7 Days - Chapter 30

FUSION JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010

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Ringing Popov

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With 47 millions books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s latest novels LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT both debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. His next thriller CAUGHT will be out in early spring 2010. To learn more click here...

Less than thirty yards away from Popov, Charlie Miles waited in line to get into the same Bank Night Club.

He had already stood there an hour, but that was nothing. If you don’t make a reservation for a bottle service table, the wait could be closer to three.

Charlie Miles had time.

He had been here several times before with Teddy Popov. When you came with

Teddy, there was no line, no wait, no bouncer giving you the evil eye because you weren’t a potentially underage girl. You walked straight to the best table.

Not that Miles liked it there much.

Sure, he could appreciate the sex appeal and youth of the beauties, and he could mock the male douche bags that hovered around them with insecurity so thick you could almost reach out and touch it. But for all of Miles’ vices, the fact was he loved and desired only his wife.

He and Margie had met when they were both 22, fresh out of college, working as interns on Capitol Hill. The first time he saw her, Margie was walking near the cherry blossoms on the mall. Miles took one look at her, and pow, his heart exploded in his chest.

He put his fist to his mouth and stifled his sob.

Margie.

He thought again about the day with the cherry blossoms—the first time he’d seen her—but his mind automatically took him to the last time. On that beach. Buried to her neck. In pain, scared, crying. He closed his eyes and wondered how horrible her death must have been and how he, Charlie Miles, her husband and protector, had just stood there, helpless.

Well, he wasn’t helpless now.

"You!" The bouncer finally pointed to him and opened up the velvet rope. "Have a good evening."

Miles knew that if Popov was in Vegas, he’d be at this club tonight. He’d be up on the balcony, like Caesar looking down at the peasants. There was a secret doorway up there on the right side of the club. Miles had a knife he’d picked off one of the wounded at the Mirage.

The element of surprise.

Andrei would be there too. That didn’t matter. Miles would kill them both. The key was surprise and speed. He would make his way to the door, and then nothing could stop him. He would rush up, knife in hand, and plunge it into Teddy’s neck.

He thought again about Margie.

He was inside now, at a pretty bank vault. The music pounded a beat, some new Justin Timberlake song. The dance floor was crowded. People at such clubs don’t dance as much as sway or move from one foot to the other. There was no joy, no release, just posing.

He looked up at the balcony and felt his pulse quicken.

Popov was there. Andrei too.

Some ridiculously curvy bimbo that Popov had been enjoying lately—Barbie, Tawny?—was walking toward them with a bottle of champagne. Garfield, the undercover agent, was starting for the stairs back down. Miles moved out of the way so he wouldn’t be seen. Ten seconds later, Garfield opened the door and left.

Now or never, Miles thought.

With the knife still tucked away in his waist, he made his way to the door. He checked right and left. No one looking. He grabbed the knob, turned it and ran up the stairs.

Visualize, he thought. Visualize what you’re about to do.

He pulled the knife out and into his hand. He would soon be on the top step. He would run hard for that table, knife raised. Even with a fast reaction time, he would get there in time to end that miserable bastard’s life.

For Margie.

Miles reached the top of the stairs. He turned and started to run when he felt what must have been a metal pipe smack his windpipe. His feet came out from under him. The knife fell to the ground—and so did Miles.

He looked up, dazed, gasping for air. Andrei looked down at him with a small smile. The metal pipe had been Andrei’s forearm.

"Hello, Charles," Popov said. "Back from the dead, are we?"

The balcony curtains closed. Garfield came back up the stairs. "Yo, dude, you really laid him out!"

Garfield kicked Miles in the ribs. Andrei did likewise. It had been a setup, Miles realized. They’d known he was coming. That explained how the bouncer suddenly picked him to come inside.

More kicks and blows rained down. Charlie started to feel darkness coming over him. Part of him welcomed it. Why not? Maybe it would have been better if he died that first time, dropping from the helicopter. Best case scenario, he would be with Margie. Worst case…he wouldn’t feel the pain of life without her.

Andrei took hold of his finger, bent it back just far enough. Charles buckled in pain. Andrei looked up at Garfield as though

asking for permission.

"No worries, dude. The music is on full blast."

Andrei snapped the finger like it was a dry twig.

Charles Miles howled in agony. The throbbing made his head swim.

"Where are Nick and Ashleigh Roberts?" Popov asked.

"I don’t know."

Andrei took hold of another finger.

Surrender, Miles thought. He had no power left. Miles let his entire body go slack. He wondered how long it would take for them to kill him. A while probably. They wouldn’t believe that he didn’t know—or, at least, they wouldn’t take the chance. So they would hurt him for a long, long time.

Miles didn’t care. He didn’t care about anything anymore. He had failed.

And then he saw Bambi.

Yes, that was her name. He remembered now. Not Barbie. Bambi. She stood across the room and looked to be in shock. Her eyes met his and then something happened, something that changed everything.

Bambi’s hand fluttered toward her mouth.

A simple gesture. Normal. You’re scared, you put your hand to your mouth.

Except on the hand, on her second finger, Miles saw a ring, a familiar emerald-cut diamond…

Margie’s.

Oh God no. …

Charles Miles had given that ring to his beloved, on bended knee, in front of those same cherry blossom trees. And now, here it was, on a bimbo’s finger in some Vegas nightclub, taken off her dead hand by the men who were going to torture and kill him, too, all the while laughing.

