Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dubrovnik - An International Best Seller

And so it goes, amazon's publications director called me (wow was I impressed) with the great news that the newly edited version of Dubrovnik is published as an eBook.

Dubrovnik is an International Best Seller in Europe.

At least amazon's editing and uploading only took 6 hours and already they have sales of 132 copies. Here's the amazon link. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001JEPAYW

In this behind-the-scenes chronicle, two American military spies maneuver with heart-stopping immediacy to end a feud between two revered Croatian families and help end the civil-war against Serbia. Alexander Crown and Ivan Andric put their assignment on hold. Timing, location and contacts are critical. Crown seeks position for his secret mission and Andric insists with helping their new friends first. That is when humility and killing begins. Dubrovnik is a vivid, tense and colorful landscape in Croatia. Conditions are timeless. Stern yet vulnerable, characters jump off the pages and take you on their journey in search for freedom. Read Dubrovnik and adsorb exciting pieces of Croatian culture.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cannes

When you're in love you have all the time in the world, but when living in a kind of daydream time is of the essence. Being back in Cannes without the film festival was superb. This is where I'd stolen the necklace during the Cannes Film Festival two years ago.

Restaurants were still full with patrons, sunbathers were scattered randomly along the beaches, the harbor was full of vessels but that was usual. What I liked most about the area is the refreshing atmosphere; clear sky, silky weather, jovial tourists, everybody was happy dressed in flip-flops, shorts and tank-tops, including the children.

But I'm not here to bathe in the fabulous weather or socialize with tourists and locals, or to eat local cuisine, I'm here to make a killing, well, to manipulate my new contact into giving me money without exchanging the Michelangelo's necklace for it.

Evening was drawing near in the Cannes sidewalk café on the promenade. My contact wasn't one person but two ruffian looking assassins. They were weeds in a field of roses. If they didn't want to be tagged they shouldn't have threads of black tee-shirts and black jeans, military haircuts with grief expressions on their putrid faces. But they were only assassins and not my contact player. She's the ugliest pest I'd seen in a long time, roly-poly muffin in the tightest pink sleeveless jumpsuit, crew-cut hair, black mascara the likes of Amy Winehouse. The three stood on the corner eagle eyeing me as if I was their fresh catch, but I wasn't ready to have their talons dig into my neck and have their beaks peck out my eyes.

Their eyes were actually focused on the man sitting at the table in front of me. He was my man and their contact for the exchange. Mr. Yen, my best buddy from China, a jeweler craftsmen unparalleled. He'd previously crafted two duplicates of Michelangelo's necklace, one for this exchange, and one for his daughter.

Sipping my espresso and chomping on my croissant I watched as the woman sat at Mr. Yen's table in front of mine, put a briefcase on top of the table and crack it open. He nodded. She nodded. She closed the briefcase and pushed it at Mr. Yen. He sat my tiny satchel on top of the table. The roly-poly muffin opened the satchel, and with a flashlight spied on its contents. She nodded. Her two commandos standing behind her eyed me then eyed Mr. Yen. One man touched her shoulder and she spied on me. She slowly picked up the satchel, stood and looked at me.

"Neem die geld en verlaat voordat ons jou doodmaak."
She spoke in fucking Afrikaans and I simply loved that language. She said, Take the money and leave before we kill you. Who wants to be killed. I nodded to Mr. Yen and he stood up.
I answered, "Wat maak jy dink jy kan my doodmaak ?" What makes you think you can kill me?
"Because you see," she said, "we are three and you are essentially one. Your messenger here is a wimp and he can't help you."

With that Mr. Yen went to work. He snapped the satchel from roly-poly's hand, kicked her in the head and knelt like an excellent street-fighter. She dropped on the sidewalk like a sack of rocks. Her two mongrels jumped over them and their grubby hands went for my neck until I pulled my trusty Sig Sauer P224 pistol from my back and aimed it at them. The dozen or so patrons scattered. The two assassins helped their unconscious boss stand and they dragged her down the sidewalk to their SUV parked around the corner.

