Bad Moon Rising

Bad Moon Rising

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mercy by Jodi Picoult

The synopsis of the book:-

Police chief of a small Massachusetts town, Cameron McDonald makes the toughest arrest of his life when his own cousin Jamie comes to him and confesses outright that he has killed his terminally ill wife out of mercy.
Now, a heated murder trial plunges the town into upheaval, and drives a wedge into a contented marriage: Cameron, aiding the prosecution in their case against Jamie, is suddenly at odds with his devoted wife, Allie -- seduced by the idea of a man so in love with his wife that he'd grant all her wishes, even her wish to end her life. And when an inexplicable attraction leads to a shocking betrayal, Allie faces the hardest questions of the heart: when does love cross the line of moral obligation? And what does it mean to truly love another?

My Review:-
This is actually the first book that I read from the writing of Jodi Picoult. To be very honest, I expected much more from her knowing she wrote books like "My Sister's Keeper" which was heart wrenching and gripping.
This book just didn't do it for me. The characters were all over the place and god, Cameron was the worst of the lot. Maybe it was the author's intention that the main character is to be portrayed that way but this was just plain horrible. He has a wife that is loving and working very hard to make their marriage work, he complicates it by having an affair with Mia, his wife's helper at the shop who mysteriously shows up one day at his wife's shop. 
As the characters start building the story, I found that it was hard for me to accept that Jamie (the one who killed his wife, Maggie) could ever be related to Cameron. Jamie is a loving husband who couldn't bare looking at his wife suffer, so he killed her at her request. Yes, he killed her, but for me he just ended her suffering. He loved her, cherished her and absolutely adored her. To then compare him with Cameron who was totally opposite. He never appreciated his wife and cheated on her with someone she helped and he dared calling it love. 
Everything that Cameron does for his wife, Allie, is a part of him remembering Mia. He's making love to his wife but in his head, it's Mia. It is kind of disturbing to know that he appreciates Mia more that his wife, Allie. Then one day, his mom walks in him and Mia having sex, and he is the one who gets mad at his mom. One of the worst scenes to have been written. I mean, that scene could have been written better. 
As for Allie, she was focusing on finding out why Jamie killed Maggie. She was more interested in her husband's relative more than Cameron ever was. The idea of a man loving his wife unconditionally and granting all her wishes was foreign to Allie, probably something she was longing for. The only thing Cameron did for Jamie was to get him an attorney. After that he was more focused on Mia. 
This book just didn't do it for me. Jamie and Maggie's story could have been more than Cameron, Allie and Mia's. The author could have made Cameron learn from Jamie and Maggie and focused on the relationship between Allie and Cameron instead of complicating it with Mia. Heart wrenching it was not!!
I'd give this book two stars mainly because the story between Jamie and Maggie was gripping. Otherwise, this was a long and dry read... Disappointed!! Wouldn't recommend this book to anyone looking for an emotional read, this book would just end up making the reader angry. 


Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Review - Dark Lycan by Christine Feehan

Among others, Christine Feehan is also one of my favorite authors. I remember the first book I read, it was Dark Demon, the story of Natalya and Vikirnoff. I fell in love with her writing the minute I finished that book. That was the first time I was sucked into the Carpathian World and the way of their lives. The idea of lifemate, one will not survive without the other captured my heart. Then I decided I had to read and own the whole series. I started reading the series from the beginning, and when I came back to Dark Demon, the story line made more sense and made me fall in love with her writing and books even more. 

Ultimately, I would love to review all of her books, but for now, the most recent book I read from the Dark Carpathian Series will have to do. Dark Lycan is book 23 from the Dark Carpathian Series and is the story of Tatijana and Fenris Dalka. One thing you need to know about this series is that the male cannot survive without the women, they are a race that survive with blood however, if they do not find their lifemates, the potential of the males becoming vampires are high. Some of the males prefer walking in the sun meaning burning themselves to death than become a vampire, well if all the males chose to do that then I do not think we would have a long running series like these.

So essentially, the way they find the lifemates are kind of the same, inclusing mating rituals and so on, the only thing that differs and distinguishes each and every book is the way the males court the females and ofcourse the main storyline that the author have been building from the beginning. You can read the books as stand alones, but reading the whole series would actually make better sense and helps with the understanding of the main story. Many of the characters from other books often make cameos in the books, so if you're planning to read this book or any book from this series, I suggest you start from the beginning, starting Dark Prince.

So, lets start with Dark Lycan...

The synopsis of the book:-

Tatijana of the Dragonseekers spent centuries encased in ice with her sister, trapped in limbo between life and death, never speaking to a soul other than those who tormented her. Now, she has been freed from her frozen prison by an unknown descendent. Awakened in human form, Tatijana yearns to explore the modern world in which she now lives—a world with more mysteries than she is prepared for.

Fenris Dalka has returned to the Carpathian Mountains after a long absence to be with his brother. He is scarred by centuries of battle, and every hard-won victory. But the real reason for his return home could prove deadly if discovered by the wrong man—or woman. Upon his arrival, he is compelled by a beautiful and enigmatic stranger who carries the scent of fresh earth, of forest, of the night itself.
In time Tatijana and Fenris will discover all that unites them—their secrets and pasts, their predators, and the hot flush of passion that stirs their souls. Yet just as surely, seduced into the silvery darkness of a full-moon night, they’ll also discover everything ancient and evil that exists to destroy them.  

