The Observer (Derek Cole Suspense Thriller Book 3)

BOOK: The Observer (Derek Cole Suspense Thriller Book 3)
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CONTENTS

Dedication

Copyright

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Forty-Three

Chapter Forty-Four

Chapter Forty-Five

To Those Who Keep Us Safe From Those Who Wish To Do Us Harm

  • This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Edited by Ellen Scharf

Copyright © 2015 T Patrick Phelps Writing Services, Inc

All rights reserved.

Connect with the author on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/authortpp

Or send him an email at [email protected]

CHAPTER ONE

5:15 pm

August 15, 2014

It was cooler than he wished. Though he did not know if the temperature might alter the expected and desired aftereffects, he believed the cool weather would keep people too comfortable. If it were warmer, even hot, more people would be driven outside to enjoy the late August weather. And when the heat proved to be too much, those same people would be forced to retreat inside for the cooling comfort of air conditioning, coupled with a thirst quenching drink. Inside, was where he needed them to be.

He switched the key of his car to “on” and waited for the touch screen display of the 2010 Lincoln Navigator to jump to life. There were only two things he cared about; the time and the temperature.

“Sixty-eight degrees,” he sighed. “Too cool. Much too cool for August.”

The display only told him that his time was drawing to an end. The display could not remind him that he still had a choice. A choice was something he believed he still had. Though his thoughts were cloudy and his head, fuzzy, having a choice was something he knew.

“Just a few more minutes until I am free,”
he thought, trying to force the fuzziness from his mind.

A cell phone sat beside him on the vacant passenger’s seat. Though he was sure the phone's signal would be strong and battery near full, he grabbed it, flipped it open and pressed a few numbers, grateful to hear the tones. He didn’t expect his mentor to call for another few minutes, making him wonder why he was instructed to arrive so early.

“It will make people nervous,” he said to his mentor the day the plan was detailed to him. “A car sitting outside a restaurant in that part of town will make people nervous. Someone might say something. Especially now after everything that has happened.”

“Things must be well timed,” his mentor said. “Our plan needs to be flexible in case of interruptions. Do not worry about being seen. They will all notice you when the time is right. And then, no one will ever forget you.”

He knew better than to question his mentor. Aahill was so new to the organization, and his mentor had already proven himself to be brilliant. He felt that he was not worthy to question someone as brilliant and as well respected as his mentor. But soon, in a matter of minutes, his name would be listed among the great ones. The ones who sacrificed all so the truth could be told and the non-believers, punished.

Still, he wished for less time to wait. Or perhaps, more time.

Aahill turned the key to “off” and waited. He studied the people passing along either side of the street, some with a direction, others ambling by. He wondered why more were not walking into his target. The research the organization had done listed his target as a popular and highly-rated place: One of the most “liked” taverns in the area.

Having lived in Manhattan for only a few months, Aahill was far from an authority on taverns in the Upper East Side. But of all the places listed in his instruction list to “check out,” this became his favorite. The location was perfect; near both office buildings and apartment buildings.

The two times he had been inside, he found the bar and seating areas packed with patrons. Most inside wore crisp, white shirts, ties and sport jackets; telling him this was the place where people who lived in the nearby apartments stopped for dinner or a few drinks on their way home from work.

As he sat waiting, Aahill could not prevent his thoughts from returning to the sudden and unexplained events that ended with him sitting outside the tavern, several days before the original planned day.

“Friday is your day, Aahill,” his mentor said. “Friday will mark your entrance into greatness and the day that the infidels will mourn for generations.”

“But that is not the day you told me before?” he said. “I thought I had more time. That our plan was not ready yet?”

“Our leader knows things you and I cannot possibly understand. And our leader says Friday is your day. This Friday.”

Aahill didn’t question his mentor. He was, after all, respected by so many and guided by something divine. His mentor always seemed patient while others, those of Aahill’s “other life,” were cruel, quick to insult or, worse, to dismiss. When his mentor praised him for choosing this tavern as the location, Aahill remembered the stirrings in his soul when his mentor said, his face filled with a smile, “You are guided by Allah. Who am I to question your beliefs?".

But now he only sat, despising the time he had left to sit in the car, parked across the street from his selected target. Aahill scolded himself for
not questioning why his mentor insisted on the time of 5:46 pm and not the time that Aahill had suggested.

“Allah, keep me strong in my thoughts,” he said with his eyes closed. “Keep me strong.”

CHAPTER TWO

August 11, 2014

As he sat behind his newly purchased, solid mahogany desk, Derek Cole was torn between competing emotions. Though he knew he needed to make changes to expand his investigative firm, as he watched the hired movers and delivery men trudge up the twelve flights of stairs carrying new desks, new computers and new everything else, he missed his old, 300 foot, one-person office. His new office, in the heart of downtown Columbus, had a more impressive feel. From the entrance lobby, complete with a security desk, a three-story high water feature and expertly crafted synthetic marble floors, to the receptionist welcoming area of the office, everything was designed to both impress and to suggest success.

