Saturday, August 6, 2011

SAT SURPRISE Snippet from Ze'evi + Mags (Ch 1) I #amwriting r u #reading?

I've revised (and added substantially to) the Ch 1 snippet I posted several Saturdays ago from the upcoming "prequel" to the Lacey / Rainey Book, the one I'm so artfully calling the Ze'evi + Mags book *smirk* This is now the ideal length (4960 words before the "#" break and shift in POV) to be a chapter.

This is the book about how one of the world's richest, most powerful men (Ze'evi) has to actually work to get penniless Mags to take him seriously. After all, money can't buy everything even when you have almost all of the money in the world. (oooh, I think I have an almost-tagline there!)

I apologize in advance if there are formatting issues. I copy/pasted directly from MS Word into Blogger. Just read the words, m'kay?

Don't forget to check for the trivia questions at the end. The Orlovs are Trivia Question Goldmines and I'll definitely use them to do marketing! Think Contests & Giveaways.

While reading this chapter, I invite you to listen to this list of YouTubers as your soundtrack. If I were more energetic, I'd collect them all together into one Playlist. You'll notice I tend towards the Big Beats, Trancey music. That's how I write the fast-paced action stuff!

Unless you're an incredibly slow (or fast) reader, this should work out fairly well to get you through Mags's mind and into the club just in time to try out some of these Berry Sakharoff clips.

You cannot even imagine what Hebrew is supposed to sound like until you've heard Berry Sakharoff singing. His silken voice has a nice Sefardic lilt with a desert dweller dialect. I can't type the Hebrew titles so I'll transliterate or translate them into English. These are the only clips from the All or Nothing CD I could find on YouTube (Israeli artists are hard to find online!)

"I never loved you, I never loved at all"

Hah-lay-lot or "The night(s)"

Okay, speaking of psychadelic, I'll link to a very pscyhadelic video for the Paul Oakenfold song title from Bunka, used in the Bourne movies, "Ready, Steady, Go!" Ch 1, Take 2, Ze'evi + Mags in Cambridge with the Orlov Twins.


Marlena Magdalene Dietrich, or Mags to her friends, stopped just inside the door to let her eyes adjust to the dim light but the two couples pushing in behind her shoved her impatiently. She stepped into the line to pay the cover charge and they shoved her again then one of the girls made a tisking sound, like it was Mags’s fault they were crowding her. She couldn’t help but think Great. This is going to be one of those evenings. It was better than being out in the snow and sleet, she reminded herself, and she was back in the States. Waiting patiently in line wasn’t something Americans knew how to do. Israelis, now, they’d made it an art form but Americans couldn’t last five seconds, let alone the five minutes this line would probably take—or the five hours most Israeli lines took to move.

The club was packed. The music was booming even in the vestibule and it blasted out of control everytime another group went through the second set of doors. She kept worrying someone might have seen her, followed her here, but she’d walked from the subway station without a tail and had to assume, she was safe here. There was just that niggling sense of being watched raising the hairs on the back of her neck. Maybe it was the girl behind her staring her down and making snide remarks about how Mags was dressed, interspersed with giggles of objection to the guy pawing her. Yeah, this was definitely going to be one of those nights.

Again she reminded herself, it would be worth the ten dollar cover charge. That was half of all her worldly assets, not counting the clothes on her back or the not-inexpensive hiking boots on her feet. It would still be worth it to hear Berry Sakharoff singing live, and despite the jerks in line behind her, the bulk of the crowd would be Israeli. She wouldn’t go into too much culture shock on this, her first night back on American soil.

Speaking of soil, the slush was still clinging to her boot soles and freezing her toes despite the hot air in here. She deliberately stomped onto the carpet where she was standing before taking a step forward. She had to smile when the girl behind her made a noise of objection as her spiky heeled shoes squished into the puddle Mags had left behind. The girl made her date trade places with her. She didn't want to be in the wet spot. Mags had to stop herself from laughing out loud and only muffled it into a cough. Spoiled Girl probably blamed him for the wet spot in bed, too. Ungrateful bitch. She was lucky to have a bed. And a date. And high heeled shoes to wear clubbing. Mags had hiking boots. Good boots, worth more than Spoiled Girl’s shoes. Well, maybe. Spoiled Girl was pretty shiny.

