Friday, November 01, 2013

New John Rain Novel excerpts




Chapter 1

   John Rain scanned the people in the bar area, especially the black-haired beauty in a far corner. While he had never seen her inside his favorite jazz bar near downtown Honolulu before, she immediately caught his stare and matched his intensity. Like a live doll that could match the mysterious smile of the girl in the famous Mona Lisa painting, she captured his imagination for several seconds, making one of those once in a life-time connections. Who is she?
   As her focus slowly diverted to the jazz band performing on the other side of the bar, he remembered other women from his past who possessed such mastery of deception–those in Vietnam. Will my nightmares ever end?    
   While he understood why his commanders needed to secure an area, and how many women and children had been swept into the war, they were still children, often as young as ten or twelve. These women were often given no choice in joining the fight.
   There had been so many times he and others involved in the Vietnam conflict had no choice but to defend themselves. Many times he knew their methods were excessive. Damn, if I can only get their screaming out of my head. As he imagined another attack coming from out of nowhere, he tightened his muscles, prepared to kill another Vietnamese soldier in hand-to-hand combat. Snapping the neck of so many during his tour of duty is what got him noticed as a natural-born killer by the CIA.
   Over the years he had built a reputation, a specialty as such, by establishing himself as the specialist who could kill and make it look like the target had died from natural causes. While many thought he acted cold-blooded and without morals of any kind, he did have a few rules that he now operated by. No children. No women. And he only dealt with principals. His targets had to be the main person involved, and not just someone caught in the middle. The last rule had occasionally been bent by someone lying to him, and this deception was one of the reasons he wanted to retire. So far, he had kept the first two rules.
   As he approached his favorite table, which was half hidden in a dark corner, the band hit a crescendo while finishing their number, a welcoming relief from his tortured thoughts, and which allowed him to return to the present. This corner spot was perfect for him since he could see the main entrance, have his back covered, and as a bonus, it offered him a rear exit on the other side of the restrooms if needed.
   He mentally memorized everyone in the bar, comparing those inside with past experiences. When one of the three waitresses opened the door to the kitchen he saw the two normal cooks slaving away on meals. One was a large older guy of Hawaiian decent, and the other one a small guy who looked to be a full-bred Japanese man.
      The bartender, Barry, smiled at him as he wiped the countertop in front of him. While John had watched Barry’s skills in making various potent drinks for the Japanese clientele that came to this bar, it was Barry’s knowledge of great scotch that kept John returning to this jazz bar that wasn’t far from Waikiki Beach. As a bonus, the jazz band was always perfect for his nights devoted to simply passing the time away.
   John had tried to disappear off the intelligence community’s radar many times before, and each time he learned more on how they had tracked him. This time he hoped he had succeeded, but he always kept his defenses in place, never knowing for sure.
   Even after passing the ripe old age of sixty, he had found a quiet place to keep his martial arts ability in top shape. He did his best to keep his skills in check, not wanting anyone to mention it on any social media site. Still, he enjoyed the occasional competition coming from younger men here and there.
   After surveying the area one more time, he removed his hat and sunglasses. Since the face recognition software used by many agencies had steadily advanced, he had no choice but to hide his image as he wandered the streets of Honolulu. This often meant that he had to change hats and sunglasses, both of which had to be large enough to hide his features.
   This bar specialized in catering to the local late-night crowds, usually the ones who worked at other places that closed earlier. Along with this crowd came those vacationers that simply couldn’t call it a night. He usually managed to leave before the big crowds came in. This cozy, almost vacant time was perfect for him.
   As expected, Barry soon walked over to John, but addressed him by his new name in Hawaii–Andy. The waitresses knew he wanted to deal directly with the bartender. Since this cost them a good tip, they weren’t particularly happy about the relationship either. Still, he had never hit on any of them. It was best this way.
   “Hello, Barry. Have you ever received the shipment we have been waiting for?”
   “Oh, yes! The owner hated spending this much for a case of Scotch, but I convinced him I could sell at least one case of this 21 year old, Port Wood Balvenie.”
   “Good for you, Barry!”
   Barry glanced over his shoulder at the beauty at the bar. “She came in several days ago, and has been back every day. She always asked for the best scotch I have, and served specifically over two rocks.”
   “I would introduce you to her, but she’s never given me her name, and she’s always paid in cash.” Barry watched another couple walk in and sit at the bar. “Duty calls. I assume you want a double of Balvenie?”
   “You know I do, thanks.”
   As Barry walked away, John had time to study the girl of interest at the bar. Her hair was a dark shimmering black, but not cut in a contemporary Japanese style, it had too much flair. While this could be a show of wealth, of celebrity, she also might be in the entertainment industry.
   While she definitely had Japanese features, she appeared to be like him, a mixed bag of nationalities. Her European-American eyes were the most noticeable. This was a problem he had had earlier in his life while trying to blend into Tokyo. Still, he had never regretted undertaking various plastic surgery procedures.
   The most pronounced Japanese detail he couldn’t ignore was her posture. While this might necessarily be in her genes, this characteristic definitely was a noticeable trait of being raised under Japanese customs. Mannerism was always the trait that was the hardest to hide.
   Her straight back also caused her to accent one trait many Japanese girls don’t have much of–breasts. Still, it was too early to see if they were naturally firm, or she was wearing a great support bra. The thoughts of discovering this for himself offered a brief erotic moment.
   Her waist looked slender, another characteristic of Japanese women. Finally, he glanced to her feet, which were dainty, and snuggled into short heels. While her history would be very interesting in exploring, he quickly attempted to guess her age. His best guess was that she was around early thirties, making her young enough to be his daughter, if he had ever married like most men. Still, many of his female companions in the past were much younger than him.
   As he continued with his captivated analysis of her, he briefly smiled as Barry returned with his drink. “This is what you asked for, so drink up, my friend.”




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