This is the third part in a continuing story in which I have borrowed some characters and their story from a (never before published) short story I wrote several years ago. If you are interested, you can click the tab called Short Story: My Brother's Son. We pick up the story with Charlie and Alex making their way from Philly to San Francisco via commercial air travel.
"I guess we're kind of spoiled," complained Alex as they wound their way through security at the airport. "I can't believe our jet was unavailable."
"I know what you mean," agreed Charlie. "I can't remember the last tine I flew commercial. Things have changed a lot over the years. Security...excuse me, ma'am. Like I was saying - oh never mind, we're next."
Having successfully navigated security they found their gate and couple of seats and waited. Alex wasn't long on patience and kept fidgeting with his phone. Charlie pulled out a newspaper and sipped a cup of cooling coffee.
Flight 1650 for San Francisco now boarding. "That's us," Charlie grinned.
As they found their seats, Charlie was seated in 22B and Alex got 22C across the aisle. "I hope nobody has this seat, so I can get a few more winks," blinked Alex.
"Excuse me, is that 22A?" Alex looked up from his phone with a frown which magically disappeared as he looked into the bluest eyes he had ever seen.
"Why yes I am...I mean it is. Here allow me," and he steps out into the aisle to let her in. "Let me help you with your bag."
"Thank you! I am finding everyone here so friendly."
Since this was a non-stop flight, he knew she was going to San Francisco as well.
"Hi, my name is Alex."
"My name is Nadja," replied the beautiful blond seated next to him.
And so the conversation continued for the next five and a half hours, and he totally forgot about taking a nap. Charlie, on the other hand, put on headphones and quickly fell asleep to some quiet jazz.
By the time the plane landed, Alex was totally smitten with his lovely seatmate, who was visiting the U.S. from Switzerland.
"Charlie, this is Nadja. She's visiting her American cousins here in San Francisco,." said Alex, beaming.
"It's nice to meet you Nadja. I hope you enjoy your visit. San Francisco is a beautiful city. Now if you will please excuse us, Alex and I need to pick up our rental," stated Charlie, refreshed after his cross-country nap.
"I'll call you if I have any free time," said Alex with a sideways glance at Charlie. "Maybe we can get together for a drink."
"I'd like that," smiled the girl with the bluest eyes he'd ever seen.
Charlie wisely refrained from mentioning Jenna. Alex could manage his own personal life...or not.
They arrive at the San Francisco office to be briefed by Agent Rick Morrison. "Glad to see you. You two are really getting around. I hear you just did a week in Philly on this case, and all that hard work got you dragged out here. It seems your perp has his hand in a lot of pots. The most dangerous one being the Slashers. They are a gang that originated in LA about ten years ago and have spread like a wildfire in August. The gang leader, Enrique Hernandez, a.k.a. Crusher, is a major player in the drug trade."
Charlie has that focused look again, "As I recall, the Slashers and the Skulls mixed it up a few years back. Adam Richards and his nephew Josh are friends of mine. Adam's brother was murdered, we suspect, by one of the Slashers. Adam and Josh were up there at the time trying to get some answers. Long story short, there was trouble between the gangs, and Adam was forced to kill one of them who was holding Josh hostage. It all ended well enough for them but no arrest was made. We're hoping this ties in and that case will finally be solved."
Rick took all this in and said "Well, it looks like we've got the right team on this. Maybe we can finally pull the plug on their enterprise, and hopefully bring closure to the family of the man they murdered."
Alex, who had been listening impatiently, agrees, "I certainly hope so. I know we have a guy in custody, and should feel pretty good considering how far-reaching this operation is, but he is still just small potatoes." It just feels like we have been chasing our tails this past week."
"I know," Charlie agreed, "but catching the bad guys isn't all action and glory, it is a lot of behind the scenes grunt work. As my mom always says...hurry and wait. Unlike kidnappings and missing persons, we have time to set up a good take down. The more of these vermin we can get off the streets, the better."
"Rick, how many agents do you have available? Given the multiple factions we're dealing with, there will be no lone wolves. Everyone works in pairs."
"I've got half a dozen agents skilled in gang and drug cases, plus a tactical team if needed," replied Rick. I'll pair them up, brief them on the case and have them report to you, Charlie."
"Thanks Rick! I'll give Adam a call to see if he's heard anything else that might help."
"Okay Alex, it's time to rock and roll."
Other Adventures of Charlie and Alex:
The Last Laugh
The Morning After
The Last Laugh
The Morning After
If you enjoyed this post, please leave your calling card in the comment section or click the visitors box below to let me know you stopped by.