KERRI'S WAR (Volume 3 of The King Trilogy)

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Chapter 23

New York. Monday, October 15.

Kerri lifted her receiver and dialed the private telephone number of Wilhelm Lentz, an officer with the Geneva headquarters of Liechtensteinische Comco AG. Lentz answered on the first ring.

“Hello, Wilhelm. It’s Kerri King. I’m calling from New York.”

“Ah yes, Miss King. Very nice to hear from you. To what do I owe the pleasure of your call?”

“I’m planning to visit our Geneva office on Friday of this week. I was hoping you could spare me some time later in that day, after three P.M.”

“Most definitely. Three, P.M. would be satisfactory?”

“Thank you. I’ll call you if there’s any change.”

“May I ask what this is about?”

“Yes, I’m planning a major change to the account Miles Dennis administered for my benefit. It’s extremely important that I discuss this with you in person.”

“Very well, Miss King. I will look forward to your visit.”

The entire call was recorded.

Houston, Tuesday, October 16.

Jeffery Wheeler, Enerco’s senior vice-president, entered Ken Layton’s office. “We’ve got something on the Iacardi problem,” he said, displaying a confident smirk. He placed a digital recorder on Layton’s desk, pressed the play button, and waited for his reaction. Both listened in silence to the playback of Kerri’s conversation with Wilhelm Lentz. Wheeler pressed the stop button when the playback ended.

Layton, obviously intrigued, stared at Wheeler. “Tell me what you think we’ve got here,”

“Okay, but first let me play the recording of what Peter Tavaris said on September twenty-second.”

“Never mind the recording. I know what Tavaris said. Just tell me what you think we’ve got.”

“I think Kerri King’s hiding a shit load of money, and it’s all in an account with Liechtensteinische Comco, in Geneva, Switzerland. I also think we should know a lot more about it.”

“Why do you think she’s hiding it?”

“I don’t know, but she obviously is. Why else would it be in Switzerland? If you listened to the recording, she told Lentz that she wanted to make a major change, in person. She would’ve done it over the phone if she didn’t have something to hide.”

Layton tightened his lips and nodded. “I can’t fault your logic. Did you remove your tap?”

Wheeler smiled. “Mengalli did it with Tavaris’s help. He sanitized the place, clean as a whistle.”

“Good. What do you know about Lentz?”

“Run of the mill middle aged Swiss banker. Married. Two teenaged girls. Lives in Geneva. No criminal record.”

Layton stood and walked to his floor to ceiling windows. He spoke without turning. “I want Iacardi,” he said, then turned. “Let me be more succinct. We need Iacardi. To get it, we need to adjust Kerri King’s attitude... I think we should wait until she has her little pow wow with Lentz, then let the boys from Belarus have a little chat with him.”

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