Mr. Yen and I jump-started our exit in the opposite direction through the double front doors of a swanky hotel, dusted through the lobby and up to our room on the sixth floor. On the bed we opened the briefcase. Ten two inch tall stacks  of U.A. currency filled the case but only one stack was full of twenty dollar bills. The remaining stacks were newspaper filled with twenty dollar bills on their tops. Two thousand dollars was a good heist, but what the hell, you only live once, and when you're in love you have all the time in the world. I'm still in love with all my orphanage children in Cape Town, South Africa.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Barcelona

If it wasn't for the running of the bulls I wouldn't be here with 1.6 million population. If it wasn't for an exchange of my Michelangelo necklace for one hundred thousand U.S. currency I wouldn't be in the second most populated city in Spain. With all the other bullshit going on with Ebola, Russia, Ukraine and the Near-East...all that bullshit here today and here tomorrow, I just want to take care of the children in my orphanage in Cape Town, South Africa.

Thank goodness for the creepy street performer I felt more safe with him drawing the crowds attention while I sat at the sidewalk café enjoying my morning espresso and chocolate croissant. Plenty of sunlight warmed the afternoon. Even thought I was a half hour early for meeting my contact, she was already here slapping the backside of my head, making me jump to my feet. I grabbed her by the wrists and slammed her down on my chair.

Nobody slaps me on the head, messes up my hair and gets away with it, well almost nobody except for this fantastic woman in a smashing black mini, mustard yellow tank-top, Kelly green high-top Converse, who's face and hair was a cross between the pretty American actress Jennifer Garner and the beautiful French actress Marion Cotillard. I'd put either one naked between the sheets with me underneath them.

"If I could kiss you I would," her red lips revealed.
"Te reto a que me beses," I said in Spanish, thinking she was Spanish. Go ahead and kiss me.
"Excuse me," she said in a Boston accent. "If you would please speak English I'd appreciate it."
"Okay, I dare you to kiss me," I said in English then continued in French. "Mais dites-moi d'abord vous êtes français," But first tell me you're French.

Her smile was a golden million dollars. She stood. Wrapped her body around mine. "I'm French. Je suis français," Our lips touched. Her eyes locked onto mine. She slid her right hand down to my crotch and squeezed. I froze. She froze. Our eyes were marbles. We kissed like two rocks, hard and unforgiving. I pulled away. She went with me.

"I'm here for the hundred thousand."
"No you're not," she whispered and licked my right ear. "You're here for me."
"I'm here for you and the hundred thousand. Where is it?"
"Where is the necklace?"
"It's down my crotch inside my skivvies."
She reached inside my pants and slid her fingers down, searching for the necklace and surprise, she found the necklace in its felt bag and the biggest erection she'd ever encountered. I humped it at her. She hand snapped back without the bag. I pushed her down on my chair.

"One hundred thousand and its yours."
"Can't you give it to me without me paying you."
"The necklace?"
"No stupid, your cock. I don't care about the necklace. To me it's useless. I want something alive, something that will pleasure me."

I was shocked. Mr. Yen said she's a live wire. But this much alive he didn't tell me. He said she had a hundred thousand, and I'd assumed it was for the purchase of the necklace that I had no intention of exchanging.

"If you weren't so beautiful," I said, "I wouldn't charge you. Beautiful women have issues. They can't hold onto their men. They play games. It's like they're always on their periods. Are you on your period?"
She stood and took my hands in her. "If I were on my period you'd want to fuck me anyway. I'm always better when I'm on my period."
"I bet you are." I pushed her down on my chair. "What do you really want from me?"
"I want you inside me. I want your baby. You're the Vitruvian Man aren't you, the measure of all things? Handsome, intelligent, debonair, durable, and you have purpose in your life. I want to have your baby to carry on your genes, to show the world that peace and love should lead the way, not death and destruction."

I didn't believe her. With all the killing happening globally philanthropy seemed useless. Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948. Nelson Mandela's been dead since December 5, 2013. Jimmy Carter nobody cares about. Obama and Putin, well, those are two different stories.

