"...Law III successfully manages to build influential narratives with well-developed characters from the beginning to the end, along with an unpredictable number of twists and turns that sets the stage for more installments in which I impatiently await."
"...The tension in the atmosphere, the close quarters of the characters, and the life or death terrorist plot all come together to make this read uncomfortably claustrophobic..."
"A tense military thriller...The characters talk like people talk, and they make real-life movie references just like anyone out here in the non-fictional world. It just tells a story of a hero who's fighting for his family and his country, and that's good stuff."
Las Vegas, Nevada…in the near future.
Sin City hadn’t changed much since Lincoln Boddies past visitation. For what he desired right now in his life, that suited him just fine. Well, not just him alone but his compatriots as well. Accent on the word, patriot. That’s what he was, and that’s what he’d always be. A defender of the home of the brave and the land of the free. Accent on the word, free. What was the most crucial aspect of the word free for him? Free from tyranny and terror. In particular, free from the forces of terrorism. All of the world’s renowned groups applied. But one in particular that etched its horrific acts of brutality in his mind, across the globe and moreover, has supplanted, ‘The Base’ or al-Qaeda, as the world’s leading terroristic threat. ISIS or Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham. They hadn’t hit America yet, but he knew, and the U.S. Government knew they planned to do just that soon. He took it personally, and so had his colleagues. He’ll never forget 9/11. He hoped America would never forget it so as not to allow it to happen again. Accent on another word. Forget. As he sat at the desk in Room 415 at The Sands Casino & Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, he reflected on what he desired at this moment. That’s what he was in Vegas to do. Forget the battle between good and evil just for a shortened period. That’s all he wanted. That’s all he needed. But he knew better than that. They were still on assignment. They were still amidst a covert op that perhaps even the FBI hadn’t known about. Intel provided them with a lead. They followed that lead. Now, they waited for that lead. Would it manifest? Only God knew.
Lincoln Boddies was a thirty-three-year-old, brown-skinned, African-American man who carried a solid one hundred ninety-five pounds with no more than ten percent body fat on his six-foot frame. Even with loose fit clothes, his rugged physique stood out with near twenty-inch biceps and triceps, thick as two by four forearms, and the accompanied vascularity to match. His chest developed an ample, full girth from the outer and lower pectoral muscles to his inner and upper development. His trapezius muscles that bordered his shortened, bulky, and near no-neck status resembled craggy mountains. In short, he knew he was a man no one in his or her right mind wanted any part of in light of what his physical package hadn’t revealed. A select few in his inner circle knew the whole Lincoln David Boddies story. To those select few who dared tried him in his line of work, that story might cost them their lives.
Lincoln dressed in a red, short-sleeved Polo shirt, blue jeans, and new-fangled maroon, gold, and black ‘King James’ sneakers, aka NBA Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, on his feet. A little much needed down time from his career’s flurry of activity he deemed non-stop with good reason. However, he wasn’t all about that right now. His laptop computer rested on the desk’s surfaces and hooked up to a Skype feed with the camera atop the monitor. He smiled and viewed an exquisite, black woman twenty-eight years of age—he also knew not to ask a woman’s age, but his easy ways ran circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles around that old maxim. He smiled more at her when he thought upon the education he received from Glenda Hopkins the owner of MagniFeet, Curls, & Weaves Studios back home in Phoenix, the other stylists, customers, and of course, this Eighth Wonder of the World that was his wife, Candace Marie. At present, she styled a ‘Queenly Updo’ with the ponytail off to the right shoulder, and the tresses parted to the left side. He praised God many a day for her hair, real from the root to the crown to the ends. That rare fact and truth saved this brother many dollar bills at the MagniFeet…Studios. Oh, baby, baby, so elegant and so beautiful no matter what she wore or had done. Yeah, to think on that word baby, that was one of the reasons he contacted her aside from, when possible, he kept in touch with her, as a respectful amorous husband should.
“I wish I were there with you,” he said. “But, work calls oh, 365/24/7 anywhere, anytime, anyplace, anyhow.”
“Don’t I know this. You still on track to come home later this week then?”
He shrugged, “Hopefully…like tomorrow.”
Lincoln thought of Christmas and the Fourth of July when he viewed Candace’s face.
“Tomorrow? Tomorrow baby, really?”
“If nothing pops up on the radar screen sort to speak even if the crew decides to stay over, I’m taking an early morning flight at seven to be by your side and to laugh when you try to get up off the sofa, chair, and some other unmentionables.”
