crime murder mystery
I am glad everyone likes the free chapters in the DeBois series. Here is the next installment of the free chapters. You can find the novels at the following links for the complete books. https://books2read.com/u/mgoVxm and https://amzn.to/1u92UUj .
US Marshal Jean DeBois watched attorney Lock and loan manger Handle leave then went into his den with the stack of loan and foreclosure papers. He threw them on his desk and took out his grandmother’s financial record journal. He knew his grandmother would not take out a loan on the farm without making sure she could completely cover it. She was too good of a businesswoman not to cover herself against lost.
He glanced through the stack of papers. Most of it was legal mambo-jumbo attorneys like to use to hide something from a layperson. He came across what appeared to be his grandmother’s signature several times. They looked too identical to be authentic. It seemed someone had traced them, since the margins and letters were almost identical. He checked them against her financial journal and noticed too many similarities in the writing and some of the impressions went deeper on the pages than was normal. Lock would have had access to this journal since he was the attorney taking care of her estate. He would need time to prove Lock had forged his grandmother’s signature on the loan documents and time was in short supply. The farm auction was scheduled for tomorrow. The Grand Jury was being picked and the DA still wanted Su as their star witness after all. He had to somehow keep the farm so could be utilized as a safe haven for the children while Su testified before the Grand Jury and then the trial.
He called Robert Williamson at the New York Division unit headquarters and thanked him in advance for his help. He asked how Mark Prix and Father Anthony were doing. Robert informed him it would still be a long haul for quite some time to come. The doctors were still in wonder how Father Anthony survived the attack with his spleen and liver damaged and how Mark got away without brain swelling.
Robert also mentioned a Mr. Samuel Gates from Cup of Water Foundation had stopped by to reassure both of them that ‘Cup of Water’ had paid all the hospital bills so all they had to do was rest and get better. He had left his card with Slaughter along with instructions to contact him if he could be of help in any other way. Jean scanned the two signatures into the computer along with a couple of pages from the financial journal and faxed them to Robert.
“Robert I need you to take these over to the lab and have them see if the signatures are genuine or forged. I need you to keep a low profile on it. Nevertheless, have it done as fast as you can without raising too many eyebrows about it,” Jean instructed.
“I’ll take them over now. I was on my way to the lab to see how they were getting along on the case. I know someone there I can trust to keep this as low key as we want and they’re tops in their field of expertise. I should have an answer for you by eight o’clock tomorrow morning.
“We spread the rumor about Franco to Hogan and he’s climbing the walls. Tonight we’re removing Franco from the cellblock to reinforce and seal the rumor; we’ll let Hogan to sweat a while before we talk to him while Franco’s on ice. If Hogan won’t crack, I’m sure Franco will, after he learns Hogan’s gunning for him. One of them will crack, if not both, and when that happens, it’ll be sweet justice.
“Penny told me to tell you thank you for what you have done for Father Anthony. She also wanted me to pass along that she’s sorry she ruined your honeymoon with her problems. She hopes everything’s going fantastic and ah- Jean, she’s expecting you to have Angel One pregnant by the time you get back so she can be the baby’s godmother. Don’t kill the messenger, I only deliver them I don’t make them.
“I’ll talk to you tomorrow morning. Is there anything else I need to be aware of?”
“Not at this time Robert. Thanks, I’ll talk to you in the morning,” Jean hung up.
He went to the computer and looked up his financial assets, wondering how to halt the sale. He went over the different avenues open to him to raise the needed capital, which would give him time to nail them for fraudulent business practices. No matter how he crunched the numbers, he would not be able to liquidate enough in time and the most he could raise if he sold everything was sixty-four thousand.
He heard the family come home. He went out and apologized that he had not been able to join them as planned then excused himself and went back into the den with his second and third in command, Jack and Janet Post, to advise them of the new situation they found now themselves in. They would probably have to find a new a safe haven if he could not stop it from happening.
Jack and Janet were leaving as Su brought Jean his supper. She set the tray down on the corner of the desk and asked if there she could do anything to help him. He glanced at the tray of food. There was pizza, cottage cheese with fruit, salad and a thermos of coffee. He accepted the thermos of coffee and left the rest set. His stomach was in no mood for anything else.
Su left him to his papers and went to play a game with the children before they got ready for bed. Afterwards, she went to the sewing room to work on Jean’s suit. When she was worried about something her fingers flew, going about their task as always. The people at her office ‘Upon Eagle’s Wings’ could always tell things were bothering her by how fast she was accomplishing things. They marveled at how she could keep the quality of her work up when she flew through it. They just stepped back out of her way when she was in such a state. The only one who dared intrude was Sandra Woods, her personal assistant, and that was only after eight hours of nonstop of fury.
By ten o’clock pm. she had finished three shirts, a vest, and tie, and the rest of the suit was cut out and ready to sew together. She decided to stop for the moment and went down to the kitchen for something to drink and then to her studio to prep several more canvases. Once again, she allowed herself to fly and by the time eleven came, she had prepped the canvases with a wash. She cleaned the studio then went throughout the house straightening stray items here and there. It was eleven-thirty when she completed her task. She went to the den, knocked, then peeked in when Jean did not answer. He had fallen asleep with his feet propped upon the desk, stretched out in his chair with papers on his chest, the computer running, and his supper untouched.
She shut the computer down and picked up the papers, placing them on the corner of the desk. She went retrieved a quilt and two pillows from the couch, covered him, and kissed his forehead, brushing the curl off it. After carefully removing his shoes, she placed the pillows under his feet.
As she picked up the tray, the red word ‘Foreclosure’ blazed in her vision from the documents. She set the tray down and quickly scanned the papers, realizing the bind Jean now found himself. The troubled expression on his demeanor was more than she could stand and a plan quickly formulated in her mind.
She folded the papers and stuck them under her arm. She grabbed a piece of paper and scrawled something on it. Picking up the tray, she quietly left and stuck the paper on the door handle, shutting the light off as she went. She took care of the tray then locked the house up. She picked up her briefcase, laptop, and the foreclosure papers, and headed upstairs to their room.
She spread the contents of the briefcase across the bed. She fondly glanced at the album then placed it gently aside and opened the first file. She wrote down the budget for the year then did the same with the rest. She went over the income that was coming in from the paintings, the music contract, and the designer clothing lines. Matching the funds from ‘Cup of Water’ with her own funds; she found there was enough for everyone’s budget. The balance of her own personal assets was extremely low so she sold off part of her stock investment holdings in oil and electronics bringing her assets back up over the top where she had plenty to work with. She routed the proceeds of the sale of the stock through several different offshore banks before routing it through her Swiss account to make sure her transactions were not traceable. She opened an account at a national bank in Garrison in Jean and her name with the proceeds, plus additional money from the Swiss account.
She wrote down the stock profits in her ledger so she could pay the capital gains tax once tax time came around. She then routed the money from her New York account through her Swiss account to each of the organizations for their yearly budget. She emailed her vice president at ‘Cup of Water’ informing him of her decision to diversify the yearly budget now. The accountants at the firm would have a fit with her decision, but after crunching the numbers repeatedly they would eventually relax.
She did not know why they were always so high-strung about it, after all she did have a PhD in mathematics and it would not be likely she would forget to carry a one or anything like that. She emailed Sandra advising her of the decision then emailed the head of the design for the new spring line asking how the plans for the upcoming show for fall were going. She told her she would soon fax a new line she was working on.
She emailed her music agent to deposit her part of the proceeds from the new CD into her New York account and the children’s in each of their personal accounts. She would check on the condition of the sales next week. She wrote in her planner about an art exposition early next year in California. She wrote a letter to herself from an art dealer in London informing her, her exhibition was fantastic. They had sold out, were directly deposit the proceeds in her new account per her request to cover the movement of the money to the outside world and emailed it to the president of the Garrison Bank.
When she finished and was filing everything back in her briefcase, the boys and Sarah came to ask Jean turn off the alarm for them. She glanced at her watch; it was 6:45 am. Jean would be waking up soon, if he was not already awake. She quietly informed them the alarm was off and Jean was in his den already working so he would not be able to give them their lesson this morning. They could go back to bed after seeing to the horses until eight so she could finish her work. She scooted them out of the room before they had a chance to argue the point with her.
After they were out of sight, she raced down to Sister Anna’s room and quietly rapped on the door. Sister Anna was just finishing up her morning devotionals. She asked Su what was wrong and why she was in such a state so early. Su informed her she needed her to watch the babies while she was gone this morning. She would explain later when she returned then hurried back to her room to change.
As she changed she grabbed Jean’s cell phone and flipped it on, searching for Janet’s number and calling it. Janet answered with a groggy, “Hello.”
Su informed her she needed her to go with her to Cedar Rapids, now. Janet reluctantly agreed and asked Su to give her fifteen minutes to get ready. Su answered with, “I am leaving in five minutes,” and hung up, leaving the cell phone in the nightstand.