"Who are you?"
"I'm the one you've been looking for."
"I haven't been looking."
"I'm a friend of Ambrosia Skye. She loves you."
"FBI Agent Skye doesn't love me."
"So do Wild Winters and Mirna Yen."
"Mirna Yen, Mr. Yen's daughter who tried to kill me in Liechtenstein?"
"That's her."
"What's your connection with Skye, Winters and Yen?"
"We know each other through acquaintances."

I pulled her wrist to stand in front of me. She acquiesced and sexually rubbed her crotch against mine. She didn't want to have my baby. She didn't know me. She's an American CIA Agent after something more than Michelangelo's necklace, she wants my DNA Sequencing Project. I'd destroyed it last year to keep the Russians and Chinese from stealing it. If they'd captured it, anything was possible with reconstructing the human body into super human beings.

"Fuck you," I said.
"You want me. I can feel it."
I pulled back and sat her down. "Tell your bosses it's useless. I destroyed my project."
Her eyebrows rose. Her nose twitched. "What project might that be? And why do you think I have bosses?"
"Do you have the hundred thousand for the necklace."
"I have my body," she said. "You can have it too. I'm independently wealthy. Family money. I work for nobody. I don't want the necklace. Like I said I want you, your baby."
I backed away. "If we ever meet again perhaps that will happen. As for now, Je ne peux pas penser à quelque chose de mieux que d'obtenir de loin de vous. I can't think of anything better than getting far away from you.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Budapest

Have you killed someone? It's not a question people get asked everyday, most likely you'll never be asked that question.

Welcome to your next obsession. Living should not be measured by the years we live but by the magic we create throughout the years we live.

The weather cooperated yesterday in Budapest while I sat at a pleasant sidewalk café waiting for my next contact. There were plenty of people around dressed in summer clothing, and there was an upbeat feeling in the air.

Did my new contact want to purchase my  Michelangelo's necklace, or did he want to kill me? I was a little paranoid from almost being snuffed out by assassins in London, Copenhagen, Berlin and Kiev and a couple of other cities worthy to die in. Budapest is a worthy old city to die but the I felt so comfortable in Budapest that I'd like to stay and visit awhile, you know seek out some friendly vampires, drink a few beers and maybe even eat some delicious Hungarian Gulasch, and then try some Gundel Palacsinta filled with nuts and chocolate sauce.

The soft tap on my shoulder while I was drinking a cup of espresso was reminiscent of the tap I'd received on my chest just before Iktar Stanktar stuck his scalpel in my chest to carve the large X across it. I didn't kill the stinking rogue because of that, I killed him because of his crimes against humanity.

My new contact arrived and she sat on the vacant chair at my sidewalk table. "Wǒ de míngzì shì jié. Zhè shì yīgè hěn gāoxìng rènshí nǐ yàlìshāndà xiānshēng."

Chinese. Her name is Jie, pronounced zee. She said it's a pleasure to meet Mr. Alexander.

"It's a pleasure to meet you Jie, however, I'm not Mr. Alexander, I'm Alexander Crown. If you would please speak English instead of your native Chinese I'd appreciate it."
"Are you the man I'm to meet?"
"That depends, Jie. What are you to meet with me about?"

Her round face was porcelain, a doll not unlike the Chinese girl play-dolls from long ago. The black pageboy haircut, button nose and perpetual puckered lips enticed me. The lightness of her being dressed in quietly layered yellow cotton blouse with Kelly green long sleeve sweater on her back with sleeves over her shoulders, a black leather bag strapped over her left hand meant she was right handed.

