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“Jack!” Simion greeted him with enthusiasm. “And Joseph, too.”

Jack had left two bags here, at his friend’s limo business. They were in the customer lobby, really just a counter, concrete walls, and a few plastic chairs of various colors. Most of Simion’s customers would never come here. He went to them. The few who did wouldn’t stay long. 

This was somewhere people passed through, and rarely dwelt in. That’s what Jack hoped for. A quick grab of his stuff, and an exit, nothing more. He felt exposed. 

Sure, he felt less exposed since Joseph, friend of his father’s and now friend of his, had answered his message and arrived in Vegas. 

“Hey, Simion,” he said. “I left a couple of bags here.”

“You did. I saw you coming, and I have them ready.” He indicated the bags already beside him. 

“Thanks,” Jack said. He looked over at Joseph, a bald, serious looking man who wasn’t smiling at all.

“How you been, Simion?” Joseph asked.

“Good, Joseph. Good.”

“Any unusual visitors today?”

“Nope, none at all. No one unusual.”


Jack watched the exchange. Joseph seemed to be studying something. That something seemed to make Simion nervous. 

Boris stayed close to his thigh. Jack could feel him shaking but couldn’t tell if it was from anger or fear. 

The air felt charged with electricity. Jack waited for lightning. 

Then Joseph smiled. “That’s good my friend. We wouldn’t want any trouble, and I know you wouldn’t either.”

“No, I sure wouldn’t,” Simion said.

“There’s nothing you want to tell me, then?” Joseph asked.

“No. Nothing at all.”

“Good. Jack?”

The two turned to leave together, and the two men with them, bodyguards really, did the same.

“Jack?” Simion asked.

“Yeah?” Jack only half turned to answer. He didn’t have energy for much more. He needed sleep. A lot of it.

“Where are you headed? Are you going to be okay?”

“I’ll be fine,” Jack said, avoiding the first part of the question. “I’ll see you around.”

He left without knowing if what he said was true or not. 

Joseph led him to a waiting SUV. Boris jumped in, Jack followed painfully, his scarred right side aching.

Ever since Joseph had told him about a plastic surgeon, one with special skills who could help even him, Jack felt something new inside himself. 

Suddenly, he resented his injuries. He wanted them to be gone. He wanted to live how he had before the attack. 

He wanted to run again. 

He felt tired but filled with hope at the same time.

Under both of those emotions, he felt dread. He was sure there was something he would have to go through before this was all over, even if his fresh dreams became reality. 

It had nothing to do with fear of the surgeries, or the pain of recovery. 

No, there was something else. Jack could feel the thunderclouds following him, the rain and lightning about to burst forth, shocking and drowning in their intensity.

The SUV pulled away from the curb and sped down the side streets toward the freeway. 

As they reached a main road, Joseph turned to him. 

“I know this may be uncomfortable, Jack, but I must insist.” He held out a black nylon bag in one hand. “Put it on. No one can know where this place is.”

Jack took the bag and obeyed. As he slipped it over his eyes, and his view of the world around him disappeared, the feeling of dread got even stronger.

The rest of this story, and the others in the series, can be found on Amazon with the link below. ENJOY!

I hope you are enjoying reading this series as much as I am. You can the rest of this series on Amazon here! Stay tuned for another FREE story right here next week. I hope to see you then!