Derek did not rush into the decision to expand his team. He had been contemplating hiring someone to help with his caseload (which had grown significantly since he had appeared on several national news shows after playing key roles in solving two recent murder cases) and to offer clients another competent professional to work with when he was busy working a case. But as he sat behind his desk, three months after Victoria Crown accepted the job as his personal assistant, Derek wondered if he was moving too quickly.

Victoria Crown was the eighth person who interviewed for the "Investigator Assistant" position he had posted on an Internet job posting board. As soon as she walked into his office, she assumed that the job was hers for the asking.

"Can you tell me a little about yourself and why you are interested in working as a private investigator's assistant?" Derek had asked.

"Slow down a minute," Crown said. "This get-together isn't about
me
and
my
goals. My coming here is all about what
you
need and what
you
expect. I know why I'm here. What's important is why you and I are sitting in a Denny's having an interview?"

Victoria was approaching 50 years old, a fact that her multiple layers of makeup couldn't disguise. Her shoulder length, reddish brown hair denied her desire to retain the youthful look that had enabled her to land two well-off husbands, as it displayed the marks of a losing battle against gray hair's advances. Twice married, and twice divorced, Victoria did not need to work, but her life-long battle against the possibility of ever being bored drove her actions.

When she grew tired of traveling the world and of seeing the sights that most others read and dream about, she tried her hand at settling down to a comfortable life. Three days after her attempt began, she was combing through the online job postings.
 

"I've worked for two of the top legal defense firms in the county," she continued before giving Derek the chance to respond. "One for eight years in Grand Rapids and the other for six years outside of Boston. Matter of fact, I married two of the top legal defense lawyers in the country. So don't ask me for references because I don't want those shitheads to find out that I'm working again. Bastards will go running to a judge to have their alimony payments lowered." Victoria turned serious as she stared into Derek's eyes. "I know what you're up against and what you need to take your little agency to the next level."

"I never said I was looking to get to the next level. I'm doing okay at the level I'm at."

"Really?" Victoria said. "You think you're doing just fine, do you? So you think running an agency out of a 300 square foot office, that, based on what I've seen, isn't professional looking enough to bring any clients to, is doing well? Flying all over the country to meet with your clients in public parks before deciding whether their case is one you want to take on is a sound business strategy I suppose? Not being able to figure out how to make your multi–functional printer, the one you bought for $299 at Staples last year, do anything except receive a fax now and then is a sign of an agency on the rise? Listen Cole, your phone system is comprised of one iPhone, you still use a Rolodex for your contact management system, you have one six-year old laptop for your IT department, and you can only work one case at a time because you're sucky with your time management. You ain't doing okay, Cole. There are only two reasons you're getting enough clients to keep your head above water: You do a damn good job when a client hires you, and you got free advertisement when Dateline flashed your pretty-boy face all over TV screens across America. You need me way more than I need you."

"Not sure if you understand how job interviews are supposed to go. See, I ask the questions, and you give the answers."

"Cole," Victoria said, shaking her head, "this isn't an interview. This is an intervention. I'll tell you what we're gonna do. You play the owner's role, and ask me some lame-ass questions about how I would respond to an angry client. Ask me about a time in my career when I had to choose between doing what was best for the client or the business. Shit, ask me about my favorite position in bed if you think that will help. Go ahead and ask me anything that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
 
After this sit down, I'll pretend to sit by the phone, hoping that you call me and offer me the job. I'll come into your office next week, all dressed up as pretty as I can make all this," she said while she gestured towards her face and body, "and you can tell your buddies down at the lodge about how tough you are when interviewing people."

"I still don't think you understand what I'm looking for," Derek said.

"You may think you're aware of what you're looking for, but I'll tell you what you
should
be looking for. You need someone that will keep you organized, focused and with clients pulling out their wallets, begging for you to take their case. You need someone to turn your little no-name agency into one of the top investigative firms in the country. You may not know it yet, but you need to decide whether you want to keep doing 'okay' or you want to really make an impact. Hire anyone else besides me, and I will guarantee that either they quit after four months or, worse yet, will stay as your pretty little assistant for 30 years.

"You got a huge gift when your face and name were spread across the country on that TV show. You can either get damn used to turning clients away because you can't handle more than a few cases a year, or you can maximize the opportunity, and make a name for yourself. I get it, it's your call. You're the boss. You decide. But I'll tell you this; make the easy decision and hire an ex-librarian with fake tits and a mouth filled with corrective dental work, and you'll be shitting all over this opportunity. What's your decision?"

BOOK: The Observer (Derek Cole Suspense Thriller Book 3)
3.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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