Status: Finished

Genre: Action and Adventure



Status: Finished

Genre: Action and Adventure



Marsha and Grant discover a trove of diamonds under a Cosmati Workshop floor tile in the cathedral of Frappiana, Italy.
They replace the diamonds before a bogus priest knocks them out. Someone guns down the bogus priest.
Grant and Marsha live to escape but once again bump into illicit diamonds.
And away we go . . .
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Marsha and Grant discover a trove of diamonds under a Cosmati Workshop floor tile in the cathedral of Frappiana, Italy.
They replace the diamonds before a bogus priest knocks them out. Someone guns down the bogus priest.
Grant and Marsha live to escape but once again bump into illicit diamonds.
And away we go . . .

Chapter6 (v.1) - ESCAPE

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 25, 2017

Reads: 37

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 25, 2017





A Short Story in Chapters


Nicholas Cochran


Chapter Six


In the hall outside Grant’s room, Marsha and Grant methodically dressed in front of each other without embarrassment. Grant’s clothes from the espresso room were wearable except for his ripped coat. He quickly discarded the faux doc’s clothes—which were far too tight anyway—to don his own. 

He immediately felt better. He could not restrain himself from coping a glance at Marsha’s breasts while she put on her bra. He silently thanked whomever for dropping Marsha into his path in Florence. 

He vowed to reassure her that he was not some angered doped-up orangutan who loved firing Glock shots past people’s ears for the fun of it. For the moment, they had priorities.

The first one was to have a last go at the trio for information. Next, they needed a vehicle. Lastly, they wanted a location, an address, for the operation in Naples—or Venice.

“Ready, honey?”

"Yes. There.” She wiggled into her pullover while she threw the remains of her coat on top of Grant’s.

“All right. Let’s squeeze the remaining drops of knowledge from our merry trio, gather up some supplies, find a car, and set sail for Venice.”

Marsha continued to be cowed by Grant’s overbearing attitude. She thought it would be better to let him do the talking. At least for now.

“I’m all ready, Grant.”

“Good.” He turned and walked the short length down the hall to the door of his former ‘cell’.

“Okay you three. We need more answers.” He picked up the Glock and fired another shot into the ceiling. Both men began to whimper. The woman was a font of courageous silence. Neither man could add anything.

“All right.” Another Glock shot hit the ceiling, “the next one fractures your shoulder; who wants to be first?”

By this time, both men were covered in drying blood, whimpering, and shaking their heads in the negative.

As Grant cocked the gun once more, the faux-doc screamed at the woman in Italian. The gist was that she should tell what she knew or all of them would be killed. 

Despite the woman’s courage and defiance, she managed to mouth the words. Venice; and an address that Marsha wrote down.

“And now for Naples.” Grant moved beside her and let her smell the strong stench of the recently fired gun. “More, please;Naples.”

She gave in to her wounds, her betrayal, and her fear.

Marsha wrote down the information for Naples with Umberto Gianni topping her list.

“Very good,” congratulated Grant. He stood to survey the bloody scene, “thank you for your cooperation. Now we’ll get you trussed up and be on our way. Marsha?”

“Yes, Grant.”

“Let’s tie all three together but I’ll arrange the last portions of the rope to keep them immobilized for a long time.”
The two immediately dragged the three into a sitting position. Marsha and Grant wound the rope around the three.

“There; that’s good,” remarked Grant, “now I’ll make this virtually escape proof.”

He deftly fashioned the rope in a manner to restrict the three from making much more than the slightest of movements. Anything greater by one, would begin to strangle the other two.

“There we go,” smiled Grant, “And here are the keys to your cars. You will need to get to a real hospital rather soon I should think. But you’ll live. I hope.”

With this soul-withering statement, Grant turned and nodded to Marsha to precede him through his former-cell door and down the hall toward the coffee room.

Marsha remained silent.

“Okay, Marsha, let’s gather anything edible or drinkable and put it in one of these trash bags.”

He held out a large black plastic bag which Marsha began to fill with pastries, cookies, some fruit, a few cartons of milk, some Cokes, and three leftover profiteroles. She performed her task in silence while she thought about the best words to use to confront—or at lest question—Grant about so many things that were slamming around inside her head in a chaotic way that was giving her a migraine.

