Genre: Fiction Thriller
If your family is a target, you have to be a weapon.
When a simple home invasion turns out to be not so simple, Ron Granger must put aside his quiet rural life and return to the Central Intelligence Agency to take on international arms dealers.
Aided by his beautiful wife, Valerie, and resourceful teen daughter, Leecy, Ron must quickly decide who to believe among the calculating opportunists, shrewd criminals, and power-hungry rival agencies racing to possess the technological breakthrough that will change the face of modern warfare forever. But when Leecy is kidnapped, Ron and Val must choose between the mission and a rescue.
Facing an impossible decision, with time quickly running out, Ron only knows one thing:
When you can't trust anyone else, trust your family.
The sudden explosion of breaking glass and splintering wood reverberated inside the house like a clap of thunder. I was awake instantly, and the rush of adrenaline coursing through my veins propelled me out of the bed and into action.
“Valerie!” I yelled at my wife, who was already leaping out of the other side of the bed. “That should have set off the alarm.” She was rounding the end of our bed just as I flipped on the overhead lights and opened the door of our room. There was someone in the hallway, but the beam from a high-‐powered LED flashlight blinded my eyes before I could look away.
I heard a voice.
“Back the fuck up! Keep your hands where I can see them.”
I felt the round end of a small pistol barrel poke me in the chest before I could blink my eyes and begin to see the revolver in one hand, the flashlight in the other.
“Both of you back up, hands in the air, and stay right where you are.”
I raised my hands and backed up until I bumped against my bedside table. Then the guy swung the pistol and hit me in the face hard enough to get my attention, but not enough to hurt me.
He aimed his gun at Valerie again. “Not another step.”
My vision had recovered so I could see the intruder was wearing a black ski mask, t-‐shirt, jeans and boots. He was about five feet, seven inches, and thin, about 160 pounds, so I had a distinct size advantage, being six feet and 200 pounds.
But he had the gun, a revolver of some kind. That was actually another plus for me since the hammer wasn’t cocked. Getting it ready to fire would take all the time I needed.
He started moving the gun in my direction again when I heard the scream.
It was Leecy.
“Valerie, there must be another one of them.”
I grabbed the man’s left wrist with such force the flashlight dropped to the floor and spun away. I knocked aside his right wrist with my left hand as he cocked the gun and fired, sending a bullet into the wall over my left shoulder. Letting go of his left wrist, I turned into him with my back, grabbed his weapon with both hands, and ripped it from his grip. I made a back left-‐handed throw with the gun to Valerie, who was leaping toward the door to Leecy’s bedroom. She caught the gun in the air as I landed a back left elbow to the intruder’s head, followed by a crushing right cross to his jaw, knocking him unconscious. I left the intruder falling to the floor and raced down the hall.
“Stop right there, lady,” I heard.
“Let her go,” she replied, very calmly and softly, “and I won’t kill you.”
I reached the end of the hall just as two shots slammed into the front door behind Valerie. I ducked back inside the cover of the hallway, but Valerie didn’t move and she didn’t return fire.
“Put the gun down and send my partner out here right now,” I heard the man say, “or this will get messy.”
I walked into the foyer with my hands raised in a sign of submission, but now he had two potential problems, and they weren’t in the same place.
“Your partner is incapacitated,” Val continued quietly, “and if you don’t drop your weapon, you’ll be dead.”
“I’ll shoot her if you don’t put your hands up and send your man to bring my partner to me right now,” he countered.
Streams of moonlight filtered through the dark room from the shattered doors the two men had broken through, but I could see the man hiding behind Leecy holding a gun to her head.
“Last chance to leave here alive.”
He’d backed up as far as he could go, pulling Leecy with him to make his escape.
The bullet struck him in the center of his forehead, making a small black hole and propelling him up and back. The look on his face was that of a man realizing his mistake.
Leecy raced away from the dead man as Val dropped the weapon and stood next to me. The entire incident was over in minutes, but it didn’t feel that way to me. I was drained. I was sweating profusely and my hands were shaking. Maybe it was my age; at forty-‐six, I
wasn’t as young a man as when I started in this business, even though I didn’t think of myself as an old man. But that wasn’t all of it. Now that I had a wife and daughter, I had something to lose.
I hugged Val and Leecy. I held my wife and felt her calming presence wash over me. As we both embraced our child, I thanked whatever gods there might be that my two girls were safe.
“What the heck just happened?” Leecy asked from the safety of the hug we hadher sandwiched in.
“Home invasion,” Valerie answered, “we need to call Lester and get him out here.”
“I’ll phone the station from the bedroom,” I said, “and check on the guy back nthere while I’m at it.”
“Yeah, okay, so you say it’s a home invasion,” Leecy went on, “but don’t most invaders steal your
stuff and not try to kidnap you?”
I was back in our bedroom, stepping over the limp body of the first guy, but could still hear Leecy’s voice.
“And Mom….you…uh…just killed someone.” “I know, dear, but…”
“It was a lucky shot.”
“Lucky shot?” Leecy wasn’t satisfied, obviously. “That’s not my point.”
I was so relieved we were all okay that it hadn’t occurred to me that Leecy’s questions would have to be answered. And not just to her satisfaction: we’d have to answer similar questions by the police, and if this incident were classified as more than just a home invasion, we’d be in danger of generating a lot of unwanted attention.
I dialed our local police station and was relieved to hear the woman’s voice on the other end.
“Elizabeth. This is Ron Granger.”
“Hi, Ron. Why are you calling the police station at five minutes after four in the morning? Is everyone all right?”
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~About the Author~
John J. Davis is the author of the Granger Spy Novel series, including Blood Line and the soon to be published sequel, Bloody Truth, available Spring 2015.
Davis grew up in the Southeastern US and after university traveled extensively in North America during his career as a regional sales rep and independent broker for leaders in the transportation, shipping and pharma industries. His years sitting in lobbies and airports honed his skill for human observation and fed his talent for writing fast-‐paced, character-‐driven stories.
His inspiration for the Granger family-‐of-‐spies comes from the people he has known and his family roots in the Carolinas—the extraordinarily strong and gentle women and men, whose lives are defined by the love, trust and respect for family. Currently at work on the third Granger Spy Novel and a screenplay, Davis lives near Atlanta with his wife, daughter and two dogs.
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Musings from Michigan