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"Perennials of War"


Prologue
Working Notes of New Book

By barbara.wilkey

Characters: The good guys:

Her family tree:

Shana Kohlberg -- Jewish for beautiful She's an English literature teacher at Richwood High School in Peoria, Illinois, where she was born and raised. She's twenty-five years old, birthday April 16, 1991. Shana graduated from Bradley University. She lives in a one bedroom apartment and has weekly Sabbath dinner with her parents.

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father He teaches static and dynamic loads at Bradley University's school of Civil Engineering. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 2, 1966.

Eliana Kohlberg -- Shana's mother A housewife/mother born in Schaumburg, Illinois on February 21, 1968.

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother He was born in Peoria, Illinois, December 27 1989. He's very protective of Shana and studied medicine at University of Illinois, Peoria Campus. He's finishing his residency.

Hannah Kohlberg -- Shana's paternal grandmother She lives with them and was born March 18, 1945, just before WWII ended September 2, 1945. She's seventy-one years old. Her husband, David, died in 2013. They were married forty-eight years.

Elijah Kohlberg -- Shana's great grandfather -- Hannah's father-in-law was born in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany in 1925. His wife, Ruth, was born in Munich, Germany in 1927.

Haim Kohlberg -- Shana's great, great grandfather Elijah's father was born in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany in 1902. He taught Literature at the Universitat Frankfurt Am Main. He was an art collector, not only paintings but sculptures and jewelry. He and his wife, Avigail, brought his young family to the US in 1931 as the economic crisis continued to get worse and the Nazi party became strong enough to take over the University system. Unable to bring his artwork with him, he left the paintings and sculptors with his brother, Tomas. They hid them in a large locked wall safe in Tomas' house.

Tomas Kohlberg made the decision to remain in Germany, believing it wouldn't get THAT bad. He was sent to Dachau during Kristallnacht -- in the middle of the night November 9, 1938. There he died.

The Kohlberg families migrated to New York City by ocean liner for about $188, now about $4000.

Eliana Glassberg Kohlberg's family emigrated from Germany in February of 1933, after President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler Chancellor.

Shana's maternal grandparents have died.

His family:

Anderson Sharp -- Often called 'Drew', works part-time on Wall Street. His family has billionaire status from oil wells dating back to 1906. He's thirty-one years old and born on July 20, 1986 in Austin, TX. He drives a black F-Type SVR Convertible (Jaguar) and wears cowboy boots with his Armani suits. Anderson owns three German Shepherds; Axel -- God, the father, Thor -- Thunder, and Romeo -- seducer, lover

Michael Sharp -- Anderson's dad He's fifty-five and born on May 12, 1961.

Susan Sharp -- Anderson's mom She's fifty-two and born on November 10, 1964.

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter There's a custody battle going on with his ex-wife, Patricia.

Peter Sharp -- Anderson's uncle. From Peter, Anderson inherited famous paintings.

Both sets of grandparents are still alive and live in Austin.

The bad guys:

Descendants of former Nazis who want to retain their priceless art collections.

Three men in black suits wearing sunglasses.

Plot as we know it today:

During spring vacation while visiting the New York City Art Museum, Shana discovered a painting and two sculptures that had been stolen from her family by the Nazi's during WWII. Upon returning to Peoria, she found the original verification that her ancestors had purchased them and hid them while leaving Germany. She also found proof that the artwork had been given to Tomas.

Settings:

Summer break -- mid-June 2016

Metropolitan Museum of Art -- 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York City. It has over 5,000 years of art from around the word.

Anderson's Penthouse -- 1 Bloomberg Tower/One Beacon Court. The penthouse is nine thousand square feet with six bedrooms with six and a half bathrooms. The private guest wing is larger than most New York City single apartments. He employees a butler, cook, and maid.

Anderson's Austin, Texas home -- The home has six bedroom and seven bathrooms. The house measures 15,394 square feet and sits on 710,900 square feet of land. The home over-looks Lake Travis with a private boat dock.

Shalom:

Shalom -- a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, completeness, prosperity, and welfare and can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye. As it does in English, it can refer to either peace between two entities (especially between man and God or between two countries), or to the well-being, welfare or safety of an individual or a group of individuals.

Shabbat -- is the cornerstone of Jewish Time. It's the only day of the week with a Hebrew name; the rest are merely numbered in relation to the Sabbath.

Quick synopsis of the story -- Is Anderson a gallant knight? Can he recover Shana's family's stolen relics and heal the wounds of genocide?

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of a Star of David necklace. This will become very important throughout the novel. This post isn't an actual portion of the novel, and will not be included in the novel, but notes that I'll be working on and tweaking as the story unfolds. I'm sure my characters will take you and me places I haven't even considered at this point. Next week I'll post part one of the first chapter. Already Shana is trying to tell me she wants a cat. No way can she have a cat. She'll be too mobile for a cat. LOL
I know this will be hard to review. Regular sentence structure, etc, doesn't apply to notes. Thank you for reading and I hope this story is one you will want to follow.


Chapter 1
Chapter One part Eine

By barbara.wilkey

Chapter 1 part 1

Shana Kohlberg left the Metropolitan Museum of Art and stepped onto the Fifth Avenue sidewalk, holding the handle of a black satchel in her right hand. This street's busy all the time. She glanced at her watch. Good, it's only two-thirty. I can get a cup of coffee, make sure these papers get put into the hotel's safe, and have time for some sight-seeing before the Sabbat begins.

She stopped at a store window and admired a dress. "Wow! I could never afford that. Do people really pay these prices?" Looking at her reflection in the window, she straightened her ivory, knit, bolero shrug and adjusted the shoulder strap of her purse. This dress is just as nice and I didn't pay nearly that much. I'd better get moving. She smiled at the clicking sound her heels made. I'm classy too.

Continuing walking down the sidewalk, she noticed three men in black suits and sunglasses watching her. I'm sure it's my imagination. Nobody would be interested in me. I'm only a high school English teacher.

Moments later, she came to a coffee shop with outdoor tables. She found a vacant table, sat, and laid the satchel across her lap before reading the menu. With these prices, I'll get something small. It wasn't long before a young waitress came to her table. "I'll have a small coffee, thank you."

The waitress smiled. "Is that all? I recommend our pastries. They're really good."

"No thank you. A small coffee will be fine." Shana removed her cell from her small clutch purse and tapped her brother's name. "Hi Aaron. I'm checking in." She smiled, twisted a strand of her dark brown hair with her finger, and listened. "Yes, everything went well. We'll talk when I get home. I'll be in late tomorrow afternoon. Be sure to tell Mom and Dad." After saying good bye, she put her cell away, and adjusted her skirt, making sure it didn't creep too high.

Shana noticed the same three men standing inside the shop, studying her through a window. That's strange.

The waitress set the cup and saucer on the table with a large brownie.

"Ma'am, excuse me. I didn't order a brownie, just a small coffee."

"I know." She pointed inside the shop. "The tall man in the black suit paid for your coffee and the brownie. He said he hopes you enjoy both."

When Shana looked in his direction, he waved.

"That's strange. I don't know that man. Please take the brownie away."

"Since it's been delivered to the table, I'd have to throw it away. Ma'am, please enjoy it."

Shana opened her purse, searched for a ten-dollar bill, and placed it on the table. "This should cover the coffee."

She stood on the sidewalk and fingered her Star of David necklace. I'm turned around. She searched up and down the sidewalk. Which way do I go? She released a deep breath. Okay, breathe. Don't let those men get to you. I'm sure they think I'm somebody else. The art museum's that way. I need to go right. She continued walking down Fifth Avenue.

Trying to casually glance over her shoulder, Shana noticed the three men walking a few stores behind her. She clasped her necklace. I'm leading them right to my hotel. I should never have come to New York alone. I should've waited until Aaron could come. She hurried her step and noticed their reflection in the stores' windows. The men sped up too.

Just as Shana arrived at the street light it turned red. "Figures!" The people standing beside her glanced in her direction. She ignored the bystanders and watched the three men move closer. Why are they following me? I need to get away from them, but how?" She noticed a black Jaguar convertible stopped at the light. He's wearing a suit and shiny cuff-links. He looks nice. Immediately, she reached in, unlocked the door, and sat down.

The driver gave her a once-over glance and smiled.

The light turned green. "Could you please hurry?" Shana's voice trembled as she noticed the three men running to the car.

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a Jaguar similar to the one Anderson drives. I hope you enjoy this novel. I appreciate all your reviews and help and support your give me. I am listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have followed me before know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.
I did find this and found it interesting. "Today more than 100,000 stolen works of art are still unaccounted for."


Chapter 2
Chapter One part Zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Just as Shana arrived at the street light it turned red. "Figures!" The people standing beside her glanced in her direction. She ignored the bystanders and watched the three men move closer. Why are they following me? I need to get away from them, but how? She noticed a black Jaguar convertible stopped at the light. He's wearing a suit and shiny cuff-links. He looks nice. Immediately, she reached in, unlocked the door, and sat down.

The driver gave her a once-over glance and smiled.

The light turned green. "Could you please hurry?" Shana's voice trembled as she noticed the three men running to the car.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 1 part 2

Anderson Sharp shifted his car into gear. "Right away, Ma'am." He heard Shana gulp. "Do you always jump into strange men's cars and order them to drive?"

"No." She released a deep breath. "Actually, this is the first."

At the next red light, Anderson said, "I figured you're new at this." He paused. "Does it have anything to do with those three men following you?"

Shana glanced over her right shoulder. "I don't know them, or why they'd follow me."

"But you think they are." He edged the car forward.

"I'm sure of it." Shana chewed her lower lip for a moment. "You know what? This was a bad idea." She reached for the door handle. "Thank you for the ride."

Before Shana could open the door, Anderson reached across and touched her hand. "You're safe with me. I'm guessing they want what's in the satchel you're clutching." After his eyes met hers, he asked, "Where can I drop you off?" When she didn't answer, he continued, "Better yet, let's go someplace and talk."

After maneuvering the New York City streets, Anderson pulled into a vacant parking lot and offered his hand. "Hello, my name is Anderson Sharp. My friends call me Drew. I'm glad to meet you."

Hesitant, Shana took his hand. "I'm on vacation."

"I hope you like our city, but you haven't told me your name. What should I call you?"

"Shana Kohlberg."

"Shana's a beautiful name. Where are you from?"

"Peoria, Illinois."

"You don't talk a lot, do you?" Anderson briefly turned away and then faced her. "I just want to help."

"You've done enough. Thank you. I can find my own way to the hotel from here." Shana started to exit the car.

"This neighborhood isn't safe, especially for a young lady. Let me take you to your hotel. What's the address?"

"If the neighborhood isn't safe, why did you park here?"

He grinned. "Good point. I didn't plan on being here long enough for anything to happen. Besides that, you'd have to walk through this neighborhood and some worse ones to get back to Fifth Avenue."

"Just take me to the corner where I got into your car. I can find my way from there."

The drive back to the corner was silent. At the corner, Anderson found a timed parking slot.

Shana opened her purse. "How much do I owe you?"

"You owe me nothing. I'm glad I could help." He refused to accept the few dollars.

Anderson got out, walked around the car, and opened the door for her. "If you need anything, call." He handed her his business card. "I'm serious about that."

"I'm sure I'll be fine, but thank you." Shana put his card inside the side pocket on her purse, stepped away from the car, and started walking in the direction of her hotel.

I don't have a good feeling about this. Anderson returned to the car and steered into the closest lane. This is one time I'm glad traffic's crawling. He continued following Shana until she came to a group of hotels. These are the cheap-end hotels. It's probably all she can afford.

As Anderson watched her enter a hotel's front door, he pulled into the first vacant parking spot.

Then he noticed she quickly backed out and ran down the sidewalk.

I wonder what that's about. He exited his car and followed. When he got close enough, he called, "Shana, wait!"

Shana glanced over her shoulder and ran faster. She bumped into a man and almost fell.

"Sorry, sir," Anderson said as he took Shana's arm. "You all right?"

"Why are you following me? Are you with them?" Tears streamed down her cheeks.

"I'm not with anybody. What happened? What scared you?"

She avoided eye contact.

"The men following you are waiting in the hotel lobby, aren't they?"


Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a Star of David. I hope you enjoy this novel. As I posted I change sentences, I swear in every paragraph. Maybe that's an over estimation, but I'm not sure. LOL I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support your give me. I am listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have followed me previously know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 3
Chapter One part Drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Shana glanced over her left shoulder and ran faster. She bumped into a man and almost fell.

"Sorry, sir," Anderson said as he took Shana's arm. "You all right?"

"Why are you following me? Are you with them?" Tears streamed down her cheeks.

"I'm not with anybody. What happened? What scared you?"

She avoided eye contact.

"The men following you are waiting in the hotel lobby, aren't they?"

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 1 part 3

"They've followed me since I left the Metropolitan Museum of Art. How did they find out where I was staying?"

"Did you tell anybody where you were staying?" After she shook her head, Anderson glanced at her satchel. "Are you there for pleasure or business?"

Shana clutched her satchel tighter. "Pleasure."

"You're a lousy liar. Your blinking eyes and the twitching of your bottom lip give you away." Anderson took her hand. "Come with me. I'm sure I can help, or at least keep you safe. How long do you plan to be in the city?"

"I fly home tomorrow." Shana glanced toward her hotel. "Maybe they've left by now."

"I'm pretty sure they're waiting until you arrive." Anderson continued leading her to his car. "You're coming home with me. I'll take you to the airport tomorrow. What time's your flight?"

Shana stiffened and stood still. "I'm not going anywhere with you, especially to your house."

Anderson took a deep breath. "I understand. I'm a stranger, but you helped yourself into my car. You were more scared of those men than a total stranger. You brought me into this mess. I'm trying to help until you fly home. I have no other motive." His eyes met hers. After a silence, he let go of her hand, "I'm done," and began to walk away.

The three men stepped from the hotel doorway onto the sidewalk.

Shana hurried to Anderson's side. "I'll come home with you."

Tilting his head, Anderson looked down at her and then over his right shoulder. He yanked Shana to him, turned her around so his body blocked their view. He put his arms around her and whispered, "Play along. Hug me."

After loudly blowing out air, Shana said, "I don't like this at all."

"Not the normal reaction I get from women, but I guess it's honest." Anderson sighed. "They should leave soon." He glanced over her shoulder toward the hotel. "They're standing around probably trying to figure out what to do next. It shouldn't be much longer. Once they leave, we can go to my car."

"I doubt hugs last this long."

"You'd be surprised how long they can last."

"Don't get any ideas. This is a one-time thing."

"They're walking away." Anderson paused. "Give them a little longer. I want them out of sight." A few moments later, he added, "They're gone."

"Good." Shana released her hug and took three steps back. "That was too close."

"At my house, you should be able to relax."

"I doubt that," she muttered.

Anderson put his hand on the small of her back. "Let's get to the car." Once there, he opened the door. "Your chariot waits, my lady."

"You're treating this like some sort of a game. It's not."

"Life's a game."

"Not where I come from."

*****

Anderson pulled the Jaguar through the entrance of a parking garage. A tall older man, dressed in a uniform, met him at the door. "Hello, Mr. Sharp. Ready to park her for the day? Does she need any maintenance?"

"I don't think so, Joe. How's your family?" After Joe answered, Anderson continued, "Have a nice day." He placed a few dollars in the man's hand as he shook it, before he opened the passenger door. "We're here."

"You live in a parking garage?" Shana tilted her head.

Laughing, he offered help getting from the car. "I think you'll be comfortable with the accommodations."

They walked a few yards before they came to an elevator. Once the door closed, Anderson pushed the button.

"I've never seen an elevator with only one button."

"It's private."

"Oh my!" Shana's eyes widened.



Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a Star of David. I have introduced my usual friends, dogs. I am still holding out on Shana's cat. I don't want a cat in the story. LOL Shana will probably win. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I am listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 4
Chapter Two part Eine

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

They walked a few yards before they came to an elevator. Once the door closed, Anderson pushed the button.

"I've never seen an elevator with only one button."

"It's private."

"Oh my!" Shana's eyes widened.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 2 part 1

"This elevator's moving fast. We must be at the very top." When Anderson grinned, Shana said, "How do people get to the other floors?"

"In the front lobby there are elevators that stop at each floor. This one just happens to only go to the top."

"Do the others go to the top?"

"No, but next to the regular ones there's one like this." He waited for the door to open. "After you."

Inside Shana was greeted by three German Shepherds. She froze.

"I'm sorry, sir. I wasn't expecting a guest." The butler motioned for the dogs to sit beside him.

"Not a problem, Philip. I wasn't planning to bring anyone home. We sort of found each other." Anderson introduced the dogs with a smooth wave of the hand. "Axel, I'd like you to meet Shana."

The dog raised his paw for her to shake. Shana accepted the paw.

"Axel's the lead." Anderson motioned for the next dog to come closer. "This is Thor. He's the loudest of the boys. That being said, the old saying about 'the bark is worse than the bite', doesn't hold true for Thor."

Thor repeated Axel's actions as he greeted Shana.

"This is Romeo. He lives up to his name. Although when the need arises, he's still a great guard dog."

When Shana accepted Romeo's risen paw, he licked her hand.

Anderson shook his head and grinned. "Now you know how he got his name."

"Oh my. They're huge. Do they stay inside? How do they get exercise and go outside?"

"I hired a college student who takes them for a run in the late afternoon or early evening. It depends on his schedule. I take them out every morning." Anderson motioned for her to follow. He pointed to a flap at the bottom of a large glass door. "A doggie door. If the boys need to go outside or just want to play during the day, they have their own garden." He opened the door for Shana to enter.

A lady in her forties jumped, startled. "Drew, " she said. "I wasn't expecting you."

"Sorry, Jane. I didn't mean to startle you. Shana, meet Jane. She's in charge of taking care of my house."

Jane removed a glove and offered her hand. "Glad to meet you. I was pulling weeds from the garden." She took a few steps to her left. "The tomatoes are about ripe. We should have fresh ones in a few days." She paused. "Should I tell Helen to expect Shana for dinner?"

"Yes, she flies home tomorrow. Can you show her the East guest room? I think she'll be comfortable there." Anderson acknowledged Philip standing by the door, before he asked, "Do you know what's for dinner?"

"Lobster, New York strips, New England clam chowder, and a salad."

"Sounds good." Anderson turned to Shana. "Jane will help you get settled. I need to take care of something. I'll see you at dinner."

Jane set her gardening gloves aside, and then touched Shana's arm. "I noticed you touched your necklace when I repeated the dinner menu." She paused. "I'll tell Helen to substitute a baked potato for the lobster and clam chowder. I'm sure she can whip up some dinner rolls. I'll make sure the steak is kosher. Your Shabbat begins at sunset, correct?"

"Yes." Shana studied the floor. "I don't want to be a problem."

"You're not." Jane glanced at the sky through the ceiling panel. "Sunset is imminent. Let's get you settled. Do you have luggage?"

"It's still at the hotel. I haven't been able to get it."

"Not a problem. I'll show you to your room. I'm sure Drew will see to it that everything is taken care of."
*****

Once Anderson was behind his mission oak executive desk, with the three German shepherds lying in a line beside him, Philip showed three gentlemen into the office. "Mr. Sharp, this is Dmitry Bezrukov and his...."

Anderson motioned for Philip to leave, walked to the front of his desk, and offered his hand. "How can I help you?"

"We're from the Russian consulate," Dmitry said with a very strong accent. One man stood statuesque to his left and the other to his right; both were void of emotion.

"I know I'm addressing Congress Monday morning about an oil deal, but I wasn't aware Russia had an interest in it."

"We are not here about oil." Dmitry glared at Anderson. "We are here because Shana Kohlberg has something that belongs to us."

"Now, I'm really confused. What does that have to do with me?"

"We know you drive a black Jaguar convertible."

"I do, but...."

"We know about three o'clock this afternoon she got into that car at a corner on Fifth Avenue and East Eighty-fourth."

Anderson turned to his right and spoke into an intercom that sat on his desk. "Philip, please come into my office."

Within moments, Philip stood in the doorway. "Sir?"

"I know you ran some errands today. Did you drive the Jaguar?"

"No, sir. I drove the Bentley, like I always do."

"Thank you. You may leave." Anderson held up his right index finger. "I need to check on one more thing." He pressed a number on his cell phone. "Joe, is my Jaguar parked in its usual spot?" He listened. "Thank you." He put his phone away. "I guess you're mistaken. I'm sure I'm not the only owner of a black Jaguar in New York City. If there's nothing else I can help you with, then I hope you find this lady." He pressed the intercom. "Philip, our guests are ready to leave."

When the butler stood in the doorway, Anderson said, "Philip will show you the door."

Moments later, Philip returned to the den, and Anderson met his gaze. "I take it they left."

"Yes. I stayed with them until they left the building and I made sure I locked the elevator."

"Thank you. I guess I'd better see what our little house guest is hiding. She may not be as innocent as she seems." Anderson headed in the direction of the guest room.


INFORMATION THAT MAY HELP:

Shabbat -- is the cornerstone of Jewish Time. It's the only day of the week with a Hebrew name; the rest are merely numbered in relation to the Sabbath.

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of three German Shepherds. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I am listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 5
Chapter Two part Zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Thank you. You may leave." Anderson held up his right index finger. "I need to check on one more thing." He pressed a number on his cell phone. "Joe, is my Jaguar parked in its usual spot?" He listened. "Thank you." He put his phone away. "I guess you're mistaken. I'm sure I'm not the only owner of a black Jaguar in New York City. If there's nothing else I can help you with, then I hope you find this lady." He pressed the intercom. "Philip, our guests are ready to leave."

When the butler stood in the doorway, Anderson said, "Philip will show you the door."

Moments later, Philip returned to the den, and Anderson met his gaze. "I take it they left."

"Yes. I stayed with them until they left the building and I made sure I locked the elevator."

"Thank you. I guess I'd better see what our little house guest is hiding. She may not be as innocent as she seems." Anderson headed in the direction of the guest room.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 2 part 2

"Drew, you can't just go to her bedroom. It wouldn't be proper. I'll have Jane bring her to you." Philip turned to leave.

Anderson sat and rapped his fingers on the desk. I wonder what Shana has in the satchel. How did she get possession of it? It must be valuable.

A few moments later Philip and Jane entered.

"Why isn't Shana with you?" Anderson said, standing.

"I don't think your office is the right place to speak with her." Jane said as her eyebrow rose. "I think it'll intimidate her."

"I think we're going to be surprised at who this young lady really is."

"She's a high school English teacher born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, and Jewish to boot. I doubt she's an international spy." Jane's hands were on her hips. "I'll bring her to the patio and have Helen bring out a pitcher of lemonade and some fresh fruit."

Shana has Jane buffaloed just as much as she did me. Anderson went to the patio, with the three dogs following.

Helen set two glasses on table and poured the lemonade. "Drew, dinner will be ready around 6:30. Will that be okay?"

He glanced at his watch. "I think so. That's an hour and half away. This talk should be over way before then." As Jane and Shana entered, he stood. "Sorry to interrupt your rest, but I had three visitors."

"Those men found me?" Shana inhaled a deep breath and both her hands came to her mouth. "I need to leave." She turned.

"Sit down." Anderson touched her arm as he held out a chair. "You're not going anywhere. They said you had something that belongs to them and they want it back."

"I don't understand. I have nothing of theirs."

"What's in your satchel?"

"Papers that belonged to my great, great grandpa Haim. They've been in the family cedar chest since he left Germany in 1931."

"Okay. Now you need to go back to the beginning. Why are these papers so important that the Russian Consulate's interested in them?"

"I have no idea." Shana shook her head. "Those men are Russian? No way."

"Who did you think they were?"

"Private-eyes hired by the family who has my family's artwork."

"This makes no sense at all. Why are you in New York City?" Anderson used the intercom to call to the cook. "Plan dinner for 7:00. No make it 7:30. This is going to take a while." He put a slice of pineapple in his mouth. "Helen, please bring some cheese and crackers. Thank you." He faced Shana. "Start at the very beginning."

"I teach high school English. Over spring break a girlfriend and I came to New York City on vacation. One of the places we visited was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. During that visit, I saw a painting, 'Litzberg am Attersee' by Gustav Klimt. He painted it in 1914. Have you heard of him?"

"Yes, he was an Austrian artist who used ornamental gold leaf as a flat two-dimensional perspective reminiscent of Byzantine mosaics."

"You're correct. I have documentation stating that particular painting is owned by my family. This documentation also shows my family owned a medieval stained glass window and a Michelangelo marble sculpture of a slave. I have no idea where those art pieces are now."

"Why aren't they in your family's possession?"

"Great, great grandpa Haim was a professor at Universitat Frankfurt Am Main. In 1931, the German economic crisis worsened and the Nazi party became strong enough to overtake the university system. He brought his family to the US, but couldn't bring the artwork. He left them with his brother, Tomas. They were hidden in a huge wall safe. During Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938, Tomas was arrested and sent to Dachau. He died there. It has always been believed that while the looting and murdering took place that night Grandfather's artwork was stolen."

"That part makes sense. My question is how did the Russians get involved?"


Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of Gustav Klimt's painting 'Litzberg am Attersee'. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I am listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 6
Chapter Two part Drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Why aren't they in your family's possession?"

"Great-great-grandpa Haim was a professor at Universitat Frankfurt Am Main. In 1931, the German economic crisis worsened, and the Nazi party became strong enough to take over the university system. He brought his family to the US but couldn't bring the artwork. He left them with his brother, Tomas. They were hidden in a huge wall safe. During Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938, Tomas was arrested and sent to Dachau. He died there. It has always been believed that while the looting and murdering took place that night Grandfather's artwork was stolen."

"That part makes sense. My question is how did the Russians get involved?"

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 2 part 3

"I have no idea. Maybe the artwork was brought to Berlin and...who knows...." Shana leaned back in the chair. "I have no way of knowing. All this time I thought a German had it."

"Sir, if I may," Philip said as he stood in the doorway. "I think I can answer that."

"Come on in." Anderson's eyes met Shana's. "There's no such thing as a private conversation in this house."

"I think I'll have a seat too." Jane sat beside Shana.

"See. It won't be long before Helen joins us."

"Don't start." Helen placed three glasses on the table and filled them. "I'm ready."

Anderson nodded, and Philip to begin. "Between June 1941 and May 1945 Germany and the Soviet Union engaged in a struggle on the Eastern Front. It was one of the largest and deadliest military duels in human history."

"Didn't the harsh Russian winters play a role in Russian victory?" asked Anderson.

"They did. After about four years of serious fighting, the Soviet Union made its way into Berlin." Philip took a bite of cheese before he continued, "On April 16, 1945, the Red Army began its Berlin campaign with artillery, exploding targets throughout the city and surrounding areas. The Soviets captured the Reichstag on April 30, 1945. Hundreds of thousands of German civilians were shot and buried alive in buildings crushed by tanks. Some were crucified."

"We get the picture." Jane glared at Philip. "I'm sure this is when the Soviet soldiers stole artwork from the Germans, who originally had stolen it. It all makes sense."

"I need to add that Stalin died in 1953, but around ten thousand former German soldiers weren't given their freedom until 1955 -- 1956." Philip glanced down at his hands.

"What happened to Hitler during all of this?" asked Helen.

"I can answer that." Shana's clenched fists were in her lap. "He and Eva Braun, his wife all of about one day, stayed in the Fuhrerbunker, a fortified underground bunker. Hitler was a chicken. First, he fed his dog cyanide. I guess to make sure it was strong enough to do the job. After marrying Eva, he poisoned her, and then shot himself. He couldn't stand the idea of being captured."

"I can understand why you have no love lost for Hitler and the Nazis." Anderson hesitated. "This probably explains how Russia got possession of your family's painting."

Jane's eyes met Anderson's. "Drew, there has to be something you can do?"

"I have absolutely no pull with the Russians and neither does anyone in my family." He took a drink.

"But you do have influence with many members of Congress. Can't they do something?"

"I don't even know for sure the painting belongs to Shana's family."

"I'll show you the paperwork." Shana hurried to the room she was staying in.

Moments later, she returned with the satchel and took out an envelope. From that, she carefully removed a yellowed fragile document written in German. "Here's the documentation that the painting belongs to us. Earlier today, the museum had an expert verify this paper is authentic. They then made a special copy of it and were going to move the process along to the next step. It'll take longer because I refused to leave this with them."

"I don't blame you one bit," added Jane.

All heads turned at a sound of a doorbell ringing.


NOTE!
There are a few theories as to what really happened to Hitler. This seems to be the most common theory.


Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a newspaper's front page during WWII. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I am listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 7
Chapter Three part Eine

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"I'll show you the paperwork." Shana hurried to the room she was staying in.

Moments later, she returned with the satchel and took out an envelope. From that, she carefully removed a yellowed fragile document written in German. "Here's the documentation that the painting belongs to us. Earlier today, the museum had an expert verify this paper is authentic. They then made a special copy of it and were going to move the process along to the next step. It'll take longer because I refused to leave this with them."

"I don't blame you one bit," added Jane.

All heads turned at a sound of a doorbell ringing.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 3 part 1

Philip went to the elevator and spoke into the intercom, "Hello, may I help you?"

"I'm ready to walk the boys," replied Ben.

Anderson nodded to Philip and then faced Shana. "Jane will take you to your room. We'll talk during dinner." He held the chair for Shana to stand. "I think it's best if nobody knows you're here."

"I have done nothing wrong." Shana's eyes met Anderson's.

"I know, dear," said Jane as she put her arm around Shana's shoulder. "Drew's erring on the side of caution."

Philip waited until the women had left before he sent down the elevator.

When Ben entered the room, the three dogs sat holding their leashes in their mouths. "I see you guys are ready." He rubbed each head before turning to Philip. "I'm not used to the elevator being locked. Is something going on?"

"No. Drew's addressing Congress Monday about an oil deal. He wants to make sure there aren't any special interest groups trying to change his mind."

"You mean lobbyists?" Ben paused. "He acts like a normal dude. I forget he's all important."

Philip laughed. "He does too, sometimes."

"Today, we'll go to Central Park for a run. The boys like that path." He stepped into the elevator. The three German Shepherds followed.

*****

Later, Philip walked into Anderson's den and said, "I just received a call from Ben. He knows it sounds ridiculous but he thinks somebody's spying on him. He said the boys are acting suspicious. They feel something's wrong. Should he continue with their exercise?"

Anderson nodded. "Tell him to continue. I don't want any schedules changed. We'll continue our normal activities. I don't want anybody thinking we're hiding something or somebody. I'll send a security detail to the park as a precaution." He tapped numbers on his cell. Within moments, he sent three undercover security men to Central Park. He rapped the end of his pen on his desk. "This has to be about more than a painting. Nobody would get this upset over the possibility of losing a painting. It can't be worth that much."

"I did some research. Gustav Klimt's artwork sells for anywhere from $39 million to $135 million. Shana's family would be rich if they had possession of that painting." Philip sat in a leather chair beside Anderson's desk.

"Have you found out what her father does?"

"He teaches static and dynamic loads at Bradley University's school of Civil Engineering."

"They aren't rich, but doing all right. How about her mother?"

"She stays at home."

"Have you been able to find out any other information?"

"She has one brother, Aaron. He's doing his residency. Aaron is Shana's big brother and is very protective of her. A grandmother resides with her parents. They're a very close family. I couldn't find any reason to be suspicious. They seem like a very normal law-abiding family."

Anderson stretched his neck from side-to-side. "It doesn't make an ounce of sense."

"I agree." Philip got up to answer the intercom and said into it, "I'm sending down the elevator."

Anderson walked in as Ben and Philip were talking. He interrupted, "Somebody asked who was here?"

"Yes, sir. Two men approached as we were waiting for the elevator. I told them I only saw you and Philip. Is that a problem?"

"No." Anderson watched him unhook the leashes and the dogs return them to the proper place before he said, "Why would anybody ask that?"

"Why would anybody care about where I exercise your dogs?" Ben paused. "Oh yeah, a man walked by and told me I needed to muzzle those dogs. Can you believe it? They weren't bothering anybody." He turned to leave. "I need to get going. I've got a big test tomorrow."

"Have you had dinner, yet?" After Ben said he hadn't, Anderson gave him some cash and said, "There's a pizza place around the corner. Have some dinner."

"Thanks."

Anderson watched Ben leave and then called the company in charge of his security and ordered a permanent detail on Ben.

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of three German Shepherds. I couldn't decide on artwork, so I went back to the dogs. LOL I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I am listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 8
Chapter Three part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Why would anybody care about where I exercise your dogs?" Ben paused. "Oh yeah, a man walked by and told me I needed to muzzle those dogs. Can you believe it? They weren't bothering anybody." He turned to leave. "I need to get going. I've got a big test tomorrow."

"Have you had dinner, yet?" After Ben said he hadn't, Anderson gave him some cash and said, "There's a pizza place around the corner. Have some dinner."

"Thanks."

Anderson watched Ben leave and then called the company in charge of his security and ordered a permanent detail on Ben.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 3 part 2

Jane knocked on Shana's door, carrying luggage. When Shana opened it, her eyes widened. "How did you manage to get this?"

"Drew works wonders. I'm not sure how he did it but I do know he sneaked it in and those bad guys don't know it's here. You might want to check and make sure everything's here. Men don't pack as well as we do."

Shana smiled when she saw the Tanakh lying on top. She picked it up and held it to her chest.

"I see they got the Hebrew Bible and packed it."

"They probably didn't notice the candles." Shana lifted clothing to check under it.

"I'm sure they didn't. We have plenty of candles. I'll get you some."

"It's all right."

Both ladies turned their heads when they heard a soft bell through the intercom.

Jane smiled. "Helen's telling us dinner's ready."

"I'll be there in a minute. I need to freshen up."

With a nod, Jane opened the door. "I'll leave Romeo with you. A lady should always be escorted to dinner." She left Shana alone with the dog.

Shana removed a simple dress from her suitcase and held it up. This will have to do. I don't own anything really fancy. She quickly grabbed her toothbrush and toothpaste and headed for the bathroom.

She turned as the dog brushed up against her. "I guess you think you need to follow me everywhere. You do not. I can do this myself. Now, go lie down." When the dog continued to stand beside her, she asked, "Can you please wait in the hall?" She opened the door and motioned for him to leave.

He tilted his head and looked at her.

"I guess I'm stuck with you, but you are not going into the bathroom with me." She secured the door behind her.

*****

As Shana and her escort entered the dining room, she heard Jane ask, "Are you sure those candles are kosher?"

Anderson entered from the other direction. "Whoever heard of kosher candles?"

"Evidently, Jane." Helen shook her head. "She researched this on-line. I guess you can find anything there. Honestly, I don't think there's such a thing as kosher candles. A candle is a candle. I have white; that's good enough." She quieted as she noticed Shana standing in the door way. "Sorry, I...."

"It's fine." Shana turned to face Anderson. "Kosher candles don't contain animal fat."

Helen held out two candles. "These don't have any animal fat. Does it matter if they're light blue?"

"My family mostly used white, but color doesn't matter." Shana hesitated. "You really don't need to fuss over me."

Jane exhaled a deep breath. "I do, dear. My grandma was Jewish. My grandpa had promised her family he'd allow her to raise the children Jewish and he did not." Her eyes met Anderson's. "Can we encompass the Jewish traditions while Shana's here?"

"You don't need to."

"I don't see why not," interrupted Anderson. "Please go ahead."

Helen removed the two white candles and placed the two blue candles in their place.

Jane read from her phone. "The mitzvah or lighting of the candles belongs to the woman of the house. I guess that would be Shana." She handed matches to Shana. "Please continue."

"It's tradition to first light the candles and then recite a blessing."

"Wait a minute," said Jane. "It says here, and I quote, 'It is custom for everyone at the table to exchange a kiss before the blessing is said.' I think we should."

"Only in some families is that customary." Shana's cheeks turned pink.

"Is it a custom in your family?" asked Anderson.

"We're not family." Shana's face turned quickly to red.

"So it is a custom in your family." Jane laid her phone on the table. "Then we will. Shana, light the candles."

After the candles were lit, Jane went around the table and kissed everybody's cheek. Helen and Philip followed.

Anderson leaned toward Shana. "You weren't too fond of our hug. Are you going to treat the kiss the same way?"

Shana reached up and pecked Anderson's cheek. Romeo pawed her thigh. "I refuse to kiss you." She went back to the candle. "My family continues this way." She circled the flames with her hands three times.

Jane checked her phone and whispered, "It's a mystical gesture drawing in the light, which is a universal symbol of God's presence."

Shana chanted first in Hebrew and then repeated it in English, "Holy One of Blessing, Your Presence Fills Creation; You make us holy with Your commandments and call us to light the lights of Shabbat."

"What about the wine?" asked Helen.

"I doubt the wine's kosher." Jane's eyes met Shana's. "Wine has to be made under rabbinical supervision, correct?"

"Water's fine with me." Shana looked around the table. "I think it's time to eat."

"We have to bless bread, wash hands, and then bless dinner." Jane looked up from her phone.

Helen reached over and took the phone. "Shana, please bless the food. It's getting cold." She frowned at Jane. "Is there a blessing for this phone?"

"We usually say a blessing after the meal. I guess with all the blessings before eating, they decided we could save one for later." Shana smiled.

"Good. Let's eat. I'm starved." Anderson helped himself to the salad.

As the meal continued, Anderson asked, "Shana, I know the painting's worth millions of dollars, but there has to be something else these people are after. Do you have any ideas?"

"No. I grew up hearing stories about the stolen artwork. It was always about the Nazis stealing it. The Russians were never mentioned." Shana took a drink of water. "I never imagined I'd ever see those art pieces. Then I accidentally discovered it over spring break."

Philip glanced at his ringing cell phone and stood. "The ID indicates it's from the motel. I'd better take it. Please excuse me." He walked into another room.

Anderson stood, walked to the doorway, and waited.

"Drew," whispered Philip. "The hotel receptionist has two men at her desk asking to see Ms. Kohlberg. She told them that Shana had checked out. They want more information. What should I tell her?"

"Tell her...."

"Shh, you don't want them to hear you."

Anderson lowered his voice. "Tell her you have no idea who Ms. Kohlberg is." He shook his head and returned to the table. "This isn't good," he muttered. His eyes met Shana's. "Are you sure you have no idea what this is all about?"

"Positive." Tears welled.


*****
Many fans have asked for a character list. I don't like doing them, but here's my version of a character list.

Characters so far:
Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to recover her family's painting

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a woman lighting the Sabbath Candles. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I am listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 9
Chapter Three part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Drew," whispered Philip. "The hotel receptionist has two men at her desk asking to see Ms. Kohlberg. She told them that Shana had checked out. They want more information. What should I tell her?"

"Tell her...."

"Shh, you don't want them to hear you."

Anderson lowered his voice. "Tell her you have no idea who Ms. Kohlberg is." He shook his head and returned to the table. "This isn't good," he muttered. His eyes met Shana's. "Are you sure you have no idea what this is all about?"

"Positive." Tears welled.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 3 part 3

Jane leaned over and put her arms around Shana. "It'll be all right, dear. Drew will get to the bottom of this."

"If I don't know what we're dealing with, I can't get to the bottom of it." He pushed his plate away.

"I fly home tomorrow, so your life will get back to normal." Shana stood. "I'm going to my room."

Anderson motioned for Romeo to follow. The dog did.

As Shana walked into the adjacent room, she paused to answer her ringing cell phone. "Hello, Aaron, just a minute. I'm on my way to my room." She walked as she listened. "What?" She halted.

Anderson touched her arm, grabbed her phone, identified himself, and then said, "You must be Shana's brother. What's happened?" He listened, before he continued, "Shana's safe and will remain here. I'll handle things from this end." He paused. "Do you have any idea what these people want?"

After hanging up, he motioned for everybody to return to the dining room table. Helen had just removed the last of the dishes.

They took their seats and waited for Anderson to speak.

"What happened?" asked Philip. "I understand Shana will be our guest for a few more days."

"She will."

"But...."

"But nothing." Anderson's eyes met hers. "Men have been asking questions at the hospital where your brother's doing his residency. Also your parents have been visited. So far, they just want to know where you are."

"Philip, cancel her flight for tomorrow. If they give you any problems, drop a few names."

He nodded and left the room.

"I can't stay here." Shana's eyes met Anderson's. "I'm putting all of you in danger, and besides, how does it look? You're a bachelor, and I'm single."

"This is the twenty-first century. Nobody cares about that anymore." Anderson hesitated. "Besides, that's the least of your worries. There are men out there who want something from you and aren't opposed to violence to get it."

Philip returned. "The flight's taken care of. Is there anything else I can do?"

"Put a security detail on her brother and her family. Be sure to include her grandma." Anderson smiled. "I have a feeling she's a feisty lady." He glanced at Shana. "Am I right?"

"You are. She's very old school."

"I'll be sure to let Grandma know your room is on the opposite end of my apartment. There's a reason I had Jane take you to the east end."

"Thank you."

"Just to ease your mind; we'll never be alone either. Although Philip, Jane, and Helen work for me, they're also friends and live here. Your reputation's safe."

Shana looked down at Romeo, who had put his head in her lap, and then back at Anderson. "Why is this happening?"

"That's what I'm trying to figure out." Anderson checked his watch. "It's too late tonight, but first thing in the morning I'm going to visit the art museum and see if I can find out any information."

"I'll come with you," said Shana.

"No you won't. We're working hard to make sure those men aren't positive you're here."

"I doubt they'll give you any information about my situation."

"She has a point," said Jane.


*****

Many fans have asked for a character list. I don't like doing them, but here's my version of a character list.

Characters so far:
Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to recover her family's painting

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron - - Shana's older brother; very protective of her

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a beautiful Star of David. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I am listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 10
Chapter Four part eine

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Shana looked down at Romeo, who had put his head in her lap, and then back at Anderson. "Why is this happening?"

"That's what I'm trying to figure out." Anderson checked his watch. "It's too late tonight, but first thing in the morning I'm going to visit the art museum and see if I can find out any information."

"I'll come with you," said Shana.

"No you won't. We're working hard to make sure those men aren't positive you're here."

"I doubt they'll give you any information about my situation."

"She has a point," said Jane.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 4 part 1 (1/8/17)

The following morning, over a cup of coffee, Anderson checked when the art museum opened. "Philip, I want to be at the museum at 10:00."

"Have you decided what to do about Shana? She has a valid point. The curator won't discuss any information with you. You paid off the hotel manager to get her luggage, but I doubt a huge donation will help at the museum."

"I have to find out who owns the painting, and then do background checks. Maybe it'll tell us who or what we're dealing with."

Jane stepped in. "Do you know the Jewish Sabbath continues until the first three stars are seen tonight?"

Philip's eyes widened. "That may be a way of keeping Shana here."

"Are there exceptions to the Sabbath?" asked Anderson.

"There are always exceptions to anything. You know that." Jane dusted a rustic oak hutch.

"Quit dusting." Anderson smiled. "I know you're in here because you're nosy and want to be part of the planning. Pour yourself some coffee and take a seat."

"I've already enlightened you about when the Sabbath ends. Who knows what other valuable information I might be able to share." Jane added cream to her coffee.

"Shana had prepared to leave today. I'm sure she didn't pack enough clothes for an extended stay." Philip took a piece of paper from his jacket pocket. "Jane, you should make a list and do some shopping."

"I hadn't thought about it. Her suitcase was small." Jane sat, began to think, and wrote down some things. "Her clothes are casual. I'd better not get anything too fancy."

From the doorway, Shana said, "I'll wash my clothes. I won't need anything. I do appreciate the thought."

"I'm glad you're up." Anderson buzzed the kitchen. "Helen, we're ready for breakfast."

"Give me about fifteen minutes and I'll be ready."

"You didn't need to wait for me to have breakfast. I'm sorry, if I had known, I would've hurried." Shana looked down at the dog standing beside her. "Anderson, could you please do something about Romeo? He follows me everywhere." She hesitated. "And I do mean everywhere."

"First, please call me Drew. My friends do." Anderson continued, "I usually eat breakfast after my second cup of coffee. I'm still drinking my first, so we're a little early." He smiled. "As for your escort, he'll be by your side as long as you're here. He'll make sure you're always safe."

"Your apartment's very secure. How could anything happen?"

"Mistakes happen. He'll ensure nothing does. He was missing for about two hours this morning, and you didn't notice." As Shana raised an eyebrow, Anderson continued, "I took the dogs for a run. Romeo was with us."

"How did he get out of my room?"

"I let him out and back in," said Jane. "Drew isn't allowed in the East wing."

Philip laughed. "I like the way you said that."

"The way I understand the Shabbat is a time you turn off the world. Is that right?" asked Jane.

"Yes, it's a time of comfort and peace."

Helen walked in pushing a cart. "Breakfast is ready."

All were silent while Helen prepared the table. After everyone was served Jane continued, "You'll be followed if you go to a synagogue. Is there something you can do here?"

"Yes. I was prepared. When I was flying home today, I knew I wouldn't have time, so I planned my own service, of sorts."

"You understand you have access to the entire apartment, don't you?" Anderson poured syrup over his French toast.

"Thank you, but I don't want to take advantage of your hospitality." Shana took a sip of orange juice.

"Don't worry about that. I want you to make yourself at home. Mi casa es su casa."

Jane laughed. "You aren't in Texas anymore."

"You're originally from Texas?" asked Shana. Anderson nodded and she continued, "How did you get to New York?"

"I'm only here part of the year. The rest of the year, I'm at my home in Texas. I represent my family at the stock exchange."

"His family dabbles in oil." Helen reached for the sausage links. "Shana, would you like some?"

"No, thank you. I'm fine with French toast and fruit."

"You can't eat pork, can you?" Jane studied the platter of sausage.

"Please, don't worry about it. This is more than plenty."

"Tomorrow I'll fix bacon." Helen set her napkin on the table.

Philip smiled. "Helen, where does bacon come from?"

She laughed. "Duh, hogs." She sighed. "Okay, I had a momentary lapse. I'm sorry, Shana. I'll get it together, someday."

They continued to laugh.

Philip checked his watch and motioned to Anderson; who nodded.

Anderson finished his coffee and stood. "I'd better get ready for my museum trip." He took out his cell and called Jeff. "I'll be leaving in about ten minutes. Please have my car ready."

****

My version of a character list.

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to recover her family's painting

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron - - Shana's older brother; very protective of her



Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a plate of French toast. I have come to realize that many of my novels have a lot of food in them. Hmmm, wonder why? LOL I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I am listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 11
Chapter Four part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Philip checked his watch and motioned to Anderson; who nodded.

Anderson finished his coffee and stood. "I'd better get ready for my museum trip." He took out his cell and called Jeff. "I'll be leaving in about ten minutes. Please have my car ready."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 4 part 2

When Anderson left the parking garage, he noticed two men standing at the entrance. As he drove past them, one made a phone call. It wasn't long before a black sedan followed him to the Metropolitan Art Museum.