My review:-

Fenris Dalka is the main/leading character or the protagonist of this book. He isn't like any other Carpathians, he is part carpathian and part lycan (wolf) known as "Sange Rau". For the first time in this series, we are introduced to Sange Rau, as all of the previous books only included mages, vampires and carpathians.

Fen is a deadly mix of Carpathian and lycan. None of the carpathians have come across this, as the cross between humans and carpathians were also an issue in the previous books. So when Fen came along, the carpathians had hope of saving their dying race.

He then teams up with the carpathians (cameo from various characters from the previous books, including gregory and mikhail) after much persuasion from his new found lifemate Tatijana. Together, they make a strong team and support one another despite Fen's protectiveness towards his lifemate, they try to defeat the enemies.

In my opinion, Fenris Dalka is strong both physical and with his values. He is protective of his brothers (one of whom's book is a much awaited!) and his lifemate. He is loyal and there were situations where he had to put his life on the line many times for his new found people, the carpathians. Of course they accept him, one of the many reasons would be he is the lifemate of their oldest lineage, dragonseekers.

Tatijana is the protagonist and the heroine of this book. If you have read the previous book, you would know that she was held captive in a cave most of her life with her sister. She can shape shift into a dragon by the way, how awesome is that?!

She found Fen when she was recovering from the trauma she faced in the caves as a captive. One would think she would be the needy and had to be protected type of heroines, but nope! She is one tough dragon, did I mention that she can shape shift into a dragon? A fire breathing dragon to be precise. She works hand in hand with Fen and her fellow carpathians for the survival of their race.

Together Fen and Tatijana create magic and love! It was an amazing journey reading this book. To see the world through the eyes of the tortured and bruised, is truly a wonderful thing. The way Feehan captured their world was fantastic.

Feehan truly is the Queen of Paranormal Romance.

I'd give this book 4 stars!

A must read!

Happy reading peeps!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Book Review - Bound BY Flames by Jeaniene Frost

So, where do I begin. Oh my gawd! As always Jeaniene Frost never fails to amaze me. I'm a big fan of her Night Huntress Series and when I knew there was a spin off, of course I had to get it and god am I glad I did.

The synopsis of the book:-

Play with fire, pay the price.

Leila’s years on the carnie circuit were certainly an education. What she didn’t learn: how to be a vampire, or how to be married to the most famous vampire of them all. Adjusting to both has Leila teetering on a knife edge between passion and peril, and now the real danger is about to begin…

Vlad must battle with a centuries-old enemy whose reach stretches across continents and whose strength equals his own. It isn’t like Vlad to feel fear, but he does…for Leila, because his enemy knows she is Vlad’s greatest weakness. As friend and foe alike align against him—and his overprotectiveness drives Leila away—Vlad’s love for his new bride could be the very thing that dooms them both…

My take on the book:-


So, Vlad isn't your everyday vampire. He has his issues with his over protectiveness for people he loves. In this case, of course it's Leila. The way he protects her was just raw, of course at some point you just feel like giving him a tight slap in the face but when you see where he is coming from, somehow that over protectiveness becomes sweet!  

"You aren't just my weakness, are my destruction, because if I were to lose you, it would finish me."
We saw a glimpse of the women in Vlad's life before Leila and turns out Leila was quite the catch for him. Read the book and you'll know what I'm talking about. It was a big revelation and it was kind of heart wrenching to know that Vlad never really loved until Leila. 

            “Before the wedding, I made sure that I could perform as required,” he went on, no emotion in his tone now.  It took several unsuccessful visits with whores who knew better than to repeat my difficulties before I could get through the act in its entirety.  Then I married Clara and rushed through my husbandly responsibilities with as little contact as possible. I was relieved when she became pregnant because that meant I could finally stop..."


Now, Leila on the other hand is, I would say independent, confident, sometimes questions herself but she is madly in love with Vlad. However, Vlad distances himself from her because he feels that something bad always happens to the people he loves. You can see his emotions burn when Leila gets kidnapped. This scene was quite traumatic and she handled it very well. There were issues between Leila, her Father and her sister. Her character developed through these issues with her father and the way she handled Vlad over protectiveness. 


Well, Cat and Bones make a cameo in this book. And as always, they never seize to help their friends who are in need (even though Cat and Vlad don't get along so much) - If you have read the Night Huntress series, you'd know what I'm talking about. 

Mencheres also makes a cameo, the Egyptian vampire was the MAN!!   

Favorite Quote from the book:- 

            “Yes.  I trusted you with my life, Leila, and there is only one other person in this world of whom that statement is true.”


Fantastic book with loads of romance and action. One of my top reads and it is very well written by Jeaniene Frost. This book kept me going, I couldn't put it down. We would be expecting a new villain in the next book. Somehow, I'm expecting this new villain (a villain whom I shall not name) to be more ruthless than the villain in this book (I can't spell his name) haha! Spell casting necromancer was quite an addition to the book, I must say.

