Authors: Ben Coes
Tags: #Thriller, #Suspense, #Mystery
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the Navy SEAL of nine-year-old boys
I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh.
UPPER PHILLIMORE GARDENS
ONE WEEK AGO
“I don’t know.”
The three words Amit Bhutta, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, had repeated for the past day and a half, three words that Dewey listened to with a blank look on his face. It was, by his rough count, approximately the thousandth time Bhutta had said them.
He and Tacoma had been taking turns interrogating Bhutta. Two hours on, two off. They had a distinctly different style. Tacoma, the former SEAL, was less patient. Bhutta’s bloody face showed the practical implications of that impatience. Dewey assumed it was Tacoma’s youth that made him slap the Iranian around. Not that he cared. But his style was different. With Bhutta, Dewey felt that screwing with his head had a better shot at getting them the information they needed. That and not feeding or giving Bhutta anything to drink.
The interrogation room was located in the basement of Rolf Borchardt’s mansion in Kensington. The room was soundproof and windowless. At the center of the room, a steel table was bolted to the wooden floor. Behind it was a steel chair, also bolted down. The table had wet blood on it, not for the first time.
A lamp in the corner provided the only light.
Bhutta was stooped over, leaning forward, his cheek pressed against the steel table. His left eye was shut, black and blue.
The heat inside the room was cranked up. Both men were sweating, but Bhutta, with his wrists shackled behind his back—and the muzzle of Dewey’s Colt M1911 aimed at his head—was sweating a little more.
It had been a week since Dewey infiltrated Iran and stole the country’s first nuclear device. Dewey’s disguise, his overgrown beard and moustache, were gone now. His face was clean-shaven, his hair was cut to a medium length.
When Dewey asked to borrow a pair of scissors to cut it himself, Borchardt insisted on taking him to a Belgrave Road stylist. Now Dewey looked like a model, ripped from the advertising pages of
though the savageness which the professional photographers endeavored to manufacture in their models was, on Dewey, real. His unruly brown hair was combed back; his eyes were bright, cold, and blue; his large nose was sharp and aquiline, despite the fact that it had been busted on two separate occasions. Dewey didn’t think about his looks. Truth be told, he didn’t like the way he looked. He didn’t like attention. Dewey preferred blending in, remaining anonymous. Today, with no stubble on his face, a tan, and a $450 haircut, it was not hard to see why the thirty-nine-year-old American could still turn heads.
Yet, as Bhutta had learned over thirty-six hours of interrogation, there lurked something beneath the attractive veneer of the kid from Castine, Maine. It was a toughness, a coldness, an anger deep inside. Most who knew Dewey Andreas thought that anger had been forged by the long, bitter winters of his youth along the Maine coast, or on the unforgiving football fields of Boston College, or still later, during Ranger school, or in the otherworldly trials that separated warriors from mere men called 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment—Delta—along with the Navy SEALs, America’s most fearsome Special Forces soldiers.
Only Dewey knew it was none of the above, that what had hardened him was the morning he’d watched his six-year-old son die of leukemia so long ago. That was what made him, when necessary, ruthless. It was also what kept Dewey, in the innermost part of his being, just, fair, flawed, and vulnerable—human.
Even Bhutta could see the toughness now, as he stared at the American. It was the same meanness and detachment that had probably coursed in the blood of the men who so long ago had kicked the crap out of the British, a determination that, to the Iranian’s mind at least, was as defeating as anything he’d ever experienced.
“What’s his name?” asked Dewey.
“I told you, I don’t know. He’s China’s asset.”
Dewey was seated in a beat-up, torn leather club chair. He had his right leg draped over the right arm.
“What’s his name?”
“What’s his name?”
“I don’t know.”
“Ambassador Bhutta, we can do this all night.”
“I don’t know, asshole.”
“Language,” said Dewey.
“If your mother could hear you swearing, she’d be really fucking pissed.”
Bhutta’s mouth flared slightly, nearly a smile.
“Fuck you,” Bhutta whispered. “You’re not funny.”
“Then why’d you laugh?”