Anderson looked around the museum and noticed much of the artwork was placed in rooms that indicated where or who they were on loan from. All I have to do is find the 'Litzlberg am Attersee' and the placement should tell me who owns it.

Anderson stood beside a security man. "Excuse me. I've heard you have a wonderful display of Gustav Klimt's work."

"We have two of his pieces. The 'Litzlberg am Attersee' and 'The Kiss' which is on loan from Vienna, Austria."

"Could you direct me to them?" asked Anderson.

"Certainly. They're in two different locations. 'The Kiss' is straight down this hall and to your left." The man used his hands to indicate directions. "It's in our Central Europe exhibit. The 'Litzlberg am Attersee'; you'll take the same hall, but halfway down you'll need to make a right into a room of Goya's work, go straight through, and into the next room. You'll find it hanging on the left wall."

After thanking the security guard, Anderson headed for the designated hall. I'll see 'The Kiss' first. I don't want to appear too eager.

Anderson spent time viewing and reading about the painting. "The painting was bought by the Belvedere Museum before it was finished. They paid 25,000 crowns or about $240,000 today." That's a heck of a lot for an unfinished painting. He continued reading. "Austria considers 'The Kiss' a national treasure'. Although the painting reflects a collision of artistic styles, it's a prime example of Klimt's 'Golden Period'."

He stepped back and stared at the painting. It's huge. It must be close to six feet square. It's amazing how he mingled the gold leaf into the oil paints. That must be why he's so famous. I'd better check on Klimt's painting that's causing Shana so much trouble.

*****

This is a beautiful painting, but it's nothing like 'The Kiss'. It's not nearly as large; maybe thirty-six inches square. Klimt must have liked square paintings. Anderson moved closer. That man's way too close. What's he doing?

As a security lady asked the man to step back, Anderson moved to another painting, but kept an eye on the man who was close to the painting. He's fingering something. What? He looked up and saw a security camera. I'd love to get a look at that.

The man walked into the hallway. Anderson stopped next to the hallway entrance and studied a painting; leaning as much as possible toward the arched doorway. He noticed the man was on his phone and edged as close as he dared, hoping to overhear part of the conversation.

He called the man, Ivan. Who's Ivan? Anderson tried to move closer. Did he say he couldn't place it on the painting? Place what on the painting?

He released a deep breath as the man walked away. That got me nowhere. I just have more questions. I'll find out who owns the painting and go home. He moved close enough to the painting to check the owner's name. "Ivan Kuznetsov ! Who's that? Maybe the same Ivan?" He left the exhibit.

Sitting in his car, Anderson called Philip. "Have a background check run on Ivan Kuznetsov . He owns the painting and may have wanted something placed on it. I don't believe in coincidences. I'm on my way home."


Characters so far:
Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back
Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells
Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits
Jeff -- takes care of Anderson's cars
Helen -- Anderson's cook
Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper
Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident
Ben -- Anderson's dog walker
Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd
Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd
Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd
Aaron -- Shana's older brother
Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Litzlberg am Attersee' by Gustav Klimt
Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it.



Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York City. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I'm listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 12
Chapter Four part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

He released a deep breath as the man walked away. That got me nowhere. I just have more questions. I'll find out who owns the painting and go home. He moved close enough to the painting to check the owner's name. "Ivan Kuznetsov ! Who's that? Maybe the same Ivan?" He left the exhibit.

Sitting in his car, Anderson called Philip. "Have a background check run on Ivan Kuznetsov . He owns the painting and may have wanted something placed on it."

TODAY'S POST:

The name of the painting and the artist have been changed. I had used a real artwork and decided not to chance it.

Chapter 4 part 3

When Anderson arrived home, he asked Jane to invite Shana to the patio and he notified Helen they'd be eating lunch there.

As Shana stepped through the door, Anderson asked, "Who's Ivan Kuznetsov?"

Jane's eyes met Anderson's. "At least let her sit before the inquisition."

Anderson stood. "Sorry. I discovered that Kuznetsov owns the 'Winter-Traum', but that's all I know." He held a chair for Shana and then one for Jane. He softened his tone. "Helen will have lunch ready in about forty-five minutes."

"I've never heard of him. I have no idea how he got our painting."

"I guess that makes two of us. Philip's running a background check on him."

"Did you learn anything else?" asked Jane.

"Not really, but I was followed to and from the museum." Anderson glanced at Shana. "I'm glad we decided you should stay here."

"Followed?" Shana's eyes widened. "I'm sorry you're in this mess. I had no idea..."

"It's okay," interrupted Jane as she placed her hand over Shana's. "I know you have no more idea what's going on than we do."

Anderson continued, "A man was standing too close to the painting and security told him to step back. Then he went to the hallway and made a call to an Ivan. I'm guessing Kuznetsov. Something was in his hand, but I couldn't tell what. It was too small." He rapped his fingers on the table. "I wish Philip would hurry."

"If you saw the man again, would you recognize him?" asked Jane.

He searched his phone and then held it up. "I can do better than that. I took his picture."

Jane took the phone and studied the photo. "I can only see the side of his face." She passed the phone to Shana. "Have you seen this man before?"

"Next time, I'll be sure to ask him to pose," interrupted Anderson.

Shana stared at the picture. "I can't be sure."

"Go on," urged Anderson. "Have you seen him before?"

"If I did, it was in March when I was here. When I first saw the 'Winter-Traum', I moved closer to get a better look. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going and bumped into a man. It might have been the same man." Shana rubbed her arms. "He wasn't very friendly. He grunted and had mean eyes."

"Did this man have mean eyes?" Jane waited for a response.

"I didn't get a good look at his eyes. I was trying to figure out what he had in his hand."

Helen entered the patio. "Drew, lunch will be delayed a little. The grocery store just called and asked if they could make the delivery earlier than normal. I hope that's all right."

Anderson checked his watch. "Not a problem. Can you bring out some snacks? I'm hungry." He turned his head as a female voice said hello through the intercom. "What does she want?" He nodded to Jane. "Helen, forget the snacks."

Jane stood and asked, "Shana, why don't you come to the kitchen with me? I bet we can help."

Anderson walked over to the elevator. "I'm sending the elevator down." He waited at the door.

"I've never had to wait for the elevator before. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were hiding something or somebody." Patricia stood before Anderson, clutching a Judith Leiber handbag.

"Why are you here?"

"I got a visit from two frightening men with a foreign accent. It sounded Middle Eastern. They wanted information a Shana Kohlberg. I told them I had no idea who your new hussy might be. I'm here because I don't want my daughter exposed to her." She tossed her handbag on the couch and sat, running her hand along it. "I always loved this sofa." As she fingered a diamond, embedded in the leather, she crossed her long slender legs.

"Why would anybody named Shana Kohlberg be here? I have no idea why these men would visit you. Are you sure you haven't made somebody angry or owe them money?" Anderson paused. "You can have the sofa. I never liked it anyway."

"I'm not sure this sofa will fit in my tiny penthouse." Patricia looked at Anderson and smiled. "Of course, if you increased my alimony, I could afford a bigger place." After he shook his head, she continued, "Maybe I'll sell it and get something new." She hesitated. "There were only fifty of these made."

Axel and Thor sauntered into the room.

Patricia frowned. "I see you still have those flea bags. Never mind, I don't want this. It smells like dogs and probably has fleas. My daughter comes Monday to spend six weeks with you. What are you going to do with those?" She pointed her perfectly manicured index finger at the dogs.

"I'm not going to do anything with them. Emily likes them and they're very protective of her."

"I won't have my child bitten by fleas or those dangerous animals."

"I refuse to have this conversation with you, again." Anderson stood. "Our daughter's name is Emily. Maybe you should use it instead of referring to her as my child." He walked toward the elevator door. "If you have nothing else to say, I need to get to work."

"I won't have my daughter scared by these men. What are you going to do about them?"

"I'll have them checked out." Anderson paused. "Philip will pick up Emily Monday morning at 9:00. I'll be in D.C. on business."

"I don't want that pervert around my daughter. I hope you still don't have that horrid cook here either."

"If you prefer, I can pick up Emily myself. It'll be around 6:00." When Anderson didn't get a response, he continued, "I'll make sure Emily is well taken care of while you bask in the sun on the British Virgin Islands." He released a deep breath. "Philip and Helen will be here and will assist in Emily's care. I have complete confidence in them."

"I'm going to Fiji this time. That cook won't allow my child to express herself through food."

"Her name is Emily." Anderson set his jaw. "Brownies and banana splits are not a healthy breakfast. Helen will ensure Emily eats healthy food." When Patricia opened her mouth to protest, he added, "I refuse to have this conversation. I have work to do, goodbye." He opened the elevator door.

Once the elevator left, Jane asked, "Do you want me to call your lawyer?"

"Make the appointment for later this afternoon." Anderson muttered, "Philip, you'd better have some good information. How's lunch coming?"


Characters so far:
Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back
Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells
Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits
Jeff -- takes care of Anderson's cars - - and other sundry chores
Helen -- Anderson's cook
Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper
Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident
Ben -- Anderson's dog walker
Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd
Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd
Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd
Aaron -- Shana's older brother
Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt - formally 'Litzlberg am Attersee' by Gustav Klimt
Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidentally chose a real person, so I have changed it.
Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife
Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter






Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a winter lake scene in Lucerne, Switzerland. The reason for this change is because I messed up, I think, I used a real painting in my novel and have now changed it to a made-up painting and a made-up artist. I'm still going to have him use the gold implants in his artwork. A few artists during that time period used them. I have made NUMEROUS changes in this post. I hope it didn't make numerous errors. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I'm listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 13
Chapter Funf part eine

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Her name is Emily." Anderson set his jaw. "Brownies and banana splits are not a healthy breakfast. Helen will ensure Emily eats healthy food." When Patricia opened her mouth to protest, he added, "I refuse to have this conversation. I have work to do, goodbye." He opened the elevator door.

Once the elevator left, Jane asked, "Do you want me to call your lawyer?"

"Make the appointment for later this afternoon." Anderson muttered, "Philip, you'd better have some good information. How's lunch coming?"


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 5 part 1

As Helen cleared the lunch dishes, Philip returned. "I'll heat your lunch. It'll only take a minute," said Helen as she took the last of the dishes into the kitchen. "Don't start until I get back."

Before Anderson motioned for Philip to take a seat, he said, "I hope you discovered something that'll answer at least some of our questions."

"I did, maybe, but I'm afraid it'll just add more questions to the rising pile."

Helen returned with a heated lunch, salad, and a drink. She placed it in front of Philip and sat beside Jane. "Did I miss anything?"

Philip shook his head. "I haven't started." He took a bite of salad, chewed, and then said, "Ivan Kuznetsov lives in Brighton Beach."

"That's not surprising. There's a Russian Community there." Anderson drummed his fingers on the table.

"It's believed he's a member of a Russian Mafia, but there's a question as to which one. I have it narrowed to two. It may be the Odessa Mafia, whose headquarters are in Brighton Beach or the Brothers' Circle."

"Wait a minute!" Anderson leaned forward and pointed his finger. "Didn't Obama issue an executive order targeting the Brothers' Circle, stating they deal in violence, narcotics, money laundering, and the exploitation of women and children?"

"I think you're correct. He named a Japanese gang too, but I don't remember exactly what that was." Jane started researching on her phone.

Shana released a deep breath. "This is scary; talk of Russian mafia and all. What does it have to do with my painting?"

Jane touched Shana's hand. "That's what we have to figure out. I feel like a detective in one of those suspense novels." She smiled. "Or on one of those crime shows."

"That's the part we have no clue about. My gut says the man I saw at the museum plays a role in this." Anderson's eyes met Philip's. "Anything else you can tell us?"

"I didn't see this myself but it's reported that Kuznetsov has stars tattooed on his knees and his shoulders."

"What does that mean?" asked Helen. "A lot of people have tatts. My nephew has two and he's not in the Russian mafia."

"I have it right here." Jane pointed to her phone. "Stars on the knees mean that person won't bow to any man." Her eyes met Anderson's. "He's one bad guy." After he nodded, she continued, "The shoulder tatts mean he's a man of discipline, has high status or that he's been promoted to captain of the mafia."

"So we're pretty sure he's in the mafia." Philip took a drink. "We're just not sure which one."

"Does it really matter?" asked Anderson.

"If I forget about the painting, will he leave us alone?" asked Shana. "No painting is worth all this. I just want to go home."

"That I can't answer."

All heads turned when they heard the elevator buzzer.

"Now who's here?" asked Anderson as he set his jaw.

Philip stood, but with eyebrows raised and looked at Jane.

"Patricia came to visit," whispered Jane.

With a nod, Philip answered the elevator door.

Anderson whispered, "Jane, I heard you. I'm right here."

"Just explaining why you're so grumpy."

Jane answered Shana's confused look. "Patricia is Drew's ex-wife. They have a daughter together. Emily's five. They're in a custody fight."

Philip came to the patio carrying four large wardrobe bags. "Shana, I'm guessing these are for you."

"I didn't order anything."

"I got you a few things to tide you over," said Jane. "I'll help you take them to your room. On the way, I'll fill you in on Patricia."


Characters so far:
Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back
Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells
Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits
Jeff -- takes care of Anderson's cars - - and other sundry chores
Helen -- Anderson's cook
Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper
Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident
Ben -- Anderson's dog walker
Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd
Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd
Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd
Aaron -- Shana's older brother
Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt - formally 'Litzlberg am Attersee' by Gustav Klimt
Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidentally chose a real person, so I have changed it.
Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife
Emily -- Anderson's five-year-old daughter


Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of man with the star tattoos like the ones the Russian Mafia uses. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I'm listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 14
Chapter Funf part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Philip came to the patio carrying four large wardrobe bags. "Shana, I'm guessing these are for you."

"I didn't order anything."

"I got you a few things to tide you over," said Jane. "I'll help you take them to your room. On the way, I'll fill you in on Patricia."

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 5 part 2

Late that afternoon, Philip led Isaiah Glassberg into Anderson's den. Over coffee and fresh muffins, Anderson explained to his custody lawyer everything that had happened. After he finished, he asked, "Will this have any effect on me getting custody of Emily?"

"It shouldn't. The incident where your ex-wife left Emily alone for hours while she got a manicure and pedicure will hold more weight." Isaiah shook his head. "I still can't believe a mother would do that."

"I'm glad a delivery man knocked on the door and heard Emily. She was only four. Who knows what could have happened. But that's Patricia. She's only concerned about herself. I'm convinced the reason she wants custody is she's afraid of how it would look for a mother to lose. She's all about appearances."

"If we could prove more incidences of Emily being left alone, it would seal our case. If there's one, there's more." Isaiah's eyes met Anderson's. "You're keeping up with the child support, correct?"

Anderson took a bite of muffin before he answered, "Of course. I have an automatic transfer of twelve thousand dollars child support and twenty thousand dollars alimony on the first of each month. Plus I'm paying for private preschool that she rarely attends because Patricia can't get her to school."

"You don't have to pay alimony. There was a prenuptial." The lawyer took a sip of coffee. "Patricia should pay for preschool. She gets child support for things like that."

"I know, but Patricia is just mean enough to take it out on Emily. I have a college fund and a trust fund set aside." Anderson smiled. "Just in case the bottom drops out of the oil business."

"Patricia may want custody just so she can keep the child support. I'm sure she doesn't spend that much on one child."

"She doesn't spend any of it on Emily." Anderson pressed the intercom for Philip. "Please come in for a minute."

After Philip entered, Anderson said, "I need to know how Patricia spends her money. It's not on Emily."

"I'll get right on it." Philip left the room.

"I'll get a court order for her bank records." Isaiah wrote a note to himself.

"I'd be surprised if she has any records."

"What are you going to do about Ms. Kohlberg?" asked Isaiah.

"I don't have the slightest clue. The only thing I'm sure of is she needs help and she can stay here as long as the Russians are after her."

"I guess that's as good a plan as any." Isaiah finished his coffee and stood. "I better go. I have another meeting in thirty minutes. You know the traffic."

They shook hands, and Anderson led him to the elevator. "We should do dinner. How about next Wednesday?"

"Sounds good. I'll check my calendar and get back to you later today." Isaiah took the elevator down.

*****
I need to speak with Anderson and make sure he returns the clothes. I can't accept such extravagant gifts. At the den's door, Shana overheard Anderson explaining the situation to a man, she paused, and started to turn around. That must be his lawyer. She hesitated. Having me here could cost him custody of his daughter. I can't allow that. She hurried to her room.

Shana sat on the edge of her bed. Romeo lay at her feet. "Jane said Pamela, no..., Patricia thought being married to Anderson meant she'd live a lavish lifestyle filled with parties every night. She didn't realize Anderson needed to work and she refused to live in Texas when he wasn't needed here."

Romeo moved and put his head in Shana's lap. She petted him. Patricia didn't want a child. Anderson wanted the family. She was worried a pregnancy would hurt her perfect figure. Jane said she's a horrible mother. She refuses to take care of the child and won't spend a dime on her, and Anderson sees to it that she gets more than enough. All she wants to do is party.

Shana stood. "I need to leave. I can't allow Anderson to lose his child. She deserves a good parent," she whispered as she opened the door. "You need to stay here." She made sure she shut Romeo inside the room. She made her way to the back elevator and rode it to the parking garage.

*****
When Anderson returned to the den, he noticed a scowl on Philip's face. "What's wrong?"

"Shana's missing."

"How can that be?" Anderson ran his hands through his short light brown hair. "It's impossible." He pushed the intercom button. "Jane, where's Shana?"

"In her room. It's still the Sabbath. I'll be there in a minute." Jane hurried into the den.

Anderson scanned the area. "Where are the dogs?" He glanced at the back elevator. "The elevator's at the bottom. She's left." He called down to the garage. "Jeff, Shana's in the garage. Watch her! I'm on my way."




Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back
Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells
Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits
Jeff -- takes care of Anderson's cars - - and other sundry chores
Helen -- Anderson's cook
Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper
Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident
Ben -- Anderson's dog walker
Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd
Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd
Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd
Aaron -- Shana's older brother
Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt - formally 'Litzlberg am Attersee' by Gustav Klimt
Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidentally chose a real person, so I have changed it.
Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife
Emily -- Anderson's five-year-old daughter



Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of A Jewish Star. This is my sixth post, so I will FINALLY get ranked. LOL People have been asking. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I'm listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 15
Chapter Funf part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Shana's missing."

"How can that be?" Anderson ran his hands through his short light brown hair. "It's impossible." He pushed the intercom button. "Jane, where's Shana?"

"In her room. It's still the Sabbath. I'll be there in a minute." Jane hurried into the den.

Anderson scanned the area. "Where are the dogs?" He glanced at the back elevator. "The elevator's at the bottom. She's left." He called down to the garage. "Jeff, Shana's in the garage. Watch her! I'm on my way."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 5 part 3

When the elevator door opened, Shana glanced to the left and then the right. I'd better go the back way. I don't want to draw attention. On the sidewalk, I'll call for a taxi. She checked her purse to make sure she didn't forget her cell.

Shana walked by four parking slots and then past a large cement pillar. From behind it, a medium built man grabbed her arm. With a strong Eastern European accent, he said, "Ms. Kohlberg, we finally meet."

She tried to yank free. "Let go!" she yelled as she wrestled with him.

The full eighty-eight pounds of Axel hit against the man's body, and he fell to the ground. Shana landed a few feet away. Thor joined Axel as they stood guard over the man, growling at his every move. Shana crawled away. Romeo stayed with her.

The man's partner came running. With his Makarov pistol in hand, he yelled with the same heavy accent, "Lady, call your dogs off or I'll kill them."

"Axel! Thor!" Shana waved for the dogs to come to her.

A gunshot sounded as the gun fell from the man's hand. Shana screamed and hid her face.

"Drew, everything's under control." Jeff shoved the phone into his pants pocket as he helped Shana to her feet. "You have some nasty scrapes. Jane will fix you up."

Romeo nuzzled his large head against Shana's thigh as she wiped tears streaming down her cheeks.

Anderson and Philip came running from the elevator.

Philip put his arm around Shana. "Let's get you upstairs. Anderson will take care of things down here." He looked for Anderson's approval. Once he got it, he led Shana to the elevator.

"Thor, Axel." Anderson motioned for the dogs to move to him. He watched Romeo follow Shana.

Jeff stood in front of the two men and kept aim. "I'm sure the police are on their way."

"They are. I'll let them sort this out." Anderson stepped closer. "No, I won't." He punched the man's wounded arm. "Who do you work for?"

The man avoided eye contact.

Anderson glanced toward the sound of sirens. "The police are here. I'm sure they'll have questions. You can answer them at police headquarters."

Moments later, four officers walked up. After introductions were made, Jeff explained what happened. Two officers led the perpetrators to the back of the cruiser and left. The other two officers followed Anderson to the elevator wanting to speak with Shana.

Inside the penthouse, Anderson called Jane and asked her to bring Shana to the den.

"Give me a few minutes to finish cleaning her scrapes. She has a nasty cut on her knee. She must have hit a rock when she fell."

"There are officers waiting to question her. Please bring her."

"I just need to bandage one more scrape and we'll be there."

Anderson shook his head. "She'll be here in a minute." He motioned to some chairs. "Have a seat."

Moments later Jane led Shana into the den. Both officers stood when she entered. Anderson hadn't taken a seat. He motioned for her to sit. He noticed her hands fidgeted in her lap and she chewed on her lower lip. She must be scared to death.

One officer walked to her and offered his hand. "I'm Detective O'Reilly and this is my partner, Detective Campbell. We have a few questions." After Shana nodded, he continued, "Do you have any idea who these men are?"

Shana glanced toward Anderson and remained silent.

"Not really," answered Anderson. "I've had them investigated. We've figured out they may be members of the Russian Mafia and might work for a man named Ivan Kuznetsov."

Detective Campbell tapped his pen on his notepad. "Mr. Sharp. Why don't you go into the next room? My partner will question you." He waited until the two men left and moved closer to Shana. His eyes met hers. "Ma'am, I've noticed you watching Mr. Sharp. Are you being held against your will? Are you safe here?"



Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back
Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells
Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits
Jeff -- takes care of Anderson's cars - - and other sundry chores
Helen -- Anderson's cook
Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper
Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident
Ben -- Anderson's dog walker
Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd
Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd
Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd
Aaron -- Shana's older brother
Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt - formally 'Litzlberg am Attersee' by Gustav Klimt
Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidentally chose a real person, so I have changed it.
Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife
Emily -- Anderson's five-year-old daughter

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a German Shepherd doing his job. Again, as I posted I made last minute changes. I hope I didn't make it worse. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I'm listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 16
Chapter Funf part vier

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Detective Campbell tapped his pen on his notepad. "Mr. Sharp. Why don't you go into the next room? My partner will question you." He waited until the two men left and moved closer to Shana. His eyes met hers. "Ma'am, I've noticed you watching Mr. Sharp. Are you being held against your will? Are you safe here?"

Today's Post:

Chapter 5 part 4

Shana blinked as she tilted her head. "Exactly what are you asking?"

"Is Mr. Sharp holding you against your will?" Detective Campbell's eyes remained on her.

"No!" Shana glared at the detective. "He's trying to help me. I brought these horrible men into his life. He's gone out of his way to keep me safe and find out who we're dealing with and what they want."

"Please explain." Detective Campbell got his pen ready to take notes.

After Shana described the entire ordeal to the detective, he looked up from his pad and studied her. "Do you realize how dangerous it is getting into a stranger's car, especially in this city?"

"Yes, sir, I do. I didn't have any other option."

"Where are the papers these men are trying to get?"

"I left them here. I knew they'd be safe." Shana's eyes met his. "Do you want me to get them?" After he nodded, she said, "I'll be right back," and left the room.

When Shana returned, Anderson carried the black bag containing the artwork's proof of ownership. "Before I show you these, I want an assurance no harm will come to them and they'll remain here." Both detectives agreed and Anderson passed them the paperwork.

Detective Campbell and his partner carefully scanned them.

After a few moments, Shana asked, "I'm sure you see why these papers are important to my family?"

"I do." The detective handed them back to Shana. "Please explain how you came into possession of these."

Shana described the history of her family in Germany and their fleeing to the United States and then how her uncle died in a concentration camp. When she finished, she asked, "Can you help retrieving my family's stolen painting?" She hesitated, before she continued, "Or at a minimum can you keep me safe from these men?"

Anderson grinned at the wording of her last question. "Well, officers, are you going to be able to help the lady?"

Campbell looked at this partner, Detective O'Reilly, who answered, "We can't help recover the artwork, but these two goons will spend at least tonight and tomorrow in lock-up. They'll probably make bail first thing Monday morning. If you have any more problems, we'll be glad to help."

"So bottom line is, unless they hurt me, you can't do anything, right?"

"I guess that sums it up." Campbell stood. "If there's nothing else, we'll be leaving." He eyed Anderson. "We still need to talk with Jeff Burke. Exactly what does he do for you?"

"As you do, he protects my guests and is in charge of my cars. Trust me. He came highly recommended."

"Why does that require a license to carry a concealed weapon?" asked O'Reilly.

"By the accuracy of his shot, I'd say he had military training." Detective Campbell put his notepad and pen in his pocket.

"You're correct." Anderson stepped toward the door. "To your first question, it's New York City. Taking care of cars can be dangerous." Anderson stepped toward the door. "I'll show you the way out." He paused at the door and faced Shana. "If it's all right, when I return I'd like to put your papers in my safe." After Shana nodded, he continued to show the officers to the elevator door.

"Ms. Kohlberg." Detective O'Reilly returned. "One more question. Why did you leave the safety of this penthouse?"

"I came to the den door to ask Anderson something and overheard him speaking with his lawyer. My being here could cost him custody of his daughter, and I couldn't let that happen."

"Makes sense." O'Reilly turned and left.

When Anderson returned, Shana stood and handed him the papers. After she watched him place them in a floor safe, she said, "Thank you. If you don't mind, I'll go to my room."

He nodded. "Jane will let you know when dinner's ready. After dinner, we'll talk."




Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back
Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells
Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits
Jeff Burke-- takes care of Anderson's cars - - and other sundry chores
Helen -- Anderson's cook
Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper
Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident
Ben -- Anderson's dog walker
Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd
Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd
Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd
Aaron -- Shana's older brother
Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt - formally 'Litzlberg am Attersee' by Gustav Klimt
Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidentally chose a real person, so I have changed it.
Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife
Emily -- Anderson's five-year-old daughter
Detective Campbell & Detective O'Reilly --New York City Police Detectives

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a New York City detective badge. Last week I made a lot of amateur errors. I hope this week my post is cleaner. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I'm listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 17
Chapter Sechs part eine

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

When Anderson returned, Shana stood and handed him the papers. After she watched him place them in a floor safe, she said, "Thank you. If you don't mind, I'll go to my room."

He nodded. "Jane will let you know when dinner's ready. After dinner, we'll talk."

Today's Post:
Chapter 6 part 1

When Anderson sat at the dinner table, he scanned the room. Jane sat beside him, and then he asked, "Where's Shana?"

"I went to get her, but she was sound asleep. I decided not to bother her. I think the events of the day wore her out. She even had on her pajamas." Jane adjusted the napkin on her lap.

"I've already fixed her a plate. I'm sure she'll be hungry when she wakes up," offered Helen. "She did have a very busy day. Does anybody know why she left?"

"Pass the vegetables." Anderson held out his hand.

"You do know." Jane handed him a bowl filled with stir fried vegetables. "Either you can answer now, or I'll ask Shana when she wakes up."

"I didn't directly do anything to cause her to leave. If that's what you're suggesting."

Helen held up a platter of meat. "What did you indirectly do?"

"She overheard part of my conversation with Isaiah and thought she would cause problems with my getting custody of Emily. So she left." Anderson took a drink. "Can I have the meat now?"

"That poor child." Jane set her fork down.

"That poor child almost got herself kidnapped. Thank heavens the dogs sensed something was going on." He glanced at Helen. "Let them have a special treat tonight." He set the platter down. "Jeff deserves a bonus too."

"What do you plan to do now?" asked Philip.

"I honestly have no idea." He took a bite of steak, chewed, and then swallowed. "I guess we wait and see what their next move is."

"That's not like you." Philip took a drink.

"I know, but this is a whole new ballgame. Has Shana mentioned a time-frame when the museum will give her an answer?"

Jane shook her head. "Not that I've heard."

"Their response may dictate our next move." Anderson studied his dinner plate. "Helen, this is really good, but I don't have much of an appetite."

"Do you want me to save it? Maybe you'll feel like eating when Shana wakes up."

Anderson stood, "I'd appreciate it," and left the dining room.

Moments later, Philip joined Anderson in the den. "What's bothering you?"

"I'm not sure. I can't put my finger on it." Anderson took a deep breath and then leaned back in his chair. "Shana's family has every right to get the artwork back. I'm just not sure after seventy years it can happen. Did Ivan Morozov's family actually have anything to do with it getting stolen or is he an innocent bystander too? The Nazi's stole it and the Russians probably stole it from them."

"I guess he would at least be guilty of receiving stolen goods." Philip leaned forward in his chair. "I'll add, since he's with the Russian Mafia he's guilty of a lot."

"That part's true." Anderson moved the chair closer to the desk and picked up an ink pen. "This painting must be important to Morzov for more than artistic or monetary value. We need to find out what that is."

"Any ideas?" Philip chuckled. "I guess there's not enough time to put a mole in his organization."

"I don't know anybody who has that kind of pull."

Philip raised his eyebrows. "Between the four of us, I bet we do know somebody. Ask Jane and Helen to come in." He thought for a moment. "I'll speak with Jeff. He may be our best shot."

"We'll talk with him first thing in the morning." Anderson called the two women. "Jane and Helen are on their way."

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back
Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells
Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits
Jeff Burke-- takes care of Anderson's cars - - and other sundry chores
Helen -- Anderson's cook
Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper
Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident
Ben -- Anderson's dog walker
Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd
Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd
Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd
Aaron -- Shana's older brother
Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt - formally 'Litzlberg am Attersee' by Gustav Klimt
Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidentally chose a real person, so I have changed it.
Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife
Emily -- Anderson's five-year-old daughter
Detective Campbell & Detective O'Reilly --New York City Police Detectives

Author Notes Once again I made a lot of last minute changes. I hope I didn't make it worse. It would be nice to be completely satisfied with a post.

Thank you Google Images for an image of a Star of David. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I'm listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 18
Chapter Sechs part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"That part's true." Anderson moved the chair closer to the desk and picked up an ink pen. "This painting must be important to Morzov for more than artistic or monetary value. We need to find out what that is."

"Any ideas?" Philip chuckled. "I guess there's not enough time to put a mole in his organization."

"I don't know anybody who has that kind of pull."

Philip raised his eyebrows. "Between the four of us, I bet we do know somebody. Ask Jane and Helen to come in." He thought for a moment. "I'll speak with Jeff. He may be our best shot."

"We'll talk with him first thing in the morning." Anderson called the two women. Jane and Helen are on their way."

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 6 part 2

It didn't take long for Jane and Helen to enter the den. They both hustled to a chair. Jane's eyes met Anderson's. "I can't wait to find out what you need us to do."

"I don't need you to do anything." Anderson shook his head. "When have I ever put either of you in danger?"

"Oh good, we get to have an adventure." Helen's eyebrows lifted and her eyes grew wide.

"You better tell them why they're here before they burst with anticipation." Philip grinned.

"All I need is some information." Anderson scooted his chair in, leaned over his desk, and whispered, "Do either of you know anybody in the Russian mafia or who could get information from them?"

"You're asking a lot." Helen put her forearms on the arms of the chair and adjusted her position. "And you don't need to whisper. These walls don't have ears." She waved her hands at the walls. "If we did know anybody, I'm pretty sure they'd rather die than give us any information."

"My second-cousin twice removed on my mother's side is a NYPD undercover cop. He may know somebody who can help. One of his buddies might know something. I'll give him a call." Jane searched the contacts in her cell.

"Wait a minute." Anderson held up his hand. "Second-cousin twice removed? How close are you and when's the last time you spoke with him? Wouldn't he think it's strange you calling him out of the blue?"

"No, not really. We're family." Jane tilted her head. "Do you want me to call him or not?"

"Let me think about it." Anderson looked at Philip. "What do you think?"

"I think we need to sit on this, at least until tomorrow. I think a game of pool is in order." Philip stood and walked toward the door. "Jane, we'll let you know in the morning."

"I agree. You rack. I'm right behind you." Anderson followed, but stopped and glanced at the two ladies. "Those two..."

Jane stared at her phone. "I guess we wait. I'm going to my room. They can play pool and think all night."

"I'm with you." Helen glanced at her watch. "If I'm needed to heat dinners, they'll call. My favorite show comes on in ten minutes anyway."

*****
"What do you think about talking to Jane's twice removed second-cousin?" Anderson readied his cue. "Don't forget to let Jeff know we want to talk with him in the morning."

"I won't." Philip watched his friend line up the shot. "I think Jane's relative is an option we can't turn down."

"Two-ball in the corner pocket." After Anderson hit the cue-ball and missed the shot, he said, "I guess this is bothering me more than I care to admit." He turned toward Philip. "Your turn. I'll ask Jane to have her relative come talk to us at his earliest convenience."

"I think that's best. Maybe he'll have an angle we haven't thought about." Philip studied the table. "Twelve-ball in the side pocket." He aimed, and the ball went in." He stood and faced Anderson. "I'm wondering if Shana isn't getting to you more than her problem."

"Don't be silly. I'm always willing to help people." Anderson set his jaw. "Are you going to take your next shot or gossip like an old lady?"

"I hit a nerve. Fourteen-ball in the corner pocket." Philip aimed his shot and then looked up as Romeo walked in. "Drew." He nodded toward the dog.

Axel and Thor left Anderson's side and went over to greet Romeo. Behind Romeo was a fully dressed Shana.

"Shana, I thought you'd gone to bed." Anderson stared at her.


Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a pool game. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I'm listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 19
Chapter Sechs part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Don't be silly. I'm always willing to help people." Anderson set his jaw. "Are you going to take your next shot or gossip like an old lady?"

"I hit a nerve. Fourteen-ball in the corner pocket." Philip aimed his shot and then looked up as Romeo walked in. "Drew." He nodded toward the dog.

Axel and Thor left Anderson's side and went over to greet Romeo. Behind Romeo was a fully dressed Shana.

"Shana, I thought you'd gone to bed." Anderson stared at her.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 6 part 3

Shana stepped closer to the pool table. "I had but would like to talk with you. Is that all right?"

Philip put his pool cue in the rack hanging on the wall. "I need to check on some things for tomorrow. Drew, I'll talk with you later." He winked at his boss, grinned, and then started for the door.

Turning toward him, Shana said, "You don't need to leave on my account."

"I'm not. I really do have some things I need to attend to."

After a large swallow, Shana faced Anderson. "I'm sorry for the problems I caused this afternoon. I didn't think things through." She stared at her feet. "When I came to the den, I wasn't eavesdropping. There was something I needed to talk with you about. I accidentally overheard part of the conversation and left immediately."

"I understand. Exactly what did you hear?" Anderson held the cue beside his leg.

"I'm guessing the man you were speaking with was a lawyer. I heard you state your ex-wife had visited earlier today and complained about me staying here and you asked if she could use that against you during custody litigation."

"Did you wait for Isaiah's answer?" Anderson's eyes met hers.

"No, I realized it was private and left."

"If you would have stayed, you would've heard him tell me that it would NOT be an issue."

"I'm sorry. I just didn't want to be more of a problem than I already am."

"You're not a problem." Anderson paused. "What did you want to discuss with me?"

"The clothes that were delivered this afternoon. I can't accept them. Please send them back. I've packed them exactly the way they were delivered." Shana chewed on her lower lip.

"You might as well wear them. I'm not sending them back."

"But...."

"If you don't like them, I'll have Jane exchange them for something you do like," interrupted Anderson, "but if you like them then they're yours to keep." He looked at the pool table and then at her. "Money isn't an issue. I can afford a few clothes."

"I don't think it's appropriate for me to accept such an expensive gift."

"You've already mentioned that, and I've said I could afford it. As far as I'm concerned, this discussion is over."

Shana squared her shoulders. "Do you always get your way?"

Anderson grinned. "Usually." He lifted his pool cue. "Do you play?"

"Never have." Shana took a deep breath. "I guess I could learn."

"Good." Anderson racked the balls and explained the object of the game. He handed Shana a cue. "You go first."

Shana took it and approached the table. "How far can I lean over?"

"Let me help." Anderson stood behind her and moved her hands for the appropriate placement. His large hands covered her petite ones. Her skin's soft. "Now, pull the cue back and glide it through your left hand fingers, taking careful aim at the cue-ball."

Anderson inhaled the scent of Shana's hair. Lavender. I can't do this.

Shana glanced over her shoulder. Their lips were within inches of each other. "Am I ready to take my shot?" She hesitated. "What do I do now?"

Letting go of her hands, Anderson stepped back. "I bet you're hungry." He took out his cell. "Helen, could you heat our dinners? Shana's ready to eat."



Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.





Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a couple playing pool. HMMMM! I'm struggling with this post. I hope I have it right. I wanted to convey Anderson's budding feeling for Shana. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me. I'm listing this under romance because it is a romance, but those of you who have previously followed me know my romances are more than just romance, this novel will have suspense as an underlying theme.


Chapter 20
Chapter Sechs part vier

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Anderson inhaled the scent of Shana's hair. Lavender. I can't do this.

Shana glanced over her shoulder. Their lips were within inches of each other. "Am I ready to take my shot?" She hesitated. "What do I do now?"

Letting go of her hands, Anderson stepped back. "I bet you're hungry." He took out his cell. "Helen, could you heat our dinners? Shana's ready to eat."

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 6 part 4

"I'll ask Helen to serve dinner on the patio. The city's night sky is gorgeous." Anderson placed his hand in the small of Shana's back and led her toward the door.

Shana flinched at his touch. "It's late for dinner. I figured you would've already eaten."

"I didn't have much of an appetite, but I think it's back." Anderson grinned and rubbed his stomach. "I'm starved."

"I guess your pool game helped."

"Maybe." Anderson opened the patio door. After Shana entered, he used the intercom to let Helen know they were ready.

Shana stood at the patio's waist-high stone edge, and stared at the skyline. "It's amazing. So many different lights."

Anderson walked over and placed his hands on the edge. "It is. Is this the first time you've seen it?"

"Sort of. It looks completely different when you're looking eye-level at the skyscrapers." Shana closed her eyes for a few moments.

When she opened them, Anderson asked, "Is everything all right?"

"Yes. I saw a shooting star, so I made a wish. Don't you?"

"Not normally. Maybe I should start." Anderson turned when he heard the door open.

Axel, Thor, and Romeo sauntered in, followed by Jane.

"You left the boys inside. They weren't happy." Jane smiled. "You know they think they need to be included in everything."

Axel stood on his hind legs beside Anderson, Thor raised himself beside him and placed his paws on the edge. Romeo repeated their actions but did it beside Shana, who smiled and petted the dog's head.

"I see you've made friends with Romeo," said Jane. "He does tend to grow on people. I think it's his sweet as well as protective personality."

"I think it's his soft, brown eyes. They warmed my heart." Shana leaned over and hugged the dog.

"So you're a sucker for big, brown eyes." Anderson's brown eyes twinkled.

"I guess." Shana pointed. "What's that big building over there?"

"432 Park Avenue. It's this city's second tallest building. It's the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, but its reign's almost over. There are two more being built, and they're both going to be taller."

"Doesn't anybody in this city live in a normal house?"

"You mean a three-bedroom home with a white picket- fence?" asked Jane. After Shana nodded, Jane continued, "I think there are some on the outskirts of the city."

"Is that the type of home you were raised in?" asked Anderson. "I bet you had a dog, too."

Shana pretended to cover Romeo's ears as she whispered, "Nope, a cat."

"Did you hear that, boys? A traitor in our midst," teased Anderson and turned toward Helen as she pushed a cart onto the patio. "I was beginning to think something had happened."

"You don't pay me for everyday leftovers. I had to give you what you're used to," she said as she finished placing dinner on the table.

As Philip entered and sat, Jane and Helen also sat.

Anderson motioned toward the table. "I guess they're waiting for us. We'd better get to the table." He waited as Shana led the way.

Jane waited until Shana and Anderson began eating before she asked, "Have you made any decisions about contacting Jeremy?"

"Who's Jeremy? Who are you talking about?" Anderson's eyebrows rose.

"We discussed Jeremy earlier this evening in your office." Jane faced Anderson.

"Do you mean your second-cousin twice removed? You never called him by name."

"Well, I called him and gave him a heads-up."

"I thought we agreed to think about it before we called," interrupted Philip.

"We sort of did." Jane paused. "I thought about it and decided to call."

"What did you say?" asked Anderson.

Shana set her fork down. "I'm guessing Jeremy has something to do with me. Would anybody like to fill me in?"

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of the New York City skyline at night. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me.


Chapter 21
Chapter Sieben part eine

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"We discussed Jeremy earlier this evening in your office." Jane faced Anderson.

"Do you mean your second-cousin twice removed? You never called him by name."

"Well, I called him and gave him a heads-up."

"I thought we agreed to think about it before we called," interrupted Philip.

"We sort of did." Jane paused. "I thought about it and decided to call."

"What did you say?" asked Anderson.

Shana set her fork down. "I'm guessing Jeremy has something to do with me. Would anybody like to fill me in?"


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 7 part 1

Philip took a sip of water. "Jeremy is Jane's second-cousin twice removed."

"I gathered that much from the conversation. What's the big secrete every's tiptoeing around?" Shana set her fork down.

"Nothing directly, dear." Jane patted Shana's arm.

"Then what does he have to do indirectly with me?" Shana stared at Anderson. "Are you going to tell me?"

Philip, Jane, and Helen looked at Anderson and said at about the same time, "Are you going to answer her question?"

"I'm not sure why it's my place to answer anything. Jane's the one who brought it up and contacted him before we figured out whether we wanted to or not. I'm still waiting to see what Jane has to say."

Shana sighed. "What's the big secret everybody is tiptoeing around?"

"There's no big secret," assured Jane. "Earlier this evening, we discussed how we were going to help you get your painting back. Somebody suggested, I think it was Drew that we needed to figure out exactly why this painting is so important to this Morozov man. He asked if we knew anybody who could get information from the Russian Mafia. That's where Jeremy comes in. He's an undercover cop for the NYCPD. He might know somebody who's undercover or knows something about them."

"It seems we also discussed that Jeff might be able to help us too," offered Helen.

"Oh my!' Shana pushed her plate away and leaned back in her chair. "What you're talking about is way too dangerous. I won't allow any of it."

"Calm down." Anderson's eyes met hers. "I'm not going to allow anybody to be in harm's way." He paused. "I have a feeling Morozov isn't interested in the painting for the aesthetics. I think he's somehow using this painting for pushing his business. I'm not sure how or what. I was hoping somebody could help us figure it out."

"If that's the case, maybe he could use a different painting and give yours back." Jane smiled.

Anderson tilted his head. "There's no way that's going to happen." He chuckled and changed his voice. "Excuse me, Mr. Russian Mafia man. Would you please give my painting back and use another one to push your drugs, money laundering, or human trafficking? I promise I won't tell. I just want my family's painting back."

"I don't see this as a laughing matter." Shana took a drink.

Philip nodded toward Shana. "She's right. It's not funny." He faced Jane. "Drew makes a lot of sense. We're not dealing with nice people."

"Okay, you're probably right, but..."

"There are not buts in this," interrupted Anderson. "If we're not careful we could all be in serious danger. That's why I wanted time to consider our options." He took a bite of stir-fry vegetables and chewed before he continued, "Philip, set a meeting with Jeff at 11:00 in the morning." He glanced at Jane. "See if Jeremy can come over for coffee at 2:00. I need to fly to D.C. around 5:00."

"Do you want to drive to the airport or take the helicopter?" asked Philip.

"Under the circumstances, I think the helicopter. Have the pilot here by 4:45."

Shana stared at her plate. "This is way too much trouble for a painting."

"I guess it's time we decide what we're going to do next." Anderson set his fork down.

"I hope this 'we' includes me." Shana's eyes met Anderson's.




Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a penthouse patio. I appreciate all of your reviews and the help and support you give me.


Chapter 22
Chapter Sieben part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Shana stared at her plate. "This is way too much trouble for a painting."

"I guess it's time we decide what we're going to do next." Anderson set his fork down.

"I hope this 'we' includes me." Shana's eyes met Anderson's.



TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 7 part 2

Philip released a deep breath before he said, "I feel we need to table this and continue in the morning. We all have a feel of what needs to happen. I think we should sleep on it and discuss it over breakfast before Jeff arrives. Jane, don't forget to call Jeremy and set up the appointment."

"I won't." Jane glanced at her watch. "It's not too late." She removed her phone from her pocket and continued, "I'll do it right now." As she put the phone away, she said, "I left a message. He'll get back to me."

Helen picked up a serving bowl. "Shana, were you serious about forgetting about the painting or frustrated with the situation?"

Anderson opened his mouth as if to speak.

"Drew, let her speak," Jane said. "It's her family's artwork." She handed Helen a glass and nodded toward Shana. "Continue, dear."

"When I came to New York City, I was serious about getting the painting back, but now I'm not sure it's worth it. It never dawned on me that the Russian Mafia would be involved. I expected the owner wouldn't be happy about giving it up. All this potential violence is unreal, and over a piece of artwork." Shana took a sip of water. "My family has lived without it for seventy-nine years and did just fine. I'm sure they could continue without it." She stood. "I think I'll go to my room." She took in a deep breath. "Or the room I'm staying in."

Romeo looked up at her, and she petted his head.

Anderson also stood and touched her arm. "You're right about the painting. But you need to think about the problem you have at hand now. These men aren't going to forget that you requested the painting. I think they could be viewing this as a threat, and they aren't taking it lightly."

"I'm not a threat to anybody." Tears welled in Shana's eyes. She glanced at Anderson's hand on her arm. "Please, I need to be alone and think about all of this." She left the patio.

Romeo followed.

Anderson watched her until she reached where the hallway turned to the section of the penthouse her room was in.

Jane and Helen silently cleared the table.

After the women had left, Philip asked, "Feel like another pool game?"

"Nope. I think I'll go over my speech for Congress. If you need me, I'll be in my office."

"Your choice." Philip rose from his chair. "You know, women are funny. Sometimes they don't want our help. Or maybe they just want to ignore the situation."

"In this case, she wants to believe it doesn't exist. Doing that just might get her or one of her family members injured or murdered." Anderson walked toward his den with both German shepherds following close behind.

In the den, Anderson lifted a folder that held his speech, opened it, and then slammed it shut. "How am I going to protect her and get the painting to its rightful owner without anybody getting hurt?"

Axel and Thor stood and laid their heads on Anderson's desk.


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of a young Jewish lady. Maybe a little of what Shana may look like. Thank you for the wonderful support you give me. Just a couple of months until summer break. Wow, this school year went fast.


