chapter Four – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-four/

Chapter Five – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-five/

Chapter Six – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-six/

Chapter Seven – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-seven/

Chapter Eight – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-eight/

Chapter Nine – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-nine/

 © September 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

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Where Do We Go From Here – Chapter Nine

I have made the decision to take one of my micro flash fiction stories and flesh it out into a serial. The story that I chose to do this with is “Where Do We Go From Here?” (https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/where-do-we-go-from-here/) . I have no idea how long this serial is going to be. It will have some twists and turns, and it will end when it ends! Enjoy!

Scene: The Table Fifty-Two restaurant – fine dining located on Elm Street. Karen is seated at the bar, waiting for Karl and Annie. She catches Annie’s eye as she walks in the door, and Annie and Karl join her at the bar.

“Karl, this is my friend Karen Wexler. Karen, this is Karl Roden, the gentleman that I cannot stop talking about!”

Karl shook Karen’s hand as he murmured that it was nice to meet a friend of Annie’s. He noted that she looked him straight in the eye, and had a very confident grip. In the back of his mind he still wondered what her game was.

“Karen, I want to thank you for being such a good friend to Annie, and for recommending such a professional team to come in and look at a  very delicate situation. I am happy that it turned out to be nothing, but if it had, I am sure they would have taken care of it in good fashion.”

Karen smiled at Karl. He really was being very circumspect. “You are very welcome. It was the least that I could do for a friend. I would not know my way around this city at all if it were not for Annie!”

Annie smiled and sipped her drink. Everything seemed to be going well … so far, at least. At that moment the maître d summoned them, and they were seated. The restaurant was a lovely place to dine – unparalleled food, gracious service, and an aura of old world ambiance. Karen had chosen the elegant upstairs dining room, and they were all relaxed, and ready to enjoy a wonderful meal.

Their orders had been taken, and they were sipping wine and enjoying an order of crab cakes with horseradish crème fraiche and red bell pepper relish.

Taking a sip of wine, Karen spoke: “I am sure that the two of you are very excited about visiting Trinidad! Tell me … where are you staying, and what do you have planned there? It is such a lovely island … so much to do, and so little time to do it in! Whatever you do, you must go to see the turtles! What an awesome sight that is!”

Karl sat back watching both Annie and Karen. Annie responded: “I have never been to Trinidad before. We did some checking online (Karl has been there several times), and decided to stay at a lovely bed and breakfast in Port au Spain, rather than the hotel that I originally booked. Last minute decision, but I am very excited about it! We will get to spend time on the beach, listen to some wonderful music, and perhaps even get in a bit of shopping.”

The crab cake dishes were taken from the table, and they were served green salads.

“Annie, how exciting! I agree about the bed and breakfast’s – they are wonderful experiences, and so much more personal than a hotel. I know that the two of you will have a great time!” To herself, Karen made a note of the change in plans. The bug had been taken out of the computer, so they would have to work on the fly in Trinidad – follow Annie and Karl from the airport, and get someone in place quickly.

Just then the waiter approached, and they were served their dinners – rib eye for Karl, grilled salmon for Annie, and crusted chicken breast for Karen. General conversation ensued about the work they were each doing, how Karen liked the city, and how Karl felt about the changes brought about by his move to live with Annie. They were all skilled conversationalists, with a full repertoire of stories, so the evening was enjoyable, and passed quickly.

The ride home was quiet. Annie and Karl had both enjoyed the dinner. Karl was deep in thought about Karen, what she represented, and what obstacles she might present. She was being followed, of course, and her e-mails and phone calls tracked. He gave her credit – she did not blink at the news that the reservations on Trinidad had been changed. (Thank you Annie for agreeing so readily to change the reservations!) Of course, Karen had no way of knowing that the bed and breakfast was a safe house, run by his company. He wanted to enjoy his time with Annie, but he also wanted her protected. Everything was very up in the air until they took the woman out. And that had to be done quickly.

Annie watched Karl out of the corner of her eye, allowing herself to simply enjoy being in his company. She had felt small tensions in the air during dinner, but nothing to be concerned about. She reminded herself that she had to put her father’s history – the history that she had been raised with – behind her.

Please join me next week for the final installment of this serial. I hope that you have enjoyed it!

