In the next few months, WHISTLER HOUSE PUBLISHING will be releasing Novel 2 in my TRILOGY OF TREASON. For my readers who have been waiting far too long to see this book, I am beginning a series of weekly excerpts to start you reading this story that is very close to my heart. Not only does it follow up to THE CONSUMMATE TRAITOR with a plot related to those original characters, it deals with a heartless drug scandal that has already affected too many lives, both military and civilian.
Toronto, Canada, March 15, 1994
It had happened again. Kendra Warren glanced at the oven clock and stared at it in disbelief. Another five hours carved out of her life that she couldn’t remember. She shook her head. A typical mess confronted her. She sighed. Spice bottles and canister lids lay strewn across the kitchen countertop; flour and sugar, spilled everywhere
Something smelled good. She sniffed the wok on the stove. Garlic. Strong garlic. And chicken. She checked the right front cook top control. It was set to simmer. At least I didn’t burn anything this time.
She picked up the sweet ’n sour pineapple sauce from the countertop and stirred it into the chicken stir fry. A bear-sized appetite clawed her stomach as she scooped up a sample with the wooden spoon for a taste. Mmm…. It’s ready to eat.
Too impatient to wait for the rice to boil, she reached for a Wedgewood dinner plate in the cupboard. Mounding the chicken concoction on it, she then placed her meal on a small café table set in the nook of the kitchen. Thirsty, she checked the fridge. Milk and a Brita pitcher of water. She craved Coke.
The phone rang. She stood with the fridge door open, undecided. She didn’t feel like talking. What she wanted most was to eat and pretend everything was right with the world. She took out the milk and closed the fridge door.
After the fourth ring, the answering machine clicked on. She listened as she poured milk into a glass.
“Kendra!” Even thinned out by the machine’s tiny speaker, she could hear the anger and frustration in his voice. “Answer your phone,” ordered Ben Jacobs’ voice. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Doing? What was he talking about?
“If you don’t answer your phone, I’m coming over. I’ll bang on your door so loud your neighbors will call the cops. I’m not giving up until you talk to me.”
The start of a headache pinged. Taking a deep breath to try and calm the spots that began to swim in front of her eyes, she picked up the phone. “Okay, I’m listening.”
“You’re listening? I’m the one who wants to hear what you have to say.”
“About what?” he spluttered. “You made a fool of me this afternoon . . . in front of our director.”
This afternoon? What had she done during the past five hours?