Blood Games – Episode 25

This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show: 

THE REST OF THE drive passed slowly, with Kris making several more attempts to talk me out of my plan.

“You don’t have to come,” I said on the third try. “It’s better if you don’t.”

I wished I would have thought to look through Gary’s wallet when I’d searched him and the woman back in the alley. If I’d have known about his keycard, I would have gagged the two of them and made sure they wouldn’t be found for hours.

It was too little too late now, but I had an opportunity I could not afford to pass up, if we hurried and made it to the DataRader headquarters before they were found.

“You can’t do this alone and I’m all the help you have right now,” Kris said. “Unless you think Shannon is going to help.” There was something strange in her voice when she mentioned Shannon, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.

Her words rubbed me raw, so I took several seconds to calm down before responding. She didn’t know Shannon was the last person I wanted to think about right now, it wasn’t her fault.

“I can handle myself,” I said through clenched teeth.

“That’s part of the problem. You’re out of control. How many people died at Reed’s place? Or was all that blood from men who walked away?” She took my silence as an affirmation that her guess was close to the mark. “You need to stop before you do something you won’t be able to live with. I know you, Jake. This isn’t you.”

I thought of how I’d almost killed Gary Walker back at the alley. I’d been prepared to do it. It was because the woman had caved that he still had his life. Kris’ words were having more of an effect on me than I would have liked. She must have taken my lack of response as evidence she was getting through to me because she continued talking. 

“All the people you killed, they deserved it, right? That’s what you’re telling yourself. Are you certain they’re part of Reed’s supposed criminal enterprise? How do you know they weren’t just his security guards?”

“You’ve seen the videos–” I began, but she cut me off.


Blood Games – Episode 25 was originally published on DAN DECKER

Blood Games – Episode 24

This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show: 

I ALMOST DROVE RIGHT past the mall and kept going. It would have been better for Kris if I did. She was way too involved as it was. But I thought of the kids, and that was what kept me going forward. 

I needed additional resources if I was going to track them down. Besides, I needed to ditch the car anyway because the drone had recorded everything that had happened and was following me. I’d turned my driver’s side mirror up to spot it but so far hadn’t had any luck.

I drove around the mall one time before I pulled into a parking garage. I’d never forgive myself if something happened to Kris. But I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t rescue the children. It was simple math, two lives against one.

My burner phone beeped as I pulled into the underground parking. Once I had parked, I saw I’d received a text from a number I didn’t recognize. It just said one word. Sorry.

I assumed it was Shannon texting me from a phone Diggon knew nothing about. Even though she’d made it obvious what she was doing, I didn’t know what to make of her apology.

The wound was too fresh. I supposed I should have been grateful she’d warned me but I wasn’t in the mood to think that way. Maybe once things had calmed down, I’d feel differently, but I was still trying to work my way out of the mess that she’d created for me.

Not bothering to respond, I left my car window unrolled and placed the keys on the dashboard. With a little luck, somebody would swipe the vehicle and throw DataRader off my scent for a few hours.

Blood Games – Episode 24 was originally published on DAN DECKER

Blood Games – Episode 23

This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show: 

I CAME TO A halt as soon as I turned. It was a dead end. Muttering a curse, I flipped around and saw the car had pulled up right outside the alleyway and that the front doors were opening. 

Rushing towards the driver I grabbed him by the arm, yanking him all the way out and ramming him up against the car while putting my pistol to the side of his head.

“Back away if you want him to live,” I said to the woman getting out of the other side of the car. 

Because it was Diggon chasing me, I had expected to recognize them from my time with Black Brick, but I did not.

The man I held at gunpoint looked familiar, but I was having a difficult time placing him. He hadn’t worked at Black Brick, I was certain of that, but I couldn’t say how I knew him.

“Back off,” the man said to the woman with a frown on his face that didn’t show much fear. He looked me in the eyes. “It doesn’t have to go this way.”

“Who are you? What do you want?”

“Easy,” said the dark-haired woman as she moved to come around from the other side of the car, thinking she was gaining something by getting closer to me. She had her hand at her side as if it rested on a holstered pistol. “Just calm down.” Her voice sounded familiar, so I took a closer look while jabbing my gun into the man’s neck.

“You’re the woman who almost chased me down.” She’d had blonde hair back then. The darker color suited her far better. The blonde had looked fake, and while she’d been attractive before, she was now stunning. It was a struggle to take my eyes off her even while she glared at me.

Blood Games – Episode 23 was originally published on DAN DECKER

Blood Games – Episode 22

This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show: 

IT WASN’T UNTIL AFTER I’d walked several blocks that I realized I’d never done anything about the wound on my arm. I hadn’t even thought about the possibility I might have left blood in the Suburban.

Cursing, I punched the brick wall of a store I was passing, which of course made things worse. After examining my hand, I determined I was lucky to not have broken any fingers. Several of my knuckles were bleeding, but that was a small price to pay for such a loss of control.

I was on edge and I knew it.

I wasn’t prone to such outbursts, but this was the second time in just a few minutes. Perhaps it was a good thing I hadn’t returned to Reed’s place, who knows what other mistakes I might have made? The pain helped cut through the thickness I felt in my mind.

Maybe I had at least slowed down the police by wiping away my fingerprints, but the possibility of leaving behind DNA was a serious oversight.

Growling to myself I put it from my mind as I ducked into a McDonald’s bathroom. My makeup was almost gone, so I washed off what little was left and went into a stall so I could work on my new disguise without interruption.