Prequil – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/where-do-we-go-from-here/

Chapter One – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-one/

Chapter Two – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-two/

Chapter Three – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-three/

Chapter Four – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-four/

Chapter Five – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-five/

Chapter Six – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-six/

Chapter Seven – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-seven/

Chapter Eight – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-eight/

© September 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Where Do We Go From Here – Chapter Eight

I have made the decision to take one of my micro flash fiction stories and flesh it out into a serial. The story that I chose to do this with is “Where Do We Go From Here?” (https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/where-do-we-go-from-here/) . I have no idea how long this serial is going to be. It will have some twists and turns, and it will end when it ends! Enjoy!

Scene: Later that evening. Karl and Annie have eaten dinner, and are seated in the living room talking. Soft music is playing in the background. They have opened the wine that Karl purchased earlier, and are enjoying crackers and cheese, and some down time.

Karl was keyed up, but trying not to show it. He wanted to know Annie’s take on Karen, but he didn’t want to cause her to worry. He knew Karen’s history, even though they had never met. The organization that he really worked for … well, they were good at background checks.

“Annie, I am really looking forward to meeting your friend Karen. What should I know about her, so I don’t seem like such a dunce!”

Annie laughed. “Karl, you will never seem a dunce to anyone. At least not to the people that I know. I really have not known Karen all that long myself. We met through work at a conference, hit it off, and have had a few lunches and dinners. She is someone that I can talk to. You will like her!” To herself, Annie had other thoughts. She questioned the almost sense of urgency Karen had about meeting Karl, and did wonder just how she had come to be able to call in a favor like the security team that she sent to Annie’s house. And what was Karen’s relationship with that team, and the company they worked for. As in all things with this city, there were shadows over the shadows.

“I am so focused on my work, Annie, that I think I will bore people. It is very technical, and so much of it simply cannot be talked about. From what you have said, Karen seems to be a very intelligent, fun person.” Karl paused for a moment. “ It is time that we meet each other’s friends!” With that, he raised his glass to Annie. In his heart, he meant what he said. Meeting Annie had changed his life – and caused serious discussions with the people that he worked for! Karl smiled. He had won those discussions!

Blending into the neighborhood was easy for the team that was providing security for Karl and Annie. No one knew they were there, not even the others that were watching the house. Watchers watching watchers. Such a cold war thing, but this was the reality.

In another part of town, another conversation was going on.

“Is everything set?”

“Yes, everything is set. We have security in place, and Karl knows what to look for. He has always been right … let us hope that he is right on this one too. There are so many variables … we can only hope that we have made the right decision. You do know that Karen is demanding to be in on the operation Trinidad.”

“Yes, I do know that. Being who she is, I don’t see that we have a choice. She is good at blending in – you could be looking straight at her, and not know who she was. That ability has saved her life on more than one occasion.”

“What about this dinner she set up with Annie and Karl? Is this a good thing?”

“Stop worrying! Karl can handle himself. As good as Karen is, Karl has to many levels to him that she won’t be able to do more than guess.”

“I hope so. For everyone’s safety, I hope so. We can only pray that Trinidad goes well. If we fail, the woman will go so far underground we will never find her. And she will recreate the cells with a vengeance! There will be activity ten times worse than 9/11 if that happens!”

 

Prequil – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/where-do-we-go-from-here/

Chapter One – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-one/

Chapter Two – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-two/

Chapter Three – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-three/

Chapter Four – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-four/

Chapter Five – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-five/

Chapter Six – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-six/

Chapter Seven – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-seven/

 © September 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

 

 

Where Do We Go From Here – Chapter Seven

I have made the decision to take one of my micro flash fiction stories and flesh it out into a serial. The story that I chose to do this with is “Where Do We Go From Here?” (https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/where-do-we-go-from-here/) . I have no idea how long this serial is going to be. It will have some twists and turns, and it will end when it ends! Enjoy!

Scene: On the expressway, leaving the airport. Annie has just picked up Karl, and they are on their way home. As they were leaving the airport, Annie kept glancing into the mirror, with an anxious look on her face.

“Annie, no one is following us. No one was following you then, and no one is following us now. Relax!”

