The Nineteenth Year by Jevic, The Tarheel Writer    The Nineteenth Year
by Jevic
The Tarheel Writer
Chapter One
"Memories"

Back to The Introduction
"Introduction by the author"
On to Chapter Two
"Enemies ... Good and Bad"
Chapter Index

Jevic's Story Page

The Nineteenth Year by Jevic, The Tarheel Writer

Action Adventure
Violence
Sexual Situations
Rated Teen 13+

Proudly presented by The Tarheel Writer - On the Web since 24 February 2003. Celebrating 20 Years on the Internet!
Tarheel Home Page

The long walk in the woods amidst the towering pines gave Daniel the time and the inner strength to deal with the harsh memories. They had been neatly packed away in their proper place of peace but just moments ago those memories had been savagely jolted loose. It was more than the young man could bear. Maybe if he had been prepared. Maybe if he had some hint that it was coming. Maybe he would have had time to prepare. Instead, he was blindsided with a message from his past sending a hot cauldron of painful memories spilling into his conscious mind.

The deep blue sky was in stark contrast to the green of the pines as their branches gently swayed in the humid South Georgia breeze. Daniel squinted his eyes to protect them from the bright sun as he looked up. The fresh scent of pine filled the air. The pallet of damp pine needles under his bare feet, still soft from the morning mist, offered comfort. A multitude of birds were hopping from one tree to the other, all the while singing their song … gently serenading Daniel and helping bring him back from the brink of tears.

The two dogs, tails wagging, kept their eyes sharp. They gazed back and forth across the forest trail looking for any movement. Sam and Dave were good dogs and always obeyed Daniel's commands. Being a fan of old music, he had named them after one of his favorite duos. Sam and Dave loved the walks in the woods. They got their chance to visit with their forest friends … the squirrels, the field mice, and the occasional deer.

As system administrator and security expert for one of the largest Internet Providers on the East Coast, Daniel had just saved his company from a vicious attack. It hadn't been easy, but his keen eye allowed him to locate the computer virus and isolate it. Then he wrote a quick program to counter the attack and destroy the rogue virus. The entire procedure hadn't taken more than fifteen minutes. Although this had been the most sophisticated virus to attack his system for some time, it was considered to be a routine exercise in system security. It was the email he received after destroying the virus that sent him on his walk though the woods. The black typed letters on the white background unleashed a bevy of memories. The cursor had flashed on the screen at its heartbeat like pace, taunting him. The walk in the forest was necessary to refocus, to regroup, and to find his inner peace.

At nineteen, Daniel Simon was one of the youngest senior system administrators in the country. Back in high school, his only friend, who was really more of an acquaintance, told him he would never amount to anything. Daniel resented the comment and never talked to the boy again. But that short conversation was the catalyst to an underlying determination, the intensity of which, few had seen before. It was that determination, despite a few major set backs that put him where he was today. The intensity level he gave every project helped conceal the horrible time in his life when the very seed for that determination had been planted.

Rounding the last bend in the trail before leaving the forest and entering the privacy of his back yard, Daniel was stopped by his neighbor and lifelong friend. She waved at him from the short distance between their yards, and he waved back, trying to smile, but not being very successful. He let his pups loose and they scurried toward their friend, the neighbor's dog, Percy. Pausing at the back door, Daniel waved again at Teri.

"Can you watch 'em for me?" he called out.

"Sure! Wanna have supper tonight?" she called back.

"Sounds good," he called out. Daniel pulled the back screen door open and went inside. Trying his best not to look at the computer screen, he quickly went to the kitchen. He picked up an apple and gave it a bite. Daniel always kept fresh fruit around his house for snacks. His desire to be healthy carried over into his passion for cooking. And it all paid off with a body that radiated health and fitness.