She picked up the foreclosure papers and tax papers and left the bedroom door as Sister Anna arrived. She tried to make Su tell her what was going on, however, she brushed her off with, “Not now, I am late,” as she ran downstairs.
She grabbed her purse, heading for the garage. She took the keys to the sports car off the hook by the garage door as she went. She started the car and pushed the button for the garage door. In her impatience she almost ran into the door as it rose. The tires screeched as she slid up to Jack and Janet’s with Janet running and almost tripped over her shoestring as she pulled on her jacket. She yanked the door open and slid in. Su took off before Janet completely closed the door.
“What’s the hurry?” Janet demanded.
“Buckle up and I will inform you as we head for Garrison then Cedar Rapids. It is already 7:00. By the time we arrive there it will be 8:30. Look at the papers tucked in the edge of the seat.” While Janet read Su finally slowed down to the speed limit. “We are heading to my bank, over to the loan company to pay off the note on the farm, to the county courthouse to pay the taxes, and then to the attorney to stop the foreclosure.”
Janet glanced up from the papers, “Is Jean all right with this?” Su did not answer so she asked again, “Jean’s okay with this isn’t he?” She looked sternly at Su, however she had a worried countenance.
Su stared at the road, “No. He has no idea I even know about the foreclosure. I found out late last night when I covered him up with a quilt in his den as he slept.”
“All right stop the car and turn it around and go back to the farm,” Janet ordered, “No way am I going to be part of this. Jean will explode.”
“No. I am going to help him out of this bind and give him the time he needs to discover what is really going on. You know he would not be able to raise the needed funds by noon without blowing our cover. That is what they are hoping for, that Jean defaults on the loan. The farm is prime land and his grandparents worked hard to build it up for him. I am not going to stand by while someone rips it away from him when I have the means to stop it. You may either come with me while I pay it or I can drop you off and you may wait for me.”
“Or I could put you in an arm lock and take you back,” Janet callously informed her.
“Take a look around you, Janet. We are in town now. If you make one move in that direction, I will scream for the police and, if you have not realized it, you left not only your identification along with your gun in your purse, but you left your cell phone to contact the farm for reinforcements. You do not have any way to identify yourself to the authorities and prove you are not trying to carjack me. All I have to do is tell them I gave you a ride as you were hitchhiking. You told me you broke down then tried to carjack me.”
“You wouldn’t dare.” Janet could not believe the cold calculation now written upon Su’s face.
Janet also saw desperation rooted in her eyes. She would do whatever she had to, to complete her objective then how would Janet be able to protect her? Moreover, how would Janet explain it to Jean and Jack?
“Why would you place me in this situation? I’m breaking all protocols in doing this. This is dangerous for you. You don’t know who might be monitoring your New York account. Any transaction transferring money here would give safe haven away.” Janet’s jaw tightened over Su placing her in this situation.
“I routed all transactions through my Swiss account after transferring the money through several offshore accounts. Both my New York and Swiss accounts have encrypted security systems as well as the one I just opened. I covered my tracks well. I even e-mailed a letter to myself to the bank from an art dealer in London to explain the transfer. Besides, I know if Jack needed help you would be there in the trenches right beside him. That is why I asked you to come instead of Jack.”
Janet sat there stunned staring at Su intensely, noticing as tears welled up and started to trickle down Su’s cheek without a change in her breathing. Janet softened, “You do love him don’t you? How long have you been in love with him?”
“From the moment I looked into his eyes when we first met I was lost. My brain has been fighting with my heart since day one. I know the odds of making this marriage work are next to nil, however, my heart will not give up and so the love I penned up broke free, permeating throughout my soul. I have and always will love Jean as long as I have breath. I knew when we married it was suppose to be for show only the covenant that is to be between us and the Lord was not there. I love him, nevertheless, and will love him no matter what he decides after the assignment is over.”
Janet softened toward her, “Have you told him?”
“No, I have not and I doubt if I ever will because, after I do this behind his back, he will see it as a breach of confidence. He will want nothing to do with the children or me after the assignment is over. After all, it was just an assignment nothing more, right. He is just playing the part until time for me to testify, incarcerating Hogan and his business partners. After that, there is no responsibility, no strings to hold him legally or otherwise. Our marriage is a sham. It has not gone any further than osculation. There will be no problem in having it annulled. I am still a virgin. Moreover, you are not to convey any part of this conversation to him. You have to promise or I will not testify. I am not kidding or throwing a temper tantrum, just stating the fact if you will not promise I will not testify.”
“How do you know I’ll keep my word?”
Su’s answer burnt home, “Because you are a Christian and, as the Lord is our witness, our word is our bond.”
Janet sighed, she could see no other choice. Su had her boxed into a corner, “Okay, I promise.”
“You promise what?”
Man, there just was no way getting around her, “I promise as God is my witness, I won’t tell Jean of your love for him even though I think you’re doing him a great injustice and short changing your relationship with him. I’ve known Jean almost as long as Jack. I know his moods, body language, and that’s why Jack, Jean and I make such a great team. We can read each other’s posture almost down to the letter. I’ve watched him when you’re around, the way he moves, the way he talks with you and have seen the frustration he feels when you rebuke his advancements and the agitation he carries when he contemplates what could happen to you if he fails to safeguard you properly. They’ll know I’m keeping something from them.”
“Them? Promise you will not divulge anything to Jack either.”
“Su, it’s not right for a wife to keep something from her husband. It causes strife between them. It’s not right for you to ask me to jeopardize my relationship with him, for your sake.”
“It will be one more secret just like you are keeping your condition secret from them now.” Su gave her a quick glance, confirming what she already knew.
Janet pulled back, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“They do not know about your condition for if they did you would be in New York and not here, so promise!”
“All right, I promise, I won’t tell Jean of your affections for him or tell Jack.” Janet’s temper now started to wax.
“Nor will I inform them about your condition though you will not be able to keep it from them much longer. And I thank you for being my friend.”
“Friends don’t blackmail each other.”
Jean suddenly woke. Where was he? He turned and fell out of the chair smacking his face on the floor. He groaned untangling the quilt from his feet. He rubbed his cheek checking his watch for the time. Nine-thirty, where was every body? Jack and Janet were supposed to be here at eight to go over the case and strategize over getting a confession from Hogan. He pulled himself up and stumbled to the door yanking it open. Jack was sitting on the couch with his laptop, pecking at the keys.
He glanced up as Jean opened the door, “It’s about time you came out. We’ve a lot of work to plow through and I can only do so much on this laptop.”
“What do you mean by that? You and Janet were to be here at eight. Where were you?” Jean shot back aggravated over Jack’s response.
“At eight o’clock I was right here waiting for you to come out from behind that ‘Do not disturb’ sign.”
“What ‘do not disturb’ sign?”
Jack pointed to the doorknob, “That ‘Do not disturb’ sign. I know better than to even duck my head in with one of those hanging on the doorknob. I’m not going to get my head torn off.”
“Get in here now,” Jean growled as he ripped the sign off and threw it on the desk. He plopped down in his chair rubbing his temples. It was going to be one of those days. Jack closed the laptop and followed Jean into the den, closing the door. “Where’s Janet?” Jean irritated.
“She went with Su early this morning. Didn’t you know about it?” Jack sat down puzzled over Jean’s question.
“No, if I knew about it, I wouldn’t have asked now, would I?”
“Jean, when Janet left this morning she wasn’t completely awake so she accidentally left her purse behind.”
“And?” Jean growled, knitting his brow not wanting to hear what he already knew.
“And her ID, badge, gun and cell phone were in it.”
“Great! Just great, they didn’t bother to say where they were going did they? No, of course not, that’d be too easy, too much of an inconvenience for them to bother informing us of their itinerary.” Jean slammed his fist on the desk. He realized he left the wrist monitor on and ran the battery down. He spun his chair around and faced the computer; with a few clicks, he was connected to the tracking program with the password command flashing at him. Man, I wish Janet was here to operate this blasted program. She set it up and could have the needed info within a few seconds. What I’m thinking? If Janet were here I wouldn’t need to be using this stupid program. Su would be here not off somewhere out of my protection. Yes, Janet is with her however Janet isn’t me. I’m the point man of the unit. It’s me, who scrutinized a crowd, picking out the trouble spots. I’ve proved myself repeatedly. What is Janet thinking?
Jack came up behind him, punched in the password, and hit enter. The modem clicked and hummed, within seconds the blueprints of the house came up on the screen with nine blinking lights in the conservatory. At least he had not lost anyone else.
“It’ll be all right. We’ll have her back safe and sound,” said Jack quietly, resting his hand on Jean’s shoulder.
“I hope so, I hope so,” Jean mumbled as he rested his chin in one hand and moved the mouse to Angel One, clicking twice. Within five seconds, downtown Cedar Rapids appeared on the monitor.