“Karl, I know that in my mind, but the rest of me is a little concerned. Something is going on that I don’t understand. That team that came to the house … they were so nice, so polite, but they deliberately removed listening devices without telling me they were there. And when I took the video to my father’s friend, the man who had my camera’s installed, he thanked me, and told me not to worry. My friend Karen may be somehow involved in this … it is very hard for even me to believe that these people simply owed her a favor! So now … who do I trust? ” Annie sat back in her seat and closed her eyes. There was trouble coming … she knew the signs so well from the years of her father’s work. There was trouble coming.

Karl continued to drive, a pensive look on his face. There was a car following them, of course, but Annie didn’t need to know that. It was his people, and they were there for protection. She also didn’t need to know that he had already identified another tag team of cars that was also following them … three cars, taking turns, changing lanes, dropping back. He knew that his team had seen them, and that they would present no problem. He pretty much knew who had sent them. The ones he might not be seeing … now, that could be a problem.

Karl turned off the expressway one exit before theirs. Annie looked at him, but said nothing. It amused him to see the chaos behind him. His team had made the exit, but only one of three cars from the tag team had made it. He could see the driver frantically relaying his position to their central command, so that other cars could be sent. They really didn’t need more cars … they needed more experienced agents. Ah, well … he had been in the game too long. Had seen too much. The life was second nature to him by this time. His two lives … it was a wonder that he had been able to juggle that ball for so long. And for what … there were days that he seriously wondered that. And now he was involving Annie. Not that she didn’t have a suspicion, but she didn’t really know.

“Relax, Annie. I just want to stop by the gourmet shop before we go home. A little wine, some crackers and cheese … doesn’t that sound good?”

Annie laughed, and visibly relaxed. “I know … I am seeing shadows where there are none! Yes, a little wine, some crackers and cheese, and we can light the fire … that sounds wonderful!”

Karl pulled into a quaint little shopping center, where he and Annie went into their favorite gourmet shop. His team had pulled in behind him, and gave the car a quick once over before Karl and Annie came back out. They found one bug (aside from the one Annie’s father’s friend had placed there), and they left it in place. They already had one of their team back tracking the signal to see where it originated.

It was a short drive from the gourmet shop to their home. As Karl pulled into the garage, he saw his team driving by. He and Annie would be carefully guarded until they left for Trinidad. Once in  Trinidad, another team would take over. Actually, two members of that team would be flying over on the same flight. It had been a close call in Stuttgart, but the cells there had been closed down. The only thing left to do was to take the woman down who was the head of the operation.

They were sitting in the living room, sipping coffee, when Karl realized that Annie was looking at him strangely. “I’m sorry, my mind has wandered. Did I miss something?”

“I was telling you about Karen’s invitation for dinner next Wednesday evening. I accepted, but if it is not a good time for you, I can reschedule. She does seem to want to meet you. Probably because I talk a lot about you!” Annie laughed.

“No problem … I would love to meet her. Next Wednesday is fine with me.” Karl was trying to remember where Annie had met Karen. He knew that they had not known each other for long. Karen was new to the city, and Annie did not seem to know a great deal about her background. Karl made a mental note to address this with his team. It should not take long to get some background information.

Trinidad … that was another story. Supposedly there had been some chatter about the mystery woman having headed there. Karl fervently hoped that he could protect Annie if something went wrong. He might have to talk to her father’s friend, although he really did not want to tip his hand just yet.

Prequil – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/where-do-we-go-from-here/

Chapter One – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-one/

Chapter Two – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-two/

Chapter Three – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-three/

Chapter Four – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-four/

Chapter Five – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-five/

Chapter Six – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-six/

 © September 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

 

Where Do We Go From Here? – Chapter Six

I have made the decision to take one of my micro flash fiction stories and flesh it out into a serial. The story that I chose to do this with is “Where Do We Go From Here?” (https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/where-do-we-go-from-here/) . I have no idea how long this serial is going to be. It will have some twists and turns, and it will end when it ends! Enjoy!

Scene: A private office in a luxury commercial office building. The woman known as Karen is seated at an antique desk, studying an open file in her laptop. She smiles to herself. Everything is going according to plan. An elite security team was sent in, and did their work. They had no idea that she knew that they were aware of being videotaped as they removed the listening devices. It really wasn’t who knew what, or what one did not know, that mattered. It was how one used the information that was important. Satisfied, she closed the laptop and locked it back in the secure drawer in the credenza. The one on her desk was for show only, but it served its purpose from time to time.