Chapter 23
Chapter Sieben part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Anderson also stood and touched her arm. "You're right about the painting. But you need to think about the problem you have at hand now. These men aren't going to forget that you requested the painting. I think they could be viewing this as a threat, and they aren't taking it lightly."

"I'm not a threat to anybody." Tears welled in Shana's eyes. She glanced at Anderson's hand on her arm. "Please, I need to be alone and think about all of this." She left the patio.

Romeo followed.

Anderson watched her until she reached where the hallway turned to the section of the penthouse her room was in.

Jane and Helen silently cleared the table.

After the women had left, Philip asked, "Feel like another pool game?"

"Nope. I think I'll go over my speech for Congress. If you need me, I'll be in my office."

"Your choice." Philip rose from his chair. "You know, women are funny. Sometimes they don't want our help. Or maybe they just want to ignore the situation."

"In this case, she wants to believe it doesn't exist. Doing that just might get her or one of her family members injured or murdered." Anderson walked toward his den with both German shepherds following close behind.

In the den, Anderson lifted a folder that held his speech, opened it, and then slammed it shut. "How am I going to protect her and get the painting to its rightful owner without anybody getting hurt?"

Axel and Thor stood and laid their heads on Anderson's desk.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 7 part 3

In her room, Shana sat on the bed's edge, wiped the remaining tears, and reached for her Torah. She absent-mindedly thumbed through it. Grandmother always said all answers can be found in the Torah. Finally, she settled on the story of Noah and his sons; Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

After she finished reading Genesis 10: 6-30, she petted Romeo's head. "It figures one of Ham's sons fathered the Palestinians. They've been a problem since the beginning of time. I wonder?" She searched the back of the Torah for a map. "It was Japheth's sons who fathered Russia. I can't blame Ham for this too."

When Romeo looked up at her, she said, "I know you're wondering who fathered the Israelites. Well, to answer your question it was Shem's son Arphaxad. He's a direct descendant of Abraham." She knelt down, looked Romeo in the eyes, and smiled. "I can tell your Jewish history is lacking. I'll fill you in."

"According to Jewish tradition, Abraham was born Abram in the city of Ur. That was in Babylon about 1800 BCE, in case you didn't know." Shana sat beside the large German shepherd and he placed his head on her lap as she continued, "His father Terach worshiped idols. I'm sure you know that was wrong. After Abram smashed his father's idols, God came to Abram and told him to leave his family. If he did, he would make him father of a great nation. Abram left, but it wasn't quite that simple. Many other things happened."

Shana yawned. "But that's for another day. I can tell you're a good student. Some of my high school students could take lessons from you." She stood. "I'd better get ready for bed." She petted his head. "You don't need to follow me into the bathroom. I can handle things in there." She watched the dog tilt his head and then added, "Really I can."

When Shana left the bathroom, Romeo was lying next to the door. "You need to move so I can get out," she said as he stood and took a few steps. "You're such a character." She bent over and gave the dog a hug. "I'll admit I do enjoy having you around. You're not judgmental and I like that."

Lying in bed, she reached over and gave him another pat. "Good night."

Hours passed and Shana tossed and turned. Romeo stood and laid his head beside her. She rolled over, and eye-to-eye with the dog, said, "You're very intimidating staring at me in the dark." She sat and turned on a table lamp. "Now, not so much."

Romeo gave a few tail wags.

"I can see that makes you happy." After Shana released a deep breath, she said, "I wish you could tell me your opinion about the Russian Mafia and my family's painting. I'm wondering if I should just go home and forget this whole mess."

Romeo gave a soft growl.

"I take that as a 'You shouldn't leave. I'd miss you'." She reached over and rubbed his neck. "I'd miss you, too. Do you think the Russians are as dangerous as everybody seems to think they are?"

As Romeo lowered his head, Shana whispered, "I'm talking to a dog and expecting an answer. What's wrong with me?"


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.


Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of a Noah's family tree. I'm concerned about this post. I'm hoping to show Shana's devotion to her religion, her feeling of loneliness in NYC, and the questions she still has about if the painting is worth the trouble. Thank you for the wonderful support you give me.


Chapter 24
Chapter Acht part eine

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"I take that as a 'You shouldn't leave. I'd miss you'." She reached over and rubbed his neck. "I'd miss you, too. Do you think the Russians are as dangerous as everybody seems to think they are?"

As Romeo lowered his head, Shana whispered, "I'm talking to a dog and expecting an answer. What's wrong with me?"


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 8 part 1

Unable to sleep, Shana showered and dressed. Just as predawn lit the sky, she walked into the dining room. Finding it empty and the house silent, she went to the patio. She found a lounge chair close enough to the edge, enabling her to watch the magnificent city awaken and she sat down. I guess Romeo's busy. Either that or he left me for somebody else. She smiled to herself.

She turned toward the door when she heard scratching and smiled. Right on cue. How did he do that? As she walked to the door, she said, "You returned. Did you have a nice walk?"

"It was more of a run than a walk," said a male's voice.

Shana's eyes widened as she placed her hand on her chest. "What?"

"I'm over here," Anderson called and waved from the hallway's entrance she'd never noticed.

"I know Romeo's smart but I didn't expect an answer."

"Give me a few minutes to shower and I'll join you." After Shana acknowledged him, he continued down the hall.

Romeo and Shana watched in silence as New York City woke up.

It wasn't long before Anderson and the other two dogs joined them. "Helen will bring some coffee in a few minutes." He hesitated. "What are your thoughts on the situation we discussed last night?"

"If I forget about trying to get the painting back, do you think Mr. Morozov will leave my family and me alone?" Shana petted Romeo who sat beside her.

"I doubt it." Anderson motioned for Helen to bring the coffee to where they were sitting. After he welcomed Helen, he continued the conversation. "I believe he thinks you're a threat to his organization or at least his business, which is probably illegal."

"I don't want to put anybody else in danger." Shana added cream to her coffee.

"Drew, breakfast will be ready in about twenty minutes. Do you want it out here?" asked Helen.

He glanced at Shana. "You decide. I don't care either way."

Shana smiled at Helen. "If it's not too much trouble, I'd like it here. It's a beautiful morning. But, only if it's not a problem."

"Not at all. I have a serving cart on wheels. It can go anywhere." Helen glanced at the dogs. "I'll have your breakfasts, too. Do you guys want it here or inside?"

Axel and Thor cocked their heads. Romeo lay down beside Shana.

Helen laughed. "I'll bring it out in a few minutes." She turned to leave, but paused. "Drew, those dogs are spoiled rotten."

Shana nodded in agreement as she asked, "Mr. Sharp, honestly what do you think is the best thing for me to do?"

"First, stop calling me Mr. Sharp. It's Drew. I've already mentioned that. Mr. Sharp is my dad." He sipped his coffee. "Secondly, it's not my decision, it's yours."

"True, but I'm sure you have an opinion. I'd like to hear it."

"I'd like to hear your opinion myself," Philip said as he walked in and sat on the other side of Shana.

Anderson leaned back. "I don't believe we have enough information to make a decision. That's why we need to find out exactly what Morozov is up to and who he's connected to. I'm hoping either Jeff or Jeremy will be able to fill in the blanks, and then we can decide if continuing to get the painting back is worth it or not."

Philip answered his phone and after listening a few moments, he asked, "Drew, it's Jeff. Something has come up and can't meet at 10:00. He wants to know if he can meet with us now."

Anderson nodded and then said to Shana, "Maybe we'll get an answer in a few minutes." As Jane walked into the room he said, "Please let Helen know Jeff will be here for breakfast."




Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of a New York City sunrise. Thank you for the generous support you give me.


Chapter 25
Chapter Acht part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Philip answered his phone and after listening a few moments, he asked, "Drew, it's Jeff. Something has come up and can't meet at 10:00. He wants to know if he can meet with us now."

Anderson nodded and then said to Shana, "Maybe we'll get an answer in a few minutes." As Jane walked into the room he said, "Please let Helen know Jeff will be here for breakfast."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 8 part 2

After Jeff sat, Helen set a buffet-style breakfast table.

Anderson scanned it and smiled. "Helen, wonderful setting and on very short notice. Jeff, begin the line." He then motioned for Shana to follow.

As they filled their plates, Helen put dog food into three bowls. "There everybody should be happy." The three German Shepherds wagged their tails.

Anderson sat, took a bite of bacon, and watched the others enjoy the food before he asked, "Jeff, do you know anybody who has Intel about the Russian Mafia, mainly the Odessa Mafia or the Brothers' Circle?" He paused. "We know Morozov lives in Brighton Beach and the Odessa Mafia has their headquarters there."

Jeff set down his fork and used a napkin on his mouth. "You don't mince any words, do you? I'm guessing it was Morozov who had men waiting for Ms. Kohlberg to make an appearance. Am I right?" He glanced at her. "The next time you decide to go sightseeing, please give me a heads up. I could be busy and not notice you get off the elevator."

"I'm very sorry, and thank you for your help. I've learned my lesson." Shana focused on her plate.

"Until that incident, they only suspected Shana was here. That confirmed it. We don't know for fact but pretty sure it's Morozov's men hanging around. I doubt there'll be anymore incidences." Anderson eyed Shana as he sipped his coffee.

"I know a few people who might be able to answer your questions or who might know somebody who can. Give me a couple of days." Jeff took a bite of a biscuit and smiled. "Helen, you're the best cook I know. These melt in your mouth." He took another bite. "Drew, you better be careful. A fancy hotel might offer her a job."

Philip raised his fork. "I bet you can't get sausage gravy like this anywhere else in New York."

Helen blushed, and her eyes glowed. "I guess it's my country upbringing. Don't worry. I'd never leave here." She laughed. "I'm too old to start over."

"You're never too old." Anderson grinned. "But I'm glad you'd stay."

"I have a question." Shana silenced when everybody looked at her.

"Please go on. That's what we're here for," said Anderson.

"I've read that gangs have different tattoos. Did the men in the garage have them? Could that tell us which mafia group they belong to?" Shana fingered her fork.

"Good question." Jeff pointed to his left forearm. "The man I shot had a bull tatt right here. It usually means cruelty and rage or the one who makes ordered physical executions happen."

Jeff turned his arm over and pointed to an area slightly above the wrist. "The man who grabbed you and Thor and Axel guarded had a tatt of a laughing tiger here. In Russian they're called Oskals, or 'Big Grin'. These tatts indicate aggression or hostility toward authorities, especially the police. The tatts are pretty much the same in both gangs. Sorry, I can't give you additional information."

"Thank you." Shana chewed on her lower lip.

Jane watched. "Dear, you look like you have other questions. Now's the time to ask. Jeff's a wealth of knowledge."

"I don't have enough information to know even what to ask."

Jeff glanced at his ringing cell. "I need to take this. There's a problem or he wouldn't call." He stood. "Ms. Kohlberg, I'll be glad to answer any additional questions. I'd invite you to the parking garage, but it could be dangerous." He grinned. "So tell Philip to contact me and I'll be right up. Deal?"

"Thank you."

"I'm serious. Don't hesitate." Jeff nodded toward Anderson. "The helicopter will be here and ready to take off about 4:30." He adjusted his belt. "I need to jog off breakfast."

Anderson stood. "I think I may have to join you." He paused. "Thank you." He walked him to the door.

I wonder what they're talking so privately about. Shana petted Romeo's head.


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of a country breakfast. I guess I was hungry when I searched for artwork. LOL Thank you for the generous support you give me.


Chapter 26
Chapter Acht part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Jane watched. "Dear, you look like you have other questions. Now's the time to ask. Jeff's a wealth of knowledge."

"I'm not sure. I don't I understand why all this happening over a painting."

Jeff glanced at his ringing cell. "I need to take this. There's a problem or he wouldn't call." He stood. "Ms. Kohlberg, I'll be glad to answer any additional questions. I'd invite you to the parking garage, but it could be dangerous." He grinned. "So tell Philip to contact me and I'll be right up. Deal?"

"Thank you."

"I'm serious. Don't hesitate." Jeff nodded toward Anderson. "The helicopter will be here and ready to take off about 4:30 P.M." He adjusted his belt. "I need to jog off breakfast."

Anderson stood. "I think I may have to join you." He paused. "Thank you." He walked him to the door.

I wonder what they're talking so privately about. Shana petted Romeo's head.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 8 part 3

When Anderson returned, he asked, "Jane, did Jeremy return your call?" He filled his plate with biscuits and gravy.

"While you walked Jeff to the elevator, he did. He can't meet at 2:00 P.M. His unit has a softball game scheduled, and he's the catcher. He wants to know if he can come at 10:30 A.M."

"That's even better." Anderson took a large bite. "Jeff was right. This is good."

After Jane spoke with Jeremy, she said, "He'll be here at 10:30 A.M."

Helen started clearing dishes. "Drew, where would you like to meet? I'll have coffee, muffins, and fresh fruit ready. Maybe you'd prefer finger sandwiches." She waited for an answer.

"We can meet in the den. I think it'll start warming up. The midday sun beats down on the patio." Anderson tilted his head. "Since he'll be playing ball, maybe finger sandwiches and fruit."

Shana stood. "Excuse me. I'm going to my room."

Anderson stood, watched, and then said, "Shana, wait." After she stopped, he walked over to her. "What's wrong?"

Staring at her feet, Shana remained silent.

Romeo rubbed against her thigh.

When she reached down to pet the dog, Anderson put his finger under her chin and raised her head. "Something's bothering you." He glanced around at the other three people present. "We can't help, if you don't talk to us."

Shana searched his eyes.

Jane stood beside her and put her hand on Shana's arm. "Come and sit. Helen will pour you some more coffee."

Helen started to pour a fresh cup of coffee and stopped. "Would you prefer a glass of lemonade or iced tea?"

"Iced tea would be fine."

After Shana sat and took a sip of tea, Jane sat. "Sweetheart, you need to talk to us. We know something has you upset. What is it? Was it something Jeff said?"

Shana nodded. "I know it's silly."

"Nothing Jeff said was silly." Anderson held up his cup for Helen to refresh it.

"Drew's right." Jane patted Shana's hand.

"Jeff mentioned that the bull tatt means 'one who makes ordered physical executions happen'. Does that mean Kuznetsov wants me dead? If it does, why are you discussing finger sandwiches?"

"We don't know that for sure." Anderson ran his fingers through his short hair. "There's that possibility. We need more information. I'm hoping Jeremy can fill in the blanks." He released a deep breath. "I understand how discussing food would appear callous. Believe me; I plan to take every precaution to make sure nothing happens to you."

"It's probably just a coincidence that those particular men were here. They were simply available for this mission, so they got it." Jane sipped her coffee.

Philip glanced toward Anderson. "You don't believe in coincidences, do you?"

"No, I don't."

Helen and Jane looked at each other. Finally, Helen picked up an empty dish. "If I want to be ready for Jeremy, I'd better get busy."

As Jane moved away, she said, "I'll do a quick dusting and vacuuming in the den."

"Don't you have some place to go?" Anderson glanced at Philip.

"Not really. I figured I better stay and make sure you don't put your foot any further in your mouth."

Anderson checked his watch. "Jeremy will be here in about an hour and a half. Philip, get a pad and pen from my office. I think we need to get ready with our questions. It may be our last chance to get them officially answered. Jeremy does work for the NYCPD. He should know what or who we're dealing with."



Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Morozov -- owner of the painting 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson's divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of an Oskals, or 'Big Grin' I thought it was interesting. It's the end of the school year. I think there are 20 days with kids. I have edited and edited this post and every time I find more and more mistakes. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.


Chapter 27
Chapter Acht part vier

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Helen and Jane looked at each other. Finally, Helen picked up an empty dish. "If I want to be ready for Jeremy, I'd better get busy."

As Jane moved away, she said, "I'll do a quick dusting and vacuuming in the den."

Anderson glanced at Philip. "Don't you have some place to go?"

"Not really. I figured I better stay and make sure you don't put your foot any further in your mouth."

Anderson checked his watch. "Jeremy will be here in about an hour and a half. Philip, get a pad and pen from my office. I think we need to get ready with our questions. It may be our last chance to get them officially answered. Jeremy does work for the NYCPD. He should know what or who we're dealing with."

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 8 part 4

As Philip walked into the room, Anderson grinned. "You are the designated note taker."

After he took a seat, he held up the pen. "Give me something to write."

Anderson faced Shana. "What are your questions?"

"Well." She paused. "Just who is Ivan Kuznetsov? We know he's Russian or at least suspect he's Russian. What does he do? Is he really in the Russian Mafia? Maybe his family came to the US just like mine."

Shana fingered her napkin. "My family crossed the ocean during WW II to escape Nazi persecution. My Russian history isn't great but if I remember correctly Rabbi Goldstein said Stalin expanded the powers of the secret police and encouraged citizens to spy on each other. He had millions of people killed or sent to the Gulag. Maybe his family came over during that time frame."

"Rabbi Goldstein?" Philip's eyebrows rose.

"I went to a Jewish high school." Shana's cheeks held a pink blush.

"Makes sense." Philip nodded and then wrote as he added, "You make a very good point. His family could be immigrants."

Anderson sipped coffee. "I agree. I guess we need to know what his occupation is."

Shana tilted her head. "He could be an innocent bystander in all of this."

"Is there anything else going on in your life that would cause anybody to follow you?" asked Anderson.

"No. I teach high school English. I spend most of my time reading, grading papers, and with my family. Hannah, she's my cousin, and I did things together, but," Shana stopped to think, "about three months ago she had a baby girl and has been busy since." She smiled.

"When you came to New York City over spring break, who did you come with?" Anderson waited for an answer.

"Lisa. She also teaches English. Her grandparents' sixtieth wedding anniversary is this week and she couldn't make the trip. That's why I came alone."

"Did anything happen to either of you while you were on vacation?" Philip tapped the pen against the pad.

Shana shook her head. "We had a great time, but it was uneventful. The first day we took the ferry to Ellis Island and visited the Statue of Liberty. That took most of the day. The following day, we went shopping and saw 'The Glass Menagerie' that evening. Of course we visited the 9/11 Memorial. The last two days were spent at the Art Museum. The second day, I saw my painting. I asked the curator what steps I needed to take to prove the painting belonged to my family. We left after that and the following day came home."

"When you returned with the proper paperwork and showed them to the curator, did anything happen?" Anderson moved his chair closer.

"After I showed him the paperwork, he called a specialist who verified they were authentic. Once that was completed, I waited outside his office for probably an hour and a half, while he called the family who owned the painting and told them about my claim. He didn't tell me who owned it. To be honest, I didn't ask. I should have."

Shana took a sip of iced tea. "Now, I think about it, it does seem strange I waited so long for him to return with really no additional information. All he said was he'd check into it and made a copy of my paperwork. I refused to leave it with him. When I left the museum, those men began following me."

"Everything leads to the painting. I wonder if the curator is involved. Maybe Kuznetsov is innocent. We never considered the curator. We need to check him out." Anderson dialed his cell phone. "I'll have a background check done on him." When he finished his call, he added, "Jeremy will be here shortly. Let's finish our list."


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I've changed it.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson's divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and has a three month old daughter.

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of the NYC 9/11 Memorial. It's the end of the school year. There are 15 days with kids. I probably won't post until next Wednesday. One of my grandsons graduates from high school next Sunday in Missouri, so I'm taking a few days off to be a grandma. LOL Again, I have edited and edited this post and every time I find more and more mistakes. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.


Chapter 28
Chapter Neun part eine

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Shana took a sip of iced tea. "Now, I think about it, it does seem strange I waited so long for him to return with really no additional information. All he said was he'd check into it and made a copy of my paperwork. I refused to leave it with him. When I left the museum, those men began following me."

"Everything leads to the painting. I wonder if the curator is involved. Maybe Kuznetsov is innocent. We never considered the curator. We need to check him out." Anderson dialed his cell phone. "I'll have a background check done on him." When he finished his call, he added, "Jeremy will be here shortly. Let's finish our list."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 9 part 1

Philip escorted Jeremy to the den. As Helen served cold drinks and finger sandwiches, Jane introduced her relative to the others and to the three dogs.

"Beautiful dogs." Jeremy sipped his tea before he said, "I understand there's a list of concerns."

Anderson glanced at Shana. "I think you should begin."

Philip handed Shana the paper he'd previously taken notes on. She fingered the top right corner. "I guess we need to start at the beginning. Have you heard of Ivan Kuznetsov?"

"I've heard his name around the precinct. It comes up whenever we're discussing Russian Mafias. He's suspected to be a major player in the Odessa Mafia but we have no evidence. He keeps his hands clean. Probably pays others to do his dirty work."

Shana chewed on her lower lip. "Do you know what that mafia deals in?"

"Money laundering, drugs, and human trafficking. They run one of the largest underage prostitution rings on the East coast."

"I don't understand. Why would girls agree to be involved with that?" asked Shana.

"It's not only girls. In countries like Thailand, many of the young males are sold into prostitution. Most countries, including the US, have problems with child prostitution but the main ones are Thailand, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, and Mexico City. The Russian Mafias have their hands in all of it." Jeremy took a bite of a ham and cheese sandwich. "Starvation is a strong motivator."

Anderson glanced at his ringing cell. "Excuse me a minute." He stepped in the hall, but returned quickly. "Jeremy, I just got a name. The Art Museum's curator is Joshua Colton. Have you heard of him?"

"We've arrested him a few times but can't make anything stick. He seems to be a runner for the Odessa Mafia, but we can't prove it."

"I don't understand why these men would be following Shana over ownership of a painting. It doesn't make sense. Any ideas?" asked Philip.

"That's a good question. I don't have an answer. I'm guessing she somehow stumbled onto something." Jeremy paused at a sound.

"Anderson, you'd better let me up right this minute!" yelled a female voice through the intercom.

Helen stood, walked toward the elevator, and pushed a button. "Is that Patricia's voice?"

The three German Shepherds followed and waited at the elevator.

Anderson's eyebrows crunched together. "Sounds like it. I wonder what she's upset over now."

Patricia stepped from the elevator with Emily in tow. "Why do you keep that door locked? Is that hussy still hanging around?"

As the two entered the room Axel, Thor, and Romeo sat next to Emily with tails wagging. She giggled as she petted them.

"I see you still have those flea bags. I told you I don't want them around my daughter." Patricia shoved them away from Emily.

"Patricia, why are you here?" asked Anderson.

"My friends are throwing me a going away party. I need you to take my daughter a day early. I'm sure that won't be a problem." Patricia let go of Emily's hand and set down the small overnight bag. "I have packed a few things. I'm sure you can pick up whatever she needs." She turned toward the elevator and left.

Emily ran up to Anderson. "Daddy, can I have a snack? Mommy didn't give me breakfast."

"Sure." Anderson glanced toward Helen. "Please take her to the kitchen and fix her some breakfast." He shook his head and released a deep breath as he watched Thor follow. Axel looked at his master for instructions. Anderson nodded and motioned for him to follow.

Romeo sat beside Shana.

"Helen, did you make pancakes this morning?" Emily asked as she took Helen's hand.

"No, dear, but I'm sure I can find something you'll like."

Anderson watched them until they were out of sight. "Sorry, for the interruption. Where were we?" He sat.

"We were discussing why Kuznetsov would have Shana followed, but..." Jeremy paused. "Sir, before we go any further." He released a deep breath. "I know it's none of my business, but was that your daughter and maybe ex-wife?"

After Anderson nodded, Jeremy continued, "We've been called to their apartment on more than one occasion."

Anderson rose and slammed both hands on the desk. "Why?"

Shana and Romeo left the room.






Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I've changed it.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson's divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and has a three month old daughter.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of ham and cheese finger sandwiches. Thank you for being patient with me for my missing last week. There are 5 school days left with kids. Again, I have edited and edited this post and every time I find more and more mistakes. I even added to this post to enrich it. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.


Chapter 29
Chapter Neun part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Helen, did you make pancakes this morning?" Emily asked as she took Helen's hand.

"No, dear, but I'm sure I can find something you'll like."

Anderson watched them until they were out of sight. "Sorry, for the interruption. Where were we?" He sat.

"We were discussing why Kuznetsov would have Shana followed, but..." Jeremy paused. "Sir, before we go any further." He released a deep breath. "I know it's none of my business, but was that your daughter and maybe ex-wife?"

After Anderson nodded, Jeremy continued, "We've been called to their apartment on more than one occasion."

Anderson rose and slammed both hands on the desk. "Why?"

Shana and Romeo left the room.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 9 part 2

"I'm surprised you didn't know." Jeremy took a drink of tea, before he continued, "Her neighbors called because of the noise and it was in the early hours of the morning. When the police arrived they found drug
paraphernalia. Ms. Sharp claimed she knew nothing about it." He paused, looked away, and then added, "We suspect she's dealing."

Anderson plopped down and ran his hands though his hair. "I guess I'm not surprised." He scanned the room. "Are there any official reports I could request? I've filed for custody of Emily. I need to get her out of that house."

Jeremy searched his pockets.

Philip held out a pad and pen. "Is this what you're looking for?"

"Yes, thank you." Jeremy wrote down a few things before he handed it to Anderson. "Here, this might help. If you say you got it from me, I'll deny it."

"I'll get right on it." Anderson glanced toward Philip. "Call Isaiah and set up an appointment as soon as possible." He looked back at Jeremy. "He's my lawyer."

"Doreen Rollins is our contact at CPS. She might be able to help."

Philip quickly wrote down her name. "Thank you. Do you have a contact number?"

Jeremy thumbed through his wallet. "Here." He handed a card to Philip.

Anderson rubbed his forehead. "Back to the reason you're here." After sipping his tea, he asked, "Do you have any ideas how to get the painting to its rightful owners without anybody getting hurt?"

"Have you tried asking?" Jeremy tapped his hand on the chair's armrest. "I know it sounds silly, but Kuznetsov would then know you're only interested in the painting and nothing more."

"You know he has a point," offered Philip. "He may think we're interfering with his business."

"Later today I fly to DC. I should return by mid-afternoon tomorrow. I'll make the call then. Thank you for a simple answer that might work."

Jeremy stood. "I need to get going." He offered his hand. "Good to meet you and good luck with your upcoming custody battle. I hope I helped."

"I'm sure you did."

As Anderson and Philip walked Jeremy to the elevator, Jane ran up. "You can't leave without a hug."

"I wouldn't think of it. I knew you'd come a running."

After Jeremy left, Helen entered the den and asked, "Drew, since we've eaten all morning, what time would you like lunch?"

"Maybe in a few hours and make it light. I doubt anybody's too hungry."

Helen nodded and turned away. "I better check back with Emily. She's getting along great with Shana." She faced Anderson. "She asked Shana if she was that woman her mom complained about." She attempted to hide her smile.

"I'm sure you handled it with class." Anderson shook his head. "Did you make her pancakes?"

"What do you think?"

"You did. You're already spoiling her rotten."

She waved her hands above her head and continued walking. "Don't I always?" She paused and turned. "By the way, Romeo needs a bath. Emily shared her breakfast and got him syrupy." She laughed.

"How can one small child undo hours of training?" Anderson leaned back in his chair.

Philip grinned and then glanced over his notes. "Should I wait until tomorrow to call Isaiah?"

"I think in the morning should be fine. He won't be able to do anything today." Anderson hesitated. "If Patricia's using, that explains why she can't live within her alimony."

"You need to make sure you get Emily."

"I know." Anderson answered his ringing cell. "What?" He paused. "Send them up." He released a deep breath. "Today just gets better and better. There are two Jewish gentlemen outside of the building. They were being harassed by Kuznetsov's men when Jeff intervened. They want to talk with me."





Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator


Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of a German Shepherd guarding pancakes. LOL I have only tomorrow left of this school year. YEAH!!!!!! Again, I have edited and edited this post and every time I find more and more mistakes. I've added to this post to enrich it more than once. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.


Chapter 30
Chapter Neun part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Philip grinned and then glanced over his notes. "Should I wait until tomorrow to call Isaiah?"

"I think in the morning should be fine. He won't be able to do anything today." Anderson hesitated. "If Patricia's using, that explains why she can't live within her alimony."

"You need to make sure you get Emily."

"I know." Anderson answered his ringing cell. "What?" He paused. "Send them up." He released a deep breath. "Today just gets better and better. There are two Jewish gentlemen outside of the building. They were being harassed by Kuznetsov's men when Jeff intervened. They want to talk with me."

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 9 part 3

Jeff escorted the two men up the elevator and introduced them. "Mr. Sharp, I'd like to introduce Benjamin Kohlberg, Shana's father, and Aaron Kohlberg, Shana's brother."

Anderson offered his hand to the older man, "I'm Anderson Sharp. I'm glad to meet you," and then offered his hand to the other. "We've spoken on the phone. I'm happy to finally meet you. Please, both of you have a seat."

After Jeff left, Anderson sat and asked, "How can I help you?"

"My daughter is staying with you. I understand for her safety." Benjamin paused briefly. "I didn't really understand why. After meeting the men outside, I now know."

"I'm sorry for what happened. If I knew you were coming, I would've made sure somebody was at the airport to meet you." He glanced at Aaron. "You have my number, correct?"

"Yes, I do. To be honest, I didn't believe it was this bad. There have been men asking questions and spying on us but they've never made direct contact."

"I hope you weren't hurt. Is there a need to call for medical attention?" Philip leaned forward, waiting for a response.

Anderson introduced Philip before he continued, "Please tell me what happened."

"There were three men. Only one spoke and he had a strong accent. I'm pretty sure it was Russian, but not positive. He wanted access to my sister. We tried to ignore and walk by them. They shoved us." Aaron rubbed his hands along his thighs. "Mr. Burk showed up, out of nowhere, and encouraged them to leave. We weren't hurt." He glanced at his dad. "Right, Father?"

"Yes, I'm fine. But I am very concerned. Are you sure you can keep my Shana safe? These men seemed very aggressive." Before Anderson could answer, he continued, "I don't know why she thinks we need that painting back. She should have just left well enough alone."

"I'm glad Jeff intervened. He can be very persuasive." Anderson kept his eyes focused on Shana's father.

"He pulled a gun from inside his jacket and the men backed off. It was like we were in the Wild West, not a modern city like New York." Benjamin's eyes widened. "He then helped us to the elevator."

"Jeff's still carrying the HK45. I've mentioned maybe he shouldn't keep it on his person." Anderson grinned. "I guess today it's a good thing he didn't follow my suggestion. Excuse me a minute." He spoke into the intercom, "Helen, we have guests. Could you bring refreshments?"

"On my way, Drew."

"Cold drinks will be here in a minute." Anderson leaned forward. "I'm glad to meet both of you and I'm sure you'd like to visit with Shana."

Benjamin looked directly into Anderson's eyes. "Before we talk with Shana, I'd like to know how you plan to keep her safe."

"First, I'm sure you've noticed before anybody has access to this penthouse, they have to call up and have the elevator sent down."

"Mr. Burk didn't," offered Aaron.

"You're correct. Jeff had his thumb print scanned. Once it was accepted, the elevator acknowledged him and let him up."

"Philip's correct," said Anderson. "Only my staff and I can activate the elevators. So far Shana hasn't had a need to leave the penthouse so we haven't crossed that bridge, yet. When the time arises we'll figure it out. I probably need to add my staff can be trusted completely."

Helen set a tray with four glasses and two pitchers, one with iced tea and the other with lemonade. "I'll be out in a few minutes with finger sandwiches and fresh fruit."

Philip's eyes met Helen's, before he said. "Helen, I'd like you to meet Shana's father and brother." He nodded.

"I'm glad to meet both of you. I've enjoyed Shana staying with us." As she turned to leave she nodded toward Philip and bumped into Emily. "Sorry, my dear, but you shouldn't be out of the kitchen until we wash those hands. Come with me." She took Emily's hand in hers.

"Daddy?" Emily tugged but paused, eyeing the men sitting in front of the large wooden desk. "Why does that man have a small hat on his head?" She pointed at Benjamin.

Anderson stood. "Emily, it's not polite to ask..."

"It's fine," interrupted Benjamin. "I get asked that often. She's young and curious." He pointed to the top of his head. "I'm Orthodox Jewish. Often the men choose to wear this." He removed his. "Come here." Emily came closer. "It's called a kippah or in Yiddish yarmulke." He pointed to the top. This is the Star of David."

Emily reached out to touch it.

Helen grabbed her hand. "Don't touch. You're sticky from the pancakes and furry from Romeo."

Benjamin grinned. "Wash your hands and then you can touch it." He watched Emily leave with Helen, and then with raised eyebrows asked, "Mr. Sharp, where is your child's mother? Are there others?"

Anderson sat and swallowed. "No, sir, Emily is my only child. Her mother and I are divorced. I'm sure in the Jewish religion divorce is considered a great tragedy."

"I'm sure you had reason," offered Aaron.

In ran Shana. She threw her arms around her dad and kissed his cheek. "Papa! What brings you here?"

"I think we should give them privacy." Anderson stood and motioned to Philip. The two men left.







Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of gentleman wearing a kippah with the Star of David on it. Schools out for summer!!!!
Again, I have edited and edited this post and every time I find more and more mistakes. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.


Chapter 31
Chapter Zehn part eins

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Anderson sat and swallowed. "No, sir, Emily is my only child. Her mother and I are divorced. I'm sure in the Jewish religion divorce is considered a great tragedy."

"I'm sure you had reason," offered Aaron.

In ran Shana. She threw her arms around her dad and kissed his cheek. "Papa! What brings you here?"

"I think we should give them privacy." Anderson stood and motioned to Philip. The two men left.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 10 part 1

After Shana gave Benjamin a long hug, she did the same with Aaron and then pulled a chair closer. "What are you doing here? I know how much you hate to travel."

"Your mother, and your poor grandmother, wouldn't leave me alone until I made sure you were all right." Benjamin touched his daughter's hand.

"To be honest Shana, although Mom and Grandma were worried, our father was beside himself." Aaron smiled. "I'm glad you're safe."

A slight pink flush crossed Benjamin's cheeks.

Helen carried in a tray with corned beef on rye sandwiches, fresh fruit, and vegetables and set it on a table. "I hope these will work."

Shana smiled. "They look perfect. Thank you."

As Helen turned to leave, she paused. "Shana, maybe you should give your father and brother a tour of the house. I think they'd be more comfortable seeing your room and the rest of the house."

"Of course." Shana eyed the sandwiches. "Please help yourselves. Helen's a wonderful cook."

Benjamin held out two books. "You were going to work on these during the summer." He handed them to Shana.

"Thank you." Shana gave the books a quick glance. "Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and King Lear.. I should have plenty of time to read them and work up some lesson plans." She set the books on an end table.

Her father studied her, before he asked, "Who else lives here?"

"You've already met Anderson, Philip, and Helen. Emily arrived today. Oh yes, you've not met Jane. She's the housekeeper." Romeo plopped his paw on her lap. "I won't forget you." She petted his head. "This is Romeo. He's a little sticky right now. Emily and he ate pancakes. I guess Anderson assigned him to stay with me, because he's always by my side. There are two more German Shepherds, Axel and Thor. Thor seems to stay by Emily and I think Axel is in charge of everybody."

Benjamin avoided eye contact. "I'm sure you know how it looks, don't you? You're staying alone with a divorced man."

"I do, Papa." Shana stood. "I'm not alone with Anderson. I have Jane and Helen. Usually Jane's always close."

"I'm not accusing you of anything. I'm just reminding you of how it looks. Modern ways are not our ways."

Jane entered and offered her hand first to Benjamin and then to Aaron. "I'm Jane. I'm glad to meet both of you. I bet you'd like to see the arrangements we've made for Shana." She stood by the door. "This way, please." She led the two gentlemen and Shana down the long hall to her bedroom and opened the door. "This is the East wing and the room Shana sleeps in."

Both Benjamin and Aaron entered the spacious bedroom, complete with king-sized bed, two dressers, a recliner, and loveseat.

Aaron's eyes widened. "Wow." He walked toward the balcony and looked out. "Great view! Lil' sis, I bet you spend hours out here."

Shana smiled. "I've only been here since Friday afternoon, but yes, I've enjoyed the balcony."

Emily ran in and asked, "Would you like to see my room?"

"Of course, is it in this wing?" asked Benjamin.

"No, it's on the other side, by Daddy's room. Follow me." Emily led the way.

"We're going to the West wing." Jane took Emily's hand.

"I've never been down this hallway." Shana scanned the artwork on the hall walls.

Emily stopped at a closed door on the right. "This is my room." She opened it and entered. "Isn't it beautiful? Daddy decorated it just for me." She stood in the middle, stretched her arms out, and twirled around.

"It is pretty." Benjamin walked over to a closed door. "Is this your daddy's room?"

Jane opened the door. "No, this is my room. I've been with Emily since she was born." She walked toward another door. "This is her bathroom. Each of the ten bedrooms has private baths and then there are three additional bathrooms."

"Why so many bedrooms?" asked Benjamin.

"Because of Drew's position in the oil industry, he entertains often." Jane closed her bedroom door.

"Oh, I see."

"I can assure you that while Shana is here, the visitors will be at a minimum." Jane guided them back to the hallway.

"Daddy's bedroom is down there." Emily pointed. "It's huge and has a fireplace. Let's go see it."

"I doubt that's necessary," offered Aaron.

"Where does your mother stay?" asked Benjamin.

"Papa?" Shana's mouth opened wide.

"Mom is on a bacation. I think she's going to Figgy."

"She's on a vacation to the Fiji Islands." Jane corrected. "Emily will spend most of the summer with us."

"Daddy says I might stay with him forever. I hope so." Emily hugged Romeo. "Think he'll get me my own dog?"

"I don't know. You'll have to ask him." Jane smiled.

Off Emily ran, asking loudly, "Daddy, can I have my own dog?"

"Did I hear the child correctly, that she may come to live with her daddy? That's unusual." Benjamin looked at Jane.

"Let's just say her mother's a very interesting person." Jane chewed on her bottom lip.

When Benjamin's stare turned to Shana, she added. "I've met her briefly. My first impression is that no child should be with that woman."

"You can't always choose a book by its cover. There may be circumstances you don't know about." Benjamin continued to stare at Shana.

"I understand Papa."





Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of possibly what Shana's room looks like. Again, I have edited and edited this post and every time I find more and more mistakes. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.


Chapter 32
Chapter Zehn part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Daddy says I might stay with him forever. I hope so." Emily hugged Romeo. "Think he'll get me my own dog?"

"I don't know. You'll have to ask him." Jane smiled.

Off Emily ran, asking loudly, "Daddy, can I have my own dog?"

"Did I hear the child correctly, that she may come to live with her daddy? That's unusual." Benjamin looked at Jane.

"Let's just say her mother's a very interesting person." Jane chewed on her bottom lip.

When Benjamin's stare turned to Shana, she added. "I've met her briefly. My first impression is that no child should be with that woman."

"You can't always judge a book by its cover. There may be circumstances you don't know about." Benjamin continued to stare at Shana.

"I understand Papa."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 10 part 2

A few moments later, Anderson and his daughter joined the group. Emily walked to Benjamin, looked up at him and held up her hands. "They're clean."

Benjamin knelt to her level. "Would you like to see my kippah?"

"Yes, may I please see your cappah?" Emily turned toward Anderson. "Daddy, did I ask politely?"

Anderson nodded. "Why don't we go into the living room? It's more comfortable."

After everybody was seated, Benjamin removed his head covering and tapped the seat beside him for Emily.

She smiled and sat. "You said this is the star of somebody. Why isn't it in the sky?"

"It's the Star of David." Benjamin smiled. "It's been a while since I explained its importance to a child. I'll do my best. It's a Jewish symbol. It has six points." He and Emily counted the six points. "This star is also on the flag of Israel. In Hebrew, it's called Magen Davie or Shield of David."

Benjamin patted the emblem. "A stone bearing the Star of David sits in a synagogue in Galilee that dates back to the third century."

"Why is it named David's star?" Emily tilted her head and looked at Benjamin.

"Good question. It is to remind us that God will help us accomplish our goals as he helped King David."

"Who was King David?"

"Before David became king he killed a giant named Goliath. I'm sure you've heard that story in Sunday school."

"What's Sunday school?" Emily faced Anderson.

"You attended when you were very young. I guess your mother hasn't been taking you. We'll attend next Sunday. I promise."

Benjamin replaced the kippah on his head. "I think that's enough history for now. I'm sure Shana can tell you the rest of King David's story."

Emily scooted closer to Shana. "Did your daddy take you to Sunday school?"

"He did regularly." Shana smiled. "I doubt we missed a single Sabbath."

"Sabbath? Is that the same as Sunday school?" Emily's stare focused on Shana.

"Jane, why don't you take Emily to the kitchen? I'm sure Helen could use some help with lunch." Anderson glanced at Benjamin. "I hope you'll stay for lunch."

"Yes, our flight doesn't leave until 6:00 P.M. but we don't need any more food. The plate of sandwiches and fruit is plenty." Benjamin touched his stomach.

"I agree," added Aaron.

Anderson faced Philip. "Move the helicopter's arrival to 4:00 P.M. and let the pilot know there will be three occupants."

Philip nodded and left to take care of it.

"You don't need to do that. We can take a taxi," argued Benjamin.

"I was going to the airport anyway. I need to fly to D.C. tonight. So it's no problem at all. This way we're sure nobody will bother you." Anderson rubbed his hands together. "I'm sure you were concerned about your daughter's well-being. Have your questions been answered to your satisfaction or is there more we need to discuss?"

"I guess." Benjamin paused.

"If I'm not mistaken, you were concerned about Shana's physical safety," Anderson hesitated to search for the correct words, "about her reputation. You're Orthodox Jewish and struggle with some of the society's modern ways."

Benjamin leaned forward. "Yes, she's staying with a divorced man."

"Papa?"

"Shana, it's all right. I understand his concern. He loves you." Anderson's eyes met Benjamin's. "I want to assure you that your daughter has been and will continue to be treated with the upmost respect. To the best of my ability I will make sure no harm comes to her physically or emotionally." He offered his hand. After Benjamin accepted it, he added, "Emily's my princess and I understand a father's love and concern for his daughter."


Tour Guide: Zahi Shaked The Synagogue of Jesus at Capernaum, Sea of Galilee.





Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Ben -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of the Star of David at the Synagogue of Jesus at Capernaum, Sea of Galilee. I hope the link works for a tour of this Synagogue. I'm not good with technology. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.


Chapter 33
Chapter Zehn part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"If I'm not mistaken, you were concerned about Shana's physical safety," Anderson hesitated to search for the correct words, "about her reputation. You're Orthodox Jewish and struggle with some of the society's modern ways."

Benjamin leaned forward. "Yes, she's staying with a divorced man."

"Papa?"

"Shana, it's all right. I understand his concern. He loves you." Anderson's eyes met Benjamin's. "I want to assure you that your daughter has been and will continue to be treated with the utmost respect. To the best of my ability, I will make sure no harm comes to her physically or emotionally." He offered his hand. After Benjamin accepted it, he added, "Emily's my princess, and I understand a father's love and concern for his daughter."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 10 part 3

After the helicopter took Anderson, Benjamin, and Aaron to the airport, everyone sat around the dining room table. Helen provided lemonade with cheese, and crackers. "I think it went well with Shana's father, don't you?"

Emily folded her arms over her chest, and her lips formed a pout. "I wanted to find out more about King David and the giant. Did David have super powers?" She raised her arms above her head.

Shana laughed. "No, just a rock, slingshot, and God. That's all he needed."

"A slingshot?" Emily frowned. "What's that?"

Philip folded a napkin to explain a slingshot and wadded a tissue to show how a slingshot worked.

"Uncle Philip, would you make me a real one?"

"If he does, who's going to answer to your daddy? He won't be happy." Jane shook her head.

"She's probably right. We'd both be in trouble." Philip disassembled the model. "Helen, to answer your question, I feel it did go well. How about you, Shana?"

"I'm a little embarrassed my family showed up uninvited. I didn't get the opportunity to apologize to Mr. Sharp."

"My dear - "

"Ohhh, you're in trouble now, Miss Shana," interrupted Emily, shaking her pointer finger. "When Aunt Jane's about ready to scold me, she always starts with 'my dear'."

"She's correct." Jane pointed her finger as she smiled. "I'm going to scold you about saying Mr. Sharp. I know he's mentioned to call him Drew. He means it." She scanned the room. "I know he's rich and important, but he's really a down to Earth person; just the boy-next-door."

"Except with hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Shana. "I'm sure he makes more in a week than I do in a month."

"It's more like billions of dollars and..."

"Wow! I had no idea," interrupted Shana with raised eyebrows.

"Mommy says Daddy's too rich for his own good, and he needs to share it with her. She says there's no reason for her to live in slums and have to wear rags."

Philip stood and muttered under his breath, "That bitch gets more money than she deserves."

"Philip, there's a child in the room." Jane watched him leave.

"Philip's right." Helen folded the napkin he'd used for the slingshot. "Drew has been more than generous with money, and she doesn't live in the slums. She lives on Park Avenue at his expense." She set the napkin on the table. "But we shouldn't express our opinions when there are young ears around."

The three adults nodded in agreement.

"I want to make sure I understand our game plan." Jane paused. "When Drew returns, he's going to call Kuznetsov and ask him to kindly return the painting to its rightful owners."

Philip leaned against the door jam. "Yes. Our hope is once he understands that our interest is only in the painting, he'll give us the painting and realize we have no interest in his business."

"I sure hope it works," said Shana. "My concern is since he's spent time and money threatening me, doesn't that make him look guilty of something. He's even sent men to Peoria, Illinois to snoop around. If he just hands it over, to me that makes him look even guiltier."

"Shana's got a point." Philip turned toward the patio. "What's that?"

"That helicopter's flying awfully low. It's not landing, is it?" Jane followed Philip to the patio.


Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of engraving of men with early slingshots. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.


Chapter 34
Chapter Elf part eins

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"I sure hope it works," said Shana. "My concern is since he's spent time and money threatening me, doesn't that make him look guilty of something. He's even sent men to Peoria, Illinois to snoop around. If he just hands it over, to me that makes him look even guiltier."

"Shana's got a point." Philip turned toward the patio. "What's that?"

"That helicopter's flying awfully low. It's not landing, is it?" Jane followed Philip to the patio.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 11 part 1

Shana stood beside Jane. "They have binoculars! They're spying on us. Why? What do they want?"

"My guess is they're trying to figure out how to get access to you or at least your paperwork." Philip used his hand to shield the sun.

Emily's eyes widened. "I've never seen a helicopter so close. It's knocking the chairs over."

Jane took Emily's hand and led her away. "Let's go to your room. We'll play Candy Land."

"But I want to watch."

"You're coming with me." Jane led the child away.

Philip watched the three German Shepherds pace, stare at the helicopters, and emit low rumbled growls. The fur on their backs bristled. "They're upset."

"Should we call Drew?" asked Helen.

