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“Not going to happen. He won’t talk to anyone who has anything to do with our government. You’re supposed to go through his lawyers.”

Rapp wondered what kind of trouble Sidorov had gotten himself into. He motioned for the guy to point his gun in a less-threatening direction.

The guy took a step back and pointed his weapon at the floor.

Rapp asked, “You spend any time in Moscow?”

The guy shook his head.

“Well I have, and let me tell you something. They don’t use warrants over there. If the FSB wants to talk to you . . . they don’t ask for permission. They talk to you, and it’s typically not very pleasant. Now, I don’t want Sidorov. At least not yet, but if he pisses me off any more than he already has I’m going to take a real hard look at him and it won’t be pleasant. The guy I want is sitting right over there.” Rapp pointed to the big horseshoe sitting area where Sidorov and his party were set up. There were only four men. The rest were women.

The bodyguard turned. “You mean the older guy in the jeans and loud shirt?”

“And funny glasses. That’s him.” Rapp shook his head. Johnson was dressed like one of the twenty-five-year-old kids on the dance floor. He hadn’t seen him in maybe a year, but he still recognized him. He’d grown his hair out a bit and even in the soft light of the lounge area Rapp could tell he was dyeing it dark brown. It also looked as if he had grown a patch of hair under his bottom lip in an effort to look hip.

The guy holstered his sidearm. “Let me see what Sidorov says. Wait here.”

As the first guy retreated to talk to his boss, the second guy filled his place and blocked the path. Rapp frowned and stepped forward to talk to him. “Marines . . . Army . . . Navy?”


Rapp laughed. The guy was a virtual replica of Reavers. Normally SEALs were of the smaller variety. As Rapp motioned for Reavers to join him, he made eye contact with Johnson, who had finally managed to tear his eyes away from the well-endowed woman sitting on his left.

Johnson’s face went blank. His lips parted and then he blinked several times as if he wasn’t sure what he was looking at.

Rapp’s expression was not friendly. He pointed at Johnson and then gestured with two fingers for him to come to him.

Johnson got up, but instead of coming to Rapp he joined the bodyguard and Sidorov. A heated exchange ensued. Rapp couldn’t hear a word, but he could tell Johnson was loudly stating his case and Sidorov appeared to be agreeing with him. The clock in Rapp’s head told him they were close to the five-minute mark. He needed to wrap it up. The bodyguard left Sidorov and Johnson and came back shaking his head.

“Sorry,” he said when he was within a few feet. “He says no go. He wants you guys out of his club right now.”

“You don’t want to do this,” Rapp said ominously. “He’s one client and he isn’t even an American. In ten seconds I can have Director Kennedy on the phone. Ten seconds after that she’ll have the chairman of Triple Canopy’s board on the phone and thirty seconds after that your phone will ring and you’ll be fired. And for what? Your protection order is for Sidorov. Not some rat bastard who’s selling his government’s secrets.”

“Listen, I don’t want to be caught in the middle of this.”

“Then don’t be. Step aside. Sixty seconds from now I’ll be gone and Sidorov can bitch all he wants but it isn’t going to get him anywhere. Once your bosses talk to Director Kennedy they’ll give you a promotion, and they’ll politely tell Sidorov to pound sand.”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, I do. Step aside. This is National Security. Way above your pay grade. I’m doing you a favor.”

The guy finally nodded and stepped back.

Rapp wasn’t going to wait for him to change his mind. He moved forward quickly and entered the pit where Sidorov and his crew were sprawled out. Johnson was now one woman over from Sidorov. Rapp ignored the Russian and pointed at Johnson. “Get up.” He made the same get-over-here motion with his two fingers. “Right now.”

Sidorov stood, saying something in Russian before switching to English. “You are not welcome here. I must ask you to leave.”

Rapp pulled out the ID case for the last time, flashed it at Sidorov, and said, “National Security. Stay out of it.”

“I know who you are, Mr. Rapp. This is not Russia. The CIA has no authority to arrest people.”

Rapp turned to look at Sidorov for the first time. He was a handsome man with thick brown hair parted to the side. High cheek bones and deep-set eyes. “Stay out of this. I don’t care how much money you have.”

“I am not someone you want to pick a fight with, Mr. Rapp.”

Rapp put his nose to within a foot of Sidorov’s and said, “Let me tell you something. Normally, I’m not one to follow the law, but this little asshole here is in violation of a half dozen national security statutes. Now I don’t care how many cabinet members you own or how many senators you play golf with, he’s off the reservation and it’s my job to bring him back. So you can either get the fuck out of my way or end up in the hospital like that big ugly Russian bouncer you have out front.”

Sidorov snorted, looked at Rapp with bemusement, and then took a step back. “I have heard a great many stories about you from my associates in the Russian intelligence services.”

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