The Memory Agent & Fool Me Once

BOOK: The Memory Agent & Fool Me Once
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The Memory Agent

&

Fool Me Once

 

By Joany Kane

Copyright 2013 Joany Kane

 

All Rights Reserved

THE MEMORY AGENT

 

A Johnny Cash song plays on the jukebox in the corner of the dark and
dingy bar.
 
Decades old cigarette
grime covers the brand beer lights hanging on the walls and the red vinyl seat
covers are torn and tattered.
 
The
décor, much like the patrons, is in disrepair.

Haley, a trailer park tramp, shoots pool with a biker.
 
She’s got the kind of trashy good looks
that appeals to lonely guys in dive bars and it’s that time of night when she’s
starting to look awfully appealing.
 
Haley is the center of attention.

Until Claire Gray enters
 
-
wearing skin tight jeans, spiked heels, a fringe leather clingy top, and one
stunning wide band silver and turquoise bracelet.
 
All male eyes flock to Claire as she struts, with kick-ass
style, up to the bar.

“Bourbon.
 
Neat.”
 
Claire instructs the bartender.
 

“Top shelf?”

“The Eagle Rare will do.”

“Good looks and good taste.”
 
The bartender cracks while undressing Claire with his eyes.

Claire ignores the compliment and the leers her sexy outfit and gorgeous
looks have inspired.
 
Moose, a bald
brawny dude covered in tats, approaches invading Claire's space.
 
He's one big, bulky guy, so not someone
to mess with.

“Hey.”
 
He lasciviously
growls at Claire.

“I'm not here for fun and games so cork the effort.”
 
Claire retorts, shooting Moose down
before he has a chance to move up.

The bartender delivers the bourbon.
 
Claire takes a swig as Moose watches her, bemused by her tough
chick '
tude
.

“What are you here for?
 
Some
bling
maybe?”
 
He inquires.

This question interests Claire. “Possibly.”

Moose strums his fingers on the bar displaying a woman's diamond and
emerald ring on his pinky.

Claire looks at the ring, impressed.
 
“Nice.”

“Does this mean I'm your new BFF?”
 
Moose grins.

“No.
 
But that ring could
be.”

“I’ve got more buddies to choose from.”
 
Moose boasts as he opens up his jacket revealing a fistful
of jewelry protruding out of the inside pocket, the sparkle of diamonds
highlighted against the black leather.

“If you'd like to examine the available merchandise, follow me to my
office.”
 
He entices.
 
Moose bellies away from the bar and
heads for the exit.

Claire polishes off her bourbon.
 
Then follows.
 
Haley glares
at Claire knowing that Claire has outshined her in the looks, style and vibe
departments.

Outside of the bar Moose struts to the darkest area of the adjacent
alley.
 
Claire confidently follows
seemingly unconcerned by the shady dude leading her into a shadowy spot.

“An alley is your office?”
 
Claire quips.

“Not the best view, but it is private.”

“How am I supposed to examine the merchandise in the dark?”

“You're not.
 
I'm going to
examine your merchandise first.”
 
Moose snarls as he violently grabs Claire and slams her against the
brick wall, pinning her with the full force of his body.
  
Moose is intent on raping
her.
  

But Claire has different plans.
 
With a heel spike to Moose's shin, a knee to his genitals, and an elbow
to his nose Claire effortlessly
overpowers
the bulky
dude.

She twists his arm around his back nearly dislocating his shoulder as
she forces him onto the ground belly first.
 
Moose whimpers in pain.

Claire handcuffs Moose's hands behind his back.
 
She flashes her badge in his face. “You
are under arrest, Herbert.”

“The name's Moose.”
 
He
snaps.

“That's not
the one going on your mug shot.”
 
Claire deadpans.

Moose sits at a table, ‘cuffed to his chair, in an interrogation
room.
 
The florescent lights
illuminate the sweat beads on his forehead.
 
He stares at the two-way mirror as if giving the stink eye
to whomever is watching him.

Claire enters.
 
She's now
dressed in slacks and a silk blouse; the only remnant from the bar scene is the
silver and turquoise bracelet on her wrist.
  
The
smokin
' hot outfit may
be gone but Claire is still sexy and tough.

“I'm suing for
poe-leece
brutality.”
 
Moose bellows.

“Good luck with that.”
 
Claire flashes her identification. “I'm not
poe-leece
.
 
I'm FBI. Special Agent Claire Gray.”

Moose gives her the once over.
 
“The clingy top made you much more special, special agent.”

Ignoring his comment Claire puts a file on the table and takes a seat
across from Moose.
 
“You have quite
the resume, Herbert.”

“Only my mama gets to call me that.”

You don't really have much choice at the moment who calls you
what.”
 