“You know you can stay right where you are Mr. Man, okay?”
His smile caused her to mock laughter at him. Her pearl whites sparkled from Charlotte, North Carolina through the Skype connection to the laptop. Married for two years now, she wanted children sooner than he did. Not by much though. He wanted to wait after two to two and a half years; he granted her wish just under the year and a half mark. As long as Junior was healthy, man he had no complaints about the manifestation. In fact, the more the day approached, the more excited he became, and that suited her excitement just fine and dandy too. And don’t get him started with Uncle Rico’s enthusiasm for his nephew. He called his sister more than this father-in-waiting had. He conceived an image of what she described a moment ago about her as she powered up off various support apparatuses.
“I’ll tell you this though. The fifth month into this first pregnancy and I’m ready for this boy to audition on American Idol or Sunday Best instead of Dancing With The Stars or So You Think You Can Dance. Have mercy, Jesus.”
“Yeah, my boy handles his business, baby. That’s all that is. The next Ultimate Fighting Champion or Mixed Martial Arts title holder. Yeah! Now, that’s my boy, Lincoln, Jr.”
“Yes, that’s your boy, and that’s Uncle Rico’s nephew. I’m sure he’d love it if LJ were the future Rampage Jackson.”
Lincoln shook his head, “No, no, Uncle Rico would be ecstatic if LJ cut his likeness in the mold of Miami Hurricanes like Ray Lewis, Frank Gore or Michael Irvin.”
They shared more laughter when he thought upon their conversations about the expectations for their son. He and Candace talked at length about Lincoln Daniel Boddies, Jr.’s future. He was sure—well, he wasn’t sure if he wanted Junior to walk his honorable career path. They thought of so many instances of children who walked the same route as their parents to the detriment and the benefit of themselves, family, and society. Sports demarcated as the prime example. The whole football and kickboxing thing? Neither of them wanted to get in the way of whatever Lincoln, Jr.’s call in life was though. That’s another area they turned over to God Almighty. Their bottom line as parents was the same as any parent in the world, for the most part anyway and that was to adhere to the laws and regulations of society. That’s all. He giggled in mild jest when he thought upon he and Candace in total agreement that Junior better not had brought home any babies before their time either.
From nowhere some hidden disturbance in the hallway broke up their interaction and his contemplation. He whipped his head around to the source, and that alerted Candace of course.
“Hold on a second, Candy.”
He took a few steps to the door and checked the peephole. A man and a woman argued a moment, then fast walked down the hall with suitcases in tow and disappeared. Though the pair vanished, Lincoln remained stationary at the door. His faced etched in recollections.
“Is everything all right, honey?”
He returned to his seat at the desk to view a concerned Candace. Now, another not so pleasant thought occurred to him and he knew Candace’s rebuke followed soon afterward. He exhaled before he continued.
“You hear or get any word at your parents’ house or from my parents in Chicago or maybe even a phone call from Franklin or Demetria—”
He observed her countenance as it mixed a combination of sorrow and courage as she addressed him.
“Lincoln, Lincoln, Lincoln—”
“About a Death Notification visitation—”
“Lincoln, your brother and sister haven’t called or wrote a letter or sent an e-mail from Memphis or Chicago, okay? Didn’t we say we’d trust God and leave that situation in His more than capable hands? Huh? Didn’t we say we would?”
He nodded. “We did so many times over that neither of us can remember, babe.”
“Okay, so we leave it at that and trust Him. Can we agree again to do that?”
He exhaled with his spirit, soul, and body in sudden heaviness. He nodded again.
“It’s been a long time, baby. Too long of a time, in fact, you know this.”
“But that’s the nature of your business, Lincoln. He understands that as you do. Like I do too. Like the rest of our families do and did as well.” She paused, then, “What brought that on from nowhere anyway?”
“Just been a long time since we heard from him that’s all. I miss Julius, Candy. I miss my baby brother. Hey, I had better check what manner of entanglement the guys are up to about now. They might not have any money for meals the rest of our stay. I love you and call me if you need me for anything your dad and mom and the others can’t provide.”
“I know that. You go and experience all the fun that is Las Vegas with the crew. But no showgirl performances I’m fine here. I love you and see you soon.”
He chuckled a little before he answered. “I love you too. Bye, babe.”
She ended the transmission with a smile for him. He finished his time in the hotel room with a clearer picture of what gave him pause on the other side of the door.