After Philip checked his watch, he shook his head. "Drew hasn't landed yet." He removed his cell and pressed a number. "Jeff's on his way. I wonder if they're going to land." He glanced toward the roof.

Moments later Jeff entered the penthouse, as another helicopter arrived. "They'll be leaving." He pointed. "The second copter's the police. I heard the noise and called."

Tears welled in Shana's eyes. "Nothing like this happened until I arrived, did it? I'm putting you at risk."

Jeff grinned. "Things were quiet until you came. In my opinion, they were boring."

Helen swiped at him with a dishtowel she held. "I guess now you have a purpose other than eating my freshly baked cookies and brownies."

"Her cookies are fantastic. Have you tried them, yet?"

"You're taking this so lightly. Am I the only person upset?"

"They're gone." Philip watched a few moments longer before he took Shana by the hand, led her into the den, and motioned her to sit. "We're concerned too, but we also understand how difficult it would be for them to enter this penthouse, even from the roof. The door can only be opened with thumbprints. Just like the elevators."

"What if they rappelled onto the patio?" asked Helen. "Or shot at us?"

"The patio glass is bulletproof." Jeff pointed toward the patio. "You're as safe here as anywhere. Drew made sure this place is like Fort Knox."

"Why? I'm glad it's safe, but why would anybody choose to live like this?" asked Shana. "Back home I didn't need armed security guards and bulletproof glass." She glanced toward the elevator. "A normal key unlocked my front door."

"New York City poses its own security issues. Drew is a powerful man and sometimes his decisions are unpopular." Philip paused. "Since he's in the oil business, the environmental people have been known to get upset."

"I imagine they would voice their concerns, not physically attack. These people are trying to...," Shana used a tissue to dab her eyes, "wage war on me and it's over a painting."

Philip leaned forward in his chair and his eyes met Shana's. "I know I'm sticking my nose in your personal business, but I'm curious. Your father didn't seem to be overly interested in getting this painting back. Why is it so important to you?"



Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident


Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of Candy Land game. How many of you remember playing it with your children? I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.


Chapter 35
Chapter Elf part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Philip leaned forward in his chair and his eyes met Shana's. "I know I'm sticking my nose in your personal business, but I'm curious. Your father didn't seem to be overly interested in getting this painting back. Why is it so important to you?"

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 11 part 2

"I'm not sure you'll understand." Shana released a deep breath and adjusted herself in the overstuffed chair. "I guess I need to go back to the beginning."

"It's usually a good place to start." Jeff grinned.

"You're incorrigible." Helen refolded the dishtowel she held.

"Okay." Shana patted a couple of times on her knees. "Here it goes. Haim and Avigail Kohlberg, my great, great, grandparents arrived here from Germany in 1931." She used her fingers to count the greats. "When they left, they hid their art collection in a safe at Tomas' house, Haim's brother. Tomas was arrested during the Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938, and sent to Dachau. Neighbors sent word to Haim that this had happened. I've read the letter and it said his house was completely destroyed. It has since been passed down through the family that while arresting Tomas, all the art was stolen. There were paintings and sculptures."

Jane sat beside Shana. "Emily's coloring. I have a few minutes. Please continue."

"That's the important background you need to know. How I became interested is through their son, Elijah. He was also born in Germany and was four when his parents brought him here. He married Ruth, who also emigrated from Germany as a child. They gave birth to David, who married Hannah. Hannah is still alive and lives with my parents."

"This is worse than The Book of Matthew and all the begotten." Jeff grinned.

"Close, but probably closer to Genesis and the genealogy of Abraham." Shana laughed. "Now, move to the present, or at least in the twenty-first century." She glanced at Jeff. "You with me?" After he nodded, she continued, "While I helped Great Grandma Ruth and Grandma Hannah snap beans and shell peas, I listened to family stories that went back to Germany. I loved listening to family lore." She paused and dabbed her eyes.

Helen offered Shana another tissue.

"I'm sorry. I miss those times." After a brief pause, Shana continued, "For my sixteenth birthday present, my great grandparents and grandparents took me to Germany and taught me more about family history as we visited each place my ancestors lived and worked."

Shana looked into space as she continued, "We visited Munich and the street where Tomas lived. His house had been destroyed, but another has been built on the same plot. We were able to visit the Jewish Museum in Munich. It had just opened a few months before we arrived." She took in a long slow breath and blew it out equally as slowly. "I saw Dachau. This is where Tomas was murdered." She paused.

Everybody was silent while Shana composed herself.

"Do you still have family in Germany?" asked Jane.

"Nobody knows for sure. If they survived the Nazis, they would be distant relatives. We've tried searching, but so far nothing." Shana turned her head as a noise came from the direction of Emily's bedroom.

"I hate missing this, but I better check on her." Jane left.

"We spent a long time in Frankfurt. We found the neighborhood where Haim and Avigail lived and of course visited the Universitat Frankfurt Am Main where he taught literature."

"It sounds like you speak fluent German," said Philip.

She shook her head. "I do speak German but it's far from fluent, but I speak fluent Yiddish."

"Don't you teach high school literature?" Helen pointed to the books Shana's father had left.

"I do. Just like my great, great, grandpa Haim."

"That part of history repeated itself. I hope the rest doesn't. Where else did you visit?" asked Jeff.

"Auschwitz, Poland." Shana stared at the floor. "There and at Dachau my skin crawled." She rubbed her arms. "Sitting here, even thinking about the horrors that happened at those places cause me to chill. It wasn't only the Jewish, but the Roma."

Jeff asked, "Who were Roma?"

"Gypsies," answered Philip.

Everybody waited until Jane sat, again. "Everything's okay. Emily's watching a movie. Please continue."

"I guess I need to mention there was a difference in a concentration camp and an extermination camp," continued Shana.

"Before you go on, how many concentration camps were there?" Philip raised an eyebrow.

"If I remember correctly, there were twenty-two." Shana chewed on her lower lip. "The extermination camps had the specific purpose of mass murdering Jews and other victim groups. Somewhere around three million Jews died in these camps."

"And the concentration camps?" Jeff tapped his foot.

"Concentration camps claimed thousands of victims. Imprisonment in them meant inhumane forced labor, brutal treatment, hunger, disease, and random executions." Shana paused to keep her voice under control. "The first inmates were Nazi political opponents, but then different people." Shana used her fingers to highlight different people. "Jews, Gypsies, people with different sexual orientation, and people with disabilities were sent."

"Basically anybody the Nazis didn't like or understand," added Philip. "It probably included Jehovah's Witness, Roman Catholics, or anybody who exhibited any socially deviant behavior."

"Correct." Shana continued, "The inmates worked twelve hour days at hard physical work, wore rags, never had enough to eat, and the risk of corporal punishment was imminent. Those who couldn't keep up were murdered. There was a name given to these people, Muselmanner, or living dead because of their appearance. They resembled round-shouldered skeletons." Tears rolled down her cheeks. "I'm sorry. I can't go on." She left the room.

I know this is long, but family tradition plays heavily on who Shana is. Please enjoy and I hope the video works.





Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident


Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photo of a German inmates of a Nazi concentration camp. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.

I leave tomorrow on vacation. I'll be gone until July 28th. I am hoping to post but I can't promise. Some of the places we'll be visiting doesn't have Internet service. No, I'm not going to a third world country, staying right here in the US. LOL


Chapter 36
Chapter Elf part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Basically anybody the Nazis didn't like or understand," added Philip. "It probably included Jehovah's Witness, Roman Catholics, or anybody who exhibited any socially deviant behavior."

"Correct," Shana continued, "the inmates worked twelve hour days at hard physical work, wore rags, never had enough to eat, and the risk of corporal punishment was imminent. Those who couldn't keep up were murdered. There was a name given to these people, Muselmanner, or living dead because of their appearance. They resembled round-shouldered skeletons." Tears rolled down her cheeks. "I'm sorry. I can't go on." She left the room.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 11 part 3

"That trip to Germany would've been hard for a teenager." Jeff leaned as far back as his chair allowed. "It wasn't your typical sweet-sixteen vacation to Europe."

"No, it wasn't." Jane stood. "I need to check on Emily. She glanced at her watch. "It's her story time and then I'll put her to bed."

"I think that trip left a lifelong impression on Shana. She's had a sheltered life and is very sensitive." Philip stretched his neck to glance toward Shana's room. "I wonder if somebody should check on her."

"Probably." Helen's gaze followed Philip's. "Jane's the closest to her. If she doesn't finish with Emily soon, I'll go."

Philip, Jeff, and Helen sat in the den and stared silently at each other.

Jeff stood. "I can't take it anymore. I'm checking on her. She just might decide to leave again." He hurried toward the East wing.

Helen rushed after him. "You can't invade her room like you did when you were a Navy Seal. Drew assured her dad no males would go near that room."

"It's different. I'm not attacking her. I'm making sure she's all right."

Philip came up behind them. "Helen's right. Drew wouldn't be happy knowing one of us went to Shana's room while he was gone."

Jeff shoved his hands into his pockets. "Okay! All I'm doing is protecting her. I'm head of security." He paused. "Helen, go. Don't wait on Jane. We need to make sure there's nothing wrong."

Going back into the den, Helen grabbed the two books Benjamin had left for his daughter. "I'll use these as an excuse."

"It won't look quite so obvious." Philip followed behind.

Jeff walked beside him. "It still looks like we're checking on her."

Helen knocked on Shana's door. "Dear, you forgot the books your dad left."

Shana opened the door, took the books, and tossed them onto a chair. "Thank you."

"Is there anything I can get you?" Helen glanced around the room. "Maybe a drink?"

"No, but thank you."

"Would you like me to sit with you?"

Shana glanced around Helen. "I see you two hiding behind Helen."

"We were worried about you." Jeff stepped forward.

With her elbows bent and her hands spread out. "As you can see, I'm fine."

"It's been my experience when a female says she's fine, she's anything but fine." Jeff scanned the room.

"I have to agree with Jeff on this one." Philip eyed the bed's wrinkled quilt and scattered pillows. "By looking at this scene I'd say you were lying on the bed crying."

"Guilty as charged." Shana studied the floor. "Philip, I guess I never really answered your question."

"What question?"

"Come in and have a seat." Shana walked away from the door and sat on the edge of the bed.

Philip and Jeff stood still and waited for Helen.

"Go on in. The lady invited you, and I'm chaperoning." Helen entered.

The two men followed but remained close to the door, and Jeff made sure it was left open.

"You asked," Shana started talking.

"What are you doing in Shana's room?" interrupted Jane.

"I invited them. I don't see the problem." Shana patted the edge of the bed. "I was just answering Philip's question."

"What question?" asked Jane.

"We've been trying to figure that out," answered Philip.

"I'll talk to you two later." Jane shook her finger at the two men. "Please go on, dear."

"Earlier this evening, Philip asked why this painting was so important to me when it wasn't to my father."

Philip nodded. "I did."

"I have a roundabout answer, but it's the only answer I have. My ancestors went through so much to make sure I had freedom and not have to live under tyranny. The very least I can do to repay them is to recover what was stolen." Shana wiped away tears in her eyes.


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident


Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you GaliaG for the lovely artwork. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.

I'm on vacation and in a hotel that has Internet so I will post. I usually post on a PC and now I'm using a laptop. It and I don't get along as well. I hope it works. I'm not sure when I can get to the reviews. My mom doesn't have Internet, and we'll be there tomorrow until Friday.


Chapter 37
Chapter Zwolf part eins

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Earlier this evening, Philip asked why this painting was so important to me when it wasn't to my father."

Philip nodded. "I did."

"I have a roundabout answer, but it's the only answer I have. My ancestors went through so much to make sure I had freedom and not have to live under tyranny. The very least I can do to repay them is to recover what was stolen." Shana wiped away tears in her eyes.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 12 part 1

Just as the sun rose the following morning, Shana stood at the patio door and stared out. Yesterday, a helicopter flew over this patio trying to figure out where to land. All of this over a painting. She turned as the elevator door opened.

"Good morning, Shana," Jeff said. "You're up early."

She blushed. "I'm an early riser. I guess I beat everybody else."

"I doubt that. Helen's already busy in the kitchen, and I'm sure Jane's busy too. I just stopped to get the dogs. Drew usually exercises them in the morning. Since he's gone, Kyle's here. Think you can do without Romeo for a while?" Jeff grinned.

"It'll be a sacrifice, but I can handle it," she teased as she rubbed Romeo's head. "Not sure he can."

Helen entered with a cup of coffee and handed it to Shana. "Would you like breakfast on the patio or dining room?" While she waited for Shana's answer, she asked, "Jeff, after you take the boys down, would you like some coffee?"

"I would, but I don't have time. I sure do enjoy your coffee. Can I have it to go?"

"Sure, just give me a minute." Helen left and quickly returned with a to-go coffee cup and handed it to Jeff. "Just the way you like it; little bit of cream and no sugar."

He accepted it with a grin. "This morning, I have a few extra things that need my attention. Can Philip let Kyle up when he returns?"

"I haven't seen him this morning. I think he's following up on some things for Drew. If he's not around, I can do it or I'm sure Jane will. Don't worry about it." Helen watched the three dogs carry their leashes to Jeff.

"Let me help." Shana held the coffee for him.

After Jeff finished with the dogs, he took the cup back. "I'll be around later this afternoon. These guys will return in about an hour or so." Jeff and the three dogs left.

Shana glanced at Helen and smiled. "I can let Kyle and the dogs up."

"Sorry, Drew doesn't want you answering the door." Helen glanced at the elevator. "That didn't sound quite right. It's for your safety."

"I understand. I guess I'll sit on the patio and drink my coffee." Shana paused. "I'll get King Lear and reread it. I haven't read it since high school."

Helen laughed. "I never did make it all the way through any of Shakespeare's plays."
*****

Shana opened the paperback book and stared at the pages. King Lear banished his daughter, Cordelia, because she loved him enough to speak the truth. Would a father really banish a daughter? Cordelia was his favorite.

Jane sat beside her. "You look deep in thought."

"I was just thinking about King Lear's relationship with his three daughters." Shana lifted the book to show Jane.

"They're still subjecting students to Shakespeare?" Jane shook her head. "How sad."

"Some, well maybe, a few students actually like his work. King Lear is rated by many as his best tragedy."

"I can quote lines from Romeo and Juliet. I bet you can't give me one quote from King Lear."

Shana set the book down and looked into Jane's eyes. "Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth. I love your majesty according to my bond; no more no less." She paused. "Act 1, scene 1"

"What does that mean?"

"King Lear's daughter, Cordelia, said that to him." Shana released a deep breath. "I'll try to give you the quick version. King Lear decided to retire and to divide his kingdom among his three daughters. The largest amount went to the daughter who loved him the most. Well, two daughters said all the sweet things he wanted to hear, but they were lies. Cordelia loved him enough to speak the truth. It got her banished from his kingdom and disinherited."

"If I remember the play correctly, the King of France liked her honesty and married her." Philip walked into the room.

Shana turned and faced him. "You're correct. Are you a Shakespeare fan?"

"I am." Philip poured himself some coffee. "I take it Jane is not." He searched the area. "Where's our little munchkin this morning?"

"I think we wore her out yesterday. She's still asleep." Jane glanced at her watch. "I should wake her. I need to keep her on some schedule."


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident


Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Lilibug6 for the lovely artwork, New York Sunrise. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I'm at my in-laws and do have limited Internet. I'll be back home late Friday.


Chapter 38
Chapter Zwolf part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"King Lear's daughter, Cordelia, said that to him." Shana released a deep breath. "I'll try to give you the quick version. King Lear decided to retire and to divide his kingdom among his three daughters. The largest amount went to the daughter who loved him the most. Well, two daughters said all the sweet things he wanted to hear, but they were lies. Cordelia loved him enough to speak the truth. It got her banished from his kingdom and disinherited."

"If I remember the play correctly, the King of France liked her honesty and married her." Philip walked into the room.

Shana turned and faced him. "You're correct. Are you a Shakespeare fan?"

"I am." Philip poured himself some coffee. "I take it Jane is not." He searched the area. "Where's our little munchkin this morning?"

"I think we wore her out yesterday. She's still asleep." Jane glanced at her watch. "I should wake her. I need to keep her on some schedule."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 12 part 2

"Shana, guess what?" Helen rolled the breakfast cart onto the patio. When Shana glanced up from her book, Helen continued, "No bacon or sausage on this cart."

Philip walked in behind her and chuckled. "Only pork chops."

"You really don't have to go to all this trouble for me." Shana glanced over the cart. "You always have way too much food."

Helen scowled at Philip. "I'll have you know there's not one piece of pork or shellfish on this cart. Matter-of-fact, I researched kosher foods now I know what to fix."

"Really, all of this is unnecessary." Shana's eyes met Helen's. "I've lived my entire life in a non-kosher world. I've gotten used to it."

"While you're here, all of us, including Drew, want you to feel at home. We'll do our best to honor your culture and traditions." Helen waved her arm over the breakfast cart. "Please enjoy."

At that moment, Jane and Emily entered. Jane surveyed her friends' faces. "What have I missed?"

"Nothing. Just letting Shana know my kitchen is now kosher, or at least trying to be."

Emily tilted her head. "What's kosher mean? I hope it means I get pancakes for every breakfast."

"You had pancakes yesterday. Today we'll try something different." Jane walked over to the cart and picked up a plate. "Show me what you'd like and I'll help. We'll discuss kosher another day.

"Aunt Jane, are we going to the park this morning?" asked Emily.

"Not today. We'll need to wait for your daddy to get home, but I have all sorts of fun things planned. Do you want an omelet?"

"Does it have cheese?"

"This one does." After Emily nodded, Jane put it on her plate and continued, "First, I have a new puzzle with a baby kitten's picture on it that needs to be put together."

"Goody." Emily smiled. "I like kittens, but Daddy's dogs don't like them. Is it yellow?"

Jane thought for a moment. "I think it's orange. It's in a basket. How about some fresh fruit?"

"Okay, what else can we do? Go shopping? Mommy says Daddy needs to buy me new clothes."

"No shopping until Daddy gets home." Jane added fruit to Emily's plate. "I won't tell you the rest until you finish the puzzle."

Shana watched and smiled at the banter between Jane and Emily. After Emily was seated and eating, Shana went to help herself to the cart.
*****

Jane set the puzzle on the carpeted floor of the playroom. Shana helped her and Emily lay out the pieces.

"Put all the edge pieces together. We'll make the border first." Jane moved her finger around the edge of a piece to show Emily what the edge looked like.

Emily held up a piece. "Look this one has two edges."

"That's a corner. There should be three more." Shana showed her the box cover and pointed to the photograph, and they counted the four corners. "See there are four corners."

"This is going to be fun." Emily proceeded to turn the pieces over.

After about thirty minutes, Emily went to the window and looked out. "When's Daddy coming home? I miss him."

"Later this afternoon. He'll be home for dinner," answered Jane.

"Good. The puzzle's almost done. I think Daddy would like some fresh cookies when he gets home."

"I bet we can arrange that. I'll talk with Helen." Jane added a piece. "There are only two pieces left." She held them up. "Think you can put them in?"

Emily took one and studied it. "This one goes right here." She placed it and then picked up the other piece. "And this one goes here. Now, let's go make Daddy some cookies." She headed toward the door.

Within minutes the four ladies were making chocolate chip cookies.

Jane smiled. "Emily, I thought your daddy's favorite cookie was snickerdoodles. Are you sure it's chocolate chip?"

With twinkling eyes and a smile, Emily said, "I'm sure Daddy will say they're his favorite, because they're mine. Mommy says we're exactly alike."



Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident


Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for the lovely artwork of a kitten's picture on a puzzle. This post isn't overly exciting, I promise excitement is on it's way, but I need to cement Shana and Emily's relationship. It is important to the story as was the part about King Lear and his daughter's relationship. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I am home and busy. I go back to work on the 10th. It's only 10 day from now. This next week and a half are filled with doctor's appointments and still trying to get 'Savannah Love' published.


Chapter 39
Chapter Zwolf part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Within minutes, the four ladies were making chocolate chip cookies.

Jane smiled. "Emily, I thought your daddy's favorite cookie was snickerdoodles. Are you sure it's chocolate chip?"

With twinkling eyes and a smile, Emily said, "I'm sure Daddy will say they're his favorite, because they're mine. Mommy says we're exactly alike."

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 12 part 3

After cookies were baked and sampled with a glass of cold milk, they worked together and cleaned the kitchen. They ate lunch and Emily took a short rest while Shana read her three picture books.

Just as the third story ended, Jane came into Emily's room and asked, "Are you ready to search for lost treasure?"

Emily's eyes widened. "Are we going to be pirates?"

"Hmmm." Jane took an eye-patch from her pocket, put it over Emily's head, and adjusted it so it covered her right eye. She handed her a sword made from cardboard and aluminum foil. "Now, you look like a real pirate."

She ran to the dresser mirror. "I do." She laughed as she watched herself in different pirate poses. "Can Miss Shana have a patch and sword too?"

"Sorry, I only had one of each. I doubt the wild animals will attack her. They usually will only attack humans under this height." She held her hand at chest level.

Shana stood beside Jane and measured herself. "I'm taller than that, so I should be okay, and I'll still have fun without them. Where's our map?"

Jane held up the map. "There are waters, caves, and mountains. You might run across a wild animal or two." She laughed and glanced at the dogs. "Probably three. Think you're up for it?"

Emily jumped up and down as she clapped her hands, "Yes!" ran from the room, and then stopped. "Where we going?"

"Take my hand, and I'll lead you to Pirates' Cove." Jane held Emily's hand and guided her. She stopped and cupped a hand to her ear. "Do you hear that?"

Emily paused, listened, and shook her head. "I don't hear anything."

"Hmmm, that's bad. If you don't hear them, they're sneaking up on you."

"Oh no!" Shana covered her mouth and scanned the area. "I don't see anything, do you?"

"This way." Jane stood outside the patio door and read the banner, "'Welcome to Pirates' Cove. Enter at your own Risk'. Oh No! Should we enter?"

Emily laughed as she entered. "I'm not afraid. Come on."

Jane studied the map. "I think you need to start over there." She pointed to an overturned chair. "Maybe there's a clue."

"A clue?" asked Emily with a scrunched up nose.

"Let's look together." Shana walked toward the chair. "I know we can figure it out."

Emily ran to it and picked up a pink, folded paper. "Is this a clue?"

"Open it," encouraged Shana.

"It has another map and some words." Emily turned it toward Shana. "I can't read."

"You can't read, yet. You'll be reading before long, but right now I'll help you." Shana studied the map. "I see." She lowered it for Emily to see and then pointed. "Do you think this is that cave over there?" She winked at Jane.

"Aunt Jane, is that table covered with the blanket a cave?"

With a nod, Jane smiled. "I think so, and I'm guessing you're going to have to go inside the cave to discover the next clue."

*****

When Shana heard a man's laughter, she peeked from under a chair. "What are you laughing at?"

"Think a better question is what are you doing?" Anderson moved closer and read the banner. "Welcome to Pirate's Cove. Enter at your own Risk."



*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident


Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for the lovely artwork of a little girl dressed as a pirate.. This post isn't overly exciting, I promise excitement is on it's way, but I need to cement Shana and Emily's relationship. It is important to the story. I promise all will gel together. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I go back to work on the 10th. It's only 4 days from now. I sent Savannah Love to an editor. I should have it back on the 15th. I hope then to continue publishing it. I have been told it's too politically incorrect to be able to market it. Those who read the story, please weigh in on that.


Chapter 40
Chapter Zwolf part vier

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

When Shana heard a man's laughter, she peeked from under a chair. "What are you laughing at?"

"Think a better question is what are you doing?" Anderson moved closer and read the banner. "Welcome to Pirate's Cove. Enter at your own Risk."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 12 part 4

"I'd like you to meet the notorious Lady Pirate Emily." Shana stood and bowed toward Emily. "I'm her first mate, and we're searching for hidden treasure." She held up a neon yellow, folded paper. "We just discovered our next clue. It was hidden in the dense jungle. We had to stay low so the dangerous hyenas wouldn't find us." She pointed at the three German Shepherds before she, again, faced Emily. "Do you think we need his help?"

Emily put her pointer finger by her mouth and tilted her head. "Think he can be trusted? He might be looking for the treasure to keep it for himself."

Shana laughed, before she could comment Anderson picked up Emily. "I think I'll just throw you to the hyenas and keep the treasure myself." He tickled the child.

"Daddy, no! It's me, Emily." She giggled as she lifted the eye-patch.

Jane walked over. "Should we continue the treasure hunt or take a break?"

Emily glanced around the patio. "I want to finish, but I want to show Daddy our surprise." Emily pouted. "Can we do both?"

"Why don't we take a short break?" asked Shana. "After that we can finish the treasure hunt."

Anderson set Emily on the floor. "Sounds like a plan. You can show me the surprise and then finish the treasure hunt. While you're doing that, I'll make some phone calls."

Emily ran into the kitchen. She returned with Helen carrying a plate filled with chocolate chip cookies. Helen glanced around the fully decorated patio. "I think we'd better enjoy these inside."

"I think you're right." Jane followed her. "I'll get the milk and glasses."

As Emily followed the two ladies, Anderson motioned for Shana to hold back. "After we eat cookies, I'm calling Kuznetsov. I'd like you to be there, so you know first-hand what he says."

"Thank you."

Emily ran back and grabbed her dad's hand. "Hurry up, slow poke."

Once everyone was seated, Helen offered each person cookies and Jane poured glasses of milk.

Anderson took a bite and looked at Emily. "How did you know chocolate chip was my favorite?"

She giggled. "Because it's mine. Mommy says we're just alike, so it had to be yours."

"Oh, I see. Well I guess she's correct." Anderson took another bite. "This is sure good. I wonder who made it." He faced Helen. "You outdid yourself with these cookies."

Emily set her cookie on the plate. "Aunt Helen only helped. I did all the work."

He raised his eyebrows, "Oh, I see," and grinned.

With a tilt of her head, Emily smiled. "You're teasing me, aren't you?"

"I am." He took a drink of milk. "Did you milk the cow too?"

"Silly, milk comes from the store."

"We need to get this child back to Texas." Anderson helped himself to another cookie. "She needs to spend some time on the ranch and learn where milk comes from."

Emily crossed her arms over her chest. "Mommy says Texas is boring, because there's nothing to do there."

Philip walked into the room. "I guess it depends on what you want to do. I enjoy Texas and the ranch." He winked at Anderson. "Isaiah has made the contacts you asked for and requested the documents."

"Good. I hope things will move along faster."

"I'm sure they will. He wants to talk with you about having an official from CPS speak with her to make sure our bases are covered."

Anderson nodded. "Have him set it up." He finished the cookie and the glass of milk. "That was a perfect snack." He pushed his chair away from the table. "Emily, can you finish your treasure hunt without your first mate? I need Shana's help making a phone call."

She pouted. "I guess, but it won't be as much fun."

Shana knelt beside the child. "I'm sure it won't take long. When we're done, I'll help you." She glanced at Helen. "Maybe Helen will let you help in the kitchen. I can come and get you when I'm finished."

"I think that's a great idea. You can play, oops, help wash dishes." Helen offered her hand.

Emily took the hand. "Can I put the soap in the water?"

"Yes, but remember you only need a little."

After they left, Anderson stood. "Ready to make our call? Philip found the number earlier."

Shana and Anderson went into the den. As Philip entered, he closed the door.




*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident


Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for the lovely artwork of a plate of chocolate chip cookies.. This post isn't overly exciting, I promise excitement is on it's way. If I'm not mistaken, things start happening in my next post. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.

I'm back to work. I can usually review only on weekends, so I apologize if I miss some of your posts. It's not intentional, simply not enough hours in the day. I must sleep sometimes or I get grumpy with my first graders. Student start on the 28th.


Chapter 41
Chapter Dreizehn part ein

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Shana knelt beside the child. "I'm sure it won't take long. When we're done, I'll help you." She glanced at Helen. "Maybe Helen will let you help in the kitchen. I'll get you when I'm finished and then we can find the treasure."

"I think that's a great idea. You can play, oops, help wash dishes." Helen offered her hand.

Emily took the hand. "Can I put the soap in the water?"

"Yes, but remember you only need a little."

After they left, Anderson stood. "Ready to make our call? Philip found the number earlier."

Shana and Anderson went into the den. As Philip entered, he closed the door.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 13 part 1

Anderson dialed Ivan Kuznetsov's phone number. "I'll put it on speaker so you can hear."

Shana held her breath and fidgeted with her hands as she listened to the first ring and then the next.

"Breathe." Anderson grinned.

Finally, on the sixth ring a female voice said, "Hello, this is Anastasiya's Tea Room. How may I help you?"

"This is Anderson Sharp. I'd like to speak with Ivan Kuznetsova, please."

"What is this call in reference to?"

"It's personal. I'd like to speak directly with Mr. Kuznetsov."

"I'll see if that is possible." The phone went silent.

Anderson glanced at Shana. "We're not having much luck, are we?"

"Not really. What if he refuses to speak with us?"

He shrugged and then waited a few more moments in silence, before he said, "At least they could supply us with music while we wait."

The female voice broke the silence. "Mr. Kuznetsov said he'll be with you shortly. Thank you for waiting."

"We're making progress," whispered Anderson.

Shana nodded as a male voice spoke with a heavy Russian accent, "Hello. This is Ivan Kuznetsov. How may I help you? If you need reservations, my secretary can set that up."

"Mr. Kuznetsov, it's much more personal than reservations. I doubt you'd want your secretary involved with private affairs." Anderson paused and let his words sink in before he continued, "I know Joshua Colton, the curator, of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has already contacted you about the Winter-Traum. I'm calling because I represent the family, who has paperwork verifying they own the painting. It was stolen during World War II. The family would like to make arrangements to have it returned."

"I fail to see how a lost painting is my problem," interrupted Ivan. The phone went dead.

Philip avoided eye contact. "That didn't go as planned."

"No, it didn't." Anderson leaned back in his chair and tapped the phone on his palm. "I feel like Russian food for dinner."

"Should I check with Jeff?" Philip removed his phone.

Shana's head was shaking. "I'm not going anywhere near that place, and neither should you."

"I'm sorry," said Anderson. "I'm afraid it's a men only night. There's no way I'd ever put you in danger. We need to make a big show in order to force Kuznetsov to deal with us."

"But..." Shana chewed on her lower lip. "But, won't that be dangerous?"

"Drew, Jeff, and I can take care of ourselves. We'll be safe."

Helen and Emily entered. Emily glanced around the room. "Are you finished with the meeting? I have to find that treasure."

Anderson nodded. "We are. If your first mate's ready, she can help you."

Shana stood and offered her hand. "Come on, sweetheart, let's find that treasure."

Emily took her hand. As they went through the doorway, Shana glanced back at Anderson.

After the two left, Anderson faced Helen. "Philip and I'll be at the dinner table, but we're going out for dinner after Emily goes to her room."

"I'll be discreet." Helen nodded.

Philip leaned forward. "Shana's worried about your safety."

"I think she's worried about all of our safety. Have you contacted Jeff, yet?"

"I've already texted him." Philip held up his phone. "He wants to know what to bring."

Anderson used a key to open a hidden drawer in his desk and studied the contents. "Think they'll have metal detectors?"

"If it's truly a restaurant, no." Philip raised one eyebrow. "But who knows what else goes on there."

"We should have the element of surprise. Just in case be ready for anything." Anderson lifted up a Sig Sauer P938 and studied it. "Don't forget your concealed weapon certificate, in case we're questioned."





*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident


Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father


Author Notes Thank you Google Images for the lovely artwork of a hand gun. I promise excitement is on it's way. If I'm not mistaken, things start happening in my next post. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.

I'm back to work. I can usually review only on weekends, so I apologize if I miss some of your posts. It's not intentional, simply not enough hours in the day. I must sleep sometimes or I get grumpy with my first graders. One week before the munchkins.
Students start on the 28th.


Chapter 42
Chapter Dreizehn part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

After the two left, Anderson faced Helen. "Philip and I'll be at the dinner table, but we're going out for dinner after Emily goes to her room."

"I'll be discreet." Helen nodded.

Philip leaned forward. "Shana's worried about your safety."

"I think she's worried about all of our safety. Have you contacted Jeff, yet?"

"I've already texted him." Philip held up his phone. "He wants to know what to bring."

Anderson used a key to open a hidden drawer in his desk and studied the contents. "Think they'll have metal detectors?"

"If it's truly a restaurant, no." Philip raised one eyebrow. "But who knows what else goes on there."

"We should have the element of surprise. Just in case be ready for anything." Anderson lifted up a Sig Sauer P938 and studied it. "Don't forget your concealed weapon certificate, in case we're questioned."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 13 part 2

It was eight-thirty when a gentleman dressed in a shin-length red coat and a black high hat opened the door for Jeff, Philip, and Anderson at Anastasiya's Tea Room. After a short wait, a Maitre d showed the three men to a round table on the left side of the room.

Anderson opened the menu as he scanned the area. Chandelier lighting low, to be expected, music soft, also expected, beautiful artwork, wonder if it's stolen. He smiled to himself.

"Isn't Shana's family missing some sculptures?" whispered Philip. "I wonder if they're here."

Jeff scooted his foot under the table and bumped Philip's. "Don't mention that to her," he teased.

A tall, slender, young man came to their table with an Eastern European accent said, "I'll be your server this evening. My name is Maxim. What can I get you to drink?"

"The Beluga Gold, Golden Osetra for an appetizer, and a pitcher of ice water with lemon." Anderson glanced at his two friends. "Sound all right?" After they answered, he looked back at the menu. "I'll need more time for the entree."

"Very good choices. I'll immediately bring your drinks." Maxim's turn was a perfect right-angle.

"We're not trying to be secretive, are we?" Philip grinned.

"Did you just order vodka and caviar?" asked Jeff.

"He did and the most expensive on the menu." Philip's eyes met Anderson's.

"Is anybody watching, yet?" asked Anderson. "I've already mentioned we need to make a show to draw Kuznetsov out. I want him to play his hand."

"There are two men standing at the bar watching from the mirror," answered Philip.

"Good." Anderson continued studying the menu. "Have you decided what you want? And please act natural."

Philip studied the menu. "Still deciding."

"That's easy. Rib eye." Jeff set down his. "Are frites potatoes?" he whispered. Both Philip and Anderson smiled and nodded.

Moments later, Maxim returned with the drinks and caviar. He carefully poured water into each glass and then set the pitcher on the table.

"That was quick." Jeff laid the ivory linen napkin in his lap.

"Have you gentlemen decided on your meal?" Maxim's posture was perfect.

"Rib eye, medium rare," said Jeff.

"Any substitutions?"

After Jeff answered, Maxim faced Philip and waited.

"Kulebiaka." Philip set down the menu.

"Ah, yes the salmon is a very good choice. It's one of my favorites." Maxim nodded for Anderson.

"It's a hard decision between the veal and the Arctic char." Anderson folded the menu. "I think I'll have the Arctic char."

"Another very good choice. Please enjoy the caviar." As he left, Maxim made a right-angle-turn, again, and nodded toward the two men watching Jeff, Anderson, and Philip.

*****

When the table beside them had emptied and was ready for new customers, the two men who had been watching from the bar occupied it. Moments later, two men joined them.

Anderson sipped his vodka. "This place is busy."

Philip heaped a teaspoon with caviar and then placed it on a cucumber slice. "It sure is, and I predict it's about to get busier."

Jeff's napkin slipped to the floor. He bent to get it and lingered as he studied the men. When he sat upright, he nodded. "At least two are carrying and have backups," he mouthed.

Anderson nodded in acknowledgement.






*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father


Author Notes Thank you Google Images for the lovely artwork of a Russian Tea Room. I promise excitement is on it's way, things start happening in my next post. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.

Munchkins invade my world tomorrow. LOL


Chapter 43
Chapter Dreizehn part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

When the table beside them had emptied and was ready for new customers; the two men who had been watching from the bar occupied it. Moments later, two men joined them.

Anderson sipped his vodka. "This place is busy."

Philip heaped a teaspoon with caviar and then placed it on a cucumber slice. "It sure is, and I predict it's about to get busier."

Jeff's napkin slipped to the floor. He bent to get it and lingered as he studied the men. When he sat upright, he nodded. "At least two are carrying and have backups," he mouthed.

Anderson nodded in acknowledgement.



TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 13 part 3

As Maxim set the dinner plates in front of Anderson, Philip, and Jeff, another man joined the four sitting at the next table.

"Thank you. Everything looks good." Anderson grinned. "I can't wait to begin."

"May I bring you anything else? Maybe more Beluga Gold Line?" asked Maxim.

"Thank you, but we're good," answered Philip. After Maxim left, he said, "I guess he didn't notice we haven't finished our first vodkas."

"I hope not." Jeff sipped his. "I wouldn't mind another pitcher of water, but it'd look suspicious."

Philip's eyes met Anderson's. "Any idea what happens next?"

"I figure nothing until we leave." Anderson cut his Arctic char and took a bite. "This is really good."

"Until then, we enjoy our meal," replied Philip.

After chewing, Jeff said, "This rib eye's really good."

"I can't believe you ordered steak. You don't get these choices just anywhere." Philip cut into his salmon.

"I'm a country boy, through and through. You two have forgotten your Texas roots, and Anderson, you own a huge ranch in Texas." Jeff shook his head. "You can't beat beef."

*****
After they finished the meal, Maxim removed the plates. "Would you like dessert or are you ready for the check?"

Anderson glanced at his friends, after they nodded, he said, "I need seven tiramisus delivered to my penthouse tomorrow late afternoon." He thought a moment. "Around five o'clock."

"Sir, I'm sorry, but we don't deliver."

"I'm sure, for the correct amount of money, you will." Anderson removed his fossil coral and blue topaz money clip and held it exposing cash. "I'm willing to pay. Please check with the manager." He watched Maxim complete his right-angle turn.

Philip's eyebrows rose. "What are you doing? You want to get robbed?"

"If the mountain won't come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain. Right?" Jeff took a drink of water.

"That's correct." Anderson set the money clip on the table. "I'm forcing Ivan Kuznetsov to deal with me."

"Are you sure that's a good idea?" asked Philip as he motioned toward the five men watching from the next table.

"You know I'm proactive instead of reactive." Anderson grinned as he watched Maxim head toward the table. "I'm sure he brings good news."

"We'll be happy to have seven tiramisus delivered to your penthouse tomorrow late afternoon. Is there anything else?" Maxim paused and waited for a response.

"Won't you need an address?" asked Philip.

"My manager says he knows where Mr. Sharp lives." Maxim placed in front of Anderson a black, leather envelope.

"I knew he would." Anderson touched the envelope. "I'll have this ready for you immediately." He picked up the clip. "My mother gave this to me." He counted eight hundred dollar bills and handed them to Maxim. "Oh, what the heck." He gave him two more. He glanced at his two friends. "Ready?"

The three men stood. As they pushed in their chairs, Anderson nodded at the table where the five men were seated. "Enjoy your meal. The food's great."

At the door, the gentleman dressed in a long, red coat and tall, black hat smiled as he held the door. "Thank you for coming and have a nice evening."

All three men nodded. On the sidewalk, Philip asked, "You definitely put on a show. How long do you think it'll be before we're followed?"

"Immediately, we won't even make it to our car." Anderson placed his hand on his concealed weapon.

Jeff glanced over his shoulder. "You got that right. They're right on schedule. How much time do you want to give them?"

"None. One, two, three," Anderson said in a low voice, as they turned in unison and pointed their weapons at the five men.







*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for the money clip artwork. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.

First graders arrived Monday. LOL Tuesday we will get additional children. They're evacuees from Harvey. I'm sure they will need lots of love and understanding. I'm sure many of you had added this situation to your prayers, please continue.


Chapter 44
Chapter Dreizehn part vier

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

A gentleman dressed in a long, red coat and tall, black hat smiled as he held the door. "Thank you for coming and have a nice evening."

All three men nodded. On the sidewalk, Philip asked, "You definitely put on a show. How long do you think it'll be before we're followed?"

"Immediately. We won't even make it to our car." Anderson placed his hand on his concealed weapon.

Jeff glanced over his shoulder. "You got that right. They're right on schedule. How much time do you want to give them?"

"None. One, two, three," Anderson said in a low voice, as they turned in unison and pointed their weapons at the five men.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 13 part 4

"Hands up!" ordered Jeff. "Philip, gather their weapons. Check for hidden ones."

Anderson and Jeff kept guns aimed at the five men as Philip searched them. When Philip bent to check the last man for an ankle weapon, the man attempted to grab Philip's gun. Philip jerked up his elbow and hit the man in the groin. As the man doubled up in pain, he smashed his forearm into the man's nose. The man grabbed both body parts as blood streamed down his face.

"Let's go. I need to talk to your boss." Anderson nodded toward the restaurant. "Move!" he yelled.

Jeff hit one of the original two men's shoulder. "You heard him. Move!"

At the Anastasiya's Tea Room's door, the man dressed in the long, red jacket and black top hat stared at them. "You can't come in."

"You'd better tell Kuznetsov to come out to the sidewalk to talk with us. We're not leaving until we meet." Anderson's eyes met his.

When the greeter stood and glared at them, Anderson shoved the shortest man past him. "Bleed in here." He turned. "We'll wait inside."

A hostess gave the man with the bloody nose a towel. "I'll get some ice."

As he pressed it against his nose, he pointed at Philip. "That moron broke my freaking nose. I need a doctor."

A few moments later, Kuznetsov entered and said with a heavy Russian accent, "Gentlemen, there's no need for guns. We're all friends." He glanced around the dining room at the staring customers. "Let's go into my office."

Jeff nodded at Anderson before he said, "We won't be going anywhere with you. We can do business right here in the open."

"A friend of ours has documentation that states her family owns 'Winter-Traum' by Bruno Schmidt," interrupted Anderson. "This painting was stolen during Kristallnacht; the night of November 9th, 1938. It's in the Art Museum and you own it. My friend's family would like the painting returned."

"I'm sorry for this misunderstanding, but I own the painting. I didn't steal it from anybody."

"I know you have possession of the painting. I'm not accusing you of stealing it. Your ancestors may have stolen from the Nazis when Russia overtook Berlin or you may have purchased it. Either way, the painting was stolen."

"I believe your friend's ancestors sold it. Your friend would not know that, would she?"

"There's a paper trail that indicates that artwork was stolen that night. You or your family may have bought it. If you purchased it and have a valid receipt, I'm willing to refund your money plus extra. I feel that's more than fair, especially since you bought stolen merchandise. Either way, I want the painting returned."

"My lawyer will contact you with the receipt." When Kuznetsov turned to leave, he motioned for his men to follow.

Anderson whispered, "Let's go."

As the three men headed toward the door, Jeff saluted the customers. "Show's over. Enjoy the rest of your dinner."

On the sidewalk, Philip asked, "Think we're going to be followed?"

"I doubt it, but be ready for anything." Anderson entered the code that unlocked the car door.

Jeff smiled. "That was fun." As he sat in the backseat he asked, "How much you willing to pay to get Shana's painting back?"



*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for the doorman at an upscale restaurant. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.

As hurricane Irma ravishes our East coast, please continue to pray. It seems Jose is right behind. The islands in the Atlantic Ocean are devastated.


Chapter 45
Chapter Vierzehn part eins

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

As the three men headed toward the door, Jeff saluted the customers. "Show's over. Enjoy the rest of your dinner."

On the sidewalk, Philip asked, "Think we're going to be followed?"

"I doubt it, but be ready for anything." Anderson entered the code that unlocked the car door.

Jeff smiled. "That was fun." As he sat in the backseat he asked, "How much you willing to pay to get Shana's painting back?"

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 14 part 1

Philip and Anderson dropped Jeff at his house and then went home. As the elevator door opened, Shana ran to them. "You're safe!" She released a deep breath.

"I guess you were worried." Anderson grinned.

"Maybe a little. Tell me everything. What happened?"

"Nothing happened. Kuznetsov agreed to have his lawyer contact me with a receipt verifying he bought the artwork. Now we wait." Anderson removed his sports jacket.

"But how could he have purchased it? My family didn't sell it." Before Anderson could answer, she asked, "Did Kuznetsov come to your table and greet you?"

"One question at a time." After a short pause, he said, "We enticed him to talk with us." His eyes met Philip's. "There's a lady in California who recently had looted artwork returned. In the morning, find out who her lawyers were. If they're not licensed to practice in New York, see if they can recommend somebody. I doubt Isaiah or the corporate lawyers would be the best for this issue."

"I agree, since he specializes in divorce and custody and they in business deals. I'll do it first thing in the morning. I forgot to mention Isaiah contacted the police department and CPS on the other matter and is waiting for their answer."

Anderson faced Shana. "As for your other question, I don't know how he has a receipt. We'll have to wait and see what he produces. Right now, I think I'll get some sleep." He grinned. "I'm sure you must be tired. Searching for buried treasure had to be hard work."

"I'll see you at breakfast." Shana headed to her room. "I doubt I'll get much sleep."

*****
Everybody was already seated at the dining room table when Shana entered. "I'm sorry. I had a restless night." She glanced at Jane. "Next time, please wake me."

"Don't worry about it. I can always put a plate back." Helen winked at her.

"Aunt Jane says children need to stay on schedule. I don't know what she's talking about. Mommy let me stay up as late as I wanted and sleep all day." Emily shook her head. "Maybe she needs to set up a schedule for you too."

"I think you could be right." Shana accepted the fruit bowl passed to her.

Philip glanced at his watch. "I found the name and number of the lady in California. In a few hours, I'll call."

Anderson nodded. "It'll be interesting to see what Kuznetsov comes up with for a receipt." He paused. "Before I forget, dessert will be delivered around five o'clock."

Helen nodded. "Okay. What is it?"

"Tiramisu."

Philip sipped his coffee and added more cream as he ignored the dessert conversation. "Kuznetsov could have no knowledge that the painting was stolen. He might've purchased it legally."

"But it belongs to my family. If that's true, do I still have a claim?" Shana set her fork by her plate.

"Probably. It's illegal to buy stolen goods." Anderson paused and then continued, "Emily, quit playing or you'll spill your milk."

"Can Aunt Helen put some chocolate in it? It tastes like milk. Mommy let me have strawberry milk."

"Try it first." Helen paused. "If you don't like it, I'll see if I can find some chocolate."

She sipped the milk and set it down. "Please can I have some chocolate, now?" Emily's eyes met Helen's.

Shana studied her plate and attempted to hide her smile.

Helen picked up Emily's glass. "I'll be right back."

Anderson watched Helen and shook his head. "White milk is fine." Emily pouted as he continued, "That's why I want to hire an attorney who specializes in these types of situations."

"I can't afford a specialized attorney or any for that matter." Shana's eyes met his.

"I understand, but I can, so let me help. Philip will take care of contacting one and then we'll go from there."





*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a glass of chocolate milk. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.