My smartphone rang. It was Kris, but I didn’t answer. Perhaps I would never take a call from her again. That would be for the best. She and Maxine might think they have things together, but when Maxine had split from her former partner, any degree of operational competence had gone with him.

It would be reckless for me to allow them to be part of this. Without me pushing they would remain on the outside of the action. And that was where they belonged.

Blood Games – Episode 22 was originally published on DAN DECKER

Blood Games – Episode 20

This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:  

I BIT MY LIP to keep from swearing aloud as I looked at my watch. It was time to cut my losses and get out of here.

How long before Reed’s men showed up? Five minutes, maybe ten?

This place would soon be crawling with them. It was frustrating to be so close but not have the time necessary to get to them.

The silence stretched on while I considered my options and adjusted to my disappointment.

I was so close.

The door would stop my bullets. The metal my knife had scraped along the inside wall reminded me of sheet metal, something I could shoot through. The kids were probably with him, so I couldn’t risk it.

Reed had taken a foolish risk by taunting me. If it hadn’t been for that, I would have checked this room, seen it was empty, assumed the doors were closets, and gone on my way. Maybe I would have stopped if I’d have noticed the deadbolt, but I wouldn’t have given it much time, assuming it was a locked utility closet.

I bit my lip, trying to figure out if this was something he’d done on a whim, thinking I wouldn’t find him so fast or if he had another angle. Probably the latter, considering how he’d been acting for the children.

I ground my teeth as I wished for the briefest opportunity to shoot him. One moment with him in my sights and this would all be over.

This terrible game of his—how else could he think of it? —had cost too much blood. I wasn’t so far from my roots to think so much death was a trivial thing.

Even I still had some limits. If not so much in what I did but in my ways of perceiving a situation.

Blood Games – Episode 20 was originally published on DAN DECKER

Blood Games – Episode 18

This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:  

THINGS WERE QUIET ON the other side, but I came down expecting to shoot almost as soon as I landed, thinking for sure there would be guards.

As I spun with my pistol in hand, looking for trouble, I spotted what I thought was a camera and was halfway to it before I realized it was a burned-out light. After closer examination, I was left wondering why I’d thought it was a security camera because it looked nothing like one.

Shaking my head while taking a deep breath to calm my nerves, I ducked behind a tree while I waited for Kris to leave. I hadn’t given her an opportunity to argue and had made sure to not look back. She was left either doing as I suggested or getting out herself, something she was unlikely to do.

Despite her boldness, it was apparent she wasn’t trained for this sort of thing. Clandestine meetups with a set agenda in a controlled situation, she could handle. But walking into an unknown situation was not something she should do.

I’d thought her more experienced when I’d requested she accompany me. I should have taken Maxine up on her offer to send me with her more seasoned person. I’d made some assumptions about Kris and had learned the truth the hard way.

That’s why I’d put her in a position where she was forced to leave. I didn’t want to risk her life if I could avoid it. If I continued to accept Maxine’s help, I would try to keep Kris back at base where she belonged.

She wouldn’t see it that way, but she also hadn’t realized the risk she’d taken by parking so close to the DataRader headquarters. What other mistakes would she make?

Blood Games – Episode 18 was originally published on DAN DECKER

Blood Games – Episode 17

This week’s episode features a chapter from Blood Games, Jake Ramsey Book #3, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:  

KRIS PULLED INTO THE spot I had indicated. I pushed my seat back as far as it went, tilting it so I had a lower profile and taking advantage of the rear tinted windows. The casual passerby shouldn’t notice anything.  

When Kris saw me staring at her, she muttered something under her breath while she rolled her eyes.

“My paranoia has served me well,” I said as she adjusted her seat.

“No wonder none of your friends came with you from Black Brick.”

The comment might have stung at another time, but it didn’t faze me. I was doing what I needed to increase our chances of not getting noticed. She could complain all she wanted if she followed suit.

I wasn’t looking for friends. I wanted to find a way to stop evil men from kidnapping children. I could worry about having a personal life once I’d taken care of that.

We sat in silence for a long time. I stopped checking my watch as time seemed to slow. After what I was convinced had been an hour and a half I checked my watch and found less than fifteen minutes had gone by. We still had over three hours before dawn.

I shook my head, trying to keep awake. The position of my seat put my neck at a weird angle while I watched the main exit.

“You should get some sleep,” I said, suggesting it because I wanted my monocular back. When Kris didn’t respond, I noticed she’d already nodded off. I took it from where it had fallen on her lap. It was good somebody could get some sleep. Perhaps it would put her in a better mood.

The monocular revealed what I’d already known with my naked eye. Nothing was happening at the exit.

Knowing that it was a risk, but also knowing I needed to stay awake, I pulled out my phone and turned the brightness down so low it was hard to read. It at least gave me something break up the monotony.

I positioned my phone so that if any car left the garage, I would notice the movement. Doing so increased the risk that somebody might see the screen of my phone but I didn’t care. The chance of that happening was small.

Just as Kris had claimed my video was published on every news site I checked. Most of the videos were posted along with the recent fake video. I plugged in my earbuds and watched my video. I’d done a fair job of it. My breathing had been regular and I’d been careful to keep my face lit by the overhead streetlight.

I watched the fake video again and shuddered at the details they’d got right. It was uncanny, almost as if they had recorded me right beforehand. Not only was my hair the exact right length and color, it even looked as though I wore the same clothes in both videos.

Blood Games – Episode 17 was originally published on DAN DECKER