She picked up her phone, clicking on a name. Across town, in another office, a phone was picked up. “Annie, this is Karen. I just wanted to check and see how you were doing. Is everything okay? Is there anything that I can do?”

“Karen, how good to hear from you! Thank you for recommending such a great security team! As you know, they found nothing. That makes me feel a lot better!”

“Things will straighten out once Karl gets back. He is still coming back next week, yes?”

“Yes, he is still coming back next week. Then we have a week to take care of some things here, then we will be off to Trinidad for a week. I cannot wait!”

“I would love to take you both out to dinner before you leave for Trinidad. Would that be possible?”

“Certainly! We would love that! Our evening are free, so just name the date, time, and place!”
“I am thinking Paolo’s next Wednesday at 6 pm. How does that sound?”
“Excellent! We will be there!”
“See you then! Take care – and please feel free to call if you need anything. I am worried about you!”

“Karen, Don’t worry! I just have an over-active imagination! See you nest Wednesday!”

As she hung up, Annie thought to herself: “Karen, you have so much more to worry about than you will ever know!”

Meanwhile, a call was being placed from Stuttgart. “Has she placed the reservations yet? Okay, make sure that we have people in the hotel, and in the surrounding area. We want to take this woman down now!”
Prequil – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/where-do-we-go-from-here/
Chapter One – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-one/
Chapter Two – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-two/
Chapter Three – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-three/
Chapter Four – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-four/
Chapter Five – https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/where-do-we-go-from-here-chapter-five/

© August 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Where Do We Go From Here? – Chapter One


I have made the decision to take one of my micro flash fiction stories and flesh it out into a serial. The story that I chose to do this with is “Where Do We Go From Here?” (https://theworldofflashfiction.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/where-do-we-go-from-here/). I have no idea how long this serial is going to be. It will have some twists and turns, and it will end when it ends! Enjoy!

Karl had been living with Annie for the past six months. Her home was now their home, and it felt comfortable. She enjoyed seeing his things mixed in amongst hers. It just felt right. He had been doing a great deal of traveling, as she knew that he would, but he always kept in touch, mainly through Skype. For her, this was a more personal connection than e-mails, text messages, or even phone calls. She needed to see him, ost beneficial solution.as well as hear his voice. Body language was important, and in unguarded moments she was able to learn a great deal about him.

Annie had taken him to the airport this morning – he was due to be gone for three weeks this time. But then he would be home for a month, which she was really looking forward to. They would stay in the city for the first week, then they were going to Trinidad for a week’s vacation. They had been there before, and they both loved it.

Something had happened at the airport that she couldn’t shake. She dropped Karl off in the passenger area, as she always did. When she pulled out she could have sworn that the red car two cars behind her darted out into traffic, and was following her. But that was silly – the airport is full of cars, and their drivers are almost always frazzled by the airport traffic and general inconsideration of other drivers. Once she was on the interstate the car was no longer there. But she still had this strange feeling that she was being watched.

The red car pulled out into the traffic, staying two cars behind its target. The driver didn’t care of he was seen – he would be veering off at the next exit anyway, and the Mercedes that was in the next lane would be taking over. He personally thought the whole thing was stupid – following the woman wasn’t going to help. He was absolutely certain that she wasn’t part of the problem, nor was she part of the most beneficial solution. He had already been through her home with a fine tooth comb – the man had left no evidence, no clues, nor was the book there. He had to have it with him. He even checked both of her laptops – nothing there that would indicate that she knew anything. She was an unfortunate but ancillary part of this show.

In Stuttgart, a black limo had just pulled up in front of an out of the way hotel. It was very high end … primarily used by diplomats and those high in the international business world. A tall figure in a dark coat got out of the limo and entered the lobby, nodding at the doorman as he passed him. He had promised them the next three weeks, then he had a month off. He really wanted to make it work with Annie. He wondered if he had made the right choice, or if he was putting her in harms way. He set that thought aside, and took the elevator up to his suite, where he would prepare for the meeting in the morning.

© July 2012 Bonnie Cehovet