Furious Jones and the Assassin’s Secret (4 page)

BOOK: Furious Jones and the Assassin’s Secret
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“Hey, Bud, you know I'm here for you. I'll do whatever you need.”

“I know.” My grandpa sighed.

Miller continued, “I'll stay on through the night shift and take up a position out front. I'll have Moralesse circling the block all night. You two get some rest, we've got it covered.” Lieutenant Miller said as he turned around and walked out the back door.

I watched my grandpa walk over and lock the back door behind Miller.

“What's going on, Grandpa?”

“I don't know, Furious. And I don't want to scare you, but I figured we might as well be cautious. It can't hurt to have those guys out front. You'll be safe here.”

“Safe from what? What's going on?”

My grandpa sighed. “Come over here and sit,” he said, motioning toward the kitchen table. “I need to sit.”

We sat down at the kitchen table and I could see Miller through the window. He was sitting in his dimly lit squad car in the driveway.

“Why did you say it was that Douglas guy's fault that my mom is dead?”

“He wasn't directly responsible,” my grandpa said, “but I wouldn't say he's innocent, either.”

“What do you mean? Someone is hunting down our family, aren't they?” I asked.

My grandpa looked shocked, and I was sure he was about to tell me that everything would be okay. That no one was hunting us.

But he didn't.

He looked me in the eyes and said, “Yes.”


felt cold hearing the
words come from his lips.

“But why?” I begged my grandpa for answers. But he just stared at the kitchen floor. “Are we in danger, Grandpa?”

My grandpa looked at me a long time saying nothing.

in danger?” I asked.

“I think so,” he finally said. “I think we both are. And I have no idea who to trust.”

He rubbed his face with his giant hands. “Oh, Furious. I'm so sorry.”

“Sorry? About what?”

My grandpa started to weep silently. “This is so far out of control. Your dad had a plan to keep you safe,” he said with
his face still in his hands. “He had a plan to get justice for your mom's death.”

“What? What plan? What are you talking about?”

He rubbed his face one last time and turned toward me. His cheeks and eyes were red. “Your mom had a secret,” he said. “She never wanted you to hear any of this. Heck, she never really told me much.”

“What kind of secret?”

“Your dad came to me after the funeral. He told me about some bad guys who were after your mom. Your dad tried to help her. He reached out to some of his friends, powerful people. But they didn't help him.”

“What people? What bad guys? What—” I suddenly realized I was yelling. I stopped and sat back in my chair.

“Please, Grandpa,” I begged. “Please tell me what's going on.”

“I guess it all started shortly after your mom got out of college,” he said.

“Back in Minnesota,” I offered.

“Right. Your dad got a job writing for a Saint Paul newspaper right after college, and your mom decided to stay with him in Minnesota. They got married shortly after graduation.”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Well, your mom had been a fantastic student. She majored in economics and Italian in school,” my grandpa said.

“Yeah, I know.”

My grandpa continued, “But what you don't know is shortly after your mom and dad were married, your mom was approached by Director Douglas.”

“The CIA guy?” I asked.

“Yes. I guess Douglas had just been promoted to director of the international organized crime unit. He was putting together a new team of recruits and, somehow, he'd come across your mom.”

“My mom? In the CIA?” I asked out loud. “What would the CIA want with Mom?”

“Well, Douglas was putting a team together to go after this really big Italian mob organization. I think her intelligence and knowledge of Italy and the language made her a natural for the job.”

“My mom was in the CIA?”

“Yes,” my grandpa replied.

“This is a joke, right? There is no way Mom was in the CIA. She was, like, some sort of accountant.”

My grandpa didn't respond, but his expression didn't change. He was serious!

“That's like a page out of my dad's books,” I said.

“Oh,” my grandpa moaned, “you've got no idea.”

“And you knew that she worked for the CIA? You knew this the entire time?” I asked.

“Yes, I knew. But she didn't talk about it much. I guess she couldn't really.”

“So she lied to me this whole time? She lied about being an accountant? You all lied to me? I went around the world with her, thinking she was an accountant, but she was actually some sort of spy?”

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Pictures of my mom flashed through my head. My mom leaving for work with her bags. My mom on the phone with work. With the CIA?

“What did she do for the CIA?” I asked. “I mean, if she wasn't an accountant? You said she was going after some Italian mob?”

My grandpa moaned again and rubbed his face hard this time.


“I don't know any of this to be true. Like I said, your mom didn't tell me anything. She hadn't mentioned work in years. I just know what your dad told me.”

“What did my dad tell you?”

“I wouldn't want you to think differently about—”

“What did he tell you?” I demanded.

“He said your mother was a CIA assassin.”


y grandpa went on to
tell me how, according to my dad, my mom was trained at some clandestine CIA assassin training facility called The Farm. And how she was assigned to monitor and kill key members in the Salvatore crime syndicate. My grandpa said the Salvatore crime syndicate was one of the world's largest criminal organizations and, according to my dad, my mom was starting to make an impact on the organization one leader at a time.

I just sat motionless. What do you say when you find out your mom was an assassin? What do you say when you discover your entire life was a lie—a lie that, apparently, everyone else was in on but you?

“How long had my dad known about this?” I asked.

“From the beginning,” my grandpa said. “You might not like the next part, Furious,” he warned.

Was he kidding? What could he tell me that would be more shocking than
Hey, did you know your mom was a highly trained government assassin?

“Your dad,” my grandpa continued. “A few years after joining the newspaper, he decided he would try to write books.”

“I know,” I said. “He published the first Carson Kidd book just before they got divorced.”

My grandpa sat back in his chair and looked down at the floor. “That book caused the divorce.”