Can't wait for the next book in the series!

Happy reading peeps!!

Sage of Darkness - Chapter Four



“He is on the ship, I know it, I can feel it.” Catelyn said. She was quiet almost all the way tracking this ship.

Both Michael and Prem turned to her with a surprised look on their face. “How can you be so sure, we don’t know if that is the ship he is in.” Michael voiced out. He knew. He knew Amar was on the ship, he just wanted to know why she was so sure, or maybe she had something to do with this? He just couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

“There, there’s a landing spot there, but can we go unnoticed?” Prem cut them halfway. He was concerned if they will be able to get out of this alive and well. Definitely not well.

“Are you crazy mate?” Michael replied Prem. “Look around you, we’re surrounded by sea with one vessel in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. It’s either us or them!” He continued with a burning look in his eyes.

“We’re gonna die aren’t we?” Prem asked, looking both at Michael and Catelyn.

“Yes!” Michael answered with a laugh shaking his head at Prem’s paranoia.

He landed the helicopter on one of the containers but at the far end of the ship and the fog around the sea could conceal the helicopter. From afar he could see a few men rushing towards them, breaking into a run as they get closer. Michael and Prem got out of the helicopter first before letting Catelyn out.

Both of them checked their firearms and got into positions, laying low around the containers.

“Wait, why don’t I have one of those?” Catelyn asked pointing at their guns.

“Well, because you’re a lady,” Prem said with a hint of humor.

“Really? Really Prem? That wasn’t funny at all. What if I’m attacked? What am I suppose to use for defense?” She shot both Prem and Michael an annoyed look.

“Do you even know how to use a gun?” Michael asked.

“No,” she said, hesitating, “but I can learn!”

Michael and Prem exchanged looks and Michael handed over a gun, Glock 29, 10mm auto, easier to fire. “Lesson one, point, Lesson two, shoot!” Michael said handing over the gun to her. Catelyn looked at Michael in horror but there wasn’t any time for them to argue. so she just went with it.

The three of them headed down a path between container, avoiding the men looking for them. Michael had his eye on the bridge, heading straight for the captain. The tracker that he placed on Amar was pointing to the bridge, so that’s where he is headed.

“I’m heading up to the bridge, you guys cover me.” He said turning to Catelyn and Prem.

The three of them headed to the bridge, one after the other with Michael leading the way. They did their best to avoid the men who were looking for them, but they still had to immobilize some of the men, as Michael had politely put it.

Catelyn gripped her gun as hard as she could. Her hands were trembling and she was scared to death, but she put up a brave face for the sake of the two men with her, well at least for Prem, Michael looked like he was about to kill anyone and anything that was in his way.

She needed to know that Amar was safe, her heart was thundering in her chest. She wanted him safe especially if it was because of her that he was in this situation, she needed him safe. If something were to happen to him, she would not be able to forgive herself.

As much as she’d like to deny it, but she knew deep inside she was beginning to fall for the man. To go as far as this just to protect her, he was willing to give his life up just to protect her.

She knew from the minute she met him, something stirred in her. The first time she saw him at the cafe, her heart flipped. But when she knew he was her client, she had to stay away, it was unethical to date your own client well at least until before all this happened. Then there was the night that he drove her home. She hadn’t had a decent conversation like in a very long time. Everyone was busy with their own lives, her life seemed to be even smaller revolving just around work.

But she didn’t mind, she loves her work, being a lawyer gives her a rush, makes her feel alive, she wouldn’t know what else to do if she were to stop being a lawyer, she’d die, but right now Catelyn would rather be alive than dead. Amar made her feel like she is the most beautiful woman in the world, with the way he looks at her. He makes her feel special. She had always wanted someone to look at her the way Amar does, it kind of makes her feel wanted, special.

She was in the middle of both the men, Prem nudged her forward. She was lost in her thoughts, she didn’t notice Prem and Michael had taken a few guards down outside the bridge. Michael looked at his tracking device, the red light was still blinking which means Amar is still alive and they are right where he is, well just outside, to be exact.

Prem tapped Michael in the shoulder and whispered, “you kick down the door, we’ll go in guns blazing!”

Michael rolled his eyes and whispered, “God help us, we’re all gonna die!” Michael turned towards Prem, he continued, “You kick down the door, I will go in, the both of you stay out here and keep a lookout.”

Both Catelyn and Prem agreed, Prem agreed with a little protest though, he was a little disappointed. He wanted to go in with a bang!

The three of them got into position and Prem rammed himself against the steel door. It didn’t move even a little, Prem fell on the floor with a thud and was groaning in pain holding his shoulders. Michael shook his head and pulled Prem and Catelyn away from the door, he shot the door handle twice and kicked the door open. Both Catelyn and Prem exchanged looks. Prem whispered “he could have done that just now, you know,” rolling his eyes at Michael.

