The Pact by CN Bring
Commander Celia Kelly is a perceptive Naval Intelligence Officer rebuilding her life after the tragic loss of her husband. Newly assigned a mission planning Intel for a SEAL Team…The suspicious suicide of a fellow Officer has Kelly questioning everything. Kelly discovers she’s been set up. Digging relentlessly, nothing is as it seems. Someone is after twenty million dollars that disappeared when Kelly’s husband went MIA and now that someone is after her! With surprises at the turn of every page, the original characters and three dimensional plot lines keep the suspense going until the very end.
She felt her feet pounding the pavement as she picked up the pace. Heavy steps closed in behind her. Without looking back, Celia Kelly pressed on. She wasn’t sure if the breathless gasps she heard were his or her own. Celia dug deep inside, pushing herself into longer, quicker strides. In her peripheral vision she could see him now. He was close. Faster … she had to go faster … The last park bench along the west side of Potomac Park was in view. Celia gave it all she had and so did he. Celia won, barely, by less than seven inches. The race was over.
“I won.” Celia was breathless, smiling.
Commander Frank Scott said, shaking his head, “One of these days, Kelly ….”
“In your dreams!” Celia said, laughing. Every Wednesday for the last three years, Commander Celia Kelly and Commander Frank Scott raced one mile at the crack of dawn. Scott had won each race the first year. Celia gained on him, winning now and again. Determined, Celia continued to condition until she was able to beat him every Wednesday morning for the last ten months.
“I guess we’d better get to work,” Scott said, looking at his watch. It was 0600 hours.
“I’ll be here,” Scott assured her.
“See you in an hour,” Celia called out as they separated.
The sun was just beginning to come up over the eastern horizon, cuing Washington, D.C.’ s early morning rush-hour traffic. Celia Kelly’s life was routine. She believed in rules, schedules, and maintaining precision. Discipline to her was like science. It was something she had been taught since she was small – first at home, then at church, and later at the academy. She liked the order it gave to her life.
Celia slowed the jog to a quick-paced walk as her house came into view. In front of her house, a dark blue sedan was parked the wrong way, facing oncoming traffic. The right blinker flashed. The blue sedan pulled into the left lane, crossing to the right, going on its way. Celia crossed the street to her house.
A smoldering cigar was on the top step of the porch. She glanced down the street, but the blue sedan was gone. Celia positioned the key in the lock, but the weight of her hand pushed the door open. She was certain it had been locked. Celia entered, her pulse quickening. Expecting anything, she searched cautiously. Calling the police was not an option. She was an intelligence officer. Check it out before checking in. Nothing seemed to be missing and no one was waiting for her. It wasn’t until she walked into the kitchen that she noticed something out of place. The juice glass Celia had used that morning was on the floor instead of on the table where she had left it.
The last room she checked was the bedroom. Except for a photo album on the floor, everything was in order. Her briefcase was locked. Celia’s G LOCK 17 pistol was still in her top drawer, and her .32 caliber Beretta backup was still under her mattress. After putting the photo album away, Celia glanced at the clock. She needed to be at the Pentagon in thirty-five minutes. She was running late.
Skipping a shower, Celia quickly got into uniform. French braiding her dark brown hair, she took a moment to examine her five-foot-seven-inch frame. Good enough, she decided as she put on her cover.
Looking closely at the cigar, Celia thought about fingerprints. Cutting off the burning end, she put the cigar in a clear sandwich bag to take with her. As she walked out the door, the phone rang. She let the machine get it, then decided to answer it after all, the tape recording the conversation.
“Kelly,” Celia said quickly, glancing at her watch.
“This is Frank. I don’t have much time. I’ve been working on something that – Hold on.” Suddenly there was silence.
“Frank?” Celia wondered what was going on. He had been fine this morning. “Frank, are you there?”
Finally he spoke, softening his tone. “Celia, if I don’t come into work by noon today, go into my office and get all my files. I have a safe behind the Defense manuals on the bookcase. My combination is twenty-three right, six left, seventy-six right. I have to go.”
“What’s going on? Do you need me to come over? I can be there in ten minutes.”
“No!” he said abruptly. “I’ll tell you about it later.” He hung up.
“Frank?” The only reply she received was a dial tone. Celia hung up, wondering what it was all about. He said he’d tell her later. She threw the answering machine tape in her briefcase so she would have the combination later and went into her garage.
Celia unlocked her ’57 Studebaker. It was her prized possession. The car, in mint condition, had been a wedding gift from her late husband, Tom. He had bought it from the original owner and had it restored and painted black with gray leather interior. The only thing it lacked was a radio. She had been keeping an eye out for a radio from 1957 to have installed.
As Celia pulled out of her garage, en route to the Pentagon, she was more concerned about the phone call from Frank Scott than she was about the blue sedan, the smoldering cigar, or someone going through her house.
CN Bring gravitated toward military intrigue and suspense coming from a military family, a mother who read nothing but mysteries and a degree in Criminal Justice. Many of her family members served in the Army and Navy and some are still serving today. The Celia Kelly Series has four books in the series and counting; The Pact, The Lie, The Truth, and soon The Disappearance. Bring’s extensive research and life experience lend an authentic feel to her Celia Kelly Series (Military/Mystery/Thriller). Bring is also a member of Christian Motorcyclist Association, Military Writers Society of America, Toastmasters International, Women’s National Book Association and part of Authors Supporting Troops.
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9oBXJAGwM4
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