Claire opens the file and
reviews the contents.
 
“Looks like
you're not going to have much choice for a very long time.
 
Fencing stolen merchandise, possession
of a class
A
substance, attempted rape, assault on a
law enforcement officer, violation of parole, shall I keep going?”

“I think I get the drift.
 
What do you want?”

Claire removes a photo from the file.
 
She pushes it towards Moose.
 
“Him.”

Moose looks at the face in the photo, the face of Riker Reeves, a face
with piercing eyes and a menacing smile.
 
Even in a photo Riker looks like a violent threat.

Moose mimics Claire.
 
“Good
luck with that.”

“I don't need luck, I need information.
 
Where is he?”

Moose doesn't answer.

“We know the jewels that were in your possession came from a jewelry
store he robbed.”
 
Claire continues
to Moose’s silence.
 
“In that
robbery Riker Reeves shot and killed Roberta Sherman, the store owner, right in
front of her daughter.
 
Do you know
what that makes you?”
 
Claire asks.

Moose still doesn’t answer, but he is getting twitchy.

“An accessory after the fact.
 
If we can't get Riker, we've got you.
 
On murder.
 
With such a list of achievements,
Herbert, you are going to be enjoying three
hots
and
a cot for the rest of your life.”

“I don't know where he is.
 
No one does.
 
I doubt God
himself even knows.
 
The dude is
completely off grid.”
 
Moose
unloads.

“Not good enough.” Claire responds.

“You don't get it, you don't go to Riker,
he
comes to you.”
 
Moose adds.

“Is he planning on coming to you again?”

“I
ain't
nuts.
 
I
ain't
crossing Riker.”
 
Moose growls as if making a last stand.

“I'd be more concerned about crossing me.” Claire pressures.

“The dude's a vengeful mean ass.
 
I'll be
shanked
in prison within a
friggin
' day if I say anything.”
 

“We’ll give you a new identity, put you in solitary confinement.”

Moose seems be on the fence about spilling the beans.

“When and where?” Claire commands, her voice and demeanor intimidating.

“I don't know when, other than soon, but I might know where.”
 
Moose relents.
 
He motions for Claire's pen.
 
Claire hands it to him.
 
He writes a store name and address
across the face of Riker Reeves.

Claire, without knocking, rushes into the office of FBI Deputy Director
Whitmore.

“Sure, come on in.”
 
Whitmore
quips as Claire approaches his desk.
 
Whitmore, a retired marine, is heroically handsome.
 
Tender blue eyes and dimples soften his
chiseled features and buzz cut.
 
There’s an electric energy between Claire and Whitmore that both
admirably tame while on the clock.

Claire places the photo of Riker Reeves in front of Whitmore. “We've got
him.”

Whitmore picks up the photo and reads the information written across
Riker's face. “What is this?”

“Riker's next target.
 
He's
getting cocky.
 
This store employs
a security guard.”
 
Claire informs
Whitmore.

“Good work.”
 
We'll have
Brent Langer go undercover as the store's security guard.”

Claire is about to make a stink when Whitmore raises his hand to stop
her.
 
“I know how much you love
going undercover, Claire…”

Claire, disregarding Whitmore's hand and status, makes a stink
anyway.
 
“With all due respect,
deputy director, Brent Langer is a
probie
.
 
This mission is too important and he's
too green.”

“You were green on your first undercover assignment.
 
An assignment for which you received
the medal of valor.”
 
Whitmore
points out.

“I've invested three years of my life tracking Riker Reeves.
 
He
has always
been
ten steps ahead of me
.
 
I'm not about to blow our one opportunity trusting a
probie
who hasn't proven himself.”

“He's proven himself to me, special agent.
 
That's all that matters.
 
I need you in the surveillance van.”

Claire wants to keep debating, Whitmore doesn't.
 
He shoots her a look. “My decision is
not up for debate.”

Claire, not pleased, storms out of the office.
 
She re-enters a second later, grabs the photo of Riker
Reeves from Whitmore's desk, and leaves again.
 
Whitmore shakes his head more bemused than annoyed.

 

******

 

Duke Reeves stands alone on the edge of a cliff looking out at the
Pacific Ocean.
 
He watches the
waves crash on the rocks below appreciating the sound of the breaking
surf.
 
The amber sky fades into
twilight.
 

Duke is sexy as hell.
 
Oozing virility, and with the broadest shoulders that could envelope you
in the most secure hug, he looks every bit a hot tough biker dude.
 
His hair is midnight black and wavy,
his captivating eyes chestnut brown, there’s a touch of stubble on his face,
and his kind expression reveals depth and sensitivity.

“Well, look who's here.”
 
A
man’s voice calls from the path leading up to the overlook.

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