A Hard Way to Heaven

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Chapter 13

Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Thaddeus Kirche looked up from his desk as his leggy red-headed secretary strutted towards him. He leaned back in his chair, admiring the sway of her hips. "Greta run away with me."

She laughed softly and came around his desk, spreading out a folder of papers. Thaddeus, sat back in his chair, took the opportunity to caress her back, the curve of her ass. Greta didn't flinch, continued to spread out the papers, and picked up a pen, turned, leaned against the desk. "And who would see to my children."

Thaddeus caressed her knee, up under her skirt. "We take them with us."

She leaned forward and cupped his chin, "You don't like children remember."

"Ah, we hire a nanny."

"How long would it last Thad. It would be good and then sour. And then I couldn't work here anymore. I like our arrangement, don't spoil it."

His words were cut off by his phone, "You are right of course. Leave this with me."

That was her cue to leave him alone, spying his private line lit up. Thaddeus waited till Greta shut the door to punch the line for the call. "Kirche." He listened to the voice on the other end of the line, not saying a word. His lips lifted in a grin, and then hung up after a few minutes. He swiveled in his chair and stood, walked to the floor to ceiling windows and looked out over the expansive grounds of his estate. In the distance he could see the grand roof of the family's Schloss. No one really lived there any more, all for show. The new modern building was nestled along a mile long stretch of the lake. He much preferred this new architecture than the old. Clean lines of effectiveness and efficiency.

Their plan was on schedule, and he could tick off several more steps. He would need to make a few calls, but that could wait till after he examined the paper work Greta had left for him. He laughed, thinking on the end game. If they could execute the remainder of the plan, they would finally bring down their hated enemy, and put this feud to bed. If not, it would be just a matter of time for the Macleod dynasty would be severely crippled. They had too great a hand to fail.


Port Lewis, NY

Syn's eyes flew open at the sound of Gregor's angry voice. She slammed her hand down on the clock's snooze button, realizing it was only 7am. She growled and buried her face into the pillows. "Go. Away!"

"No, I willna go away until you pluck me from this hell hole, move me to somewhere I dinna hae to listen to that woman whing again."

"Gregor! It's only 7am. I got in at midnight and hit the bed at 2am after talking to Dad. Canna I not sleep a bit more." Suddenly the sound of bagpipes filled the air, and the lights started flickering off and on. "Gregor, you asked for it." She got up, booted up her mini laptop up and cracked open a file. Her hand hovered over the return button. "Your tackle (code for shut down all action, akin to freezing his manhood, the bit any man values most) is about to become verra cold."

"You wouldna dare." He snarled.

"I would, if you dinna shut the fuck up." A slight giggle interrupted their tirade, and Syn growled back, "Marjorie dinna think I willna put you out into the deep freeze with just a bikini on (strip down code to bare minimum) as well. Tread carefully!" The room went quiet. "Now you two, leave me alone for another two hours and I promise to separate you by noonish."

The room stayed silent for several heart beats. Gregor's reply came out in a long, drawn out hiss. "Fine!"

"And before you go, drop the blackout shades." The shades descended. She closed the file carefully and buried herself back under the goose down and soft sheets, sighing. This was not going to be her morning. The bedroom door creaked open, and the smell of cafe mocha, scrambled eggs, and bacon filled the room. "Good morning sweetheart. I thought I heard you up."

She bit back a sarcastic retort, "Dad, it is 7am."

"Time to be getting up."

"Does 2am remind you of anything?"

Gordon Macdonald's deep chuckle filled her ears, "Five hours is enough sleep. I brought you some coffee, breakfast. Hit the shower, Peter wants to see you by 930am."

The shades went up and soft Celtic music started playing. She groaned at them this time, sitting up, pulling the covers down. "And you couldna have told me this last night?"

"Mmm well you're up now. Get a move on." Macdonald leaned in and kissed her cheek after setting the tray on a side table. His eyes lingered on her gold shield. "Seems I'm not the only one that has secrets."

"We will talk about that later when I've had my coffee, breakfast and a hot shower."

"Alright love. I will see you in an hour." He slipped out of Syn's bedroom, casting her a sympathetic smile. She heard the shower go on, the music changed to something more upbeat. "Gregor...just stop...the music. I will get to you when I get to you." She rolled out of bed, took a healthy sip of the coffee, and walked to the bathroom, shedding her shorts, underwear and tee-shirt. She set the cup on the sink and stepped under the shower head, letting the hot water cascade down over her body. She hit the wall control panel and soon six shower heads were oscillating on different speeds and power. Syn sighed in contentment. This was going to be a long day.

She escaped out of the house without much interference from Gregor or Marge. She wasn't looking forward to seeing her old flame, Sheriff Peter Johnson. She concealed her gun, her badge, and PI license in her purse, not ready to exert some empowerment. She didn't know how much her presence back in Port Lewis would threaten Peter's territorial instincts. She was glad he had left a note that their meeting would take place on neutral territory at the public library in a conference room. She wasn't ready to put in a public appearance at the local police station.

Syn arrived first and made a bee line to the room. She could feel the stares of the other patrons, some familiar, some not. Mrs. Haukney, the old librarian, looked at her with a sourpuss purse on her lips and frown. She was about to open her mouth and speak, but Syn ducked into the stacks. Word would get out soon enough that Syn had returned if that old bottled blue had anything to do about it. She threaded her way through the shelves of books near the door to the conference room, her eyes darting around to see if Peter had slipped into the room.

Peter Johnson, high school buddy, former boyfriend and lover, sat on the edge of the table and looked at her. He had bulked up since their high school days even though he was the former quarterback with a chance at university scholarship and the pros. His brown hair was still thick and a little longer than regulations. His blue eyes crinkled at Syn saying nothing, just looked. They had not parted on the best of terms and it appeared he still harbored some ill feelings for the girl who went off to the big city. The girl who was supposed to marry the high school quarterback, raise a parcel of kids, and live happily with a white picket fence.

Syn recalled the days after his proposal. She had flown faster from Port Lewis, leaving burnt streaks of rubber on the main drag. She had turned him down flat. To salt the wound, she had become a successful detective, earning her gold shield in record time. Peter was old school through and through, and she was brave new world, proving oil and vinegar did not mix.

She smiled shyly, "Hello Peter."

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