“I know,” I said. “My mom hated the fame and attention. She said my dad changed after the book came out.”

“Yes, he did,” my grandpa agreed. “But your dad wrote the book about your mom. The first book is almost word for word stories your mom had told your dad about the training at The Farm and her first mission.”


“Really,” my grandpa said. “Your dad cried as he told me the story. Every Carson Kidd book had apparently been based on your mom's missions in their first six years of marriage.”

“Are you saying that my mom was actually Carson Kidd?” I asked in disbelief.

My grandpa nodded. “Yes, I guess so.”

“And my dad was a fraud?”

“No, Furious. Your dad wrote those books. They were just based on your mom's adventures.”

“But they were my mom's stories. Not my dad's. And he had no right to tell them. Obviously, the fame and money meant more to him than his marriage. Or his own son.”

My grandpa said nothing.

“Unbelievable. No wonder my mom hated those books and my dad's fame.”

“Like I said, he regretted it in the end. And he was trying to do the right thing. Your dad loved you and your mom very much, and you need to know that he died trying to do the right thing.”

“The right thing? Like what? Promoting yet another book? He was in town tonight promoting his latest book, Grandpa.”

“You knew he was in town?”

“I went into the city to see him.” Tears started to fall into my lap. “I saw him.”

My grandpa didn't say anything.

“This guy just stood up in the crowd and started shooting.”

The tears started falling faster, and my grandpa let out a heavy breath.

“That's what Douglas was talking about. He knew you were there tonight,” my grandpa said.


“This book was different, Furious,” my grandpa said.
“Your dad's new book was his way of making up for everything. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of the details, but I know your mom was really nervous about going to Galena. And I know she reached out to your dad before she left.”

“I know. I gave her his latest cell phone number. I was shocked when she asked me for it. As far as I know, she had never called him. I knew something was wrong.”

“Well, apparently they were sending her to Galena to go after some ultra-bad guy. The worst of the worst. Douglas had already sent in an agent who had failed. But, according to your dad, that agent might have actually been working for the Salvatores, too.”

“Apparently my dad didn't try too hard to help. He didn't save her.”

“Furious, I know this is hard to believe, but your dad loved your mom very much. I agree, he was selfish and made some bad—” My grandpa paused. “Some horrible decisions. But your mom did reach out to him, and he was trying to help her before she was killed. They had been in constant communication, and your dad went to Galena after your mom was killed. He made it his life's mission to investigate her murder himself.”

“That's where he went after the funeral? That was the place that was too dangerous to take me? The reason he couldn't be with me?”

“Yeah,” my grandpa said. “He felt awful about being away
from you. He truly did. But we both agreed it was safer for you to stay with me.”

“Did he find anything?”

“Yeah, he did. Your dad used to be an amazing investigative journalist, you know?”

“Yeah, Mom told me. What did he find?”

“I don't know. I just know that he said the corruption was widespread. He said the Salvatore syndicate were known for their ability to penetrate every level of government. He had no idea where to turn or whom to trust. He reached out to some of his powerful friends, but no one would help him. Several of his buddies turned on him, even high up in the FBI and CIA. It seemed everyone was either working for or afraid of the Salvatores. So he decided to do what he had always done. He told your mom's story through Carson Kidd.”

“The new book,” I said, sitting up. “
Double Crossed
. It's about my mom's death?”

“Yes. He said the politicians couldn't ignore him once your mom's story was out in the open. He figured it was also the best way to keep you safe. His new book is the true story of your mom's death, the CIA corruption, and whatever the Salvatores were up to in Galena. He planned to go public with it in a big way next week. The entire world would know about your mom and the activities of the Salvatore
crime syndicate.”

“And they still will, right?” I asked.

My grandpa didn't respond.

“We can tell the world,” I said. “We can tell them the story is real.”

“I hope so,” my grandpa answered.


was exhausted by the
time I got up to my room. I'd been living in my grandpa's guest bedroom for seven months. It was the longest I'd ever stayed in one place. But it had always felt temporary. I felt like a guest. I hadn't put anything on the walls or really settled in at all. I'd figured I would be moving to my dad's place in Minnesota at some point. It felt funny to walk into the room now, with the knowledge that this would be my home for the next several years. It looked so bare. I had some clothes in the closet and my phone. That was it. That was the extent of my worldly possessions.

I lay on the bed and searched the Internet for information on Carson Kidd, hoping to find out more about this
entirely new side to my mom. A side I'd never known. And thanks to my dad's desire for fame and fortune, I was now able to read all about her day job. I was reading reviews of my dad's previous book,
Miss Fire
, when I must have dozed off. I don't know how long I was asleep, but it didn't take me long to wake up. I heard the floor creak and opened my eyes to the silhouette of a shotgun on my ceiling.

“Whoa!” My heart raced as I sat up in the bed.

“Shhh,” my grandpa whispered. “Stay down.”

My eyes tried to focus as I pushed the hair away from them. It took a few seconds to grasp what was going on, and then I started to make out the shape of my grandpa standing next to my window with a shotgun over his shoulder.

“What's going on?” I whispered.

“It's Miller. He's not picking up the radio. None of them are.”

“Is his car still out there?” I asked as I walked toward him. My heart was pounding hard. It felt like it would come right through my chest. I was sure my grandpa could hear it.

“I can't tell. It looks like someone might be in the car.”

“Maybe they all fell asleep,” I suggested.

“Well, that wouldn't be the first time,” my grandpa said as he started walking toward the door.

“What are you doing?”

“I'm going out there,” he said. “You stay put and stay away from the window.”

“What if someone is out there? What if those Salvatore people are here?”

BOOK: Furious Jones and the Assassin’s Secret
11.78Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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