“Boris Bovalcheck please, Nick Sorrento here.” “Please hold” A pause while Nick glanced out the window at the street below. “Nick how are you? Nice surprise to hear from you old man.” came the gruff accented voice of fifty six year old, CIA veteran, Boris Bovalcheck. Boris had the gravel of forty-five years of smoking in his voice. Nick worked with Boris in the agency for 15 years, all of that in the Moscow bureau before Nick called it quits.
Nick met Nikita through friends when he took the job writing grants for Tony at a quiet consulting firm outside DC. “Trouble Boris, I think Nikita’s been grabbed by the Russian mob in Moscow.” “What!? How did you find out?” Nick told Boris the story, “I was talking to her, she was in her room at the Pleshka. Someone came to the door, I heard a guy barking orders to open the door, sounded like they busted in through the chain. Nikita screamed, sounded like they grabbed her and left.” “Didn’t anyone at the hotel call the cops?” “I called the hotel immediately, but they’re on the take, the guy told me I had the wrong hotel, said she was never there.” “Holy crap Nick, let me make some calls. What was she doing in Moscow anyway? I thought you two were both retired, living quiet, boring lives at the end of the Red Line near Shady Cove.” “We were until about two minutes ago. She went to Russia for a trade show, she’s a rep for SafeCon.” “SafeCon’s on my watch list Nick.” “What?” “Yeah, ownership is into some shady schemes. Let me go and check with my contacts. You get down here and I’ll fill you in. Hopefully I’ll learn something by then…and Nick.” “Yeah?” “Don’t call anyone else.” “Whatever you say Boris. I’ll be in your office as fast as I can.” “Good, I’ll leave a pass for you at the security desk.”
In one continuous movement, as though he’d practiced it over and over, Nick opened the wall safe, removed his passport, cash, and Glock, threw on some clothes, turned on a concealed security camera system, grabbed his computer, set the alarm, and closed the door behind him. Out on the street it was a bright frosty November morning, manhole covers steamed, and traffic was brisk. Nick would call Tony from the train and let him know the grant draft wouldn’t be completed until late. He needed to buy time or there’d be hell to pay. Nick zig-zagged between stopped traffic to cross the street thinking about Nikita, then he slipped down the steep escalator into the underground Metro.
Chapter 4 tomorrow!