Events

Madison County Covered Bridge Festival

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Iowa Authore Fest will be at the covered bridge festival on the north side of the square in space N13 on October 12th and 13th, 9 to5 each day. Please stop by our tent and pick up our novels for your fall reading enjoyment. We will have several new authors with us this year. Alethea Cook will have her premiere novel ‘Just Wing It’ for your pleasure along with several new novels and colorbook from Iowa Author Fest regulars, Jordyn Meryl, Sue Raymond / Lady Landora, Larry Stumbo, Julie Hamm, LaVina Vanorny-Barcus, Kathryn Daugherty.

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Audience Targeting

  • Book Categories:Teen and Young Adult, Fantasy, Christian Fiction
  • Similar Authors in fantasy field:Bryan Davis, Donita K. Paul

Fantastic eBook Sale

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Lady Laindora informs me the time is right for a sale on her eBook novel Healer of Surflex. It will be on sale for the month of April. You can purchase it in a wide variety eBook formats at the following link:
https://www.books2read.com/b/bWekMm
You can also find it in Kindle at the following link: https://www.amzn.to1u92UUj

https://www.books2read.com/b/bWekMm

Kerlia has fought to survive even before she was born because of the prophesy a child will destroy Kernel’s hold over the kingdom by healing the kingdom. Kernel’s minions search for the healer as his wizards strive to design the ultimate weapon. The minions almost capture Kerlia in the forest however she escapes by being transported to the fairy realm to begin her training to control her healing power. Kerlia must control her powers soon to protect those she loves. Can a mere child stand against the evil that has brought so many men to their knees

Make sure you snag this fantastic bargain before it is gone. You can find Healer of Surflex at the following links:

https://www.books2read.com/b/bWekMm

https://www.amzn.to/1u92UU

Grant Challenge

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We’re really excited to let you know that we’re a part of the @acommunitythrives It’s a friendly fundraising campaign launched by @USATODAY where organizations dedicated like Iowa Author fest supports the creativity of our local Iowa Authors/Artist/Musicians in their endeavor to bring their work to reality and promote their written word/art/music to their patrons. compete to raise the most money with the top team winning a grand prize cash donation of $25,000.

It starts on Monday 18th ,2019 at 12pm ET and a total of $800,000 will be given away to organizations in the Challenge. The top raising organizations that raise the most will receive cash donations. We’re ready to raise as much money as we can so we can win the $25,000 grand prize donation.

How You Can Help

As a passionate member of our board, we know that you want to help out in any way you can. The best thing you can do is set up a fundraiser page. Donating is great, but if you can become a fundraiser and reach out to your entire network, the potential for raising more money increases drastically.

All you have to do is Go Here https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/iowa-author-fest1/iowa-author-fest

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IOWA AUTHOR FEST

At a meeting of supportive authors, the discussion was about different events or lack of events for self-published or indie authors in the Des Moines area.
That sparked the quest to create an event for authors in the Des Moines area and Iowa Author Fest came about.
The purpose of Iowa Author Fest is to promote Iowa Authors and to start or continue the networking of Iowa Author and other associated fields of creativity.
Iowa Author fest supports the creativity of our local Iowa Authors/Artist/Musicians in their endeavor to bring their work to reality and promote their written word/art/music to their patrons.
In 2014 we did our first short story contest in the Des Moines high schools with two stories submitted a disappointment but learning experience.
Two years later we reached out to high schools across Iowa and the response was overwhelming, 93 stories. We setup guidelines and the process of gleaming out the stories that met the guidelines, judging, complying, formatting, publishing and distribution the final book to the students took longer than expected. A learning situation. We gave out prizes of $100, $75 and $50 to the top three stories.
This year we are setting modified guidelines to expedite all aspects of the contest.

Some of the past participating authors in Iowa Author Fest:

Ia-AuFe-children-postcard 2

Thank you in advance for your support.

Last Free First Chapter

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This the last of the free chapters of my novels. I appreciate all of your involvement during this promotion. You can find the complete novel of Resin La Rock at the following links: www:https://books2read.com/u/m2XWOr

www:https://azn.to/1u92UUj

CHAPTER 1

Resin La Rock glared from behind his Allis Chalmers Wd45 tractor as the scrawny little old lady swung her revolver at him. “You stupid old crone, get the off my property and out of my hair! My name is Resin La Rock. I never laid eyes on your scrawny backside before I moved to Wayne County two years ago.”

Resin La Rock glared from behind his Allis Chalmers Wd45 tractor as the scrawny little old lady swung her revolver at him. “You stupid old crone, get the off my property and out of my hair! My name is Resin La Rock. I never laid eyes on your scrawny backside before I moved to Wayne County two years ago.”

Resin saw her face twist into a snarl. He shook his head. He was going to have to swear out another complaint at the Sheriff’s office in Columbia against Miss Sunshine Lea Defiance. This old wrinkled wisp of a woman had been a thorn in Resin’s side since he made the stupid mistake of coming to this little jerk water town.

Sunshine stood on the driver seat of her Packer convertible to gain a better angle for that revolver at Resin. “Don’t you be lying to me. You know exactly what I mean and I’ll get the truth out of you even if I have to do it with lead. Come on admit it, you’re Hank Freeman. You done me wrong thirty years ago and I’m here to make you pay for your lying, cheating, thieving ways.”

Resin’s ground his teeth, “You’re delusional! Go back to your funny farm where you belong. I’m only twenty-six.”

Resin dove behind the rear tractor tire as a bullet ripped through where he stood moments ago. A second later, the rear tire let loose with a high pitch hiss of air escaping through the gaping hole left the bullet left. The tractor twisted slightly as the tire sank, exposing the other tire to the same treatment. The radiator sputtered and gurgled, releasing its liquid in a stream as other bullets careened off different parts of the tractor.

Resin let out a stream of billingsgate with each impact trying to find him. Resin flew into action as the hammer hit the empty chamber. He rounded the tractor and made a beeline for the Packard as Sunshine fumbled with the ammo in her jean pocket. She slammed three rounds in the chamber as Resin charged. Resin launched over the car, clothes lining Sunshine across the chest. Resin landed in a crouch; Sunshine laid on her back, the air knocked out of her – but not the fight.

The revolver came up intended to put a bullet right between Resin’s sea green eyes. He ripped the revolver free from her shaky fist as he flipped her over on her stomach. He kept Sunshine pinned to the ground with a knee to the small of her back. Resin slid the revolver in the back of his waistband and pulled several tie straps from his hip pocket. He twisted Sunshine’s arms behind her back hog, tying her. Resin grabbed her by her waistband and threw her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

Sunshine flopped like a fish out of water trying to get free as Resin walked over to his pickup and deposited Sunshine among the crates of fruit and vegetables in the bed. Her face crimsoned, “You can’t do this! I’m not some animal to be taken to the slaughter. You brash mother -” Resin shoved a greasy rag in her mouth cutting off the rest of Sunshine’s rant.

“Chew on that for a while. It matches your mouth. Chiamaka….Chiamaka! Come on out it’s over.”

Chiamaka Chinwe Chibueze, his Kenyan housekeeper came out onto the porch. The edge of her apron was crumpled in her fist. Her worried expression changed when she saw where Sunshine was. “Resin, huna kutibu mwanamke mzee kama hiyo. Mimi kufundishwa wewe bora. (Resin, you don’t treat an old lady like that. I taught you better.)”

“Now don’t you start in on me, Chiamaka. I didn’t hurt the old hag even though I wanted to tear her head off and shove it down her throat. Follow me into town so I can get rid of this pain.” He did not wait for her response. He went over and climbed into the Packard, roaring the engine to life just to aggravate Sunshine by treating her baby so roughly.

Chiamaka untied her apron and threw it on the porch chair. She went back to the kitchen door and snatched the truck keys off the hook by the door, shutting the door. Resin could hear Chiamaka’s tongue click clear over to the car. He shook his head as she came over to the car, holding out the truck keys.

Chiamaka tried to talk him out of what she considered would bring only heartache for those involved in Resin’s scheme. He could still hear Chiamaka’s Swahili even now when he mentioned his plan to her so long ago. “She may not want the past drug up. It may be your right to know, however, it’s not right to force someone to relive their past when they choose not to.” Then Chiamaka started correcting him as she would a small child. Click, clack, snapped her tongue let Resin know just how unhappy she was with him.

Resin threw her a disgusting snarl before he climbed out of the car and snatched the dangling keys. He stomped over to the truck, climbed and started the truck. He slammed the truck into drive, stomping accelerator as the truck threw rocks as it peeled out of the driveway and headed for town. Resin made sure to hit every rut in the road he could find.

Resin slowed down as he approached Columbia; getting stopped by the Sheriff before he could tell his side of the story was something he wanted to avoid. He rounded the corner, almost clipping the town’s worse gossip Randi House.

Resin pulled into a parking space in front of the Sheriff’s office. He shut off the truck and climbed out as Chiamaka drove the Packard in the parking space next to the truck. Resin reached in and pulled Sunshine out of the truck bed, slinging her over his shoulder once more. He walked up to the driver side of the Packard, listening to the aggravated clicking tongue of Chiamaka.

“Take the food order over to the grocery store while I take care of this pain. And no, I am not ready to see her yet. Now is not the time for it.” He huffed, “Please just do it without the tongue clicks, okay.”

Chiamaka gave him one last loud click of the tongue before she took the keys hanging from his hand. He just shook his head and then headed for the Sheriff office. By the time he transverse the fifteen feet to the door, small crowds started to gather in the town’s doorways at the spectacle of Sunshine hanging over his shoulder.

The deputy looked up from her paperwork as Resin came through the door. Resin deposited Sunshine in the chair next to the deputy’s desk. The deputy jumped up pulling the rag out of Sunshine’s mouth. Sunshine spat and twisted her mouth trying to rid of the nasty taste. The deputy turned to Resin, “You can’t be treating Miss Defiance this way. I ought to charge you with assault.”

“Before you charge me with assault I want this shriveled up old crone charged with assault with a deadly weapon.” Resin’s face twisted in a snarl two inches from the deputy’s face.

The deputy’s mouth twisted in disbelief, “You’re trying to tell me she assaulted you? I don’t believe it.”

Resin pulled the revolver out of his waistband and placed it on the desk, “Check it out for yourself. You’ll find the bullets from her revolver in different parts of my Allis Chalmers. She has caused over five thousand dollars in damages to my tractor. I want her locked up this time.” He poked a finger at the deputy. “I’m sick of her being able to go around harassing people without any repercussions. I want Miss Sunshine Lea Defiance also charged with violating the no-contact order I had placed on her last month. Tell the Sheriff he can find me at my farm.”

Resin turned on his heels and marched out the door, slamming it shut as he left. He caught sight of Clara leaning against his pickup parked in front of her store up the street. Clara Patriot was just going to have to wait until another time to meet him. He was in no mood to open that can of worms. He quickly ducked around the side of the police station and headed back toward the farm.

Resin crossed over the bike trail bridge into the cemetery, stopping in the middle of the graveyard by a granite monument. He stared down at the name on the stone: It all started with you.

“Hiya Resin. What ya doing traipsing around the cemetery this time of the day?”

A smile spread across Resin’s face as he glanced around, locating Porsche sitting in the crotch of the tree several rows over from him. He sauntered over to the tree. “I’m just walking off some tension on my way back to the farm.”

“I know a much more delicious way to relieve tension than walking.” Porsche caressed his chest with her toe. “A sampling of my chocolate mellows any tension a man might have.” She slid down into his embrace.

Sweet jasmine musk fueled the hunger building up in his soul for the bountiful body gliding across his body like a well-fitted glove. He drank in some nectar from her plump lips and allowed her to nibble his lower lip before releasing her from his embrace.

“Oh, you don’t make it easy to say no to you, Porsche.”

She pulled him back into the embrace, gliding her luscious lips across the base of his neck and sending shutters of desire throughout his body. “No one said you have to say no.”

Resin hooked her chin with the crook of his finger and raised her face to meet his. He sampled the nectar one last time. “Although your invitation is incredible, I’m going to have to decline.”

Porsche pulled away, crossing her arms. “What’s wrong with my invitation? You sure seem to enjoy the view of my summer night dances at the parties on the banks of the Beaver River.”

“Uhmm…. It’s not that I wouldn’t enjoy sampling your chocolate till my brain exploded. However, you are such a special lady that you deserve more than just a sample, and right now, I am not at a point in my life where I can give you what you truly deserve in a relationship. Besides, I believe there is someone on your mind that fits that slot a lot better than me.”

A small twisted smile crossed her lips, “Now what would make you think such a thing?”

Resin gave her a hug at the shoulder, “I’ve seen you watching him when he wasn’t aware you were there. You lick your lips as you would a double dipped death by chocolate ice cream cone.”

Her laughter tinkled across the cemetery, “Okay, you win this round. But the next time you go night fishing, remember to bring your fishing rod or I will cross the Beaver River with full expectations that you’re going to deliver.”

Resin kissed her forehead, “Okay, I’ll remember.” He trotted off toward the Beaver River. The burdens on his soul lighten by their encounter.

He reached the bank and sat down, pulled off his boots and socks. He placed everything from his pockets in his boot before climbing down the bank to the water’s edge. Resin drew a deep breath and then waded into the drought-stricken river. It only came up to his waist, but the swift current kept the water temperature at a chilly forty degrees. It quickly squelched any desire still running through his body and mind. He climbed up the other side of the river bank and heard Porsche’s laughter float across the river. He turned to see her sitting on the other side of the bank, dangling her leg over the river bank. A mischievous smile spread across her lips as she unbuttoned the top three buttons of her blouse, sliding the blouse off her shoulders to expose the chocolate richness below. She blew him a kiss along with a tinkling laugh.

Resin smiled and pretended to catch the kiss, putting it in his front jean’s pocket then gave her a goodbye wave. He turned toward the farm, making his feet travel away from the delicious chocolate laughing behind him. That would be all he need to have old noisy Randi come across him sampling Porsche’s chocolate. She would have it blown up to a full lustful orgy with some bestiality thrown it to make it really juicy gossip.

