The woman reached over and sipped her water then lay back down in bed. Her baby was sleeping next to her; she reached over and traced her fingers over his beautiful face. She named him Ranger after her husband and his father. Big Ranger had gone on the mission without her, she was part of the team but stayed behind because of being ready to give birth. Something had gone wrong she felt it. Getting up she dressed and looking back at her baby slipped out the door and knocked on the door across the hall.
William, the old distinguished man that had lived through two world wars answered the door. He looked good for his age a bit stooped over but thin and still in good shape.
“Yes, Mary is there something wrong? Is it time to hide the baby?”
“I feel it is.”
“I will come over with you.” He walked out of his apartment and followed the beautiful young woman with dark hair pulled back into the hallway. There was a commotion outside of the building.
“Hurry,” Mary cried. She opened the door to her apartment and grabbed her baby and a bag; she turned and handed him to William. William grabbed the baby and bag running back to his place locking his door and hiding the baby in the bathroom.
Mary looked out the window. It was Ron part of her husband’s team. What was he doing here? There was a knock on her door.
“Mary, it’s Ron. I have some news open up.” He said.
She opened the door a crack. “Where’s Ranger?”
He pulled out a gun and shot her in the chest. She collapsed in front of the door pretending to pass out. It hurt so much and she was bleeding badly.
Ron shoved her aside and tore up the apartment. He went over and grabbed her.
“Where’s the baby? I’m going to find him!” He screamed shaking her. “I will look the rest of my life for him!”
She pretended to still be passed out, she would really be soon if she didn’t get help.
He threw her down went over to the stove, turned it on and threw a match on the gas then poured some gasoline all around the apartment and threw a match on that. Then he kicked her on the way out and left.
Mary had gotten very weak and could barely get herself up. Some strange man appeared and picked her up carrying her out of the apartment. William had called the police and fire department. A fireman took the dying woman and they immediately started working on her William ran out of his apartment as the fireman entered to fight the gasoline fire consuming Mary’s apartment.
“Is there someone I can talk to?” He asked.
“Yes,” said a fireman, “you need to evacuate.”
“Let me grab the baby.” William went back in and picked up the baby that was just waking up. He took the child downstairs and outside. He explained all he knew to the Police Chief. Then they drove him to the hospital with the child.
When he got there Mary was critical but whispered, “I want to hold my son.”
The nurse took the baby and laid him in her weak arms.
She kissed his sweet head and died.
I woke up sweating; I got out of bed and walked over to the sink getting a drink of water. What a horrible dream! I had to confront my grandfather and get some answers. I hurriedly dressed and walked out into the farm kitchen. There sat my grandfather drinking coffee talking to my grandmother, as she was cooking breakfast. Out the kitchen window I could see the vineyards and the workers picking grapes.
“Good morning Ranger,” said my grandmother. “Sit down breakfast is ready.”
“Good morning Grandma,” “Good morning Grandpa,” I sat down at the table.
“Good morning son,” my grandfather told me. “It looks like you had a bad night.”
“Yes, I had another one of those dreams about a woman; but this one was very detailed and clear. I think it was about my mother and how she died. I’m old enough now to be told.”
“You are Ranger, but we don’t know the details. We went to that hospital to pick you up after your Mom died. No one knew anything or wouldn’t talk. Our son, your dad and mom were special agents; your dad went on this particular mission alone without your mom. He never returned and we don’t know what happened. We know something went wrong with the team and there was a traitor. It’s believed he was the one that killed your Mom. That is why I have worked so hard to train you in karate and taught you in all kinds of weaponry. As you know I’m a retired military officer and we bought this vineyard in the South of France to hide you. We don’t feel the danger is over even though it has been eighteen years,” with that Grandpa took a bite of bacon.
“Well I think my mom came to me in my dream last night and I saw what happened. I would like to know what really happened and why I’m so important to hide. I guess someday I’ll understand.” I finished saying and dug into my delicious breakfast of scrambled farm fresh eggs and local bacon.
I saw the look my grandmother gave my grandfather, but pretended not to.
Breakfast was finished. Grandma looked at me.
“Honey I have to go into town. Are you going out to work in the vineyard?”
“Yes I planned on it Grandma, do you want me to come with you?”
“No honey, Pierre is coming with me.”
“I will catch up with you in the vineyard,” Grandpa told me as he got up from the table putting his plate in the dishwater. I stood up and followed his lead.
“Make sure Pierre has a rifle and keep watch,” Grandpa said as he went over giving Grandma a kiss on the cheek.