Again, as I posted I made changes. I hope I didn't make more mistakes. I've read this dozens of times and still find errors.


Chapter 46
Chapter Vierzehn part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Anderson watched Helen and shook his head. "White milk is fine." Emily pouted as he continued, "That's why I want to hire an attorney who specializes in these types of situations."

"I can't afford a specialized attorney or any for that matter." Shana's eyes met his.

"I understand, but I can, so let me help. Philip will take care of contacting one and then we'll go from there."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 14 part 2

Helen placed a glass of chocolate milk in front of Emily. "Sorry it took so long. The caterer called and had some questions about Friday's dinner."

Anderson's eyebrows rose. "What's special about Friday? Why do we need a caterer?"

"I guess you forgot you're hosting a dinner party."

"Is that this week? I thought it was toward the end of next month." Anderson frowned. "Is there any way to cancel it?"

"No, we've already sent out invitations, and they've been accepted," Jane answered. "You've already come to the end of the polite time-frame for hosting dinner parties."

"Are you saying if I never attend dinner parties, then I'll never have to host one?" Anderson's eyes widened. "So that's the secret I've been missing."

"You're hopeless when it comes to these things. I know your momma and I know she raised you better than that." Jane shook her head. "Helen and I took care of everything. All you need to do is attend."

"And pay for them," interjected Philip. "How many people are coming?"

"Seven couples, but you know they always bring an extra friend or two to meet Drew. I've made arrangements for almost thirty people; just in case. I'd rather have too much than not enough."

"Mommy had parties but I don't think they were called dinner parties," interrupted Emily. "Can I attend?" She smiled and tilted her head. "Can I have a new dress for it?"

"Emily, you'll make an appearance during dinner and, yes, I've already bought you a dress. It should be delivered tomorrow afternoon. You can try it on then." Jane took a drink of orange juice. "Shana, I took the liberty of ordering you a dress too. It'll arrive Thursday. I hope you like it."

"I'm sure it'll be beautiful, but just because I'm staying here doesn't mean I have to be included in private functions." Shana studied her plate before she continued, "I'm not part of your crowd." She looked at Anderson.

Anderson set down his fork. "I don't belong to any crowd. Because of the nature of work, I'm forced." He hesitated. "Yes, forced is the correct word, to attend functions that I find boring or, to be honest, absolutely ridiculous. I don't like playing these pompous games." He buttered a biscuit. "That being said, I'd like you to attend. My hope is you'll have dinner with us." He glanced at Helen. "What am I serving?"

"Do you want the entire menu or the short version?" asked Helen.

Anderson glared at her.

"The short version is I've hired a caterer who'll provide a six course meal. The main course is lobster and prime rib."

"Will there be dessert?" Emily's eyes widened. "I like chocolate cake." She tilted her head. "Cupcakes are especially good."

"I chose a banana split bombe. I think it'll be perfect and fun since it's summer." Helen bit her lower lip.

"Is it ice cream?" asked Emily.

"I think it'll have ice cream, right?" Shana glanced toward Helen.

She nodded, "Yes," and noticed Anderson finished his coffee. "Would you like more?"

"Thank you." He moved his cup closer to Helen. "I'll finish this and then I need to go into the office for a few hours. Philip, can you continue with the things we discussed?" He took a drink. "It seems everything's on hold. This waiting is getting old fast. I want to move forward."

Philip looked at his ringing cell. "Maybe this will help. It's CPS." He went into another room to take the call.

"What's CPS?" asked Emily.

"It's a grown-up organization that children don't need to worry about." Anderson gulped his coffee and stood.

Shana and Jane's eyes widened. Jane asked, "Are you sure that's all?"

Anderson nodded as he left the room.

*****
When Philip hung up, he frowned. "It seems CPS has made four home visits and has an open case against Patricia."

Anderson stood beside Philip. "When were they going to contact me? I'll pay them a visit on my way home. Be sure to let Isaiah know."








*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a photograph of a banana split bombe. I ended up making banana pudding because of this post. LOL I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.

Again, I made corrections as I posted. I hope it's correct now.




Chapter 47
Chapter Vierzehn part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

When Philip hung up, he frowned. "It seems CPS has made four home visits and has an open case against Patricia."

Anderson stood beside Philip. "When were they going to contact me? I'll pay them a visit on my way home. Be sure to let Isaiah know."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 14 part 3

Later that afternoon, Anderson entered the penthouse unnoticed. He went directly to his den, sat behind his desk, and stared at a photo of Emily. I have to get my child away from Patricia at all costs.

Philip stood at the door. "I didn't know you were back."

"I've only been here a few minutes." Anderson glanced at his watch. "Maybe ten at the most."

"Is everybody happy with how things went in DC?"

"I think so. At least no major complaints."

"Then what's wrong?"

"I spoke with Doreen Rollins; the polices' CPS contact. I wanted to understand why I wasn't notified that my daughter's living conditions weren't satisfactory."

"What were their reasons?"

"A pile of political red-tape."

"Then you're going to really enjoy this." Anderson's stare told him he'd better continue. "I got a call from a Mr. Harry Pitts, Patricia's landlord. She owes three months back rent. A total of six thousand dollars. When he was ready to evict her, she told him you were good for the money."

"Contact Mr. Pitts and tell him, I refuse to pay that bitch's bills and he needs to evict her ass. Or better yet, give me the satisfaction of doing it." Anderson picked up his phone. "What's his number?"

After giving Anderson the number, Philip left to make phone calls.

Anderson relayed his message to Mr. Pitts in terms he would understand. Then he placed a call to Isaiah and urged him to rush the custody hearing.

It wasn't long before Philip returned. "Emily's close to wanting her dad's attention. Are you almost finished in here?"

"Pretty much. Isaiah's contacting Patricia's lawyer, and then he'll call back. I've asked him to move forward with the custody case. I see no reason to stall. We have more than enough evidence to prove that Patricia is an unfit mother."

"Are you going to allow her visitation?"

"My initial response is 'no way'." Anderson ran his fingers through his short hair. "But Emily'll want to see her mom."

"How will Emily feel if she's supposed to see Patricia and she's a no-show?" Philip sat in front of the desk.

"I thought about that, too. What if I add a clause that says something like three no-shows during a six month period causes Patricia to void her visitation rights? I think that would work."

"I'd add something like, two consecutive no-shows voids her rights." Philip laughed. "Are you requesting child support?"

"I should just out of spite. I'm going to forgo alimony."

"The court didn't order it anyway. You just did it."

"I didn't want Emily to suffer, but it didn't help." Anderson tapped the desk a few times. "Patricia only took care of Patricia."

"I don't understand why she wanted a child to start with. In today's world birth control is easy to use."

"Perception. With Patricia it's all about perception. In a perfect world, you get married and start a family. All she wanted to do was party. She expected a nanny to raise Emily. I guess, she never expected me to get fed up with her nonsense and file for divorce. That wasn't part of her perfect world. When it came to Emily," Anderson paused, "it would have looked bad for her to lose custody. So she begged, and I stupidly allowed it. I thought she would get her act together and become a mother. I was wrong. I'll never fall for a trophy wife again."

Philip glanced at his ringing phone. "Sorry, it's Isaiah."

Anderson waited until Philip finished. "Well, what did he say?"

"It wasn't about Patricia. I'd ask him to check on Maxwell Gaines."

"Who's that?"

"Remember my call to California?" After Anderson nodded, Philip continued, "The lawyer they used has some health issues. He recommended Gaines. I had Isaiah check his references. He's good. It sounds as if Kuznetsov may have met his match."

"Good. Set up an appointment for this week, tomorrow, if possible. I plan on working from home so any time is good."

Emily ran into the room. "Daddy, are you done with your work? Can you play with me?"

"Sure can. What would you like to do?"









*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to get painting back

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for a few facts from New York. I chose this artwork because I am a gigantic child advocate. I fail to understand why some children are born into hopeless situations and I pray daily for these children. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.

I know I'm forgetting something. LOL I just have that feeling.




Chapter 48
Chapter Funfzehn part eine

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Remember my call to California?" After Anderson nodded, Philip continued, "The lawyer they used has some health issues. He recommended Gaines. I had Isaiah check his references. He's good. It sounds as if Kuznetsov may have met his match."

"Good. Set up an appointment for this week, tomorrow, if possible. I plan on working from home so any time is good."

Emily ran into the room. "Daddy, are you done with your work? Can you play with me?"

"Sure can. What would you like to do?"


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 15 part 1

After lunch the following day, Emily sat by the elevator door. "Aunt Jane, you said my party dress would be delivered this afternoon. I ate lunch so it's this afternoon, and it's not here."

"You need to be patient. Let's go to your room, and I'll read you a story. Time will go faster." Jane held out her hand.

"Can Ms. Shana come too and help read?" Emily's eyes twinkled.

Shana smiled. "Of course, I can."

The three ladies and two dogs headed toward Emily's room. Axel stood guard by the elevator.

Moments later, Philip stepped into Emily's room holding a wrapped package. "I bet this is what you've been waiting for."

Emily leaped from her bed and took it from him. "My party dress! Did it come with shoes?"

"Let me help you open it," offered Jane.

As the blue polka-dotted dress was lifted from the box, Emily tilted her head.

"Is something wrong?" asked Shana.

"I expected a party dress like Mommy wears."

"Try it on. I think you'll look cute in it." Jane held it up to her.

After Emily changed, she posed in the mirror. "I look cute. I don't want to look cute. I want to look glamorous." Her hands were on her hips.

"Emily Nicole Sharp, you're five years old." Jane frowned.

"Jane, why don't you see if Helen needs help?" Shana nodded toward the door.

As Jane walked by the den, Anderson asked, "How does Emily like her dress?"

"She doesn't. It isn't glamorous enough. She wants a party dress like Patricia wears."

Anderson stood. "I won't have my daughter dressing like a...like a.... I'll take care of this."

"Sit down," said Jane. "Shana's talking with her. I think, or at least hope, this will have a happy ending."

"I'm not sure Shana's had experience with headstrong young girls."

"True, but I'm sure she won't be in favor of Emily looking like a hoochie-momma either."

Anderson nodded and sat. "I'll wait for the outcome then decide what I'm going to do."

Later that afternoon, Anderson noticed Shana in the hallway and motioned for her to come in. "Did you have success with Emily?"

Shana sat beside Anderson's desk. "I'm not sure it's my place to say anything, but..."

"But what?" interrupted Anderson. "Please continue."

She placed both hands on his desk. "I guess I'll start at the beginning so you understand the context of what she said. Emily and I discussed different types of clothing people wear. Then I addressed different types of clothes that are appropriate for certain events."

"So far, I'd say it went okay."

"I decided to see how Emily wanted to be treated. Of course, she wanted to be treated nicely." After she studied her hands for a few moments, she continued, "I made the mistake of assuming that Patricia's male friends treated her well."

"I'm afraid I know where this might be leading."

"You're probably correct. Emily has witnessed her mom being verbally and physically abused, on more than one occasion." Shana blew out a deep breath. "I know it's none of my business, but you might want to have her speak with a counselor." She hesitated before she continued, "She's witnessed situations no young child should have seen."

Anderson buzzed Philip.

"I asked if she noticed how you treat her and women. She mentioned how you open doors and are polite. I told her in order to attract men like that she needs to respect herself and one way to do that is by the way she dresses. I then discussed how acting in certain ways helps in how you want to be treated."

When Philip entered, Anderson motioned for him to sit. "Emily has witnessed Patricia being abused. Call her pediatrician and set up an appointment. We'll get a counselling referral from him. I'm not sure how long ago she saw him, anyway."

Shana stood. "I hope I haven't crossed any boundaries. Bottom line is, Emily will be happy to wear the dress Jane bought for her and the included shoes, but she wanted heels."

"Thank you." Anderson stood. "I'm glad she felt comfortable enough to talk with you. Where is she now?"

"She's in her room and really wants to go to the park."

"I'll get a hold of Jeff and see if we can't make that happen." Anderson glanced at his ringing cell. "Philip, this is Patricia. Will you see if Jeff can help take Emily to the park? I'll be right there. This shouldn't take long."





*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to get painting back

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a little girl's party dress. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.

This post DOES have valuable information that will be needed later on.






Chapter 49
Chapter Funfzehn part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Shana stood. "I hope I haven't crossed any boundaries. Bottom line is, Emily will be happy to wear the dress Jane bought for her and the included shoes, but she wanted heels."

"Thank you." Anderson stood. "I'm glad she felt comfortable enough to talk with you. Where is she now?"

"She's in her room and really wants to go to the park."

"I'll get a hold of Jeff and see if we can't make that happen." Anderson glanced at his ringing cell. "Philip, this is Patricia. Will you see if Jeff can help take Emily to the park? I'll be right there. This shouldn't take long."

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 15 part 2

"Patricia, you're in the Fiji Islands. I thought you were on vacation. What do you want? I don't have much time. Emily and I are on the way to the park." Anderson's fingers rapped on the desk.

Philip entered and whispered, "Jeff will be ready in about fifteen minutes."

Anderson motioned for him to shut the door, waited, and then put the phone on speaker.

"How dare you not pay my rent," yelled Patricia. "My landlord is talking eviction. Where do you expect me and my child to live? I refuse to move back into that stuffy apartment with you."

"I give you twenty thousand dollars each month on top of twelve thousand dollars child support. You're telling me you can't live within a budget of thirty two thousand dollars a month, but can afford a vacation to Fiji?" Anderson attempted to remain calm, but got louder as he continued, "I am NOT going to pay your rent on top of what I already give you."

"What do you expect me to do?"

"I guess what most people do. Get a job and support yourself."

"You expect me to work? If I have a job, how will I take care of my child? I won't have my child raised by babysitters or day care, like common people. I'll never make enough money for a live-in Nanny. Besides my apartment is too small for live in help. I need more money."

Anderson began pacing. Stay calm. Don't let her get to you. Don't play your hand. He took in a deep breath. "Emily will begin school in August."

"My former divorce lawyer has also been trying to contact me. Do you know what that's about?" Patricia paused. "You waited for me to go on vacation, the only time I'm not slaving to take care of your child, to cause trouble. You never wanted me to have any fun, did you?"

"All I wanted was for you to act like an adult and a mother."

Philip winced at that statement and whispered, "Ouch."

Anderson turned his back to his buddy. "I guess maybe you need to see what your lawyer wants."

"He's my former lawyer. I don't have enough money to retain him. I'll need money to pay him and money to return to New York. My ticket was only for one way. I wasn't born with a silver spoon, like you."

Emily opened the door and ran into the room. "Daddy, Jeff says he's ready for the park."

"I guess you'll need to find a job in Fiji. I need to go. Good-bye."

"I want to talk to my daughter."

Anderson hung up.

"Was that Mommy on the phone? I want to tell her about my beautiful dress and how much fun I'm having."

"Mommy's really angry right now. I'll have Jane help you call her later and take a picture of you in the dress to send to her. Right now, let's go to the park."

"Okay." Emily took her daddy's offered hand. "Mommy's not very nice when she's angry. I'll wait."

As they got ready to leave, Emily stalled. "What about Ms. Shana? She needs to go to the park too."

Anderson knelt to Emily's level. "Ms. Shana isn't able to come with us."

Shana was sitting on the patio.

Emily ran to her and took her hand. "Don't you want to go to the park with me?" She pouted.

"Sweetheart, of course, I want to go. It sounds like so much fun." Shana held up King Lear. "Come August, I'll need to teach my students about King Lear. I need to learn about him so I can do that. While you're having fun, I'll be studying." She smiled. "Don't have too much fun because when you return, I'll be ready for having fun."

"I won't. I'll save some fun for you." Emily hugged her.







*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to get painting back

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a 'King Lear' joke. I couldn't help myself. The stinker in me came out. My boys got it honestly. LOL I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.




Chapter 50
Chapter Funfzehn part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

As they got ready to leave, Emily stalled. "What about Ms. Shana? She needs to go to the park too."

Anderson knelt to Emily's level. "Ms. Shana isn't able to come with us."

Shana was sitting on the patio.

Emily ran to her and took her hand. "Don't you want to go to the park with me?" She pouted.

"Sweetheart, of course, I want to go. It sounds like so much fun." Shana held up King Lear. "Come August, I'll need to teach my students about King Lear. I need to learn about him so I can do that. While you're having fun, I'll be studying." She smiled. "Don't have too much fun because when you return, I'll be ready for having fun."

"I won't. I'll save some fun for you." Emily hugged her.



TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 15 part 3

As Anderson opened the car door, Emily paused before entering. "Daddy, I'm happy Uncle Philip and Uncle Jeff are going with us. Uncle Philip only comes when you have work to do, and Uncle Jeff never does. What's going on?"

Philip raised an eyebrow and waited for Anderson's answer.

"Both men have been inside for such a long time I felt they needed some sunshine. They were getting grumpy." Anderson motioned for Emily to get in as she giggled.

"That's right, Emily. I need some sunshine. Can I sit by you?" asked Jeff.

"Sure. Do you like to swing?"

"Swinging is my favorite. Think I'm too big for the slide?"

She tilted her head. "Maybe." With a smile, she leaned over and whispered, "Think we can talk Daddy into some ice cream?"

Jeff winked. "I can't, but I bet you can."

"I heard that." Anderson pretended to annoyance by crunching his eyebrows together.

At the park, Jeff and Philip scanned the area and nodded toward Anderson as he held the car door for Emily. She looked up at him. "Something's wrong, isn't it?"

"Why would you say that, sweetheart?"

"I've watched movies and TV. They're acting like bodyguards."

"Didn't Mommy help you choose what to watch?"

"She told me what we were watching."

Anderson made a fist.

Philip whispered in his ear. "Not in front of Emily."

Jeff nodded his head to the left. "Company just drove up."

"Emily, why don't you swing?" After she went toward the swings, Anderson whispered, "As long as they stay in the car, we're fine." He set his jaw. "Certainly, Kuznetsov wouldn't order a hit on an innocent child."

"We'll watch for weapons." Philip moved so he could get a better look at the black sedan.

"I could have a friendly chat with them," offered Jeff.

"I'm going to play with my daughter." Anderson walked toward her. "It's not fair to keep her indoors all summer."

*****

Just before dinner, Emily ran up to Shana. "Did you miss me?"

"I sure did." Shana set a bookmark in place and set the book aside. "What did you do?"

"I swung so high, I felt like I was flying."

"I used to do that when I was little." Shana smiled. "Did you do anything else?"

"I went down the slide a whole bunch. It was hot on my legs, but it was still fun." Emily whispered into Shana's ear. "Daddy bought us ice cream from a truck. I promised not to tell Aunt Jane or Aunt Helen. He had some too." She giggled. "It was really good."

Shana put her finger to her lips. "Your secret is safe with me. Did your daddy have fun?"

Emily frowned. "He was too worried about some men sitting in a car. I don't know why he didn't invite them to play with us."

"Oh!" Shana's eyes widened and looked up as Anderson entered. "Is everything all right?"

"Yes." He touched Emily's arm. "Why don't you wash up for dinner? I'm sure it's almost ready."

After Emily went toward her room, Anderson continued, "I'm glad you stayed here."

"Do you think they'll attempt to hurt Emily?" Shana chewed on her lower lip. Before Anderson could answer, she added, "I'd better leave. I don't want my presence putting anybody in danger, especially Emily."

He stepped closer and knelt so his eyes met hers. "I promise I won't let anything happen to anyone I care about."



*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to get painting back

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a New York City ice cream truck. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.


Chapter 51
Chapter Sechzehn part eins

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

After Emily went toward her room, Anderson continued, "I'm glad you stayed here."

"Do you think they'll attempt to hurt Emily?" Shana chewed on her lower lip. Before Anderson could answer, she added, "I'd better leave. I don't want my presence putting anybody in danger, especially Emily."

He stepped closer and knelt so his eyes met hers. "I promise I won't let anything happen to anyone I care about."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 16 part 1


The following morning, Emily ran onto the patio for breakfast yelling, "Ms. Shana, has your party dress come yet?"

Jane pointed her finger at Emily. "No yelling or running in the house. Nothing is ever delivered until after lunch, you know that?"

Emily sat beside Shana. "I bet you can't wait to see your party dress. I hope it's pretty blue like mine. Aunt Jane, what color is Ms. Shana's dress?"

Anderson entered. "I see we're already discussing party dresses." He leaned over and kissed Emily on top of her head. "Good morning, pumpkin."

"Daddy, I'm not a pumpkin, I'm a little girl." She giggled.

"Could've fooled me."

"Drew, I forgot to mention this earlier, but tomorrow around five o'clock, personnel from my salon will arrive and do our hair, nails, and make-up."

"I can't wait," squealed Emily. "It sounds like fun."

"I figured we wouldn't be able to go there," continued Jane.

Anderson motioned toward Emily. "And her?"

"She'll have her hair done in a little girl style. I think her ends are in need of a trim. I'll see to it that she has an appropriate nail color for a five-year-old." Jane smiled.

"I want fire engine red." Emily held up her hands and examined them.

"You'll get a soft pink or nothing." Jane frowned.

"What will Ms. Shana get?"

"I'm...I've never..." Shana looked to Jane. "I rarely wear nail polish or make-up." She touched her shoulder length dark, brown hair. "It just sits here."

"You're beautiful the way you are, sweetheart. Don't you agree, Drew?" Jane glanced at Anderson.

"I, ah, agr, just remembered I need to make a phone call." Anderson left the room.

"Why did Daddy get up and leave without eating breakfast?"

"He'll be back shortly." Helen set a platter of waffles on the table. "You should like this breakfast, child." She faced Jane. "You shouldn't tease him so." She laughed. "But it was fun, wasn't it?"

Jane nodded and her eyes twinkled.

Philip stood in the doorway. "Why did Drew rush out of here like the room's on fire? I have something to discuss with him." He sighed as he looked at Helen and Jane. "What are you two up to now?"

"Nothing. We were just discussing make-up and nail polish." Jane sipped her coffee.

"Aunt Jane won't let me have fire engine red polish. She's mean." Emily pouted.

"I have a feeling there's more to it than nail polish, but I'll leave it there." Philip walked over and poured himself some coffee.

Halfway through breakfast, Anderson returned.

"Daddy, you almost missed the best breakfast Aunt Helen has ever cooked."

"Please pass the waffles." Anderson avoided looking at Shana. "Helen always fixes good food."

"Drew, I received a voice-mail from a Maxwell Gaines. You know that lawyer who comes highly recommended for our situation. He wants to know when we can meet."

"Set up something as soon as possible." He took a deep breath. "Shana, I'm sure you'll want to sit in on that meeting, correct? When would be a good time?"

She nodded. "Yes, sir." She put both hands out. "My calendar is completely free." She faced Emily. "I guess I should check with my social adviser."

Emily giggled.

"After breakfast, I'll see when he's free." Philip sipped his coffee.

"Try to push for later this afternoon. I expect news from Kuznetsov sometime today. I doubt he'll risk delaying it." Anderson took a bite. "Helen, I think Emily's right. These are great waffles. Did you do something different?"

Anderson and Philip stood as they heard the elevator door open. In walked Jeff and he held a large manila envelope. "Guess who this is from?"





*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to get painting back

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a mailing envelope. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.

I pray everybody has a safe Halloween.


Chapter 52
Chapter Sechzehn part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Drew, I received a voice-mail from a Maxwell Gaines. He's the lawyer who comes highly recommended for our situation. He wants to know when we can meet."

"Set up something as soon as possible." He took a deep breath. "Shana, I'm sure you'll want to sit in on that meeting, correct? When would be a good time?"

She nodded. "Yes, sir." She put both hands out. "My calendar is completely free." She faced Emily. "I guess I should check with my social adviser."

Emily giggled.

"After breakfast, I'll see when he's free." Philip sipped his coffee.

"Try to push for later this afternoon. I expect news from Kuznetsov sometime today. I doubt he'll risk delaying it." Anderson took a bite. "Helen, I think Emily's right. These are great waffles. Did you do something different?"

Anderson and Philip stood as they heard the elevator door open. In walked Jeff and he held a large manila envelope. "Guess who this is from?"


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 16 part 2

Anderson grinned. "I bet it's from Kuznetsov and it's the receipt." He accepted the envelope.

"You're correct. The carrier wanted to deliver it himself, but I assured him I'd make sure you got it." Jeff poured himself a cup of coffee. "I'll bring the cup back later." He held it up for Helen to see. "I need to get back to work." He left.

Waving the envelope in the air, Anderson said, "Shana, I bet you can't wait to see it?"

"You're right." She followed the two men to the den.

Philip closed the door behind her. "Okay, let's see this."

Anderson studied it. "It says he bought the painting at an auction in Dorotheum, Austria in 1995 for a quarter of million dollars."

"I know what my next phone call will be addressing." Philip took the receipt. "I'll make a copy." After he finished, he handed it to Shana and left the room.

She studied it for a few moments. "What does this mean? How can it be? My family didn't sell the painting. I'm positive."

"To be honest, I have no idea. We'll let the lawyer lead us. I'm hoping to meet with him later this afternoon. Philip will let us know the time."

Moments later, Philip returned with this laptop. "Check this out." He pointed to the screen. "Although, Dorotheum is huge in art auctions, according to this, they never auctioned that painting." He glanced at his watch and did math on his fingers. "It's afternoon in Austria. I'll call and see if I can get more information." He left.

"Interesting." Anderson pointed toward the door. "I could use more coffee. How about you?"

"Are you as confused as I am?" Shana led the way to the dining room.

He chuckled. "Probably not. In business, this happens often. Philip will research the sources. That's his expertise." He held her chair for her.

Jane smiled. "Well, fill us in."

"Exactly what we expected. A receipt, but we're not sure of its authenticity." Anderson refilled his cup. "Philip is making some phone calls."

"At this hour? It's pretty early." Helen set down her cup.

"Not in Europe. It's mid-afternoon." Anderson sat. "What time did you say tomorrow's event begins?"

Jane frowned. "Eight, and you can't be fashionably late for your own party. I had your charcoal gray pin-striped suit cleaned. It's hanging in the closet. I'm not sure what shirt you'll want. I think the blue one would look nice. Of course, white always looks classy."

"Thank you. I'll figure it out." He searched the table and then grinned. "Think I could have a glass of that chocolate milk myself?"

"See, Daddy, it's really good." Emily smiled.

Helen stood. "Chocolate milk for all?"

"I'll pass, but it sounds really good." Shana took a bite of fruit that had been left on her plate.

"Is milk kosher?" asked Jane.

"It's one of those tricky foods. We can drink it only if it comes from Rabbi approved cows."

"Would somebody tell me what kosher means? I keep hearing that word and nobody tells me anything." Emily frowned. "What's a Rabbi? Is it a type of rabbit?"

"Shana, I think this is your area." Helen's eyes met Shana's.

Shana looked at Anderson. "Should I?" After he nodded, she continued, "Kosher or Kasbrut are laws telling Jewish people what to eat and how to prepare food. It's a way of staying connected to God by being aware of every bite we put into our mouths."

Emily turned to Anderson. "Are we Jewish?"

"No."

"Why not?"

When the buzzer on the elevator sounded, all heads turned.

"Saved by the bell." Jane laughed.

Philip brought over a wrapped package. "Wonder what this could be?" He handed the package to Shana. "It's for you."




*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to get painting back

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for images that indicate what is kosher. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.

Sorry about last week. It's amazing how something as minor as a virus can make one feel so lousy. I'm glad they don't stick around long. It's one of the pitfalls of teaching first graders. LOL


Chapter 53
Chapter Sechzehn part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Shana looked at Anderson. "Should I?" After he nodded, she continued, "Kosher or Kasbrut are laws telling Jewish people what to eat and how to prepare food. It's a way of staying connected to God by being aware of every bite we put into our mouths."

Emily turned to Anderson. "Are we Jewish?"

"No."

"Why not?"

When the buzzer on the elevator sounded, all heads turned.

"Saved by the bell." Jane laughed.

Philip brought over a wrapped package. "Wonder what this could be?" He handed the package to Shana. "It's for you."



TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 16 part 3

"It's Shana's dress!" Emily rushed to Shana's side. "I know it is. Let me see. Hurry, open it."

Shana released a slow breath before she opened the box. She partially lifted up the navy blue dress and blinked several times. "Oh my! I've never seen such a pretty dress."

Jane stood behind her. "Keep looking. There should be something else." She moved the bottom of the dress and the paper layer. "I thought these would go nicely with it."

"No, this is too much." Shana covered her mouth. "I can't accept either of these. They're beautiful. You must send them back." She held up the strand of pearls. "I can't, really, I can't." Her eyes met Anderson's.

"I think you'll be the envy of every woman at the party. I think you should try it on."

Jane stood. "Come on. I'll help."

Shana and Jane left with Emily closely behind.

Shana went into her bathroom to change. When she opened the door, Emily ran to her. "Wow! You're gorgeous." She looked at Shana's bare feet and then turned toward Jane. "Is Miss Shana old enough to wear heels?"

Jane laughed. "Yes, my dear, she is. They should have arrived with the dress. I'll check." She removed her phone and dialed.

After a few moments, Jane said, "They'll be here shortly."

"It's not necessary. I'm sure I can find some that will work. I brought three pairs of shoes with me." Shana checked the closet and then closed the door. "I guess nothing really goes with this dress, but I don't want any more presents. I'll never be able to repay all your generosity. I'm only a high school English teacher."

"Drew wants to do it. Don't worry about it."

"I'm under the impression he wanted nothing to do with the dinner party."

"That part is true." Jane laughed. "But the dresses for Emily and for you, he was one hundred percent behind."

"I just don't want to get too far in debt to him or anyone."

"My dear, you aren't in debt to anybody around here. I mean it." Jane patted Shana's arm. "Now, go change. We have a busy day ahead. We need to make this place glow." She took Emily's hand. "Let's leave while Shana changes."

Shana looked at herself in the mirror while she put the pearls around her neck. Pearl earrings would look pretty with this. She touched her Star of David necklace. "I wonder what the protocol is for wearing this with pearls. I've never taken it off since Grandma gave it to me for my sixteenth birthday. That birthday changed my life. I learned what it truly meant to be Jewish." She turned at the sound of a knock on the door. "Yes."

Jane cracked the door open. "Philip finished his European call."

"Tell him I'll be right out." Shana rushed to the bathroom to change.

*****
When Shana entered the den both Anderson and Philip stood. Anderson pointed to a chair. "Please sit. Did the dress fit?"

"Yes, perfectly. It's beautiful. Thank you." A pink tinge crossed Shana's cheeks.

Philip grinned. "Are you ready to hear what the Dorotheum art auction house proprietor had to say?"

"Of course. Did he speak English?" Shana folded her hands in her lap.

"He did, surprisingly well, now I think about it." Philip rapped a drumroll on the arm of his chair. "I need to build this up."

Anderson chuckled. "It's nothing, isn't it? Just out with it." He paused. "If you had something, you wouldn't do all the hoopla."

"Correct. I spoke with Erich Berger. He said he never auctioned that painting. He's faxing the receipts to prove it. They'll have the buyers' names blocked out, but the names of the paintings, costs, and dates will be shown."

"How can he remember back to 1995?" Anderson re-examined the receipt.

"He was an assistant back then, but they've archived all the artwork sold since the 70's. He searched by buyer, didn't find anything, searched by painting's name, didn't find anything, and then searched by artist. He still didn't find any record. Since the receipt is dated October 18, 1995, he's faxing everything from September through November just to make sure."

Shana leaned back in her chair. "Now what?"

"We wait until ten o'clock tomorrow morning. The lawyer I hired will be here and we ask him," answered Anderson.







*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of what Shana's dress looks like. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.

I know this post is light on action. LOL But it's importance will be relevant later.

Please have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!!!!!


Chapter 54
Chapter Siebzehn part eins

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"How can he remember back to 1995?" Anderson re-examined the receipt.

"He was an assistant back then, but they've archived all the artwork sold since the 70's. He searched by buyer, didn't find anything, searched by painting's name, didn't find anything, and then searched by artist. He still didn't find any record. Since the receipt is dated October 18, 1995, he's faxing everything from September through November to make sure."

Shana leaned back in her chair. "Now what?"

"We wait until ten o'clock tomorrow morning. The lawyer I hired will be here and we ask him," answered Anderson.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 17 part 1

As Shana sat at the dining room table for breakfast, Emily ran into the room. "It's party day. I can't wait. Are the people here to do my nails?" Emily held up her hands for Shana to see.

"No, dear. They won't arrive until late this afternoon." Jane poured Emily a glass of milk. "You'll need to eat breakfast, and then lunch, rest, and have a light snack before it's close to nail time. Party time is quite a bit longer after all of that." She hesitated. "You know you won't be able to stay up much past dinner, don't you?"

"That's not fair." Emily pouted.

"What's not fair?" asked Anderson as he entered the room.

"Aunt Jane's making me go to bed after dinner tonight. I want to stay up until the party's over."

"That'll be way beyond your bedtime." Anderson held his cup for Helen to fill. "Am I providing music?"

Jane nodded. "Yes, you've hired a small band."

"Thought so, and will there be dancing?" Anderson sipped his coffee, glanced around the table, and pointed to the main breakfast entree. "What's that?"

"Breakfast pizza. I thought Emily would like it." Helen cut him a slice. "I have a fruit and granola pizza for Shana."

"Yes, somebody will be here right after lunch to set up the patio," interrupted Jane. "I'm planning on serving dinner in the dining room."

"Are you sure there's enough room? I don't like feeling like a sardine." Philip sat.

"The only thing on the table will be a few small flower arrangements with candles and the place settings. All the food will be served. This room and table will easily sit twenty."

"Have you any idea what the final count will be?" Anderson tapped his fingers.

"The seven couples I sent invitations are attending. That's fourteen plus the six of us makes twenty. I invited Jeff, but he declined."

"I'm sure he did." Philip chuckled.

"Jane, get to the bottom line, please." Anderson took another sip of coffee.

"I have made arrangements for thirty, just in case, and can easily add a few more." Jane bit her lower lip.

"So this could get out of control."

Helen quickly refreshed Anderson's coffee.

"This sounds like a lot of people. I have no problem staying in my room," offered Shana. "Really. I'll keep busy with my reading."

"I'm sorry." Anderson placed both hands on the table. "I didn't mean it like it sounded." He paused. "I really don't like dinner parties. There will be a lot of strangers in and out of my house. The caterers and their servers, the band, the set up and take down men, the bartenders, and I'm sure there will be people who I've forgotten or know nothing about."

"Don't forget the extra people the guests will bring to meet Drew. Jeff is already worried about extra security." Philip released a deep breath. "I'm in agreement with Drew on this one." He stood. "I'm going to get ready for our meeting with Mr. Gaines."

"Daddy, why don't you like dinner parties?"

Anderson looked at his daughter. "It's not that I don't like them, it's just that they're a pain." He stood. "I need to talk with Jeff. I don't like the idea of all these strangers in the house. We need to make sure they are who they're supposed to be."

"Drew's got a point." Jane looked at Shana. "We need a safe place for you to stay during the set up."

"I really feel I should help, but if it'll be easier, I'll stay in my room."

Anderson turned around. "Romeo will be by your side. Emily stays pretty close to you so Thor will be there. Axel will keep an eye on everything." He grinned. "He's good about that." After making a phone call, he added, "Jeff has added a female security guard to stay by you until all the set up is taken care of. She'll be here in about thirty minutes. A few security guards will be roaming around during the party." His eyes met Jane's. "Make sure they're fed."

Shana's shoulders slouched. "I'm causing way too much trouble."



*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*


Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a breakfast pizza. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion. Again, I made last minute changes. As I did a final edit, I felt some areas were rushed, so I attempted to slow it down.



Chapter 55
Chapter Siebzehn part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Daddy, why don't you like dinner parties?"

Anderson looked at his daughter. "It's not that I don't like them, it's just that they're a pain." He stood. "I need to talk with Jeff. I don't like the idea of all these strangers in the house. We need to make sure they are who they're supposed to be."

"Drew's got a point." Jane looked at Shana. "We need a safe place for you to stay during the set up."

"I really feel I should help, but if it'll be easier, I'll stay in my room."

Anderson turned around. "Romeo will be by your side. Emily stays pretty close to you so Thor will be there. Axel will keep an eye on everything." He grinned. "He's good about that." After making a phone call, he added, "Jeff has added a female security guard to stay by you until all the set up is taken care of. She'll be here in about thirty minutes. A few security guards will be roaming around during the party." His eyes met Jane's. "Make sure they're fed."

Shana's shoulders slouched. "I'm causing way too much trouble."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 17 part 2

Maxwell Gaines arrived just as Anderson's antique cuckoo clock chimed ten times.

Jane was asked to bring Shana to the den. Romeo and the security guard followed.

When Shana arrived at the den, Anderson walked to the door and whispered to security, "Ma'am, I'll have coffee brought in. Please help yourself. Jane will assist you." He faced Jane. "Please help our guest and ask Helen to bring some coffee." He cupped Shana's arm, shut the door, and led her to his desk. He motioned for her to sit. Romeo lay beside her.

After introductions were made, Philip updated Mr. Gaines and then showed him the original paperwork, the receipt, and the faxes that had arrived from Dorotheum.

Helen brought in coffee and poured everybody a cup before she left, closing the door.

Maxwell studied the papers.

Shana glanced at Anderson and then Philip. How can they remain so calm? The silence is killing me. She fidgeted with her hands.

Philip winked at her and shook his head.

She stopped. Is Mr. Gaines ever going to say something?

"Ms. Kohlberg." Maxwell's eyes met hers. "Are you one hundred percent positive your family never sold this artwork?"

"Yes, sir. My grandmother has letters from Tomas Kohlberg's neighbors stating how the Nazis arrested him and looted his house. They watched the Nazis remove all the valuables. He was taken to Dachau. From the information we have, he died a few months later from injuries caused during the Kristallnacht."

"Tomas is Shana's great-great-uncle. He's the person her great-great grandfather left the artwork with when they fled Germany in 1931," interrupted Anderson.

"I'll need to see those letters." Gaines fingered the papers and then faced Shana.

"Yes, sir. They're in Peoria, Illinois, but I can get them. Will you need the originals?" She paused. "They're in German. Should I have them translated?"

"Have your grandma send copies. We'll need the originals for court. I don't want to risk them getting into the wrong hands. We'll have an independent agency translate them so there are no questions." Gaines paused. "Are they kept in a safe place?"

"Yes. They're in a lockbox at the bank. Is there any way we can solve this out of court?" asked Shana.

"There's always the possibility, but Kuznetsov has gone to a lot of trouble trying to scare you into dropping this. I doubt he'll just turn the painting over."

"I'm willing to pay for it to be returned." Anderson leaned back in his chair.

"No! I can't let you do that." Shana's eyes met his.

"I'm pretty sure Kuznetsov won't accept that either. It seems for some reason he really wants that painting. Any idea why it's so special?" asked Maxwell.

"Not really. Bruno Schmidt completed the painting in 1914. He used ornamental gold leaf as a flat two-dimensional Byzantine mosaic." Shana fidgeted with her hands.

"When I checked it out at the museum, there was a man trying to get really close. He had something small in his hand. I couldn't tell what." Anderson took a sip of coffee. "A security guard told him to step back before he could complete his task."

"That's interesting. I'll have some detectives sit on the painting for a few days and see if anything happens." Gaines finished his coffee and stood. "I need to research some things and I'll get back to you." He turned toward Shana. "Please contact your grandma as soon as possible." He paused. "Can she fax us copies of all the letters?"

"I'll have my brother help. They'll be faxed immediately; probably later today or Monday at the latest."

Maxwell Gaines shook their hands. On his way out, the cuckoo clock chimed eleven times. He stopped, watched the dancers move to Edelweiss, and turned to Anderson. "This is an antique German clock, right?"

"Yes, it is. My uncle willed it to me."

"Very nice." Mr. Gaines turned to leave but gave one more glance back at the clock. "Interesting."

After Maxwell left, Shana frowned. "I expected more."


*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*





Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria








Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a German cuckoo clock. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.

My dictionary says lockbox is one word, but may be written as two.


Chapter 56
Chapter Siebzehn part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST: "I'm willing to pay for it to be returned." Anderson leaned back in his chair.

"No! I can't let you do that." Shana's eyes met his.

"I'm pretty sure Kuznetsov won't accept that either. It seems for some reason he really wants that painting. Any idea why it's so special?" asked Maxwell.

"Not really. Bruno Schmidt completed the painting in 1914. He used ornamental gold leaf as a flat two-dimensional Byzantine mosaic." Shana fidgeted with her hands.

"When I checked it out at the museum, there was a man trying to get really close. He had something small in his hand. I couldn't tell what." Anderson took a sip of coffee. "A security guard told him to step back before he could complete his task."

"That's interesting. I'll have some detectives sit on the painting for a few days and see if anything happens." Gaines finished his coffee and stood. "I need to research some things and I'll get back to you." He turned toward Shana. "Please contact your grandma as soon as possible." He paused. "Can she fax us copies of all the letters?"

"I'll have my brother help. They'll be faxed immediately; probably later today or Monday at the latest."

Maxwell Gaines shook their hands. On his way out, the cuckoo clock chimed eleven times. He stopped, watched the dancers move to Edelweiss, and turned to Anderson. "This is an antique German clock, right?"

"Yes, it is. My uncle willed it to me."

"Very nice." Mr. Gaines turned to leave but gave one more glance back at the clock. "Interesting."

After Maxwell left, Shana frowned. "I expected more."


TODAY'S POST:


Chapter 17 part 3

It was 8:05 P.M. when Shana saw her reflection in the mirror and released a deep breath. I can't believe this is me. She held up her hands and smiled. "I've never had my nails professionally done. It's a soft pink, but I'm sure Grandma wouldn't approve." She smoothed the front of the dress and then looked down at the heels. "I'm glad they aren't really high. I'd fall." She stiffened and glanced at Romeo as the doorknob turned.

"Miss Shana, hurry. You're going to miss everything." Emily rushed up to her and took her hand.

Jane was right behind. "Sorry, Shana, patience isn't her strongest quality." She grabbed the child's hand. "You need to knock before you enter a room."

"It's fine. I doubt any five-year-old has patience, especially on party night. How do I look?"

"You look beautiful." Jane smiled.

"You're better than beautiful." Emily tugged at her hand. "Let's go. We're missing the party."

*****
As they readied to open the patio door, Anderson walked up, removed a small velvet box from his pocket, and offered it to Shana. "I think your outfit needs one more accessory."

"Goody, I like surprises." Emily bounced.

"I can't accept anything else, the dress, necklace, and shoes are already too much." Shana shook her head and didn't reach for the box.

Anderson opened the box, revealing two pearl and diamond earrings.

Shana's hand covered her mouth. "They're gorgeous, but I can't accept them."

"Then I guess I need to put them on you." Anderson removed one from the box. He took off the back and gently brushed her hair aside as he attached the earring to her lobe. Then he repeated the same on the other side.

Standing back, he gazed at her and smiled. "You look amazing."

A pink tinge caressed Shana's cheeks. "Thank you," she whispered.

"I guess we'd better greet the guests." He took her hand and led her onto the patio. "I heard a rumor dinner will be served in about twenty minutes."

*****
Soon after dinner, the music began. Shana helped Emily dance twice before she led her to her bedroom, read three bedtime stories, and then sat beside Emily's bed until she fell asleep.

Shana left the door cracked open before heading toward her room. As she passed the patio, Anderson walked up. "Is Emily asleep?"

"Yes, she was so excited, it took three stories." Shana smiled.

"I noticed you danced with her. Thank you."

"She wanted to dance so badly. I couldn't let her down. It was fun."

"I tried to get to her but got trapped talking with Joe about business."

"I'm sure Emily understands."

"She shouldn't have to." Anderson paused and then reached out for her hand. "Shall we return?"

"I think I'll go to my room. There's no reason for me to attend."

After brief intermission, the band began playing.

Anderson glanced toward the patio and then asked, "Could I have this dance?"

Shana took his hand and a made sure comfortable distance remained between them. He placed his hand at her waist and with his other held her hand. After the song had played for a few moments, Shana rested her head against his chest.

Just before the song ended, Shana stepped away. "This isn't right?" She hurried toward her room.

"Wait. Why isn't it?"

She paused. "I'm middle class, and you're upper class."

Anderson took a step toward her and reached out his hand. "We can work around that. It shouldn't matter."

"You're Gentile, and I'm Jewish. We can't work around that." Shana continued to her room.

Anderson went into his den and slammed the door.

*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*





Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria


Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a couple dancing in the moonlight. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.

Last week I was forced, because of circumstances, to do a home visit to one of my students. I am asking for prayer for all children living in poverty.


Chapter 57
Chapter Achtzehn part ein

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Anderson glanced toward the patio and then asked, "Could I have this dance?"

Shana took his hand and made sure a comfortable distance remained between them. He placed his hand at her waist and with his other held her hand. After the song had played for a few moments, Shana rested her head against his chest.

Just before the song ended, Shana stepped away. "This isn't right?" She hurried toward her room.

"Wait. Why isn't it?"

She paused. "I'm middle class, and you're upper class."

Anderson took a step toward her and reached out his hand. "We can work around that. It shouldn't matter."

"You're Gentile, and I'm Jewish. We can't work around that." Shana continued to her room.

Anderson went into his den and slammed the door.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 18 part 1

Early Saturday morning, as Philip walked by the den he noticed Anderson studying a large file. Anderson looked up. "I'm glad you're here. We have a lot of work to do. The new safety legislation affects not only the fracking but the off-shore drilling. Let's get an early start. We can get a lot done before breakfast."

"It's unusual for you to work before breakfast. Have you already jogged with the dogs?" As Philip sat, he paused. "Are you avoiding the elephant in the room?"

Anderson scanned the room. "I don't see an elephant. And yes, the dogs are taken care of."

"Shana?"

"What about Shana? She's not in the room, and she's hardly an elephant."

"I never thought I'd live long enough to witness you play dumb." Philip's gaze met his. "You're in love with Shana, and her returned love is the one thing your money can't buy. She's not impressed with your money." He released a deep breath. "There were, what, five or six ladies at the party last night striving to catch your attention. You didn't even notice because you want the one lady who isn't available. She's correct. She's Jewish and you're not."

Anderson glared at Philip.

Shana knocked on the door frame. "I'm sorry to bother you." She took a deep breath. After licking her lips, she continued, "Anderson, I need to leave immediately."

Philip stood and proceeded to the door. "I'll leave you alone."

"No, wait. Please don't leave," interjected Shana. "I'm sure Anderson will call you right back."

Anderson motioned her to sit. "I'm sorry about last night and promise nothing like that will happen again. It's not wise for you to leave. I can ensure your safety here. I can't if you're elsewhere."

"I understand the safety issues, but I need to catch the first flight back to Peoria." Tears welled in her eyes. "Hannah's my cousin. We are best friends and have been since we were toddlers."

"I remember hearing about her. Did something happen?"