He zoomed in; according to the blip Su was at his attorney’s office. What would she be doing there? Then it dawned on him, the quilt, his shoes off, the ‘Do not disturb’ sign, he quickly inventoried the papers on his desk. They were not here. She took them. His concern instantly went to full blown rage. She has no right to go through my personal papers.
He slammed his chair backward nearly knocking Jack over, “Get the headset program up. I’m going after her!” he stormed, slamming on his shoes, snatching the headset, and stomping out.
He took the stairs three at a time and rounded the corner, kicking the garage door off its hinges. It slammed into the wall with a thundering crash. He climbed on the Harley, placed the headset on then his jacket, “Jack? Jack, are you ready?”
Jean heard a crackle then Jack’s voice coming through, “Jean? I’m set here. She’s still at the attorney’s office.”
“Keep me advised of her location, Jack, I’m out of here.”
Jean placed his helmet on and hit the starter. The Harley roared to life. He punched the garage door button placing the cycle nearly on its side as he rammed the throttle to full and slid under the door as it was rising. Gravel sprayed everywhere as he left the driveway. Sister Anna ran out in time to see gravel spatter against the fence as Jean hit the road. She ran back into the house and straight for the den. She burst through the door and saw Jack at the computer with a grave demeanor.
“What’s happened? What’s wrong? Where’s Su? Has something gone wrong?” she rifled the questions at Jack.
Jack glanced up from the monitor, “Jean found out Su took an unauthorized outing and he’s a little ticked off. She’s in Cedar Rapids with Janet. Jean’s gone to retrieve them. If you would stay calm and keep an eye on the children for me I’d appreciate it.”
“Why would he be worried if Janet’s with her? It doesn’t make sense he’d be so concern if someone from his unit were with her. What aren’t you telling me?”
“They needed to discuss some items and it seems Su and Janet blew the meeting off to go shopping.”
“Su never blows off anything important. You’re lying to me. What’s going on?” She tilted her head in a demanding way.
“There’s nothing that’s any of your concern. It’s between Jean and Su. Now, kindly go and take care of the children.” Jack ordered with an underline, meaning this conversation was over.
Sister Anna withdrew closing the door behind her with a not too quiet slam. Jack turned his attention back to the monitor, she had not moved. Over the next forty minutes, he kept Jean informed that Su’s whereabouts had not changed then suddenly the blip started to move.
“Jean, Angel One’s on the move. They’ve left the attorney’s office heading southwest.”
“Roger that. I’m fifteen minutes away from the office. Keep me abridged of their movements.”
Five minutes later, Jack signaled Jean, “Jean, they’ve stopped. I’ll get you the coordinates. No way Jean, they’ve stopped at a blasted fast food joint. Where are you?”
“I’m coming in on Hwy 30 toward the center of town.”
“They’re five miles away from the attorney’s office on a heading south by southwest on Hwy 151.”
“I know where they’re at. It used to be one of my hangouts when I was younger. I’ll radio you when I have them.” by the throat, Jean thought.
Janet and Su were leaving the restaurant when they heard the roar of the motorcycle. Janet placed herself between the sound and Su in a defensive posture and headed for the car preparing for the worse. The Harley screamed as Jean slid it up to them whipping it around so it came a few inches from Janet. He whipped off his helmet, his eyes blazing with a burning inferno of wrath.
“Where are your brains Janet? Did you leave them at home with everything else?” Jean snapped leaning over to where he was within an inch of her face.
“It was not Janet’s fault. I did not give her a choice. Either she came with me or I would have come alone,” Su protested trying to divert Jean’s wrath from Janet.
Jean glared at her, stopping her in her tracks, then turned back to Janet, “Janet take the car and head for home. Jack, are you there? I’ve intercepted them. Angel One will be back in the nest within the hour.”
“Roger that and Jean?”
“Back off my wife! We all dropped the ball man not just her. You got that?”
“Yeah, Jack you’re right. See you in the nest,” Jean turned to Su. She seemed at that moment a small frightened child he wanted to cradle, crushing her in his arms and whispering in her ear everything was all right no harm no foul. Nevertheless, everything was not all right. He threw his helmet at her catching her squarely in the chest and knocked the air out of her. She took an involuntary step backward, but caught herself before she fell. The sight of her stumbling renewed the wrath within him, not at her this time, but at himself.
“Shut up, put the helmet on, climb on behind me, and hang on,” he snapped.
No more did the words tumble out of his mouth then he wished he cut his tongue out for spouting them for they wounded her deeply. She silently obeyed and put the helmet on which made her look even smaller. She climbed on behind him and wrapped her arms around his unyielding chest, leaning her head against his back. She knew she blew the fragile relationship between them as his body tensing at her touch. It was like holding on to a marble statue–cold and unyielding.
She closed her eyes and prayed, “Lord, when will I ever learn not to be so impulsive and allow Your plan to unfold in Your own time and not mine? How long Lord? Lord, forgive my impetuous rambling. Cleanse me from this sin. Make me whole and acceptable in Your sight.”
Janet started the car and pulled out for safe haven, with Jean falling in behind her. He felt Su trembling slightly. Oh, how his heart wanted to give in. He wanted to stop and hold her until the trembling stopped. Nevertheless, his wrath overruled his heart.
Halfway home he realized she was not just trembling she was shaking severely. He pulled over to the side of the road and turned halfway around in the seat to see what the matter was. She released him and wrapped her arms around herself trying to stop shivering. He touched her arm. It was frigid to the touch. What a fool he was to forget about the nip in the morning air. He totally forgot that being her size she was more acceptable to hypothermia than he was and he had on his jacket. He pulled it off and started to place it around her when she refused his offer. One glare from him silenced her refusal. He turned back around, dropping the cycle off the kickstand, heading once more for home.
Janet pulled into the garage as Jean rounded the house and pulled alongside of the car. He walked the bike to the head of the garage parking the bike. Once parked, he climbed off as Su took off the helmet and jacket handing them to him.
“Are you feeling better?” he questioned her, lying the items on the Harley.
Su replied she was.
“Great, come with me,” he grabbed her by the arm dragging her from the cycle, pulling the jacket off the cycle with her. He left it where it fell.
Jack was coming through the door as Jean was halfway dragging Su toward the door.
“Jean,” Jack started however Jean cut him off with, “Take care of your own wife, Jack, and I’ll take care of mine!”
Jean pulled her up the stairs three steps at a time. She kept stumbling which fueled his wrath. He lifted her to her feet just to have her stumble again at the top of the stairs. He released her arm and grabbed her by the waist, carrying her on as he would a sack of potatoes as she struggled to free herself from his rough handling. As they passed by the conservatory the boys gave a cry of alarm as they spied their mother struggling to free herself from Jean’s grasp. They were up and out of the door before Sister Anna could stop them.
“Put her down now and face us, you [blank]!” Eric’s voice rained in their ears.
Jean turned to see both boys in defensive postures moving slowly toward them. They separated moving to the left and right. There was fear in their eyes along with sheer determination to stop him from hurting their mother. They would protect her no matter what the cost. Jean admired their commitment to her.
“Ben, Eric, it is all right. I am not hurt. Really, I am okay. Jean just takes bigger steps than I do so he decided to help me along as I used to you when you were younger when I was in a hurry. It is okay, go back to class please,” Su explained, struggling to right herself in Jean’s arm.
The boys did not retreat, their eyes fixed on Jean as they tried to decide how to free their mother when a small voice in Jean’s head whispered what he was doing boarded on abuse. Su’s children all came from some sort of abusive family background. They did not need to see their mother being lugged around on his hip as if she was nothing. He set her down and she immediately went to them, reassuring them she was not hurt.
“Go on back to class before Sister Anna gives you both detentions for leaving class without permission. Go on shoo,” Su, prompted them rising and returning to Jean’s side. She slid her arm around his waist and he did the same.
The boys slowly made their way back to the classroom and Sarah closed the door, however, not before she noticed Su’s feet were not touching the floor as they walked to the den. Sarah asked if she could go to the restroom. Sister Anna gave permission watching Sarah to make sure that was where she went before turning her attention back to the rest of the children.
Sarah waited patiently until she was no longer under Sister Anna’s gaze before scooting around to Jean’s den. She pressed her ear hard against to door, straining to overhear the conversation on the other side.
As soon as Jean shut the door he released Su so suddenly she stumbled and fell flat on her derriere with a plop. He reached down, taking her by the forearm and lifted her as if she was a child. He sat her in the chair with a teeth-jarring thud. He went around his desk and sat down and took off the headset, dropping it on the desk. He rested his arms on the desk, and covered his face trying to regain his composure. After a few minutes, he let out a soft groan, running his hand through his mass of curly hair in frustration.
“Su, my patience’s nearly exhausted. Where are the papers you stole off my desk? They weren’t for public display. Just what did you think you could accomplish by taking them? I don’t need you to beg my creditors for more time.”