"Guānyú xiàngliàn de qián. Excuse me, I will speak English. This is about the exchange of the necklace for money."
"I understood your Chinese dialect. About the necklace for money? That seems about right. Do you know what kind of necklace and how much money you're exchanging for it?"
Her giggle was small and her sneeze was even smaller. "I was told to give you this leather bag in exchange for a necklace."
"Who told you to exchange it with me?"
"Can't I just exchange it and leave?"
"What I'm going to do, since you're an innocent third-party and being watched by four men, I'm going to take your bag and give you the package with the necklace in it. Do not open my package. Stay seated until I leave and I'm out of sight. The four men will come to you and take the package. Since you didn't look inside it you'll be innocent of any miscalculation. Do not leave with the men."
"I was told to look at the necklace and nod," she said. "If I don't look and nod what will happen to me?"
"How much did they pay you to deliver the money?"
Worry lines crossed her forehead as if she were eighty years of age instead of twenty. "Five hundred U.S. currency. It will help me get to Washington DC to my new job as a translator."
"Translating your language to English?"
"Yes, it's my new job in the Obama administration."
"Then you'll have to come with me," I said. "Not as my parishioner but for your safety."
She quivered. "You worry me. I'm scared."
"I'm scared, too, but you know what?"
"What?"
"I'll get you out of this safely."
"You won't kill me. They said you will kill me."
"I don't know you so why would I kill you?"
"I don't know, maybe you don't like Chinese women."
I laughed. "That's not fair." I looked over her shoulder. "Is that you mother, father, sister and brother sitting four tables away behind you?"
"Yes."
"Who asked to deliver this package to me?"
"That man over there." She pointed across the street.
"Tell you what. You don't have to come with me. That man and his three killers won't bother you if you stay with your family because there are two policemen on bicycles coming down the street, and another policeman just went into the restaurant. Stand up, go back to your family, sit down and proceed as if not of this happened."
"Do I have to? I like being with you."
"You have to."
"You're such a nice man, can't I go with you? We could run away from those men and be safe."
"I can either run away from those men or do something else to them, and then I'd be safe. We wouldn't be safe together if they came after us."
"Okay," her eyes twinkled, "my name is Jie, remember me, that I saved your life and I think I love you."

She jumped up, waved to me and as cute a s a button almost skipped back to her parents table. I jumped up, pointed at the police on bicycles, grabbed the leather bag with the money inside and ran in the opposite direction, around the corner, ducked into the entrance of a brick building, shuffled down a long corridor to a second door, cracked it open peeked down the block and all was clear.

I stepped outside and it felt like a monkey jumped on by back, but it wasn't a monkey, it was a policeman. I elbowed him in the jaw and he dropped to the cement like a sack of potatoes. I stepped over him and hightailed it down the block and out of sight.






Monday, September 22, 2014

Helsinki

Helsinki, Finland...population 605, 523, if I didn't know better I'd say that crime and punishment here is non-existent. But yesterday, the fine weather wasn't punishable by death or any other crazy punishment, like getting food poisoning from bad fish, rotten meat or tired feet from hitting the pavement in search for the sidewalk café where I was to meet with a contact to sell the crazy-wild, beautifully-designed and crafted Michelangelo necklace.

The spectacular diamonds and emeralds the painter had cut and used are to die for, and to think that Michelangelo fashioned and produced the fabulous, sparkling necklace privately for his widowed girlfriend, Italian noblewoman Vittoria Colonna,  sends chills up and down spine. I can only imagine what the little artisan was thinking at 61 years old and Vittoria at 46 years old during the year 1536, but from what I'd read about the loving couple, all their inside friends knew about the scintillating affair between them.

When I arrived in Helsinki I had food poisoning from bad fish and yesterday my feet were tired from walking to the Norra Esplanaden sidewalk café in Helsinki. Michelangelo's necklace was inside the felt bag in my inner jacket pocket and I'd make sure it would stay there, even through any roughneck skirmish. Since the buyer is willing to pay a huge amount for the bling that doesn't mean he or she can touch or own it. Nobody can really own Michelangelo's necklace, much less dismantle it for the jewelry value. As it is the necklace is priceless and that makes it worth more than piecing it out.

The sidewalk was full and the woman who was sitting alone at the next table with her back to me turned around and glued onto my eyes. She stood, pulled out the chair on the other side of my small table and sat. Not pretty and not a wise thing to do sit at my table without an invitation.

Her black hijab covering her black hair and face didn't do her justice. Not good for a near-easterner like a woman from Afghanistan or Pakistan or even Iran to sit and stare at me, where her native country men brutalize their women and treat them secondary to the household dog. Yeah, that's what she was, an Iranian.