The glow of the monitor in his home office reflected off the window overlooking the well-manicured side yard. Everything Daniel took on, he approached with one hundred ten percent of his energy. His job with Blue Connect had swept him into the world of cyber security, servers, T-1 lines, and satellites. His enthusiasm never wavered as he took on the awesome responsibility of overseeing and protecting Internet service for over a hundred and fifty thousand subscribers. He had the perfect job. He lived in a perfect house. He had perfect pets and a perfect best friend and neighbor. Still, the rancid reality of his past coursed through his mind. Daily Katas exercise helped him to keep those memories placed well out of reach and influence. Now his past had reared its ugly head in the simple form of an email.

Daniel moved around the edge of his desk. Taking another bite of his apple, he peered once again at the message on the screen.

        Hey Danny! I see you took care of my little virus. You really have learned a lot since we last saw each other. It's been too long. I want my little Danny back. Come back to me, Danny, and let's play.

The voice from the past echoed in his mind. How could it be that this evil had tracked him down? What did he really want? Just as he was ready to hit the delete key, another email appeared.

        Go ahead and delete the message, but be warned, Danny. I won't go away. I'll be here … waiting … waiting for you, Danny. And just to prove it, check your front door.

The sound of the doorbell hit him like a locomotive. "What the hell?" he stammered out loud. Daniel dropped back into his chair. The doorbell rang out again. Jumping to his feet, he ran to the front door and slung it open.

"Package for Danny Simon," said the UPS driver as the held out a small package wrapped in brown paper. Thousands of memories slammed into Daniel's head ... all at one time! He literally gasped out loud. His breath was stolen by the realization that the past had caught up. It was one of those moments of realization that you never want to happen ... like a doctor's diagnosis of cancer or the phone call in the middle of the night telling you about the traffic accident. It's something you try not to think about. It's something that happens to other people, not you. Only in this case, it was happening. It was stone cold hard reality knocking at the door.

"Look, are you Danny Simon or am I at the wrong address?" asked the impatient driver. Daniel brought himself back to the present and looked at the driver.

"Oh, ah, yeah. I'm Danny ... Daniel Simon," he stammered as he corrected himself.

"Well, here ya go. You don't have to sign."

"Uh, thanks," he said as he took the small package. The driver turned to get in his brown truck and Daniel closed the front door. He stared at the package intently. The size … the proportions … gave a prelude to something he didn't want to see.

The sound from his computer notifying him of a new email snapped him back from speculation. Looking up, Daniel made his way to his home office … his usual sure stance … now not so steady. Despite his routine uniform of the day, tee shirt and his favorite, worn out pair of shorts, he was sweating. Sitting in front of the computer, he slowly moved the mouse over the new email icon and, after pausing a moment, he clicked.

        Oh the memories that package brings, Danny. You know what you're holding without even opening it. I want you back, Danny, and I'm going to arrange it so you'll want to be back. Enjoy the tape ... I'll be in touch soon.

Daniel angrily threw the unopened package across the room. It smashed into the far wall and fell to the floor with a one-bounce thud.

"Hey, are you OK?" Daniel spun around toward the door and immediately took a defensive stance. "Sorry, didn't mean to scare you," said Teri. He quickly hit the delete key several times, clearing his email in-box, then looked up at his best friend.

"Oh, it's OK, Teri. I guess I didn't hear you come in."

"You seem distracted. Are you OK?"

"Yeah, just a lot on my mind."

"Honest?"

"Honest," said Daniel, smiling with a great deal of effort.

"OK, if you're sure," said Teri, not truly convinced.

"I'm sure." Teri had almost become used to Daniel's evasive answers when she pressed him. This was one of those moments when she knew to let well enough alone.

"Good. I brought Sam and Dave back. I've got a list of things I need from the market. What do you want for supper? I can pick up any thing we need."

"I was thinking, maybe, baked Ziti."

"One of my favorites. I love it when you cook."

"Well, I love to cook. So it's a win win," Daniel said, forcing another smile.

"What do you need from the market?"