Su slowly reached in her purse and removed a large stack of folded papers, sliding them across the desk to Jean, “For the record they were on your chest when I covered you up last night. Moreover, I do not beg creditors for anything.”
“Oh that’s right, Miss Genius knows all the answers and with all her brains she has the world in her hip pocket! She doesn’t need anybody’s help, Miss Tiger by the Tail,” Jean bit the words out, grabbing the papers and opening them.
Stapled to the top of the foreclosure papers, Paid in Full was stamped on the receipt along with the title and abstract to the farm. The tax notice also had a receipt showing Paid in Full along with money paid toward next years taxes. There was also a signature card for him to sign for the bank account. Shame then wrath over it churned in Jean’s stomach.
“Please tell me you didn’t draw money out of that New York account of yours to pay for this.”
“Give me some credit,” Su retorted, “I used the money from my Swiss account to open the account in Garrison in our names to pay them. Furthermore, I made sure my tracks were covered.”
Jean examined the receipt closer; it was made out to Mr. and Mrs. DeBois, instantly he saw red. How dare she not only jeopardize the entire mission to bring down one of the largest cartels on the eastern coast, she had the audacity to use his name as her own. No one had given her permission to do anything she had done.
“Explain yourself.” Jean hissed as he slammed the signature card down in front of her, making her jump.
“I know from business dealings they would not allow me to pay on a foreclosure if I did not use your name. They would have made me wait for the auction and I might have lost the bid. To the outside world it is my right to use your name as my own. I used your name so I could pay the accounts to give you enough time to find out what really was behind this foreclosure. I did not want you to have to worry about where you would keep us safe if you lost the farm. I know how hard you work and the children and I, especially me, do not make it easy on you. I just wanted to help. A wife is supposed to stand beside her husband and support him in what he does.”
“Help? Oh! Now you think I’m incompetent in how I’m doing my job. Do you think that you, Miss PhD, can do it better than a crack seasoned team of US Marshals that has, to their credit, not lost one witness the whole time since this unit was created and handpicked by me!”
“I did not say or think that,” Su tried to defend herself.
“And for the record, you’re not my wife remember? This is not a real marriage. As soon as you testify and the trial’s over so are we, finished! I go my way and you may go back to your perfect world, prefect career, and perfect children. You won’t have to tolerate someone as imperfect as me around, you got that, Miss Perfect?” Jean spat those venomous words.
She sat there ashen, barely breathing. He could see all her defenses crushed under his words, leaving her vulnerable to him in her eyes; however, in his self-righteousness he no longer cared.
She stood and walked to the door her, back stiffened as she turned toward him, “That is fine with me. I was tired of being your wife only when it suited you,” she snapped to attention and saluted him with, “Aye, aye, Captain Bly! As you ordered, Sir!” opening the door she nearly fell over Sarah and caught herself as she slammed the door.
Jean stared at the closed door, man; she still had spunk left in her. What a spitfire. Any other woman would be balling her head off by now, however, not that little lynx. You knock her down you’d better not turn your back on her because she comes back up claws and teeth bared, ready for a fight. What a man wouldn’t give to keep someone like her around, spunk, looks, brains, loaded, and the ability to make the man she set her affections on feel like King Midis and truly loved. Here, she’s yours for the taking. Moreover, what numbskull shenanigans do you do with her? Man Jean, what’s wrong with you? He asked himself, no sooner than he thought that, then doubt settled in his heart. No way could she love someone like you. You wouldn’t fit into her high society friends. Let’s face it, man, the only thing you have going for you in her world is looks. All you would ever be to her is window dressing. These things kept racing through his mind as he tried vainly to concentrate on his work.
Su grabbed Sarah by the arm and pulled her to the kitchen, “Sarah you know eaves dropping on other people’s conversations is wrong. What were you thinking?”
“I saw your feet weren’t touching the floor. I know you weren’t a willing participant in going to his den. He’s so angry. I wanted to make sure he didn’t hurt you. Mom what he said about you isn’t true. He doesn’t know you like we do. He had no right to yell at you the way he did. I know what you did was out of concern for him. Why can’t he see it for what it was? You love him, but I don’t know why.”
Su shook her head, “Sarah you do not know all the facts.”
Sarah raised an eyebrow over the rebuff, “I know you love him, I saw it back in New York, but I wouldn’t allow myself to believe it. Moreover, if he’d be honest with himself, he’d know he loves you too. It doesn’t matter why you got married. All that matters now is your love and respect for each other, even if your children object to your union. Man, I don’t believe I’m going to say this, if you try, you can work it out, just as you have always explained it to me.”
Su glanced at her feet before responding, “Sarah, I do not know what you overheard, however, whatever you did hear is the completely confidential. You are not to repeat it to anybody, promise. I mean it not to anyone. Unless the Lord intervenes, there will not be any working things out between Jean and I. Jean has made that clear. I messed things up beyond repair. I did not turn to the Lord for protection when I witnessed the crime. I relied on man for it. I knowingly went into a marriage for the sake of show when marriage is to be a sacred covenant between the Lord, husband and wife. I left the Lord out of my marriage. Moreover, I went into this marriage knowing Jean was not a believer. The Bible states believers are not to yoke unequally. However, I ignored the Bible, deceiving myself it was just like playing house, as a child would.
“I am not a child and I wove you children into this deceit because I thought it was the easy way out. Goes to show you even us brains can totally screw up our lives, and everyone’s around us, when we take the controls away from the Lord’s wisdom.” She shrugged her shoulders, “Well, I have to suffer the consequences of my actions along with you children and Jean.
“I want you to go back to class with your head up, no tears, this is my problem and the only way I am going to solve it is to start with an apology to the Lord for sinning and repent of that sin. Go on now; I am going to the greenhouse for some serious soul searching. Remember, I love you and so does the Lord,” Su kissed Sarah on the cheek, and went out the kitchen door toward the greenhouse.
Hello, I hope that everyone enjoyed reading the first chapter of The Perfect Witness. As I promised here is the next book in the series teaser. The title is Hidden Secrets. You can find the complete novel at the following links: books2read.com/u/mVLMpb and amzn.to/1u92UUj.
US Marshal, Jean DeBois plugged the coffee pot in and set it on the corner of his desk. He flipped on his headset and reconnected it to the unit for the drug and weapons bust.
“Is everyone in position? It’s almost show time,” he inquired.
Jack Post his second in command, came back first, “My unit’s in place. The Monticello just pulled in dock five minutes ago. They’ve her moored to the pier. The nonessential crewmembers are getting ready for shore leave. There’s a light fog rolling in so everyone’s going to have to be on tip top because they’ll try to use the fog to their advantage.”
“Did everyone hear what Jack reported about the fog?” Jean inquired. “Everyone has a bulletproof vest on, right?”
“Yeah, we were all issued one personally by our resident mother hen and made to put them on before she allowed us to leave,” Mark Prix chided Janet Post, their communications officer.
“I heard that wisecrack, Mark. If I’m right, and I’m rarely wrong about these things, you’re going to be very glad I’m such a mother hen, as you put it, and owe me a very large one.
“I’m outside the hospital, Jean. They’re planning to release Hogan tomorrow so he’s still in room 317. I didn’t want to tip him off before things broke loose. Tripper’s with Forensics outside his office complex waiting for the get go. Slaughter’s waiting outside his estate. I’ve given them the low down on what to be on the look out for in each dwelling. I’ll check in on their progress soon as Hogan’s in the system in maximum security with Brown so he can’t get word out to anyone.” Janet answered.
“Jean, Captain Cushioner just brought the cutter passed the Holland Tunnel. He’s going to position the cutter four miles off Cowanus Bay to make sure the Monticello can’t make a run north or south. He figures if they make a run for it they’ll head south through the Narrows to the Atlantic instead of trying to make a run through the East River and Hells Gate Channel. He has two Port Authority choppers standing by at the 34th Heliport for backup. We’ll be ready by the time things go down to stop anything that comes our way,” Robert Williamson relayed.
“Robert, are you going to be able to take out the communication tower from that distance?” Jean came back adjusting the earpiece to his ear for better reception.
“The gunnery sergeant assures me all he needs is the word ‘Go’ and the tower’s history,” Robert reassured Jean.
“Let’s hope he’s not just blowing smoke up our tail pipes about his marksmanship ability and he’s the real McCoy. Mark, where are you?” Jean inquired.
“I just passed Prospect Expressway, heading south toward 39th Street on Gowanus Expressway. We’re going to set up the safety check right before 39th so the truck’s stuck in traffic and not able to turn around. The Highway Patrol has Prospect Expressway covered and Fagon insisted on taking 278 North. I didn’t have to use any coercion at all, which bothers me. Do you think he’s got word they’ve changed itineraries without us knowing about it, Jean?”