He climbed the fence into the meadow. The soft grass was starting to stress under the drought. Resin could feel the soft crinkle of the blades breaking under his feet. He bent down and plucked several blades, testing their flexibility. If it did not rain soon, his crops would start to suffer. The grass would not have the nutrition the cattle and sheep needed. He was already hauling water to the orchard behind Sandra’s property to keep the crop of fruit plentiful and sweet. If the fruit crop went bad, it would not be only him that would suffer. Sandra’s struggling bakery would collapse if she had to buy the fruit for her pastries. When he bought the acreage, Sandra offered him, he spent a small fortune to plant almost mature trees and plants in the orchard. Between the cost of starting the orchard and maintaining it so Sandra could make a go of the bakery, he had almost depleted the reserves he set aside for running the farm.

Resin needed a good crop on each of the fruit and nuts from the orchard plus the sale of livestock to replenish the rainy-day fund. He could not continue to use his two black Gypsy Vanner stallions for stud without flooding the market with their colts. He also could not afford to take them back and forth to the east coast and keep his whereabouts unknown.

The two stallions were his prize possession. They were champion Grand Gypsy Vanners. They were pure black with white manes, tails, and feathering on the legs. They were a matched set, standing sixteen and a half hands tall. Now thanks to Miss Sunshine Lea Defiance, he was going to have to use them in place of his tractor. Just the thought of doing it made Resin irritated again over the situation.

Book links:
www:https://azn.to/1u92UUj
www:https://books2read.com/u/m2XWOr

Free Chapter

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Celtic legion, Will-O who is a wisp has been given a commission of guardian to the descendants of Colin McGregor. She has done well in her commission over the centuries until Ongwaterohiathe Whitehorse tries to rescue a young woman that has fallen overboard into the Niagara River, plunging him head long down into the terrifying world Mesa Soyok Wuhti, a Hopi demonic legion. Mesa Soyok Wuhti or Monster Woman seeks her victims out in the dead of the night for their heads to put in her basket she carries on her back or steal you away to her longhouse to fatten you up for her cauldron.

Will-O Wisp of Niagara Falls is the next novel in the Free Chapter of my novels. You can find the complete novel at the following links:

http://amzn.to/1u92UUj

https://books2read.com/u/4XoqQ7

CHAPTER 1

The fog was a thick gray swirling mass which shrouded the Maid of the Mist 3. Twenty-three-year-old Ongwaterohiathe Whitehorse coiled the rope before he stored it in the aft stern locker in the pilot tower. His jet black hair fell across his forehead as he left the pilot tower and headed down the stairs toward the gangplank He was glad this day was finally over. If he hurried, Ongwaterohiathe would be in time for the first reading by the Iowa Indie Author Group at the Theater Loft in the heart of Elmwood Village before the play of ‘Because of Me’ by J.C. Hamm.

The clean deck lay empty after being flooded with blue plastic poncho covered bodies as they crowded the railing for the premier spot to capture the particular moment on a photograph to commemorate their visit to the falls.

Ongwaterohiathe glanced over at the roaring falls as he was about to leave the ship. The fog blanketed the falls but failed to cover the growl of the falls drumming in his head. He turned to wave goodnight to the pilot when Ongwaterohiathe caught a glimpse of a slim Kanyenkehaha woman at the bow railing.  

Her long raven hair was braided in a waterfall twist into a mermaid braid darkened by the thick mist. His sister had tried for months to master that particular braiding technique without success. The woman turned her head toward Ongwaterohiatha as the fog swallowed her.

Ongwaterohiathe ran back to the bow searching for her. He could not see her anywhere. Ongie snatched the life preserver as he combed the turbulent water for any sign of her. She appeared thirty feet down the river for a mere moment.

Ongie launched his six-foot-four-inch frame over the railing, using it for an extra foot boost. As the torrent river closed over his head, he heard, “Ongie No! She’s not real!”

Ongie’s temples hammered as he tried to rise. A gentle hand pushed him back down on the pillow as a cold cloth covered his broad forehead and eyes Ongie could hear the distant falls roar as it rumbled along. It vibrated all around him. He pulled the towel from his eyes and focused dimly on the ornate glass dome over him holding back the turbulent waters of the Niagara River.

“No, no it can’t be,” he struggled against the gentle embrace.

“Sh-sh everything is all right. She can’t find you here.”

“Can’t find me, who is she? The last thing I remember, I jumped into the river to rescue a young Kanyenkehaha woman that fell overboard. Is she safe? Did someone rescue her?” Ongie’s strength depleted and sank once again against the pillow.

“There is no need for concern over that one. She can never die.” The cloth covered his eyes once more.

Ongie woke to the stench of a hospital room. His eyes crossed under the harsh light making hazy shadows of the hospital personnel. A shadow glided to the end of his bed. Ongie focused harder as he cleared his throat to gain the shadow’s attention.

“Well Mr. Whitehorse, it is nice to meet you finally. I have been waiting for a long time to do so.” Mesa Soyok Wuhti appeared at the foot of the hospital bed. “I do not know how you escaped us at the falls, however; there will be no escaping from me here.” She brushed back the long straggly black hair with the jagged-edged knife covered with blood. Her wide eyes stared as fangs appeared at the corners of thin lips.

The knife drew back over her head ready to be plunged into Ongie’s neck as Mesa Soyok Wuhti climbed over the foot of the bed.

Ongie could not move. His eyes riveted on the snarled face shining with glee over her apparent victory.

Mesa Soyok Wuhti crawled over his body, scratching and clawing the thin cover over Ongie. Her body twitched as she came up his chest. Her foul breath gagged the air out of Ongie’s lungs. She drew herself erect upon Ongie’s rib cage. The knife held high above her head then it plunged down toward his throat, “Soyoka-u-u-u!”

Once again you can find this novel at the following links:

http://amzn.to/1u92UUj and https://books2read.com/u/4XoqQ7

You can subscribe at https://books2read.co/author/sueraymond/subscribe/1/24971/

New Year Treat

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Happy New Year everyone. Here is a great way to start out the new year. A new chapter to read for your enjoyment. This time the chapter is from my fantasy ‘Healer of Surflex’. The novel is full of magic, fairies, knights, demons, wizards, dragons and talking animals. You can find the complete novel at the following links:

https://www.amzn.to/u92UUj

https://www.books2read.com/u/bWekMm

 https://www.acx.com/titleview/A10U52CZ0IIOMS .

CHAPTER 1

Pomelia’s moans of anguish woke Terian out of a deep sleep. He groggily rose upon one elbow and searched for his wife in the dim shadows of their thatched cottage. She moaned again, and he focused in on her huddled form at the edge of the hearth. The embers of last night’s fire gave a faint glow as it bathed her creamy complexion in a pale red hue.

He rose swiftly, spanning the space between them and crouched beside her. Terian caressed her face and brushed back the satiny black curly hair. Her light brown eyes filled to the brim with tears.

“Pomelia what’s wrong?”

“It’s not fair! We’re kind, gentle, loving people, not like the miller or the innkeeper. They charge unfair prices, stealing from those of the idle minded and still God blessed them with children. God, what have we done to deserve this punishment?” She lifted her hands soaked with blood.

The metallic scent of blood mingled with the smoking ash of the fire as it filtered through his nostrils, exploding in the recesses of his brain.

Terian’s heart caved in, Pomelia had miscarried again. He gently picked her up and cradled her against his rock hard chest. Terian went over to the bed and sat her on the edge, removing her soiled gown and used it to wipe off most of the blood from her body.

He remorsefully returned to the hearth, lovingly shrouding the tiny form in the bloody gown to hide their son from his wife’s view. Tears crept down the leathery cheeks as he covered the perfectly formed face.

Terian laid the tiny body by the basin then poured cool water from the large pitcher in the basin. He gathered clean cloths taking the basin back to the bed and sat it on the floor in front of Pomelia.

Terian searched Pomelia’s eyes for any evidence of life behind them. She moaned softly at Terian’s gentle touch in spite of his rough, callous hands as he methodically bathed her and cleansed her body with prayer and water. As Terian dressed her in a clean woolen gown, she was unable to even lift her arms. He laid her against the down tick pillows then covered her with their heavy quilt to guard her from the chill of the night.

Terian picked up the basin and left through the back door to go the well at his blacksmith shop. There he disposed of the basin’s content and cleaned it before he returned to the cottage. He returned the basin to the stand.

Pomelia no longer moaned. Sounds of light breath in sleep wafted from their bed. Terian prayed, Thank you Lord for sending sleep to Pomelia. That is the best thing for her so she won’t dwell on our devastating loss. Forgive her blasphemy, for it was her grief wailing, not her faith in You. Please give me the strength to endure the mourning period and Pomelia’s sharp tongue as she again deals with the loss of another child. She is, as she stated, a kind and gentle soul. Find it in Your heart to grant her heart’s desire of a strong, healthy child.

He cradled his shrouded son, and left quietly to make sure the door did not creak to wake Pomelia from her rest. The dogs were not even awake to snap at his heels as he trudged up the winding cobblestone lane toward the main street past the still darkened cottages of his neighbors. Every step Terian took oppressed his soul. Grief racked his massive frame with this fifth loss. Doubt penetrated his heart that God would bless them with an heir. It seemed the prophecy of the local soothsayer would hold true.

Terian forbade Pomelia from seeking advice from the old crone after her first miscarriage. Pomelia, however, secretly visited her while he was away at the castle at Congor’s request to discuss the new designs for the battle armor for the king’s warriors. Congor was the king’s man of arms and chief counselor.

Terian returned to find Pomelia had given the old soothsayer a month’s worth of wages for a mixture of foul, musky herbs that were to be made into a drink and drank before each session of intimacy as they chanted to a small gross ebony carving of a fertility deity.

Terian’s rage exploded and for the first time in his life, he wanted to raise his hand to another human. He snatched the herbs and carving and heaved them into the flames of his forge. Pomelia ran wailing into the cottage. He pumped the bellows to engorge the flames and eradicated the abominations out of existence. He turned his frustration to his hammer and anvil. Terian shaped a pile of metal into various sizes of breastplates. The anvil’s clang echoed off the walls of the village cottages.

Several hours later, the shuffled tap of the soothsayer’s steps and cane interrupted him. She stood in the doorway, weaving heavily against the twisted knarred cane.

“Be gone, hag! There is no welcome at my hearth for you or your abominable deities. Leave my wife and me in peace before I dispatch you in my forge, as I did your graven image and poison.” The warning rumbled through the rafters of the shop and stable, causing the nesting doves to take reckless flight in fear.

She cackled with delight over Terian’s raging frustration. She crooned and leaned against her cane as she pointed a gnarled finger at him, “I’m not frightened of your ravings against me as one of the pathetic doves roosting in your rafters. Your wife came to me, begging me for my help, since your god wasn’t strong enough to hold a child within her womb full term to deliver a healthy son. I warned her if you had an inkling that she was going to be using my help, your pride in your worthless god would compel you to destroy her plans, dashing her desires for a son.

“You’ve done exactly as I foretold. Because of your blasphemy against Kernel, Pomelia will continue to try, but will never give you a live heir until Kernel claims her also, leaving you wallowing in your pride for your pitiful, minute god for the rest of your miserable life.”

Terian could stand no more of her threats. He hurled his hammer at the old crone’s balding scraps of hair, “Leave Pomelia alone. My God is greater than anything you can carve, witch.”

She disappeared, cackling, “We will see blacksmith, we will see.”

The hammer embedded itself in the massive oak door frame.

Terian’s mind swirled in self-doubt mixed with guilt that indeed these tragedies could have been diverted if he had cooperated with Pomelia’s plan, instead of relying on his faith in God. They could have five healthy sons if he had chosen differently.

The soothsayer’s cackle echoed throughout his soul, mocked his faith with ‘We’ll see blacksmith, we’ll see!’ With every step he took, it tried to divert him from his destiny. Soon every muscle in his body strained against his will, wanting Terian to stop, turn aside to the gnarled, vine covered trail that lead to the soothsayer’s tumbled down hovel, and beg her to lift her curse.

Still he stayed true to the course as it led Terian humbly through the village past cottage after cottage filled with slumbering children. He arrived at the ornate iron gate he designed with love. Terian lifted the heavy latch and pushed the gate inward. The gate groaned and shattered the stillness of the night. It woke the rectory guard dog. It bayed loudly at his approach.

A chorus of howls joined the guard dog’s baying seconds later. A light blinked on in the rectory window as the pastor groggily met Terian at the door. He held his lamp high in front of him to see who was at the rectory this late at night. The beam of light barely radiated through the darkness and revealed a hazy, gigantic form moving among the tombstones toward the rectory.

“Quiet whelp, before you wake the whole village with your baying. I’m awake. Who’s there? Terian, Terian is that you?” The pastor called out and peered in the darkness. “Terian, why have you come at such an ungodly hour? What are you carrying?”

Terian’s heavy shuffled steps mingled with the baying hound. It sent an eerie chill running through the pastor’s soul. Terian came into view cradling the bloody shrouded parcel tightly against his chest. Blood coated his chest and forearms. Terian kissed the cradled shroud. He held it out to the pastor, his chocolate brown eyes swollen under his knitted brow. Strands of silver glittered among the mass of ebony hair that four years ago had none. Terian’s tawny skin now held a sallow glow. Tears streamed down his cheeks unchecked.

His voice rumbled full of sorrow, “Pomelia miscarried another son. I need you to prepare my son for burial, as Pomelia is incapable to perform the necessary cleaning ceremony. I’ll be in the chapel.”

The pastor quaked as he reached out and took the shrouded infant from the grieving father. He passed it to his wife with the lantern, who arrived behind him for the needed ceremony. “Yes, yes go ahead Terian. I’ll dress and go to Pomelia. She needs to be cleansed, then I’ll be back to prepare your son.” He reassured Terian as he shooed Terian through the rectory to the chapel.

“No, there is no need to bother Pomelia. She is resting.”

The pastor drew back at the rebuff, “Terian, you know the cleansing ritual must be performed within an hour of the birth to ensure the mother’s health.”

An iron grip slammed around the pastor’s forearm and painfully halted his progress. “I said, leave her be. Do you think I am incapable of performing the cleansing ritual correctly after four previous miscarriages? She is fine. Sleep is what she requires now. It is our son’s body that needs attention.”