"I'll just go with you. Things are pretty much taken care of here."

"Great. I'll go close up my house and meet you in the driveway." Daniel and Teri lived at the end of a long sandy road. The only other house nearby was the gentlemen rancher at the start of the road. Behind their houses was a vast forest that ran deep into the Georgia backcountry. The forest started as only pines, but as one ventured deeper, oak trees became interspersed with the pines. Deer were plentiful and often came right up to Daniel's backyard fence. Somehow they sensed Daniel's love and respect for nature.

After pulling the tee shirt over his head, Daniel wiped the sweat off his chest and casually tossed it into the laundry hamper. His thin cotton shorts followed closely behind. Looking into the mirror, he saw the ideal body, perfect in form. Just above his flat stomach was a broad chest with hard developed pectoral muscles. From his broad shoulders, his arms with bulging biceps and strong forearms hung to his side. Daniel's blond hair hung loosely around his shoulders, framing his model-like face. The boxer briefs clung to his muscular legs, which were well tanned like the rest of his body. His ocean blue eyes cascaded down his body, taking in all the details. He worked hard to have a body many would envy, but even at the young age of nineteen, Daniel knew that exercise and a healthy diet would lead to a long life free of normal aging problems.

Pulling on a pair of dark blue Nike training shorts, Daniel's mind still raced. He thought about the time when he was eleven; that evil, dark time that he had so carefully locked away as a distant memory. He moved to the kitchen and checked the fridge. Mentally taking note of what he needed for supper, he closed the door. Sam and Dave got a scratch behind the ears, and then Daniel headed outside to meet Teri.

Even though Daniel was operating in the here and now, his thoughts were racing through the events of eight years ago. The events seemed just as fresh in his mind today as they did then. The pain, loneliness, and helplessness transcended the years. The memories and the emotions were usually tucked neatly away, but today they had been set free to roam through his conscious mind.

Daniel stumbled out his front door and headed for his car. The brand new Buick was paid for in cash. Even though he had to just about eat rice for two years, he saved enough money to buy it outright. Daniel lived by a strict budget he set up for himself. It was just another way of dealing with his insidious past.

"I'm glad you're driving," said Teri and she came to meet him. "I hate the way these idiots drive around here." She opened the passenger's door and sat down. "Man, that AC feels good."

"If one more person hits the phone pole and knocks our power out, I'm gonna get a generator," said Daniel disgustedly.

"You don't seem to be yourself today. Is there something you want to talk about?" Teri said as Daniel swung his new Buick Park Avenue onto the long driveway. Daniel sighed deeply. He briefly considered sharing the emails, but dismissed the thought as soon as it entered his mind.

"Just kinda stressed with work. How've you been?" he asked, trying to change the subject.

"I've been fine and you know that. Now what's eating at you?" Teri said flatly. Daniel studied the heads up display and adjusted the volume on the CD player. He glanced up at his rear view LCD screen. The trunk mounted camera showed the dust rising from the unpaved road as they made their way for the highway. Daniel did everything he could to avoid the questions from his best friend.

"Did you see the deer in the yard this morning?" he asked, trying to change the subject again.

"Yes, I saw the deer. We talked about them earlier today. Now are you gonna tell me what's bothering you or what?" Teri said firmly. Daniel sighed out loud, knowing Teri wouldn't drop it until he told her.

"I got an email."

"Yeah? And I get emails too."

"It was from …" he started, but a car suddenly swerved into their path. Daniel immediately spun the wheel to the right. The tires broke traction in the sandy soil and started to slide sideways. Daniel spun the wheel in the direction of the slide, trying desperately to bring it under control. But the correction was too much. The thirty-five hundred pound car swerved back across the road and slammed violently into the ditch, turning up on its side.