“No, this is his normal itinerary in dealing with other law enforcement officers. He has a need to know policy. He lets you know just enough, what he thinks you need to get the job done and no more. It’s a reckless way to do things. He thinks he’s something hot and he’s not. The other subordinate agents of his unit have to cover his mistakes continually. He’s a loose cannon and uses anyone or anything to promote himself up the ladder, so watch your back Mark. He’ll feed you to the sharks, if he’s given a chance.”
“Heads up, everyone,” Jack snapped, “the crew’s coming down the gang plank for shore leave. Robert, get in closer. They haven’t shut the diesels down. They’re spooked. Have the captain run on stealth mode. Four miles is too far away and it looks like we’re in for one whopper of a fight.
“Uh oh, we have a problem, three trucks with the label of Carlo’s Premium Blend Coffee on their sides just pulled up, two of them black and one white. The first black truck’s license plate number’s 125 Jacob Charles Now, that’s 125 JCN. The second black truck’s number’s 479 Black Crew Egg. The white truck license number’s 656 Satan Charles Prime. The longshoremen are coming to unload the ship. Tell Janet it’s a go on arresting Hogan.”
“I’m on my way, Jack,” Janet answered.
Jean switched off Janet’s incoming signal to her headset so they would not distract her by what was going on at the docks. Her voice still came over loud and clear on her speaker as she burst into Hogan’s hospital room.
“Michelin Hogan, US Federal Marshal, you’re under arrest for the murder of Sam Wallace, drug running, weapons running, and treason against the United States for supplying weapons to our enemies.” Janet yelled.
Hogan yelled at his goon, “Get this lunatic out of here. I’m calling my attorney.”
A second later, the phone slammed up against the wall where Janet yanked it out of the wall, throwing it at his henchman and ordering him to the floor, her gun trailing him.
“As I was saying Hogan, you’re under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. If you give up that right, any and all things said can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present at the time of questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you by the courts. Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you? Do you wish to give up any or all of these rights?”
“Go to hell, you black…” was all Hogan got out before Janet threw him out of bed onto the floor, eating tile beside the henchman.
“That was the wrong answer, Hogan. Officer, cuff the henchman sure you pat him down good, and get both guns. One is in the shoulder harness and the other is on his right ankle. I see a stiletto in a harness behind his head also. Arrest him for interference with the duties of a Federal Marshal and possession of illegal weapons.” Janet spouted orders to US Marshal Brown who accompanied her. “Hogan do you understand these rights as I have explained them to you? Do you wish to give up these rights?”
“Yes, I understand them no; I don’t want to give up any of my rights. I want my call to my attorney, now!” Hogan squirmed under Janet’s grasp.
“You may call your attorney as soon as you’re thoroughly processed through all the channels. Deputy Brown’ll accompany you while you’re processed. He’ll make sure you’ll receive deluxe accommodations and be your own personal escort after being properly searched for any hidden weapons.”
“It’ll be my pleasure, ma’am,” Deputy Brown roughly patted Hogan down and snapped on the cuffs on Hogan’s wrist behind his back, yanking him to his feet. He made Hogan almost run to keep up with him as they went to the elevator.
“Jean, I’m on my way to Hogan’s office to see how Tripper’s doing then out to Slaughter for the rest of the cleanup,” Janet reported.
“Roger that, Janet, keep me informed on your progress,” Jean relayed.
“Jean, they’ve started unloading the coffee bean bags. How are we to tell which ones have the cocaine in them?” Jack radioed in a whisper, revealing he had moved closer to the action.
“Jack according to the information passed to me from Fagon, the bags we’re looking for are royal blue with a white banner sash across them. Remember, there are 448 bags of this stuff. They’ll probably unload it last to make the weapons exchange. Have you seen anything of the weapons, yet?”
“Not as yet. They have one of the black trucks loaded and it’s heading out.” Jack peered cautiously over the packing crates. “From the looks of it, it’ll be heading east. Tell the Highway Patrol to be on the lookout, but not stop it quite yet. They just opened the back of the white truck and we hit pay dirt. The weapons are in the truck and the flat’s coming out of the hole with the blue bags and white sashes. Here comes another flat of them. Jean, are you sure you want us to bring them down in two waves? Everything’s here on the dock in plain sight.” Jack peered out from behind a packing crate.
“Yes, they have access to the weapons on the docks, placing you in danger from them. Your vest wasn’t made to stop weapons of that caliber. We’ll allow them to store the weapons away safely before you take them down. It’s less likely they’d be able to use them against you once they’ve been stored. It takes the Captain or the First Mate’s recognition code with the locking mechanization to open the cargo hold once they’ve closed the hatch. Robert where are you? Are you within range of taking out that satellite tower when called for?” Jean ordered
“I’m within a mile of the pier. The fog’s starting to get heavier out here. We’re going to have to bring them down before this stuff gets too heavy to see them,” Robert peered through the gloom
“They’re exchanging the goods now. Something’s gone amiss. They’re spooked. They’re scrambling around the docks like a swarm of ants. There’s ten longshoremen plus the five cargo crewmen to deal with. There goes the other black truck. It’s heading north toward Fagon. The white truck’s the one with the goods. They’ve finished loading the truck.
“Whoa, we’ve extra passengers.” Jack moved slightly for a better angle. “I repeat– there are extra passengers in the back of the truck. They placed four armed escorts in the back of the truck and they’re loaded for bear along with the two in front. The weapons have just been loaded onto the deck of the cargo ship. Great, just great, they’re not stowing them away. I repeat the weapons are on deck. Jean they’re casting off the lines to the ship. I’m going to have to move now or lose them.” Jack whispered his voice high with anticipation.
“Hang in there, Jack. Wait for the truck to leave so they will stay on their itinerary. Have half of your men arrest the longshoremen and take two marksmen with you on the ship.” Jean reassured him.
“There goes the truck. Let’s move out. James, you and Digger are with me, the rest of you arrest everyone on the dock. Let’s book, the Monticello’s starting to pick up steam. Go! Go! Go!” Jack barked racing out from behind cover, “Stop, US Marshal, you’re under…”then Jean heard a barrage of gunfire. “Faster James, Digger, pick it up guys, Jump! Uph! Come on James, jump now!” Jack laid down ground fire to allow James and Digger to gain access to the Monticello. “Jean, Digger didn’t make the ship. It’s just James and me. Digger’s helping on the dock. This is US Federal Marshal Post, you’re under arrest! Put your weapons down and shut down the engines,” he yelled, taking cover behind part of the bulkhead.
He received a spray of bullets in response to his request for them to surrender. James and he returned fire.
“Robert! Have them blow that tower now. Mark, get ready. They’ve armed themselves to the teeth with extra firepower in the back of the truck. Someone’s tipped them off. It’s the white truck, license number 656 Satan Charles Prime. There are four extra in the back of the truck with two in front. Mark, be prepared for them to run the roadblock. They’re going to wreak havoc trying to get away. Jack where are you and James in relationship to the weapons?” Jean demanded
“We’re in between them and the crew for now, but that’s all we’re going to be able to do without backup. We need Robert now! Tell him to get the lead out and put a fire under those nut balls on the cutter,” Jack relayed between bouts of gunfire.
“Robert where’s Jack’s support? Get that tower down even if you have to do it yourself. Robert? Robert, damn it, answer me!” Jean yelled in the headset, flipping the switch back and forth, trying to raise him.
Jean heard an explosion and Robert curse over missing the tower. The shell impacted into the warehouse exploding it into flames.
“Damn it! This time, do not miss! Where’s the gunnery sergeant? My partner’s on that ship under fire. Now bring that tower down!” Robert screamed in the seaman’s ear. “We’re coming!”
Another explosion of the gun and again it missed its target impacting into the warehouse. Robert shoved the seaman aside, “Get the hell out of my way. Jean, give me some direction on how to hit that damn tower.”
“Aim two seconds ahead of the tower and fire,” Jean shouted.
He heard Robert fire the gun, and then begging it to hit the mark. He heard the explosion as Robert cheered, “Yeah, I got it. Yeah!”
“Keep your head we’re not out of this yet. We’ve to get that ship stopped before it hits international waters. Get up there to the command tower and order the Monticello to stop or you’ll stop it with any means you have. Accept nothing less than complete compliance. Don’t allow anyone to stop you. Jean relayed. “Jack, how are you doing?”
“We need this tub stopped now. We’re starting to run low on ammo. Get Robert to stop it anyway he can,” Jack’s voice cracked.
“I hear you Jack, I’m on my way,” Robert came back.
Thirty seconds later, they heard Robert cursing, “Open this mother [blanking] door now. Unlock it. They heard Robert cursing once more, “Open this mother [blanking] door right now. Unlock it. You have one second to comply!”
Robert blew the lock off the door then ordered someone to the floor, “On your knees you maggot before I drop you. Jean, the leak was the captain. He laid out the gunnery sergeant and the crewmember in the tower. Hey, do any of you know how to pilot this cutter?”