The pastor winched in pain, “Terian, my arm, you’re crushing my arm!”

Terian immediately released his grip and muttered his apologies. “Sorry, just let her sleep, please,” then went into the chapel. He moved slowly up the aisle to the altar. He lit two candles. He knelt deep in prayer. The pastor closed the door and left Terian in privacy to wrestle with his sorrow.

Moans of anguish escaped Terian’s trembling lips. Tears streamed along the crevasses of the sun-stained face. They soaked his chest and left trails through the caked blood. It pooled on the floor around his knees. His mind could only scream repeatedly, “Why, God?” His body was racked in grief at failing his wife once more, enforcing her fears of the soothsayer’s prophecy.

Streams of light filtered through the altar’s stained glass window. It cast a rainbow of color across the crumpled man. It grew in intensity, bathing Terian in its warmth.

“Terian,” a soft unseen voice shattered the silence, “Terian, rise.”

Terian slowly lifted his head. His swollen, bloodshot eyes dimly focused on the blurry shape behind the altar in front of the stained glass window. “Leave me in peace. I need solitude, not company.”

“Terian, rise, and hear the Words of God, for He has heard and felt your sorrow.”

Terian wiped his eyes with the back of his hand to clear the tears from his eyes. Terian tried to identify the intruder of his solitude. His eyes concentrated enough to view a tall, well-formed man, clothed in iridescent robes. The man lifted up his hand for Terian to obey him.

Terian shook his head, “I beg of you, leave me in peace.”

A brilliant light burst forth from the man and caused Terian to shield his eyes from the blinding light, “Terian, rise, for God has granted you His mercy. I am Moryx, messenger of God.” his voice reverberated throughout every molecule of Terian.

Terian raised his massive frame. It quaked in fear then he collapsed in a heap, “Forgive me Lord, for I’m but an unschooled oaf in the midst of grievous sorrow.”

Moryx unfurled a magnificent set of wings and arched them high over his chiseled bronze features, “Do not bow before me, for I am not God. Rise, Terian and view God’s glory through me.”

Terian rose, shielded his eyes, his legs quivered, barely able to hold him erect. “Who am I that God has felt my sorrow, and has mercy upon me?”

“You are who you are, no more, no less. God has chosen you to bear His healer to aid in the war against the evil ravaging Surflex. She will aid God’s warrior to free your kingdom from the evil grip that is tightening its coils around the kingdom’s soul.”

“A daughter, God will bless me with a daughter? Forgive me; but wouldn’t a son be a better candidate for a warrior of God? A daughter may not be strong enough to carry out God’s plan for freedom.”

Moryx’s wings spread out filling the space behind the altar. They blotted out everything else. “God has chosen His champion already to fight the battle with evil. Your daughter must heal the sorrow caused from the ensuing battle. To allow her to reach her full potential there is much preparation. There will be no other midwife but you to bring her into the world. You will wear calfskin gloves at all times in dealing with your daughter. She is not to be touched without gloved hands. Her mother or a wet nurse will not nurse her, for she will be unable to control the healing powers until she reaches maturity. It would drain her life force during the healing.

“You shall teach your daughter how to be genial and merciful. You shall show her how to love those who despise her, those who fear and envy her power. Keep her secret well, even from Pomelia, for even her mother will try to use her power for her own selfish desires.”

Terian fell to his knees, his hands clasped together and begged for leniency, “Please don’t condemn my child to a life without contact with another living soul. Every living thing craves contact with others. She couldn’t live without being able to feel another’s embrace.”

Moryx’s stern angelic features softened, “God knows of her need for contact and is not unfeeling. She may touch any animal bare handed, no matter the species. They will have no fear of her and will serve her slightest wish even unto death. Go now, for Pomelia is now awakened and the time of your son’s burial is at hand.”

Terian rose as Moryx vanished. He left the chapel and made his way home to collect his wife for their son’s burial. A large strip of silver hair hanging down in Terain’s eyes glistened in the dawn’s rose-colored light, a constant reminder to Terian of his conversation with Moryx.

Once again here are the links for ‘Healer of Surflex’ you can find it in eBook print and Audio format. :

https://www.amzn.to1u92UUj

https://www.books2read.com/u/bWekMm


https://www.acx.com/titleview/A10U52CZ0IIOMS .

Free Chapter of Thriller

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Next on the free chapter list is the first chapter of my thriller Window Pane. You can find the whole novel at the following links: 
https://www.books2read.com/u/mK9BBZ   and https://www.amzn.to/1u92UUj


CHAPTER 1

The rain streaked the window pane against the pitch black night. Thunder rumbled far away; it echoed the emptiness she felt within her soul. Where was she? Why did they leave her here? She stared at the image reflected in the window. Who was this strange woman staring back at her? She had no recollection of how she got here, who brought her here or why. The image distorted in the waves of rain running down the window.

The harder she tried to understand what was going on the more frustration swelledwithin her soul. How could the old crone’s reflection in the window be her? She raised her fist to smash the image and stopped in horror. The fist was age speckled and the skin hung loose on the bony fingers. She twirled around to flee this horrible nightmare but her body creaked and groaned in protest. Nothing she saw was familiar. The furniture in the small room was pleasant enough, but held no comfort. The walls were painted in pale beige. The pictures on the walls beckoned to her, yet the people were not identifiable.  Where were the matching pair of wingbackchairs she cuddled up in under the soft quilt watching the flames flicker in the fireplace?

She hobbled to the door. Hospital stench bombarded her senses as she pulled the heavy door open. The lights were very dim in the narrow hallway, making it nearly impossible for her to see where she was going. She held her shaky hand out in front of her as she shuffled her feet to keep her footsteps as quiet as she could. If only she could get out of wherever this was, maybe she could findher way home.

She passed door after door, hearing low moans along with whiffs of obnoxious odors coming from behind the doors. She finally reached the end of the hall. It emptied out into a larger corridor that had seven other hallways branching off just like the one where she stood. In the middle of the corridor was a central desk. The only light in the corridor was a dim light from a computer screen sitting on the desk. On the other side of the desk above a double set of doors blinked a neon red exit sign.

She crept towards the doors. The exit sign beckoned to her to hurry as there was not much time for her to escape to freedom. The nearer she came the harder it was to breathe. Her heartbeat started pounding in her ears. Her legs were trembling by the time she arrived at the door. She leaned against the door, closing her eyes. The cool wood felt good to her feverish cheek. She drew a breath deep as she could muster before she tried to stand straight. Tiny shards of colored lights danced in front of her eyes as she grabbed the lever door handle. She shoved it down with all her weight.

She heard a click as the door latch came free. A second later, a loud alarm sounded. She pushed the door as hard as she could, trying to squeeze by the heavy door. Rain splashed against her face as she wedged her body in the small opening.

Heavy footsteps rumbled above the sound of the rain as she felt the door move outward. Just as she freed herself, a firm gentle hand caught her by the arm and pulled her back.

“Hey, what do you think you are doing trying to go out in this rain storm?” The large orderly swept her up in his arms and pulled the door shut. He set her in the wheelchair that was by the desk, and then reached over the desk, shutting off the alarm. He knelt by the chair, placed his mammoth hand over the fragile shoulder. “You know I cannot allow you out this late at night in the midst of a downpour. Let’s get you back in your room and in dry clothes. I may even be able to find a little bit of cocoa to warm you from the chill.” His eyes sparkled with kindness as he gently lifted her feet up on the wheelchair foot rest.

The wheelchair squeaked as the small front wheels wobbled severely. He had a hard time keeping the chair going in a straight line. “Looks like I’m going to have to get the oil can out again.” He gave a sigh as he bumped the door to her room open with his foot and backed into the room. He wheeled her over by the bed then went and got a towel, draping it over her shoulders. He then got a gown out of the dresser, laying it on the bed. “Here is a nice warm gown for you to change into while I finish making my rounds, then I will get you a cup of cocoa.” He lifted her out of the wheel chair and sat her on the bed.

He folded the wheelchair as he gave her a warm smile, then he was gone. She looked down at the gown and then over at the rain streaked window. Even though he was nice, she did not want their cocoa. It always had a bitter after taste. It made her groggy and she could not think straight for hours afterwards. She changed and threw the wet gown in the hamper.

The door across the room opened, admitting a tall, elegant, mature man carrying a covered tray. He smiled at her as he set the tray on the small table. “Figured the storm would wake you, here, sit down. I made you a nice cup of French vanilla mocha cocoa.  I even swiped extra marshmallows for us.” He gently guided her to the chaise before sitting beside her, removing the cover, revealing an array of delicious petit fours with two steaming mugs of cocoa. “Thunder always upset you.”

She kept an eye on his every movement as he prepared the mug of cocoa with marshmallows for her. His mannerisms and twinkling gray eyes gave her a small comfort in this sterile environment. The gray hair over his ears added to his charm as the laugh lines crinkled at the edges of his eyes.

He held out the mug toward her. The delicious aroma won her over and she carefully took it wrapping her thin fingers around the mug. Its warmth spread through her fingers up her slender wrists traveling to her heart. There, it slowly wiped away the hollowness and filled her with hope. She watched as he sat back and sipped his cocoa and popped a petit four in his mouth. He closed his eyes as he chewed. A satisfied grin spread across his face.

She sat there, sipping from the mug, as she kept a cautious eye on the man’s movements. There was something strange about how he knew she would like this cocoa. It was as if he could reach into her mind and pull out things prohibited to her. She wanted to throw the mug against the wall and scream questions at him.

He sat up and handed her a petit four before snatching several more and popped them into his cheeks. He looked like a chipmunk gathering nuts for the winter. He turned and tried to smile at her. The chocolate covered teeth and crooked grin broke down her resistance and she gave a small giggle.

He washed the petit four down before joining her in the giggle. “I love to hear you laugh. It lightens your soul and heart when you do.”

She sat the cup and petit four down. “Do I know you? I cannot remember anything any more. I do not know where I am or how I got here. Please help me.” A tear gathered in the corner of her eye.

He set the cup down and reached into his pocket withdrawing a large embroidered monogrammed handkerchief and dried the tear. He handed her the handkerchief as he gently pulled her to her feet and into his embrace. There she felt comfort, peace, and fulfillment.

He caressed her hair as he leaned his chin on the top of her head.

https://www.books2read.com/u/mK9BBZ

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Fifth Free Chapter in DeBois

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Merry Christmas everyone! As you hurry along your way getting everything done for the upcoming Christmas season don’t forget to check out these month’s free chapter in the DeBois Series. The Title is Blizzard Terror. You can find it at the following links: https://www.books2read.com/u/31jMwm and https://amzn.to/1u92UUj. Enjoy.3D Blizzard Terror

Prequel:
Terror now coursed through Su. Her heart hammered within her chest as she heard the rumbles of the mountain lion anticipating warding off starvation. Running over the broken ground, her lungs burnt from over exertion toward the lightness lying before her amidst the darken forest. Su pressed her body forward bursting through into the brilliant light. It blinded her.
She stumbled forward trying to evade the terrible death gaining on her. Su heard the mountain lion’s screams of victory right behind her. She smelled its singed fur as the mountain lion pounced trying for the kill. She felt the heavy weight upon her shoulders dragging her down then she was weightless. The lion was gone as Su fell faster flipping through emptiness.
Suddenly, Su’s fall halted, as she crashed into the water and plunged beneath its dark frigid surface. The current drug her farther from the surface away from the precious needed oxygen her burning lungs craved. Su clawed her way toward the dim glimmering surface only to find her way impaired by a wall of ice.
She desperately tried to break through the ice. She searched for pockets of trapped air under the ice as the frigid water drained what little reserve of strength from her body.
A dark shadow crossed over her above the ice. Su pounded on the ice trying to draw attention but it continued away from her. Su felt the rest of her strength drain away as she let out one final scream. “Ah-h-h-h-h-h-h!”