“I wasn’t laughing.”
“Okay, I have one for you,” said Dewey. “What do you do if an Iranian throws a pin at you?”
Bhutta paused, then finally relented.
“What?” he asked.
“Run like hell.”
“Because he’s got a grenade between his teeth.”
“You’re worse than the other guy,” whispered Bhutta, shaking his head. “That’s stupid. Just beat the shit out of me, will you?”
Dewey laughed, then pumped the trigger on his .45. The bullet struck Bhutta’s right kneecap, blowing it to shreds. Blood sprayed onto the wall. Bhutta screamed, lurching against the chair, pulling at the shackles.
“Jesus, I didn’t think it would hurt that much,” said Dewey.
Bhutta turned and looked at Dewey, a horrible grimace on his face. His knee was bleeding profusely.
I don’t know his name! How would I know China has a mole inside Mossad?
Dewey ran his fingers back through his hair.
“Here’s the deal,” said Dewey, wiping the muzzle of the gun on his jeans. “You can either tell me the name of the mole, or you can tell Menachem Dayan and those nice fellas at the madhouse. I have a feeling their jokes aren’t going to be as funny as mine. Also, they’ll kill you. After they dunk your head in water a few hundred times.”
Bhutta screamed again.
“You tell me the name, and the only one who gets hurt is the mole,” Dewey said. “You go free. We can arrange some sort of relocation program inside the United States. Some sunny state.”
Bhutta’s face was pale and drenched in sweat.
“What about my daughter?” asked Bhutta, tears streaming down his face.
“What about my knee?” asked Bhutta, in agony.
“It can go too.”
“Fuck you!” Bhutta howled. “You know what I mean.”
Dewey sat up and aimed the gun.
“No, not again. I want something in writing. An affidavit from the CIA or the Justice Department.”
“Not going to happen. If you want me to choose between shooting your kneecap off or calling some lawyer at Langley and explaining why I haven’t already dumped you off to the Israelis like I was supposed to, all I can say is, that ain’t gonna fuckin’ happen.”
“You’re a bastard.”
“Yeah, I am,” said Dewey. “But if I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it. Tell me the name of China’s spy inside Mossad.”
Dewey stood up, then chambered another round. He aimed the gun at Bhutta’s left knee.
” Bhutta screamed. He looked at Dewey. “Dillman. His name is Dillman. That’s all I know. Tell me you won’t fuck me over.”
Dewey stuck the Colt M1911 in his shoulder holster and walked to the door.
“I never break a promise.”
Dewey walked down the hallway and pulled out his cell.
“Get me Menachem Dayan,” he said into the phone as he walked upstairs.
A moment later, Dewey heard the raspy cough of Israel’s top military commander, General Menachem Dayan.
“I finished interrogating Bhutta,” Dewey said. “I know the name of China’s mole inside Mossad.”
“Who is it?” asked Dayan.
“I want your word, General,” said Dewey. “Kohl Meir gets to put the bullet in him. Then he’s buried.”
“You have my word.”
“His name’s Dillman.”
MOSSAD SPECIAL UNIT, AKA “THE MADHOUSE”
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
Dayan stepped into Fritz Lavine’s sixth-floor corner office, which overlooked the Mediterranean Sea, the U.S. embassy, and downtown Tel Aviv. Lavine was the director general of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service. He was a tall, rotund man with receding brown hair and big ruddy cheeks pockmarked with acne scars. Dressed in a white button-down shirt, sleeves rolled up, he stood behind his desk, inspecting a sheet of paper. Two men were seated in chairs in front of Lavine’s desk: Cooperman, Mossad chief of staff; and Rolber, head of clandestine operations.
All three turned as Dayan entered, slamming the door behind him.
happened?” asked Dayan as he crossed the office, his voice deep, charred by decades’ worth of cigarettes. “How many years did you three work with this son of a bitch traitor and you never suspected a goddamn thing?”
“There’ll be plenty of time for blame, Menachem,” said Lavine, icily. “Right now, we need to find this motherfucker and put a bullet in his head before he does any more damage and before he escapes.”