Status: Finished

Genre: Literary Fiction



Status: Finished

Genre: Literary Fiction



Doctor Michael Barnes agrees to act as interim Director of a fertility clinic. He soon learns that a ruthless organization is selling superior sperm on the black market, sperm that originates in his Clinic.
When he attempts to disrupt, everything seems to go sideways, including the safety of not only himself but also that of his wife and their confederates.
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Doctor Michael Barnes agrees to act as interim Director of a fertility clinic. He soon learns that a ruthless organization is selling superior sperm on the black market, sperm that originates in his Clinic.
When he attempts to disrupt, everything seems to go sideways, including the safety of not only himself but also that of his wife and their confederates.

Chapter46 (v.1) - CLOSING THE RING

Author Chapter Note

The ring of life slowly begins to close. The pace picks up now the Kosovo brothers are back, the mole in the Clinic is marked for elimination, and Tom and Electra begin their secret mission.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 09, 2017

Reads: 50

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 09, 2017




A Serial

Nicholas Cochran

Chapter Forty-Six


While we were all re-meeting and re-greeting since our last get-together involving the redoubtable Mr. Langley, Nurse Williams’ stand-in buzzed me.

I made my way around smiling imbibers as well as some employees who, along with Doug, were laying waste to the buffet put on by the Green Street Market, complete with Mrs. Adriani’s homemade cherry bread. She added a couple of loaves of banana walnut bread which rapidly disappeared into smiling maws, devoured with extraordinary relish by all.

“Yes, Nancy, what is it?”

“A Mr. Langley is here, sir. His wife is a client and he wanted to thank you.”

“How marvelous. Tell him I’ll get to my door right away. Thanks, Nancy. Of course, if you can buffalo someone into relieving you, come on in yourself. Please.”

“Oh; thank you, sir.”

“Not at all.” Nancy was a student intern requested by the mother of one of Fiona’s clients. I guess who you know does apply almost everywhere and at every level.

I wound around the burgeoning mixer and opened my door to greet Bob Langley.

“Hi, Doctor Bares; just wanted to thank you for everything,” laughing, “the baby’s due in only eight months and I just know he or she will be a dynamo,” shaking my hand, “So, thanks.”

“Bob, Bob,” I couldn’t help smiling, “please come on in. I think you know everyone; almost. If not, tell me and I’ll introduce them to you.”
I took his elbow and steered him toward Miss Gray who had been the one to cry the most when she learned that Mr. and Mrs. Langley’s dreams of a superlative baby were gone on the tides bearing number 713.

“Mr. Langley,” greeted Miss Gray with fervor. I knew that her greeting was unblemished by the alcohol since she, as well as all the others were gently sipping one of the finest wines in the world.

“How are you; how’s your wife?”

Bob Langley was received into the bosom of not only Miss Graybut also that of the entire Clinic staff. Once settled in the good care of my employees and assistants, Bob Langley enjoyed telling everyone about the reactions of his friends and family to his first meeting with us and how he had poked his head in to tell me that 713 was back. All were amused. All were entertained.

Nancy buzzed me again. I thought that this call was something more serious. Just a feeling.
“Hi, again, Doctor. Someone called and left a number. Here it is. He said it was urgent.”

“Thanks Nancy, I’ll come out.”

I thanked her again after picking up the note and recognized the number of Bill Richardson’s secure line at the Angels safe-house. I could not use the  secure line in my office but had a burner phone and called him immediately.

“Mikey. I think things are spiking. Word from some of my own moles and look-outs, especially the plain clothes Angels; bet you didn’t know there were any, eh?”

“No, I didn’t Bill. How are you?”

“Fine, fine. Yeah; well we do. Those lawyers and judges; and a number of other professionals who ride with us on Sundays are superb spotters of anything hinky; know what I mean?”

“Sure do, Bill. That “something’s wrong here” twitch in your head.”

“Exacto. Well a dentist called me from the Tenderloin; says he saw a couple of guys fitting the Kosovo brothers. Sent some kid with a canvas call for a kid’s playground. Kid got pics and I’m sending them to your iPhone, okay?”

“Sure, Bill, Thanks. I ‘m using a burner phone that takes pictures, so send them here as well, okay? Here’s the number” I gave Billthe number and asked, “But wha . .”

Interrupting, “Yeah, yeah; thought you’d want to know. We’ll triple check. So. Now. The question is: should we have them taken out?”
*  *  *  

Max Wales was trying to think clearly; to choose the correct path that would not only save his daughter but also appease the boss.

Hilda answered the secure line at the Kosovo brothers’ safe-house. “They left about an hour ago. They didn’t tell me anything except that your two names you gave were their first targets; no; wait; they said they had a mole to do first. Yes. Your two were after.”

Max, frantically, “Do you have a number for them, Hilda?”

“No sir; they have burner phones but they didn’t give me the numbers,” Max thought he was having a heart attack, “but they told me they would call you just before any action; once the target or targets were in sight.”

“Thank you Hilda.” Max gave her a burner phone number, disconnected and poured another triple scotch.

He watched his pouring hand shake. An all-enveloping fear was trashing all his thoughts. He  found a number for Electra and cried over the note while he sipped his liquor.