Suspended in the air by his seatbelt, Daniel looked down at Teri. She had a deep gash in her forehead and appeared to be unconscious. He glanced through the front windshield and saw the car he had tried to avoid hitting. It was one of the big sport utility vehicles, a black Chevrolet Suburban with dark tinted windows. The SUV had come to an abrupt stop about twenty feet in front of Daniel's car. As Daniel watched, the vehicle slowly made a three-point road turn, paused a moment, then shot off down the road.

Daniel loosened his seatbelt and grabbed the steering wheel as he started to fall toward Teri. His forearms burned from where the air bag had inflated, but he paid no attention to his discomfort. He quickly checked on Teri.

"Teri. Teri! Please, Teri. Say something," Daniel said as he gently shook Teri's shoulder. She moaned softly and fluttered her eyes open to look at Daniel.

"W-what happened?" she stammered.

"We had a wreck. Are you OK? Is anything broken?"

"No, I-I think I'm OK. My head hurts though."

"You've got a pretty nasty cut on your forehead." Teri reached up and put her hand briefly to her forehead. The pain was intense and the blood left on her hand reinforced the throbbing feeling. Daniel ripped a piece of cloth from the tail of Teri's shirt and dabbed the cut.

"There now, it looks like the bleeding has stopped. Come on, let's see if we can get out of here," Daniel said as he helped Teri out of her seatbelt. After struggling with the straps for a moment, Teri was finally free, but she was still dizzy and continued to press the piece of her shirt against the cut. Daniel stood on the passenger door and reached up to open the driver's door. He strained against the weight of the door and pushed up with all his might, but the door wouldn't budge.

"Looks like we'll have to find another way out," said Teri. Daniel looked around the interior of the vehicle. "And I think I smell gasoline," she added. The implications of the smell hit them both like a ton of bricks. Daniel looked at the windshield. Then he looked down at his bare feet. Then he looked at his bare chest. Then he looked at Teri. She was barefoot too.

"We gotta knock the windshield out," he said. Teri nodded weakly, her eyes fluttered a moment and then she passed out. A loud whooshing sound came from the rear of the car. Daniel looked just in time to see flames shooting up from the trunk. He gasped out loud and looked down at his unconscious best friend. Turning his attention to the windshield, Daniel knew he had to knock it out. Cutting his foot in the process would be a small price to pay to save both their lives. The best angle of attack would come from being on his back, but Teri was right where he needed to be. Facing the rear of the car, Daniel raised his leg and kicked backward toward the glass. His heel made the first contact, but the windshield refused to budge. Ignoring the growing pain in his foot, Daniel braced himself against the seat and kicked a second time. Once again, the windshield refused to move. Smoke started to make its way into the car and the heat from the flames was growing. Daniel knew an explosion was imminent. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Gathering his focus and pulling in the same concentration he used during his Katas, Daniel once again drove his foot toward the windshield. His heel made contact next to the rear view LCD screen. The spot his heel hit couldn't have been better placed. Striking the windshield along its edge, at its weakest point, gave Daniel the advantage he needed. The glass popped out a couple of inches and remained completely intact. He quickly pushed the windshield out of the way. Once he had crawled outside, Daniel turned and grabbed Teri's arms. Being as careful as he could, but at the same time moving as quickly as possible, he pulled her from the car. He swooped her up into his arms and ran away from the car as fast as possible.

The explosion literally lifted the vehicle a dozen feet into the air. It crashed back down to earth as a roaring ball of flaming twisted metal with a sound that would only be familiar on a battlefield. The concussion of the blast knocked Daniel off his feet. He quickly covered his and Teri's faces as broken glass and small metal pieces flew out in every direction.

Daniel looked over his shoulder at his brand new car now totally engulfed in flames. Then he looked down at Teri. She appeared to be coming out of it. Her moans and fluttering eyelids slowly gave way to half opened eyes. Daniel smiled slightly, knowing she was OK.

"What happened?" she asked weakly.

"We got out. Everything's OK now."