Plus, from the accent, Spoiled Girl wasn’t Israeli but definitely came from the region, somewhere in the north, maybe—Mags stopped trying to guess when Spoiled Girl switched to gutteral Arabic and mentioned a neighborhood in Southern Lebanon. Of course, come to Cambridge, Massachusetts to hear an Israeli rock star and get in line next to Lebanese immigrants. Just her luck. And those shoes Spoiled Girl was wearing were definitely more expensive than Mags’s little hiking boots.

Mags focused on the line ahead of her. Most had taken their coats off and obviously paid an additional two dollars for a ticket at the coatroom off to the right. Mags would not be joining them. It wasn’t just that she didn’t have the two dollars to spare. She couldn’t imagine leaving her property with a total stranger and walking away! Spending her teenaged years homeless on the streets of Boston had taught her you never walk away from anything you want to see again. Bury it, if you can’t carry it and never under a snow bank! She’d done that once and they’d plowed her bagged stash of dry clothes away to some dump along with the other garbage. It was garbage to them anyway. Her things weren’t expensive but they were precious to her.

It was hot in the club’s vestibule so she slipped her heavy backpack off her shoulders and dropped it on the floor in front of her when the person ahead of her advanced on the line. Next, she shed her heavy winter jacket and tied it by the sleeves around her hips. She pulled up on the hem of her turtleneck sweater, wanting to take it off too, but she was only wearing a tank top underneath. She didn’t even have a bra on, as she was still dressed for comfort on the long flight to Boston’s Logan Airport from Tel Aviv sometime…yesterday? Had it been a whole day already? She was beyond jet-lagged.

She kept her thick pink turtleneck on and picked up her overstuffed backpack, tossing it back over her shoulders casually. She enjoyed the exclamations of displeasure coming from Spoiled Girl when she tossed the backpack around, trying to shift it up a bit and get it resettled over her jacket. Maybe Spoiled Girl shouldn’t stand right on her heels, then. 

She needed to calm down and resist the temptation to turn around and confront Spoiled Girl. No matter how much wanted to just step on the girl’s pointed toes, she couldn’t afford to make a scene or draw attention to herself. She was hiding in plain sight, as they said. The Boston Police hadn’t really known who she was walking down Lyndhurst all bundled up agains the mixed sleet and snow falling, but she’d gotten her ass out of Dorchester the second that black and white had showed up. They’d slowed down so the cop on the passenger’s side could roll down his window to get a good look at her. She’d turned her head against the wind and been grateful for the storm. She didn’t look like she was obviously hiding her face from the cops when there was sleet smashing into her.

She’d only just arrived back in the States this morning, and made one—and only one—stop on the way from Logan airport. That had been a mistake. No, not a mistake. She was glad she knew the truth now, that she was an orphan all over again. It was kind of a relief to be rid of that particular set of ‘rents, too, but she regretted burning through another pair. She went through parents like most people burned through old socks: it just took her a few years of wear and tear. They’d wear her down and tear her apart and that was when she’d leave. Not far. She’d never been able to afford to go far before this recent trip but she knew how to live on the streets of Boston. She could disappear in a heartbeat if she had to—and she’d had to more often than not!

This time, though, karma had been on her side. She’d left the country almost exactly a year ago on a Birthright program that had seemed like a miracle at the time. Since her birth certificate—the only information she had about her genetic heritage—claimed she was Jewish, the Jewish Agency had arranged for her passport and gotten her a charity spot in the group trip. Her round-trip airfare had been covered completely. All she’d had to come up with was two thousand dollars for her part of the room and board for the first few months in Israel.

