Read When Dead in Greece Online

Authors: L.T. Ryan

Tags: #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #International Mystery & Crime, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Crime, #Organized Crime, #Vigilante Justice, #Thrillers, #jack noble

When Dead in Greece

BOOK: When Dead in Greece
4.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

When Dead in Greece

A Jack Noble Thriller



L.T. Ryan

Copyright © 2014 by L.T. Ryan. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced in any format, by any means, electronic or otherwise, without prior consent from the copyright owner and publisher of this book. This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, places and events are the product of the author's imagination or used fictitiously. For information contact:

[email protected]


Jack Noble Series in Order

The Recruit

Noble Beginnings

A Deadly Distance

Thin Line

Noble Intentions Season One
When Dead in Greece

Noble Intentions Season Two

Noble Intentions Season Three

Never Go Home (Jack Noble)

Beyond Betrayal (Clarissa Abbot Thriller)

Noble Intentions Season Four

to join L.T. Ryan's mailing list, and receive a complimentary copy of
The Recruit: A Jack Noble Short Story

Chapter 1

THE FOLLOWING TAKES PLACE BETWEEN Noble Intentions Season One and Season Two.

Palaiochora, Greece.

Old men crowded the white-tiled terrace. They gathered at the cafe once a week for their backgammon tournament. They made bets. Talked trash. Winked at the waitress. Conned free coffee out of the establishment’s owner. A few minutes after their arrival the aroma of dark roast overtook the adjoining Libyan Sea.

This was the first time I’d managed to stand long enough to watch the initial round of matches. I’d spent my first two weeks in Palaiochora on my back, recovering from my injuries. A collapsed lung. Bruised spleen. Hairline fractures to my jaw, right ulna, both tibias. Several broken ribs to go along with broken bones in my left hand.

The majority of the injuries had been sustained during a nasty fight with my seven-foot-tall Russian cellmate in the hellhole named Black Dolphin. The guards of that fine place were kind enough to do the rest of the damage.

Then there was the manner of how I escaped. Wasn’t my own doing. But, damn, did the effects linger on.

Over the past month the physical pain had subsided. I still wasn’t myself though. Fatigue set in fast. My strength was sapped. Mental acuity was nowhere near what I was used to. I presumed these were the side effects of whatever the Russian, Alik, had slipped me to send me into that deep slumber. It was hard to be angry with the guy. He’d only done what Frank Skinner had instructed him to do. And he’d managed to get me out of that shithole prison.

Life, and death, sentence served.

Half the old guys cheered as the final match of the first round wrapped up. They stood feet wide, hands up, palms slapped, as the losers pulled bills from their wallets and handed them over to the victors. The next stop for the old men was inside to replenish their food stores and refill with caffeine before the next round began.

So I stepped into the cafe first to beat them to the counter.

Isadora Georgiou stood behind the glass display case that housed a selection of breakfast pastries this time of day. Her fingers danced playfully along the stainless top. She tucked a strand of dark curly hair behind her ear. Her full lips spread into a smile when she saw me approaching. A spotless apron covered her jeans and faded red t-shirt, cinched tight at the waist and loose around her breasts and hanging off her hips. She was the kind of woman who was beautiful without a trace of makeup. There wasn’t so much as the thread of a wrinkle on her face.

“Looking good today, Jack.” If velvet had a tone, it was her voice.

The old men settled in line behind me. Their chatter quieted to a hum.

“Not as handsome as these gentlemen, though,” I said to her.

She exaggerated a shrug with upturned hands and pouty lips. “True. You are not to blame, though. Not your fault you weren’t born Greek.”

A couple of the old guys got a chuckle out of her comments. One said something I couldn’t understand. Presumably, the comment had been inappropriate, because Isadora chided him and sent him away with a discarding wave of her hand.

“Aye, these men.” She tossed her hands into the air in mock exasperation. Smiling, she turned to me. “I know what you want, Jack. I’ll bring it to you after I take care of them.”