“I can sir.” The quick reply came from one of the other crewmembers.
“Get in here and take after that cargo ship. I need someone to keep an eye on the captain and someone to check on the hurt crew. Who can fire that 50-caliber gun out there on the deck?”
“I can sir.”
“Go get it ready and when and if I tell you, blow the command tower off that ship, but not before I say so. Where are the loud speakers and the siren?”
“They’re right here, sir. Everyone hang on I’m putting all three screws on full throttle.”
Jean heard the turbines scream under the demand from the command tower then the whoop -whoop -whoop of the siren and Robert’s voice booming over the loud speaker,
“This is the US Federal Marshals, cut your engines and prepare to be boarded. You have thirty seconds to comply, after that, I’ll fire only one warning shot before blowing the command tower off the deck starting now! Fifteen seconds, twenty seconds twenty-five, thirty, fire!”
There was a deafening explosion of the 50-caliber gun, then silence. Robert’s voice cracked the silence, “Stop Now or I’ll fire again. Fire!”
Once again, the 50-caliber gun resounded, its shell screamed through the night, then a large explosion of ripping metal as it found its target. The Monticello came to a rolling stop in the water, flames licking what was left of the command tower. The cutter cruised up beside the Monticello.
“Grab the water hose and put that fire out. Jack you got everything under control?” Robert asked over the loud speaker.
“Robert there’s three guys in the water needing to be fished out of the bay. They bailed right before the shell hit. Thanks for the assist.” Jack came over the headset, “Throw James a line so you can tow us to shore. Jean, we have the weapons. How are we doing on the drug bust end?”
“I haven’t heard anything yet. Mark, what’s going on out there? That truck should be at your roadblock by now,” Jean flipped Mark’s switch several times to get his attention.
“Knock off the clicking in the headset. I’m awake. The truck just came into view. They’re twenty cars back. I just told the officers to quicken the checks so we can go get a couple of drinks and maybe get lucky tonight,” Mark answered Jean.
“You better keep your mind on your work and not drop the ball. They’re not going to give up without a fight,” Jean reminded.
“So right you are, here they come and they aren’t stopping nor are they slowing down. They’re going to try to run the roadblock. Man, Jean, I hope you weren’t kidding about how to catch a speeding vehicle because here I go. Keep me safe St. Christopher!” Mark yelled, pulling out his gun and taking off at a dead run, pacing him as the truck roared passed the first part of the roadblock, sideswiping a van full of kids slamming it into the car beside it.
Mark’s lungs started burning as the truck roared up beside him. He gulped a deep breath leaped for the truck’s side view mirror as they passed. His body slammed into the door as he braced himself on the running board and fender as he held onto the mirror. He slammed his forearm and gun into the side window crashing through it.
He jammed his gun under the driver’s chin screaming, “US Marshal, pull this rig over right now! You, in the other seat get your hands on the dash and don’t move a muscle or he gets his head blown off and yours a second later! You’re both under arrest. I said keep your hands on the dash and I meant it! Get this thing pulled over to the side of the road, that’s right, nice and easy.
“I know there are armed men in the back so if you can contact them in anyway, you better tell them to put their weapons down and duck walk their way out of the back of the truck before I really get pissed off and have to get mean.
“Officers, stay away from the back of that truck! There are armed men in there.’ Mark yelled to the officers approaching the van from behind. “We’re going to get out this side of the truck very carefully, but first, you’re going to take those keys and carefully drop them on the floor and kick them under the seat.” Mark barked, slowly stepping down, opening the door, “That’s right, nice and easy. Keep those hands on the dash as you come. As you noticed, a police officer is on the other side of the truck with instructions to blow away anyone who tries leaving that way. I suggest you pay close attention to what I say and obey it immediately. That’s right, keep coming one at a time. Get down on your knees and uph!”
The second person to exit slammed the door into Mark’s leg. Mark smashed his gun against his assailant’s head as they fell to the ground struggling over Mark’s weapon. Several more officers ran up taking the driver into custody as Mark struggled with the assailant. The assailant twisted up on top of Mark, slowly dragging his gun between them. Seconds later, the gun exploded with Mark screaming, followed by a stream of billingsgate as he smashed his forehead into the other man’s face with a bone crushing headbutt. The man let loose of Mark and grabbed his head in extreme pain. Mark quickly reversed the situation, jumping on top of the assailant and jammed his gun against his assailant’s temple.
“Damn it that hurt you dumb [blank]. You’re under arrest for the attempted murder of a US Marshal. I need a pair of handcuffs for this scum sucking mother [blanker].” He shrieked.
“Get off me you stupid retard, I’m FBI,” the assailant hissed under his breath.
“I don’t care if you’re the Pope himself. You’re under arrest for the attempted murder of a US Marshal and I’m going to push for the gas chamber, you dumb mother [blanking blank] sucker. You’re going down hard and no one will be able to save your worthless hide. Get him out of here and Mirandize him in the car. Hey, does someone have any armor piercing bullets?”
“The SWAT team has a launcher and all sorts of great things,” one officer advised Mark.
“Great, I need a launcher with armor piercing bullets and a grenade launcher in my hands, yesterday.” Mark demanded his rage fully inflamed.
Within a minute, Mark had what he requested and slammed a bullet in the chamber, strategically taking up a position behind the truck. “You, in the truck, have exactly fifteen seconds to surrender yourselves to the US Federal Marshal out here. You’re under arrest by the way, so raise that door three inches and slide your weapons out one at a time then raise the door and slide out one at a time onto the ground when I give you permission. Start raising that door now. You’ve five seconds left to comply. Four, three, two, and one, too late you made me mad,” he placed an armor-piercing bullet through the top of the door, ripping a large gaping hole in it. “Last chance to surrender nicely,” he inserted the gas grenade in the launcher.
He took aim and fired the grenade through the gaping hole. It exploded, filling the truck with noxious fumes. They heard the men choking inside as they slid the door open. The weapons clattered to the ground followed by the four men falling out of the truck. They gasped for air, with tears streaming down their faces as they lay in the dirt.
Mark handed the launcher back to the SWAT member. He grabbed four pairs of handcuffs in one hand, his revolver in the other. “On your knees and crawl toward my voice until you’re told to stop, and then lay with your faces in the dirt. You’re under arrest for drug possession with the attempt to deliver. Halt, faces in the dirt, with your hands behind your backs with your noses buried in the dirt. If we see so much as an eye lash before you’re given permission, I’ll personally blow it away.”
He quickly snapped the handcuffs on the men and gave them their Mirandize rights as he went. He turned them over to the officers to have them patted down before placing them in the squad cars. Mark proceeded to the truck. He pulled out the bags of coffee and split them open. He pulled out the bags of cocaine, placing them on the back edge of the bed of the truck one after another.
He was halfway through the bags when Fagon came pulling up with lights flashing. He rose as Fagon came toward him with his hand extended as a friend.
“Good work officer, I’ll take it from here,” Fagon smiled, flexing his shoulders in triumph.
Mark smiled back, “That was a wrong statement. This is a US Marshal Division bust. We’re in full control here, thanks for the offer of mopping up, but we have everything well in control.”
Fagon’s smile died quickly, “You don’t understand son, there was an FBI agent with this shipment which makes this our bust.”
“No, you don’t understand.” Mark’s temper got the best of him, “He forfeited any claim to this bust when he tried to kill a US marshal. He’s under arrest for attempted murder and drug running. Furthermore, I’m not your [blanking] son, you son of a [blank]!” Mark straightened up and glared at Fagon squarely in the face without batting an eye.
Fagon grabbed Mark by the shirt and hit him in the mouth blaring, “I’ll have your badge for this you son of a [blank].”
Mark spit blood, “You can try, but it’s going to be a challenge with you behind bars for assaulting a US Federal Marshal while trying to impede him in the line of duty. You’re under arrest,” Mark snapped, throwing Fagon to the ground and handcuffing him. He removed Fagon’s weapon from his holster and placed it in the back of his belt as he yanked Fagon to his feet, “You have the right to remain silent…”
“You’ll never get away with this! Not only will I have your badge over this, I’ll have that no good son of a [blank] boss of yours also. Do you hear me DeBois? You [blank]. You’re going down you [blank],” Fagon ranted and raved as Mark pulled him to the squad car.
He opened the door and shoved Fagon inside and answered, “You made a grandiose mistake this time, Fagon. I have thirty fellow officers and surveillance saw you strike me trying to stop me from doing my duty. It’s you who is going down for the count.”Then Mark finished Fagon’s Mirandize rights and slammed the door shut before going back to counting the bags of cocaine.
Soon there were one thousand three hundred and forty-four bags of pure cocaine lying on the truck bed. It was sending the drug-sniffing dogs crazy so Mark finally sent them away. He called for an armored car to transport the cocaine into evidence. They were just taping off the area as the news vans pulled up. Mark was checking on the passengers in the accident, when he saw Christen Hobbit, along with her camera operator, skirt under the perimeter tape and head for the coffee truck.
