Staring out at the sunset. Water ebbing, and flowing over his feet. John Gabriel Warden finally felt content. He found paradise. Not only did he find paradise, but he bought a house and bar on it. Things couldn’t get any better than this. That’s what Warden thought. Until he met her. Warden didn’t start out looking for love, but destiny put them on a path towards each other. What she or Warden didn’t know was that his troubled past would be coming back to haunt them.
In this action packed adventure, Warden and his friends will be shocked out of their relative calm. Just when they put their old lives behind them, they will be forced once again to respond with the violence of action. There is no shying away from it; scores will need to be settled. They will have to see if they can muster enough strength to make it through this one last devastating struggle between life and death. Will they be able to wake from this nightmare, or will their dreams that became a reality be forever ruined? They didn’t start this fight, but they are more than ready to finish it.
Targeted Age Group:: 18-99
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This is book 2 of my Warden Series Trilogy. I was inspired to write this trilogy based on my experience on being a Marine during the Invasion of Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom 1. We heard that other service members found gold, money, and other treasures in the palaces. My fellow Marines and I talked about what we would do if we were in their place. 18-20 year olds have such a creative imagination! Book 2 is what I would think would happen after they made it home with the treasure. How would life go on? Would they be able to make good on the discovery? What would they do next?
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
These characters were created out of the thin air. Some characters had personality traits, background info, or experiences of other people I knew. Or from myself. They’re mostly original people though. I wanted to create regular people, not superhumans with the attributes of 20 people. I wanted characters that people could relate too. People who made mistakes, did good things, and did bad things. People who won sometimes, and who lost sometimes.
It took about an hour, but Warden and Pierre finished up picking up debris. The parking lot was clear of any big pieces, and so was the area around the sides of the bar. The beach was clear of any big pieces of litter as well. They’d let the wind take away the small leaves, and branches that covered the place for now. They could rake the smaller debris out in the sunlight. Warden walked over to the debris pile where Pierre was tossing in tree branches.
“Ok bud, I think we’re good. You wanna call it? It’s a lil past 9. We’ll have to get some rest if we’re opening up tomorrow,” Warden said.
Pierre tossed the last of the branches into the pile, and looked back at the bar.
“I think it’s good for now. I’ll go through again tomorrow morning. Assuming the power comes back on before you open up,” Pierre said.
Warden put his hand up to his forehead.
“Shit! I didn’t think of that. Man, I hope it comes back on tonight. Or at least tomorrow,” Warden said.
As Warden finished, they heard an engine. A car was approaching on the side road, and heading for his parking lot. It was getting late, and Warden tensed. He didn’t think normal people would be coming down here at this time. Who’d be heading to the bar when the power was out, Warden thought to himself. Pierre moved to the back of the pile, and faced the entrance of the parking lot. He rested his hand on a cricket sized tree branch. Warden was hoping that Pierre would swing it like one if it came down to it.
A mid-sized sedan pulled into the parking lot, and drove straight to where Warden, and Pierre stood. It stopped a few feet away from them, with the headlights blinding Warden. Warden just stared at the area where the windshield should be, and tried to look as disinterested as possible. The driver opened the door, and stepped out of the car.
“Hey you. You open bar?” a man asked in a thick accent Warden couldn’t place.
It could be Russian, Turkish, or somewhere else far away from here. Warden squinted, and held his hand up to shield his eyes.
“Could you cut your lights please?” Warden asked.
The man said something Warden didn’t understand. Warden saw movement, and could make out the driver’s form leaning into the car. He cut the headlights, and Warden blinked a few times. His night vision kicked back in slowly. When he finally got it back, he could make out a man that looked somewhat Turkish. He also looked somewhat East Asian. The man had two other passengers in the car. The front passenger looked to be Caucasian with some Asian features. If Warden had to guess, these guys were from an ex-Soviet Republic in Central Asia.
“You open bar or no?” the driver asked again.