به خوبی خواهد بود .بیش از دست گردنبند و همه
"I'm sorry but I don't speak Persian," I said. But, I just won't hand over the necklace to you so all will be well."
"So you do speak Persian?" She asked in English.
"Sorry, I'd rather not speak it while I'm in Helsinki," I said.

Her black eyes were abysses, her skin a brown mixture of mud, her flared nose and bulbous lips were underneath the hijab. Her bare, well-manicured fingernails rested on top of my table, tapping as if I had all the time in the world.

"You're Irena Stanktar's second I presume," I said
"That's Ms. Irena Stanktar to you." Her tipped Russian accent had me believing she'd had a Russian education.

I sat not on the verge of a fresh kill but on the edge of determination not to sell the necklace to my enemy. She continued to tap her fingernails, which I assumed was a signal.

"To me," I said, "Irena Stanktar as of now is nothing."
Her head raised higher then her shoulders slumped. "She thought you'd be more accommodating with me since you killed her father and threatened to kill her."
"Her father had been trying to kill me for a few years, and I have you know that Iktar Stanktar killed his mother, Irena's mother. Your boos also threatened to kill me."
"He killed his wife," she said, "as you know because she had an affair with you. Iranian women shouldn't stray, and when they do their husbands punish them."
"Punish them or kill them?" I asked.
"Either way," she said. "My point here is not to argue over ethical issues but to make you an offer for the necklace."
"Look," I said, irritated by now. "The necklace is priceless and Iktar Stanktar tried to steal it from me. He sent his henchmen to kill me. He tried to kill me many times, with or without the necklace. Why would I want to sell the necklace to his daughter who also threatened to kill me?"

She didn't answer but continued to tap her fingernails on the metal table. She looked to her right then back again at me. Instinct told me on to take my eyes off her.

"The necklace belongs to us," she said.
"Michelangelo designed and crafted the jewelry," I said, and prepared to exit. "If the necklace belongs to any one entity, that would be his estate or the Italian Historical Society, not the Stanktar family."
"You've missed a piece of important history," she calmly said. "The necklace was sold to the Stanktar family in the late-eighteen hundreds, and then the Borghini family stole it from them a few years ago."
"Not according to Isabella Borghini," I said. "Her great grandmother was in possession of the necklace since the mid-eighteen hundreds."

Her eyes blinked haphazardly, her fingers stopped tapping. My back was against the restaurant wall and I needed an exit. She stood, turned and sat at her table with her back to me. The window behind me shattered. People screamed and jumped from their tables. Tight breezes zipped by my face. Bullets. My buyer stood and looked at me.

"Next time we meet you will bring the necklace and I will give you ten thousand U.S. currency."

I jumped up, grabbed the Iranian woman around the waist and neck, pulled her against me as a shield and started dragging her down the street. Her resistance was feudal. "There will not be a next time," I said. "Because you will be dead and your sharpshooters across the street will be dead. I will come after all of you and kill all of you, but before I do that, I'll kill your spouses and children and your parents. Nobody is safe."

Of course I was kidding but she didn't know my sense of humor.

"You are making pledges like Iktar Stanktar did," she yelled. "You cannot kill all of us."
"I can and I will."

I let her go when we were around the corner, shoved her against the brick wall, wrapped my right hand around her neck and pressed my left fist on her heart, the pressure daunting, making her exhale. If I were less moral I'd strip the hijab from around her face, but I didn't. There was desperation in her eyes and this was a desperate time.

"Never underestimate your enemy," I said. "I'm not your enemy and you don't want me as your enemy. Tell Irena Stanktar she'll never get the necklace even if she kills me."

She stayed silent and shook her head. I pushed her back around the corner toward the restaurant, and then hightailed it up the block. Good thing I wore my running Nike running shoes, and good thing one of those bullets didn't take off my right ear.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

London

On a mission last week in London the weather was overcast, drizzly, slightly wet like Isabella my contact in Zagreb. Only Isabella offered up more than drizzly weather. Two months ago I was entangled in her arms and between her legs for fifteen minutes in the lift to her apartment. This morning I had ten minutes until my contact meeting at this sidewalk café in London.