He ran to intercept her, “Stop right there Ms. Hobbit, turn around, and get back to the other side of the perimeter tape.”
“Officer, the public has the right to know what’s going on. Phil, we’ll broadcast over by the coffee truck, and then pan back to all the spilt coffee beans. Stick around officer and I’ll interview you as part of my story, if you cooperate,” she ignored Mark and trying to get pass him to her objective.
“Phil is it?” Mark commanded, snagging her arm. “Well Phil, if you start that camera on this side of the perimeter tape, I’ll arrest you both for interfering in a Federal investigation. Now, get back across the evidence tape. You’ve thirty seconds to comply,”
“That would be impeding the Press and the freedom of Knowledge Act and most important the First Amendment, officer, what’s your name for the record.” She retorted trying to pull free.
“I don’t care what the [blank] you broadcast or report on as long as you’re on the other side of that tape. You have fifteen seconds left.” Mark gave her a shove toward the tape.
“I’m not going to be bullied by the likes of you,” Christen retorted, turning back to Mark.
“Officer, I need a couple of pairs of handcuffs!” Mark barked in her face.
“Come on Christen, he’s not kidding. We can’t get the scoop if we’re behind bars,” Phil said, lowering his camera and yanking her toward the tape. “No need for the handcuffs officer, we’re going.”
“You make sure they and any other reporters stay on the other side of the perimeter tape. They put one foot on our side, arrest them for obstructing justice. There’ll be no second chances. Keep them on their side and don’t make any comments. Take as many officers as you need to keep the perimeter clear,” Mark barked orders to several Highway Patrolmen, watching them to make sure she was on the other side of the tape before going back to his duties.
There had been no casualties, only a few minor bumps and bruises. The paramedics took over the care of the civilians. He sat down on the rear of the truck and waited for the arrival of the armored car, rubbing his vest where the bullet had impacted. It had almost gone clear through before the vest was able to stop the bullet’s acceleration. Gauging by the amount of pain in his side, he guessed the impact broke one, if not more, of his ribs and would result in severe bruising. His head now throbbed. He probably shouldn’t have used it as a battering ram on the FBI agent.
“Hey Jean, I’ve everything pretty well wrapped up here. How are Jack and Robert doing on their end of things?” he inquired weakly.
“We’ve everything wrapped up here on the docks. Everyone’s in custody and the weapons are on their way to our evidence room. You don’t sound too good. What’s the matter, Mark?” Robert radioed in.
“Robert, could you ask one of those Port Authority helicopters to bring you over here so you could take over for me and wait for the armor car? That dumb [blanking] FBI agent tried to take me out with my own weapon. Stupid mother [blanker], I took him out with a headbutt, but my head isn’t as hard as granite like Jean’s head is.
“My head’s splitting and I can hardly breathe from the impact of the bullet to my ribs. Dumb mother [blanker blank] sucking [blank], we’re supposed to be on the same side, [blank] sucker. I hope I crushed his [blanking] skull for him, mother [blanker] this hurts like a son of a [blank]. How did Jean do it without a vest on, damn this hurts.”
“We’re on our way Mark, sit tight. I’ll have Robert over there within three minutes. There is a helicopter now, I’ll commandeer it, myself,” Jack came back.
“Tell Janet thanks for being a mother hen, Jack. From now on she may mother henpeck me anytime she wants,” Mark mumbled, holding his head in his hands.
Jean switched frequencies and told the paramedics to get over to the truck to check Mark out. He switched back and called Mark, “Mark, the paramedics are on their way to help you. You’re their top priority right now. Jack, where are you with that helicopter? Mark needs it now!”
“We’re coming up on the scene now. I see Mark sitting on the bumper of the truck amidst the largest pile of coffee beans I have ever seen. The cocaine is stacked in the back of the truck. The paramedics are with him now. I’ll set down just beyond the scene. What the [blank]? Jean, we’ve company up here. It’s Christen Hobbit again in a news chopper. What do you want me to do?” He glanced over and eyeballed the news chopper.
“Have they crossed the perimeter tape yet?”
“Yes, they’re thirty feet beyond it.”
“Then force them down and take them into custody. We warned them not to cross the tape. I don’t care if they’re in the air or not. They’re impeding an investigation. Lock them up now.” Jean barked the order, banging his fist against the desk.
“Roger that,” Jack said flipping on the loud speaker, “This is US Federal Marshal Post. You have crossed the perimeter tape and entered a restricted territory. Set the chopper down. You’re under arrest for impeding a federal investigation. You’ve thirty seconds to comply before we force you out of the sky. Robert, get the anti-air craft assault weapon ready. You’ve fifteen seconds to comply.”
Robert opened the side door and got in position with the weapon to blow the chopper out of the sky. The pilot turned ashen and Christen’s face was crimson over the threat.
“You’ve ten seconds- nine- eight- seven… ” that was all the pilot could take; he flew the helicopter beyond the scene and set it down with Jack right on his tail all the way.
As soon as the news helicopter was on the ground, police officers swarmed it, taking the occupants into custody. Robert jumped out of the helicopter and made sure the arrest was made under federal charges. When Robert placed her in the squad car, Christen started screaming about the freedom of the Press and the First Amendments rights violation.
Robert shook his head in disgust, “Tell it to the judge, lady, you were warned.”
She answered him with a stream of billingsgate which made Mark sound like a choirboy during Sunday Mass. Robert ignored the billingsgate and left to help Mark instead of wasting any more time with her. Soon they were in the air and headed for Mt. Sinai NYU Health Center, while Robert remained behind with the evidence.
Jean flipped Jack and Robert’s headsets off and Janet’s back on, “Janet, how are things going at the office?”
“Better than we expected. When forensics sprayed the office and flipped the ALS on, we got the shock of our lives. There are blood spatters covering the entire office. By this evidence, Wallace wasn’t the first murder Hogan committed in this office. They also found rug fibers they’re sure will match the rug that was Wallace’s burial shroud. When they checked the cars, they found traces of blood and more rug fibers. Guess which associate of Hogan’s it belongs to?”
“Please tell me it belongs to Franco. You’d make my day if you could.”
“Well, today’s your lucky day.” She walked out to her car. “You hit the nail right on the head. When we searched the security room, large groups of tapes were missing. The newly hired young security guard was very helpful and told us Hogan has a habit of taking the tapes home with him to view at his leisure. The tape of Angel One was still here along with last Monday’s. According to the security guard, they haven’t left the security room yet so they should hit pay dirt for us.” Janet held the tape securely in her hand.
“I cleaned out Hogan’s office. From the looks of things, we’re going to need a code breaker for most of this stuff. I left Tripper at the office to finish up while I went to Hogan’s estate to see how Slaughter was doing. He found Franco here, recuperating by banging Hogan’s wife.
“Moreover, here I was feeling sorry for her because she had such a scumbag for a husband and she is just as bad as he is.” Janet opened the car door. “They truly deserve each other. She wasn’t very cooperative with Slaughter until I pointed out that I was sure I’d get a conviction on her for being a co-conspirator in Wallace’s murder. After that, she was the most cooperative person ever. We didn’t even need to use any equipment for what we were after; she revealed all Hogan’s dirty little secrets.” Janet sat behind the driver’s seat and glanced through the box of evidence, shocked at what they revealed.
“Jean you’re right about Hogan being a sexual predator. He has a completely secret room from his point of view, or so he thought, for his conquest. He’s one sick puppy. The room where he kept the surveillance tapes is off that room. It looks like he would bring them home and make duplicates for his enjoyment. That enjoyment’s going to cost him dearly; he’s going down for the complete count for life, if not the gas chamber, for what he has on these tapes. This is how arrogant he was; he stuck subtitles on the tapes for easy reference.” Janet started the car and headed back toward the office.
“How did we do on the rest of the bust? You shut off my incoming microphone so I couldn’t hear what was going on. I know you could hear me, but that wasn’t fair, not allowing me to listen in on the guys taking the crooks down. Everyone’s okay, aren’t they?”
“Jack’s taking Mark to Mt. Sinai to have him checked out. He tried to take down the FBI undercover agent with a headbutt after the agent tried to gun him down with Mark’s own weapon. He arrested him and Fagon for assaulting him and interfering with a US Marshal while doing his duty.” Jean made notes on the pad in front of him for further reference.
“Mark was shot? Jean, how bad was it?”
“The vest took most of the impact but Mark believes it might have broken at least one of his ribs. He probably gave himself a concussion with the headbutting maneuver. By the way, he says you may henpeck him anytime from now on out, after the vest incident. I believe it’s his way of thanking you for saving his scrawny little backside, by demanding he wears the vest.”