Michael stepped in the room with his gun pointed at the whatever that was standing in front of him, he was ready to fire, but when he focused, Amar was on a chair in front of him bleeding from the thighs and ankles. He was trying to tell him something, from the looks of it, he lost a lot of blood and he was turning pale. Looking at Amar, Michael leapt across the table and tried untying him. Michael concentrated on untying Amar, suddenly he felt a gun at the back of his head. His hand stopped working at the ropes. His heart thundering in his chest, Amar was struggling in his chair trying to get out of the ropes, Michael could hear Amar whispering “let him go…”

Michael dropped his weapon and held his hand up in surrender. “Let him go,” Michael said.

“Do you think me a fool, boy?” the man snarled at him.

Michael turned in a whirlwind and caught the man’s arm pressuring him to drop the gun, once he did he kneed him in the groin and punched him in the nose. The man was down writhing in pain, he struggled to get back up and was reaching for the gun that he dropped.

Michael hurried to Amar and untied him. He helped Amar up from the chair, before they could turn Michael heard a gunshot fired in the room. He turned and the man fell to lump in the floor. Catelyn was holding the gun and her hands were trembling from the shot.

Michael walked up to Catelyn and whispered, “thank you, I owe you one, and you did good.” He took the gun away from her hand and asked her to breathe. Prem walked in at the same time, “holy shit, what happened?” he asked.

He rushed over to Amar and examined the wounds he suffered. “He has a severed artery, if we don't get him to a hospital, he may bleed to death, he is already turning pale, Michael, we have to get him to a hospital, now.” Prem tore a piece of his shirt and tied around Amar thighs.

“We got him, now lets get out of here.” Michael said.

Catelyn and Prem helped Amar out of the chair and carried him out. Catelyn couldn’t be more grateful that they got Amar out but he was barely alive, now she was scared for his life. They had to hurry.

Michael had to immobilize a couple of guards on the way to their helicopter but they made it to the helicopter. There were two men at the helicopter, Michael whipped out his gun and aimed at them, Amar waved at him to stop. “Those two are with us” he said, his voice barely coming out, almost like a breath.  
Michael eyed them both suspiciously, he wondered if they could be trusted. Amar assured them that they could be trusted. They boarded the helicopter but Amar tried explaining to them about the girls that were held captive and where he brought them to hide until it was safe enough to bring them out.

Joey and Hanson told them where the both of them hid the girls. Hanson was already trembling from the cold and somehow Michael sensed that it wasn’t just the cold that bothered him.

“We’ll come back for the girls, Amar, we need to get you to a hospital.” Michael insisted.

“I promised the girls. I promised them I will get them out of here.” Amar said, his voice trembling and fading.

“I’ll stay.” Catelyn said.

The five of them looked at her.

“That’s a bad idea lady.” Joey said.

Catelyn turned towards Joey and the rest of them, “Take me to the girls. I will do my best to protect them until you guys get here with help.”

“No,” Amar protested, “it’s too dangerous.”

“We don’t have a choice Amar, we have to. You made a promise to them and I intend to help you keep it.” She said with a smile. Catelyn was determined to make sure the little girls are safe. She would never be able to forgive herself if she knew she could have done something to help them and she didn’t. She would not back down and she would not be a coward.

“Now, go, he needs to get to a hospital.” Catelyn headed down the narrow paths of the containers with Hanson and Joey.

Michael began to power up the helicopter. Amar could feel himself fading away but he couldn’t let them leave without Catelyn. It was too dangerous, not after what he had just found out before they rescued him from the captain of the ship. It’s not over, this doesn’t even begin to describe what kind of danger Catelyn would be in.

Amar looked out the helicopter that was now already taking flight. He could see Catelyn walking down in between the containers with Joey and Hanson. His heart was pounding. He tried to move but his body refused to listen. It seemed that his body had a mind of it’s own. The pain was excruciating and any attempts that he made to move sent ripples of pain through his body. Slowly, he began fading. Slowly, Catelyn was fading away from his eyes until it was all gone.


Sage of Darkness - Chapter Three



Catelyn looked up at the window she just flew out from. Amar Qureshi just pushed her out from a window, six floor down. She got out of the trash bin, assisted by Michael. They waited for Amar to jump but before he could, he was pulled back inside. They found him.

Michael pulled her away from the bin and pushed her into the car.Prem was already behind the wheels, waiting to kick the gas paddle. Catelyn and Michael got in the car.

“Drive!” Michael screamed. Prem hit the gas so hard, Catelyn could swear the car flew out to the street.

“Where’s Amar?” Prem asked while driving as fast as he could.

“They got him.” Catelyn whispered.

“What?!” Prem hit the brakes so hard the car screeched and came to a halt in the middle of the motorway. “We can’t just leave him. We have to do something.” He continued looking at both Michael and Catelyn.

“I agree.” Catelyn said. “We have to go back. We have to get him back from them.” Catelyn said, tears flowing from her eyes.

“Yes, but right now we don’t even know who ‘they’ are.” Michael explained. He continued, “we have to get to a safe place. We have to protect Catelyn. Then we have to go get Amar.” He said to Prem.

“I want to help get Amar back. It’s my fault they have him, if we don’t get him back soon they will kill him.” Catelyn said, adamant on following both Michael and Prem in getting back Amar.

“Fine, but first, we need to get to a safe place.” He said with a grim look.   