Warden pointed at the debris pile, and shook his head.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t open now. We’re cleaning up. You can check back tomorrow,” Warden said.
The Central Asian man spit on the ground, and said something Warden was sure was Russian. It didn’t sound all that nice either. Out of the corner of Warden’s eye, he saw Pierre’s hand grip the bottom of the tree branch. Swinging a tree branch with leaves, and smaller branches on it might not be that effective. But it was better than nothing.
Warden put his hands on his hips, and made sure not to make any sudden or threatening movements. He didn’t know who these guys were, or what they wanted. But he wouldn’t be the one to start a fight with them. Even though he was confident that he, and Pierre could take on three attackers. Before anything else happened, the driver stepped back into the car.
Warden felt relieved at that, but they weren’t out of the woods yet. The driver not only turned on his headlights, but he had turned his high beams on as well. If Warden had a hard time seeing before, he really couldn’t see this time. Warden held his hand up to block the light, and smiled. He held his hand up in a wave. He decided to try kindness.
The Central Asian man put the car in drive, and slowly turned the car away from Warden. As he turned the car at a crawl, he halted when the driver’s window was a few feet away from Warden. The man smiled, but it didn’t look friendly at all. Warden looked harder, and saw that a few of the man’s teeth looked metallic. Warden remembered reading how in the USSR, lots of people had metal crowns. The man muttered something that didn’t sound Russian, and the others laughed. He waved at Warden, and Warden knew the man was making a mockery of him. Warden put his hand down, stopped smiling, and nodded.
The Central Asian started to inch his car forward, and to turn towards the exit of the parking lot. What he didn’t know, but Warden saw a few seconds ago, was that Sergeant Cooke’s police car had reentered the parking lot. Sergeant Cooke was in full uniform, and walked behind the car towards Warden. Warden waved again at the driver.
“Have a good one Ivan,” Warden said.
The man stopped the car, and put his head out of the window. He had not driven too far away yet, so he didn’t see Sergeant Cooke.
“What you says?” the man asked.
Sergeant Cooke walked up to Warden’s side, and the man’s eyes flashed wide at seeing the Cop arrive out of nowhere. His head disappeared from the window, and the car accelerated to the exit. He didn’t drive dangerously, so Sergeant Cooke couldn’t do anything. He just smiled and waved.
“Goodbye, motherfuckers,” Sergeant Cooke said.
Pierre let out a sigh of relief, and Warden blew out a deep breath. Sergeant Cooke shook Warden’s hand, and then Pierre’s.
“What the fuck was that all about? You know those guys?” Warden asked.
Sergeant Cooke looked disappointed. He crossed his arms, and nodded in reply.
“Unfortunately yes. Not everyone who buys citizenship is like you. For every good you, there’s hundreds of bad ones like that. Mostly, people who buy citizenship don’t come here to live. They buy the citizenship so they can go to places that our passports get them into. Like the UK. But some of the bad apples do end up here from time to time. I’ve seen those men before. They stay farther up the coast. Bunch of no good doing criminals if you ask me. But we haven’t caught them doing anything yet,” Sergeant Cooke said.
“Well, they were very interested in my bar for some reason. Maybe they’re just misunderstood. If they come back when I open, I’ll let you know how they are,” Warden said.
As the two spoke, Pierre watched. Then he interrupted Warden with something that he couldn’t stop thinking about.
“Mr. Warden. Those men weren’t looking for an open bar. They were looking for a closed one. With the storm brewing they may be driving around looking for places like this,” Pierre said.
Warden knew that Pierre was much older than he was, and that Pierre had a checkered past in his youth. So Warden was confident that Pierre knew a little something of what he was talking about. What he said did make sense. Warden just hoped that those guys stumbled upon the Four Happy Turtles Bar and Grill by chance.
Sergeant Cooke turned, and walked towards his car.
“It’s best I be following them. Make sure they go home, and aren’t up to anything suspicious,” Sergeant Cooke said.