They’d told her that and she’d laughed. Right there in the Aliyah Office down on State Street. Two thousand dollars? Yeah, sure, I’ll just pull out my checkbook. Hah! But they weren’t kidding. They could only hold her place for thirty days. There was a waiting list of other American Jews wanting a free ride to the Holy Land. She hadn’t realized how lucky she’d been to get the spot until they threatened to take it away again.

She’d had to sell anything and everything she could beg, borrow or steal to raise that kind of huge sum—and she’d stolen and hawked more one or two things—but she’d done it. She’d raised two thousand in cash in just over a week. She’d never held that much cash in her hands before but she’d walked into the Aliyah Office and smacked it down on the counter with supreme satisfaction. It was probably the first time in her life she’d managed to just do something to change her life. It felt beyond good. She was flying high that day. Or maybe she was just dizzy from not eating on a daily basis.

The greased wheels of beaurocracy had spun quickly after the cash had been paid. The Aliyah Office arranged everything. They had someone to meet the group at the airpor—someone who spoke English!—and they had a bus waiting to take them all to an Immigrant Processing Center, a mehr-kaz ha-klee-tah, where she lived for six months with all-you-can-eat meal included daily and two on Saturdays! They’d taught her some basic Hebrew in classes they held three times a week for five months.

The other immigrants in the Mercaz Haklita mostly spoke Russian, the de facto second language in Israel these days, but they also helped her practice her Hebrew in exchange for some English lessons. She’d discovered her mother-tongue English was something of a marketable commodity in Israel. After the first five months, she had to move out on her own but the program had arranged for her to have a six-month work visa. She’d actually found a pretty good job as a Java programmer—not that she really knew how to program in Java, so much as she knew how to read Java and she was really good at bluffing her way through the interview. They were as much interested in her mother-tongue English as in any coding skills anyway. In the first three months of working with real coders, she’d actually learned how to write Java code for real. She wasn’t half bad and could design her own tools. In fact, she’d gotten a web site and started storing little segments of cool code she’d find in a “toolbox,” a directory of code snippets. Every real coder had one and now, she was a real Java Programmer. She had a marketable skill. She’d just started learning how to do Testing & Quality Assurance when the company had folded. That had sucked.

She’d been unable to get another job because her visa going to run out in just another month, so she’d had to come back to the States. At least she’d gotten that last month in Israel “off” and enjoyed herself. Getting onto the plane in Tel Aviv, Land of Eternal Summer, and getting off in Boston at the height of the Christmas season in full swing was a bit of a culture shock.

The weather notwithstanding, the thing that amazed her was how quickly she’d forgotten how much America flashes and blinks every winter in celebration of commercialization and capitalism. Or the birth of some other religion’s Messiah depending on who you asked. She didn’t see much religion here, just dollar signs. Americans spent so much money—all the time! She’d never realized it until she’d lived somewhere else, somewhere you have to dicker over every last sheckel or they won’t even sell you the thing you want to buy. She liked the Shuks in Israel, the open markets, and the barter system that underlay the business there. She could negotiate with the best of them once she learned enough Hebrew, Russian and Arabic—and she made sure to learn all three. Very well. There were no religious barriers at the Shuk. It was all about the negotiation, about making the personal connection, about knowing each other. Friendships were forged at the Shuk, and bartering was a religion unto itself.

Mags didn’t believe in her presumed religion, no matter how useful the designation had been on her birth certificate. Being called something and actually believing it yourself were two different things. People had tried to label her all of her life but Mags did not take well to labels. It had probably started with her name, the evidence of how idiotic her biological mother had been. The actress had been named Marie Magdalene Dietrich, not Marlena Magdalene, and Hollywood had called her Marlene, not Marlena, but apparently Mags’s mom was just that stupid. The best thing the woman had ever done was leave her newborn baby behind at the hospital on New Year’s Eve.

She’d considered trying to stay in Israel illegally since there were ways, after all, in a country with such a thriving black market. If nothing else, she’d known she could revert easily to living on the street again. It’s the same all over the world and streets populated by Russian Mafia and black markets are the easiest to exploit, but the Russians imported too many sex slaves for a blonde like herself to go walking around. She wasn’t stupid. She got on the plane. She came back to the States.