They headed to Michael’s place when they were sure no one was tailing them. They arrived at an abandoned building when Michael said it was his place. Catelyn looked at him with a puzzled look.

“You live in an abandoned building?” She asked,

“Yes, you have a problem with that?” he shot back.

She held her hands up in surrender. Their ultimate goal right now was to find out where Amar was and if Michael could help them, both Prem and Catelyn were more than willing to accommodate. They just weren’t sure how much they could trust Michael. To them, he was still someone new. Prem knew Amar had his own investigator, this is the first time he’s meeting Michael.

Catelyn entered the building, followed by Michael and Prem. Michael guided them to the top floor of the building where he had set his camp. Both Catelyn and Prem were shocked when they entered the top floor. It was equipped with the latest computer and security systems. It looked like it was a technology lab. He even had a huge fridge built in the floor filled with food.

“In case the both of you are wondering, this is where I work. I don’t live here.” Michael said, looking at both of them with an amused look on his face.    

Catelyn and Prem exchanged looks. “Aren’t you afraid people might try to break in or squatters might move in and get cozy? Or what if the owner of the place comes back?” Prem asked.

Michael who was now on his computer looked up. “I own this place. You didn’t think I would set all this up here without any security did you?”

Catelyn was awed at his professional skills. No wonder Amar trusted him. She browsed around the floor with caution. There was wires everywhere connected to devices and monitors. There were twelve monitors set up in the corner of the floor. It was showing a map. Map to where, Catelyn didn’t dare ask, but there was a red light blinking  and moving at the same time.

“Is that suppose to blink? What is that?” Catelyn asked pointing at the monitor where the red light was blinking. Prem moved closer to catelyn to take a look.  

“That’s Amar.” He answered, short.

Both Catelyn and Prem was aghast.

“He is on the move. They’re moving him. I clipped a tracking device on him just now. You didn’t think I’ll let my boss go in unprepared.” Michael answered.

“Wait, you put a tracking device on him? How? Where?” Catelyn asked in shock. “I thought you were his investigator?” She looked confused.

“I’m his investigator and his personal bodyguard. I have a team that guards him. Wherever he goes and whatever he does, we’re always there around him. If I told you how and where I put his tracking device, I would have to kill you.” Michael explained with a grim expression.

“Did you know this?” Catelyn turned to Prem.

Prem shook his head in disbelief. He knew his friend was wealthy and reputable, but he didn’t know Amar had a bodyguard and a security team that guards him.  

“There are certain things that are best kept secret.” Michael said with a smile. “Now that you know, you need to keep it quiet.”

“So where is he?” Prem asked.

Michael was calculating the latitudes and longitudes of the map. He looked up at Catelyn and Prem with disbelief. “In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.”


I woke up with an excruciating pain in my head. I felt something wet at the side my head and it felt smelled like copper. I tried focusing in my surroundings, but I couldn’t, the pain was too much and I was so dizzy I couldn’t see straight. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I tried focusing on my surroundings than the pain in my head. I slowly opened my eyes. I was in a van of some kind, I tried recalling what had happened, slowly my memory was coming back. I’m captured, my first thought went to Catelyn. I knew I pushed her off the window, Michael got her. A flood of relief washed over me. The documents were with her.

These people are likely going to torture me instead of killing me. That was clear, if they had intended to kill me they would have done it back at Raffles chambers. I just need to know where I am and how to get out of this.  

There wasn’t anyone with me in back of the van. There were two men, one was driving and the other was beside him on the passenger seat. I don't think they know I’m awake. I tried untying the rope from my hands, it was too tight. I couldn’t move much either, they tied both my hand and legs. I tried to be as quiet as possible.

The van came to a stop. I didn’t want them to know I was awake. I acted like I was still passed out. They opened the door and carried me out. “He’s passed out cold,” one of them said.

They laughed and continued to drag me somewhere, I could hear metal doors creaking open. They dropped me with a thud on the floor and left locking the door as they left. As soon as I heard them locking the door, I opened my eyes and took a look around. I know I’m in a consignment trailer. It was dimly lighted with a light bulb and there were two chairs and a table. It was somewhat like an interrogation room.

I tried getting my hand free from the ropes. I remembered I still have my pocket knife in my jeans. I pushed it out of my back pocket and cut the ropes that tied my hand and legs. I was out of the ropes within minutes, then I heard the doors unlocking again. Someone was coming. I took the ropes that I cut and hid it, and took one short rope that I can use to strangle at least one of them. I lied back down on the floor and pretended to be unconscious.

There was only one of them that came in, he brought in a tray of food and water. He kneeled beside me and gently nudged me. I moved in one stride and caught him by the neck from the back with the rope and strangled him. The man was coughing and gagging, he couldn’t breathe. I continued to choke him until I was sure he was passed out.

I took off his clothes and tied him up with the ropes that they used to tie me. There was an apple on the tray that he just brought in. I took the apple and stuffed it in his mouth, there, my art work, enjoy.