CHAPTER 1
Robert Williamson opened the bottom of his case and pulled out four thin vests looking similar to a bulletproof vest along with thin white parachute material parkas. He then pulled out three dart rifles complete with darts. He laid them on the table beside the rest of the items from the other two cases.
Jean DeBois picked up the small plastic case and took out the earpiece placing it in his ear before handing one to each of the rest. “Skyrider can you hear me?”
“You’re coming in loud and clear, boss man. I have Frank and his unit up already. The Canadians were generous in sending a whole four more men making the grand total twelve with the control head making it thirteen, an even baker’s dozen.
“I need you guys to sound off when you hear the pulse in your earpiece so I can make the proper connection with the name. That way, I don’t call out the incorrect name during the bust. When they sound off hand them the vest with the corresponding chip.” Janet Post sent the first pulse through making Mark Prix sound off with a yelp.
“Turn down the volume a little, Skyrider, you nearly broke my eardrum.” Mark held out his hand for his vest.
“Whine, whine, whine, that’s all you do any more, Eddie.” Robert held out his hand when the pulse sounded. “We’re going to have to wipe your nose for you, too.”
“I’ll wipe your nose with my fist.” Mark growled staring for Robert.
“Save it for the take down.” Janet activated Kyle’s earpiece.
Jean handed Kyle the vest then took the last one for himself. He placed it on under his shirt. Jean passed out the parkas to the group. Robert and Mark followed Jean’s example.
However, Kyle just stood there with vest in his hand. The group shot him a puzzled glance when he did not follow suit.
Kyle tried to hand the vest back to Jean, frustrated over the obvious joke they were trying to pull on him. “Come on now, you’re not trying to tell me this flimsy scrap of cloth is my vest. Where is the real bulletproof vest?”
Jean just gave Kyle a cockeyed grim, “What’s a matter Lee; the Mounties don’t have the cutting edge on Teflon technology? These are state of the art vest. They can even stop a large caliber bullet; however, I won’t recommend you try it. You end up in the hospital with massive bruising. You’ll be able to take the normal slug and finish your mission without too much pain so put it on. It also gives Skyrider a way to distinguish you from the rest of the bodies during the firefight. The chip in it gives off a certain frequency. The equipment we use with the technology is for our knowledge only, got that Lee?”
Kyle shook his head but did not like the feeling rising in the pit of his stomach.
“Skyrider what’s the position of the camp as you see it?” Jean moved to the edge of the window and peered out.
“The sentries are in their usual nest with five people in the main cabin’s office. There are four in the cabin nearest to the lake. The middle cabin has six milling around and the last, nearest your position has three.
“Frank and the unit are on their way in the Huey flying just above the tree line to keep under the radar. Your guest has settled in the nest, correct?”
Jean stared out through the flurry then moved to the back of the cabin to open the window. “He arrived a half an hour ago. He hasn’t surfaced from the main cabin.”
“Okay, the mission’s a go. Take out the sentries first. You have five minutes to zero staring now.” Janet signaled.
“You heard Skyrider, lock and load.” Jean barked under his breath then disappeared out the window.
Kyle shook his head following Jean out the window, muttering, “Man, is he always this quick?” to Robert.
“No, sometimes he’s in a hurry then he’s just a blur.”
“Stop yakking and start tracking.” Mark growled as he shoved Robert out of the way then crawled out the window. “We are late by three seconds.”
Mark checked to make sure the coast was clear then disappeared into the forest.
Robert came through signaling to Kyle to move out of the way so he could get into position. He heard a low signal from Jean as Robert slide in position. Robert leveled the dart gun at his target and signaled back. Seconds later, Mark’s signal came through loud and clear.
“On three gentlemen,” Janet ordered, “Three.”
Jean and Robert’s darts hit their marks and two sentries fell simultaneously in the deep snow with a soft plop. The sentry slipped on a patch of ice as Mark’s dart sped over him.
“Damn ice,” Mark spat sprinted to finish what the dart failed to do. He tackled the sentry rising and they sprawled into the snow bank. Snow furiously erupted as fist and feet flew. Mark came out on top. He cold cocked the sentry then tied and gagged the sentry. “Station three secure.”
“It’s about time, mud boy. Stop grand standing and get to your position. I can hear the Huey coming. Station two secure.”
“Holiday, concentrate on the task at hand. Station one secure. Lee, are you in place? Skyrider how’s the quarry? It’s time to rock and roll.” Jean peered out from behind the bushes.
“I’m in position.” Kyle whispered as he slid against the nearest cabin door. He could swear they could hear his heart pound over the ear canal device. Mark and Robert silently stole up in place as Jean prepared to enter the main cabin through the window.
“Gabe your quarry’s still in the office. The Huey is ready to come in.” Janet reported.
Jean stealthily slid the window open. He crawled through into the dining room and closed the window behind him. He heard the Huey land and shouted, “Now!”
Kyle, Mark, and Robert burst through the corresponding doors, screaming, “On your faces! You’re under arrest by the order of the Canadian Mounties!”
Jean simultaneously tipped over the table, “Matthew get out here. You’re under arrest!”
Officers swarmed out of the Huey as it landed. The blades of the Huey kicked up the deep snow throwing it everywhere.
Jean received his answer from Matthews as he came out with the AK47 blazing trying for the front door. Jean returned fire stopping Matthew’s escape. “Oakley I need you at the main cabin. Matthew’s trying to break free.” Jean traded gunfire between Matthew and the office doorway.
“I’m on my way. You two with me, the rest help round up the others in the cabins.” Jack roared heading for the front of the cabin. He took up a position behind a snowdrift.
“Make it snappy, Oakley. They’re mounting a breakout in the office. Here they come! Look out Gabe!” Janet gave a warning. She caught movement in her peripheral vision on the edge of the screen in the other cabin. “Lee, behind you!”
Kyle moved just in time to ward off the blow aimed by Omar Kariff. Kyle swung around bringing a crashing blow upside Kariff’s face as he flew by. Tripper and one of Kyle’s fellow Mounties appeared in the doorway brandishing their weapons to keep the others at bay against the wall. Kyle crashed his knee in Omar’s back seconds after Omar hit the floor. Kyle slugged Omar with the butt of his rifle as Omar tried to rise. Omar fell unconscious.
The four came out of the office laying down a barrage of gunfire spraying the table with bullets. Jean dodged back and forth the bullets made their way through the table spraying wood splinters as they came.
“Any time Oakley! My cover’s being dwindling down to kindling!” Jean bellowed returning fire hitting one in the shoulder as they made their way to Matthew by the door. “They’re coming out!”
A second later, Jean heard Jack lay down barrage of his own. The bullets slammed into the side of the cabin. Jack yelled ordering them to lay down their arms. They were under arrest. To which a rain of bullets flew at him. Jean took that advantage to shoot another terrorist drawing down on Jack. This time Jean’s aim was deadly. The man fell forward in a pool of blood. Caught in the crossfire the terrorists gave up throwing their weapons down.
Dave Matthew complied with the rest. His eyes burnt with hatred revealing the fight was not over for him.
Jack had the men fan out then called for the terrorists to lock their hands behind their heads slowly filing in a single line. The Mounties took them into custody one by one as they came through the doorway with Jean and the wounded prisoner bringing up the rear.
When they tried to cuff Matthew he broke free running straight into Jean’s fist. Jean hit Matthew with a right cross snapping Matthew’s head sideways. Matthew recovered in a flash. The fight between them manifested quickly.
Matthew was a powerhouse in his own right but smaller in stature than Jean. He matched Jean blow for blow and kick for kick. He came at Jean as a boxer his arms drew in close to his body fists raised high as he bobbed. He started with a series of blows in rapid fire. Only a couple found the desired mark. Each blow he landed Jean landed one a little harder. In total frustration, Matthew went from boxing to a mixture of punches and kicks.
Jean moved swiftly into his martial art stance warding off Matthew’s advances with his own counter moves. Jean roundhouse kicked Matthew in the face throwing Matthew off his feet.
Matthew swung away throwing snow in Jean’s face temporarily blinding Jean to try to gain some advantage. He pulled a dagger lunging at Jean trying to plunge it into Jean’s heart.
Jean sidestepped the lunge. The dagger slid across Jean’s chest slicing through the parka and shirt glancing off the vest. Jean grabbed Matthew’s wrist with his left hand smashing Matthew three times in the face with his right elbow. Matthew staggered under the blows as Jean stepped behind Matthew’s right leg slamming Matthew in the chest taking him down. Jean wrenched Matthew’s arm out of the socket as he fell then slammed his knee into Matthew’s chest, leaning heavily against it holding the injured arm around his knee.
Matthew scowled through the pain his blazing with repulsion curing Jean in Arabic then hissed in English, “Don’t think this will stop us from achieving our goal. You won’t hold me long!”
Jean smirked a cockeyed grin at him, “If you’re counting on your NY connection in the Marshal Division think again, scumbag,”
Jean knew he hit a nerve for Matthew’s face went ashen. His eyes glazed for a split second then tried to bluff his way. “I don’t deal with swine, Pig!”
“You don’t? Watch and learn, Skyrider, you there?” Jean pulled out the earpiece placing near Matthew’s ear so he could hear.
“Coming over loud and clear,” Janet’s voice snapped.
Jean moved the ear device back in his ear. “Tell New York he has the green light to arrest Bartlett. Yes, that’s right New York’s divisional commander Pierce Bartlett. The charges are terrorism, treason, drug running, gunrunning, sabotage and I’ll probably be able to come up with a few more charges by the time we’re done. Hey Matthew, you want to listen in as your connection comes crashing down?”
“Get your damn knee out of my chest Dog! I need a hospital!” Matthew hissed trying to dislodge Jean’s knee with his other hand squirming slightly amidst the excruciating pain.
“He whines more than Eddie does.” Jack came over glaring down at Matthew squirming in the snow under Jean’s weight. “It doesn’t look like you did that much damage for him to be squealing like a piglet.”
“I didn’t, I only pulled his arm out of the socket. Give me a hand and I will put it back in for the crybaby. Leg, Ed, get over here.” Jean answered as Jack grabbed Matthew by the shirt hauling him to his feet keeping his weapon barrel buried against Matthew neck while Jean held onto Matthew’s wrist.
Mark and Robert responded. Jack handed his weapon to Robert. Robert pointed it at Matthew’s chest. Mark trained his weapon’s laser site in the middle of Matthew’s eyes.
“If he tries anything take him out.” Jean ordered as he and Jack got ready.
“It’ll be my pleasure.” Mark replied.
Jack twisted Matthew’s other arm behind his back taking a hold of Matthew by the neck holding him firmly bracing himself. Jean held Matthew at the elbow then nodded to Jack he was ready. The next second, Jean yanked Matthews arm as his knee went into Matthew’s ribs then he release the knee allowing the arm to snap back into the socket with a resounding pop. Jean folded Matthew’s arm against his chest. One of the Mounties came over with a pair of handcuffs for Matthew but was in a quandary as to apply them with one arm in front and the other and back.
A devilish smile spread across Mark’s face. He lowered his weapon disappearing into the cabin for a couple seconds then came out sporting a roll of duct tape. Jack and Jean held Matthew while Mark wrapped the tape first around Matthew’s wrist then drew the tape up across his chest around his neck twice before connecting it to the other wrist. He wrapped Matthew up in the tape from shoulder to waist. As Mark finished Matthew started cursing and in return got a piece of duct tape across his mouth firmly.
“Ah quit your bellyaching about the tape. I just made sure your arm was immobile so it doesn’t pop out of the socket again. Man, you sure act like we’re the terrorist or something.” Mark retorted pressing the tape firmly into Matthew’s face.
Kyle came over, “Ah… you can’t tape his mouth shut as much as we all would like it that way.”
Mark shrugged his shoulders with a mischievous grin. “Okay.” He replied ripping the tape free with one swift jerk.