A sudden roaring sound came from the other direction, not from the direction of the wrecked car, but the opposite direction. Daniel snapped his head up just in time to see the black Chevrolet Suburban hurtling toward them. Daniel wrapped his arms around Teri and rolled them both quickly toward the ditch. The big black SUV came to a screeching stop with clouds of dust rolling into the midday air. Two men in black suits quickly got out of the car. They were on Daniel before he had a chance to react. Handcuffs were snapped to his wrists after his arms had been roughly shoved behind his back. A hood of some sort was placed over his head and he felt himself being lifted up.

"What the hell …" he started but was quickly cut off by a sharp blow to his stomach. The men threw Daniel into the back of the SUV and roared off down the road, leaving Teri lying in the ditch wondering what the hell had just happened.

Teri struggled to regain full consciousness and slowly pulled herself out of the ditch and up on to her knees. She looked down the long drive toward the road … the direction the big SUV had gone when it took her best friend. Her head was pounding. She glanced back at the once brand new Buick, now nothing more than hot scrap metal with thick black smoke boiling up into the blue Georgia sky. Teri reached up to her head and felt the gash. The dried blood on the side of her face actually looked worse than it really was, but the throbbing in her head refused to let up. She struggled to her feet.

It was at least a half-mile back to her house and probably a mile in the other direction to the main road, if you could call it that. Teri looked left and then right. The only thing she could see was the long sandy drive disappearing in each direction. What had once been familiar and secure, suddenly became isolated and frightening.

She had a long discussion with Daniel about moving there. After his parents threw him out of the house at the tender age of sixteen, he had applied for and received emancipation status with the state. Now he could act legally as an adult. He and Teri decided to rent the two houses at the end of the long drive so they could be together and look after one another. Both had a deep respect and admiration for nature and the huge forest behind the houses was perfect. The location of the houses provided the perfect setting. They were far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the tourists coming to visit the South Georgia barrier islands that they could enjoy the quiet of the rural Georgia countryside, but they were still close enough to the city and the islands to get what they needed without having to drive miles and miles. It was the best of all worlds for both of them.

It hadn't been easy, but determination and a dogged will to show everybody that he could do what they said he couldn't had brought Daniel to the life he now found comfortable. Yes, comfortable. For the first time in eight years, he actually felt safe. The job had been a Godsend and Daniel knew the owner of the company really had to walk out on a limb to trust a sixteen year old with such awesome responsibility, but Jim trusted Daniel. He had been witness to Daniel's dedication, determination and expertise. The only thing Jim had to overcome were customers refusing for a kid to work on their precious computer equipment. Little did those customers know, but the kid knew more about computers, networking, servers, and the Internet than they would ever know.

The customers that did finally give in and allow Daniel to work on their systems praised his work. Just like everything else, Daniel threw one hundred and ten percent into not only repairing the customer's equipment, but making it more efficient as well. Daniel would often find customers welcoming him with open arms and even getting him lunch while he worked.

Teri winced as she touched her forehead. She held her hand still to block out the sun and looked in both directions again. Nothing. No cars and no people. She turned back toward her house and started walking. Then the questions came … firing like pistols at a shooting range. What is going on? Who are those people? Why did they take Daniel? Is Daniel OK? Well, obviously no. They took him by force. But who are they and why did they take him? Why didn't they take me? What am I gonna do?

"What's happening?!?" she screamed as she sank to her knees in the middle of the drive. Her hands instinctively rose as she buried her tear stained face into them. "What's happening?" she asked no one in particular, much quieter this time. It was just moments later that a sudden resolve pushed the muckity muck aside and Teri stood up. A new determination gleamed in her eyes. Daniel had been taken and it was up to her to do something about it. The walk turned into a jog. Then the jog turned into a run. And then the run turned into an all out sprint.