My morning coffee hot and black slithered down my throat like mud. If the horde of customers didn't camouflage me as one of them I'd stand out like a sore thumb. However much I tried to look like a tourist or even a local, at 6'2", shoulder length hair, big hands, loose jeans, intense brown eyes, and then there's my 220 pound muscularity not much could stop, always pinpointed me as a ruffian wherever I was.

He arrived. I caught his presence with peripheral vision. He stood at the edge of the sidewalk trying to tag me. Average height, average weight, average looking, the man was supposed to be German but he was a Brit. Wet black hair, nervous eye twitch, head cocked to the left. He was also an assassin, but first we had to exchange goods. I possessed a midnight supply diamond necklace worth one million. He had fifty thousand US currency in a large black leather fanny pack. If luck is on my side I'll leave with the money and head to my orphanage in Cape Town and splurge buying laptops for the children.

He sat at my table. I stood. He pulled up his fanny pack, unzipped it, opened the top and fingered the cash. Nobody watched us so I pulled the necklace from my jacket pocket and dangled it in front of his eyes. He panicked and pulled a handgun from nowhere. I threw the necklace overhead. He reached for it. I snapped the gun from his hand just as he caught the necklace.

Customers scattered. I popped him one on top of his wet head. He plopped off the chair and hit the cement. I snatched the necklace from his hand and the fanny pack off the ground just as a brunette in spiked heels tried to knee me in the groin. I kicked her legs and she toppled on her ass. She pulled a gun from nowhere and I kicked it from her hand. Sirens shrieked far off. I put the necklace back in my jacket pocket. Three waiters came at me, and as I stood and stretched out, holding two handguns they back away with arms up in submission. I stepped forward and kicked the brunette in the ribs. She doubled up and I kicked her again. How could I not because she not only tried to shoot me, she's the Spanish woman in Madrid who tried to kill me.

"Qué deseas?" What do you want I asked her.
"Para matar a usted, porque usted mató a mi padre."
"I didn't kill your father," I said in English. "I haven't killed anyone for over two years."
"You killed my father three years ago."
"What's his name?"
"Iktar Stanktar."
"You're fucking kidding me," I yelled, the sirens were getting closer.
"You're just a piece of shit. I'm Irena Stanktar and I'm going to kill you."
Her voice was a buzz of subtext in my brain.
"Your father tried to cut my heart out, see." I pulled open my shirt and showed her the large X scar across my heart. "Your father slaughtered innocent people, killing women and children and men of substance for money and power."
"You still killed my father and I'm going to kill you, asshole."
"Your father was Iranian."
"My mother was Spanish."
"Your father killed your mother."
"Because she had an affair with you."
I stalled, unable to recall having an affair with a Spanish woman. Many women have crossed my bed but not a Spanish woman.
"It takes two to have an affair and that's not a good reason to kill your spouse."
"You're a dream stealer, Mr. Crown and soon to be a dead mercenary because I'm the one who is going to kill you."
"I'm not a mercenary."
"Whatever."
"Call off your assassins, Ms. Stanktar. If you don't I'll come after you and kill your entire family."
"I'm all that's left of my family."
"Then I'll kill you."

I backed away carrying the two handguns with the necklace safely in my pocket, the fanny pack over my shoulder and an attitude that the children in my orphanage were worth more than all the assassins in the world, and one brunette woman, Ms. Stanktar seeking revenge. Best of all I was fifty thousand dollars wealthier.

If you can't walk away with respect then you can't respect anything.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Copenhagen

A forever chill was in the air. Bundled up and heated for action in Copenhagen this August, I hoped I had enough krone to pay for the pastry and coffee at the outdoor File Café in Tivoli Gardens. The second oldest amusement park in the world can't be too bad, but considering the noise and screams coming from the wooden roller coaster (Rutschebanen) and the Demon,  that features a loop and a zero-G roll during the ride time of just one-minute and forty-six seconds, but it's one-minute and forty-three seconds slower than me running away to save my life in violent situations. What I got thrilled over here is the world's second tallest carousel,  The Star Flyer that offers panoramic views of Copenhagen. I have to add that every other young woman in Copenhagen resembles Scarlett Johansson, something of which I would easily get used to.