“The only man I want to henpeck is Jack, but tell Mark, he is welcome.”
“Tell me yourself, I can hear you,” Mark’s voice weakly came over his speaker, “Jean forgot to shut my incoming microphone off. We not only got the drugs, weapons, and arresting Fagon and an undercover FBI agent along with the captain of the cutter, Jack forced that nuisance Christen Hobbit out of the sky, arresting her for crossing the police evidence tape and impeding an ongoing investigation. I’ve wanted to do that for so long. She’s been a thorn in our side for long enough. It felt good to hear her screaming like a common streetwalker once Robert knocked her off her high and mighty throne.
“They’re going to keep me here for observation. I did give myself a concussion. My rib isn’t broken, just bruised the hell out of it. The doctor said I would probably wish I’d broken it because, for some reason, it takes longer to heal. I’m in the hospital for forty-eight hours to make sure there isn’t any soft tissue damage.
“Hey, tell Jack thanks for bringing me here for treatment. I’ve only been here for a half an hour and I already have five names and numbers of some very gorgeous gals working here. I guess they go for a fallen hero. I’m going to have to make sure a couple of them are eighteen, though. Janet, you wouldn’t mind running them through the computer for me, would you? Do it for a fallen comrade in arms.”
“Pick up chicks on your own time, you little creep. How did you keep your headset when you entered the emergency room, anyway? They take all those kind of items right from the beginning,” Janet inquired. “Besides, isn’t eighteen a little too young for you?”
“Not really, I just turned twenty-four last month, so it’s still within reasonable age without it being perverted. As to my headset, I wouldn’t allow them to take it. I told them it was a national security type of a mission. I still retain my gun and shield. The chicks really go for a man in authority.” Mark crowed.
Jean took all of Mark’s shenanigans he could stomach; he flipped Mark’s intercom off and Jack’s on. “Jack, get in there and take the headset, shield, and gun away from Mark. He’s using them to pick up girls. He’ll be okay as long as I don’t get my hands on him for abusing his position for personal gain. They’re keeping him for forty-eight hours to make sure everything is all right. Mister Lone Wolf’s on the prowl again, so go break his leg before I have to break his neck,” Jean told Jack with a disgusted sigh over Mark’s overactive hormones.
“It’ll be my pleasure, Boss. Is Janet’s headset on so she can hear me?”
“It sure is, darling. How are you feeling?” she cooed at him.
“Oh for Christ’s sake, get a land line if you’re going to get mushy. Stop using government equipment to make out with your husband. Janet, are you done with your part of the bust?” Jean mumbled.
“Yes, but me thinks we hit a nerve.”
“Good night, you two knuckleheads,” Jean snapped their headsets off. He snapped Robert’s on, “Robert, how are things going?”
“Great, everything is properly stored away. I’m on my way home to call to see how Mark is getting along.”
“He’s fine. He’s already on the prowl. We’re going to have to get him neutered so he can stay focused on what he’s supposed to be doing, instead of chasing skirts.”
“He sounds kind of like a younger version of you,” Robert taunted.
“That was the wrong answer. Remind me to bust you in the mouth when I see you,” Jean answered him clicking Robert off also, shutting down the system.
Enjoy the free chapter and you can find the complete novel at books2read.com/u/mVLMpb and amzn.to/1u92UUj. The novel chapter of Rendezvous with the Past is coming next. Stay tune.
I am featuring my crime murder mystery series over the next few weeks. I will be sharing appetizers from the novels to wet the readers’ anticipation. The first in the series is titled The Perfect Witness. You can find it at https://books2read.com/u/m0G2W3 for your eBook options or https://amzn.to/1u92UUj for a kindle edition or print copy.
THE PERFECT WITNESS,
IN THE DEBOIS SERIES
WRITTEN BY SUE RAYMOND
All the characters in this book are fictitious, any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Places are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.
COPYRIGHT © SUE RAYMOND
Bible passages quote are from the King James Version
Without limiting the rights under copyrights reserved above, no part of this book may be reproduced in any unauthorized format into any retrieval system or transmitted by any means without prior written permission of the author.
FIRST EDITION 2008
Second Edition 2015
IBN 13: 978-1514877678
The Perfect Witness, Book One: The DeBois Series/ Sue Raymond
Upon Eagle’s Wings, Malachi Ink Publishing
516 East Park Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50315
Miss Anderson was running late because of traffic. Mr. Hogan’s office called two weeks earlier for a wedding gown consultation for his daughter who was getting married in nine months. She proceeded up the marble stairs toward his office, straightening the light blue suede jacket of her suit, juggling her portfolio and purse as she went.
This better be on the level since I spent so much time drawing up all the different designs they wanted. To think that anyone would spend so much on just the wedding dress is beyond me. However, without these extravagant eccentrics I soon would no longer have ‘Upon Eagle’s Wing Designer Studio, Malachi Inc. which helps pay the bills. Well, I hope she does not take all day to make up her mind. I hate dealing with spoiled brats who whine excessively at their parents that they deserve this. What they deserve is a swift rap on the hand with Mother Superior’s ruler over being a self-centered egotist obnoxious delinquent.
She was lost in thought when she overheard a loud conversation coming from her client’s open office door. Mr. Hogan was screaming at a certain Mr. Wallace. Mr. Wallace was explaining about a shipment that was coming in from Colombia on the Monticello next Saturday at Pier 57 in Cowanus Bay at 9:00 pm in South Brooklyn. Miss Anderson peered through the crack in Mr. Hogan’s doorway.
“I apologize for the leak, which cost us the last drug and weapon shipment. I assured you the leak is now sealed,” Mr. Wallace, a small twig of a man, wrung his hands together while he stood before the oversized desk, groveling under Mr. Hogan’s stony gaze.
Michelin Hogan reached into his desk, pulling out a nine-millimeter Beretta handgun with a silencer on it and pointed it at Mr. Wallace.
He scowled ghoulishly, “I always make sure all loose ends are tied up.” He pulled the trigger, shooting Mr. Wallace directly in the chest and tossed the gun to the mammoth henchman standing by his side.
Mr. Wallace crumpled to the floor onto an oriental area rug. Mr. Hogan glared at the body, instructing his henchmen to take out the trash.
She backed away from the door and was almost at the stairs when she bumped into a small table holding a vase. She desperately tried catching the vase, but lost everything in the process, even tearing her nylons. The vase and her portfolio went crashing to the floor spraying toward Hogan’s office door. It gave the impression of her just coming up the stairs when the vase broke. She quickly knelt down, trying to retrieve the sketches as one of the henchmen came charging out of the office, his hand in his jacket in a threatening manner.
Miss Anderson glanced up at him, “Could you help me pick up my sketches? I am running late for my appointment with Mr. Hogan and his daughter.”
He glared down at her, his expression held an unspoken threat. Mr. Hogan came out of his office, straightening his tie and summing up the situation. When he was satisfied she had not overheard or seen anything he told his henchman, “Don’t just stand there, you big lummox, pick up her stuff for her.” He came over to her saying, “I overheard you say you were running late, my daughter is also running late from shopping with her mother. I would like to reschedule our appointment for say… maybe Friday if you would be able. I would appreciate it if you could accommodate me in this.” He took her hand, helping her up as the henchman gathered her portfolio.
“Y-yes that will be fine,” she stammered taking back the portfolio and glancing nervously toward the stairs.
He walked her out to a waiting taxi and opened the door for her. “Thank you for rescheduling the appointment and, since I know what an inconvenience this places you in, I will make sure it will be worth your while to come back again.” He shut the door and the taxi sped off. Miss Anderson shuttered, glancing back to see Mr. Hogan talking to one the henchmen and pointing to the speeding taxi.
Su Anderson went to her studio, making sure there was no surveillance placed on her before going to the authorities.
The cartel sent an assassin to silence Su Andrewson because she witnessed a murder by a crime lord. Now she is under the protection of US Marshall Jean DeBois. #crime #MurderMystery #assassin #amzn.to/1u92UUj #USMarshall #WitnessProtection #CR4U #books2read.com/u/m0G2W3
I just received a five star review from a fan. I want to thank all my fans and really appreciate the time they take to give me reviews on my novels.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Entertaining Moonlighting-esque relationship
By C.T. Top Contributor: Star Trekon July 21, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
A great collection of mysteries built around solid characters. Sue Raymond weaves a nice set of adventures around Su Michael Anderson and Jean DeBois. They have a delightful antagonist relationship where Su doesn’t have room for romance in her life with business and her adopted children– let alone becoming a witness. Watching him try to deal with her is always entertaining and the attitude she gives him is quite fun. This is a good bargain and enjoyable book trilogy throughout.
DeBois Crime Murder Mystery Box Set: Volumes 1-3 (DeBois Crime Murder Mystery Series)
by Sue Raymond
5.0 out of 5 stars
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One of these days I’m going to be able to feature the exact page without trouble. LOL!