Shana nodded. "Her five-month-old daughter was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease." She used her hands to wipe the tears falling from her eyes. "Sarah started losing the ability to turn over and sit. On Thursday, Hannah took her to the pediatrician. I need to be there for Hannah."

"I understand." Anderson glanced at Philip.

"I'll make the arrangements and research Tay-Sachs disease." He left.

"I need to pack." Shana stood.

"Once Philip has the agenda set, I'll let you know. It shouldn't be long."

*****
As Philip filled Anderson in on the flight arrangements, he asked, "Do you want me or have Jeff arrange for somebody else to fly back with Shana?"

"I'm flying back with her."

"Under the circumstances, do you think that's wise?" Philip scanned the pile of papers on Anderson's desk. "You have a lot of work to do."

"Going is strictly a business decision, and I can work on the road. What I can't do, you can help." Anderson set his suitcase down.

Philip turned. "I'll let Shana know you'll be leaving shortly."

*****
Within an hour, Anderson and Shana were on his private jet headed toward General Wayne A Downing Peoria International Airport.

After a period of silence, Shana said, "Thank you for making this happen, but you didn't need to come along. I know how busy you are."

"You're welcome. I did need to tag along because I need to know you're safe. Work will always be there." Anderson paused. "Philip told me a little about this disease, but not much. I was under the impression that Tay-Sachs was something they genetically tested for."

"Hannah's husband Paul isn't Jewish, so they didn't worry about it. Both parents need to carry the gene. They knew some of Paul's ancestors were Jewish, but thought it was so far back there'd be no problem." Shana blew out a deep breath. "And now this."

Anderson's eyebrows rose. "So there is a benefit from marrying out of the Jewish faith."

Shana took a deep breath. "Jewish history spans over thirty-three- hundred years. To be born a Jew today is not an accident of birth but the total of over thousands of years of ancestral self-sacrifice, who at times gave their very lives for their beliefs. Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Nazis and Communists have tried to obliterate Jewish faith but failed. The Jewish spirit survived and clung to its traditions despite all odds."

Standing, Anderson got two bottles of water and offered Shana one.

"Thank you. Should I continue or drop it?" After Anderson nodded, Shana continued, "Deuteronomy 7: 3-4 in the Torah forbids intermarriage, for many reasons. Should the child be circumcised, christened, both or neither? Should the child have a Bar Mitzvah or be confirmed, marry in a synagogue or a church, be buried in a Jewish cemetery or be cremated? There are just so many issues that arise that non-Jewish have never considered."

"How do Hannah and her husband handle it?"

"They seem to be working it out, but they haven't even been married two years."

"So it is possible?" Anderson hesitated. "Were they married by a rabbi?"

"They actually had both a rabbi and a minister do the service."

The pilot announced they were preparing to land.

"You'd better put on your safety belt." Anderson attached his.



*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*




I copied this from a Jewish manual. I hope this explains some of Shana's behavior. I have taken a few hits because she's weak. Shana may appear weak, but her strength will come out, and oh my gosh!!!

Rather it is the realization that the primary role of the Jewish woman is that of a homemaker -- the home and family unit being the nucleus of the Jewish community. In this life-saving work, the role of the Jewish woman is of crucial importance since she is the Akeret Habayit, the foundation of the home, who largely determines the character and atmosphere of the household and the future of the children in particular. In the same vein, there can be no greater fulfilment for a Jewish girl than to prepare herself for her vital role of building the House of Israel as a worthy descendant of the Matriarchs. In a world where fashion and vogue hold sway, and where expediency often takes precedence over eternal values and principles, our worthy mothers and daughters are not concerned with what some neighbor might say about the way they conduct themselves and their homes in accord with the laws of our sacred Torah. If these appear "old-fashioned" to the onlooker with his "modern" ideas of "new morality", we Jews take pride in our "old-fashioned" -- yet always new and eternal -- roots; we strive to become ever more root-like and ever more true to the primary roots of our Jewish people, whom God designated as a "Kingdom of priests and a holy nation."

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Author Notes MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!! Thank you Google Images for an image of a few Jewish symbols. Most of Shana's behavior has to due with her Jewish heritage. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.

True Jewish wealth:
Neither property nor money is the true Jewish wealth. The everlasting Jewish wealth is: being Jews who keep Torah and mitzvot and bringing into the world children and grandchildren who keep Torah and mitzvot.



Chapter 58
Chapter Achtzehn part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Anderson's eyebrows rose. "So there is a benefit from marrying out of the Jewish faith."

Shana took a deep breath. "Jewish history spans over thirty-three- hundred years. To be born a Jew today is not an accident of birth but the total of over thousands of years of ancestral self-sacrifice, who at times gave their very lives for their beliefs. Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Nazis and Communists have tried to obliterate Jewish faith but failed. The Jewish spirit survived and clung to its traditions despite all odds."

Standing, Anderson got two bottles of water and offered Shana one.

"Thank you. Should I continue or drop it?" After Anderson nodded, Shana continued, "Deuteronomy 7: 3-4 in the Torah forbids intermarriage, for many reasons. Should the child be circumcised, christened, both or neither? Should the child have a Bar Mitzvah or be confirmed, marry in a synagogue or a church, be buried in a Jewish cemetery or be cremated? There are just so many issues that arise that non-Jewish have never considered."

"How do Hannah and her husband handle it?"

"They seem to be working it out, but they haven't even been married two years."

"So it is possible?" Anderson hesitated. "Were they married by a rabbi?"

"They actually had both a rabbi and a minister do the service."

The pilot announced they were preparing to land.

"You'd better put on your safety belt." Anderson attached his.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 18 part 2

A few yards from where the jet had landed an armored limousine waited. The driver stood alert beside the car. As Anderson and Shana stepped from the jet's ramp, Anderson put his hand on the small of Shana's back and escorted her to the limo. His gaze darted in every direction.

The driver opened the door. "Good morning, Mr. Sharp. I trust you had a good flight."

"We did, thank you. You have our route, correct?" Anderson waited for Shana to be seated and then closed the door before going to the other side to get in.

The driver crawled behind the wheel. "Any stops before the Children's Hospital of Illinois, sir?"

Anderson glanced at Shana for confirmation before he said, "No, directly to the hospital, thank you."

As the car maneuvered the streets, Shana's eyes met Anderson's. "Thank you. You've thought of everything, haven't you?"

"I doubt it, but I've tried. We'll discover what I've forgotten as we go. When that happens, we'll deal with it. How's that?" Anderson grinned.

Shana nodded. "Thank you, again."

*****

At the hospital, the couple went directly to Pediatric Intensive Care. Shana asked at the nurses' station for Sarah Jacobs. The nurse made a call, and Hannah came running down the hall.

As the cousins embraced and tears fell freely, Paul and Anderson introduced themselves.

Before the ladies finished, Anderson asked, "Have you noticed anybody suspicious?"

"Last week, maybe Tuesday, we had gentlemen asking about Shana and the painting." Paul glanced over at Hannah and Shana. "Since we've been here, I've felt we're being watched, but haven't seen any evidence. I'm probably overreacting."

"I doubt it. I'm pretty sure they've done their research and know Shana and Hannah were close. They would've assumed Shana would come. I'm sure they're here." Anderson scanned the room. "But where?"

"Would they take advantage of Sarah's situation?"

"I doubt it. They haven't shown any signs of that type of behavior. I think they just want to ensure Kuznetsov keeps the painting." Anderson paused. "Do you mind if I speak with the doctors?"

"Why?" Paul's eyebrows rose.

"I'd like to see if there's any way I can help."

"I don't have a problem, but I'd better check with Hannah."

Anderson nodded as he watched a man step from the elevator. He recognized Benjamin Kohlberg, Shana's father. The woman with him must be Shana's mom. Now, I know where Shana inherited her beauty. I forgot to notify him that Shana would be in Peoria. This could get difficult. After a mental kick in the rear, he said under his breath, "Wonder what else I forgot."

"Shana, Shana!" The man hurried to her, waving.

Shana ran to him. "Father." They hugged. As she released her hug, she said, "Momma." She kissed her mother's cheek and hugged her.

After the greetings, Benjamin asked, "Why didn't you tell us you were visiting? We would have met you at the airport." He looked at Anderson and offered his hand. "Mr. Sharp, welcome. Thank you for bringing Shana home."

Anderson accepted it. "I'm glad we have this opportunity to meet again. Sorry it has to be under these circumstances."

Benjamin nodded and then introduced his wife.

"Father, I didn't tell you about coming because the decision was made after Hannah called this morning. I couldn't stay away. Anderson was kind enough to help. We've only been here for maybe fifteen minutes. I haven't seen Sarah, yet." She glanced toward Hannah.

The three of them walked to Hannah and Paul. After hugs and greetings, Benjamin said, "We came as soon as the Shabbat service was over."

"Thank you. Only two people can be in with her at a time. The nurse will direct you on the precautions. Shana, would you and Mr. Sharp like to go first?"

"I'll go last. Family should always come first." Anderson stepped back.

"Momma, why don't you and I go together?"

Eliana nodded, and the two ladies knocked on the intensive care door. Moments later, a nurse opened it.

"Why don't we have a seat? I'm sure they'll be in there a while." Anderson motioned to the waiting area.

The men followed, but Hannah remained and stared through the window. After all were seated, Anderson asked, "Could I get anyone some coffee or a bottle of water? We may be here a while."

Paul grinned. "Think they'd have tea? I'm sure my wife could use some."

"I'll find some. Anything else?"

"Some water." Paul stood. "Maybe that would help."

"When's the last time you've eaten?" asked Anderson.

Paul studied Hannah and then said, "Maybe Friday morning? I'm not sure."

"I'll get something."

Benjamin started to speak.

"I'll make sure it's kosher. I know it's the Sabbath," interrupted Anderson. We passed a Cafe Express on the way in. If it doesn't have kosher food, maybe the cafeteria does. I hope Jane and Helen are available for questions.




*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*




Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Author Notes I pray all my FanStory friends and fans have a Blessed New Year!!! Thank you Google Images for an image of the Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria, Ill. This post is rather calm, but I do promise things are going to get rowdy, shortly. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion.


Chapter 59
Chapter Achtzehn part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Hannah remained and stared through the window. After the men sat at the table, Anderson asked, "Could I get anyone some coffee or a bottle of water? We may be here a while."

Paul grinned. "Think they'd have tea? I'm sure my wife could use some."

"I'll find some. Anything else?"

"Some water." Paul stood. "Maybe that would help."

"When's the last time you've eaten?" asked Anderson.

Paul studied Hannah and then said, "Maybe Friday morning? I'm not sure."

"I'll get something."

Benjamin started to speak.

"I'll make sure it's kosher. I know it's the Sabbath," interrupted Anderson. We passed a Cafe Express on the way in. If it doesn't have kosher food, maybe the cafeteria does. I hope Jane and Helen are available for questions.

TODAY'S POST:

Soon after Benjamin visited Sarah, he said, "Shana, we need to thank Mr. Sharp for bringing you and for getting food and drinks. It's getting late. Your mother and I need to go home. Are you coming with us or going back to New York tonight?"

"I'm not sure. We haven't discussed it, but I packed. My suitcase is by the nurses' station." She searched for Anderson and saw him off-to-the-side making phone calls.

"You're definitely not staying in a hotel. Imagine how it would look for a single girl rooming with a divorced man?" Benjamin pointed toward the nurses' station. "Get your bag. You're coming with us. Mr. Sharp is busy."

"I can't leave without at least speaking with him. That would be rude. Look at all he's done for me." Shana turned toward Anderson but said to her father, "I'll be right back."

As Shana approached him, Anderson hung up. "Your face tells me there's a problem. What's wrong?"

"Father..." Shana's shoulders slumped.

"He wants you to come home," interrupted Anderson. "He's worried how it would look for you and me staying in a hotel." After she nodded, he continued, "It won't be safe for you to stay at his house or your apartment. I'll speak with him." He put his hand on the small of her back and led her toward her parents.

As Anderson and Shana passed Paul and Hannah, who had just finished a consultation with Sarah's doctors, Paul called, "Anderson, we need to speak."

Shana glanced at Anderson. "They look confused. Do you know what that's about?"

"I do." Anderson motioned to a table. "Let's sit and talk." He made eye contact with Benjamin. "Would you and Eliana please join us?" He held a chair for Shana and did the same for the other two ladies.

After all were seated, Anderson said, "Paul, I'm sure the doctors explained some additional options for Sarah's care."

Shana's eyes widened. "Anderson, what did you do?"

"I had Philip research the best children's hospitals for treating Tay-Sachs." Anderson took out his phone. "There are a couple of really good hospitals in Great Britain."

"There's no way we would send Sarah to Europe without us. Paul needs to work. Besides, it would be way too expensive." Hannah fidgeted with her hands.

"I understand." Anderson scrolled down. "Boston Children's Hospital is the best in the US."

"Again, my job's here in Peoria." Paul shook his head. "We have bills, and now additional bills are mounting. We won't allow Sarah to be sent someplace without her parents. She's our child."

"You don't understand how important family is in our culture," added Benjamin.

"I've thought of that." As everybody stared at him, Anderson continued, "Hannah could go with Sarah, and I would fly Paul to Boston every weekend or more often if necessary."

"I can't let my wife stay in a strange city by herself, and a hotel would cost way too much. We can't afford it."

"You wouldn't have too. I'd pay the rent, and I know of a trusted lady, a phone call away, who could stay with Hannah."

Shana tilted her head and stared at Anderson.

"Shana, you know her sister." Anderson's eyes met Benjamin's. "And you've met her. She's Jane's sister, Mary. She's worked for me when Jane wasn't available. Mary is able to stay with Hannah as long as necessary. I'll pay her salary."

"Why would you do this?" asked Hannah.

"I can see how difficult this is on you," Anderson glanced and nodded toward Benjamin and Eliana, "and the family. Sarah needs the best doctors and medicine money can buy. I don't doubt she's getting good care, but the Boston Children's Hospital is on the cutting edge of research. I have the means and want to provide this for you. My private jet will be available whenever you get free or need to spend time with your wife and daughter." He paused. "Again, as often as necessary."

Hannah touched Shana's hand. "Is this real?"

"I guess it is." Shana's eyes met Anderson's as she mouthed, "Thank you."

"Please sleep on it tonight. When Shana and I return in the morning, you can give me your answer." Anderson faced Benjamin. "Now, for the next business. I understand you wanting to protect your daughter. I want Shana safe too. She does not need to be protected from me. I would never hurt her."

"You're hurting her reputation so no self-respecting Jewish man would want her." Benjamin laid his hands flat on the table.

"I see." Anderson licked his lip. "If Shana is with me, I can protect her."

"Are you insinuating I can't protect my daughter?" Benjamin stood. "I've done a pretty good job for twenty-five years." He faced Shana. "Get your bag. We're leaving."

Shana stood and walked toward the nurses' desk.

Anderson rose from his chair. "Benjamin, I've made arrangements for us to stay in a condo in Chicago. It's on the top floor, and it's secure."

"It's a good two and an half hour drive to Chicago." Benjamin set his jaw.

"I know, but we can be there in thirty minutes. I have a jet at my disposal."

"All of that isn't necessary. Her old bedroom is available."

"I've made sure there are at least two bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Shana will be very safe."

"But..."

"She can lock the damn door," interrupted Anderson. "I won't break it down." At a sound of commotion, he glanced toward Shana and ran toward her, as he yanked a knife from his back waistband.

*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of Jewish symbols. I chose this because Shana's Jewish heritage plays an important role in who she is and the choices she makes. This post is building to future issues. This post is a littler longer than my usual posts. I hope you don't mind. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion. I wrote this post a long time ago and edited it over and over again. As I reread today, I made changes. I hope I didn't make it worse. There's a sentence in here that is giving me fits. I wonder if you'll pick up on it.


Chapter 60
Chapter Achtzehn part vier

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"You're hurting her reputation so no self-respecting Jewish man would want her." Benjamin laid his hands flat on the table.

"I see." Anderson licked his lip. "If Shana is with me, I can protect her."

"Are you insinuating I can't protect my daughter?" Benjamin stood. "I've done a pretty good job for twenty-five years." He faced Shana. "Get your bag. We're leaving."

Shana stood and walked toward the nurses' desk.

Anderson rose from his chair. "Benjamin, I've made arrangements for us to stay in a condo in Chicago. It's on the top floor, and it's secure."

"It's a good two and an half hour drive to Chicago." Benjamin set his jaw.

"I know, but we can be there in thirty minutes. I have a jet at my disposal."

"All of that isn't necessary. Her old bedroom is available."

"I've made sure there are at least two bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Shana will be very safe."

"But..."

"She can lock the damn door," interrupted Anderson. "I won't break it down." At a sound of commotion, he glanced toward Shana and ran toward her, as he yanked a knife from his back waistband.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 18 part 4

A stout man grabbed Shana and attempted to force her out the door. Anderson ran toward him, held a knife to the stranger's back, and under his breath said, "Release her or this knife," he pressed it harder against the assailant's back, "will slice your carotid and even being in a hospital won't save you."

Another man shoved a weapon in Anderson's back. "My gun trumps your knife." He had a heavy Russian accent.

Anderson felt pressure against his back but willed his body not to flinch and refused to remove the knife.

Three more men entered the room, led by Matt said, "We have you surrounded put down the weapon and release Ms. Kohlberg."

As four hospital security guards descended upon them, tears rolled down Shana's cheeks.

Anderson returned the knife to his waistband. "Matt, what took you so long?"

Matt grinned. "It was coffee and donuts time."

"Next time eat fewer donuts and only one cup of coffee. Deal?"

As Shana's parents surrounded her with hugs, Matt and the rest of the team Anderson had hired met with hospital security for a private conversation.

After hospital security left, Anderson and Matt joined the other two rescuers and discussed security. As they prepared to continue their surveillance, Matt joked with Anderson. "Jeff said this gig would be boring. He was wrong. I need to have a talk with him."

"Let's hope the remainder of the assignment is boring, but just in case, how about fewer donuts?" Anderson poked Matt's arm and grinned as he watched Shana and her parents. He shook his head. This isn't going to be an easy conversation. Wish I had some more coffee. He walked over to them.

Benjamin held out his hand. "Thank you for protecting my daughter."

Anderson accepted his hand. "Not a problem. That's why I came along and hired security." He touched Shana's hand. "Are you all right?" He paused. "I mean, really all right?"

She nodded and forced a smile. "Thank you. I'm fine."

"I don't believe you." Anderson closed his eyes and moved his head from side to side. When he finished, he said, "Benjamin, Eliana, this is why Shana can't stay with you. I understand your concern about her reputation, but I'm concerned with her life." He paused and then made a phone call. When he finished, he said, "The condo has five bedrooms and three and a half baths. Why don't you join us so you can ensure Shana's reputation?"

"We can't leave my mother alone," answered Benjamin.

"There's enough room, bring her."

Eliana blew out a long breath. "There's a cat issue."

Anderson made another call. "Bring the cat."

Before he hung up, Shana raised three fingers and mouthed, "There are three, and one is pregnant."

With a roll of his eyes, Anderson continued his phone conversation and then said, "Bring all three. There's room." He hesitated. "Is everything settled? The pregnant cat isn't due in the next two or three days, is she?"

Eliana stepped away from the group and motioned Benjamin to follow. He did.

Anderson watched Shana as he waited for Benjamin and Eliana. She's far from all right. This isn't good.

Shana turned away from Anderson.

She knows I'm watching and concerned. She's trying to hide it.

When Eliana and Benjamin finished their discussion, Benjamin said, "We have a couple of concerns." He touched his daughter's arm, but his eyes met Anderson's. "First, why wasn't the police called and Shana's attackers arrested?"

"Good question and I don't have a good answer." Anderson watched the three men hired to help protect Shana resume their positions, each in a different area, away from people. "I mentioned it was time to get the authorities involved. Hospital security didn't want the publicity and Matt, the head of the security I hired, felt it would make Kuznetsov angrier and therefore more dangerous, especially since Shana's going to be in public a little longer."

Benjamin glanced at his wife and then nodded. "It's an answer. I wish you had a better one."

"So do I. The men assured me they could protect Shana if nothing changed. Bottom-line, I got outvoted."

"I have a feeling that doesn't happen often." Benjamin smiled.

"It doesn't." Anderson returned a grin. "But a wise man knows when he's beaten, and they're the experts in security. I just pray they're right."

"From your mouth to God's ears." Benjamin took a deep breath and slowly released it. "Shana's mother and I will remain in Peoria. If Paul and Hannah need us, we'll be close. Both their parents live a few hours away. We're the closest family." He paused. "We're going to trust you with our daughter's life."

"As I've mentioned before," Anderson's eyes met Benjamin's, "I want to assure you that your daughter has been and will continue to be treated with the utmost respect. To the best of my ability, I'll make sure no harm comes to her physically or emotionally." He offered his hand. After Benjamin accepted it, he added, "Remember I have a princess and I understand a father's love and concern for his daughter."







*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a tactical knife. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion. Again, I made last minute changes. I wish I would stop doing that. LOL


Chapter 61
Chapter Neunzehn part eins

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"So do I. The men assured me they could protect Shana if nothing changed. Bottom-line, I got outvoted."

"I have a feeling that doesn't happen often." Benjamin smiled.

"It doesn't." Anderson returned a grin. "But a wise man knows when he's beaten, and they're the experts in security. I just pray they're right."

"From your mouth to God's ears." Benjamin took a deep breath and slowly released it. "Shana's mother and I will remain in Peoria. If Paul and Hannah need us, we'll be close. Both their parents live a few hours away. We're the closest family." He paused. "We're going to trust you with our daughter's life."

"As I've mentioned before," Anderson's eyes met Benjamin's, "I want to assure you that your daughter has been and will continue to be treated with the utmost respect. To the best of my ability, I'll make sure no harm comes to her physically or emotionally." He offered his hand. After Benjamin accepted it, he added, "Remember I have a princess and I understand a father's love and concern for his daughter."

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 19 part 1

After Shana and Hannah said goodbyes for the evening and Anderson made plans to have dinner delivered for Paul and Hannah, they were ready to leave the hospital.

"Your chariot waits." Anderson placed his hand on the small of Shana's back, scanned the area and led her out the hospital's main entrance, and to the armored limousine that waited a few feet away.

Shana remained silent on the way to the airport and the thirty minute flight to Chicago. Again, a limousine waited for their arrival, took them to the Gold Coast, and on to the rented condo.

Marc, a different security guard from the previous ones, unlocked the front door, walked with them to the elevator, handed Anderson the key, and after a few private words with Anderson, left.

"How many security teams do you have?" Shana looked over her shoulder before she entered.

"As many as needed. I felt Matt and his team needed to remain at the hospital. I doubt anything would happen, but I don't want to take any chances."

"I appreciate that." Shana scanned the living room. "This is nice." Her gaze moved to the floor as she chewed on her lower lip.

"I can tell something's bothering you. What is it?" Anderson waited. "It won't get answered or resolved if we don't talk about it."

Shana released a deep breath. "You have so many security teams at your disposal. Why did you have a knife? Don't you trust them? Did you have it on you at the penthouse? What about Emily? Do you carry other weapons?"

Taking her hand, Anderson led her to the table and held out a chair. "Please sit." After Shana sat, he sat across from her. "Second question yes, third question, not normally, fourth question, her wellbeing is always on my mind, and the final question, yes and no." He grinned.

"I'm serious. Why have you avoided answering?"

"I did answer your questions and truthfully." Anderson adjusted his watchband. "I'm pretty sure you're not going to like my answers." Her eyes met his, and he continued, "I do trust my security teams, but as they just proved they can't always react fast enough. I got to you first. I'll probably always be the closest person. When I'm at home, I rarely carry weapons, especially when Emily's around. I keep them under lock-and-key. When I took her to the park the other day, yes, I carried my knife and a gun." He paused. "I only had a knife with me today, but I wish I would've had my gun. I have a concealed weapon permit. Would you like to see it?" He reached for his billfold. After she shook her head, he continued, "As long as there's a threat to you, and you're in my care, I'll be armed. I hope you understand."

"I don't like it, but I don't really have a choice, do I? In my world people don't need to carry weapons."

"I understand, but you've accidentally stepped in the world of the Russian mafia. They play for keeps." He studied her for a few moments. "You must be tired. This has been a rough day. We'll continue this conversation later. I'll show you to the master bedroom, and you can settle in."

"You're paying for this, please take it."

"A gentleman would give it to the lady. I try to be a gentleman." As Anderson picked up her suitcase, he grinned. "Or at least my mom brought me up to be one. This way."

*****

A little over an hour later, Shana walked into the living room and saw Anderson reading. "What are you reading?" Anderson held up the novel, and she read the title, "BirdSong. I've read the reviews, but haven't read it." She tilted her head. "I didn't imagine you to be a reader."

"Why, because I'm a billionaire? I have a feeling there are lots of things about me you don't know," teased Anderson. He placed a bookmark inside, set it down, and stood. "But right now I'm famished. I hope you're hungry."

Shana followed him to the kitchen and searched around. "Where are the boxes? I know you didn't cook this. I'm pretty sure Helen isn't hiding somewhere."

His eyebrows crunched together. "I do cook. Feast your eyes on this." He removed the lid from the skillet. "Chicken piccata with capers and linguine." He opened the refrigerator. "And a salad. After I warm the rolls, dinner is ready."

"Let me do something. How about set the table?"

He held a chair. "Have a seat. I'll take care of it."

"You're used to being waited on. Let me ..."

Anderson put his finger on her lips. "Shh, I want to do this." He grinned. "I wasn't raised being waited on. My parents didn't want spoilt children."

"There are more of you?"

"Yep, a younger brother, Zachery."

"Tell me about him."

He set a salad in front of Shana. "So you want my entire life story, huh?"

"It would be nice, since you know all about me."

"I don't know all about you, but I'll share first. You'll need to divulge more about yourself later." Anderson sat. "Want to bless the food?"

Shana bowed her head and prayed.

"Eat up while I share family history." Anderson took a bite of lettuce and chewed. "It's pretty boring." He stretched his arms with fingers interlocking and cracked his knuckles. "Here it goes. My great-grand-pappy, Klaus, not sure how many greats, came from Germany about 1850, not even sure of the exact date. He came to find his fortune. The rest of his family remained in Germany, but they stayed in touch. He married a Cheyenne girl. There were a lot of issues with this interracial marriage, so he took her to Germany."

"I bet that didn't go over too well. My knowledge of Germany would say they didn't like the marriage either."

"You're probably right. Klaus, his wife, and some of his kids, family lore says he had fifteen, moved back to Texas about 1875. He still owned land here. After a few battles to prove ownership, he began farming it."

"So some of his children remained in Germany?"

"Rumor says about half." Anderson got up and served the main course. "Anyway, to fast forward all of this, his son, Alfonso, is a great-grandfather times three, I think." He held up three fingers and then took a drink of water. "His son was Derek, and then came Gary. Finally, we get to my grandpa, Leon. They all had more children. I'm just giving you the names of the direct relation. The land that goes back to Klaus had oil on it. That's how my family got into the oil business. Leon was a shrewd businessman and was able to enlarge the oil business and made millions. My dad, Michael, turned it into billions. Zachery, remember him?" He grinned.

"Your brother."

"You're tracking. He manages the production part and I take care of the finances and legislative part."

"Where did you go to college?"

"You think I went to college?" he teased. After she nodded he continued, "MIT."

"But isn't that an engineering school? You're in finance."

"My BS is in petroleum engineering with a minor in environment. I have a master's in finance. They both come in handy with what I do."

"No PhD?"

"That would require additional school." He laughed. "Ready for dessert?"

"After all of this, dessert?"

"Don't get your hopes up for one of Helen's. It's only raspberry ice. I didn't have time to bake a cake or pie."

"You haven't told me where you learned to cook."

"That's easy. In college. I loved to eat good food and didn't like going out." Anderson paused. "To be honest, I don't like crowds."

"Makes sense." She smiled. "Another reason for not liking dinner parties."

"Exactly. Want to take dessert over to the couch and see if there's anything on TV or a movie?"

"It would be nice to relax and not have to think about anything." Shana glanced around the kitchen. "I'll help clean up."

Anderson raised his hand. "I won't hear of it. Go, relax. This will only take a minute."

It wasn't long after dessert that Shana dozed off.

She's dead tired. Anderson patted her arm. "Shana, go on to bed."

She fluttered her eyelids. "I'm sorry."

"Nothing to be sorry about. Go to bed. We have another busy day tomorrow."

*****
During the middle of the night, Anderson woke to shrill, piercing cries. He jumped up and ran to Shana's room and found her crying as sweat poured from her. "Shana, Shana."

Tears rolled down her cheeks. Her body shook. Her bloodshot eyes searched the room. "What are you doing here?"

"Your screams woke me." He sat on the bed.

"You'd better leave."

"You need to trust me."








*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of chicken piccata. It's one of my favorite Italian dishes. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion. This post is longer than my usual posts, but I couldn't figure out a way to make it shorter. Again, thank you for taking time to read and review.


Chapter 62
Chapter Neunzehn part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

During the middle of the night, Anderson woke to shrill, piercing cries. He jumped up and ran to Shana's room and found her crying as sweat poured from her. "Shana, Shana."

Tears rolled down her cheeks. Her body shook. Her bloodshot eyes searched the room. "What are you doing here?"

"Your screams woke me." He sat on the bed.

"You'd better leave."

"You need to trust me."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 19 part 2

Anderson held her hand. "Can I get you anything? How about some water?"

Shana nodded.

He attempted to move his hand. "If I'm getting water, you need to let go."

"Don't leave."

"I'm not going anywhere. I'll get some water later."

For a few moments, silence remained as Shana's breathing returned to normal.

"This isn't your first nightmare, is it?"

Shana studied her blankets and then shook her head.

"When did they begin?"

She pulled the covers closer over her damp pajamas. "I told you about going to Germany for my sixteenth birthday and visiting Auschwitz and Dachau."

Silence filled the room for a few moments.

"I know those places are haunting. Is that when the nightmares started?" He used the un-held hand to rub her hand, still clutching his.

She shook her head. "In English class the following spring, we read 'Night' by Elie Wiesel and 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak. 'The Book Thief' was newly published." Tears welled in her eyes.

"I've read both of them. Those books--in combination with your concentration camps visit--wow!" Anderson hesitated and then continued, "Have you had nightmares since?"

Shana released a deep breath. "I had them for maybe five or six months. Then they stopped."

"Until tonight?"

"No." She wiped a tear attempting to escape. "This is embarrassing. I'm an adult. I should be able to handle life."

"You have no reason to be embarrassed. I'll never judge you, and it'll go no further than me."

"And Philip."

"Okay." Anderson nodded. "Maybe in one of my weaker moments, Philip."

"I doubt you have weak moments. I doubt anything about you is weak."

"You're so wrong. We'll talk about it another day, but right now--when did your nightmares return?"

"The Friday we met."

"I caused you to have nightmares?" His eyebrows crunched together.

"I don't think it was you, but the men following me. They got a little worse after I tried to leave and was grabbed." Shana paused. "They've been bad ever since the helicopter flew over your penthouse." Tears streamed down her cheeks. "Tonight's was the worse, yet."

Anderson drew her to his chest and held her. "I promise I won't let anything happen to you or your family." He kissed the top of her head. After a few moments, he asked, "Why didn't you tell me about the nightmares?"

Shana leaned back and looked into his eyes. "How would one approach this subject? Oh great and powerful billionaire, who has people hanging onto your every word, by the way, I'm not sleeping because I'm struggling with nightmares."

"You don't need to be sarcastic. I get your point." He put his hand at the back of her head and guided it back to his chest. I didn't realize I come off like that, but I probably do. Why didn't somebody hear her screaming? Duh! Because the penthouse's sound proof, dummy.

Shana cuddled in closer and blew out a deep breath.

"Comfortable?"

"Yes."

*****

Early the following morning, Anderson's cell phone awoke him, but he had missed the call. I'll call him back. He slipped his arm from around Shana and shook it. It fell asleep. Benjamin, I doubt you're a violent man, but you'd kill me if you knew we stayed in the same room. Nothing happened, and I never laid beside her. I don't think you'd want me to let her scream in terror, would you?

Moments later, Shana opened her eyes. "Were you here all night?" After Anderson nodded, she covered her mouth. "Papa will not be happy."

"Nothing happened. I sat up all night. I have a stiff neck to prove it." He rolled his head back and forth.

"Papa won't care." Shana bit her lower lip. "What shall we tell him?"

"My suggestion is don't lie but don't offer any information he doesn't ask for." He stood. "I'd better start my day. Philip called, and I need to see what he wanted." He re-covered her. "Sleep as long as you need to." He turned to leave.

"Drew?" As he faced her, she said, "Thank you."

He nodded. First time she hasn't used Mr. Sharp or Anderson. Maybe I'm making headway. Naw, I doubt it.





*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a lady having nightmares. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion. Again, thank you for taking time to read and review.


Chapter 63
Chapter Neunzehn part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Early the following morning, Anderson's cell phone woke him, but he had missed the call. I'll call him back. He slipped his arm from around Shana and shook it. It fell asleep. Benjamin, I doubt you're a violent man, but you'd kill me if you knew we stayed in the same room. Nothing happened, and I never laid beside her. I don't think you'd want me to let her scream in terror, would you?

Moments later, Shana opened her eyes. "Were you here all night?" After Anderson nodded, she covered her mouth. "Papa will not be happy."

"Nothing happened. I sat up all night. I have a stiff neck to prove it." He rolled his head back and forth.

"Papa won't care." Shana bit her lower lip. "What shall we tell him?"

"My suggestion is don't lie but don't offer any information he doesn't ask for." He stood. "I'd better start my day. Philip called, and I need to see what he wanted." He re-covered her. "Sleep as long as you need to." He turned to leave.

"Drew?" As he faced her, she said, "Thank you."

He nodded. First time she hasn't used Mr. Sharp or Anderson. Maybe I'm making headway. Naw, I doubt it.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 19 part 3

Shana walked into the living room as Anderson poured his third cup of coffee and he asked, "Ready for breakfast?"

"I can fix it. You fixed dinner. We should share the jobs."

"No way. You're my guest."

"I kept you up all night. I'm a very poor guest."

Anderson grinned. "I don't think so."

"What did Philip want?"

"Just wanted to know how things are going."

"Did you tell him about last night?"

He shook his head. "It's on a need to know basis, and he doesn't need to know."

"Thank you." Shana stared at the floor.

Walking over to her, he put his hand under her chin and lifted her head so their eyes met. "Please don't beat yourself up over this. Nothing happened and there's nothing to feel guilty about. I couldn't leave you alone. I'd do it again."

"I know." She attempted to smile.

After a period of silence, Anderson said, "Breakfast will be ready in about fifteen minutes. The limo will be here in about an hour." He turned and went to the kitchen. "Want some OJ?"

After they ate breakfast and cleaned up, they made the return trip to the hospital.

Immediately, Shana and Hannah went to see Sarah.

Anderson watched Paul pace and then asked, "You want some coffee?"

"Better not, I've already had five." Paul smiled. "Can't you tell?" He held out his shaky hand.

"I'm behind. I've only had four," Anderson teased.

"My limit is normally two."

Both men turned as the intensive care door opened. Hannah and Shana joined them.

"Have you two had a good conversation?" asked Hannah with raised eyebrows.

"We've discussed how we've both drank too much coffee this morning." Paul paused. "I waited for you to discuss the other matter."

"Paul, do you want to spend time with Sarah before we talk?" Anderson motioned toward the closed door.

Shaking his head, Paul said, "I spent most of the night with her. Let's talk." He turned. "It looks like our favorite talking table is free."

After everybody sat, Paul began, "Early this morning we spoke with all of Sarah's doctors and realized she'd have a better chance of a longer life at the hospital in Boston, but it's so far."

"I understand," said Anderson. "I've tried to make the distance bearable with offering unlimited use of my jet."

"We..." Hannah glanced at Shana and touched her hand. "Please..."

Shana nodded. "Hannah and I talked while in with Sarah. They would like to accept your deal, pending meeting Mary. They want to make sure Mary is an acceptable person."

Anderson removed his phone. "I'll make that happen." After speaking with Philip, he put the cell away. "Mary will arrive early this afternoon."

"How does he make a call and things magically happen?" Hannah's eyes widened.

"I don't know, but I've seen it happen over and over again." Shana smiled and then touched her cousin's hand. "Let's go visit that little lady again."

After the ladies left, Paul asked, "You're going out of your way to help us. Is there anything we can do for you?"

"I don't expect anything in return." Anderson's gaze drifted to the ICU door.

"You're interested in Shana, aren't you?"

Anderson grinned. "Philip, my best friend and assistant, accused me of the same thing. I denied it. But if you noticed, maybe I'd better fess up." He paused. "I guess you're right."

"I've known her since we were kids. She's a great girl."

"I've figured that out. What I haven't figured out is how to get around the Jewish -- Gentile issue." Anderson shook his head. "Any ideas? How did you do it?"

"I didn't. I stayed close and available until Hannah decided she loved me too much to let it stand between us." Paul chuckled. "You may have a longer wait. Shana's ten times more stubborn than Hannah, and she was brought up in an extremely devout Jewish home."

"I haven't seen the stubborn side of Shana. Are you saying it may be impossible?"

"I didn't say that. I haven't missed the way she looks at you. I doubt it's been unnoticed by Uncle Benjamin either."






*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria






Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a fancy waiting room table. Maybe like the one our friends sit at and talk.

Question: I usually get hits on my writing for not including enough descriptions, now I've gotten one that stated I included too much detail. Please let me know your thoughts.

I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion. Again, thank you for taking time to read and review.


Chapter 64
Chapter Zwanzig part eins

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"I've figured that out. What I haven't figured out is how to get around the Jewish -- Gentile issue." Anderson shook his head. "Any ideas? How did you do it?"

"I didn't. I stayed close and available until Hannah decided she loved me too much to let it stand between us." Paul chuckled. "You may have a longer wait. Shana's ten times more stubborn than Hannah, and she was brought up in an extremely devout Jewish home."

"I haven't seen the stubborn side of Shana. Are you saying it may be impossible?"

"I didn't say that. I haven't missed the way she looks at you. I doubt it's been unnoticed by Uncle Benjamin either."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 20 part 1

After Anderson provided lunch, he received a text and grinned. "Good, the one we've all been waiting for. Mary will arrive in about ten minutes. I'll go to the main doors and wait."

Shana and Hannah blushed as they overheard two nurses discuss Anderson.

"Did you notice him walk away? He wears Armani suits and cowboy boots. Those suits are expensive. I've heard one suit costs over two thousand dollars. He had a different one on yesterday. I bet he's not from around here."

"Do you think he could be a real cowboy? Imagine him in a pair of regular tight fitting jeans. Hmmm. My heart be still."
She placed her hand to her chest.

"You got that right. I've noticed there's no ring or ring indention on his finger. Can he really be available? I thought all the good ones were taken."

"He spends a lot of time with the Jacobs' family. Think he's Jewish?"


A third nurse walked up. "He comes and goes with that girl who got grabbed yesterday. Think they're an item?"

"Maybe he's her security. I'd like him for my security. Do you think she's anybody important?"


Shana stood, adjusted her blouse, and walked over to them. "I'm nobody important, he's not Jewish, and he's available. His name's Anderson Sharp." She turned and walked to the bathroom.

Hannah watched and then muttered, "What just happened? I'd better go after her." When Hannah walked in, she saw Shana sitting on a bench crying. "What's wrong?"

Shana turned away.

"It's me. Your best friend since we were born. Start talking." Hannah took a tissue from her purse and offered it. "Do you want me to start guessing like I did when we were kids?"

"There's nothing to guess about." Shana blew her nose.

"Okay, I'll take it from here. You're in love with Mr. Sharp but feel you're way out of his league because he's a millionaire."

"He's a billionaire, and divorced, and has a five-year-old daughter, and NOT Jewish."

"So? Sounds to me like a lot of excuses and no logical reasons." Hannah smiled. "Paul's not Jewish, and we've made it work. You can too. If you love and respect each other's culture, you can make it work." She put her arm around Shana's shoulders. "He respects our culture. I've witnessed it. He has the utmost respect for you. He's in love with you. I've seen it in his eyes. You'd have to be crazy not to see it, too." She paused. "Why's he divorced?"

"He married a woman who just wanted money and social status. He's filed for custody of his daughter. She's sweet and way too worldly for her age. Drew doesn't like that."

"Is he a good father?"

"Very good." Shana faced her friend. "I'm not even close to his societal status."

"Is societal even a word?" Hannah laughed. "What does it even mean?"

Shana shook her head. "His name's on the society page of the New York City paper. He's one of the most eligible bachelors in New York City, probably the US. People line up just to meet him."

She dried her tears. "ME? I'm a first year high school English teacher and spend my time reading or in the library. He pays almost as much in monthly child support and alimony as I make in an entire year. Can you imagine what Papa would say?" She tapped the side of her thigh. "Not only that, he wears Armani suits. I buy my clothes off the Goodwill rack."

They turned their heads at a knock on the door. "Hannah, Shana. Are you two all right?"

"Paul's concerned. I'd better go." Hannah took Shana's hand. "Are you going to be all right?"

"Yes. Go to your husband. Sarah may need you. I'll be out in a minute." Shana watched her friend leave the bathroom and then splashed water on her face.

Moments later, Shana stepped from the bathroom. "Shana, are you all right?" asked Anderson.

Hannah caught his eye, shook her head, and mouthed, "Not now."

He nodded. "Paul, Hannah, I'd like to introduce Mary Pritchard. Mary, this is Paul and Hannah Jacobs."

Mary took both Hannah's hands in hers and smiled. "I'm glad to meet you. I'm sorry it has to be under these circumstances. I can't wait to meet Sarah."

Paul motioned toward the tables. "We seem to have this table reserved. Let's sit and talk." He glanced up. "There's Uncle Benjamin and Aunt Eliana. Good, his wisdom will be welcomed." He waved toward them.

*****

As it began getting dark, Benjamin said, "It's time for the elderly among us to go home. I don't see as well driving after dark anymore. The lights from other cars blind me."

"Mary, you can spend the night at the condo. There's plenty of room," offered Anderson.

"No. I'll stay with Hannah and Paul. If this arrangement is going to work, we'll need to feel completely comfortable with each other."

"Sounds good. Shana?" Anderson's eyes met hers. She's been silent all afternoon. I wonder what happened. I missed something.

Shana glanced toward Hannah and then released a deep breath. "We'll walk out with Papa and Momma."

"Good. I wanted to ask Benjamin if we could visit with them tomorrow afternoon and maybe have dinner together. I'll have it delivered."

"What?" Shana's eyes widened. "Are you asking for trouble?"

"You heard me." Anderson grinned.






*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.






Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a gossiping nurse. I am NOT trashing nurses. They are wonderful people and a great service to humanity, but just like any other profession there can be gossipers in that profession.

I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it. I do value every suggestion. Again, thank you for taking time to read and review.


Chapter 65
Chapter Zwanzig part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Sounds good. Shana?" Anderson's eyes met hers. She's been silent all afternoon. I wonder what happened. I missed something.

Shana glanced toward Hannah and then released a deep breath. "We'll walk out with Papa and Momma."

"Good. I wanted to ask Benjamin if we could visit with them tomorrow afternoon and maybe have dinner together. I'll have it delivered."

"What?" Shana's eyes widened. "Are you asking for trouble?"

"You heard me." Anderson grinned.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 20 part 2

As the limousine took them to the airport, Anderson released a deep breath. "My purpose for inviting myself to your parents' house wasn't for them to go to a huge hassle. I'm happy providing dinner."

"You should've checked with me. I could've told you there was no way they would've allowed you to do that. They'd see it as an insult." Shana smiled. "Momma and Grandmother will be up half the night preparing all the family favorites. Why did you decide to visit with them?"

"I felt I owed it to your dad. I respect him and understand how hard this has been on him."

*****
While the jet prepared to land, Shana's eyes met Anderson's. "I'll prepare tonight's dinner."

"No, you won't. Helen doesn't allow me in her kitchen. So I look forward to the opportunity to prepare food. You wouldn't deny me that, would you?"

"But in a small way it would be me saying thank you for everything you've done for my family and me."

"Seeing you smile is all the thanks I need."

The pink tinge to Shana's cheeks turned darker, as the pilot said, "Fasten your seat belts."

*****
Inside the condo, Shana followed Anderson to the kitchen.

"Why don't you rest until dinner's ready?" Anderson leaned against the counter.

"I thought if I followed you around and made a pest of myself you'd allow me to do something."

Anderson laughed. "A side of Shana I've never seen." He thought a moment. "Or has my daughter rubbed off on you?"

Shana tilted her head. "Will it work?"

"Probably not. I know the plan. Plans have a better chance of working if the victim isn't aware there's a plan."

"Is that your business philosophy?"

"No. I bowl the opponent over with my boldness and straightforwardness. That takes them by surprise each time. They're not used to honesty." Anderson opened the refrigerator and peeked inside.

"That's a sad statement about our society."

"You're right."

"What's on the menu?"

"I'm trying to decide. I gave Marc a few suggestions for groceries and I'm seeing what he bought." Anderson held up a package of steak. "This sound all right, with twice baked potato, and asparagus?" He turned and opened a cupboard. "I'd better make sure there are potatoes."

"Can I at least do dessert?"

Anderson opened the freezer. "I have ice cream. I thought maybe banana splits."

"Emily would be so jealous."

"I know." He grinned.

As dinner ended, Anderson received a phone call. "Philip, how's things in New York?" He listened for a few minutes and then took the phone from his ear. "Shana, I'm sorry, but I need to take this. It's business. It might take a while." He grabbed his laptop and headed toward his room. "Leave everything as is and I'll clean up later."

Shana cleaned the kitchen and then stood at the window watching gentle raindrops glisten in the streetlights. She heard Anderson's voice but couldn't make out the words. Finally, she went to her room and took 'King Lear' from her suitcase. She curled up on the corner of the couch and read, writing notes in the margins. She checked the teacher's addition.

The King of France and Duke of Burgundy are at King Lear's court, awaiting his decision as to which of them will marry Cordelia. Lear calls them in and tells them Cordelia no longer has any title or land. The Duke of Burgundy withdraws his marriage offer, but the King of France is impressed by Cordelia's honesty and decides to make her his queen. King Lear sends Cordelia away without his blessing.

Shana stared at the page. Would or could a father really disown his daughter, his own flesh and blood. Tears welled in her eyes as she whispered, "Would my father?"

*****
Hours later, Anderson walked into the living room, saw Shana reading, and glanced at his watch. "Sweetheart, it's really late. Why didn't you go to bed?"

She glanced toward the bedroom and chewed on her bottom lip before answering, "I'm afraid to sleep."