Back to the land of her birth with nothing to show for her year abroad but some new programming skills. Then again, she was also no worse for wear and she’d lived through another year of her life. She’d written to her latest foster parents when she was still back in Israel, just to say she was on her way back to the States and could they please come pick her up at Logan, but they’d never answered her. She figured they had no idea how to send a letter internationally. They weren’t the brightest bulbs in the closet. They also weren’t at Logan when she’d landed. No big surprise. They weren’t her friends. They didn’t even like her. She was just their meal ticket with the Child Welfare office.

Little did she know—until today—that they’d been dead about eleven months, murdered over some kind of drug deal gone bad about a week after she’d left. It had happened right there in their own home. Well, their own rented home. To her horror, the only lead the cops had had was her name and physical description. A bad sketch of her face on a worn paper poster had been tacked to a telephone pole two doors down from their old place, claiming she’d robbed them over drug money and then killed them and run. She’d been out of the country at the time it had happened, but Mags knew better than to try to explain that when the black and white showed up and slowed to take a look at her.

She’d turned down Lyndhurst and made the icy two-block sprint before diving safely into the red line entrance at Shawmut. She almost didn’t recognize the place. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (or the “T” to locals) had a habit of giving the stations in its worst neighborhoods these face lifts, like that was going to help make the station safe. It had been under construction when she’d left and they’d added all kinds of wheelchair accessibility ramps and other nice features. Gentrified, as they say.

She had to admit it was nice that it didn’t stink of urine and mildew anymore and the ramp made it easier to fly through to the train platform quickly, but it was still Shawmut Station on the red line in Dorchester. Her wool knit gloves slid right along the wheelchair guide bars all the way down when she skipped the turnstyle. There was no one on duty in the booth at dawn on a Saturday. It was almost like free running. She liked it. She’d taken the T into Harvard and spent most of the day moving. Just moving from spot to the next to keep warm. She headed over to the Starbucks in Central Square to warm up and wait for the club to open. She’d even recognized one of the Baristas who remembered her and cadged her a hot tea and scone for lunch. Breakfast. An afternoon snack to take off the edge before she walked the five blocks over to the club at sunset. They didn’t open until eight so she’d had to keep moving. By the time she gotten inside and stomped off all that slush, she was amazed there was so little of it with which to bother Spoiled Girl.

It was her turn at the cashier’s window so she scraped out the contents from her front jeans pocket and plucked one of the two ten-dollar bills out to shove under the slot. That’s when she noticed that she only had two rides left on her T pass. Good thing she hadn’t used one today! The good news, she reminded herself as the cashier rolled the black light ink stamp over the back of her hand, was that from the club’s location on Green Street, she knew a place no more than ten minutes’ walk down Brookline Street where she could huddle for the night. She wouldn’t even have to fight Harvard Square’s Homeless for a spot out of the wind under the buildings down on Brattle Street.

She reminded herself there was always a chance she could find some guy she knew and convince him to take her home for the night. A one-night stand with an old ex was a small price to pay for a warm bed for the night. Spoiled Girl made noises when someone behind her made to cut the line and Mags gratefully ran away from them all, pushing through the inner doors into the deafening music of Israeli rock legend, Berry Sakharoff. The singer’s silky voice washed over her while the electric guitar pierced her eardrums. It was great. Exactly what she’d needed right now.

She let the doors close behind her and immediately slid to the right along the back wall a few paces so she could inconspicuously scout the room to the left of the doors. She let her big backpack slide down her arms and then flipped it around, mounting it over her front instead of her back. It was an automatic move to put her pack on backwards, a means of protecting her property, just as scanning the room before engaging with anyone was a reflex. She needed to know she was safe here before she could relax and socialize.