Matthew screamed involuntarily as most of his mustache came off with duct tape. He started cursing spitting at them. Kyle handed him off to one of the Mounties. “Knock off with the mouth or I’ll reconsider the tape.” He ordered.
Jean went over squatting beside the dead man turning him over. It was the contact. James came over taking a closer look at the man. “No way!” He muttered.
Jean looked up at James, “You know him?”
“Yeah, he was Hogan’s new son-in-law. No wonder they weren’t that worried about Hogan’s captured. They were grooming the replacement for him. I guess he got to be too sick or even the cartel to stomach.”
“Speaking of cartel, hey Skyrider how has the other two busts come down?” Jean asked standing up.
Janet’s voice sparkled coming over, “Roddy and Amber didn’t have any problem but Bartlet put up a fight since New York was arresting him at a dinner party this center was throwing for him. New York felt obligated to reciprocate the favor taken him down hard. Bartlet’s still yelling about how he’s going to get the person responsible for framing him and his associates in high places will see he’s avenged. If he spouting any truth, it looks like we’re going to have to shake the tree harder to see if there are any more bad apples hanging around.
“How’s the mop up work going there? It looks from my vantage point it seems to be going pretty smooth.” Janet radioed.
“They have the prisoners in the back of one of the work trucks for transporting back to civilization. They are rounding up the evidence now. In a few minutes we’ll be out a here after we gather our equipment.” Jean answered heading for the cabin.
Jean was packing the gear when Kyle entered the cabin coming over shaking Jean’s hand. “Thank you for all you’ve done. I’m glad it’s over.”
Jean drew back scowling at him. “You’re kidding, right?”
It puzzled look crossed Kyle’s face.
“Man Kyle, you’re just getting started. There were representatives from five different terrorist organizations with a connection to a drug cartel. Someone’s coordinating this scheme. It’s your job to track down every lead you have picked up here squashing it at its source or in six months top, you’ll be right back in the same boat. Only next time you’ll be dealing with three or more cells doing it at the same time.” Jean agitatedly shoved the last of the gear in the duffel bag zipping it shut.
“Start with the non-terrorist first cutting them a deal for solid information leads. Gather yourself a unit you can trust from the elite making sure they are what they say and above reproach. Don’t pick any grand standards. They’re out for the glory and the quickest rise in the ranks at anyone’s expense. Once you have your team. Work on the leads making sure someone in your units a whiz with computers. They are using technology at lightning speed changing continually. You’ll need to be able to keep up or you’ll always be three steps behind them.” Jean slung the duffel bag over his shoulder giving Kyle one and hung onto the other in his left hand.
“Hone your own skills. You have many excellent qualities however, you’re raw. Don’t always try to bulldog your way through. Each situation requires its own personal handling. Train your unit to work as one. There is no such thing as a need to know basis in an elite unit. It’ll handicap your people if you allow it to happen. Your unit should be as part of your family you trust exclusively with your life because your life will depend upon theirs in the field needing to trust each other and vice versa. I’ll need that vest and your earpiece now. We need to leave.
“Also watch out for Matthew. Even though he’s in custody, he’s still a dangerous man. They didn’t place him in charge for nothing. Stay on a heightened state of alert all the way back for he’ll be looking for a way to escape taking advantage of any situation, which presents itself to obtain his objective.”
Kyle stripped off the vest handing in and the earpiece to Jean. “You wouldn’t be in the market for a transfer to Canada would you?” He smiled opening the door for Jean as they headed back to the Huey.
“No I have other plans and this mission cinched it for me.” Jean answered storing the gear in the Huey. “You look like you have things well in hand so we will be taking off. We have a mission needing our immediate attention. Remember to keep an eye on Matthew.” He gave a shrill whistle summoning members of his unit.
“Hey Gabe, you got a number I can reach you if I need your counsel?” Kyle asked as the troop piled in the Huey.
Jean gave Kyle a penetrating glance and snagged a scrap of paper and pencil scribbling down four numbers handing them to Kyle. “The first is to my office, the second Oakley’s and the third and fourth are to be used only in emergency and I mean emergency. Have a good life and watch your back. Let’s get moving.” Jean barked climbing into the copilot seat.
Kyle backed up as Jack started the Huey taking off. Jean fastened in looking around. “Where’s my stuff?” He snarled.
Slaughter reached down into the crate and pulled out a large envelope handing it up to Jean. He snatched it as soon as it was in reach opening and taking the wallet out of his hip pocket throwing it back towards the crate bounced off the wall with a resounding thud before plopping into the crate. The Harley ring followed the wallet. Jean poured the context of the envelope onto his lap. He strapped the wrist monitor on his wrist then gently picked up his wedding ring sliding it back in its place on his left ring finger. He slid his shield into his shirt pocket and his wallet into his pants pocket.
He turned the monitor on and went ballistic because they were out of range. “Janet!” He bellowed. “Where is she?”
“I’m bringing the area up now. You’re ten minutes out of range. The signal’s in the same location as first reported. Jean it hasn’t moved in almost eighteen hours. Jack, floor the Huey.” Janet ordered transmitting the coordinates.
“Scanning the area see if you can do any better than Peter and Sarah. I want information and I want it now!” Jean grabbed a set of binoculars scanning the horizon.
“The campsite is coming in sight now. Let’s see, there are remains of a campsite, the grave with the crosses. I’m panning the area now, okay. There is a layer of snow on everything. Someone has collected debris from the plane going through it. By the campfire ring, there is evidence of a bed. I’m moving out from the campsite slowly. There are slight impressions in the snow of an animal prowling the campsite but I don’t see evidence of any human tracks. Moving out more and okay there’s the view of the river so they should know it’s there.”
“What about where the signal’s coming from, can you get a better view of where it is than just trees, Janet? All Peter could bring up was blasted trees.” Jean scanned the area.
“Jean, I just found another woven cross on the edge of the clearing hanging in a horizontal position pointing towards the river. Good job Su. Jean she has left the clearing before the snow fell marking the way they went with pieces of…of… her hair. You should be picking up the signal by now on your monitor. It’s coming from the left of the campsite so my guess would be during the crash it somehow torn off Sue’s wrist. You have to track her the old-fashioned way. The clearing isn’t large enough for the Huey to land so you’re going to have to repel down to it.”
Jean glanced over his shoulder towards the others in his unit. “You heard her, what the hell are you just sitting on your derrière’s for? Break out the equipment making sure everyone’s ready to go by the time we arrived or you’ll go down the hard way!”
Slaughter, Tripper, and James looked over at the rest as Robert sprang into action followed closely by Mark to the back in the Huey. Slaughter got up to help. Mark relayed the equipment to him.
“Mark, he was just kidding about that, right? Trying to lighten up things,” Slaughter took the armload from Mark.
Mark stared at him straight in the eyes, snapping, “No!”
That motivated Tripper and James. By the time they arrived at the crash site, the winch was in place with the harnesses on the apparatus. Jack hovered above the clearing while Mark opened the door with Robert snapping the last wench into place securing it to the Huey. Jean unbuckled moving to the rear compartment. Jack caught a glimpse of his demeanor as he passed by.
“Jean wait this time until the…” was all Jack got out of his mouth before hearing the winch whirled screeching in protest as Jean rode the cable down.
“Man he didn’t even use a harness.” James leaned out watching Jean descend, letting go the last fifteen feet doing a rolling landing then was gone.
Robert snapped up on the first repelling equipment to the cable barking at James, “What are you waiting for? He’s not going to wait forever. Get going.”
James secured his harness and said a quick prayer before he stepped off into nothingness. Within two minutes, Mark, Slaughter, and Tripper joined him on the ground. They heard a “Heads up” then a harness slammed into the mist of them.
“Secure the body from the grave for transport and find out where Jean went.” Jack’s voice boomed in their ears. Slaughter and Tripper took on the task of preparing the body as Mark and James followed Jean’s tracks. James led the way following Jean’s trail into the underbrush. All too soon, they lost the trail stopping for a breather amidst the trees which closed in over their heads.
“You see any sign of him, Mark? I can hardly see anything in this mess.” James wheezed holding his side to ease the pain.
“No, but he’s close. Jean, come on answer me, where are you? Mark searched for some sign of him. Mark was examining some snow by the tree-line when he suddenly froze then leaped aside hollering for James to watch out as a shower of heavy snow fell from the trees above covering them and a blanket of white. Jean dropped gently to the ground Su’s bracelet in his hand.
“Get off your asses and let’s go. Some help you two are. If I was a terrorist, you both would be dead.” Jean started back to the clearing.
James made the mistake of answering him. “We’re on a rescue mission now not a covert mission any longer.”
Jean was in his face instantaneously. “All the more to stay alert, you miss the smallest details out here and it could meet someone’s life or didn’t you recognize those paw prints of that cougar? It’s maimed so it’s normal prey is not an option for it. Keep your bloody eyes open before you become some animal’s supper. Jack?”
“Yes Jean.”
“I found Su’s bracelet. It was in a magpie’s nest. It was torn off her wrist meaning she’s hurt her wrist, properly broken. The woven cross supports that assessment. It isn’t woven as tightly as she usually does. I haven’t discovered any footprints from the survivors yet. The only footprints were the paw tracks of a main cougar so Janet’s theory of them moving out before the snowfall holds water. We’re a good thirty-six to forty hours behind them. Have you secured the body in the Huey yet?”
“Karine Murphy is aboard and secured. Jean the wind is starting to pick up speed. That storm front’s coming in faster than we expected.”
Jean arrived at the campsite to see the Huey get hit with a strong blast in the side moving the Huey a good two hundred feet before Jack was able to bring it back. Jean ordered the team to the Huey when Jack’s cell phone went off. He dug in his pocket quickly barked, “Oakley.”
“Oakley we need your help. The truck turned over on a sharp curve and there were injuries.” Kyle’s voice cut in and out. “Several prisoners escape. Matthew was one of them.”
“Hang in there Kyle help is on the way. Skyrider triangulate where Kyle is through my cell phone,” Jack ordered. “Jean, we have trouble with the mission.”
“Mark, book up that rope. James, follow him. I’ll find Su and let you know where we are, Jack. What are you waiting for James, an engraved invitation? Mark is in the Huey so keep going.”
James shook his head no, “I’m with you. I have your back. Robert, throw down a pack.”
Jean exploded, “I don’t have time to keep you in tow. I’ll be moving fast. They’re probably hurt needing immediate assistance to survive so get your ass up that rope!”
“If they’re hurt, you’ll need help getting them out.” James yelled back and seconds later a pack slammed on the ground between them as Jean heard the whine of the winch retracting. The Huey’s engine roared away.
“Jack!” Jean screamed.
“You’re outvoted this time, buddy. You can pound me into a pulp after you locate them and have them safely back. Godspeed Jean, bring her home.”
Jean stood there for a split second watching the Huey fly off to help Kyle. His jaw ground his teeth. Frustration set in his face, his eyes blazing at Jack’s defiance of direct orders. He turned and disappeared into the underbrush.
James saw only a blur of him snagging the woven cross that marked the trail. James grabbed the pack slinging it over his shoulder and plunged and after Jean.
Jean call back, “Come on get the lead out. We’re going to lose what little light we have.” James feet pounded through the snow the brambles tearing at him trying to follow the small trail Jean was blazing.