The pain in her forehead pounded with each beat of her heart as she ran up to her front door. As she grabbed the doorknob and found it locked, she realized her keys were still in Daniel's car. She zoomed across the drive to Daniel's house and tried his door. Luck was with her as the doorknob turned. Teri ran to the nearest phone and picked it up. There was no dial tone.

"What the fuck?" she muttered under her breath. She ran to Daniel's home office and tried his business line. No dial tone. She stared at the computer screen for a moment, and then quickly sat down to access the Internet. Since Daniel was connected to a T-1 line, surely the connection would be active. She activated the Trillian Chat Manager Program to see who was on line. Instantly she recognized one of their friends in North Carolina. Teri right mouse clicked and sent an instant message.

Daniel:     Jevic! Help me quick!

Jevic:       Hey, Daniel! What's up?

Daniel:     It's me, Teri. There's been a wreck!

Jevic:       Is everybody all right?

Daniel:     Daniel's been kidnapped! And all the phones are dead!

Jevic:       OMG! I'll call for you. What do you need?

Daniel:     Police! And get a fire truck too. Daniel's car is completely burned up.

Jevic:       It's gonna be OK, Teri! I'm dialing right now.

Teri explained to her friend where the car was. In just a moment, he confirmed that the police and a fire truck were on the way. She thanked him and promised to keep him up to date, and then Teri slumped back into Daniel's chair. She remained there trying to take in what had just happened. In the distance should could hear sirens and knew help was on the way. They would be able to help with the car and with the cut on her head, but what about Daniel? Who would want to run them off the road? Who would want to kidnap Daniel? There were just too many questions and not nearly enough answers.

A sudden urgent knocking at the door snapped her out of the cloud of worry that had descended on her. Teri jumped up and went to the door. Pulling it open, she looked into the eyes of a police officer.

"Are you the one that called?" he asked. Teri's emotions finally caught up and great big tears rolled down her face and she nodded in the affirmative.

"He saved my life and then they took him away," she sobbed. The officer moved in quickly and put his arm around her shoulders. He helped her over to the couch and they sat down.

"Why don't you let me take you to the hospital? You've got a pretty good gash on your forehead," the officer offered.

"No, I'm fine, really. Thank you."

"Then let's start at the beginning. Tell me what happened." Teri took a deep breath and told the officer everything. He took notes on everything she said and was particularly interested in the big SUV. Then he explained that the car would be towed in and that a detective would be in touch later in the afternoon. The officer thanked her for her cooperation and left her sitting on Daniel's couch, trying to cope with the events that had taken her best friend away.

It was sixteen years ago that Teri and Daniel first met. Daniel's family moved into the house next door. Before the moving van was anywhere near unloaded, the two were playing together in Teri's back yard. Even at the tender age of three and four, the two seemed to know they would be inseparable friends. They attended the same church, the same daycare and later, the same school. They shared their innermost secrets, desires, and worries. Being the only child in each family, they became brother and sister to each other, enjoying a closeness few have ever experienced. Family friends marveled at the friendship between the little blond haired, blue eyed boy and the dark haired, dark eyed girl. The only physical trait the two youngsters shared was their tolerance of the sun. Both enjoyed deep tans, even all over tans before their parents insisted they wear clothes.

Teri and Daniel shared a compassion for their neighbors, particularly the older ones. The two elderly sisters who lived a few houses down the street would often wake up to find the two "cuties," as they affectionately called them, working in the yard; weeding the flowers, raking leaves, mowing the grass or sweeping the walk. The sisters, Mary Sue and Pinn, would bring tall glasses of tea to the youngsters. When the job was completed, the sisters always tried to pay. Teri and Daniel would just smile and never accept any kind of payment, so the sisters would end up thanking them profusely.

It wasn't just the sisters that received that kind of attention. Old man Tate, the widower down the street, had trouble walking. His newspaper always seemed to make it to the front porch. Jim and Lib Morrison, the retired couple across the street, had a steep driveway. On garbage day, their trashcan always made it to the street. All this kindness was without parental prodding. It was just the kind of kids they were and the kind of adults they were growing into.