“You know we’ll be careful.” Grandma got up put her plate in sink and Grandpa washed up as I left for the vineyards. Grandma got her purse to walk out the door.
“It’s time you know, Sarah,” said Peter to her.” Which made Grandma stop and turn around. “We’re getting to old to protect the boy any longer. If John is not alive, his son is the only thing the spy Ron has to get revenge and any information on his betrayal. Ron will never stop searching until he has destroyed every team member. I need to call Richard, Joe’s team member, to relocate Ranger to a safer place.”
“I can’t bear to lose my grandson, we have raised him as our own,” said Grandma crying out! Looking at Grandpa in the eyes she said, “however, if you feel the time has come you have my permission to make the call; I will stand behind you.” Sarah turned back to the door with tears in her eyes and walked out to meet Pierre for their shopping trip into the little village.
After getting what supplies they needed Sarah looked around. That’s when she saw them. Sarah grabbed Pierre, “look they’re here, let’s go!” She exclaimed.
“I have the truck loaded, jump in,” Pierre told Sarah with urgency.
She jumped into the moving truck and shut the door as Pierre speed away.
Arriving at the house they ran into the kitchen. Peter asked what was wrong.
“We have people that look like they are Soviet in town asking merchants about a boy!” Sarah exclaimed. “Where is Ranger?” She looked out into the vineyard trying to see him.
“I just left him out in the vineyard, we need to get him. I have made the call, they will be here shortly.” Said Grandpa. Pierre ran out into the vineyard looking for me.
I was done for the day and started walking towards the house. There was a car I didn’t recognize parked in the driveway. I pulled out my gun and snuck up to the kitchen window.
I looked in the window and saw a man and woman sitting at the table talking to Grandma and Grandpa. They were sipping coffee and had a map out on the table. Pierre called my name startling me as he walked around the side if the house.
“What are you doing Ranger? I was out in the vineyard looking for you. Come inside and meet some people that have waited 18 years to meet you.”
“Are you kidding?” I asked. “18 years why so long?”
“Come inside and you can ask them yourself.” Pierre said as he turned around walking back around the corner of the house out of my view. He was a small man, with a dark mustache, short hair, always wore jeans, cowboy boots and carried a big gun. He had been in my life forever.
I followed him into the house. As I walked through the door everyone stood up to great me. The man reached out to shake my hand.
“Hi, My name is Rick and this is my wife Jessie, it’s nice to meet you Ranger.” He gave me a firm handshake then let go and Jessie did the same. They were Americans with no accent. Rick was dressed like a soldier off duty in cameo pants; Jessie was small, thin and looked like she could handle herself, dressed in tan pants, a pink blouse and brown jacket.
“Nice to meet both of you as well,” I replied.
“Sit down dear, would you like some coffee or milk and cookies?” Grandma asked me walking over to the counter.
“I’ll take milk and cookies, please,” I answered making her smile.
Everyone sat down, I sat with my back to the counter, my grandparents on my left and company on my right, and I had a clear view of our vineyard and driveway.
As we were seated around the table, Pierre was outside watching the road to our house.
“You asked this morning what happened to your mom, Ranger; we felt it’s time you found out. That is why we asked Jessie and Rick to come over. They will have answers for all of your questions. You see they were part of that elite team with your parents,” Grandpa finished and motioned for Rick to speak.
“It all started with an assignment, we were to go in and meet a double agent working for Russia. The contact had a list of double agents in our government, with that list we could take them all out. Too much information was leaking out of our office to the enemy. The team was, Mary and Ranger, Joe, Sam, Ted, Ron, Jessie and myself. Mary had to stay home; she gave birth right after we left. We thought we would be back home before you were born or at least right after. She would be safe in the hospital, surrounded by military people. However, you were born two weeks early and she was home when the traitor, Ron killed her. I will get back to that.” Rick took a break and sipped his coffee then grabbed a peanut butter cookie. After taking a bite he finished chewing and continued.
I wasn’t saying a word, but memorizing everything being said.
“We got to Berlin late at night and checked into a hotel that would be our contact point. Early the next morning we geared up and got ready for the contact. Your dad and Sam were the ones going through the border. They were to meet the contact in a park nearby. Ted and Ron went in before them and set up their stake out in the park. They were hiding, watching that everything should run smoothly. Jessie and I went through last and hung out on the bridge. From there we were able to see the exchange, and then Ranger or Sam would walk by us and make a drop after meeting with the contact. We would cross the border and go back to the hotel. The others would follow.”
I was sitting on the edge of my chair listening to this tale of suspense, Rick continued.