I retreated to a table and watched as Isadora and her uncle, Esau Rokos, handled the rush. Esau owned the place. For a while in the 80s, he split time between the States and Greece, running a chain of Greek diners in Virginia, near D.C. This cafe, as he explained it, was his retirement. Together, Esau and Isadora slung coffee, pastries, a few orders of eggs and lamb. One at a time, the old men hustled back to the terrace to eat and resume their game.

Ten minutes later, Isadora carried a steaming plate and a fresh mug of java to me. It smelled so good I could taste it before she set it down. She asked me if I needed anything else, then took a hiatus in the back office. I watched as she crossed the room, walking away from me, her hips swaying slightly. As her ass entranced me, I realized how thankful I was that the events at Black Dolphin hadn’t robbed me of my appreciation of the female form.

The door shut behind her, and I turned my attention to the food on the table. The smell of eggs fried in butter and sautéed lamb enveloped me. I dug in.

The little town had grown on me. Relaxed me. A bit quiet for my tastes. But the folks were friendly. Everyone seemed to know each other. The smells and sounds of the sea were ever-present. Reminded me a bit of where I grew up.

Alik and I weren’t sure how long we would have to stay in Greece. Only thing Frank had said was to stay put. He would send for me when he needed me. There would be no advanced notice. Until then, Alik watched over me, and I watched Isadora and the old men and the others who frequented the cafe.

Take your time, Frank,
I thought.
No rush.

“You really do look better.” Isadora walked past me and stopped on the other side of the table. I hadn’t noticed her approaching. Was I losing my edge, or was the food that good? Her perfume trailed after her. Smelled like lavender. My mother grew the herb by the dozens, and in several varieties. Couldn’t walk in the house without smelling it. Isadora folded her arms over the back of the chair and leaned toward me. The legs of the chair scraped against the tile. “Almost look like you could throw a ball around. That’s what you Americans like to do, yeah? Football and baseball and stuff.”

“Something like that.” I drained the remaining coffee from my mug and started to stand. “Anyway, coming back to life is harder than they make it look in the movies.”

She gave me an odd look, then reached out and wrapped her slender hand around my arm. Her touch felt cool.

“I can take that for you,” she said

“I need the exercise,” I said.

“Stubborn man,” she said.

“As opposed to what?” I said.

She winked and smiled and turned toward the counter. I waited a couple beats, then followed in her scented wash. She must’ve reapplied the perfume while in the office because I hadn’t noticed earlier. Or perhaps I’d been too hungry so only the smell of food filtered in. Either way, I couldn’t blame the lady for wanting to smell as nice as she looked.

Watching her round the counter, I paid little attention to the jingling as the front door opened, and hard soles slapping the tile behind me. But the person stopped too close. I glanced over and saw a guy about my age, a wide nose in the middle of a face covered with stubble. He was dressed in black trousers, a white button up, and wore dark sunglasses.

His shoulder hit the center of my back. His elbow and forearm found the tender spot on my ribs. I don’t know if he got his leg in front of mine, or if I stumbled over myself. But I went down.


First into the display case, then the floor.

The mug crashed on the tile and splintered into a hundred pieces. Ceramic shards flew in all directions. Several hit me in the face. One felt like it did a little damage.

“Get out of my damn way,” the guy said, his accent deep and thick.

Isadora spun, her arms wide. She leaned over the counter and looked down at me. “Are you OK?”

I nodded as I planted my hands on the floor and pushed my torso up. The guy had continued walking past me. He entered the office. A minute later he returned, walked past me again on his way to the front door.

Isadora vaulted over the counter and headed toward the front door, firing off a torrent of words I didn’t understand.

The man kicked the door open. The bells jingled all at once. He kept the door propped open with his right arm, glanced over his left shoulder.