I took the man’s black jacket and wore it. It would work as a camouflage. It had a hood I could wear, and lay low until I find out what and who they were. I needed to do a little snooping around and make sure in the process, I don't get caught or worse, killed. I also needed a phone. I have to let Catelyn and the others know I’m okay and alert them of where I am. I walked out of the trailer and locked it, no one was around, I could hear water, like waves, then I realised it was a ship. I was on a container ship.

I was about to panic a little when I heard someone walking over to where I was standing. I quickly hid behind another container. I could hear them talking, “This is wrong, I don’t want to be apart of this,” one of them said.

“Dude, so you want to die? if we don’t do this, he will kill us.” The other replied.

“I didn’t sign up for this, I am not going to just hand over those little girls to the those men. God knows what they might do to them!” The first man whispered shaking his head.

“Neither did I, but if we want to stay alive then we don't have any choice.” The other man replied.

Both of them looked a little terrified of what they were going to do. Now I understood what was going on on this ship. They are trafficking girls around the world. This doesn’t sound good. I had to do something. I have to find those girls. Before that, I need to find a safe way out of this ship, so that the girls could use it to get to safety.

I headed to the lower deck of the ship. I kept a lookout, just to make sure no one was around. It was probably about 1 or 2 am. I needed to find a phone fast. My best chance was the two men at the containers just now. I saw them heading back down to the lower decks. I decided to follow. The stairs to the lower deck were steep and small. It would be difficult to run back up in this stairs, one could easily be trapped here if ambushed by those men.

I followed them back into a corridor, the air was thick with steam and hot air. They entered into a room, it looked like a bunker. I stood outside the metal door for a moment to make sure no one else was in there. I knocked on the door and when one of them came opening, I knocked him in the face pushing him further into the room. The other came at me with a knife, I flipped him over and kneed him in the groin. The two of them were on the ground, one cupping his groin and the other his bleeding nose.

I walked up to them and said, “I’m not here to hurt you, I just need some information. Will you help me?” I asked,

One of them nodded while the other moved away from me.

“What’s your name?” I asked the one with his nose bleeding.

“Joey.” He said, his voice muffled by the pain.

“And you,” I turned to the other one who was holding his groin.
“Henson” He said, short.

“Right, where the hell are we?” I asked.

“We’re on a ship.” Henson answered. Joey was elbowing him, stopping him from telling me anything.

“I know we’re on a ship you moron, where are we? or where is the ship heading?” I asked, more precise.

“We’re heading to France.” Joey said.

“Tell me about this ship,” I said.

“Well, it’s called the bloody mary.” Joey answered. “It’s owned a man named Byron. That’s all we know.”

“Alright, this Byron where can I find him?” I asked,

“He is usually up at the captain’s room.” Henson said.

“I know the two of you are not bad men, I need your help to get out of this vessel and those girls,” I said, judging by the looks on Joey’s face, I knew I hit it right, I continued “I will help the two of you as well, I will give you however much money you want, you can get away from here and start a life somewhere else. No one would find you.”

Joey and Henson exchanged looks, Henson was about to say something when Joey cut him off. “My girlfriend’s pregnant and I need the money. How much can you give and can you keep her safe as well?”

“Of course. Whatever you want, how about two million pounds for each of you?” I said.

Both their eyes went big when they heard the amount I just said. Joey and Henson immediately agreed to help me. Of course I am not going to trust them completely. For the moment I need to use them, the two of them are familiar if this vessel and they can roam wherever they want on this vessel without being questioned.

“Now, I need a phone.” I said. Joey looked at me and handed me his phone. I glared at him, obviously peeved, “we’re in the middle of the ocean, where do you suppose we get cellular signal?” I asked with a sarcastic tone. “Get me a satellite phone.”

Both Henson and Joey looked blank but the they hurriedly vanished behind the cabin door leaving me in the cabin alone. I wasted no time and started looking for anything that I could use to escape from the ship. I looked around the cabin, there were two bunk beds with white and grey sheets. Under the bunk beds were boxes of beer and liquor. I could smell it, a bottle must have been broken or something. There were a table at the end of the cabin with papers and some stationery on it. The cabin room was dimly lit, i barely could see anything.

I walked up to the table and flipped through the papers. They were bills of lading that was headed to France. This ship carried tonnes of potatoes. It was headed to Le Havre, just a few hours away from Paris. I’m going to have to make contact with Michael, he can make arrangements for the ship to be intercepted before the ship reaches to the parisian harbour.

I was beginning to wonder where these two buggers went, it’s been a while since they left the cabin. He needed the satellite phone as soon as possible. He knew Michael would be able to track him, but they needed a plan fast and they have to execute the plan while its still dark. Once day breaks, it will be harder to go unnoticed, his life was on the line together with all those little girls.

“What have you got me into Mr. Raffles…” I mumbled.

I heard the door to the cabin click open. I hid near the bunk beds, just to be sure it was the two of them that entered. It was joey, but he was alone.

“Here,” He said, handing me a satellite phone.

“Where’s Henson?” I asked, eyeing him suspiciously.

“He stayed upstairs at the docks, we don’t want anyone to suspect us, just acting cool.” Joey explained.

I nodded in agreement and dialled for Michael. He answered at the third ring.

“Q,” He said.

