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 largest American gas pipeline shut down on Friday due to what experts told the media was the "most dramatic cyberattack on U.S. soil to date." Investigators are looking at a group believed to be based in Russia known as "DarkSide."

It's time our leaders in the White House take national security seriously because this isn't the first time enemies of the U.S. — namely Russia and China — have used the cyber world to attack our nation and weaken our infrastructure, Glenn Beck argued on the radio program. Between Russia, China, and Iran — which President Joe Biden is now trying to make another nuclear deal with — it looks like the "Axis powers" of a "digital World War III" are lining up

"The journalists seem to care about the price of gasoline for the first time. Is it because they actually care? Or is it because they're trying not to focus on the fact that this was an attack most likely from Russia? And it isn't the first cyberattack from Russia of the year ... maybe we should be paying attention, to Vladimir Putin," Glenn began.

"And by the way, the pipeline going down, that's not the only [cyberattack] happening now," he added later. "Thirty thousand U.S. victims, small businesses and local governments, were hacked by cyber espionage units backed by the Chinese government in January of this year."

"There is an 'Axis power.' It is Russia and China. And, by the way, who is also aligned with Russia and China? Iran. Wow, this is weird," Glenn surmised. "But don't worry about that. Just leave your dog tags on another table. Let's not talk about China. Let's not talk about who actually crashed the jugular of our oil pipelines. I don't want war. But I got news for you ... this Biden administration is doing the job for our enemies."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:


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.

Canadian clinical psychologist, author, and cultural firebrand Jordan Peterson is no stranger to cancel culture. Ever since he was thrust into the culture war, he has faced one controversy after another, stirred up by the woke elites who hate him with a passion. But although they have tried to make him pay for speaking out so fearlessly against their message, he refuses to back down and he believes you should, too. He joined "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week to explain why.

"There is a growth of the reluctant hero in all stories ... so many people think that they don't have what it takes, that they're not the hero," Glenn said to Peterson. "How do you get people to recognize and then have the courage to stand? You've taken a beating ... why is it worth it and how do you get there?"

"I think it's worth it because I believe the alternative is worse ... to stay silent when you have something to say," Peterson replied. "You don't know what it is within you that requires your voice, right, because you feel like 'I have something to say.' Where does that come from exactly, that feeling that you have something to say?

"Maybe you're disgruntled at work and you're choking on your own bile because the situation is not just in your estimation," he continued. "You're dying to say something, but you won't. Well, you'll die if you don't say it. Maybe it's a death by a thousand cuts. I don't like deferred punishment. I'd rather take it now and keep the future clean, which is why I encourage people to have the fights now, not to hide things in the fog for later. They grow and metastasize. It's better to confront what you need to confront when it's small and you have some possibility of victory."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation, or find the full podcast with Jordan Peterson here:

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.

Top officials at the Federal Reserve are doing what they can to sugar coat what's ahead for our economy, telling Americans we may hit a "transitory" period of inflation that will settle by 2022. But Bank of America is saying something different. The bank's latest earnings call commentary warned "at the very least" transitory hyperinflation is ahead.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn Beck explain what this means for prices and for our economy.

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.

Straight from the Marxist con of critical race theory are three big lies about "systemic racism" in America that are debilitating to our nation: the lie that policing in the U.S. is thoroughly racist, the lie of voter suppression, and the lie of equity as the solution to solve "racism." Despite the evidence disproving these lies, they grow stronger, thanks to Democrats and activists with selfish interest in these narratives, who, along with their media partners, spread the sinister message that everything in America is racist by default and only massive government intervention can save us from ourselves. President Biden, Vice President Harris, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi – every Democrat on the national stage sees racism in literally everything at this point.

In this precarious time for America, Glenn Beck and North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson join together with data and the truth to fight back against the race-baiters ripping us apart.

Watch the full episode 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.