Anderson paused. "Let's see what I can do to help." He opened the front door and called, "Marc, can you come here for a minute?"

"What are you doing?" Shana slammed the book closed and crossed her arms over her chest. "I don't want everybody knowing." She stood to leave.

Touching Shana's arm, Anderson said, "You don't trust me, yet, do you?"

"Yes, Mr. Sharp, how can I help?" Marc stood in the doorway.

"I've got a gut feeling. I just wanted to check on security. Where's everybody placed?"

"I'm at your door. Another man's at the elevator. He rides it up and down when people use it. Two men are outside securing the perimeter."

"I thought Jeff made sure security cameras were on line. Who's monitoring them?"

"You know Jeff. He wouldn't leave that job go to just anybody. He's doing it himself."

"Thank you. I'll call and see if he's seen anything."

After Marc left, Anderson closed and locked the door. He took out his phone. "Hey, Jeff. Anything showing up on the monitors?"

"Nope, everything's quiet. Why? Do you think something's up?"

"Not really. Just wanted to make sure." Anderson moved the cell to his other ear. "Any way we can see the monitors?"

"Sure, is your computer up? I can send you the link. This must be really important. You're not normally this interested in security. Since you said 'we', I'm guessing Shana's close by. Want to fill me in on what's going on?"

"It's nothing, really, just curious."

"Sure. You always have a reason for everything." Jeff was silent a moment and then said, "You should be able to see what each camera sees."

"I can. Thank you."

Shana screamed as Anderson scanned the room. "Jeff, the lights just went out. What's going on?"

"Don't know, let me check it. I'll need some time."

"Hurry, I doubt we have time."








*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.


Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of King Lear's daughters. I think maybe this is the wrong book for Shana to be reading right now. LOL Again, thank you for all the support you give my writing. This is a little longer than my normal posts. I hope you don't mind.


Chapter 66
Chapter Zwanzig part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Sure, is your computer up? I can send you the link. This must be really important. You're not normally this interested in security. Since you said 'we', I'm guessing Shana's close by. Want to fill me in on what's going on?"

"It's nothing, really, just curious."

"Sure. You always have a reason for everything." Jeff was silent a moment and then said, "You should be able to see what each camera sees."

"I can. Thank you."

Shana screamed as Anderson scanned the room. "Jeff, the lights just went out. What's going on?"

"Don't know, let me check it. I'll need some time."

"Hurry, I doubt we have time."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 20 part 3


As a knock sounded at the door, Anderson stood off to the side, but close. "Code word."

"Orange pelican."

Anderson opened the door. "Marc, what do you know?"

"This building's the only one without electricity."

"Go to the next level of security."

"Already taken care of." Marc paused when he heard a knock on the door and readied his gun. "Two of my men were close behind. I'm sure it's them, but..." he whispered and then cracked it open. The men stood there.

The taller of the two asked, "Where do you want us?"

Marc's eyes met Anderson's as he asked, "Inside?"

Anderson nodded. "I think so. How many others and when will they arrive?"

"Six and ETA..." he glanced at his watch, "four minutes. There's more on standby if need."

Shana stood to the side and chewed her thumb nail. Anderson took her hand. "Let's find you a safe place." He glanced at Marc. "I'll take her to the farthest back bedroom."

"Good idea."

As Anderson led her to the back of the condo, he said, "Stay here no matter what you hear or how long it takes. I'll be back as soon as I can." As she sat in a chair, he handed her a flashlight and kissed her cheek. "You'll be safe. I promise. Don't use the light any more than necessary. I don't want them to know you're here."

Anderson hurried to his room, grabbed his weapon, and returned to the living room.

Marc studied the gun. "A SIG Sauer P938, nice, but do you know how to use it?"

Jeff had called to give Marc instructions and commented, "Yes, he knows how to use it." He chuckled. "I'm glad we're on speaker. It's definitely only your building and it looks suspicious but I haven't been able to verify anything, yet. My guess is Kuznetsov stepped up his game. Just not sure why or I should say why now."

"Surely they wouldn't attack here. There are innocent people living in this building. I guess the reason doesn't matter." Anderson checked his weapon. His eyes met Marc's as they both heard feet running toward the door.

"Showtime!" Marc motioned his men into position. "Mr. Sharp, move into the hallway. You'll be the last defense to Ms. Kohlberg."

He nodded and positioned himself. I should've added more security. I never thought they'd attack a condo in the middle of Chicago. This isn't going to help Shana's nightmares. He heard a bang and commotion. They're inside. How many? When are the perimeter men showing up? Four minutes were up long ago. What's going on? Take a breath and remember your training. Patience.

One bang echoed and then moments later a second crack.

Who shot who? Anderson heard feet coming his direction. Silence. Hesitant steps. He aimed his weapon. He tilted his head at the cadence of brat tat, brat tat, brat tat. An assault weapon, probably Russian. The living room's in shambles. SCHLIK! His bullet's in the chamber. Where is he? He scanned the hall as he held his breath. He's close. I can almost hear him breathing. He wiped this nose. I hope Shana doesn't get the whiff of gunsmoke.

A figure moved. Anderson shot. The man fell.

At least one down. Now what? He crept forward at the sound of shuffling bodies. Fighting? He heard a thud.

"Clear!" yelled a man.

"Clear!" yelled a second man.

"Clear!" yelled Marc. "Mr. Sharp, we're clear."

Anderson knelt over the body. No pulse. He continued to the living room. "How many?"

"Four." Marc paused as he listened to his walkie-talkie. "Three outside. The police are on their way. What about Ms. Kohlberg?"

"We need to keep her out of this." Anderson removed his cell and tapped keys. "Philip, we need a room for tonight." He listened. "Does Jeff know what happened, yet?" Again, he listened. "Figured. I haven't seen Shana. I'll check on her in a minute."

After hanging up, he addressed Marc, "It seems the electrical lines were sabotaged."

Marc chuckled. "Ya think? We've already figured out that much." He studied the bodies. "And I bet I know who did it."

*****

Anderson knocked softly on the bedroom door where Shana waited. "It's me. Can I come in?"

"Yes," came a whisper.

As Anderson opened the door, he shone a flashlight into the room and saw Shana had moved the chair to a corner and tears streamed down her cheeks. He knelt beside her and placed his arms around her. "I'm so sorry."










*Please remember this is only part of a much longer chapter. I divide my chapters into three or four parts for ease of reviewing.*

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Author Notes I want to thank those of you who have supported my newly published book. I am so grateful. You're like family to me. I'm so blessed.

Thank you Google Images for an image of a possible condo living room. Once again, I made last minute changes. I hope I didn't make it worse. Often when I make corrections, I leave in an extra word or leave one out. OH MY!!!! I struggle writing action scenes.
I am open for any suggestions. I know many of you write much better ones. Again, thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 67
Chapter Zwanzig part veir

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Showtime!" Marc motioned his men into position. "Mr. Sharp, move into the hallway. You'll be the last defense to Ms. Kohlberg."

He nodded and positioned himself. I should've added more security. I never thought they'd attack a condo in the middle of Chicago. This isn't going to help Shana's nightmares. He heard a bang and commotion. They're inside. How many? When are the perimeter men showing up? Four minutes were up long ago. What's going on? Take a breath and remember your training. Patience.

One bang echoed, and then moments later a second crack.

Who shot who? Anderson heard feet coming his direction. Silence. Hesitant steps. He aimed his weapon. He tilted his head at the cadence of brat tat, brat tat, brat tat. An assault weapon, probably Russian. The living room's in shambles. SCHLIK! His bullet's in the chamber. Where is he? He scanned the hall as he held his breath. He's close. I can almost hear him breathing. He wiped his nose. I hope Shana doesn't get the whiff of gunsmoke.

The figure moved. Anderson shot. The man fell.

At least one down. Now what? He crept forward at the sound of shuffling bodies. Fighting? He heard a thud.

"Clear!" yelled a man.

"Clear!" yelled a second man.

"Clear!" yelled Marc. "Mr. Sharp, we're clear."

Anderson knelt over the body. No pulse. He continued to the living room. "How many?"

"Four." Marc paused as he listened to his walkie-talkie. "Three outside. The police are on their way. What about Ms. Kohlberg?"

"We need to keep her out of this." Anderson removed his cell and tapped keys. "Philip, we need a room for tonight." He listened. "Does Jeff know what happened, yet?" Again, he listened. "Figured. I haven't seen Shana. I'll check on her in a minute."

After hanging up, he addressed Marc, "It seems the electrical lines were sabotaged."

Marc chuckled. "Ya think? We've already figured out that much." He studied the bodies. "And I bet I know who did it."

*****

Anderson knocked softly on the bedroom door where Shana waited. "It's me. Can I come in?"

"Yes," came a whisper.

As Anderson opened the door, he shone a flashlight into the room and saw Shana had moved the chair to a corner and tears streamed down her cheeks. He knelt beside her and placed his arms around her. "I'm so sorry."



TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 20 part 4


A few minutes later, Marc walked partway down the hall and stood outside the door of the room where Shana had hidden. "Mr. Sharp, the police have questions."

"Be right there." Anderson stood. "It's all over except the clean-up. I want you to wait here. There's no reason for you to be involved with the police. I'll be back as soon as possible." He paused. "It's okay to use the flashlight. It's safe. You don't need to sit in the dark." He turned to leave.

"Drew?" Shana turned on the flashlight.

He turned and faced her as he opened the door. "Hopefully, this won't take long. Philip's booking us a hotel. We'll leave soon."

Almost two hours later, Anderson returned.

Shana stood as he entered the room and she asked, "Is it over?"

"This part is, but Kuznetsov isn't stopped, yet."

"I don't want the painting. Contact him and tell him that I give up."

"In the morning, I'll call Gaines and have him relay the message."

"It's already morning."

Anderson grinned. "You're right, but I doubt he's up." He paused before he continued, "Gather your things. We're going to a hotel. The limo will arrive in about thirty minutes."

"Okay, but..."

He guided Shana to the room where she'd slept. Marc waited in the hall. As Anderson passed him, he said, "Pack my things. I'll help her."

Marc nodded and left.

"I can pack myself."

"I know, but I don't want to leave you alone."

After they had packed and the call came that the limousine waited outside, Anderson put his arm around Shana's waist and drew her close as security circled them with weapons readied, and they got inside the vehicle. The same routine happened when they arrived at the hotel.

As Anderson prepared to secure the hotel door, he nodded at Marc, who had his men in position. When he turned, he noticed Shana staring at the two beds and asked, "You want the one on the right or the left?"

"Do you have any idea how many commandments we've broken tonight?" Shana shook her head.

"I know of at least four." He motioned to the beds and glanced at his watch. "There's about three hours, maybe we can stretch it to four before we need to be at the hospital. I vote we pray for forgiveness and get some sleep."

Shana released a deep breath.

"Why don't you change? I'll wait outside. Knock on the door when you're ready." Anderson left.

After completing her nighttime routine, Shana knocked, ran, and leaped onto the bed. Being slightly off-balance, she slipped onto the floor.

"What were you doing?" Anderson helped her off the floor.

"Do you really want to know?" After he raised an eyebrow, she said, "I guess I owe you an explanation. I was hoping to jump into bed so you wouldn't see me in my pajamas."

He grinned. "I saw your pajamas last night."

Her cheeks tinged pink. "I didn't want to make it two nights in a row."

"I see. Well, I guess we messed up that plan." Anderson grinned as he pulled down the covers. "Crawl in bed." He tucked her in. "See you in the morning." He grabbed some things from his suitcase and headed toward the bathroom.

"Drew?" After he turned around, Shana continued, "While I was hiding from the gunfire, I thought this is what my ancestors must have felt like hiding from the Nazis." She blew out a deep breath. "Thank you for all you've done for Sarah and me."

"I don't know what to say."

"There's nothing to say. You had nothing to do with the genocide." Her lips formed a slight smile. "Again, thank you."

Anderson took a step toward her and stopped. "You're welcome. It's nothing special. Anybody would've done it. It's the right thing to do." He continued to the bathroom and closed the door.






Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.






Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of maybe what Anderson may look like. I had a photo of a boring hotel room, but decided against it at the last minute. Once again,not only did I made last minute changes I rewrote the ending. I hope I didn't make it worse. Often when I make corrections, I leave in an extra word or leave one out.

As I've mentioned, I struggle writing action. I've made changes in last weeks post. The lead into this weeks is a little longer because I included the area where I made the changes. I'm open for any suggestions. I know many of you write much better ones. Again, thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 68
Chapter Einundzwanzig part eine

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"Why don't you change? I'll wait outside. Knock on the door when you're ready." Anderson left.

After completing her nighttime routine, Shana knocked, ran, and leaped onto the bed. Being slightly off-balance, she slipped onto the floor.

"What were you doing?" Anderson helped her off the floor.

"Do you really want to know?" After he raised an eyebrow, she said, "I guess I owe you an explanation. I was hoping to jump into bed so you wouldn't see me in my pajamas."

He grinned. "I saw your pajamas last night."

Her cheeks tinged pink. "I didn't want to make it two nights in a row."

"I see. Well, I guess we messed up that plan." Anderson grinned as he pulled down the covers. "Crawl in bed." He tucked her in. "See you in the morning." He grabbed some things from his suitcase and headed toward the bathroom.

"Drew?" After he turned around, Shana continued, "While I was hiding from the gunfire, I thought this is what my ancestors must have felt like hiding from the Nazis." She blew out a deep breath. "Thank you for all you've done for Sarah and me."

"I don't know what to say."

"There's nothing to say. You didn't have anything to do with the genocide." Her lips formed a slight smile. "Again, thank you."

Anderson took a step toward her and stopped. "You're welcome. It's nothing special. Anybody would've done it. It's the right thing to do." He continued to the bathroom and closed the door.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 21 part 1
Anderson rolled over to answer his ringing cell, hoping it didn't wake Shana. He jumped up and headed for the bathroom. "What is it?" He listened before he responded, "Sorry, Philip. I had a rough night and not much sleep." Again, he listened and then yelled, "Tell him that I'm on a family emergency." He paused. "I don't care what he said. I'm on a family emergency and can't be reached."

When he left the bathroom, Anderson watched Shana sleep. I was afraid she'd have nightmares. Maybe having me close was enough to keep them away. He grinned. I'd like to think so, anyway. I'll let her sleep a little longer.

When Shana woke, she saw Anderson sitting at the small table reading files. "Good morning, don't you ever sleep?"

He grinned. "I do and I did. Philip called. I had a few things that needed my attention." He closed the file. "Would you like me to leave and bring back breakfast while you get ready?"

"I'd appreciate it." Shana hesitated. "But don't be gone too long."

"I promise." Anderson opened the door but paused as he nodded at security. "Marc," Marc waved, "will be standing right outside the door. Right?"

"Yes, sir. You have nothing to worry about, Ma'am."

"Thank you."

*****
A little while later, Anderson knocked on the door. "Shana, can I come in?"

"Yes, I'm ready." She smiled when she saw him. "I hurried."

"I'm sure you did." Anderson set a large sack on the table. "I hope omelets are all right. It's the best I could do." He tossed her an apple. "I did find this, but only one."

"We could share it. I'm sure in your bag of tricks you have your knife."

"I might have one or two." Anderson sat. "We need to get this day started. I want to make sure a nurse is traveling with Sarah. The doctor wasn't too keen on the idea, but it needs to happen." He noticed her yawn. "How'd you sleep?"

"All right, I guess. I fell right to sleep, but woke up off-and-on."

"Were you able to get right back to sleep?"

Shana studied her plate and blushed. "When I saw you in the next bed, I felt safe and went back to sleep."

"That's probably a piece of information you shouldn't share with your dad." Anderson grinned. "Or me for that matter." As her blush turned crimson, he added, "But I'm glad I could help." He scanned the room. "We won't be coming back here. We'll need to pack."

"I can't go back to the condo."

"We won't. After I work out the details, I'll fill you in."

"One of those, need to know things?"

Anderson laughed. "Yes, and right now you don't need to know." He shook his head. "Truthfully, if I had it all worked out, I'd tell you. There are a few details, I don't know yet."

After they finished eating and packing, Anderson opened the door and nodded to Marc. He checked his watch. "The limo will be here in about ten minutes. Ready?"

Shana glanced around the room. "Yes. Do you think Mary and Hannah got along?"

"I know Mary. I'm sure they did. I just hope the doctors in Boston have magic up their sleeves and can save Sarah."

Tears welled in Shana's eyes. "Drew, the death rate for children suffering from Tay-Sachs is one hundred percent. Sarah doesn't have a chance of making it past her sixth birthday, if that long."

Anderson put his arms around Shana and held her. "I'm sorry."




Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image that might help with information about Tay-Sachs disease. This is simply an information post. Not a lot happening, but I couldn't see just showing up at the hospital. Again, thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 69
Chapter Einundzwanzig part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Shana studied her plate and blushed. "When I saw you in the next bed, I felt safe and went back to sleep."

"That's probably a piece of information you shouldn't share with your dad." Anderson grinned. "Or me for that matter." As her blush turned crimson, he added, "But I'm glad I could help." He scanned the room. "We won't be coming back here. We'll need to pack."

"I can't go back to the condo."

"We won't. After I work out the details, I'll fill you in."

"One of those, need to know things?"

Anderson laughed. "Yes, and right now you don't need to know." He shook his head. "Truthfully, if I had it all worked out, I'd tell you. There are a few details, I don't know yet."

After they finished eating and packing, Anderson opened the door and nodded to Marc. He checked his watch. "The limo will be here in about ten minutes. Ready?"

Shana glanced around the room. "Yes. Do you think Mary and Hannah got along?"

"I know Mary. I'm sure they did. I just hope the doctors in Boston have magic up their sleeves and can save Sarah."

Tears welled in Shana's eyes. "Drew, the death rate for children suffering from Tay-Sachs is one hundred percent. Sarah doesn't have a chance of making it past her sixth birthday, if that long."

Anderson put his arms around Shana and held her. "I'm sorry."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 21 part 2

As Shana and Anderson arrived on the correct hospital floor, Anderson scanned the waiting room. "I don't see Hannah, Paul, or Mary. I need to speak with Sarah's doctor. I'm sure they're close. I shouldn't be long." He saw Matt and went to him. "I'll be busy for a few minutes. Make sure Shana's..."

"Not a problem, Drew," interrupted Matt. "Shana's our top priority." He motioned his head toward the nurses' station and nodded.

A glance toward the giggling nurses answered one of Anderson's previous questions. He walked to the desk. "Good morning, ladies."

In unison they smiled and said, "Good morning, Mr. Sharp."

One with blonde hair and bright blue eyes asked, "How can I assist you?"

"I understand there's some confusion about my status. I felt it only fair to share with you that I'm in a committed relationship. I seriously doubt I'll ever be on the market again." Anderson paused for effect. "I hope our little chat cleared it up." As all the nurses' eyes widened, he grinned, walked toward Shana, and whispered, "Please, don't slap me." He kissed her on the lips. "This doesn't count as our first kiss." His cheek caressed hers as he whispered, "That will happen at a more appropriate time. I'll be back after I speak with the doctors."

Shana held her breath. Finally, as he left, she muttered, "What just happened?"

"I'd say Anderson kissed you." Hannah stood behind her.

"I know that, but why?"

Hannah glanced toward the nurses' station. "To put those busybodies in their place."

"But I didn't tell him anything about our conversation. Did you?"

"I haven't spoken with him. How could I? Maybe he figured it out on his own. He seems pretty smart."

"That he is." Shana smiled. "I see our table is free." She walked over to the table and sat. "How's everything with Mary?"

"She's wonderful." Hannah took the chair across from her. "She and Paul are with Sarah now. Earlier they went to the house and packed. I stayed with Sarah. Do you know why Anderson wanted to talk with the doctors?"

"He wants to make sure a nurse travels with Sarah."

"I guess as soon as everything's in place I'll be moving to Boston." Tears welled in Hannah's eyes.

"Hopefully the doctors can stabilize Sarah enough to let her come home." Shana patted her friend's hands.

"I hope so, too." Hannah smiled. "Here comes your knight in shining armor."

"Things are working out nicely." Anderson joined them at the table.

"You're pretty proud of yourself for finding an excuse to kiss me, aren't you?"

Anderson took her hand, brought it to his lips, and kissed it. "Can you honestly tell me you weren't even slightly happy to put those nosey nurses in their place?"

A nurse stepped from Intensive Care and motioned for Hannah. "Excuse me. I'm needed."

"Well?" Anderson grinned. "I'm waiting for your answer."

"Maybe just a little." Shana glanced toward them. "But what did you mean by the second part, our first kiss will happen later?"

"Wishful thinking on my part."

"I've already explained why it can't happen."

He clasped her hand tighter and brought it to his mouth. "I'm not buying it, and a guy's got to hope." He answered his ringing cell. "I need to take this."

When Anderson put away his cell phone, he announced, "All systems are go. Now we wait for Paul and Hannah."

Anderson provided a limousine to take Paul, Hannah, and Mary to the airport. Soon the nurse and Sarah left by helicopter. Anderson agreed the nurse would return after Sarah was safely settled at the Boston Children's Hospital. He also ensured Matt and his team would fly and remain with Hannah and Mary. A different team would remain with Paul once he returned.

Shana released a deep breath. "I guess there's nothing more to do here."

Taking Shana's hand in his, Anderson said, "Ready to tackle your dad?"

"Are you sure you're up to it?"

"Just a minute." Anderson answered his ringing cell. "Philip, is that the best he can do? What does it mean?" He listened, before he said, "Good bye." He tried to contain his anger as he relayed the conversation to Shana. "Gaines told Kuznetsov that you weren't interested in having the painting returned." Shana smiled, but he held up his hand. "Don't celebrate, yet. Remember Jeremy, Jane's second cousin who's a detective for the NYPD?" After she nodded, he continued, "He contacted Jeff. There's chatter that Kuznetsov put a hit out on you and me. It seems we've gotten too close to his business."

"I know nothing about his business." Tears welled in Shana's eyes.



Thank you Toby Keith!!!!





Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a couple kissing. As I wrote this post, Toby Keith's song 'Shouldn't Kiss me Like This' kept playing in my head. I don't know why. I added it. Again, thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 70
Chapter Einundzwanzig part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Shana released a deep breath. "I guess there's nothing more to do here."

Taking Shana's hand in his, Anderson asked, "Ready to tackle your dad?"

"Are you sure you're up to it?"

"Just a minute." Anderson answered his ringing cell. "Philip, is that the best he can do? What does it mean?" He listened before he said, "Good bye." He tried to contain his anger as he relayed the conversation to Shana. "Gaines told Kuznetsov that you weren't interested in having the painting returned." Shana smiled, but he held up his hand. "Don't celebrate, yet. Remember Jeremy, Jane's second cousin who's a detective for the NYPD?" After she nodded, he continued, "He contacted Jeff. There's chatter that Kuznetsov put a hit out on you and me. It seems we've gotten too close to his business."

"I know nothing about his business." Tears welled in Shana's eyes.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 21 part 3

As the limousine parked in front of Benjamin's house, Anderson covered Shana's hand with his. "I've made some changes to our living arrangements. I think they'll help our present situation. I've planned to present them to your dad today."

"I'm keeping so much from my parents," interrupted Shana.

"I know, and that's not who you are. I understand. Hopefully, soon it'll all come out."

"Sir, here come her parents," announced the driver.

When Anderson nodded, the driver got out, opened Shana's door, and then went around, opening Anderson's.

As Shana stepped from the car, a male voice called, "Shana, Shana! I thought that was you." A man threw his arms around her.

"Liam, what are you doing here?" Shana stepped back. "Last I heard, you had a practice in Champaign."

"I do. I took time off to help Mom move. I've rented her a small apartment closer to where I live." Liam pointed to the large white house across the street. "This place is too much for her to keep up with."

Benjamin shook Anderson's hand. "Welcome. Let's go inside and let Shana and Liam catch up. He's her old boyfriend."

"Who just happened to visit his mom at this very moment? How convenient?" Anderson smiled. "Benjamin, you're a foxy old goat."

"I have eyes. I can see what's going on between you and my daughter. I'm a concerned father."

"Nothing is going on between Shana and me."

"Nothing, yet. But can you deny that you have feelings for her?"

"You got me. Yes, I have feelings for Shana, but I have not and will not act on them. That I can promise you." Anderson's eyes met Benjamin's.

"Then you have nothing to worry about letting Shana see if she can rekindle feelings for a nice Jewish boy like Liam. He's a doctor and has his own practice."

*****
Shana entered the house, and her eyes met Anderson's, but she said, "Papa, did you have anything to do with Liam showing up? He'll return, by the way, his mother needed his help with something."

"I might have said something to his mother. I don't remember for sure."

"Papa, I guess I need to share with you why Liam and I broke up. There are two reasons. Number one: we had a running argument about me attending college. He wanted to get married immediately after high school." Shana paused. "Or another way to say it, I was to get a job and help pay his way through medical school." She looked her dad in the eyes. "He felt my only goal should be to get married and have babies."

"But, sweetheart, every Jewish girl knows their true value is to be the heart of a strong Jewish home."

"I know that Papa, and that's what I want. But I also want a husband who will value me for being me. I'm an intelligent woman. I want to be respected, not a just a baby machine."

"Shana, watch your mouth."

"Papa, that brings me to the second reason. Liam had sexual intercourse with any woman he could bed."

"Shana?" Her mother's eyes widened.

"No, Papa needs to hear this. Aren't those both good reasons for us to break up?"

Anderson covered his eyes with his hand and massaged his temples. Shana has spunk when it's needed. Paul did say she's stubborn. I'm pretty sure Benjamin wasn't expecting this reaction. His phone rang. He held it up, so everyone could see why he went outside.

*****
Moments later, Shana joined him and overheard Anderson, "Randal, I know you expected me to be there, but Philip's there. He knows exactly how to handle the situation." He listened. "I can't be there. I have a family emergency and it needs my full attention." Again he listened. "I don't need to account for my time. I'm the boss. I told you I have a family emergency and that should be enough information. Philip can take care of everything. If he has any questions, he knows how to reach me. Obviously, so do you. I'm busy, good bye."

After Anderson put away his phone, Shana touched his arm. When he turned around, she said, "I'm sorry I'm keeping you from your responsibilities."

"You're not keeping me from anything." Anderson laughed. "Hell, who am I fooling? Since I met you, you've completely turned my world upside down."

Shana swallowed hard and started to talk.

"I'm not complaining," interrupted Anderson. "I'd give you a hug, but I'm sure Benjamin's watching."

"Probably, not just him, but my entire family."

"Shana, Anderson, dinner's ready." Eliana stood at the door. "Liam will be joining us."

"Of course, he will." Shana reached for the door.

"Shana, sarcasm didn't work as a child and certainly isn't becoming for a lady."

"Yes, Momma."

After they recited the blessing and passed the food, Liam touched Shana's left hand. "I thought maybe we should go for a drive after dinner and discuss old times."

Shana hid her hand under the table. "I'm sorry, but I have plans."

"How about tomorrow night?"

Shana set down her fork. "Liam, I told Papa why we broke up."

"I don't remember why. Why did we break up?"

"Because, I refused to go to bed with you, and you bedded every woman you could."

"Shana!"

"Sorry, Grandma."

"On that note, I have an announcement." Anderson's eyes met Benjamin's. "I'm closing my penthouse in New York City and moving back to Texas. I've done a risk-matrix and feel it'll be easier to ensure Shana's protection."

Benjamin stared at his daughter. "Shana?"

"It's the first time I'm hearing it. Drew?"

"My family owns three properties in the Austin area. I'm not sure which one would be the safest. My father and I will discuss it when we arrive."

"What about Emily?" asked Shana.

"With the latest threat, I think she'll be safer in Texas. In the city, the only place for her to play outside is one of the parks. All of our properties have secure yards."

"And you expect our Shana to move to Texas with you?" After Anderson nodded, Benjamin stood. "Shana, we need to talk." He walked from the table. "Shana!"

Shana got up and followed.

Grandma got up and trailed behind. "Liam, go home. This is none of your business. Young man, help Eliana with the dishes."

"Yes, Ma'am," replied Anderson. He stood and gathered dishes. His eyes met Eliana's. "Go, talk with your daughter. I've got this."

"Anderson, all knights eventually fall off their white stallions. What's Shana going to do then?" Eliana left the room.



In early Jewish tradition marriages were prearranged. I think Benjamin is wishing there was a matchmaker handy. LOL








Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Liam -- Shana's high school boyfriend

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a female, who Shana may resemble. This post is longer than my usual ones. I hope you don't mind. Again, thank you for all the support you give my writing. I feel I should write more, but honestly have nothing else to say, today. LOL


Chapter 71
Chapter Einundzwanzig part vier

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"On that note, I have an announcement." Anderson's eyes met Benjamin's. "I'm closing my penthouse in New York City and moving back to Texas. I've done a risk-matrix and feel it'll be easier to ensure Shana's protection."

Benjamin set his jaw. "Shana?"

"It's the first time I'm hearing it. Drew?"

"My family owns three properties in the Austin area. I'm not sure which one would be the safest. My father and I will discuss it when we arrive."

"What about Emily?" asked Shana.

"With the latest threat, I think she'll be safer in Texas. In the city, the only place for her to play outside is one of the parks. All of our properties have secure yards."

"And you expect our Shana to move to Texas with you?" After Anderson nodded, Benjamin stood. "Shana, we need to talk." He walked from the table. "Shana!"

Shana got up and followed.

Grandma got up and trailed behind. "Liam, go home. This is none of your business. Young man, help Eliana with the dishes."

"Yes, Ma'am," replied Anderson. He stood and gathered dishes. His eyes met Eliana's. "Go, talk with your daughter. I've got this."

"Anderson, all knights eventually fall off their white stallions. What's Shana going to do then?" Eliana left the room.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 21 part 4

Late Monday evening, Anderson glanced at his watch. "Flight time is a little over two hours from here to Austin. It's getting late. Shana?"

"I guess with last night's attack and the news of the hit ordered on my daughter, she doesn't have a choice, does she?" Benjamin paused. "It seems ever since you kidnapped her, you've made sure it's not safe for her to leave."

"Papa, Drew didn't kidnap me. I've already explained. Three men followed me when I left the New York City Art Museum. I got scared. He was innocently sitting at a red light, and I jumped into his car."

"You jumped into a total stranger's car?" Eliana's eyes widened.

Shana nodded. "I did. After we drove around, he took me to my hotel, but the men were there, waiting for me. Not knowing what else to do, he brought me to his penthouse. He was an innocent bystander in all of this." She studied her hands. "All of this, because I wanted to get our painting back. I wish I'd never started this mess."

Benjamin went to his daughter. Shana went into her father's open arms. "You'll always be my little girl. My blessings go with you."

"Papa, I love you."

"Shana, if you have any doubts, now would be a good time to discuss them." Anderson paused, before he continued, "Your family loves you and wants the best for you." His cell phone rang. He checked it and declined the call.

"Do you need to take that?" Shana's eyes met his.

"Business can wait. Your well-being is more important."

Shana took time to study her father's face, next her mother's, and finally, she went into her grandma's arms, as tears welled in her eyes. "Grandma, I've done my best to get your painting back."

With a kiss to her granddaughter's cheek, she said, "My dear, your well-being is more valuable than any painting. Now go. God will guide you."

Tears rolled down her cheeks, as she turned to face Anderson. "I'm ready."

"Are you sure? You don't look ready." She nodded and walked toward the door. Anderson placed his hand under her chin and moved her head so their eyes met. "Shana?"

"I'm ready. I'm sure."

"Okay." Anderson put his hand on the small of her back and led her to the waiting limousine.

The driver opened her door.

After she sat, Anderson leaned to her. "Before we leave, I need to say something." He swallowed and then continued, "Earlier your mom made an important statement. She said, 'All knights eventually fall off their white stallion.' Then she asked, 'What's Shana going to do then?' Shana, I'm hardly a knight. I will fall off the stallion you have me on."

Anderson knelt to her level. "The last thing I want is to hurt you. I want you to understand that at any time you want or need to return to Illinois, I won't hesitate to fly you back. I'll assign security guards to you. You have your freedom. I never want you to be afraid to talk or tell me anything. The other night when you indicated you were afraid or maybe embarrassed to tell me about your nightmares, it hurt. I want you to feel you can come to me at any time with anything."

Shana opened her mouth to speak. Anderson put his finger over her lips. "I need to finish. You know I have feelings for you. I can't and won't deny them. That being said, I understand the Jewish/Gentile issue. Until you can come to terms with that, my feelings are unimportant."

"What are you saying?"

"If you change your mind and want to explore our relationship, you're going to have to come to me. I'll never pressure you. Understand?"

"Thank you."

"Ready?" After she nodded, Anderson turned, waved at her parents, and said, "Remember, anytime you want to visit, let me know. I'll fly you down." He got in his side of the car.




THANK YOU, JOHN MICHAEL MONTGOMERY! I think of this song when I think of Anderson's feelings for Shana, but can he convince her?





Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Liam -- Shana's high school boyfriend

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of an armored limousine, not a stretch limo. Okay, today I not only changed today's post, but I changed things in my previous post. I'm a mess. LOL I hope you don't mind. Again, thank you for all the support you give my writing. I want to bless all my reviewers and pray you have/had a wonderful Easter.


Chapter 72
Shana and Anderson fly to Texas.

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Benjamin went to his daughter. Shana went into her father's open arms. "You'll always be my little girl. My blessings go with you."

"Papa, I love you."

"Shana, if you have any doubts, now would be a good time to discuss them." Anderson paused, before he continued, "Your family loves you and wants the best for you." His cell phone rang. He checked it and declined the call.

"Do you need to take that?" Shana chewed on her lower lip.

"Business can wait. Your well-being is more important."

Shana took time to study her father's face, next her mother's, and finally, she went into her grandma's arms, as tears welled in her eyes. "Grandma, I've done my best to get your painting back."

With a kiss to her granddaughter's cheek, she said, "My dear, your well-being is more valuable than any painting. Now go. God will guide you."

Tears rolled down her cheeks, as she turned to face Anderson. "I'm ready."

"Are you sure? You don't look ready." She nodded and walked toward the door. Anderson placed his hand under her chin and moved her head so their eyes met. "Shana?"

"I'm ready. I'm sure."

"Okay." Anderson put his hand on the small of her back and led her to the waiting limousine.

The driver opened her door.

After she sat, Anderson leaned forward. "Before we leave, I need to say something." He swallowed and then continued, "Earlier your mom made an important statement. She said, 'All knights eventually fall off their white stallion.' Then she asked, 'What's Shana going to do then?' Shana, I'm hardly a knight. I will fall off the stallion you have me on."

Anderson knelt to her level. "The last thing I want is to hurt you. I want you to understand that at any time you want or need to return to Illinois, I won't hesitate to fly you back. I'll assign security guards to you. You have your freedom. I never want you to be afraid to talk or tell me anything. The other night when you indicated you were afraid or maybe embarrassed to tell me about your nightmares, it hurt. I want you to feel you can come to me at any time with anything."

Shana opened her mouth to speak. Anderson put his finger over her lips. "I need to finish. You know I have feelings for you. I can't and won't deny them. That being said, I understand the Jewish/Gentile issue. Until you can come to terms with that, my feelings are unimportant."

"What are you saying?"

"If you change your mind and want to explore our relationship, you're going to have to come to me. I'll never pressure you. Understand?"

"Thank you."

"Ready?" After she nodded, Anderson turned, waved at her parents, and said, "Remember, anytime you want to visit, let me know. I'll fly you down." He got in his side of the car.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 22 part 1

Once the jet was in the air, the pilot said, "Mr. Sharp, there's a possibility of turbulence. You'll need to keep on your seat belts."

"Thank you." Anderson turned to Shana. "You must be tired. Maybe you can grab some sleep before we land. Last night you only slept a few hours. Behind those seats..." he pointed, "there's a bed. You'll be more comfortable."

"With everything that's happened, I doubt I can. There's so much rolling around in my head." Shana chewed her lower lip. "I'm sorry Papa invited Liam over."

"It's not a problem, but..." Anderson grinned, then continued, "this shy, quiet, young lady, I've come to know has a spunky side." He laughed. "You took me by surprise. I'm glad Paul warned me."

"You and Paul discussed me?" Shana's eyebrows crunched together. "I'm not sure I like that."

"Don't worry. He had nothing, but praise for you." Anderson paused. "I was surprised Aaron wasn't at dinner."

"He's doing his residency and couldn't get time off."

Anderson nodded. "That makes sense." He handed her a blanket. "At least try to rest." As his cell phone rang, he shook his head. "I guess they'll never leave me alone."

Shana closed her eyes.

After the call ended, Anderson took his laptop and worked.

Long into the flight, Shana opened her eyes. "Drew?" As he turned toward her, she noticed the computer. "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know you were working. It's not important."

Anderson closed the laptop. "Business can wait. Please go on."

"When Grandma told you to help Momma clear the table, you basically said okay. Just like that. It surprised me."

"I have a Grandma too. She's a sweet lady, but nobody argues with her." Anderson grinned. "Soon, you'll see our families aren't that different. In New York City, I'm a highfalutin oil-baron. At home, I'm the boy next-door. I prefer that image." He frowned as his cell rang. "I need to take this. It's Zachery, my..."

"Brother."

Anderson nodded. "Whoa! Slow down, but yes, you heard right. The Russian mafia has put a hit on me and, yes, we need to beef-up security on the oil rigs, basically all our properties and businesses. I understand it's inconvenient and will cost money, but we have no choice. We'll discuss it after I land." He put his phone away.

"I'm so sorry. I never thought all of this would happen over a painting. I wish I could undo everything. I've messed up not only my life, but yours." Shana wiped an escaped tear. "I wish I never got into your car."

"I'm glad you did. I'd hate to think what Kuznetsov's men would've done." Anderson tapped his fingers on the computer. "My business issues are none of your concern. They'll take care of themselves. My only concern is your safety. Besides, if you hadn't got in my car, we never would've met."

"And you would've been a lot better off."

"I wouldn't say that. I think you've enriched my life more than you care to know about."

Shana tilted her head. "What are you saying?"

""Mr. Sharp, we're preparing to land. It could be a rough one. The Texas wind is rearing its ugly head. Gusts are up to fifty-five miles per hour." The pilot laughed.










Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Liam -- Shana's high school boyfriend

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a private jet. Maybe Anderson's resembles it. Again, thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 73
Chapter Zweiundzwanzig part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Anderson nodded. "Whoa! Slow down, but yes, you heard right. The Russian mafia has put a hit on me and, yes, we need to beef-up security on the oil rigs, basically all our properties and businesses. I understand it's inconvenient and will cost money, but we have no choice. We'll discuss it after I land." He put his phone away.

"I'm so sorry. I never thought all of this would happen over a painting. I wish I could undo everything. I've messed up not only my life, but yours." Shana wiped an escaped tear. "I wish I never got into your car."

"I'm glad you did. I'd hate to think what Kuznetsov's men would've done." Anderson tapped his fingers on the computer. "My business issues are none of your concern. They'll take care of themselves. My only concern is your safety. Besides, if you hadn't got in my car, we never would've met."

"And you would've been a lot better off."

"I wouldn't say that. I think you've enriched my life more than you care to know about."

Shana tilted her head. "What are you saying?"

""Mr. Sharp, we're preparing to land. It could be a rough one. The Texas wind is rearing its ugly head. Gusts are up to fifty-five miles per hour." The pilot laughed.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 22 part 2

As Anderson and Shana neared the waiting black BMW SUV, Zachery opened the door for Shana, "Pretty lady, sit up front with me. We'll put that scoundrel in the back. I don't have a clue what rock you found him under."

Shana chewed her bottom lip as Anderson said, "Bro, the pretty lady has a name. Please meet Shana Kohlberg. Shana, this uncouth man is my brother, and please do sit up front." He scanned the vehicle as he opened the back door and sat. "I see you borrowed Mom's car. Is yours too dirty or you forgot where you parked it last night?"

"I traded it in for a Harley. I can't wait to take this pretty lady for a ride." Zachery looked in the rearview mirror at his brother. "Any ideas about..."

"Not now," interrupted Anderson. "I think that needs to be a family discussion."

"Any thoughts about which house you're taking?"

"Nope, tonight and probably for a week or so we'll stay at the Lake Travis house with Mom and Dad. Mom said you're living there when you're not in Corpus." Anderson paused. "I take it security has already been put in place."

"Dad added a few more and a few choice words. Oh-by-the-way, he can't wait to hear your story on this one." Zachery chuckled. "Neither can I." He glanced at Shana. "I have a feeling it's a good one."

I need to reassure her. Anderson reached across the seat and touched Shana's arm. "Don't worry. Everything's going to be fine."

Zachery nodded and winked at his brother. "She a quiet one, that's for sure."

I hope Zachery got the hint and will keep his mouth shut. I doubt she's used to brother bantering. Maybe this wasn't such a great idea. Anderson released a deep breath as they turned into the driveway. It's too late now.

"I'll take you to your room. After you're settled, you can meet everybody." Anderson put his hand on the small of Shana's back and led her to a large bedroom with a private bath. "Take as long as you need." He turned to leave but stopped. "Don't get too settled. I'm not sure how long we'll be here. We'll discuss that in the morning."

"Drew, thank you."

He grinned. "Would you quit thanking me, please?" After she nodded, he left.

*****
About thirty minutes later, Shana followed the sound of voices. As Michael Sharp, Anderson's dad said, "You boys have gotten yourself into some interesting messes through the years. I can't wait to hear how you got into trouble with the Russian Mafia. This must be one hell of a story."

"Drew?" whispered Shana standing in the doorway.

"Dad, I'd like you to meet Shana Kohlberg. Shana..."

"Michael," he interrupted and offered his hand. "I guess I need to rephrase that. After meeting you, I see exactly why my son got mixed up in this mess." He paused. "But now my question is how'd you get mixed-up with the Russians?" He motioned to the numerous assortment of chairs. "Take your pick. But don't start, yet." He yelled, "Susan, come in here. I know you're not going to believe this unless you hear it yourself. This way we won't have to repeat it over and over. I know it's gonna be a doozy. "

Anderson waited for Shana to sit and then sat beside her.

Zachery and Susan entered together.

After introductions, Michael turned to Shana. "Please, how did a cute little thing like you get involved with the Russian Mafia?"

Silence followed, as Susan studied Shana for a few moments. "I have a feeling our boldness is intimidating, right dear?" She patted her son's arm. "Drew, please tell us what happened," and then she addressed Shana, "Feel free to add at any time."

"I doubt she'll add anything. I haven't heard her speak. She was silent all the way home." Zachery leaned back in his chair enough that the front legs lifted from the floor.

"She spoke when she entered the room." Michael smiled. "My wife's probably right, she usually is. Sorry, we've been abrupt. Besides, Zack, you probably never stopped talking so she could speak. Drew?"

Anderson leaned over Shana, touched her arm, and whispered, "Is it okay if I start at your sixteenth birthday and the trip to Germany?"

"I think it would be best."

"Will do."












Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Zachery Sharp -- Anderson's younger brother

Michael Sharp -- Anderson's father

Susan Sharp --Anderson's mother

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a ranch style house. Maybe similar to the house where Anderson's parents reside. Well, I made changes all the way to clicking save. I hope I didn't make more mistakes. Again, thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 74
Chapter Zweiundzwanzig part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Silence followed, as Susan studied Shana for a few moments. "I have a feeling our boldness is intimidating, right dear?" She patted her son's arm. "Drew, please tell us what happened," and then she addressed Shana, "Feel free to add at any time."

"I doubt she'll add anything. I haven't heard her speak. She was silent all the way home." Zachery tilted back in his chair and the front legs lifted off the floor.

"She spoke when she entered the room." Michael smiled. "My wife's probably right, she usually is. Sorry, we've been abrupt. Besides, Zack, you probably never stopped talking so she could speak. Drew?"

Anderson leaned over Shana, touched her arm, and whispered, "Is it okay if I start at your sixteenth birthday and the trip to Germany?"

"I think it would be best."

"Will do."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 22 part 3

After he returned to his seat, Anderson put his hands together and nodded at Shana before he began, "For Shana's sixteenth birthday her great-grandparents and grandparents took her to Germany. They visited the cities where her ancestors grew up. They, also, went to Munich where her family left their artwork with Uncle Tomas. During the Kristallnacht, Tomas was captured and forced to Dachau. There he died. The artwork was pilfered." Again, he nodded at Shana.

"Fast forward to March of this year. Shana's a high school English teacher and over spring break she and a girlfriend explored New York City. One of their stops was the city's art museum. There, Shana saw the 'Winter-Traum' one of her family's stolen artwork. She asked the museum's curator what she would need to do to prove the painting belonged to her family. He told her what documents were needed. A little over a week ago she brought the said paperwork to the curator. He called Kuznetsov and told him of the challenge to his ownership." After Anderson released a big breath, he added, "That's how we got here. When I called Sunday, I think I filled you in on everything since then."

Susan smiled. "Dear, I'm glad you're here and safe, but it's so dangerous getting in a perfect stranger's car."

"I realize that now, but at the time, instinct told me that I needed to get away from those men." Shana's cheeks tinged pink. "I obviously made a good decision. God was in charge."

"Well Dad, how's that for a story? As good as you anticipated?" Zachery grinned.

"It's interesting. Why is Kuznetsov so upset over this painting? He doesn't even know if the authorities are going to decide in your favor." Michael clasped his hand together.

"I don't know," answered Shana. "I no longer want the painting. It's not worth all of this. Drew had my..." she shook her head, "our...his lawyer contact Kuznetsov and tell him that I'm not interested in pursuing it."

"He didn't answer but a relative of Jane, who works for NYC police department, heard chatter about a hit put out on us." Anderson tapped the arms of his chair.

Both hands covered Susan's mouth. "Oh my! Michael, did you know that?" After he nodded, she asked, "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I figured you'd find out soon enough, and you did."

"I'm so sorry; I've brought all of this upon your family." As tears streamed down her cheeks, Shana got up and choked. "Excuse me."

Anderson jumped up but paused at the door. "I'll be back."

"Go. You're needed. We'll talk later." Michael stood.

Following the hall toward Shana's room, Anderson muttered, "Where'd she go?" He knocked on the door. "Shana, open up." When she didn't answer, he continued, "I'm coming in." He opened the door. The room was empty. This can't be good. Maybe she's lost.

As Anderson walked back down the hall, his phone rang. He smiled as he listened. "Thank you, Oscar. She doesn't belong to me, but she is with me. I'll be right there." When he walked to the front porch, a guard waved his hand and he waved back. "This seat looks vacant." Anderson sat in a large wooden rocker. "Do you mind if I take it?"

"No."

"It's not safe for you to be out here by yourself."

"I understood you brought me to Texas because Emily and I could come outside. I know you have the house securely guarded."

"I do. You still need to let us know when you want to be outside."