Following a draining of his glass, he found a spark of light in his soul. The spark lighted a series of hopes, which rekindled his humanity.

He punched the numbers and waited. Voicemail. Through his cloud of liquor-laden tears, he begged her to call him immediately. He couldn’t help himself from adding, “and Tom, too. Tell him to call me.”

Before he realized the death sentence he had cobbled for himself, the disconnect was complete; the voicemail was delivered. Intact.

He poured another triple whiskey, but even his deepening sentimental stupor could not bring his fingers to press the numbers to warn his son.

However, his intracranial slide show popped up a series of engaging shots of June. He loved June like a daughter. He knew he had been overly harsh in his judgment of her. It was all his son’s fault; the FBI; the Witness Protection Program; the snitching; not June’s.

Max could not remember if he had a separate number for June. He stumbled away from his desk to a series of floor to ceiling shelves where, many years ago, he hollowed out a book holding codes for phone numbers as well as codes for other major aspects of the business; the organization.

Pulling, tumbling, slapping books from the three shelves at eye level he tried to remember which one held the secrets. A whimper escaped his rapidly sagging body. When his head dropped onto his chest at a side angle, he spied the book of secrets under three others on the floor. He fell upon the pile—literally—where he drooled, cried, and slobbered on his chin, his Armani shirt, and his books.

He eventually managed to work his fingers to open that certain book where he found dozens of scraps of paper bearing names and numbers.

The names were fictitious, meant to occupy any industrial spy or enemy of the organization, by forcing them to run down fake names and addresses. The sheets containing thousands of numbers were also mainly meaningless.

However, Max had memorized the top numbers of the individual pages that held other numbers making up a code, that then, when deciphered, would produce real names and numbers. 

Riddick Malcolm conceived and nurtured the system. Max became fascinated with it.

He extended its intricacy to a point where all but a fraction of one percent of spies or government investigators would conclude that, like the bogus names and addresses, the thousands of numbers were simply a way to force the investigators to waste time, allowing the organization to use their many options for hiding their dirty linen as well as their dirty money.

Drunk though he might be, Maxwell Wales was capable of operating at a high level provided his blood alcohol reading remained below point three. His mind quickly clicked into code mode. 

June had a private secure satellite phone number to be used to warn Tarquin of dangers while they were abroad in dangerous lands. He pushed the numbers. June answered. “Yes? Max; is that you?”

“June. You are in danger. The boss has set the brothers—the Kosovo duo—on you and your husband. They could be getting near you at any moment. Don’t tell me where you are. That will give you added safety, I promise.” Max paused to stem the insistent eruption of tears. “Junebug, I may never see you again. I’m probably next of the list. But I love you. Be careful; and do what you have to do. I heard about the FBI. So did the boss. There’s a mole. But you can get in the program. Just be sure to tell them there’s a mole. All I know is that she's in the communications division. Good luck.”

June turned to tell Tarquin about the call. He must have sensed immediate danger. He was already fitting a holster while he pushed another pistol in his belt.

They silently gathered their essentials.

Within three minutes they were in the back of their house, then turning a secret panel that revealed a tunnel to a garage two blocks away. They ran along the tunnel while the Kosovo brothers stealthily approached the back door.

Tarquin’s security patrol was hit with silenced shots. The brothers entered the empty house where they searched for minutes on all four floors; every room; every closet.

Meanwhile, Tarquin and June careened toward the FBI office while Tarquin connected with Agent Timber.

“They have the hit team after us. We got a tip. We’re coming in.”

*  *  *

Electra met Tom five blocks from the Wales compound. The streets in the Atherton area were empty of all but an occasional car, or a nanny with a stroller, or a dog walker.

Electra led the way, keeping under the shade of towering overarching trees, sidling beside high hedges, moving quickly from one pool of deep shade to another.

Tom followed, marveling at the athletic balance and grace of Ellie as she traversed the first four blocks, bringing them to the last long estate before that of her Grandparents.

“Tom,” whispering, “I think I should ease around this last area. I know it quite well from my childhood. There are places where I can pause and be convinced that no one is seeing me. This hour is perfect. All of these people are older. Most take naps. My Grandmother does when she’s not trying to fleece the other poor dears of a few bucks, while she inhales their bridge mix yummies and candies. 

"I’ll go on to that huge trunk, there,” pointing to an enormous eucalyptus, "we can both linger behind that while we check out any activity around the back of the mansion. And it is a mansion. You’ll see. What a waste. All that space . . . anyway, when it’s clear, you can come around from behind the tree and go along almost under that hedge,” pointing,” see, there ,the one that’s so much darker green than the others.”
“I see it,” whispered Tom.

“Good. Okay. Here goes.” Electra glided through the shadow of the trees forming a canopy over the silent street. This was the land of no sidewalks. And, at the moment, no strollers, runners, or cars.

Almost immediately, Ellie was waving back to Tom to join her. He followed the exact same route as Ellie, arriving beside her without even a hint of labored breathing.

“My, but you are light on your feet; and not even puffing. Hmmm. That should translate very well to our bedroom.” She kissed him on the cheek while issuing a lewd chuckle. Tom smiled.


End of Chapter Forty-Six

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