An Off-Book Novel (Derrick Olin, the lost years). In 2009, Birmingham’s toughest tough guy went on hiatus with no intention of returning to print. This changed, of course, in 2012 when he arrived for a fresh adventure in the novel Rogue. But what was he doing during those intervening years, what happened to the woman in his life that he was settling down with when last we saw him? Questions, questions, mysteries, and more questions. At least until now. There were two books written about Derrick’s life during that time, revealing answers to those questions and many more, but also deepening the mystery in some places. Written but never published or seen by anyone but the author. Well that’s about to change!
This adventure is called Critical Action and action is just what you’re about to get…
Birmingham’s Best Bodyguard is no more. No more in Birmingham that is, but always and forever the best protective operator in the business. A new job takes him to Virginia where he and Traci Brenner make their first official home together as a couple. But Derrick doesn’t have long to settle in before work draws him back to the front lines of the fight. Someone is passing counterfeit drugs off as the real thing and a lot of people are in for a world of hurt, not to mention death, if this scheme isn’t stopped fast. The company responsible for making the drugs is on the case, along with a seasoned FDA investigator, but somebody doesn’t want them to succeed and is doing everything they can to stop them. Permanently! Enter Derrick Olin, a man born for Critical Action!
Despite years of doing it—about twenty-five to be exact—I still hate it more than any other thing that I have to do. What is it that I hate so much, you might wonder? Well, if you’ve ever listened to me for more than half an hour you already know the answer to that question.
However, if you have not listened, or you do not know me, even casually, then you won’t know the answer. So I’ll just have to tell you.
I really, really, really hate flying!
To be precise, it’s not the flying that I hate so much—although when there are a lot of bumps it does become quite bothersome—but rather the thought that this giant hunk of metal I’m riding in at somewhere around thirty thousand feet could suddenly fall from the sky and crash. And burn!
I have never gotten on a plane, not even while in the Air Force, and not thought that I was going to crash. That’s why I never make plans for what I’m going to do when I reach my destination because I’m always convinced I’ll never make my destination. Once I’m on the ground on the other side, then I make plans. So far this strategy has worked for me, and over the past twenty-five years or so I haven’t had a crash yet. A few close calls here and there, in particular in some hot spots around the world, but no bona-fide crash. At least not so far.
I was on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 that was landing at BWI Airport in Baltimore, Maryland and as the wheels touched down and the plane seemed not to be about to go careening off the runway, I took my first breath in about two minutes and carefully released it. I had a window seat, which was normal for me. Although I don’t like flying, I seem to do better if I can look out the window. I glanced out now at the runway and the other planes moving around me. It was a partly cloudy day but the forecast didn’t call for any significant rain. I know this because I had checked the Weather Channel before leaving Boston this morning. Supposed to be nice for the rest of the week, temperatures in the upper sixties during the day. Good spring weather for the nation’s capital region. Not that I really cared about that, the weather or the region. Just as long as the plane landed without incident.
I glanced to my right and Traci Brenner was looking at me, a smile on her beautiful face as she squeezed my hand. We had the row to ourselves, the seat on the aisle empty, as was half the plane. She had opted to sit in the middle seat next to me and hold my hand because she was well aware of my feelings on flying (and crashing) and I was glad of that. Having Traci close to me was always a good thing.
She leaned over and kissed me.
“See, told you we’d make it,” she teased.
I nodded, glancing out the window once more.
“Well we haven’t stopped rolling yet,” I replied seriously. “Could be an incident before we reach the terminal.”
Traci shook her head and slapped my knee.
“I’m going to start calling you dark cloud if you don’t quit it.”
I grinned at her, staring deeply into her soft brown eyes, suddenly filled with a great wanting and desire. Not to mention a healthy lust.
“I’m glad you came with me, luv,” I said to her.
“No place I’d rather be,” she responded. “M.J. was probably tired of his mom cramping his style with his friends anyway. He’s got to get through finals before he’s out for the summer. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to see him then.”
M.J. was Marcus Brenner, Jr., Traci’s nineteen year old son who was presently a sophomore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. She and I had flown up there from Birmingham last week to visit him, and despite what his mother had just said about cramping his style, the young man had been genuinely glad to see his mother; and me too. We’d had a good visit, met some of his friends and professors, and had a chance to get out and see parts of the city that neither of us had been to before.
I had to come to Virginia this week because I had a meeting regarding a possible new assignment for a company that was based out in Reston. I was thinking that maybe Traci would want to spend more time up in Boston with M.J. but she had told me otherwise, saying that she wouldn’t mind a trip to the D.C. area, to see the sights, and possibly do some shopping
Well I was glad for the company, especially because it was Traci, and now we were here, together.