DeBois book set

https://www.books2read.com/u/31jMwm and https://amzn.to/1u92UUj

Fourth Free Chapter in the DeBois Series

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I am pleased to present the fourth in the DeBois series. You can find the complete novel at the following links: https://books2read.com/u/3KyM84 and http://amzn.to/1u92UUj.

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Chapter 1
Jean DeBois stood off from the crowd, sipped the flute of champagne, and tugged at the chaffing collar of his tuxedo shirt, quietly observed the fuss the art critics made over the latest exhibition of Su’s work. He smirked over their attempt to interpret the different meanings of the paintings. Ninety-five percent of their interpretations were as far off base as anyone could be. It mystified him how any of them achieved the fame they claimed as their own.
Jean turned his attention to Su. She stood quietly among a group of admirers, and politely answered their questions. Her honey brown long hair swept beautifully upon her head encompassed her face in soft curls. There was a pleasant smile on her countenance. However, Jean knew she was at the limit of her endurance. They should have declined an appearance, however; fifty percent of the proceeds were going to the children’s home in Romania. She made the appearance for their sake, in spite of the warning from her doctor. The curator of the Corinthian gallery promoted she would be there to boost the attendance of the upper class.
Jean caught the tiny change in her stance to stand a little more comfortable and keep a pleasant countenance as the babies started stirring. He would give her another fifteen minutes then he would sweep her away to their hotel for a massage to help her relax and settle the babies down from their combat for premium space in Su’s womb.
He reminisced the dressing down she gave the specialist in his office when they found out she was pregnant.
Dr. Rider sent her to the specialist seven months ago when Su could not keep anything down for two weeks. After doing several tests, the specialist issued them solemnly
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into his office for a consolation pointing to the two chairs in front of the mahogany desk. He sat down and plopped her case file down. He opened it examining the test results once more before he addressed them.
The specialist gave a disgusting sigh, he glared over at Jean sitting across the desk, “You know by not bothering to restrain your sexual appetite with a condom you placed your wife’s life in jeopardy. You had no consideration for her delicate medical condition. You don’t comprehend how rare it is for someone with marasmus to survive as long as she has, most died in infancy.” He glowered over his small square shaped lenses.
“We need to schedule the abortion today so her condition doesn’t deteriorate any further. I will also schedule you for a vasectomy. I can fit the abortion in this afternoon at two and the vasectomy tomorrow at eight…” He flipped open his appointment book.
“Excuse me? Just what makes you think I would allow you ever again to come within a mile of me let alone, allow you to murder my child? If you made your position known about this before we took the time to come all the way here, it would saved everyone a lot of time and money.” Su launched halfway across his desk which caused the doctor to jerk back so quickly he toppled backward and crashed onto the floor.
“As for my husband forcing his will on me, you are very much mistaken.” Her eyes slid to slits at the doctor lying there. “In our marriage, we discuss our decisions and seek the Lord’s guidance in them. We have an equal say and respect each other’s opinion.”
The specialist lay there stunned for a second as Jean calmly took Su by the waist, lift her off the desk. Jean kept her at bay while he helped the specialist up.
After the initial shock wore off, the specialist straightened his jacket, his mouth pulled down in a pucker, “I’m not a murderer.”
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“If you surgically tear away or chemically kill a helpless innocent infant in their mother’s womb, you are no better than any other murderer who sheds innocent blood and do not bother trying to tell me it is not a baby; it’s a fetus because fetus is Latin for little one. Neither is trying to justify an abortion as legal. Hitler made extermination of the Jewish legal, also. That did not make it any less murder because someone deemed someone else no longer human. Just because a law is passed, does not make the truth any less the truth like or not.” Su spat out the words as she tried to get around Jean to get back in the specialist’s face.
Jean held Su by the waist while he moved toward the door.
The specialist adjusted his glasses, his body ridged with indignity over her analogy of him. He shook a warning accusing finger at Jean. “If you’re fool hardy enough to allow her to continue with this suicide pregnancy, you better be prepared for an slew of medical conditions to strike like toxemia, eclampsia, hypertension, stroke, renal failure, and anemia before she miscarriage. There’s a real possibility, you’ll bury her by the end of the year if not sooner.”
“Whether or not our child or I die, will not be your decision to make. I will do whatever I need to bring our baby safely into this world, Lord willing. It will ultimately be His will in this matter and no one else! May God have more mercy on your soul than you do to the unborn children you murder.” Su’s voice waffled through the slit as the door slammed shut.
Jean escorted Su out of the building quickly so there would not be more of an incident. He waited they were in the car before he said anything.
“I know it upset you to find out he performs abortions, but Su, did you have to call him a murderer and compare him to Hitler?” he asked her gently.
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Her response was not as gentle her eyes sparked with righteous contempt, “The evil that was within Hitler did not die with him. It was upon the earth long before his manifestation. It spreads throughout the world, planting its evil wherever someone allows it access to their heart and mind, corrupting their soul with its foul poison. I did not say anything untrue and you know it. He is as much of a murderer as any serial killer you go after in your job. You know it and so does he.” She grabbed the seatbelt and drew it across clicking it securely. Her mouth pursed over the distasteful encounter.
“Su, there’s a difference.” He tried to hold her hand.
Her head whipped around, “Not in the eyes of the Lord. Whoever sheds innocent blood is a murderer and who is more innocent than an unborn child? We are to view the world as the Lord does, speaking out against the evil which has the world in its grasp with the truth of God.” She jerked her hand away in frustration.
“Do you really think he heard anything after you blasted him? You need to be more tolerable when it comes to the faults of other adults, like you are with children.” He leaned his arm on the steering wheel and twisted in the seat toward her.
“There is a difference between someone’s faults and their sins. We are not to tolerate sin in our lives, but to confront it, so its cancerous evil does not spread.” She turned away from him and stared out the window.
“Su, you need to calm down. You’re working yourself up making yourself sick,” Jean reminded her as he started the car and headed for home.
She did not answer him, just sat there in cold stony silence all the way home. The more he tried to calm her down, the more aggravated she got. Her countenance was a mask of mixed emotions all jumbled together. Su got out of the car and slammed the door in Jean’s face.
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He cornered her in the kitchen as Su was putting the crystal away out of their packing crate.
“Su, you need to stop being hysterical about this.”
“You want to see hysterical? I will show you what hysterical really is,” she cried and lobbed a glass at him. It shattered against the wall behind him.
“Su, don’t…” was all Jean got out before he ducked behind the counter preventing a barrage of glasses from impacting into his cranium as Su rifled glass after glass at the wall, “You know, this is nothing but a childish temper tantrum? You’re not only going to have to clean all this up, but I ought to make you glue each and every one of these glasses back together,” he called out from safety, “It’s a good thing the children are on a field trip and can’t see their mother behaving like this. I don’t think I could handle ten spoiled little brats breaking things.”
No more were the words out of his mouth when a plate crashed down on his head. Su leaned over the counter and dropped another one on him. In a flash, Jean was up and wrapped her up in one arm, and took yet another plate away from Su with the other hand. She was small and petite, nevertheless, once her emotions took control she was a live wire. Jean set the plate down on the counter as he encircled her up in his massive arms.
“It’s one thing to take your frustrations out on an inanimate object, however; when you start dropping plates on my head that’s spousal abuse. Why don’t you use the weight bag downstairs in the gym instead of taking it out on the glassware?” He gave Su a quirky smile. “It’s a good thing I’m back to work. You broke six months worth of wages in less than five minutes. You need to throw the Libby glasses from Wal-Mart next time.”
“Take it out of my allowance.” Su turned her face from his as she struggled against his strong warm embrace.
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“What allowance? I’m the one who should be getting the allowance here. You make more in one month than I do in six,” Jean laughed at her as he turned her face back kissing her.
“Oh, is that how you want it, to be a kept man?” Su purred, her rage giving way to Jean’s charm.
“As long as it’s you doing the keeping, I’m at your beckon call. Why don’t you go upstairs and slip into that dress I gave you for Mother’s Day, last year, while I clean up the after mass down here?” Jean rested his forehead on hers and peered deeply into Su’s eyes.
“That dress, if you remember is what got us in this situation on our anniversary in the first place.” She tapped Jean’s nose with the tip of her finger.
“I know and I feel like dancing,” Jean murmured then delivered a deep sensual kiss.
Jean was jolted back to the present from a couple of men approached him. They inquired how he liked Su’s newest exhibit.
“She’s truly an exquisite artist. This new exhibit is her best work yet, don’t you think, sir?” one of them inquired of Jean as they sipped on their drink. Jean ran his hand across the forelock of the sculpture of Su’s horse Storm Chaser.
“Yes, each time she applies a brush to canvas it’s better than the last,” Jean agreed, his face taunt.
“Is this your first time to attend her exhibition here? I go to all of her openings so I recognize all the regulars, however; you seem to be new to the circuit this year,” the other one said, scrutinizing the painting near him.
Jean started to move away from their company, “This is my first time in London,”
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“Would you like to meet her? I’m one of her closest and most intimate friends,” the first man smiled sinisterly.
That statement made Jean stop in his tracks, “You know Mrs. DeBois on an intimate level, do you?”
“Oh yes my good fellow, quite intimately. Matter of fact, she’s quite the party animal. Yes, quite a little tiger, in spite of the condition she’s in, ha, ha, ha, she was at my flat just last night for a rousing game of bump and grind.”
In one swift move, Jean had him by the throat, swinging two feet in the air in a death grip, “Allow me to introduce myself chap. I am Jean DeBois, husband of the lady you just slandered,” Jean hissed as he set his flute down beside a statue. “My wife was asleep beside me all night long, last night. Since I know you were nowhere near my bed, you’re the most blatant liar I ever met.” Jean’s tempter churned souring his stomach, “It sickening how a scum sucking maggot tries to elevate himself up out of the mire, by maligning a true lady, such as my wife by trying to shove her down in the quagmire.”
The man weakly struggled prying at the steel vice that compressed his larynx, trying to preserve the oxygen left in his lungs, spilling the content of his glass.
His associate stepped back with a shocked expression. Their glasses shattered in unison upon the marble floor.
Jean lowered him and drew him close to Jean’s face. Jean’s eyes turned deadly cold.
“Now I want you to listen and listen well. If you ever so much as even think of coming anywhere near my wife or one of her exhibits ever again, Mr.” Jean growled through a ridged jaw, fished in the man’s pocket for his ID., “Mr. Sanders of 174th. Loft 47b, I will personally come back and finish the job I just started here.”
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“You can’t threaten him. It’s against the law and if you don’t let go, you’re going to have assault charges brought up against you,” the other man recovered from his shock as the man’s face turned crimson.
Jean’s expression was an immense peril toward the men. His head turn toward the other man, “That wasn’t a threat. It was a promise and I am a man of my word.” He swung the man toward the other, “Therefore, when I release you, you and your slime ball mate here are going leave and not have the remotest thing to do with my wife. If you do, you’ll find yourselves behind bars for stalking and breaking the no contact order I’m going to have served on you. Now slither out of here like the scum sucking worms you are before I forget my manners and grind you out of existence under my heel,” Jean warned, released Sanders’ throat, and allowed him to fall to the floor with a thud.
Jean picked up his flute, standing over him. The security guard noticed the commotion and came over to investigate.
“Mr. DeBois, is there something wrong?” He stood by the fallen man.
“These two degenerates are leaving. Please make sure they find their way out and never allowed into another one of my wife’s exhibits again,” Jean turned his attention back to Su.
He walked away and left the security guard to deal with the after mass. Jean pushed through the growing crowd of spectators, freeing his wife from her fans. He could see Su’s smile was now just a grin, which meant she was in a lot of pain. He set his champagne flute on a passing waiter’s tray, slid his arm protectively around Su as the curator came up to them.
“I’m very sorry they were allowed in, Mr. and Mrs. DeBois. It’ll bloody well never happen again.” He wrung his hands. “We can’t understand how security passed them
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through without an invitation. I hope you enjoyed yourselves in spite of what happen.” His face was crimson over the breach in security.
“We had a lovely time, however; we need to leave for the hotel so we may get some rest. I suffer from jet lag easily so we will thank you for all your hard work. Once again thank you,” Jean made a path through the people for Su.
When they reached the door the maitre d’ asked, “May I flag down a taxi for you?”
Su glanced up at the night sky, “No thank you. We will walk. It is only six or seven blocks away and I love to walk under a starry night sky.”
Jean looked at her, “Are you sure?”
She smiled up at the night skyline, “Yes, the fresh night air will feel nice.”
Jean gave a small sigh, “Okay, one midnight stroll in the moonlight coming up,” he opened the door for her.
Su linked her arm in Jean’s arm and leaned her head against it as they journeyed toward their destination. The starry night shed a soft light on them strolling along the avenue.
“So when are you going to enlighten me on what occurred in the gallery to cause such a commotion? The excuse of being jetlagged might work on the curator, however, you never suffer from it so as Scott says, okay spill the beans and do not try to con me.” She stopped several blocks away causing him to halt abruptly so he did not knock her over.
Jean avoided her eyes, starring across the parkway instead.
She took her hand and placed it upon his cheek to draw his attention back to her.
Jean gently withdrew her hand enclosed it in his and kissed Su lightly upon the cheek before he answered her.
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“It isn’t important. I just straightened out a couple of overly exuberant admirers, reminding them of their proper place.”
She shook her head in non belief of his answer; however, she allowed it to drop for his countenance relayed an end to this line of questioning. They continued on hand in hand, Su humming a tune softly as they went.
Jean loved to listen to Su sing. The music she produced always entranced him in its delicate strands of melody weaving itself deep within his soul, there it intertwined their souls together for eternity.
Three blocks away from the hotel, Jean became aware of the movement in the shadows. One was in front of them approximately fifty feet and the other twenty feet behind them. His body tensed in anticipation of the pending attack. His mind contemplated how to protect Su from the danger. His ears picked up the subtle click of a switchblade knife from the attacker behind them as they walked toward the other.
Su felt Jean’s muscles tense, stopped humming as she looked up at him. One look at his countenance alerted her to the danger also. She immediately matched his body movements with her own. Jean signaled there were two assailants. Su nonchalantly slipped off her high heels as they walked slowly forward. Jean slipped out of his tuxedo jacket laid it across his arm. He placed his arm around Su’s shoulders. The closer they came to the frontal danger, the tighter Jean’s muscles rippled with anticipation. Ten feet in front of them, the bloke from the art gallery stepped out from the shadows. A twelve-inch survival knife glistened in the reflection of the night sky.
“Well lookie here, Smitty. It’s the big bad Yank and his little skank of a wife who thinks she’s something special. Well Yank, you’re on our turf now. We didn’t think we
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would catch such a big prize tonight.” His face twisted with as a sinister gleam flashed in his eyes.
“What’s a matter Yank? Yah got nothing to say now you don’t have security to back you up. We’ll not mess yah up too much if yah hand over everything,” Sanders sneered as he passed the knife from hand-to-hand.
Smitt came out of the shadows from behind them and circled them with Sanders, reminding Jean of a school of sharks that smelled wounded prey. Jean slid in front of Su at every turn, keeping him in between them and her.
An evil plan itself spawned in Smitt’s twisted mind, “Screw this penny ante crap, Sand. Let’s just make short work of the bloke and when we’re done having fun with her, we can ransom her back to the gallery, if she survives.”
“That’s a good idea Smitty. I wouldn’t mind a couple of games of darts with my blade at her myself and then have a nice vacation,” Sanders sneered with an oily grin.
“There’s only one thing wrong with your plan,” Jean quietly said.
“And what would that be?” Smitt let loose with a raunchy laugh.
“You both will be in the morgue before your plan comes to light.”
Smitt’s laughter died in mid chuckle as he lunged at Jean. Jean sidestepped Smitt’s lunge, grabbed the wrist twisting it and slammed his elbow into Smitt’s face. There was a sickening crunch sound as Jean’s elbow sunk into Smitt’s nose. Jean ripped Smitt’s arm out of the socket in one swift movement.
He drove a foot into Smitt’s ribs. As Smitt crumpled to the ground, Jean caught the slightest movement, ducked the survival knife as it swept over his head. He gave Sanders a kick to the stomach and drove Sanders backward. Sanders recovered and lunged at Su. Jean
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intercepted Sanders with a body block to the ribs. They landed in the bushes. The knife clattered noisily to the pavement and slid fifteen feet away.
Su peered into the darkness trying to make out Jean in the shadows as he took Sanders on hand-to-hand. She could hear the punches and kicks as Jean rained them on Sanders. Sanders was almost Jean’s size and weight, however, Jean out matched him when it came down to hand-to-hand combat. Jean had been a combat trained Special Opts. Commander in the service and now was the commander of an elite unit in the U.S. Federal Marshal Division, something few men achieved by the age of thirty-two.
