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Black Brick – Chapter Nineteen

This week’s episode features Chapter Nineteen of Black Brick. Here is an excerpt from the show:

IN THE PARKING GARAGE of the hotel, Cherry gave us a final admonition to be careful before getting into her black Chevy Suburban. Like the rest of us, she was gasping for breath. We’d covered the distance between our room and the garage in such a fast time that I doubted that we’d ever be welcomed back. I couldn’t remember how many people we had to dodge around, but it hadn’t been a few.  

By the look in Cherry’s eyes and the way her lips were tightened, I could tell that the guilt I’d used to convince her to come had turned to anger. Whether she was mad at me or the situation, I didn’t know. I just hoped she’d be able to channel it to good use.

Tom took the wheel of the Dodge Charger while I jumped into the rear passenger seat. I hadn’t even closed the door by the time he’d started the engine and was moving. I slammed it shut as he sped away. I’d chosen the rear because I’d have access to the windows on either side.

Pulling up a rectangular case from between the seats, I checked the rifle that we kept in back. It was an FN F2000. The bullpup design would make it an ideal weapon for the type of close quarter situation we were likely to run into.

I loaded a magazine and chambered a round before setting it on the seat. I wouldn’t bring it up until we were closer to our quarry and knew more about the situation. I didn’t want some concerned citizen calling the police and reporting men with guns speeding through traffic.

The sun hit our windshield as Tom pulled out into the morning traffic and I squinted from the glare. The traffic was heavy, but hopefully, it wouldn’t keep us from catching up. I could just make out Gurley’s van turning the corner several blocks down. I caught my breath and restrained myself from telling Tom to hurry.

It took us forty-five minutes to catch up to Gurley’s black van. It had been a tense drive, and we’d lost sight of it several times, only to find it again as if by luck.

Black Brick – Chapter Nineteen was originally published on DAN DECKER

Black Brick – Chapter Eighteen

This week’s episode features Chapter Eighteen of Black Brick. Here is an excerpt from the show:

Cherry let me into their hotel room a short time later. It was cramped for three people, but the windows were facing the direction we needed. It smelled of cigarettes, and the bedspread had to have been twenty years old. There was a television, but it looked like one of the first ones ever made. The walls had probably been white once upon a time but were now varying shades of yellow and covered in grime.

Tom was sitting at a small table and monitoring the video cameras we’d set up earlier. The bed was covered with guns, computers, and cameras.

Cherry had rings underneath her eyes, but she greeted me with a tight smile. Shannon’s kidnapping had been hard on her for multiple reasons, not the least of which was Martinez. Beltran was cracking the whip, and everybody was running on less sleep.

“Did it work?” I asked, glad to have the hotel door shut behind me. I’d been looking over my shoulder since the club. Cole Gurley was part of the Fifteenth Street gang which was known for its creative brutality. It wasn’t uncommon for them to mutilate their victims.

We didn’t know for certain that they were connected with Martinez, but security camera video from that night had shown Gurley and a few others entering the headquarters a few minutes before Martinez and Payne.

In addition to keeping an eye on this place, there was a bookstore in a mall several blocks from here that had a connection to the gang. We didn’t know what the connection was, but members of the gang frequented the place. Beltran had set up surveillance over there as well.

My actions at the club were intended to flush Gurley out. I was hoping to either prove that he was working with Martinez or that he was unrelated.

“Yep,” Cherry said. “The bug picked up Gurley calling Martinez, and he’s on his way back to their lair now. Any hiccups?”

“None.” I didn’t tell her about Kris and the problem she posed. I knew that my contact with her was something that Beltran would expect me to report, but I didn’t think that Kris would cause me any trouble.

Black Brick – Chapter Eighteen was originally published on DAN DECKER

Black Brick – Chapter Seventeen

This week’s episode features Chapter Seventeen of Black Brick. Here is an excerpt from the show:

THE FLASHING STROBE LIGHTS and pulsing music were enough to deaden my senses. The club was teeming with people, and the air was hot and smelled of body odor, perfume, and sweat. I scanned the crowd looking for my target and hoped that I hadn’t missed him.

“Want to buy me a drink?” asked a voice from beside me.

It was a surprise that I was able to hear her shouting over the beat of the music. I wondered how long it would take my hearing to return to normal after I left as I focused on the woman who had spoken. A flash of light revealed her face and somewhere in the back of my mind I realized that she was pretty but I didn’t let the realization surface as I smiled my best smile and looked over her shoulder.

Where was my target?

Shannon had been missing for a week. I hadn’t been able to sleep and was more tired than I had ever been. I was afraid of making a mistake that could cost Shannon her life. The last thing I needed right now was somebody making it even harder to concentrate.

“A drink?” the woman repeated as she moved in closer and dragged her hand down my chest. The bruise from where I’d been shot was gone, but I still felt a small tingle of pain when she touched it. Maybe it was just my imagination.

“Sure, whatever.” The response had been automatic before I could stop it. The light flashed on her face again, and I realized I knew her. The name came to me slowly. The last week had been long and painful, everything had become a blur.

It was Kris, the girl who always stared at me during class and had stalked me in the library.

“Forget the drink,” Kris suggested. “Let’s get outta here.”

“Where to?” It just popped out because I had spotted my target.

Cole Gurley. He was a tall man and stood a head above the other people in the crowd. For all his height, he was still thin. Despite his lanky appearance, rumor had it that he could be vicious.

Kris grabbed my hand. “Anywhere, just not here.”

I barely heard her as I watched Gurley move towards a doorway on the far side of the room. I didn’t have time for Kris and pushed her hand away with a smile.

“Maybe another time, I gotta run.” I moved towards my target before she could answer. The flashes of light and thunderous reverberations of the music fell into the background as I approached Gurley.

Black Brick – Chapter Seventeen was originally published on DAN DECKER

Black Brick – Chapter Sixteen

This week’s episode features Chapter Sixteen of Black Brick. Here is an excerpt from the show:

BEFORE THE LAST LIGHT of day was gone, I checked my phone for any new email or text messages and put it away. The windows of our black Chevy Suburban were tinted, but I didn’t want to take the chance that the light from the screen would draw attention to our vehicle. There was a small chance of that happening because we were parked on a busy street outside of the building that used to be Diggon’s headquarters, but it was best to be cautious.

The new Diggon headquarters was several miles away and had just been completed. I hadn’t been into the building, but there had been a lot of publicity associated with its completion. Not only did it tower above all the other buildings in the city, but it also had a fully fledged zoo and aquarium on the premises.

The old building in front of us was still being used by Diggon but it was slowly getting phased out.

I thought about reaching out to Vargo’s surveillance team to see if Vargo was in the area but decided against it. They wouldn’t appreciate me bothering them while they were on the job. With the events of the last couple of days, I’d been too busy to keep tabs on the information they’d been gathering about him. I made a mental note to review the logs when we returned to Black Brick later tonight.

I mulled over Vargo’s strange words the night that the Kurt family had been killed. They made more sense now that we knew Martinez was behind things. Vargo’s denial of involvement to Janessa may have been genuine.

I wish we knew what Vargo and Andrews had hired Payne to do because it might help us understand why Martinez had recruited Payne out from underneath them. We couldn’t find any evidence from the files we’d taken from Kurt’s home.  

Black Brick – Chapter Sixteen was originally published on DAN DECKER