Teri walked into the kitchen and suddenly remembered they had planned for Daniel to prepare his famous baked Ziti for supper. Another round of tears boiled to the surface. Where could he be? Is he OK? Is he hurt? All the questions that could be asked were floating around in Teri's head. They played back over and over like a bad movie. She rubbed her temples. All the tears and all the worry weren't helping her headache. Her aspirin was at home in her medicine cabinet, but she didn't want to leave Daniel's house. She felt closer to him there.

Their parents, at first, shared the closeness and enjoyed backyard cookouts and parties together. But that friendship cooled when Daniel's parents decided to join a fundamentalist church. The once friendly neighbors now argued about family values. For a brief time, their disagreeing parents separated the two best friends, but they still managed to secretly meet and discuss the rift between their families. It was a short time after the neighborly friendship broke up that Daniel found himself kicked out of the house and living on the street. It had been Teri that stood by his side through it all.

The memories of their childhood played back in her mind as she carefully washed the dried blood off her face. She put a Band-Aid on the cut on her forehead and sat down at the kitchen table. It was too quiet. Even Sam and Dave could sense her sadness. The dogs came up to Teri wagging their tails, trying to offer her some comfort.

"I guess you guys need a walk," she said. She grabbed the spare key to her house from the nail by Daniel's kitchen door and let the dogs out. Sam and Dave followed her across the driveway, jumping up and down in the knowledge that their friend Percy would be joining them for a forest walk. Percy's nose pulled the door open even before Teri could get her key out of the lock. He came bounding out and joined his friends jumping around in the yard. Teri couldn't help but envy the dogs. They had not a care in the world, while Teri, on the other hand, felt the full weight of it on her shoulders.

"Come on, you guys. Let's go," she said as she clipped on their leashes and headed for the forest trail. The dogs happily tugged her along, their tails wagging at a mile a minute. Giant tears rolled down Teri's face as she made her way down the path. She could almost feel Daniel's presence. She loved him with all her heart and was desperately worried. She pondered all the events of the day. Who would kidnap him and more importantly, why? She had put two and two together, but they kept adding up to five. It just didn't make sense.

As Teri made her way down the path, enjoying the pine scent in the air, she remembered the countless times she had shared that path with Daniel. And now he wasn't with her. How long would it be before she could have her friend by her side again? Would she ever have him back? The thought rang through her head and more tears rolled down her cheeks.

Teri surprised herself when she realized she was talking out loud and the dogs had stopped to listen. She bent down and hugged each one, giving them a loving scratch or two.

Dave suddenly let out a quiet growl. Then the snap of the twig in the not too far distance reached Teri's ears. She stood quickly and scanned the surrounding forest. Her eyes caught sight of him before he saw her. A man in a dark suit was making his way down the forest path. He was dressed just like the men in the black SUV. Panic swept over Teri. Her heartbeat went into triple time. She glanced around her. No place to hide. Not even a bush. But she did have her dogs and all three of them looked intently at the man coming toward them … the hair on their backs standing on end. More quiet growls. Teri wanted desperately to run, but there was nowhere to go.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


On to Chapter Two
"Enemies ... Good and Bad"

Back to The Introduction


Chapter Index

Jevic's Story Page


The Nineteenth Year is Copyright © 2008 by The Tarheel Writer.
    This work may not be duplicated in any form (physical, electronic, audio, or otherwise) without the author's written permission. All applicable copyright laws apply. All individuals depicted are fictional with any resemblance to real persons being purely coincidental.


Home Page | Authors | Stories by the Writer
Suggested Reading | Suggested Viewing | Links
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Send a Comment

All Site Content © 2003 - 2024 Tarheel Writer unless otherwise noted
Layout © 2003 - 2024 Tarheel Writer

We Stand with and Support Ukraine