Rage unlike anything he had ever experienced consumed him.

Miles moved fast. With his finger still in Andrei’s grip, his head snapped snake-like toward the big man’s calf. Miles bit down hard, like a Rottweiler, with everything he had.

Andrei screamed and let go.

With his teeth still digging in, Miles whipped his body to the right, sweeping Garfield’s leg. The promoter went down with a thud. Miles had to move fast. He bit down even harder, feeling wetness now, ripping off a hunk of Andrei’s leg as he pulled back.

No time.

Miles jumped up and over the balcony, dropping to the dance floor. People screamed, but the dancers cushioned his fall. Miles rolled off them and sprinted to the door. He was out of the club within 15 seconds of first biting Andrei.

Miles thought again about his wife’s engagement ring.

It’s not over, Teddy, Miles thought. Not by a long shot.

 

The conditions in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule — for Americans, allies, Christians, women and more — continue to deteriorate, and the people there continue to plead that we will not forget them. On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck gave an emotional update on current evacuation efforts, including the tragic story of one girl — an American passport holder — who was not rescued in time.

"I have a pit in my stomach like I haven't had in a while. What is happening in Afghanistan is both miraculous and horrendous," Glenn began. "What's going on right now one of the most amazing things I've ever personally witnessed — the evacuation of Americans, those [Afghans] who helped us, Christians that are dying, women that are under incredible conditions. I see things that I can't show you. I see the pleadings from people who are in safe houses, 'Please, don't forget us.' I see what they're being sent by the Taliban.

"If I die today, my entire life will have been worth it for what you have helped get done, in just the last three weeks. You have saved well over 5,000 people," he continued.

Fighting back tears, Glenn added, "I ask that you pray for those in the Middle East, that are in the midst of doing work, that a Moses-style miracle will happen. ... There are several people that are in dire need of medical care. Friday, we told you — along with the congressman from Oklahoma [Rep. Markwayne Mullin] who had just returned — [about] a father and two daughters that were blue passport Americans, and a mother who had a permanent residence, a Green Card. The daughter was very ill. And they thought, that if we couldn't get her out of there, that she would lose her legs. I got a call on Saturday morning, that we were too late, that she didn't lose her legs. She lost her life, waiting. There are now two Americans, instead of three."

Glenn showered his audience with gratitude, repeating that "well over 5000" lives have already been saved because of their incredible generosity, but lamented that there are still thousands more people yet to be saved.

Watch the video clip below to hear more updates from Glenn:

.

To donate to these rescue efforts, visit NazareneFund.org or MercuryOne.org.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Megyn Kelly pulled her sons out of the private elementary school they attended after she learned that the boys were asked "weekly" if they were still sure they were boys. But that's not all that this "experimental transgender education program" taught.

Megyn joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to tell the story, which she thought had ended when the school apologized, and to talk about what's next for America as our leaders refuse to promote actual psychological support for our kids and instead "parade" transgenderism as the solution to their problems.

"When [my son] was in third grade, I found out they unleashed a three-week experimental transgender education program on these boys, with really inappropriate videos. The kids were confused. These are 8- and 9-year-olds, Glenn. They have no idea what the school is even talking about with the trans thing. They got really in-depth, with really in-your-face videos — and then parents complained. And the school did something it hasn't done in its 400-year history, which was they apologized. Even they realized they had done wrong," Megyn explained.

"But, then I said to my son a year later, so did they ever round back to the trans thing? Like, whatever happened with it? And he said ... they bring it up every week. ... [They ask] how many people here still feel confident that they're a boy? Do you still feel sure you're a boy?" she continued. "This is not support. This is not nonbullying. This is indoctrination. And it's deeply confusing to the children, and wrong."

Megyn went on to give examples of how she's seen trans ideology turn "support, nonbullying, kindness, friendship, allyship, on its head."

"The absolute surrender of the medical community to this insanity is a scourge on this nation. It's disgusting what is happening with our doctors," she added. "There are people who are legitimately transgender, or who have gender dysphoria. And for those people, we should be supportive and they should get the care that they need. But what we've done instead, is taken everyone who expresses any kind of gender confusion and said, you're trans. You're trans. And we have our psychiatrists doing this."

"It's crazy," Megyn asserted. "The fact that we're doing this so willy-nilly in the name of allyship and support, it's abusive. It's criminal."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

"Never forget" is not only a tribute to those we've lost, it's a warning that it could happen AGAIN. On "Glenn TV" Wednesday, Glenn Beck looks back 20 years ago to the modern generation's Pearl Harbor moment. A day of infamy we're STILL feeling repercussions from.

But in remembering 9/11, we need to look toward the future because the Biden administration is setting us up for the NEXT 9/11. They bungled the Afghanistan withdrawal, and now we have video of top al Qaeda commanders — who served with Osama bin Laden — returning to the country. But could America survive another terror attack?

Glenn asks former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the leader who brought America back from the brink. He tells Glenn about the moment he learned the Twin Towers were struck, the actions he took to prevent more terrorism, and if he thinks NYC could survive another attack under Mayor de Blasio's leadership.

Glenn is also joined by Rev. Johnnie Moore, author of "The Next Jihad." He warns that Biden's policies in the Middle East are Obama 2.0, and "if you thought ISIS was bad, you haven't seen anything yet. We must keep our eyes on Iran."

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.