Angra, Brazil


From my novel Freedom's Banshee:


Chapter 6




The curtains that covered the entry to Bob’s private deck flapped gently in the morning breeze, causing the sun to flicker in his eyes. 


Bob was waking up from a hard sleep. Before he could realize where he was, he thought, Who’s playing silly games–. He lifted his head. Oh! It’s just the sun. He let his head flop back down on the pillow. 
He focused his attention on the body laying next to him. Her long brunette hair covered her face. 


She gave a long, mournful groan when he reached over and gently moved it out of her eyes. “Good morning. You’re up early,” Barb said.


“The sun was flickering through the curtains and woke me. I thought I would take a minute and admire you.”


That put a big smile on Barbara’s face. “What? You got lucky last night. You’re ready for more?”


“The morning sun does you justice.”


“What are you buttering me up for?”


“It’s not like that. I have these moments from time to time, and now, I just wanted you to know how I feel about you.”


“In all the time that I’ve known you, I’ve never seen this side of you. Better be careful, I could get used to this.”


“I’ll take my payment tonight.”


Barbara gave him a sharp jab in the ribs with her fist, rolled over on top of him and pinned his hands to the bed, then gave him a soft kiss. “Come on. Let’s go make some breakfast, you ‘Don Juan.’”


Then, in a serious tone, Bob said, “Wait. There’s something else.”Barbara’s long hair cascaded down almost to Bob’s face. She leaned over so that it framed Bob’s face and hers. “Something else? Wow! You’re on a roll. I’m telling you, don’t screw up what you’ve already accomplished, or it’ll be a cold night.”


“Seriously, though. I love you, and I love what we have, but Frank and I are on mission, a quest, if you will. It’s going to be exciting and fun most of the time. Sometimes it will be downright scary. Mostly, though, a lot of it is going to be against the law. I wanted you to know this going in. You can leave now and no hard feelings, or you can stay. If you stay, and we get caught down the line, I want your promise that the first two comments out of your mouth are, ‘I want a lawyer’ and ‘I want a deal.’ Use whatever you’ve learned to get you a new identity and the best deal possible.”


“Are you through?”


“That’s it.”


“Let’s go get breakfast then.”


Barbara rolled off of Bob and went toward the bathroom door to grab a robe. Bob lingered in bed, lying on his side, head propped up with his left hand, watching Barbara’s slender body.She got to the door and grabbed the robe, then noticed. “Are you just going to lay there? I’m hungry. Come on. We’ll resume these other activities tonight.”


Bob sat up and smiled. “So I didn’t screw it up?”
Barbara tied the robe walking toward the bedroom door. “Not yet. But if I don’t get some breakfast, that could all change.”


Bob shot out of bed, threw on some sweats, and followed Barbara to the kitchen. Frank and Janice were already there eating and having coffee. “Hey, guys. Good morning.”
“What’s on the menu, Janice?” Bob asked.


“Bacon, homemade biscuits, tomato gravy, and coffee.”


Bob gave a little chuckle. “You’re from the South, aren’t you?”


“Tylertown, Mississippi.”


“Ha! I went there once. It was closed!” 


Janice was quick on her feet. “Too bad. You missed the best cooking north of the Amazon.”


Bob gave a chuckle. “It’s got to be good then. I’m sure glad Frank brought you down. We might actually put on a few pounds.”


“Yeah! Sure beats the powdered eggs and turkey bacon back in Iraq, doesn’t it?” Frank added.


Barbara fixed her plate and sat down. “So what’s on the agenda today?”


Bob took a sip of his coffee and looked at Frank. “Well, it’s about time we got down to some brass tacks. We’ve been playing around here for two weeks, learning how to make mojitos and catching up on life, and now it’s time to get to work. Frank and I have some business to attend to here at the house. I think it would be a real good idea if you girls went shopping. I’ll have the yard man, Pedro, chauffeur you two around town for a few hours. How’s that sound?”


Frank looked at Janice and gave a gentle suggestive nod that told her, “You need to do this.” 


Barbara glanced at Janice with a little smile then turned back to Bob. “And, of course, you let me have the debit card. Right?”


“Yeah, yeah! Be sure to bring back some beer, though. Frank has a terminal case of thirst or something. There’s never any beer in this house.”


Frank shrugged his shoulders and groused, “Hey. I missed out on a whole year of beer drinking. I’m just catching up.”Bob finished his breakfast and grabbed another cup of coffee, then returned to Frank. “Let’s go sit on the deck. You girls come let us know before you leave.”


As Bob stepped out onto the deck, he took a deep breath. “Man, I can’t believe how pleasant it is. No air conditioning, brilliant, sweet-smelling flowers everywhere, and cool, gentle breezes.”


“It’s the Garden of Eden compared to where we were just a few weeks ago.”


“So, tell me about Janice,” Bob said.


“Okay. What do you want to know?”


“Does she know our plan, what we’re about to do?”


“Yeah. She doesn’t understand why, though. She thinks that being here in Angra, Brazil, with housekeepers attending to her every need is pretty good and ‘Why screw with it.’”


“What did you tell her?”


“I said that just laying around like some sort of Roman royalty would become old after a while and we’d start looking for something to do, and if we didn’t find something to do, we’d start arguing with each other, and eventually we’d self destruct. It’s a hazard of the idle rich.”


“So you’re sure she’s on board? I told Barb that we’re going to be doing a lot of interesting, exciting things, and that some of them would be against the law. I also told her that if we ever got caught, she was to demand a lawyer and make a deal with what she knew. Hopefully, it never comes to that. She’s committed to stay with us.”
“I’m pretty sure that Janice is with us, too.”


“Frank. There can’t be any doubt or ambiguity in this. I don’t want to get shut down before we even get started.”


Before Frank could respond, Janice walked out onto the deck to say good-bye to Frank and overheard the last part of the conversation. “Bob! Look at me!”


Bob turned, flushed with surprise and embarrassment.


“I’m absolutely on board, Bob. Don’t worry. I won’t screw you over.”
Bob was speechless. He looked over to the door and saw Barbara standing there.


“You’re trying so hard to ruin this for all of us!” she said. “Lighten up, just a little. Don’t worry, honey, I got your back. I talked to her also. It’s okay.”


Bob paused for a moment, then said, “Well, then. Let’s go forward. You girls going to stay for the business or go shopping?”


“Oh! We’re going shopping! No telling when we’ll get the opportunity to do that again. You guys stay here and solve all the problems of the world. See you this afternoon.”....