“Yeah, 278862,” I said.

Michael and I have a number or codes that only we know. This one is a distress code, so that he would know what to do, with the code, he surely would know that I am the one who’s contacting him, not an impostor. There’s also one for if I was kidnapped, that one’s a duress code, as he liked to call it. He insisted on having these codes when I first hired him over eight years ago, never had to use it before, but now I’m glad he insisted on it.     

“Oh thank god, are you okay? I know you’re at the indian ocean. My statistics shows me that you’re heading to france. Tell me what’s going on? Stay put Q, I’m on my way. You’re not going anywhere under my watch.” He said.

I smiled at his words. “I know, listen, something big is going to happen here, you’re going to have to intercept the ship before it reaches the port. That’s the only way we can get the girls to safety.” I explained whispering to him.

“What girls?” He inquired, his voice filled with curiosity.

“Long story, I don't have time to explain but bring back up.” I said.

“Right,” He said then continued, “hey boss, don’t get yourself killed, wait for me. Dont do anything stupid.”

“I’ll try my best and don’t take your own sweet time to get here!” I replied.

I switched off the phone and hid it under my jacket. I turned to Joey who was looking bleak. I asked him to show me where they hid the girls. At first he hesitated, I could understand why, I asked him again for the sake of his family, he agreed to show me. But we had to lay low. We couldn’t afford to get caught. So far there’s no commotion on the decks above, which means the men who put me on the ship still haven’t noticed that I’m gone. That’s good news.

Joey guided me through the vessel. We went through a long corridor with cabins on both sides. No one was around at the corridor. It was easy for us to move through the corridor, it was quiet and quite deserted.

“Once we reach the port, the girls will be shipped off to a famous brothel, the frenchmen will be coming for them. I heard Byron talking to the frenchmen.” Joey whispered to me.

I nodded and promised that would never happen. I had to get the girls out. We reached at a staircase leading to another floor. We went down the stairs and found two men guarding a door. This must be it, I thought to myself. There was a tray of food under the staircase. It looked like no one touched the food that was on the tray. I urged Joey to pick up the tray hoping he would know what I was getting at, thankfully he did. Joey picked up the tray and walked towards the men. I followed suit.

“We need to give ‘em food, captain’s orders.” Joey said, looking stern.

“No.” One of the men said. “No one is allowed in.”

“Fine, if one of ‘em died of starvation, do you think the captain’s gonna’ like it?” Joey countered. I stayed low behind him trying not to catch any attention.

Both of the guards looked at each other, probably thinking what Joey said might have made sense, well it did to one extent. Not bad this guys eh?
“Only one of you can go in.” One of the men said.

I was getting tired of this. This is going to take forever. I flipped the tray to the side and hit it straight to the guard’s neck. He slumped on the floor with a thud. Before the other guard reached for his radio, I kicked him in the nuts, where it hurts the most and punched him once in the face and the neck to make sure he really passed out. My hand were aching from the punch I threw at the guards. I looked up at Joey who was standing against the wall looking pale.

“Well, open the door you moron!” I whispered. We were running out of time.

Joey unlocked the door, his hand trembling. Once the door was opened Joey entered in first then me. I had to pull both the guards inside. Once I was in the cabin, my heart sank. There were about ten girls, all of them couldn’t have been more than 10 years old and all were in cages. In cages, like animals. My blood boiled to see little girls treated like this and I wanted to kill the men who did this to them. They were covered in dirt and their clothes were torn and ragged.

Joey and I exchanged looks, he was as surprised and pained as I was. We unlocked the girls from the cages and let them out. I gestured them to be quiet and assured them that they will be safe. Joey and I stuffed both the guards in the cages that the girls were locked in. t was so small we practically had to kick them in to make sure they fit in it. Well, take that!

We gathered the girls and told them to be as quiet as they can, and help is on the way. I got the radio from one of the guards just to know if something was amiss. That would stir the whole vessel.

I got back up to the stairs and signalled Joey that it was clear to bring the girls out. We are going to have to get to the main dock for Michael to get us out of here. We managed to get out to the docks unnoticed, which was an uphill task considering the amount guards i had to punch and worse, I had to hide the bodies while Joey guarded the girls. It was not long before when Henson found us and joined in the team. Judging by the look on his face, he was more terrified than happy to see us.

Henson got us to a container that was empty. I hid the girls in there with Joey and Henson. I needed to know who the captain was and what exactly was going on and how did Raffles get involve in all of this.

Henson told me where the captain would be at this time. So I decided to pay him a visit. Before I left, Henson handed me a gun. I looked at it then at him.

“I don’t know how to use a gun, truth be told, even if I did I don’t think I will be able to shoot straight.” I said, winking at him.

I headed up to the captain’s cabin. I did have to pacify a few men before I could get to the captain’s cabin. Once in, I saw a man who was facing the monitor with a navigation map, he seemed to be lost in the map.

“Well, if you’re going to kill me, you might as well do it now.” He said.

That, I did not expect. “Why do you think I’m here to kill you?” I asked. I had to know.

“I knew the minute you were gone from the container Mr. Qureshi.” He said.

“You know me?” Now I was really surprised.

