The Egyptian

The Egyptian by Layton Green Read Free Book Online

Book: The Egyptian by Layton Green Read Free Book Online
Authors: Layton Green
Tags: thriller, adventure, Mystery
Pennsylvania and grabbed a spring roll on the way to Grand Central. He arrived at seven-thirty, and took a seat at a table within viewing distance of the cafe. His boot knife rubbed against his calf when he sat. Within seconds, if needed, he could reach a taxi, a bus, the subway, the streets, or the trains.
    At eight o’clock, two men arrived at the café who made an immediate impression on Jax. One was tall, bald, wrapped in a full-length forest green coat, and carrying a paper. He looked Arab. He entered, ordered, set the paper on the table and opened it.
    The other man sat with him; Mohammed had conditioned that he went nowhere without his bodyguard. Jax understood such a thing, and had agreed. One bodyguard didn’t worry him.
    Funny, though. Jax had never seen a five-foot-tall bodyguard.

– 7 –
     
    A fter a visual sweep, Grey chose a cocktail table at the rear of the bar, facing the crowded main room. He sat with his back against the velvet-lined wall, and ordered a Sapporo. Grey didn’t consider himself a product of any one culture, but he did identify with the Japanese. He loved their food, their art, their sense of beauty, their methodical way of life in the rural areas, the neon-soaked throb of their cities. And, of course, he loved everything about the martial arts, and Japan was the either the birthplace or the incubator of the great ones.
    The Karma Lounge was just the sort of place he’d expect Veronica to choose: modern and hip, yet still classy. A few blocks south and west of the UN. He knew Veronica would do her best to extract something from him, and he anticipated a valiant effort. But client confidentiality did not include an exception for attractive and ambitious women, especially not those who published the results of their investigations for a living.
    Grey had never felt comfortable on the Scene. He preferred the basement bars on the potholed side streets where the tourists never ventured. Where the darkened caverns and haze of cigarette smoke hid not just faces, but pasts.
    He felt at home casing the Karma Lounge for exits and potential problem types, but when that ended, and he sat with his sweating beer in front of him and his arms shifting from folded to on the table to folded again, the familiar and uncomfortable feeling of being alone in a place not meant for solitude crept over him.
    Thoughts of Nya lurked at the edges of his mind. But tonight that dagger cut more like a kitchen knife, and he resented its dullness.
    He’d arrived half an hour early on purpose, but he felt a lightening of his chest when Veronica arrived in high heels and a shimmering blue cocktail dress that set off her eyes from across the room. Half the male patrons watched her strut to Grey’s table.
    Grey noticed a hint of jasmine as she sat across from him. She ordered a pinotage, brushed her hair behind her ear and crossed her legs. Her mouth curled wide before she spoke, and he knew it was a mouth used to getting what it wanted. “Nice to see you again, Dominic Grey.”
    His greeting died on his lips and he slowly set down his beer.
    “I have an ex with the FBI. There’s no Mike Hood working for Diplomatic Security, now or ever. Funny, though, a man named Dominic Grey with your physical description was terminated a few months ago in Harare. Ex Diplomatic Security and Marine Recon. A former Special Forces hand-to-hand combat instructor, no less. After what I witnessed, I believe I have my man.”
    He started to stand, and she put a hand on his arm. “Like I said before, I don’t know or care who you work for now. I’m only interested in what you’re sniffing. I assume because you’re here that you need my help.”
    He gave her a tight-lipped smile. “You promised a name.”
    She pouted. “Time for business already? Can’t you let a girl finish her first glass of wine?”
    Grey shrugged mentally; Veronica wasn’t going to make an issue of his visit to BioGorden. “Somehow I doubt Veronica Brown,

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