The File Café was empty except for one Johansson clone who briskly whipped by solo in a long white overcoat, blonde hair puffed underneath a black knit cap, and who maintained tunnel vision for the other side of the park.

My phone conversation with Mr. Yen late last night didn't offer me tips as to who or what  I'm meeting this morning, and he didn't have an answer for my questions about the Athenian woman I was supposed to meet in Kiev, who turned out to be a Russian transgender. But what the hell, it doesn't matter what the sexual appetite is of an evil person when their only purpose in life is to be evil, and consequently get killed because of that evilness.

My main purpose in life is to gather enough cash to carry my orphanage in Cape Town, which houses thirty orphans, six educators and my operating partners, Sherwin Mubutu and his wife Clovis. Michelangelo's necklace has provided me with enough cash to sustain the orphanage over the past two years but the future is what worries me.

My contact arrived. She tried to sneak up behind me and wrap her arms around my neck. I stood and greeted her with a nod and she nodded back. She was Special CIA Agent Wild Winters from the U.S., one agent I didn't expect to greet me ever again after she'd last confronted me, not about the necklace but in another dimension when I was destroying my DNA sequencing discovery.

She's so sexually stimulating in a black leather mini, sky blue blouse and matching jacket, and those stilettos I imagined wrapped around my waist with her skirt wrapped up around her waist. But her brown eyes and movie star face wasn't here for a sexual encounter.

"Have a seat I suppose?" I questioned.
"No thank you, Mr. Crown. I was sent here to retrieve the necklace."
"Who sent you?"
"Before I answer I have one question for you."
I nodded and my smile broadened.
"Do you love me?"
"You'll have to answer that question yourself."
Her smile disappeared. She sat on my chair. I had her get up and take the chair opposite me.
"I suppose you love Agent Ambrosia Skye instead of me?"
I nodded affirmatively but remained silent.
"I was ordered to persuade you to give me the necklace," she said.
"If you recall the last time you tried to persuade me for something you got shot."
"You don't have a gun."
"I didn't say I would shoot you. Power hungry business people want the necklace and they'll kill anyone who stands in their way. You might be in their way."
She nodded and stood and gazed around, presumably looking for someone specific. "I believe you're the one in their way."

My meeting was compromised with the presence of Agent Winters so I stood, turned and started to walk away. Wild Winters caught up with me, grabbed my shoulders and turned me to face her. On her tiptoes she wrapped both hands behind my neck and pulled my lips into her soft puckered sponges.

Closing my eyes during the kiss would be disastrous, and I wasn't in the mood for kissing so I pushed her at arms length, and made sure no assassins were behind me. She wasn't startled with me stopping her. She turned and tried to walk in the opposite direction when I grabbed her arms, turned her around, pulled her full body onto mine and planted a wet triangulating kiss over her mouth. She squired and shivered and pushed her palms against my shoulders. She pulled back but I forcefully stopped her and snapped a quick air kiss.

"You can't do that to me, Alexander," she squeaked
"You know you love me, Agent Winters," I declared. "My actions mean everything."

She backed away hoping I'd whirl her away to my hotel bedroom, something I'd never do, something I couldn't do that with Agent Winters. But on neutral ground we'd both be head-over-heels literally in some tiny hotel room not just stripping each other down but sexually riding each other like broncobusters.
 
My cellphone rang and I pulled it from my inner pocket. "What Mr. Yen?"
"Your new meeting place is in Helsinki. I've sent you your flight and hotel arrangements. Be there on time, and by the way, give Agent Winters a kiss for me. She deserves more than a kiss from you."
"You knew about her appearance here?"
"I arranged it. She loves you Mr. Crown even if she was ordered to get the necklace from you."
"Well, thank god my life wasn't in danger today."
"I wouldn't say that yet. Get on the flight and I'll call you tomorrow with your next heist."
I stuffed my cellphone in pocket and made sure the necklace was still there.

I watched Agent Winters walk from my life through Tivoli Gardens, hoping I'd see her in Helsinki and drag her to some small neutral hotel where we could whet and satisfy our appetites.