This is an effort to weave a few of my past three word Wednesday stories into one. Characters featured in this piece are derived from earlier stories "The Bargaining Chip," "Meeting Savannah" and "Maid In Columbia."
“You wanted to see me?”
Ed rose from his office chair and adjusted his suit coat. His dark slicked hair and thin features ironically gave him the appearance of a Hollywood mobster. He extended a handshake to his subordinate, “Thanks Brian for coming.” Ed departed his office and gestured for Brian to walk with him. Walking alongside his stern boss was intimidating. Brian was by no means short, but still had to crane his neck upwards to acknowledge Ed. He was not surprised in the least about the various trophies and merits Ed displayed in his office from his basketball days at LSU. Ed rarely requested a one-on-one meeting, and it usually occurred in the privacy of his office. Walking the hallways only implied to Brian that Ed’s great new idea would be something rotten.
“I’m placing you on the Cortez case.”
Here we go, Brian thought. He held his reply and did his best to appear indifferent. He could feel Ed’s gaze anticipating a response. Ed continued, “Our involvement has intensified with some recent leads. We need more man power for this case. We are closing in on our target.”
Ed shushed Brian immediately, “Let’s save the specifics for behind closed doors.”
“Isn’t the CIA more equipped to deal with an international case?”
“Cortez has moles in the CIA. This case has been placed in our hands by the higher ups of the CIA themselves. We have reasonable evidence supporting the counts of kidnapping and human trafficking.”
Brian rubbed his chin, “What about Agent Arlen?”
“She is still on deployment.”
“She’s a big girl. She cannot handle this herself?”
“We cannot compromise her position Brian. We have her doing everything she can.”
“I take it I will be partnered with her then?” Brian questioned with fleeting enthusiasm.
“Which agent will I be working with then?”
“Not an agent…”
Ed halted before a closed door. Brian stared at him quizzically. “What are you trying to pull Ed?”
“We have acquired a skilled resource offering us full cooperation in the case.”
“He’s not an agent?”
Ed chuckled at the notion, “Heavens no. I believe his interests are in line with our mission.” Ed pushed the door open and entered. Brian followed. The room was a simple interrogation scene; bland walls and cold tile flooring, furnished with a small table, a pair of chairs on each side, a trash barrel and a one-way mirror. One chair was occupied with a balding middle aged man of sharp physique. His elbows rest upon the table, displaying the handcuffs on his wrists. His lazy posture became astute and his tired face ignited with a desperate urgency as Ed and Brian entered. He spoke in a begging tone, “Please, I told you I will do anything! No prison, anything but prison! I just want my daughter back! We are wasting time sitting here! I will help you, but we need to move on it!”
Ed swung himself around dramatically and placed a hand on the frantic man’s shoulder. “Brian, I would like you to meet your new partner, Raul Thomas.”