He said, “

I wasn’t sure of the literal translation, but knew he called her the equivalent of a
. The insult stopped her. She looked back at me. Her face darkened and she turned to the front of the cafe again. She aimed an outstretched finger at the guy, then stormed toward him.

“Isa!” Esau’s voice filled the cafe. His thinning white hair was disheveled. One cheek was redder than the other. Blood spotted the corner of his mouth. “Stop.”

The guy at the door chuckled, said something I didn’t catch, then left.

Chapter 2

RANDOM PEOPLE ATTEMPTING TO GET the best of me was nothing new. Seemed to happen wherever I went. Maybe it was the way I looked. The confidence I exuded. Someone always wants to take down the alpha dog. But most of the time I went somewhere for a reason. A mission. A job. Whatever.

That wasn’t the case in Greece. Aside from Frank and Alik, no one knew I was here. Hell, no one else knew I was alive. Frank had even withheld the information from his superiors in Washington, D.C.

So why had this guy targeted me? Judging by the look of Esau, who now slumped over the counter, I figured I’d been in the way. He was the target. Not me.

I winced at the pain as I rose to my feet. Felt as though the guy had nailed me with a sap instead of his elbow. Might have. Damn ribs had almost healed, too.

Isadora stared at the front door like she expected it to burst open any second now. Her anger hadn’t faded. She looked more pissed now than she had before her uncle yelled out to her. After a few seconds she turned and walked toward me. The anger on her face dissipated. Her eyes and lips softened. She reached and placed her hand on my elbow. Her touch wasn’t as cool as it had been earlier.

“You OK?” I asked her.

“Me?” She stopped and looked me up and down. Reached out and touched my cheek. Her finger came away crimson. “You’re the one that took a beating.”

I shrugged, jutted my chin toward her uncle. “Don’t think I got the worst of it.”

“Uncle,” she said, brushing against me chest-to-chest as she sidestepped past. Strands of her hair caught and lingered for a second before being tugged away. “What’s going on? What did he do to you?”

Esau fought off her attempts at assisting.

“Quit being so stubborn, you old fool.” She threaded her arm around his back and eased him into a chair.

Esau grimaced as he leaned back into his seat. A tiny stream of blood trickled from his lip and down his chin. He dabbed it with a napkin, then looked at the red patch as though it were an old friend he’d nearly forgotten existed.

Isadora had retreated behind the counter. She filled a bag with ice and wrapped a towel around it. I took it over to Esau. He held it to his cheek and closed his eyes and leaned his head back.

“What happened?” I asked.

He lifted his right eyelid and watched me for a moment. “Don’t know what you mean.”

“You gonna tell me that you walked into a door next?”

Esau closed his eye and said nothing. A ragged exhale slipped from his mouth. Stagnant hot breath reached me.

“Who was that guy?” I said. “Don’t recall seeing him in here before. Thought I’d seen most of the town at one point or another.”

“He was nobody,” Esau said.

“You’re a horrible liar, old man.”

He muttered something in Greek, leaned forward, placed the blood-soiled napkin on the table. “I let you and your Russian friend stay here. I don’t ask no questions, even though it’s obvious something happened to you. Why can’t you give me that same respect?”

I raised my hands in surrender. “Just seeing if I can be of help, Esau. That’s all.”

“Well I don’t need your help.” He stood and stumbled toward the office.

I glanced toward Isadora. She watched her uncle retreat. I waited a moment for the office door to shut, then approached her.

“What’s going on here?” I said.

She sighed. “My uncle, he’s…I’m not sure how to put it.”

BOOK: When Dead in Greece
4.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Mz Mechanic by Ambrielle Kirk
Naughty Thoughts by Portia Da Costa
The Devilish Montague by Rice, Patricia
Ghost Soldiers by Michael G. Thomas
I Should Be So Lucky by Judy Astley
To Desire a Wilde by Kimberly Kaye Terry
Limpieza de sangre by Arturo Pérez-Reverte