As expected, the two couples who’d been in line behind her came crashing through the doors after a moment and they never even hesitated. If she hadn’t moved out of the way quickly, they’d have trampled her. They had either started drinking before arriving at the club or they had other chemical enhancements underway. Mags didn’t object to recreational drugs, but she didn’t use them. She’d never been willing to spend what little money she had on something so counter-productive. Besides, these days you had to pee in a cup to get hired and more of the club drugs were showing up on the pre-employment screenings. It was hard enough to get a job without a permanent address. She didn’t need ambiguous drug tests killing her slim chances.

She was about to cross over to the left side of the room where the population was more male than female, when the doors to the entrance opened slowly and two hulking goons came through, scanning the room while they blocked the doorway with their two sets of exceedingly broad shoulders. These guys were either wrestlers or professional security—or both. She didn’t like the Alpha Male types. They were always too controlling for a free spirit like her. Worse, authoritarians usually disapproved of her lifestyle choices.

The Goon Brothers were followed by a set of identical twins that were just as tall but less bulky and dressed way better. The Looker Twins had dark shoulder-length hair and sculpted faces. They probably had sculpted bodies to go with those perfectly square jaw lines. They looked like they could be models. Except for the tattoos. She wasn’t sure, but it looked like their arms were tattooed “body suit” style. That is, in a solid mass of ink ending abruptly at the wrist.

The Looker Twins were wearing tee shirts, tight designer tee shirts more like short sleeved jerseys. Yeah, that was probably a better word for it. She felt so uncouth just looking at them. What were expensive people like them doing in a club like this? Granted this place wasn’t a dive but Green Street CafĂ© wasn’t exactly where the stars hung out. Not even Israeli stars and tonight was supposed to be Israeli night. First there was Lebanese Spoiled Girl, now Rich Looker Twins. She was never going to land a bed for the night with people like this in here.  She needed to not be standing next to all that gorgeousness and Alpha meat. It was death by association to any chance she had of picking up a guy in this place.

The Looker Twin closest to her turned his head suddenly and made eye contact, then flashed a smile at her. She felt her throat tighten up when he smiled. He had electric blue eyes to go with that long thick mane hair and even in the darkness, when he flashed that megawatt smile, his eyes lit up. He rolled his tongue to let her see a flash of a tongue piercing. God, was he flirting with her? He probably had a really big bed. Warm, soft, big enough she could nuzzle right in under the covers and never even notice he was there. Well, except for the sex but in his case, that would scarcely be a hardship. The Looker Twin who had his hair up in a ponytail shoved at his brother, muttering something in Hebrew. Mags didn't catch what the Looker Twins were saying. She could hardly catch her breath and she couldn’t stop staring at them even when they both turned their attention back to each other and the Goon Brothers.

She didn’t think she’d ever seen a guy that good-looking before and there were two of them? No way these guys were alone! There had to be women behind them—unless they were gay. Guys that drop-dead gorgeous were probably gay. That gave her pause. What if they here with the Goon Brothers, as in a double date? They seemed to be chatting, the four of them, but no, life couldn’t be that cruel. Plus, the Goons were still on high alert, scanning the room, setting up a physical perimeter at the entrance by sheer body mass of four hulking Alpha Male bodies.

Mags was only five foot two so she was used to people being taller than herself but these guys were all looming well over six feet, she was sure of it. She could tell by how close to the top of the doorway their heads came. Despite not liking Alpha Males, she had to admit, all of that Alpha flesh was making her a bit flushed. Or maybe it was the thick layers of clothing she was wearing.

She dropped her bag onto her feet and was just reaching for the hem of her sweater when two women walked in—no, slithered in was more like it. One very expensive woman stepped up next to each of the Looker Twins. Yeah, now the scene made more sense. She pulled the sweater over her head and ruffled her fingers through her short-cropped hair as she crouched down to stuff her sweater into the backpack. One of the women took a step towards her. The woman was wearing a skin-tight dress that practically showed her crotch. She wasn’t Asian, but the dress was one of those Chinese Cheongsam designs and she had long dark hair swingind down her back nearly to her ass. Had to be extensions. No one had a right to hair that long and straight. The dress was so tight, Mags was pretty sure the woman had no underwear on which was almost as unfair as the exquisite jewelry sparkling at her ears. The woman stood straight, one hip cocked out, balancing her weight on those six-inch spike heels like some kind of runway model posing at the end of the catwalk. She looked down her nose at Mags’s ministrations on her backpack. Well, excuse me for being a normal person!

