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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Summer’s End

Chapter 2 Back to School

Chapter 3 Political Science 101

Chapter 4 What have we Here?

Chapter 5 Analysis of a Crime

Chapter 6 Breaking News

Chapter 7 Crazy Bikers

Chapter 8 Undercover Reporting

Chapter 9 Repossession

Chapter 10 Settling In

Chapter 11 Nice Car

Chapter 12 Flight of the Phoenix

Chapter 13 Making a Case

Chapter 14 Ski Break

Chapter 15 Closing the Case

Chapter 16 Case Closed?

Chapter 17 Got a Nail?

Chapter 18 Wrap Up

Delphi Publishing

Copyright © 2020 Robert D. Blanton Cover by Momir Borocki momir.borocki@gmail.com

All rights reserved.  This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.  Printed in the United States of America First Printing, 2020.

This is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Chapter 1Summer’s End

“We have to stop meeting like this,” Matthew said to Emilywhen she came out of her session with their therapist, Dr. Sharma.

“Oh, so your mother decided to punish you by making you go tosome more sessions too,” Emily said.  Matthew and Emily had wound up involvedin two major terrorist incidents in the last eight months.  First the incidentat the La Jolla Playhouse and then the incident at the Metropolitan Museum ofArt.  In both, they had been instrumental in defeating theterrorist.  Of course, nobody really knew how instrumental because that wouldrequire revealing Matthew’s secret.  Emily was the only person who knew about his secret since he’d been forced to reveal it to her so they could rescue her baby sister from kidnappers.  They’d become close friends, a good thing since Emily could out him to the CIA who would lock him into a room and use him like a weapon

“Yes, but she says it’s because I might be traumatizedagain.”

“Well good luck.  I’ll see you next Thursday for our end-of-summerparty.”

“Party, I thought it was a wake.”

◆ ◆ ◆

“Hey, Brea, how was Italy?” Matthew asked as Brea met him atthe door to her family’s home.

“It was great.  We had a good time with Nanno and Nanna. We even got to help harvest some grapes,” Brea said.

“Yeah, like you did much harvesting,” Jason said.  “She spentmore time with her tennis coach than she did with the rest of us put together.”

“I have to be ready for the open,” Brianna said.  Brianna wasentered in the Junior US Open, and her parents had tickets for the main US Openevents.  The two events were coordinated at the same venue during the same two weeks.

“When do you leave?” Matthew asked.

“In three days.”

“Wow.  That doesn’t leave much time for us to hang out,”Matthew said.

“We’ll catch up when I get back,” Brianna said.  “Jason, getMatt a Seven-Up while I finish getting ready.”

“Yes, Mistress,” Jason joked.

“Where’s Alex?”

“We’ll pick her up on the way,” Jason said.

Jason’s phone buzzed.  “Just a minute,” Jason said as hehanded Matthew the Seven-Up.  “Hi, Alex.”

Mrs. Winthrop laughed.  “You might as well sit down; you’llbe waiting for a while.”

“Oh, hi, Cara.  I guess things are hectic with you justgetting back from Italy and having to get ready to go to the Open so soon.”

“They are.”

“I was thinking of coming out for one weekend.  Do you thinkI should come for the first or the second?”

“Matt, do you really want to come?”

“Sure, I should be there to support Brea.”

“She’s going to be thinking tennis 24/7.  She won’t be a verygood hostess.”

“She doesn’t have to be.  I’d just be there to root for her.”

“But she would think she needed to be.  She’s not that goodat multi-tasking and she’ll be trying to keep up on her school work.  Thingsare going to be crazy.”

“I could help her with her school stuff.”

“Oh, dear boy, you don’t want to go there.  We’ve hired a tutorfor her and they’re already working together.  She has assignments from herteachers so she can spread the work out.  But she’s going to be frustrated abouthaving to spend time on it and I’m sure she’ll be taking it out on the tutor.”

“Oh,” Matthew said.  He was a bit confused.  “Are you sayingI shouldn’t come out?”

“Yes.  Don’t take it the wrong way.  But she’s terriblebefore a big tournament.  You haven’t seen that side of her because the clubtournaments don’t worry her.  This one will, so your relationship will survive muchbetter if you keep a long-distance phone call between the two of you until it’sover.”

Later that day, Matthew talked it over with Emily.  She wasunequivocal about Matthew not going.  “You’ll just start fighting with Brea, soit’s better to say here and root for her on TV.”

◆ ◆ ◆

“Matt, drinks are in the cooler, we’ll fire up the barbequein a few hours,” Emily said, greeting Matthew at the end-of-summer party.

“Where’s Brea?”

“Cara will be dropping her off right after her tennislesson.”

“Oh, right.”

“We’ve got a Hobie Cat and two wave runners for fun.  Jasonis supposed to bring a volleyball set.”

“Where is he?”

“He called and said he’d be late.  Some kind of drama withAlex,” Emily said, giving Matthew a wink which suggested that he should checkit out.

Matthew walked down to the beach where the others had pitchedtheir umbrellas and laid out the beach chairs he’d brought.  Then he plantedhis umbrella in the sand, staking his claim to the spot.

Matthew took the opportunity to open his portal and check inon Alex and Jason.  He focused on Jason and his portal opened in the livingroom of the Morrisons’ house.  Jason was sitting in a chair playing on hisphone.  Matthew focused on Alex, and his portal opened in the den where Alex’sfather, Sir William, maintained a home office.

“I don’t want to live in Moscow!” Alex moaned.

“We understand,” Sir William said, “but we can’t just leaveyou here.”

“Why not?  I’m seventeen!”

“That’s just seventeen, not eighteen, and certainly nottwenty-one.  You cannot just live on your own,” Mrs. Morrison said.

“Why can’t you stay here with me?”


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