Sanders’ punches landed rare compared to the beating he took from Jean. Su heard each sickening thud as other part of Sanders’ body crumpled under the inertia of Jean’s sledgehammer fists and kicks. Suddenly, Sanders’ limp body hurled out of the darkness as Jean’s roundhouse kick impacted with Sanders’ face.
Jean stepped out a second later, in time to stop Smitt as he staggered toward Su with his arm hanging limply at his side. Smitt held the switchblade weakly in his left hand raised above his head poised for the attack. Jean blocked the thrust with his left arm and drove his fist into Smitt’s throat.
Smitt crumbled at Jean’s feet. They heard the whistle of a Bobbie. Jean turned as two Bobbies came running to them. He went over to Su, picked up his jacket and placed it around her trembling shoulders. The owner of the whistle knelt down to check the unconscious crumbled forms after he ordered Jean and Su to stand back. The Bobbie got on the walkie-talkie and called for an ambulance as his partner sized up the situation.
The Bobbie went over quietly talked to his partner before they approached Jean and Su who stood at the edge of the bushes. He gave the unconscious men one last look and then started in with the questioning, “I need to see your identification, sir, and ma’am, then
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you can tell me your side of the story,” he informed them in a thick cockney accent . He took the information Jean handed him, “Yanks. I will need to see your passports, Mr. DeBois. You seem to be able to handle yourself all right by the looks of things, nevertheless, why are you out so late walking alone. You know it’s the quickest way to invite trouble. It doesn’t seem to be the brightest thing to do with your wife in the condition she’s in.” He cocked his head and scribbled down the information before returning it.
“We’re on our way to our hotel from an art exhibition a few blocks away from here when we were attacked,” Jean answered him, and kept an eye on Su.
The Bobbie glowered, “An art exhibition? Why didn’t you take a taxi so you didn’t place her in this danger? Why did this escalate as far as it did? This isn’t their usual MO. They usually are a snatch and run operation. What made you so special they would change their mode of heist?” The Bobbie tilted his head glancing at them with a suspicious eye.
“They were at the art exhibition, scouting for potential victims when I had a run in with the one who calls himself Sanders over the wisecrack he made about my wife.” Jean returned the look with one of his own.
“So this is some sort of retaliation for an insult to your wife?” The Bobbie scribbled something in his notebook.
The muscles twitched along Jean’s jaw. “No. This was not any retaliation on my part. My wife needed some fresh air so we decided to walk to our hotel when we were confronted by these thugs who decided to branch out into kidnapping, only they chose to attack the wrong couple.
Jean pointed behind him. “You’ll find the knife Sanders had on the ground about fifteen feet in back of you in the edge of the bushes. It’s a twelve-inch survival knife.
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There’s a switchblade under Smitt so be careful.” He warned the other officer who examined Smitt.
“If there isn’t anything else, I’ll take my wife to our hotel to take care of her. This has been over taxing for her, which isn’t good for her.” Jean started to move away with Su.
The Bobbie quickly stepped in front of them and placed a firm hand upon Jean’s chest. “I’ll need you to stay put until the ambulance arrives so I can escort you the rest of the way,” the Bobbie ordered as he inquired on his walkie-talkie the e.t.a. of the ambulance.
The answer came back twenty minutes. Jean glanced at Su. The color drained completely away from her demeanor. She looked up at him, a second later, her eyes rolled back into her head collapsing into unconsciousness. Jean swept her up into his arms and ran to the street. He signaled to an approaching taxi to stop. The cabbie took one glance at the situation, and decided he did not want to get involved. The taxi started moving into the other lane to pass them by. Jean stepped out into the roadway as the taxi passed by and landed his size thirteen shoe into the rear door of the taxi. It made a gigantic thud as the metal buckled under the inertia of the blow.
The cabbie screeched the taxi to a halt. He jumped out cursing as he came, “You bloody bloke! Are you out of your bloody mind, kicking my door in? You’re going to pay for this!”
Jean yanked the rear door open and laid Su on the seat. He started telling the driver to take them to the nearest hospital when the cabbie grabbed him by the shirt.
“Just where do you think you’re going? I’m not a bleeding ambulance. Get her out of there!” he sneered.
The Bobbie came up just in time to save the cabbie from Jean’s wrath, “Listen here now. You’ll be taking them to the nearest hospital as he said. The nearest ambulance is a
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good twenty minutes away. Therefore, we choose you to be a Good Samaritan and get her medical help. Mr. DeBois will be paying for the damages done to the taxi. In addition, he’ll give you a nice big tip if you get them there safely within the next ten minutes. Isn’t that right Mr. DeBois,” his brow drew sharply down over one eye, “because I’d hate to have to keep you here filling out police reports on the damage to the taxi while your misses is in dire straits.” His tone reinforced Jean’s understanding of the underline meaning.
“I’ll buy him a brand new cab if you stop your yakking and he starts driving,” Jean snapped and got in the cab slamming the door shut.
Fifteen minutes later, Jean sat in the overly crowded dimly lit waiting room filling out the information forms while the doctors examine Su. True to his word, Jean wrote out a personal check for sixty thousand dollars to the cabbie and gave him the phone number of the bank so the cabbie could validate the check was good. He made a mental note to transfer the money from his personal saving account into the household account after he made sure Su was all right.
They set up individual saving accounts beside the joint account with each other being the benefactor so each could have some mad money. They decided to divide their income into thirds, one third in the household account, one third in the joint saving account, and one third in their individual accounts. Even combining his income with the farm profits it was not even half of Su’s. With the profit from her art work and royalties from her music CDs combined with her salary at Upon Eagle’s Wings, Malachi Inc. her salary was in upward toward two million dollars a year to which she would usually give half away to those who were in need if not more.
It bothered him at first how loosely Su’s concern about money was, however; after they were married, he saw how great of a steward she was with money. To her, money was
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something never hoarded but a tool to help her fellow man out in their time of need. Now, he marveled as he watched her meet others needs as the Lord brought their needs to light. There was always much prayer and consideration in each request that she met. She had even started a nonprofit relief organization by the name of ‘Cup of Water’ where she was the CEO.
Jean had her take a leave of absence from both companies within a month of them finding out she was pregnant. The jetting back and forth from Iowa to New York took too much of a toll on her. They compromised. Su could keep in touch via the internet for two hours a day as long as she spent the rest of the day with the children and plenty of bed rest. Penny Foster and Mrs. Frans made sure she complied with the doctor’s orders.
Penny had been Jean’s downstairs neighbor back in New York. She had taken upon herself to be Jean’s unit’s Dutch Auntie. The rest of the division in the Marshal’s office was jealous over her continually fussing over the members of the unit. The unit was angry at Jean over her coming out to Iowa to visit after the mission, which brought Michelin Hogan and one of the largest drug cartels down with the help of Su. There Penny met Ken Foster, Jean’s foreman, who been a widower the past ten years. When she went back to New York, it was to sell her apartment pack up to move out to Iowa to become Ken’s wife.
Jean finished the information. He took it up to the desk and handed it across the faded worn tile counter to the stout nurse shuffling files from the counter to the standing rack. “Ma’am, here’s the information. May I see my wife now?” he asked concerned over the time lapse on the lack of information forth coming from her.
She took the clipboard and went over to the computer terminal, “Go ahead and have a seat, Mr. … err DeBois. The nurse will come and get you once the doctor gets her stabilized. It shouldn’t be too much longer, honestly. It just seems like it when you’re
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worried about a loved one,” she answered him in a motherly voice, typing the information in the computer before she took it back to the doctor.
Jean went back and plopped down on the thread worn chair in total frustration. If they would just allow him access to Su, he knew he would be able to help calm her and the babies down. He was the one who could calm the babies when they struggled for more space. All he had to do was softly hum gently and massage Su’s abdomen and they would quiet down in less than ten minutes then he would give Su a massage. Within a half an hour, both mother and babies would be fast asleep. Out here in the waiting room he was useless. He wanted to burst through those doors and through anyone that got between him and Su. As the minutes ticked by, the more frustrating it became for him. Just as it became unbearable for him and his frustrations now turned to anger, the Bobbies came walking through the entrance.
Just great, two more obstacles to go through.
They surveyed the waiting room and locked on Jean. They came over and sat down on each side of him. Jean tensed up in anticipation of the upcoming event.
The eldest of the two, slightly portly approximately forty, started the conversation, “Mr. DeBois, this isn’t an official visit so you may relax some. We’re off duty now and are on our own time. We’re concerned about your wife’s condition. She’s such a small fragile little thing. We couldn’t get her out of our minds. Therefore, we ran down the taxi finding out where exactly he took you.
“We’re both married so we know what it feels like to be helpless when the one you love the most needs help beyond what you can do.”
“If you’d allow us, we’d like to make a prayer circle with you for her. We know this probably seems weird, nevertheless; the Lord laid it on our hearts to be here with you to
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help you through this valley. So may we continue? You don’t have to do anything. We’ll do all the prayers if you like,” the younger, tall willowy one offered.
Prayer! Why hadn’t he thought of going to the Lord immediately instead of trying to handle this on his own? He knew trying to handle it himself would only bring disaster. He tried to do that very thing most of his life before the Lord brought Su into his life to show him there was a better way, the Lord’s way. Pride crept back into his life lately over the need Su had in him since she became pregnant. Now, he knew what he must do.
He silently slid his six-five frame to its knees in prayer. There he begged the Lord to forgive his arrogance and pride. A second later, he felt a hand on each of his shoulders as his fellow brothers in Christ joined him there on the floor. They took turns praying for Su and strength for Jean to endure it in the loving arms of the Lord.
They offered prayer after prayer up unashamed in the middle of the waiting room. Soon a mother whose child came in with a cold joined them, then another and another joined them.
Twelve hours later, when the doctor came out to get Jean there was a small group of bowed heads and bended knees all in prayer for those sick. There were people from all lifestyles and occupations. They were one in Christ praying for a common goal.
It took the doctor five minutes to get Jean’s attention. Jean got up thanking those around him for their prayers making his way through the group of believers. He looked back to thank the Bobbies again only to find them gone. As the doctor took him back to see Su, the Bible passage about entertaining angels unaware came to mind. Whether they were angels or not did not matter to Jean for his heart overflowed with the joy of the Lord praising the Lord for sending them in their time of need.
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The doctor opened the door to reveal Su standing there ready to leave. Her peaches and cream glowed once more, waiting impatiently for them to release her. Jean came over immediately enveloped her in a strong embrace then gave her a deep passionate kiss as he thanked the Lord.
He reluctantly released her, and looked over at the doctor, “Thank you for everything you have done for us. Is Su well enough to leave or does she have to stay for observation?”
“Don’t thank me. No matter what we did to try to help her, it failed. She was in a grand mal seizure from stroke-height blood pressure, and then it suddenly dropped to nothing. We worked for nearly an hour trying to revive her when it happened, nevertheless, as I said nothing we did worked. We finally gave up turning to leave when the EKG started reading a pulse, blood pressure, respiration, and all normal.” He shook his head still in amazement.
”We turn to find her sitting up trying to unhook the equipment we had on her. We spent the rest of the time checking her and the fetuses out to make sure everything was all right. They passed with excellence. We would like to keep Su over night for observation .There isn’t any medical reason to keep her here though. I’d caution you to take it easy from here on out. “He held out the release forms for Jean to sign.
“Last night, she used up all her nine lives and then some,” the doctor informed them holding the door open for them.
They hailed a cab and within twenty minutes, Jean had Su tucked safe in bed. His nerves still wired over the ordeal kept him from relaxing. He went out into the living room to contemplate on what the Lord done for them when he noticed the light on the phone blinking.
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Jean sat down and picked up the receiver punching the number to retrieve the message. It was from Eric, their ten-year-old son at the farm in Iowa. Su adopted Eric and Ben, his twin brother when they were five. When Jean and Su married, Eric gave Jean the most trouble of Su’s eight adopted children, which ranging in age from sixteen to a month old. Jean’s four-year-old daughter came to live with them also after the murder of her mother by a hit and run driver within two weeks of their marriage so that brought the total up to nine children.
He went from a carefree life to father of nine children overnight. It nearly overwhelmed him, however; Su took the fact of another child as a gift from the Lord. Eric on the other hand saw Jean a competitor for the title of head of the family even though Ben was the older of the twins.
Eric set his mission to get rid of Jean from his mother’s life along with the rest of the elder children. Six months after they married, Jean adopted the children and Su adopted Jean’s little girl, Angelique.
Eric only went along with the adoption to please his mother. He let Jean know; he never had been nor never would be Jean’s son. He would do anything within his power to rid the family of Jean.
There was always sassing back, dirty tricks from the start and the coup de’ gra was when Eric rigged explosives in the volcano with Ben and Angelique. They entered it in the science fair, resulting in the kidnapping of Angelique by the assassin who was after Su.
Jean gave a low sigh praying for wisdom on how to handle this latest scenario about to unfold with Eric, as he dialed Ken’s phone number so not to wake the children with the ringing phone.
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Ken answered on the second ring, “Hello, you have reached the Foster’s residents. This is Ken. How may I help you?” The response groggily came.
“Ken this is Jean. Sorry to be calling you so late, however, we just got in and there’s an urgent message from Eric for Su to call him. What’s up now with Eric? Su had a rough night and is finally asleep.”
Ken sat up wiping the sleep out of his eyes as he turned the lamp beside the bed on, which woke Penny.
“Ken who’s on the phone?” she asked, leaning up on one elbow.
“It seems somehow Eric was able to get his hands on the phone and placed a call to his mother. It’s Jean.”
Penny snatched the phone from Ken before he could object. “Jean? Here let me talk to him. Jean? Do you know what time it is, my boy? You’re not just getting home with Su, are you? You know she’s to be getting plenty of rest and be off her feet for a good fifteen hours a day?”
“The answer’s yes to all the above questions, Penny.” Jean answered knowing full well, what was to come next.
True to form, Penny’s Italian temper got the best of her, “Whatayamean keeping her out so late? You gone and lost all your senses God gave you, boy. You’re lucky I can’t get my hands on you right now. I’d give you such a slap on the back of the head your ears would ring for a month. You so dense you think you don’t have to follow the doctor’s orders. Rules aren’t good enough for you. You think you can do whatever you please without any consequences, uh? Whatsamatter? You don’t have a tongue now? God strike you mute. No wonder Eric misbehaves so with you being his role model, behaving as if rules don’t exist for you. Speak up boy. Don’t you have anything to say for yourself?”
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“I was waiting until the tongue lashing was over, so I could explain,” was all Jean was able to get out.
“TONGUE-LASHING? Boy, you don’t know what a good tongue-lashing is. If you want a tongue-lashing, I’m just the lady to give you one.” Penny lashed out at Ken. “Ken, what do you think you’re doing? That boy has a good lashing coming to him, keeping that poor little fragile thing out all hours of the night.”
Ken took the phone back. “The tongue-lashing can wait until they’re back at home safe and sound, and then I’ll allow you to chase Jean from one end of the farm to the other end. It’ll make a more lasting impression on him if you do it in person.
“Now you lie back down and get some more sleep. Joshua’ll have you up by five. So you need to calm down and get all the rest you can,” Ken soothed Penny’s ruffled feathers.
Penny gave him a small kiss on the cheek and laid back down, “You’re always too soft on him. I’ll allow it to drop for now, however; you remind him I’ll be here waiting to finish this matter when they get home. Also tell them I love and miss them both,” she said, closing her eyes and turned over going back to sleep.
Ken smiled as he got up and went to the other room so the conversation would not bother Penny.
“Jean, sorry about that, however, you know how Penny gets when she thinks someone she loves is being hurt.”
“That’s all right. Penny’s tongue-lashing isn’t as bad as the one I gave myself over this. Now tell me what’s up with Eric?”
Ken sat down on the couch, “Well, I’m getting all this second hand because I was out in the fields when it happened. It seems to have started when Sarah was getting ready to
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go back to school. Eric was arguing with her all day that she didn’t have to go; she could take satellite classes so she could stay home with them instead of leaving. One thing lead to another, and when Sarah took a shower she found out the hard way Eric placed Ritz dye in her shampoo. By the time Sarah realized what happened, her hair was the brightest orange you ever seen and her skin were streaked with orange. When Mother Superior grounded him for it, he told her to shut up she was not his mother or superior to her. This landed him with KP duty, which backfired because Eric made individual dishes of pudding for dessert; placing alum in Mother Superior’s serving. It puckered her up right now. Needless to say, Eric’s under house arrest until you get home. They were able to bleach the dye out of Sarah’s hair at the beauty parlor, however; they weren’t able to do anything about the dye on her skin. Peter took her back to college with streaks running down her face and orange hands. And before you start in on me about allowing Peter to take her back to college, it was that or allow Mother Superior to strangle Eric. When he isn’t in school, he’s doing chores with me so he’s out of Mother Superior’s cross hairs. I sent Angelique and Ben with them to chaperone, which didn’t go over any too good with Eric because they had extra time with Sarah. So I’m not on Eric’s good list right now either.”
