The following is an unedited preview of my upcoming novel Rachel’s Peril, the first novel in the Rachel’s Peril Trilogy. For more information about the book and more chapters, please check out the Rachel’s Peril page!
Not sure where to begin? Start here: Rachel’s Peril – Table of Contents and Book Description
Chapter 3. Bear
Part 2. George-Phillip
“Daddy, I love you.”
“And I love you, darling.”
George-Phillip leaned close to his daughter and kissed her on the forehead, then tucked her in. Jane was six years old, raven haired with green eyes. Creative. Mischievous.
His lips turned up in a half smile at the thought.
“I’m turning out the light, Jane.”
“Noon” she said.
He said, “I’ll leave the door cracked?”
“Thank you, Daddy.”
He smiled, switched the light out and stepped out into the hall, leaving the door open six inches.
Adriana Poole, Jane’s nanny, sat reading a book in the room down the hall. “She’s down,” he said.
“For now,” Adriana replied. “I’ll be here, sir.”
He sighed, walking down the hall. He left the overhead lamp off in the study, choosing to only turn on the small desk lamp that lit one spot in the center of his desk. He turned on his computer and looked out at Belgrave Square.
Department security had warned him repeatedly about the wisdom of having his study facing the square. But Dukes of Kent had occupied this home for more than a hundred years. Princess Alexandra had been born in this house in 1936. Grudgingly, SIS security had installed additional equipment, bulletproof glass and a twenty-four hour security detail on the premises. And George-Phillip kept his study where he could see into the square.
The Wakhan file had been troubling him ever since O’Leary brought him the news of Andrea Thompson’s travel to the United States. It was one of the oldest files he’d worked on. One of the most explosive, on a personal and international level.
It haunted him. He unlocked his desk and slid the top drawer open, taking out the file marked with seals labelled CONFIDENTIAL and EYES ONLY. He opened the file.
As always, it was the photos that caught him first. The bodies, laying where they’d fallen, twisted, bloated.
Many of them had been children.
He closed the file. He wouldn’t find any answers in there tonight, any more than he did ten years ago or twenty years ago.
Thirty years since the photos had been taken. Thirty years.
He sighed, then slid the folder back into his locked drawer. In the morning, he would instruct O’Leary to increase the surveillance on everyone related to the Wakhan file. But for now, he needed to get some sleep.
That, of course, was when the phone rang. Not his personal phone. The official phone.
He lifted it to his ear. “This is C,” he said.
“What is it?”
“Wakhan file sir. It’s heating up.”
“Andrea Thompson was abducted on arrival at Baltimore Washington airport.”
George-Phillip stood up, suddenly, his chair rolling back on its casters.
“What?” he cried.
“That’s right, sir. We didn’t have any assets on the scene unfortunately. She was able to overpower her abductors, though. Both of them dead, and she’s en route to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.”
“Any idea who they were?”
“We’ve got a lead on one from the surveillance video. This one’s getting massive attention from the yanks though, so I’ve not put anyone too close to the investigation. One of the kidnappers looks like Tariq Kouri. Saudi born, he’s been around ISI and CIA and a bunch of other three letter agencies for decades.”
“Three letter agencies… like SIS?”
“He’s done a couple jobs for us in the early nineties. Nothing since then that I can tell. He works for the highest bidder… not reliable. But he’s a killer. He spent most of the last five years working for Blackwater.”
George-Phillip shook his head. “And a sixteen year old girl escaped from him?”
“Not just escaped. As best as I can find out, she killed him. I’ll get more info as soon as I can.”
“We need to know who hired him, O’Leary.”
“Working on it, sir.”
“Put some serious assets on it. I want to know who was behind the abduction, O’Leary.”
They hung up, and he stared out the window. He didn’t need to have the file open to see its contents. The twisted and darkened bodies. They haunted his every thought.