What did woman want, anyway? Did she think there was a bomb in Mags’s bag? Satisfied Mags just had clothing and dirty socks, the woman spun on her heels and Mags watched the long, straight shiny hair swing lightly over her perfect ass. She was definitely not wearing any underwear, not even a thong mark at the hips. Wow. That took guts in the middle of winter. She probably had some full-length fur coat out there in the coat room, not to mention a limousine waiting curb side. Life was just too unfair sometimes.

The woman with the hair scanned the room again as she held up a clunky looking walkie-talkie and murmured into it in Hebrew undertones that the entrance was clear. Clear? How many of these people were security guards, anyway? Wasn’t Sakharoff already on stage? Mags popped up briefly to confirm that yeah, the rocker himself was the guy singing with that amazing trademark voice of silk. He was doing Lah Mah-lah right now. She loved the All or Nothing CD and hoped Sakharoff did a few more songs from it.

She crouched down again and quickly refastened the closures on the pack then reslung it over her shoulders, facing front again and held her hands under the weight, supporting it in front of her like some pregnancy surrogate. She needed to get away from these expensive people or her street grunge was going to lose its coolness factor.

She didn’t really want to have to waltz in front of the Goon Boys but it was either that or risk being grabbed and stabbed by Ninja Girl and one of her stilettoes. She decided Ninja Girl was definitely more scary than Goon Boys.

She and her pack scurried across the room to the male-dominated platform with tables and chairs. Once she’d climbed the three steps, she looked around for an empty chair but, not finding one, stepped up to the bar and bought a bottle of water. Two of her last ten dollars disappeared. The bartender deliberately gave her quarters for part of her change so she took the hint and, begrudgingly, gave him a fifty-cent tip. He didn’t even smile at her. She deserved the fifty cents more.

She realized she was grinding her teeth and scowling as she struggled with the bottle cap and tried relax. A nice looking guy with brown hair and long, long eyelashes came up and asked, “Eph-shar Lach-zohr?” Can I help? Yeah, she thought, you could help me into your bed and let me take a ten-hour nap before you try to crawl into my pants. Instead of saying that, she smiled and handed him the bottle. He cracked the seal and handed it back to her, cap still in place, just in case she might worry about him trying to slip her a Rufie or something. That was nice, so she smiled again and took a tiny sip. She needed to make the bottle last all night.

Her helpful new friend picked up four drinks off the bar and invited her to join him and his friends at a table near the railing. There were apparently six couples or maybe only five and some leftover guys. She couldn’t quite tell. Some of the girls were standing with each other, some of the guys were hanging over the railing pounding their fists in the air to the beat of the music. It was a good song, Ay-nay-nee Oh-hayve Oh-tah, I don’t love her. Yeah, Mags didn’t love anyone right now either. You said it, Berry!

It was a nice venemous tune, one where Berry’s rich baritone got really deep. She forgot herself and started singing along. She wasn’t the only one. When the chorus came around, the guys hanging over the railing turned around and sang out at the table with loads of passion, even if not exactly in tune. Her helpful new friend, she noticed, did not sing but he smiled at her when she did. The night wasn’t going to be so bad after all. This was what life had been like back in Israel. She’d go clubbing with friends from Rehovot or Netanya and they’d all just hang as a group. That’s what Israelis did. Why didn’t American young people really bond this way—outside of school anyway? It was probably the mandatory Army service.

