The Bourne Objective

The Bourne Objective by Robert Ludlum, Eric Van Lustbader Read Free Book Online

Book: The Bourne Objective by Robert Ludlum, Eric Van Lustbader Read Free Book Online
Authors: Robert Ludlum, Eric Van Lustbader
Tags: thriller, Suspense, adventure, Crime, Mystery, Adult
at the same time letting the AK-47 slip out of his grip.
    It was pure instinct, the Russian couldn’t help glancing over at his fallen companion. As he did so the motion of the AK-47 made him look down. That was when Bourne whipped the vine up and out. It caught the Russian around the neck, and with a powerful pull Bourne jerked him forward, right into his fist. The Russian doubled over. Bourne, dropping the vine, drove both fists down on the back of his neck.
    The Russian crumpled, and Bourne, crouched over him, rolled him onto his back. The man was still dazed, gasping and flopping like a fish on the bottom of a boat. Bourne slapped him into full consciousness, then pressed a knee into his sternum, using his full weight.
    The man stared up at him out of blue eyes. His face was unnaturally ruddy, and he could not hold back a dribble of blood from the corner of his mouth.
    “Why did Leonid send you?” Bourne said in Russian.
    The man blinked. “Who?”
    “Don’t do that.” Bourne pressed down and the man groaned. “You know perfectly well who I mean. Leonid Arkadin.”
    For a moment the Russian stared up at him, mute. Then, despite his dire circumstances, he laughed. “Is that what you think?” Tears rolled from the corners of his eyes. “That I work for that shitbag?”
    The Russian’s response was too spontaneous, too unexpected to be false. Besides, why would he lie? Bourne paused for a moment, reassessing the situation. “If not Arkadin,” he said slowly and carefully, “then who?”
    “I’m a member of the Kazanskaya.” There was no mistaking the pride in his voice; this, too, was genuine.
    “So Dimitri Maslov sent you.” Not long ago Bourne had met the head of the Kazanskaya in Moscow under unpleasant circumstances.
    “In a manner of speaking,” the Russian said. “I report to Vylacheslav Germanovich Oserov.”
    “Oserov?” Bourne had never heard of him. “Who is he?”
    “Director of operations. Vylacheslav Germanovich plans every phase of the Kazanskaya action while Maslov handles the increasingly annoying government.”
    Bourne considered for a moment. “Okay, so you report to this Oserov. Why was it funny that I thought Arkadin had sent you?”
    The Russian’s eyes blazed. “You’re as ignorant as a head of cabbage. Oserov and Arkadin hate each other’s guts.”
    “Why?”
    “Their feud goes back a long way.” He spat out some blood. “Interrogation finished?”
    “What’s the nature of their enmity?”
    The Russian grinned up at him through bloody teeth. “Get the fuck off my chest.”
    “Sure thing.” Bourne stood up, grabbed the Russian’s AK-47, and slammed the butt into the side of his head.

3

    I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN ,” Soraya said.
    Delia turned to her, a twinkle in her eye. “Known what?”
    “That an inveterate player like you would take me to the best private poker game in the district.”
    Delia laughed as Reese Williams led them down a wallpapered hallway peppered with paintings and photos of African wildlife, predominantly elephants.
    “I’ve heard about this place,” Soraya said to Williams, “but this is the first time Delia’s seen fit to bring me here.”
    “You won’t be sorry,” Williams said over her shoulder, “that I promise you.”
    They were in her Federalist brownstone off Dupont Circle. Reese Williams was the strong right arm of Police Commissioner Lester Burrows, indispensable to him in many ways, not the least through her extensive contacts within the upper echelons of DC’s politicos.
    Williams threw open the double pocket doors, revealing a library that had been converted into a gambling den, complete with a green baize table, comfortable chairs for six, and clouds of aromatic cigar smoke. As they entered the only sounds in the room were the click of chips and the barely audible flutter of a deck of cards being expertly shuffled, then dealt to the four men sitting around the table.
    Besides Burrows, Soraya recognized two senators, one

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