“Of course, I know everything that I carry in my vessel Mr. Qureshi and I knew you would come looking for me.” He said.

I couldn’t see his face clearly but he was big built and tall. A little taller than I am. His face was covered with a beard and all I could see in those dim lights were his eyes. Eyes filled with anger and evil. I could feel it my bones. He was pure evil.

“Why was I brought here?” I asked.

Byron walked over to the end of the cabin and pulled out a bottle from under his table. He poured the contents of the bottle in a small cup and took a sip. I knew from the smell it must be whiskey.

“You were not the target Mr. Qureshi. You were just a collateral.” He said.

“If I wasn’t the target then who was?” I asked hoping to find out why I was entangled in all of this.

“It was the barrister and his associate. They knew too much. You just got in the way.” He said with a smile.

“What did they know?” I asked,

“Do ya really think I’m going to tell you that?” He countered.

“Well, you and I both know how this going to end, you are going to kill me. So why don’t you indulge me. Wish of a dying young man. Surely you could appreciate that,” I said, hoping he would bite the bait.

“Hmmm, that is true.” He answered rubbing his beard. I nodded in agreement even though I’m hoping this goes the other way round rather than the way Byron wants it to end.

“Raffles found out what we were doing. He wanted no part of it but I spoke to him, we tried to convince him. But he didn’t want to. He wanted to talk to the police. He wanted to bring us to justice. He wanted to bring us all down. So we had him killed. We targeted the associate as well but she escaped, because of you!” He snarled.

I backed a few steps away from him. “You will not hurt her.” I warned.

“What are you going to do about? My men are out there hunting her down as we speak.” He said.

That moment I realized I needed to protect her more than myself. I had to make sure I got out of here as soon as possible.

“Would you believe me if I said that Catelyn did not have anything to do with any of this?” I asked,

“Of course, but nonetheless she was with Raffles, and Raffles knew every single man who was involved in the trade.” He took a sip of his whiskey and looked at me with a murderous glare.

In an instant, my mind went to the list that Catelyn and I was on. That indeed was a hit list, but the other men on the list, did they turn Byron down too? This was getting too confusing for me to handle. Then I realized, this might be something bigger than what I thought.

“The list…” I said.

“Ah, so you know about the others too?”

“Yes, the list of names, who were the men that was on the list?” I asked him.

“People I don’t like. People I enjoy plunging my knife into. You know, killing with guns and all are quite fun but when you kill with a knife, that’s where you get personal. It gives you a personal touch. You’re the art you create.” He said, his voice mimicking somewhat of a symphony, a murderous symphony.

“So what are you waiting for?” I asked, almost a challenge.

“Hmmm, eager to die are we?” He replied. “Patience my boy, you will get your chance.” He said turning to the monitor when it started beeping. There was a green light blinking. I knew who it was.

I smiled. Right on time!

“Who is that?” Byron asked.
“Well, that is your end.” I said, valiantly.

He laughed at that. I slowly backed away from the monitors, trying to find a better way to get out of this situation. My eyes were fixated on Byron and his knife. I don’t want that knife anywhere near my body let alone piercing any part of my body.

I had to think fast. Byron was still carried away at the monitors, I could make a run for it or I could attack him and bring him down. I’m taller than he is, and well, way younger than he is, I am faster.

Byron was now already alerting his guards, I need to do something. I leapt at him, grabbing him by the throat. He knocked me off him and was coughing violently. I got up as fast as I could threw a punch to his face, breaking his nose. The blow sent him back, he staggered and his face now bloodied, he lunged at me with the knife, I dodged the and swung another blow towards his torso, hopefully fracturing his ribs. He fell on the floor with a thud hugging his body. I smiled in victory.

I took out the satellite phone that Joey and Hanson had provided me earlier, and tried calling them. Hanson didn’t answer the call, probably he was still busy hiding the bodies that we dropped on the way up here. I tried for Joey next, he was hodong the girls that we rescued from the decks below, but before I could say a word to Joey, I felt a sharp pain on the side of my right thigh.

I turned, Byron was smiling, his face was bloodied and dripping with blood and sweat, he was smiling. The pain was excruciating and I knew I was bleeding. My legs could support me and gave out. I tried moving away from him but he stabbed me again on my ribs and fresh ripples of pain went through my body. The pain was getting to my head, I couldn’t focus anymore, I couldn’t move.

I could see Byron pulling up a chair and he sat in front of me. Looking at me, he took a sip of the whiskey that he was drinking earlier. He got up and pulled me up from the floor and made me sit on the chair. I couldn’t move, he had stabbed me with knife again on my left thighs, he didn’t pull the knife out. My head was dizzy with the pain, he was tying me with ropes that I used to strangle him.

He gave me a satisfied look. “When your friends get here, you won't be alive. I will kill you, when they get here, I will kill them too. No, that’s not right, I won’t kill you… yet, I will kill them first, let you watch them die and then finally, I will kill you. Much more satisfying.”  

I shook my head to focus again. I was beginning to fear for Michael’s life. How am I going to warn him? I hope to god he brings back up. I could feel myself losing consciousness. This is not good.