Jean stifled a chuckle over Eric’s escapade with the alum. Many of times in the past sixteen months, Jean wanted to do something similar. Jean had his hands full with Sister Anna, the children’s nanny and teacher who turned out to be Su’s biological mother, however; he did not have any idea of the headache he would have when Mother Superior, Karen Kau, took over the duties of Sister Anna after she was murdered.
Sister Anna and she were cousins who were full-blooded Germans. Ninety-five percent of the head butting between Jean and Mother Superior was over how she tried to rule over Su. It grated against him that attitude she took as a teacher disciplining one of her
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pupils sent his temper sky rocketing and Jean would find himself splitting wood so he did not lose it with her.
He was never so glad to get off the nine months suspension he received from the top brass for breaking protocol on the case involving Su. He threw himself into helping Ken bring the farm back into full production coaching his unit from the sideline via the internet during this time. Unknown to the top brass, Jean was capable of running his unit from his den in Iowa, thanks to the setup they created while undercover with Su.
He thought for a couple of seconds, and then asked if things settled down. The answer was not encouraging.
“Not really. Eric talked Ben and Angelique into helping him snagging a hold of Sarah’s Nair; you know the stuff that takes off hair.”
Jean groaned holding his head, “Don’t tell me, Mother Superior now has chunks of hair missing.”
“Actually, she’s as bald as a cue ball. She also has no eyebrows left either. Therefore, when you get home, you’ll have three to deal with instead of just one. Angelique didn’t actually have much to do with it; her part was just to keep Mother Superior occupied so I think you could allow her to slide a little more than the boys.”
“No way, she doesn’t get special treatment. She knew something was going down and she needs to learn not to allow the others to talk her into something she knows is wrong.
“You can let everyone know we’ll be home in two to three days. We have to make a stopover in New York for a meeting and then we’ll be home. Hang in there, the Calvary’s on the way and thanks Ken for all you do. We couldn’t do it without you and Penny,” Jean told him.
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“No trouble son. That’s what keeps us young. I’ll pass on the information and your love to the others. Hurry home. We all miss you very much. Bye Jean.”
“Bye Ken. I miss you too you old codger,” Jean said and hung up.
He sat there and realized he indeed missed all of them more than he was willing to admit. Home sickness washed over him strongly. He picked up the phone and called the airport.
Su woke to find Jean had not been to bed yet. She looked over at the clock, and read three-thirty. She got up slowly. One of the babies was lying on her bladder. After going to the restroom, the babies started to stir about so she decided to see if Jean had fallen asleep in front of the television again. He gave up a little comfort so Su could have the maximum rest the babies would allow.
She walked into the living room to find Jean snapping the last suitcase shut. He placed it with the rest of the luggage. A smile spread across Jean’s face as she came into the room. He came over and kissed her passionately. The smile finished off his dashing features. The curl fell down on his forehead and washed away her resistance. Su kissed him back longing to stay in his embrace forever.
He received her kisses with joy and drank deeply from the well of love within her soul. They finally broke off when there was a soft rap on the door. Jean stole one more kiss before he went over allowing the bellhop in to pick up the luggage.
“Here’s the luggage, we’ll be ready for the cab to take us to the air terminal within ten minutes,” Jean told him as he handed him a tip.
“Mr. DeBois, if there’s something unpleasant with your accommodations in anyway, the staff’s more than willing to make any changes making your stay more appealing so you don’t have to leave,” the bellhop assured him.
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“There’s nothing wrong with the accommodations. I just decided to go home on the Concord instead of the normal airline, that way my wife will only have to endure a three hour flight instead of the usual eight hours of flight time.”
Su waited until the bellhop was gone before she started her inquisition of Jean, “Okay, he is gone, now let’s have the truth and do not try to give me a song and dance story. What do you know that I do not?”
“I know if we want to be on time, you need to get dressed and drink your protein shake and don’t give me the third degree. Here now, take this and drink up while I help you get ready.” He handed her the shake then went to get her clothes.
“I hate these things. They taste horrible and I am not an invalid. I can dress myself. Here you drink this if you think they are delicious,” she made a face at the protein shake as she followed him into the bedroom to continue the conversation.
“No can do, that’s for you, doctor’s orders. Don’t take away my pleasure of caressing you as I help you get dressed?” Jean asked as he untied her nightgown and slid the shoulders down.
“Do not start what you will not have time to finish,” she warned and set the shake down on the dresser. Su allowed the nightgown to flutter to the floor.
Su’s body turned him on even at six months pregnancy. The softness of her silky skin with her glorious thick-knee length hair draped her body in soft flowing waves beckoned him on.
“I’ll have an appetizer here in London and the main course back in Manhattan at my flat where I’ll be able to thoroughly enjoy every moment of your radiant beauty,” he crooned and helped himself. Jean kissed the hollow of her neck as he helped her with her brassier.
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“Okay, you may stop with this line. I am beginning to feel like I am talking to a gigolo. You know by the time we get to New York, you are going to spill the beans on the reason we are leaving now instead of the regular flight time,” Su answered as she turned to face him.
“You think so, do you? You think you’ve me wrapped around your little finger, that all you have to do is whistle and I’ll come running like the Pavlovian dog,” Jean taunted her helping her on with her blouse.
He bent slightly to button her blouse, Su stretched up and purred in his ear, “I do not have to think so, I know so.”
She gently blew in his ear as she slid her fingers over his chest across the scar on his shoulder, which got super sensitive when he was aroused. He nearly caved. He had been her first love and she was the quickest pupil on what aroused him the best and deepest. It was true what the Bible taught, only in a covenant marriage with the Lord as the focal point was true sexual intimacy fulfilled and what the world offered was a pale imitation in comparison.
He gathered his wits about him and finished helping her get ready in time. He was not so lucky to get her to drink the shake. By the time, they arrived at the air terminal he had only been able to coax half of it down Su. He let it go. He would have another one for her once they arrived in New York. Jean would make sure every last single drop was ingested.
During the flight, Su and the babies had a hard time getting comfortable. It ended up; Jean kept his arm wrapped around Su and a hand slowly massaged her abdomen so the babies would stay quiet.
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In the middle of the flight, an old man came by and glared disgustingly at Jean show of affection.
“Can’t you allow her to sleep in peace without pawing her? You that hard up?” he sneered.
Jean looked lovingly down at Su before he answered him, “I’m doing what’s necessary to allow my wife some rest by keeping my children calm so they don’t kick her. If my show of concern for my family’s so unnerves you, then by all means, you have my permission to close your eyes as you pass by on your way to your throne.”
The old man snorted, “Why I never.”
“Maybe you ought to show some compassion to your fellow man so your outlook on life would be a little brighter,” Jean said quietly.
“Why should I? No one showed me any compassion.” The old man huffed.
“I’m showing you compassion right now; by not tying you up in a neat little package and slam dunk you in the trash. I’m sorry callousness has blinded you to the kindness people show you. Something terrible must have happened in your past that scarred your heart deeply.” Jean glanced first at Su then up at the man. “I’ll pray the Lord removes the scars so you once again may feel the compassion of others and most of all the compassion and mercy the Lord has for you through His Son, Jesus Christ.”
“Keep your stupid prayers and your silly superstition about your religion to yourself. I have no need for such prattle,” he stormed off.
Jean gave a sigh and true to his word, he prayed for the old man’s salvation that the Lord would allow him to feel the love and mercy of others in his life.
Through the rest of the flight, the old man was restless. He glanced back at them. Su slept through it all thanks to Jean’s vigilance. The Concord landed right on time.
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Once on the ground, Jean used his cell phone in the plane calling for a taxi so they would not have to wait once disembarking. Jean fielded a path through the crowd for Su in the halls of the terminal to the luggage claim area.
Jean found Su a seat then went for the luggage to make their appearance on the carousel. Jean piled the luggage on top of each other securing them to each other with the strap. He grabbed the handle and made a pathway for Su through the crowd.
He extended his hand to her, “Me lady, are ye ready to cross the multitudes to yond carriage?”
Su smiled sweetly, taking his hand, “Lead on, me squire, for me thinkst this place will only get busier the longer we tarry,” she said as they walked outside toward the taxi stand.
Jean faked a frown as he linked his arm in hers, “What, I’m dubbed a poor lowly squire and not the king of your heart?”
“Nay, dear squire, for ye know there can be only one King worthy of our total obedience and faith and that would be the Lord, sire. So we both be squires of Him, tis it not so?” Su shook her head as she gave him a sly grin.
“Tis so, me sweet angelic creature, tis so true, thank ye for remindin me of me place. Would there be a chance, pray tell, of me gainst the position of knight of the King and champion of ye heart, me lady?” He bowed slightly to her.
“That would depend on whether ye can deliver on thee boast thee made to me in merry old London or not?” She cocked her head and winked.
Jean leaned down and whispered in her ear, “Ye will have to wait on thee boast, me lady, until ye chariot can sweep ye to yonder castle, for surely if me acts on thee boast, the knights of the law would cast me in the dungeons for indecent exposure.”
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Su turned crimson. She gave him a small shove, “Jean, you are horrible,” then stopped short as she saw the elderly man from the plane being shoved back and forth by a couple of thugs fifty feet from them.
Jean glanced over his shoulder, “I’m on my way. You stay put.”
Jean traveled the fifty feet. He snagged the thug who started to punch the old man in the face. He whirled him about and the thug received the back of Jean’s fist up side his head. The blow staggered him slightly and he shook his head to clear it as his accomplice shoved the old man to the pavement and came to help, cursing as he came.
“What’s your [blanking] problem? This is between that [blanking] old [blank] and us. Back off, before I mess you up, you dumb [blank].”
“You both need to turn away being on your way before you’re arrested for assault,” Jean warned them.
“And just who’s going to arrest us? There isn’t a cop around here,” the first one sneered.
“You’re looking at a U.S. Federal Marshal so I’m giving you one last warning, leave or spend the night in lockup,” Jean stated flipping out his shield with an underline warning he meant what he said.
They stared at the badge in disbelief. The one who shoved the old man down wanted to continue, however; the one Jean’s fist landed upside his head grabbed him by the sleeve, “No, let’s make tracks. You go up against him and it’s federal, not state. I’m not doing time in a federal jail. The local ones are bad enough.”
The other thug took his advice and quickly followed his partner. Jean turned around and saw Su kneeling beside the elderly man administering first aid. Jean shook his head and knelt down beside them.
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“I thought I told you to stay with the luggage I’d handle this? We don’t need a repeat of another hospital visit in one day,” he smiled as he extended his hand to the elderly man to help him up, “Sir, do you need any medical attention?”
“I had a porter watch our luggage so I could administer first aid to this gentleman while you took care of the trash,” Su smiled sweetly at Jean.
“You know, I’m not worried about the luggage. You’re cruising for a time out missy. Sir, would you like us to take you to hospital?” Jena cocked his head with a lowered brow.
“No, I’m fine, just a little roughed up that’s all. Why would you go and stick your neck out for the likes of me after the way I treated you?” He straightened his jacket looking questioning at Jean.
Su looked a little concerned, “Sir, you have not wronged us in anyway. We would come to the aid of any fellow man in need our assistance whether we thought they wronged us or not.”
“Why place yourselves in danger for the likes of me?” The man’s expression was one of shock and disbelief.
“Because the Lord showed us mercy when He did not have to so we follow His example of caring for others,” Su said quietly as they walked back to the taxi stand.
The man stood there for a second with a complex countenance making the comment, “You’re weird.”
Su laughed, “Yes, I guess we are by the world’s standards.”
The porter came over, “Your taxi’s here. Do you want me to place your luggage in the taxi for you?”
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“No, we are allowing this gentleman to have the taxi. We will wait for the next one. Thank you for watching our luggage for us. Here is something for your trouble,” Su answered him and then went over to the cabbie speaking quietly to him for a second.
The old man shook his head and got in the taxi. He gave the cabbie the address. The taxi pulled away from the curb into traffic. The old man said, “That was a weird experience,” as he looked back at Su.
The cabbie smiled at him through the rear view mirror, “I know what you mean. Allow me to tell you about my first experience with Mrs. DeBois, only she wasn’t married at the time.”
Jean looked down at Su. Her head drooped slightly. He took no chances and asked for a chair. Jean pulled out his cell phone, dialing, “This is US Deputy Marshal Jean DeBois I need a taxi at the New York airport terminal, stat. Great, thank you.” He looked at his watch and changed it back to Eastern Standard Time, eight o’clock pm. By the time they would get to his apartment in the Bronx, it would be pushing toward midnight.
The taxi showed up ten minutes later. They arrived at the apartment at twelve-thirty. Jean paid for the taxi, carried the luggage in, holding the door open for Su.
“I can hold open a door for myself, Jean. You do not have to show how gallant you are.” Su said.
Jean smiled and gave her a small bow, “Ah, now you went and gone and hurt my feelings.”
Su gave him a seductive smile as she went by, “Once we are settled in, I will give you a soothing backrub allowing nature to take its course.”
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“Well, what are we waiting for?” Jean said as he swung the luggage upon his back He bent down and scooped Su up at the knees. They headed up the stairs to his apartment.
At the door, he swung the luggage down, snagged his keys out of his pocket, sliding them in the lock. When he tried to open the door, they found the chain was on the door.
“What the hell?” Jean stormed and rattled the door.
From inside the apartment, Mark’s voice, “Hang on Jean. Don’t tear the door off the hinges! I’m coming.”
Jean set Su down and allowed Mark just long enough to close the door to get the chain off before he burst through knocking Mark flat on his back.
Mark smacked the back of his head on the floor as a young lady came out of the bedroom wearing one of Jean’s silk shirts.
“Man Jean, you didn’t have to burst in like that. I said I’d get the door for you.” Mark whined as he rubbed his head.
“Just what in the hell do you think you’re doing here in my apartment? Moreover, you bring a young lady for a sexual liaison. I ought to arrest you for breaking and entering. Speak up, you little snake before I hang you out the window and accidently drop you on purpose,” Jean gave Mark a severe kick to the derriere sending Mark sprawling once again.
Mark jumped up; making sure the table was between them, “Jean, I got permission to be here from Penny. They’re remodeling my place so there won’t be any water or heat for the next month. She said it’d be all right since you were in London and when you came back you could stay at Su’s condo.”
“Penny doesn’t own this apartment. I do. Moreover, Penny’d never agreed to it if she knew what you had in mind. You’ve exactly one minute to get on the phone calling your date a taxi because this evening is over as of right now!”
40
“A taxi, I can take her home in my car,” Mark looked puzzled.
“No, you can’t. I’ll be using your car to take Su to the condominium so she may get some rest. You on the other hand, will be making other living arrangements by the time I arrive at the office this morning at eight. My apartment better be the way I left it by that time, including my silk shirt hanging in the closet clean. By the time I arrive at work, you better have been there for over an hour, and having all your reports completed ready for debriefing. You hear me?” Jean glared.
“Yes, the whole neighborhood can hear you,” Mark sulked.
Jean took a threatening step toward him, “What was that?”
“Yes sir, anything you say sir,” Mark slinked back.
Jean held out his hand for the keys and Mark fished awkwardly in his pants pocket for them. Jean clamped down on Mark’s hand. Mark winched in pain, the keys grounded into the palm of his hand.
“I mean what I say Mark, by eight o’clock and not a second later,” Jean said, releasing Mark’s hand, going to the door yanking it back open waiting for Su to go through before slamming it shut rattling all the windows in the apartment.
Su silently followed Jean down to Mark’s sports car. He had trouble making enough room for their luggage and them, but finally succeeded. As he started the car, he looked over at Su.
“What? I suppose you think I was too hard on him.”
“Not really. Mark got what he deserved, however; did you have to kick him so hard?” she tilted her head and glanced out the window.
“He’s lucky his derriere was the only thing I kicked,” Jean took off for the condominium.
41
It was two-forty-five by the time Jean had Su settled in bed. He decided to take a shower to relax. He allowed the water to beat down on his face standing there to work out the tenseness in his body. He felt a slight breeze then felt Su slide in beside him. He turned the water pressure down as she caressed his chest.
“What are you doing back up? You are supposed to be resting,” he wrapped his arms around her.
“I do not feel like resting. I feel like dancing,” she whispered sensuously and wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Lord have mercy on me,” Jean murmured and obliged his wife.

DeBois book set

Links:  https://books2read.com/u/3KyM84 and https://amzn.to/1u92UUj