Forever Secret

By: Kathleen Brooks

Forever Bluegrass #5


Nash Dagher moved silently through the night. His footfalls were unheard. His breathing was steady and soundless. The knife in his hand would ensure no sound was made as he took the life of his last target—a target he’d been tracking for over two years. With the slice of his knife, he’d finally be able to come out of the shadows.

For two years, Nash had been embedded within a group called Red Shadow. Unlike many gangs and mafias, they had no affiliation to a particular country. Membership was open to all who believed in the old traditional ways of crime—drugs, sex, extortion, and dispute resolution. Cyber crime was seen as weak. It was viewed as a coward’s gang since it wasn’t done face to face. Although beating people to death was approved of. The victims knew who was killing them and would die knowing Red Shadow was taking everything from them—their money, their art, their drugs, and even their women.

The king of Rahmi, the small island country close to the Persian Gulf that has been ruled by the Ali Rahman family for as long as history has been recorded, specifically assigned Nash to get to the bottom of missing Rahmi women and children and the flood of illegal drugs coming into the country. In return for successfully completing the mission, Nash would become Head of Security for the entire Rahmi royal family.

Only one person stood between Nash and the career of his dreams. The man who called himself Poseidon was asleep inside the Red Shadow compound, a floating compound filled with security guards. Poseidon used his massive yacht as his home base and to easily visit all the countries where he had groups of men working. Plus, it made for quick escapes. Nash was only on board now after two years of working his way up the ranks of the organization.

He’d purposefully put himself in the position to be recruited and had developed a fake background filled with murder for hire, blackmail, and prostitution rings to tip the scales in his favor. It had worked. He’d been brought into the organization after he’d been watched for two weeks. Nash had gone through a hazing period before he was initiated and swore his oath to the Red Shadow, and more specifically to Poseidon. For two years, he’d lived in hell. Nash would never be able to wash his soul clean from the killings he’d assisted with, the drugs he’d smuggled, the little children . . . He’d helped as many as he could, but he felt anguish for every death he couldn’t prevent.

But the nightmare’s end was finally in sight. He’d proven his loyalty and now he was stationed on the yacht as personal protection for Poseidon himself. For five weeks he’d traveled with, ate with, listened to, and observed every step each person on the yacht made. Tonight his mission was to take out Poseidon. But he was going to do so much more. Red Shadow would be nonexistent by sunrise.

Nash paused in the kitchen and slipped silently into the pantry. He closed his eyes and listened as the patrol passed. Nash set the bomb by the flour before heading down the luxurious hallway, up the staff stairs, and pressing himself to the wall behind the stairwell door. He heard the soft footfall of the patrol. Nash made his move as soon as the patrol was out of the hallway. He set another bomb knowing he would be on camera. The whole yacht was under surveillance. But he knew from 2:00 to 2:10 in the morning, the person in charge of watching the cameras would sneak out for a smoke on the lower deck. All he needed was thirty more seconds, then nothing else would matter. Not Poseidon, not surveillance, none of it. As soon as Poseidon was dead, Nash would leap overboard and press the button blowing up the yacht. It would be a bit of a swim to shore, but his physical training would allow him to do it.

Nash had learned that Poseidon never locked his door. He was too arrogant to do so. He believed he was untouchable. He was about to learn he was wrong. Nash opened the door and entered the massive room as he soundlessly shut the door behind him. Nash didn’t need light to know where to go. He’d been on the boat long enough and had done enough patrols that he could make his way blindfolded.

In the middle of the room was a king-sized bed with Poseidon sound asleep nearest the wide windows overlooking the French Riviera’s coastline. You would think that someone as evil as Poseidon would look a certain way, but it wasn’t the case. Poseidon wasn’t a typical mobster. He was unassuming and ever so charismatic. In criminal profiling, he resembled some of the serial killers and cult leaders more so than gang leaders and mobsters. And he certainly liked to be worshiped like cult leaders did.

Nash stopped at the side of the bed and looked down at Poseidon. His eyes were closed. His skinny chest rose and fell rhythmically as he was propped up on his plethora of pillows. Thousands of women and children had been forced into slavery and worse because of this man. He’d made billions from murder, drugs, sex, and more. Yet he slept as peacefully as a kindergarten teacher.