Sergeant Cooke got into his cruiser, and drove off. Warden turned to Pierre, and looked at the older man. All wiry muscle, and graying hair. Slightly shorter, but full of energy. Warden was sure that Pierre possessed an active intellect. If it wasn’t for his being born in poverty, he may have reached a higher station in life.
“Pierre, you’re a fuckin God send. I’m telling you man. I had some serious wool over my eyes on that one. We’ll have to keep an eye out for those guys. Good call bud. Now let’s get you home. Those assholes kinda ruined my mood,” Warden said.
Warden and Pierre walked to the truck. Warden took one last look at the bar as Pierre got into the truck. He knew that he wouldn’t do anything stupid, but he wouldn’t let anyone fuck with his place. Warden just hoped that it wouldn’t come to something like that.
He got into the truck, and turned it on. As they exited the parking lot, Pierre turned down the radio.
“I know all about those guys Mr. Warden. My nephew talks about a group of East Asian mixed European types not far from here. There mixed up in all sorts of criminal enterprises,” Pierre said.
Warden nodded. He wasn’t surprised. Since the iron curtain fell, all sorts of people from the old USSR were involved with some sort of capitalism. Some just happened to dabble in criminal capitalism. As long as they didn’t act like idiots at his bar, Warden would be fine. Warden tried to foster an open, and pleasant experience at his establishment. Everyone was welcome. If people came there to have a good time, and relax? Then he was fine with it. He was known for diffusing situations, and keeping the atmosphere light.
“Oh I’m sure. Those guys didn’t look like they were star pupils, you know? We’ll try to make sure they behave at the bar if they ever come in. And things should be fine. You know my policy, everyone’s welcome,” Warden said.
Pierre nodded. Pierre looked like he didn’t agree with that philosophy. Warden needed to deflect.
“And thanks for the back up when they were there. I saw you with that branch. You were ready to knock someone’s head off,” Warden said.
Pierre laughed. Warden could see from the corner of his eye that Pierre stopped being so tense. Pierre even turned the radio back up.
“I was going to shove that whole branch up their ass. Leaves and all,” Pierre said.
Warden started to laugh hard at this. So did Pierre. Warden didn’t doubt that Pierre could do it. As he laughed, Warden noticed that they were passing Prince John’s Medical University. He still laughed, but he glanced out of the window towards the campus building. He wondered if the Doctor in training that he liked was doing ok. Pierre noticed Warden looking too.
Warden eventually made it to Pierre’s place, and dropped him off. Then he took the slow drive back to his home. Warden thought of the car full of Central Asians the whole time. Times like this made him wish his Marine friends were still around. But he was glad he had new ones like Olly, Pierre, Alec, and Sergeant Cooke on the island.
After Warden parked, he got out his flashlight. He locked his truck, and got into the house. As he walked in, he tried the light switch. Nothing happened. So he locked the doors, and went back to the bedroom. He got undressed, and wondered if he should shower or not. The water was bound to be freezing. He decided that he’d wait until the morning. At the worst he’d just go outside, and make a fire. Then he’d heat some water, and pour the hot water into a tub of cold water. That’d make the tub full of water warm, and it’d be enough for Warden to bathe in. It was an old trick he picked up from his mother.
They took a trip to the Philippines when he was young, and his grandparents didn’t have hot water. They boiled a pot of water, and poured it into a big bucket of cold water. This made a big bucket of warm water. He then took a big ladle looking cup with a handle, and he’d dip it into the water. After that, he’d pour the water over himself. He’d lather up with some soap, and then ladle some more water over his body to wash the soap off. The difference with his bathes compared to everyone else in the Philippines was that no one else used hot water. They’d just scoop freezing cold water, and pour it all over themselves in the morning. No matter how hard he tried, Warden couldn’t do that.
With that plan in mind, he just threw on some shorts. He walked to the living room, and grabbed his laptop. He brought it back to his bedroom so he could watch movies until he fell asleep. He decided on a comedy to lighten his mood. He laid down, and put the movie on. Within five minutes, he was asleep.
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