She suddenly realized that everyone in the group she was with was her age or just a few years young, mid- or early twenties. They’d just gotten out of the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces, and as was customary, were doing a party tour abroad. That probably meant the whole group of them were in one, possibly two hotel rooms, sleeping on the couch, the floor, the bathtub, wherever.  Israelis learned in the IDF how to sleep standing up, eyes open, while walking. Sometimes while talking! So much for her nice new friend offering her a spot in his bed. He probably was looking for one himself! She didn’t try to separate herself right away, but she did start scanning the room again. She was hunting for a bedmate, or just a bed.

# [ chapter break? make this Ch 2? ]#

Ze’evi scanned the room himself when they finally let him in. Sometimes the level of precautionary measures his security teams took were just ridiculous. If someone wanted to kidnap him from the club, the vestibule was a far better location for a snatch and half the team had gone inside before they’d let him walk through the doors.

He didn’t want to be here. He had a meeting in—he checked his wristwatch, it was just before twenty-two hundred local and his meeting was at oh-two-hundred local, same time zone—four hours. Was he really supposed to “enjoy himself” in this place for the next hour? Thankfully, it was a two-hour flight and they’d need a half-hour’s travel time at both ends. Assuming the field in Virginia had his landing clearance, of course. Yet one more thing he'd feel better about after he'd confirmed it, personally. It would take just one phone call, but it would have to be a very private call. Maybe he could text?

What he really wanted was to go wait out in the car and get some work done. He didn’t have time for this. He liked Berry Sakharoff—who didn’t?—but this side trip to the club was for his people, not himself. They’d nagged at him no end to make this little detour. He thought they wanted an excuse to get dressed up and go out while getting paid to do it. He would gladly have paid them and let them not work if they’d let him slip away and do some work. He was close to being ready for the meeting but he’d wanted to check some of the references the Colonel had sent him this with the initial invite to the meeting.

When the Americans needed a discreet “helping hand” and invited him to that base in Virginia that doesn’t exist to meet with people who had no names, it was always good to be prepared with all of the data one could get. He had his own sources he could tap to find out what was going on, in advance, but his people wanted to go clubbing. They wanted to party a little because it was a weekend. He knew better than to take on twelve armed guards who all had unified in their request. For once. This particular team never agreed on anything but they’d agreed on this. So be it. One hour. He could do one hour.

The Defense Intelligence people were going to ask him to burn some resources, he just knew it, and some of these people who’d asked him for just one hour were going to be some of the resources burned. The Americans always asked him for monetary involvement. Oh, not cash, but financial risk. His people and equipment were expensive—and there were always losses, equipment if not personnel. He hoped that this time it was just equipment losses. He could write those off. People weren’t expenses to be written off. Many of his people were or had become good friends. For instance, he’d known the Orlov Twins since their family moved into his neighborhood. He’d never quite come between the twins but he definitely got along better with Dani.

Cassie and Sammy Orlov were out on the dance floor, hips glued together, shoulders swinging in a battle of ponytails. He wasn’t sure which one of them was in charge this time. They were on again, off again, too often for him to keep track. Cassie’s cheongsam and extension of a ponytail were eye-catching though. He could see why Sammy kept going back to that well.

Dani Orlov came over, playing with his tongue piercing, a “tell” that said he was nervous about something. Ze’evi asked him, “Mah Maht-tzav? What’s going on with you?"

[To Be Continued]

Trivia Questions:
  1. Which Orlov twin has a tongue piercing and where does the other one have his piercing instead?
  2. Which Orlov twin wears his hair in a ponytail and plays with it as a "tell" when he's nervous?
  3. Which Orlov twin has the Dragon on his right shoulder, just like Rainey's and which one has it on his left, like Ze'evi's?
Obviously, you cannot answer all of these questions now--some of them can only be answered after you've read the books (or at least some of this book) but keep these questions in mind while you read snippets of Ze'evi + Mags's book because I'll definitely have to do some kind of Trivia Quiz giveaway for my most faithful readers. It'll be a while. This is just chapter ONE. I have to write the book before I can give it away!

Shavu'a Tov everyone! Be sure to stop back Monday for a new Marketing blog.