“Okay. Here we go.” Grant grabbed the bag of supplies and went to a door with several locks dotting its front.

“Let’s try this one” He pulled. It was locked. He quickly twisted bolt levers as he attempted to open the door after every maneuver. 

Finally, the door swung open to reveal a small garden surrounded on three sides by a high wall. A straight clean paved path ended at a large wooden door set between two ornate wooden posts.

The lovers heard the sound of an occasional passing car while they ran to the garden gate. It opened very easily after Grant slid one bolt.

Then they were there. Back in the Italian world. An unpresumptuous street revealed middle-class houses on both sides. Most had walls of dissimilar heights. All revealed gates.

Grant quickly looked left and right. Two cars sat parked on the dusty grass between the sidewalk and the paved road. Grant had memorized the information dangling from the two key rings before he threw them on the floor beside the trussed trio.

“We’ll take this one, Marsha,” pointing to the red Alfa Romeo. He moved to the side and with the previously-pocketed Swiss Army knife, he swiftly sprang the lock and opened the door.

“Here, Marsha, get in.”
Marsha wordlessly sat down as Grant threw their supplies into the back seat of their new ride.

He came around to the driver’s side, leaned in, found the correct wires, touched them, and the engine growled.

“There we go. Now, off to Venice and that first address. You have the book, right?”

“Yes,” answered Marsha in a desultory tone. She attached her seatbelt and allowed her head to hang somewhat over her chest.

“Grant?” asked Marsha as Grant found a gear and pulled way from their dusty parking spot, before peeling a smidgen of rubber as they gained speed.

“Yes, my darling, what is it?”

Marsha hesitated. Grant looked sideways at her. She remained silent for a moment while looking straight before her, ignoring everything from the street to the weather –even her lover.

“Well,” she decided, “all that back there; the guns and the special knots and things to keep them tied up . . . and banging their heads, breaking bones, shooting a woman in the knees, shooting into the ceiling . . . shooting at all, even,” pausing while she took a deep breath, “who are you?”

Grant smiled as he fully comprehended Marsha’s surprise, her confusion, and, he supposed, her fear. Of him.

“My darling Marsha,” softly, caressingly, “I’m Grant. Your Grant.”

Marsha looked at her hands in her lap. She frowned before making a decision. After a moment her frown cleared. She turned to him.

“You aren’t one of those ex-Special Forces guys, are you; you  know, Ranger; a SEAL; like that, are you?”

Grant smiled and laughed simultaneously as he pulled to the side of the road. 

He shut off the engine, unlocked his seat belt, and lunged at Marsha, where he kissed her with passion while hugging her tightly.

Upon releasing his lover, he beamed at her as he shook his head in the negative.

“No, my darling Marsha, no; I’m not,” pulling her to him once more and kissing her several times, long and deep.

When he pulled back, Grant reached into the back seat and brought their bag of supplies onto his lap.

“Let’s eat and have a Coke, okay? and I’ll tell you why you were so right in suspecting I was one of those guys.

"Then I’ll tell you where I did learn a lot of those things that all the guys from boot camp to very deep Black Ops, deep net guys; even Level Eight shadows, learn. And maybe a little more.”

Marsha’s face lost its creases, her succulent lips returned to their perfect pout position, while her eyes took up flash dancing again.

“Okay, Mr. Mysterious, shoot.” She gave a soft laugh.

“Okay, Sergeant Major, Ma’am: here’s the skinny.

"My parents saw the adventurous side of me by the time I was three. I ran away from Sunday School and managed to wangle a free soda out of the drugstore four blocks away. 

"After that, it was summer camp, two week canoe trips into the wild, sports, dares, broken bones.

"Mom took the initiative only because Dad didn’t want to appear pushy or domineering. He’s a four star Marine General. 

"So, they packed me off to the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas. All year and all summer, nothing but military with all the latest techniques and martial arts. 

"From there, I qualified for a scholarship to VMI, where the military overruled all other courses but did not prevent me from learning archaeology as well as journalism.

"The journalism was a bit of a stretch but I found some side work around the area. But that’s not your question, is it honey.” Grant took her hands and squeezed them.


End of Chapter Six

© Copyright 2017 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.


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