"Sorry." Shana paused. "It seems I can't do anything right." She wiped an escaped tear. "I just wanted to surprise Grandma by getting the painting back. I never imagined it would cause this much trouble. Now, I've messed up your life and your family's. Your parents hate me."

"My parents don't hate you. They're concerned about your well-being." When Shana started to speak, Anderson put up his hand. "Don't worry about our business. It's going to be just fine. We've been through threats before and know exactly how to handle it. Not everybody is in favor of large oil companies."

Michael and Susan stepped on the porch. Susan smiled. "I'm glad you're all right. We started to worry."

"I'm sorry. I needed some fresh air." Shana touched Anderson's arm.

He reached over and patted her hand.

"I was thinking about roasting a hog and having a celebration for dinner tomorrow evening." Michael grinned.

"Dad, Shana's Jewish. She doesn't eat pork."

"Oh." Michael thought. "Then we'll smoke a brisket, hell two or three briskets. This is Texas and we do like our beef." His eyes met Shana's. "You do eat beef, right?"

After Shana nodded, Anderson stood. "We've had a busy day. I think we should call it a night. Tomorrow we need to discuss living arrangements." He put out his hand for Shana to take, "I'll walk you to your room," and then faced his parents. "I'll be right back and we can talk."

Shana hesitated at her bedroom door. "Drew, are these walls soundproof?"

"I don't think so, why?" Before she could answer, Anderson continued, "Don't worry about the nightmares. I'll be just down the hall." He pointed to a door. "If I hear anything, I'll be right there."

Zachery came down the hall. "Is there a problem?"

"No," Shana rushed the answer as she studied her feet.

"I'll see you in the morning." Anderson touched Shana's cheek with his finger and mouthed, "Everything will be fine." He joined Zachery, and they left together.






Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Zachery Sharp -- Anderson's younger brother

Michael Sharp -- Anderson's father

Susan Sharp --Anderson's mother

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of porch rocking chairs. This is a little longer than usual. I hope you don't mind. Thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 75
Chapter Dreiundzwanzig, part eins

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Shana hesitated at her bedroom door. "Drew, are these walls soundproof?"

"I don't think so, why?" Before she could answer, Anderson continued, "Don't worry about the nightmares. I'll be just down the hall." He pointed to a door. "If I hear anything, I'll be right there."

Zachery came down the hall. "Is there a problem?"

"No," Shana rushed the answer as she studied her feet.

"I'll see you in the morning." Anderson touched Shana's cheek with his finger and mouthed, "Everything will be fine." He joined Zachery, and they left together.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 23 part 1


The following day, the early morning sunlight shone through the window and woke Shana. I guess I finally fell asleep. She opened the curtains and saw Anderson and Zachery walking as they wiped sweat from their faces. I guess they just finished a run. By now, I'm sure everybody knows about my nightmares. She went back to bed. "Ugh!"

Shana tossed and turned. This is exactly what I did last night. She sniffed the air. "That smells good. Must be breakfast." She sat up. I guess I'd better get the humiliation over. Anderson won't let me stay here forever anyway.

After she showered and dressed, Shana walked down the long hall.

Anderson grinned when he saw her. "Good morning. How'd you sleep?"

"Just fine. Thank you for asking, Anderson."

His eyes widened as he took her hand and called, "Mom, we're going out for a little while. We'll eat later." He took out his cell, pushed a button, and said, "We're walking to the lake."

As they stood on the porch, five men surrounded them. Anderson nodded, and they spread out, allowing the couple to walk privately. The walk was silent.

At the lake's edge, Anderson stared at the water and then turned toward Shana. "What's going on? I'm suddenly Anderson again. What happened to Drew?"

Shana chewed on her lower lip. "I'm used to seeing you in fancy suits not blue jeans."

He ran his hand through his hair. "I don't believe a word you just said."

"It's true."

"I know that, but there's more going on in that pretty little head than me not wearing a suit." He released a deep breath. "I was under the impression you were becoming comfortable with me."

"This lake is beautiful."

"Shana, I'm confused. You need to talk to me." Anderson hesitated. "And not about the lake. What changed?" He studied her. "You didn't get much sleep last night, did you? Why? I told you I was only a few doors down and would be there at the slightest sound."

He put his hands on the back of a bench and, again, stared at the lake. Moments later, he said, "Zack walked up. You think I told him about the nightmares. Am I right?" His eyes met Shana's. "I told you I wouldn't tell anybody, and I won't."

"You said you might tell Philip, and Zachery's your brother. He's closer than Philip."

"Shana, Shana, Shana..." Anderson kicked some dirt. "You are so wrong. True, Zack's my brother and we're close. I'd do anything for him." He grinned. "But at times we're enemies. We're typical brothers. But I'd never share that with him." Anderson stepped back, studied her eyes, and then dried an escaped tear. "I'm wondering if it's more than that." He took a deep breath. "I'm going out on a limb now. Maybe your feelings for me are more than being an acquaintance and it's scared you so you searched for a reason to step back."

Shana turned toward the lake. "I don't know what you're talking about. I've told you we can't have a relationship. It would never work."

Stepping front of Shana, Anderson continued, "I see. I'll drop it for now. He held out his arms. "Come here." After Shana cuddled in, he kissed her forehead. "I love my family, but I don't share my private life with them. You're part public life and part private life. Our relationship isn't for their knowledge, at least not yet. Hopefully, someday, it will. That's up to you. I've told you, I'll never pressure you." He paused. "Can I be Drew again?" When she nodded, he asked, "Ready for breakfast? Mom made migas with homemade tortillas. It's one of my favorites."

"Your mom doesn't have a cook?"

"Nope, she likes to do things herself. You're going to find things a lot different here than in New York." Anderson glanced toward the house and then back at Shana. "You need to tell me when something's bothering you, no matter what it is."

Shana nodded. "I'll try."

Silence ensued as their lips almost met. A crack and a bang sounded. Anderson pushed Shana to the ground and covered her body with his.









Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Zachery Sharp -- Anderson's younger brother

Michael Sharp -- Anderson's father

Susan Sharp --Anderson's mother

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of Lake Travis outside of Austin, Texas. It is a beautiful place. I've had some questions about this painting. It's still there and it's still an issue. I think you'll be surprised once it all plays out. At least I hope so. LOL Thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 76
Chapter Dreiundzwanzig, part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

He put his hands on the back of a bench and, again, stared at the lake. Moments later, he said, "Zack walked up. You think I told him about the nightmares. Am I right?" His eyes met Shana's. "I told you I wouldn't tell anybody, and I won't."

"You said you might tell Philip, and Zachery's your brother. He's closer than Philip."

"Shana, Shana, Shana..." Anderson kicked some dirt. "You are so wrong. True, Zack's my brother and we're close. I'd do anything for him." He grinned. "But at times we're enemies. We're typical brothers. But I'd never share that with him." Anderson stepped back, studied her eyes, and then dried an escaped tear. "I'm wondering if it's more than that." He took a deep breath. "I'm going out on a limb now. Maybe your feelings for me are more than being an acquaintance, and that has you scared so you've searched for a reason to step back."

Shana turned toward the lake. "I don't know what you're talking about. I've told you we can't have a relationship. It would never work."

Stepping in front of Shana, Anderson continued, "I see. I'll drop it for now. He held out his arms. "Come here." After Shana cuddled in, he kissed her forehead. "I love my family, but I don't share my private life with them. You're part public life and part private life. Our relationship isn't for their knowledge, at least not yet. Hopefully, someday, it will. That's up to you. I've told you, I'll never pressure you." He paused. "Can I be Drew again?" When she nodded, he asked, "Ready for breakfast? Mom made migas with homemade tortillas. It's one of my favorites."

"Your mom doesn't have a cook?"

"Nope, she likes to do things herself. You're going to find things a lot different here than in New York." Anderson glanced toward the house and then back at Shana. "You need to tell me when something's bothering you, no matter what it is."

Shana nodded. "I'll try."

Silence ensued as their lips almost met. A crack and a bang sounded. Anderson pushed Shana to the ground and covered her body with his.

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 23 part 2

Security surrounded Anderson and Shana with weapons readied. Moments later another boom rang out. One guard pointed to the left. "It's coming from over there, across the lake."

Oscar motioned for the men to lower their guns. "Anderson, it's clear." He laughed. "It looks like a compost pile or something similar exploded."

Anderson did a push up off Shana. "Sorry. I guess I overreacted." He helped her up. "Are you okay?"

Shana nodded. "Yes."

"No, you're not." He studied her upper arm as blood trickled from it. "What happened?'

She examined it. "I guess I scratched it on that." She pointed to a screw sticking out from the back of the bench. "It's only a scratch. I'm fine."

Anderson took a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped the blood. "This will have to do until we get inside." Anderson put his hand on the small of her back, led her to the house, and then to the dining room table.

"I'm glad you're back. Your dad's sure he's about to starve." Susan laughed and shook her head. "That man."

"I'm sorry. You didn't have to wait." Shana sat in the chair Anderson held.

"We have a tradition that we eat breakfast and dinner together. We try to fit in lunch, but more times than not we lose that battle." Susan finished setting the table.

"Mom, is the first-aid-kit still above the stove?" Anderson headed toward the kitchen.

"I haven't moved it. What's wrong?"

"I shoved Shana to the ground and cut her arm on that old bench. There's a rusty screw sticking out. We need to get it fixed."

"It's fine really. It's just a scratch." Shana removed the handkerchief so Susan to see. "It's barely bleeding. My tetanus is up to date. I had one less than a year ago." She placed the cloth on her lap. "I don't need this."

"Drew's feeling guilty because he shoved you down." Susan took the handkerchief from her as her gaze followed her son. "A more important question is why'd you shove her?"

"I thought I heard a gunshot. It was an explosion of some kind. Oscar thinks it was a compost pile, but I doubt it. That's rare."

As Anderson cleaned and bandaged Shana's wound, she placed her hand over his. "It's all right, really. I'm not hurt."

"I shouldn't have overreacted. I'm sorry."

Shana smiled. "It's refreshing to know you're human and make mistakes. I actually believed you never did."

"I make mistakes all the time." Anderson grinned. "That's why I surround myself with the people I do."

"Like Philip?"

He nodded. "And Jeff."

Zachery entered and added, "They go way back. He met them in the Corp."

"You were in the military?" Shana's eyes widened.

"Oops, I guess you hadn't told her that." Zachery shrugged his shoulders.

"Yes. Remember when I told you my parents didn't raise any spoiled brats? Well, we each did a tour or two in the Marines."

"Before or after college?" asked Shana.

"Before." Anderson glanced up as Michael walked in. "Hi, Dad."

"Good. We're all here. Getting you guys together for breakfast gets harder and harder." Michael watched Susan set two bowls of migas on the table. "Why two?"

Susan pointed to a bowl. "This one has chorizo in it and the other doesn't."

Michael pointed to the one with chorizo. "Shana, I doubt you'll want that one."

"I've never heard of chorizo before."

"Pork sausage. I fixed some without it." Susan sat.

"Thank you, but I don't want you to go to any extra work."

Michael reached for the hands of his family sitting on each side of him. This continued around the table, Anderson took Shana's and she took Zachery's. Shana bowed her head with the others as Michael blessed the food.

Once that was completed, Anderson winked at Shana. "I told you there were a lot of similarities between our families."

After Michael helped himself to a healthy portion and began eating, he said, "Shana, I know Jewish people exist, but I don't think I ever met one. Exactly what do they believe?"

Anderson choked on his food and coughed. "Dad?"






Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Zachery Sharp -- Anderson's younger brother

Michael Sharp -- Anderson's father

Susan Sharp --Anderson's mother

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of migas. I added more from the previous post because, I had a few suggestions from reviewers and I hope I've enhanced that post. Please let me know. Thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 77
Chapter Dreiundzwanzig, part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Michael reached for the hands of his family sitting on each side of him. This continued around the table, Anderson took Shana's and she took Zachery's. Shana bowed her head with the others as Michael blessed the food.

Once that was completed, Anderson winked at Shana. "I told you there were a lot of similarities between our families."

After Michael helped himself to a healthy portion and began eating, he said, "Shana, I know Jewish people exist, but I don't think I ever met one. Exactly what do they believe?"

Anderson choked on his food and coughed. "Dad?"


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 23 part 3

Shana's attempt to hide her smile failed. "Drew, it's okay. I see your dad's as straightforward as mine. I don't mind his question."

"I'm guessing as with any religion there are groups that have broken off from the original." Michael took a bite.

"There are many different sects of Judaism. The majority of Jews fall into one of three categories, conservative, reform and orthodox. There are all sorts of break-offs from each one. Reformed Judaism is basically what it says; reformed. They don't celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday, but on Sunday. They've relaxed many of the rituals and stress the Torah's teaching as ethics."

Michael faced Shana. "What's the Torah?"

"Basically the five books of Moses or it's known as the Pentateuch by Christians."

"Your family attends the synagogue on Saturday, right?" asked Anderson.

"You're correct. The Orthodox Jews retain traditional Jewish laws and customs; to include separation of the sexes during worship, diet, and dress. They haven't accepted the woman's movement."

"You dress like many women." Zachery sipped his coffee. "I'm guessing you're the conservative Jews."

"We are. We embrace education and culture, for instance dress, but still remain somewhat conservative in our dress and make-up. We've kept the use of Hebrew in the liturgy, observe dietary laws and the Sabbath; basically most of the Torah rituals. We even allow women rabbis." Shana smiled. "You might say we're Modern Orthodox."

"How do the Jews view Jesus?" asked Michael.

"Our answer to that is...." Shana paused. "We believe he lived and was a teacher, but he's not part of God. We believe the Messiah is still coming. Jesus wasn't him."

"Okay, it's time we discuss security measures and where we're going to live." Anderson set his jaw.

"I agree." Susan set her fork next to her plate. "Are you going to sell the penthouse?"

"I haven't decided yet, but I'm leaning that way. I worked mostly from home anyway." Anderson helped himself to more migas. "I can fly to New York when I have an unavoidable meeting which is normally once a month. I never liked the city."

"What about Emily? You won't get to see her as often." Susan picked up her coffee cup.

"I've filed for custody. I'll likely win and Patricia will lose all visitation rights."

"Are you sure you want to do that? Emily will miss her mother." Michael's eyes met Anderson's.

"We can talk about that later, but I have plenty of evidence that she's an unfit mother and puts Emily in danger." Anderson got up to refill his coffee cup. "I made a mistake marrying her, and an even bigger mistake believing she would change her ways when she became a mother." He sipped his coffee. "I'd prefer if we changed the subject." As he walked back to his seat, he patted Shana's arm. "Everything okay?"

"Everything's good." She smiled.

"You know you're welcome to stay with us, forever if you want," offered Susan.

"I know, Mom, but hopefully, in a few days Emily will be here and I don't want you to spoil her. She's already rotten enough." Anderson chuckled.

Shana tapped Anderson's arm. "Hush, she's adorable."

Anderson grinned at Shana and shook his head. "What about the patio being turned into Pirate's Cove? Did you forget searching for clues?"

"That was fun." She giggled.

"You're as impossible as she is." Anderson winked at Shana and then faced his mom. "Truthfully, I'm afraid she'll cause you extra work. I don't want to be an extra burden." After a pause, he continued, "That being said, Dad, I was hoping you'd have suggestions."

"I imagine you're bringing your help and security, right?" When Anderson nodded, Michael continued, "The Angel Bay property has seven bedrooms, ten baths, twelve hundred square feet and sits on thirteen and a half acres. I'm not sure it would be large enough. How many bedrooms,do you think you'll need?"

Anderson did the math in his head. "A minimum of seven, but I'd still need places for the security team."

"If bedroom space is a problem, I don't mind sharing." Shana's eyes met Anderson's.

Anderson hung his head as his cheeks turned red.

Michael sputtered his coffee.

"I'm...." Zachery grinned.

"Don't say a word," ordered Anderson. He glared at his brother.

"Oh my!" Shana covered her mouth as her eyes widened. "I didn't mean..."

"I'm sure you didn't, dear." Susan patted her arm.

"I'm sorry."

"Back to business." Michael's attempt to sound authoritarian lacked. "The place on Wild Road is gated with eleven bedrooms, sixteen baths, and has twenty thousand square feet."

"It should take care of the security guards. It has a guest house and a foreman's house." Zachery tapped his fork. "Shana wouldn't have to share a room." He grinned.

Anderson gave him another warning glare.

"Let's load-up and take a look at those places." Michael stood.

Standing, Anderson held the chair for Shana as she said, "I think I'll stay here."

"Probably, a good idea." Anderson grinned and shook his head.







Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Zachery Sharp -- Anderson's younger brother

Michael Sharp -- Anderson's father

Susan Sharp --Anderson's mother

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of Mother's Day card. I had chosen a boring artwork of some Jewish facts, but at the last minute decided on this. I do wish all Mothers a very special day. I don't think there's a harder job or one with more rewards anywhere. Thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 78
Chapter Vierundzwanzig Part eins

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

"It should take care of the security guards. It has a guest house and a foreman's house." Zachery tapped his fork. "Shana wouldn't have to share a room." He grinned.

Anderson gave him another warning glare.

"Let's load-up and take a look at those places." Michael stood.

Standing, Anderson held the chair for Shana as she said, "I think I'll stay here."

"Probably, a good idea." Anderson grinned and shook his head.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 24 part 1

Later that morning, Shana left her bedroom and found Susan snapping green beans on the back patio. "Can I help?"

"You don't need to. I enjoy sitting here, watching the birds while I do it." Susan snapped another couple beans and then pointed to the roof of a building. "That squirrel's trying to help himself to the bird feeder."

"Squirrels are fun creatures. I used to sit on the front porch and snap beans with my grandma. We had great talks. I loved listening to her stories. It's one of my favorite childhood memories."

"In that case." Susan put some beans in a bowl and handed them to her. "I'd like your company."

Shana broke the silence that had gone on for a while as her cheeks turned a deeper pink. "Anderson and I haven't shared a bedroom."

"I understand." Susan answered Shana's questioning look. "I know my son and he's too protective to allow anything to happen until you're ready."

A slow, deep breath slipped from Shana's lips. "What? I don't understand."

"Drew doesn't mince words. I'm sure he's mentioned how he feels." After Shana nodded, Susan continued, "I imagine he's also said you have to make the first move. What I don't understand is what the problem is. Drew's a great catch. Any woman would be lucky to have him. Is it that he has a child and is divorced?"

Shana shook her head. "I adore Emily. I think she likes me too."

"Then what is it?" Susan snapped beans while she waited for the answer.

"I think a lot of him too." Shana chewed on her lower lip. "I'm not in his social class."

"He doesn't care about things like that."

"It's because I'm Jewish and he's not."

"I see." Susan paused. "I didn't think those boundaries mattered anymore."

"Normally, I guess they wouldn't, but to my dad, they still do."

"Are you saying you'd be disowned?"

A tear welled in Shana's eye and trickled down her cheek as she nodded. "He's accepted my cousin's marriage to Paul, but I'm not sure he'd accept his daughter's."

Susan clasped both Shana's hands in hers. "I bet your father loves you enough to accept any decision you make." She handed her a tissue. "Now dry those tears. The men will be back shortly. I bet you don't want Drew to know we've had this conversation."

"We've already had the Jewish/Gentile talk." Shana dried her eyes.

"Did he say it shouldn't matter?" Susan raised an eyebrow.

"Pretty much. He said he'd wait until I realized it doesn't matter."

"Drew can be very patient."

Shana smiled. "I'm beginning to realize that." After she snapped a few more beans, she added, "I just don't want him to be disappointed."

"Hmm, tell me about your family."

"Dad's a civil engineer professor at Bradley University. Mom stays at home. I have an older brother, Aaron. He's doing his residency. Grandma lives with us. We're pretty normal, except we're Jewish."

"Your family sounds as if they're pretty close knit." After Shana agreed, Susan continued, "Michael works in the oil business, I stay at home, both boys went to college, Zack." She shook her head. "He hasn't settled down, yet, but I love him just the same. There are not a lot of differences. Both of you are grounded in rich family love and tradition."

"I never looked at it that way, but you're right."

Susan turned her head. "I think I heard the men drive up. I wonder if any decisions have been made."



Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Zachery Sharp -- Anderson's younger brother

Michael Sharp -- Anderson's father

Susan Sharp --Anderson's mother

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a bowl of green beans. I remember snapping beans with Grandma. My husband puts in a huge garden every years and I still snap and can beans. Thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 79
Chapter Vierundzwanzig Part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Shana dried her eyes. "We've already had the Jewish/Gentile talk."

"Did he say it shouldn't matter?" Susan raised an eyebrow.

"Pretty much. He said he'd wait until I realized it doesn't matter."

"Drew can be very patient."

Shana smiled. "I'm beginning to realize that." After she snapped a few more beans, she added, "I just don't want him to be disappointed."

"Hmm, tell me about your family."

"Dad's a civil engineer professor at Bradley University. Mom stays at home. I have an older brother, Aaron. He's doing his residency. Grandma lives with us. We're pretty normal, except we're Jewish."

"Your family sounds as if they're pretty close knit." After Shana agreed, Susan continued, "Michael works in the oil business, I stay at home, both boys went to college, Zack." She shook her head. "He hasn't settled down, yet, but I love him just the same. There are not a lot of differences. Both of you are grounded in rich family love and tradition."

"I never looked at it that way, but you're right."

Susan turned her head. "I think I heard the men drive up. I wonder if any decisions have been made."


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 24 part 2

"I hope lunch's ready. I'm starving," Michael bellowed.

"We're on the patio, snapping beans and getting to know each other," answered Susan. "Lunch will be in a little while. I figured you didn't want much because of the celebration tonight. Or I should say you shouldn't eat much?" She faced Shana. "I have a terrible time keeping his weight under control. He has a very healthy appetite."

Michael stood at the porch door. "Woman, fix lunch."

"You'd better stop teasing or Shana'll think you're a tyrant."

"You mean I'm not." Michael kissed his wife's cheek and pulled a chair beside Shana. "Zack and Drew are in the den, talking business. They'll be finished in a few minutes. Can I help?"

Susan passed him her bowl and some beans. "I'll get lunch. It should be done by the time the boys are ready."

Michael grinned. "I guess it's just you and me."

"Did Drew find what he wanted?" asked Shana.

"I think so. Or at least he's close. He liked the place on Wild Road but wants Jeff to see it. I think he's flying out later today." He shook his head. "It's amazing how a sweet little thing like you got mixed up with the Russian Mafia, and over a painting."

"I've tried to tell Kuznetsov to forget about the painting. It's not worth all of this, but he won't listen. I don't understand. Drew said he's probably upset because we're getting too close to his business. I know nothing about his business and don't care to know. I just want to get back to normal. At the end of August, school starts, and I don't know if I'll be able to resume teaching."

"Drew said you taught high school. What subject?"

"English. This year we're discussing King Lear." Shana snapped three more beans.

"Isn't he the king who disowned his favorite daughter because she told him the truth?" Michael set the bowl aside.

"He is. You're familiar with Shakespeare?"

"A little. Required reading in high school. I guess things haven't changed much, have they?"

"The classics will always be classics."

As Zachery and Anderson walked in, Anderson said, "Mom said we can head for the dining room in about ten minutes." Anderson moved a chair next to Shana.

Shana stood. "I'd better see if I can help."

"Stay here." Zachery touched her arm. "I'll go."

Shana tilted her head.

"I need to speak with you." Anderson's eyes met hers. "Philip called." He took her hand. "Breathe. It's not that bad."

She sat. "I'm sure it's not good or you wouldn't be acting like this."

"She already knows you pretty well." Michael nodded for his son to continue.

"The security team in Boston stopped an attack before they got to Hannah and Mary."

Shana's hands covered her mouth and moisture welled in her eyes.

"We're moving them to another apartment and adding extra guards. We've also added additional guards to your parents' and brother's security teams."

"Drew?"

Anderson moved closer, took her in his arms, and guided her head to his chest.

Michael left the porch.

*****
When Shana and Drew walked into the dining room, Michael asked, "Drew?"

"We're good, " said Anderson as he held the chair for Shana and then took a seat.

"Let's bless the food. Tonight we'll feast." Susan reached for her husband's hand. "We're ready."

After Michael blessed lunch, everyone began picking up bowls and passing them. Shana sat silently and passed it on without helping herself.

"You'd better eat something." Anderson offered her the salad bowl.

After Shana released a deep breath, she said, "I've decided I'll go to Mr. Kuznetsov and tell him I'm not interested in pursuing the painting any longer."

"That's the stupidest thing I've heard in a long time." Zachery slammed down his fork.

"Zachery Leon Sharp!" warned his mother.

"Sorry, please continue, pretty lady." Zachery eyed his plate.

"Drew and his attorney, Mr. Gaines, have contacted him, but I've never spoken with him. Maybe he'll believe me if I tell him I don't want the painting."

Michael studied his plate and kept an eye on his son.

"Okay," Anderson paused, "I've told you that you're free to come and go as you wish. I won't stop you, but can you wait until Jeff arrives so we can discuss security for this venture?"

"Yes. It seems I've put everybody around me in danger and I need to do something about it." Shana took a drink of water. "I can't sit by and expect it to go away."

"What time do you expect Jeff?" asked Michael.

"I'm guessing around two, but he hasn't called for the jet. So I'm not sure." Anderson took a bite of salad.

As Anderson finished his sentence, Jeff walked into the dining room. "Howdy. I hope you saved something for me."

Susan pointed to an empty chair. "Of course, you know there's always plenty."

Anderson's eyes widened. "How'd you get here? The jet's still waiting for a call."

"Kuznetsov's men were watching so I snuck away in a taxi, and then took a commercial flight, and another taxi. Nobody expected that. Rich people and their friends don't fly commercial or use taxis. They use car services and private jets." Jeff paused and studied Shana. "Little lady, what's on your mind?"

"She thinks she wants to confront Kuznetsov by herself," blurted Zachery.

After studying Anderson's face and thinking about it, Jeff stated, "That's one way to handle it." He paused. "Drew, do you still want me to check that property?"

"Will you be able to help me set up this meeting?" asked Shana.

"I'll help anyway I can." Jeff took a drink. "Just let me know how soon you want to meet."

"As soon as possible. This man is trying to hurt everybody I care about." Shana brushed a hair from her cheek.

"As soon as we finish, Drew and I'll check out the property, and then we can sit down and discuss that meeting. How's that sound?"

Anderson nodded. "Sounds good to me."

"Thank you." Shana took her first bite of lunch.




Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Zachery Sharp -- Anderson's younger brother

Michael Sharp -- Anderson's father

Susan Sharp --Anderson's mother

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of Texas blue bonnets. It's beautiful to see fields and fields of them. This post is longer than my usual posts. I hope you don't mind. Thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 80
Chapter Vierundzwanzig Part drei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

As Anderson finished his sentence, Jeff walked into the dining room. "Howdy. I hope you saved something for me."

Susan pointed to an empty chair. "Of course, you know there's always plenty."

Anderson's eyes widened. "How'd you get here? The jet's still waiting for a call."

"Kuznetsov's men were watching so I snuck away in a taxi, and then took a commercial flight, and another taxi. Nobody expected that. Rich people and their friends don't fly commercial or use taxis. They use car services and private jets." Jeff paused and studied Shana. "Little lady, what's on your mind?"

"She thinks she wants to confront Kuznetsov by herself," blurted Zachery.

After studying Anderson's face and thinking about it, Jeff stated, "That's one way to handle it." He paused. "Drew, do you still want me to check that property?"

"Will you be able to help me set up this meeting?" asked Shana.

"I'll help anyway I can." Jeff took a drink. "Just let me know how soon you want to meet."

"As soon as possible. This man is trying to hurt everybody I care about." Shana brushed a hair from her cheek.

"As soon as we finish, Drew and I'll check out the property, and then we can sit down and discuss that meeting. How's that sound?"

Anderson nodded. "Sounds good to me."

"Thank you." Shana took her first bite of lunch.


TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 24 part 3

Susan stood. "Shana, after you finish eating, do you mind helping me in the kitchen? The men folk are going back to Wild Road, and there's a lot to be done before dinner tonight."

"I'd be glad to." Shana picked up her plate and followed Susan into the kitchen.

*****
It wasn't long before the four men got into an extended cab Dodge Ram pick-up and headed toward the property.

"Drew, what's this nonsense Shana has about meeting with Kuznetsov?" asked Jeff.

"She hopes she'll convince him that she isn't interested in the painting and the whole thing needs to be dropped," said Anderson. "Thank you for playing along."

"I got your cue."

"You need to order her not to," said Zachery.

"You have a lot to learn about women." Michael grinned. "Your brother handled it right. If he'd have said no, she would've done it anyway and probably would've gotten herself killed in the process. This way we have control over the situation." He paused. "The property is about a mile on your right."

"She's a quiet little thing. She would've accepted it." Zachery shook his head.

"Her best friend's husband told me that Shana has a major stubborn streak. I saw a hint of it at her parents' house." Anderson checked his phone. "It's Philip. I'll call him back later. Shana sees her entire family and friends being threatened because of her actions. She won't sit by and let that happen."

"That I can understand." Jeff checked his phone. "You'd better call Philip. He's calling me now."

"I will once we get to the house. I'll have a better connection than driving down the road."

*****
Michael and Zachery led Jeff inside the house while Anderson stood on the front porch and called Philip.

After Anderson listened, he said, "When the electricity cut off did the auxiliary generators kick in?" He listened again. "So all the doors remained secure?" He released a deep breath. "Good. I'm moving you guys out here as soon as possible. Jeff's checking the house, and I'll add whatever is necessary. Go ahead and put the penthouse up for sale. When I come to the city, I'll stay in a hotel. I don't plan on being there often."

When Anderson entered the house, the three men stared at him. "Kuznetsov's men attempted an attack on the penthouse. All security measures worked perfectly. Emily didn't know anything was going on."

"I wouldn't tell Shana." Zachery shoved his hands into his jean's pockets.

"I'm not going to get into the habit of hiding things from her." Anderson walked by his brother. "Jeff, make a list of everything you'll need."

"So you're going to turn this place into Fort Knox?" asked Zachery.

"I plan on it being stronger than Knox." Jeff chuckled. "Kuznetsov doesn't play around. His men are well trained and rarely make mistakes. If they do, it'd cost them their lives."

After completing the house tour, the men went back to the pick-up as Jeff asked, "Did you say sixty-eight acres, and it's all gated?"

"That's right. I know it'll take a lot of men, but I'm thinking we can hot-wire the fence somehow and add some dogs for additional security." Anderson's eyes met his friend's. "This is your expertise. What do you think?"

*****
After the men returned, Jeff walked up to Shana. "Ready to talk?"

She shook her head. "Yes, but we'd better not. It would be rude to leave as everybody's finishing tonight's preparations, wouldn't it?"

"I'm probably not the right person to ask that question to." Jeff grinned. "Social niceties aren't one of my better qualities."

Shana smiled. "I think you're very nice."

He reached around and hugged her. "You're probably the only person."

Zachery came by and punched Jeff's shoulder. "Quit hitting on my brother's gal." He laughed.

"I'm not your brother's gal." Shana frowned.

"Wanna bet?" Zachery continued walking.

Anderson walked up. "Shana, what does that expression mean?"

"She just encountered teasing from Zack." Jeff grinned.

"That's all that needs to be said." Anderson gave Shana a quick hug. "Take him as seriously as you would a grain of salt."

"But there's always an element of truth in what I say," yelled Zachery from another room. "Jeff was hitting on your gal, and I stopped him."

Anderson shook his head. "Remember the grain of salt? Ignore him."

"I'm trying to." Shana paused. "Did you settle anything with the house?"

Jeff and Anderson glanced at each other, before Anderson answered, "We did. Jeff has some security improvements to put into place before we move in. It'll take at least a week. Until then, we can stay here. Once we're settled, I'll have Emily and everyone join us." He paused to choose his words carefully. "Are you moving with us?"

"If my talk with Mr. Kuznetsov goes well, I should be able to go back to Peoria."

"I guess that's true." Anderson glanced at Jeff. "Just in case Kuznetsov isn't reasonable, get started on the security upgrades."

With a nod, Jeff grinned. "I figured as much."

Anderson took Shana's hand. "It's time to meet my grandparents." He stopped and teased, "I should ask, are you up for this? Grandpa's an ornery old fart. Grandma..." he shook his head, "never mind. I've met yours, you'll understand."

"Are you saying they're opinionated?" Shana laughed.

"You got that right. I think you'll get along fine."

After introductions were made, everybody settled in comfortable seating and began visiting.

Michael entered and announced, "Dinner will be ready in about forty-five minutes."

Leon stood. "I'd better check this myself. You don't always get the brisket done. It's often raw."

"Dad, just sit. I'll get it done." Michael motioned his father to sit.

"Nope, I'm checking on dinner." Leon continued to the patio grill, muttering under his breath.

Anderson grinned at Shana. "I warned you. My family's far from normal."

"They seem normal to me." Shana watched Michael and Leon's animated discussion around the grill. She checked her ringing cell. "Excuse me. It's Hannah." After Anderson nodded, she went to her room to take the call.

*****
About forty-five minutes later, Shana returned and scanned the room for Anderson.

Sarah smiled. "He's in the outside canning kitchen getting extra ice. Is everything all right with your friend?"

"Yes, Sarah's showed a little improvement and Hannah wanted to thank Drew."

Susan used gestures as she spoke, "Go through the kitchen, past the patio, and it's the building on your right."

Shana nodded and left. As she stood on the patio, she noticed two male forms in the building. She stopped and studied the scene. I wonder who's with Drew. He's holding something in his hand, but what? They're talking, but I can't make it out. It looks like Drew's hurt. This can't be good.







Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Zachery Sharp -- Anderson's younger brother

Michael Sharp -- Anderson's father

Susan Sharp --Anderson's mother

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a Ram pick-up. Again, this post is longer than my usual posts. I hope you don't mind. Thank you for all the support you give my writing.
School is out for the summer. I hope to spend more time on my writing. I have a few school related projects that have to be completed in June, but hopefully they don't consume all my time.


Chapter 81
Chapter Funfundzwanzig Part eins

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

About forty-five minutes later, Shana returned and scanned the room for Anderson.

Sarah smiled. "He's in the outside canning kitchen getting extra ice. Is everything all right with your friend?"

"Yes, Sarah's showed a little improvement and Hannah wanted to thank Drew."

Susan used gestures as she spoke, "Go through the kitchen, past the patio, and it's the building on your right."

Shana nodded and left. As she stood on the patio, she noticed two male forms in the building. She stopped and studied the scene. I wonder who's with Drew. He's holding something in his hand, but what? They're talking, but I can't make it out. It looks like Drew's hurt. This can't be good.


TODAY'S POST:

Shana edged closer and overheard the strong Russian accent. That's Bezrukov, he's one of Kuznetsov's men. He followed me from the museum and tried to kidnap me in the parking garage. I need to do something. She noticed a clay flowerpot next to the building, picked it up, and crept behind Bezrukov, and then lifting it above her, she slammed it into the back of the man's head. He crumbled to the ground in a daze.

Anderson grabbed for the knife. The men struggled as they each tried to gain control of it.

Shana screamed.

Just as Anderson drove the knife into Bezrukov's chest, family members rushed outside . He glanced up and yelled, "Get Shana out of here."

Zachery put his arm around Shana. "I'll take you to your room."

As Leon notified the police, the security team arrived at the scene.

"Oscar, how'd Bezrukov get this far into the perimeter?" Anderson stood, wiped his brow, and pressed his free hand against his arm wound.

"I have no idea. I'll find out and make sure it doesn't happen again."

Jeff studied Anderson's arm and offered a towel. "He got you pretty good. " After Anderson nodded, Jeff walked to the body and checked it. "We don't have to worry about him anymore."

Anderson used the towel for pressure against his wound. "She didn't need to witness this. Violence isn't part of her life." He started to leave.

"Drew, you need your arm attended to." Susan reached out for her son.

"Mom, I need to check on Shana." Anderson pecked his mom's cheek. "My arm isn't going anywhere. When the police arrive, call me. You might want to get Grandma somewhere safe."

*****
After two raps to the door, Anderson opened it. "Shana?"

She threw her arms around his neck. "You're safe."

"I am." He held her, but nodded at Zachery. "Wait in the hall."

Zachery shut the door on the way out.

Moments passed as Shana clung to Anderson. He moved her hands from around his neck and led her to the bed. "Sit. I can't stay long and we need to talk. The police'll have questions. At the condo, I protected you, but this time you'll have to talk with them." He put his finger to her lips as she started to speak. "Just tell the truth."

"He stabbed you." Shana touched Anderson's arm.

"I'm fine."

"But you killed Bezrukov. He was one of the men..."

"I know, and it was self-defense," interrupted Anderson. "Don't worry." He scanned the room. "I'm worried he wasn't the only man who snuck through security. Zack will stay with you."

"But..."

Anderson heard a knock at the door. "The police must be ready. I'll be back as soon as possible."

As he reached the door, Shana hugged him. He kissed her forehead. "Sweetheart, I won't be long." Under his breath he muttered, "I hope."

When Zachery entered the room, he saw Shana kneeling by the bed, praying. He knelt beside her. "Is it okay if I pray with you?"

Shana nodded, and they continued to pray.

Moments later, they finished, and Shana sat on the bed.

As Zachery pulled a chair beside her, Shana asked, "Do you have a gun on you?"

He lifted his shirttail and pulled out a Glock 19 Gen4.

Shana swallowed. "And a knife?"

From his back waist band, Zachery pulled a Sog Seal Pup Elite Fixed Blade.

"Anything else?"

Zachery grabbed a Benchmade Bedlam from his boot.

"I see you're ready for anything."

"I take it you've never been around weapons." Zachery quietly replaced each one. "If you keep hanging out with the mafia, I might have to insist my brother teaches you to use a gun." He grinned.

Shana shook her head. "Never!"








Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Zachery Sharp -- Anderson's younger brother

Michael Sharp -- Anderson's father

Susan Sharp --Anderson's mother

Leon Sharp - - Anderson's grandfather

Grandma Sharp - - Anderson's grandmother

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a lady praying. I've changed this post so many times. I hope I now have it right. Thank you for all the support you give my writing.


Chapter 82
Chapter Funfundzwanzig Part zwei

By barbara.wilkey

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

Moments passed as Shana clung to Anderson. He moved her hands from around his neck and led her to the bed. "Sit. I can't stay long and we need to talk. The police'll have questions. At the condo, I protected you, but this time you'll have to talk with them." He put his finger to her lips as she started to speak. "Just tell the truth."

"He stabbed you." Shana touched Anderson's arm.

"I'm fine."

"But you killed Bezrukov. He was one of the men..."

"I know, and it was self-defense," interrupted Anderson. "Don't worry." He scanned the room. "I'm worried he wasn't the only man who snuck through security. Zack will stay with you."

"But..."

Anderson heard a knock at the door. "The police must be ready. I'll be back as soon as possible."

As he reached the door, Shana hugged him. He kissed her forehead. "Sweetheart, I won't be long." Under his breath he muttered, "I hope."

When Zachery entered the room, he saw Shana kneeling by the bed, praying. He knelt beside her. "Is it okay if I pray with you?"

Shana nodded, and they continued.

Moments later, they finished, and Shana sat on the bed.

As Zachery pulled a chair beside her, Shana asked, "Do you have a gun on you?"

He lifted his shirttail and pulled out a Glock 19 Gen4.

Shana swallowed. "And a knife?"

From his back waist band, Zachery pulled a Sog Seal Pup Elite Fixed Blade.

"Anything else?"

Zachery grabbed a Benchmade Bedlam from his boot.

"I see you're ready for anything."

"I take it you've never been around weapons." Zachery quietly replaced each one. "If you keep hanging out with the mafia, I might have to insist my brother teaches you to use a gun." He grinned.

Shana shook her head. "Never!"


TODAY'S POST:


Chapter 25 part 2

Later that evening, Michael knocked on Shana's bedroom door. "The detective's ready to speak with you."

The walk down the hall was silent as Michael and Zachery led her to the living room.

A man, dressed in a dark suit, motioned her to sit. "Hello, Ms. Kohlberg, I'm Detective Rollins. I understand you witnessed the incident in the canning kitchen." After she nodded, he continued, "Would you please tell me in your own words, exactly what you saw?"

"Where should I start?"

"Why don't you start at the beginning?"

Michael glanced at the detective and then said, "Shana, I think he means once you stepped onto the patio. This story goes way back. I think my son, Anderson, has already filled you in on how and where this mess began."

Michael glanced at his ringing cell. "Sorry Shana, I need to take this."

"I'll get you a bottle of water." Zachery left and muttered under his breath. "We can't just leave her to the wolves. They'll devour her. Where's Drew?"

Susan nodded. "He's busy with another detective. You and your dad need to stay with her."

Zachery handed Shana a bottle of water, pulled up a chair, and stared at the detective. "Now, where were we?"

"Ms. Kohlberg just explained she had received a phone call from a friend and took it to her bedroom. When she returned, she wanted to share the information with Mr. Sharp but he was getting ice." His eyes met Shana's. "Please continue."

"I've only been here a few days so Susan, Drew's mom, told me how to get to the canning kitchen. I followed her directions. I was about halfway across the back patio when I saw Drew and another man, Bezrukov. I don't remember his first name. They were in the canning kitchen. Drew had his back against the freezer." She glanced at Zachery. "The big silver thing is a freezer, correct?"

"It is."

"Just a minute," interrupted Rollins. "How did you know the man's name? Have you met him before?"

"Kind of, I know of him. He and two other men followed me from the New York City museum and on another occasion attempted to kidnap me in the parking garage of Drew's New York penthouse." Shana continued, "Bezrukov faced Drew. He had something in his hand but I couldn't see it well enough to know what it was."

"How far away?" asked the detective.

Searching the room, Shana answered, "About from here to the front door."

After Rollins estimated the distance, he wrote it and then nodded for Shana to continue.

"Drew appeared to be hurt."

"How could you tell?"

When Shana's eyes met Zachery's, he said, "Tell Detective Rollins exactly what you saw."

"I could see something running down his upper arm past his elbow. I couldn't tell exactly what it was, but I assumed it was blood because of the way he held his arm." Shana paused. "It was dripping to the floor."

"Okay. Please go on. What happened next?"

"I walked closer and heard Bezrukov yell something to Drew. I couldn't make it out because of his strong accent. I assumed it was a Russian accent because of our previous problems. When Drew didn't respond, the man jabbed the knife toward him and Drew moved to the..." Shana moved her left arm, "he darted to the left to avoid being stabbed."

"When he did that, could you see clearly it was a knife?" asked the officer.

"I could tell it was silver or gray and the end had a point. Is that enough to assume it was a knife?"

Zachery grinned. "Shana, you're doing fine, continue."

"I'm not so sure." Shana took a sip of water. "I felt Drew needed help." She closed her eyes. "I saw a large clay pot next to the doorway and picked it up." She raised her hands. "It was filled with dirt and heavy. I crept into the room and got close enough to throw the pot at the back of the man's head. I hit him. I guess it surprised him enough that he stumbled to the ground."

"How close did you get?" asked the officer.

"I don't know. I was so scared." She studied Zachery. "Maybe from here to Zachery."

Rollins wrote down that information and asked, "What happened next?"

"Everything happened so fast. The man dropped the knife beside him." Shana looked at the detective's eyes. "I definitely knew it's a knife now. Drew tried to get to it before the man. They wrestled. The man reached it first and tried to stab Drew." Tears welled in her eyes.

Zachery reached for her hand. "It's okay."

She nodded. "Somehow Drew gained control of the knife. He tried to stab the man, but the man kept shoving it away. I guess Drew was stronger because the knife went into the man's chest. At some point I screamed, and everybody came running. Drew ordered them to take me away, and Zachery took me to my room. I stayed there until you wanted to speak to me."

"It seems bodies are following you all over the US. Any idea why?" Detective Rollins help up his pen.

"Not really." Shana released a deep breath. "For some reason Kuznetsov's men keep finding us and attacking us. I don't understand it. I wanted my family's painting back, but I don't any longer. We've contacted him, telling him that. I don't know why he hasn't dropped the attacks. The painting isn't worth it." Tears streamed down Shana's cheeks.

Zachery stood. "Shana's told you everything she knows." He held out his hand for her. "I'll take you to your room."

They both stood, and the detective handed her an evidence bag. "I'll come with you. I'll need your clothes because there's blood on them."

Shana glanced over her clothes. "No! I didn't know. I never got close to Bezrukov."

"You hugged Drew. He had blood on him. It's transfer." Zachery placed his hand on the small of her back and led her to her room.

"But..."

"It's okay. Everything'll be all right."

Detective Rollins followed.

Shana went into the bathroom and closed the door.

The detective paced the floor. "How long does it take to remove clothes?"

"She's frightened. Give her time." Zachery stood off to the side.

Rollins glanced at his watch. "She's taking too long."

He moved toward the door, and Zachery shoved him away. "I said give her time." He stood face to face with the detective.

Rollins moved to the side. "You can't stop me."

Zachery shoved him again, almost knocking him down. "I just did." Their eyes met as Zachery said, "I said give the lady some privacy."

Susan and Michael rushed into the room.

"I heard noise. What's the problem?" Michael glared at the detective.

"He doesn't think Shana's moving fast enough so he attempted to enter." Zachery motioned to the bathroom door.

"I'll get the clothes." Susan knocked on the door. "Honey, can I come in?"

"Yes," whispered Shana. With Susan standing beside her, she continued scrubbing her hands and arms. "I can't get the blood off."

"I'll give Detective Rollins your clothes and come back to help. Okay?"

Shana nodded.









Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her family's painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah Jacobs -- Shana's cousin, the same age and best friend. Married within the past year and just had a baby, Sarah. Her husband, Paul. Sarah was just diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease.

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Eliana Kohlberg - - Shana's mother

Maxwell Gaines -- Lawyer hired to retrieve the painting

Erich Berger -- Manager of the Dorotheum art auction house in Austria

Mary Pritchard -- The lady Anderson hired to help Hannah while she's in Boston with Sarah.

Zachery Sharp -- Anderson's younger brother

Michael Sharp -- Anderson's father

Susan Sharp --Anderson's mother

Leon Sharp - - Anderson's grandfather

Grandma Sharp - - Anderson's grandmother

Detective Rollins - - Austin police detective

Author Notes Thank you Google Images for an image of a scene. This post is a little longer than normal, I hope you don't mind. I've counted the number of days I have for summer break. Including weekends, it comes to 67. DARN! That's not enough. I've already used 17, and they were taking by training's and rewriting some things for school. I hope next week will be an honest-to-goodness break. LOL Thank you for all the support you give my writing.

I have a question for my fans. I know this novel still has a ways to go before the ending. I have it finished on my computer. I'm already writing an outline of my next novel. I'm needing a classic muscle car that my heroine inherits from her dad. I've been asking around. Any suggestions???


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