The Enigma Rising (The Enigma Series) (Volume 2)

The Enigma Rising (The Enigma Series) (Volume 2)

by Breakfield and Burkey

ISBN: 9781946858030

Publisher ICABOD Press

Published in Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

In book 2 of this Techno-Thriller, The Enigma Series, Carlos and Juan have a sweet deal going, helping drug lords and their wealth disappear. A chance encounter with the powerful R-Group changes their plans, lives, and loves forever.

Sample Chapter

PROLOGUE – Present Day – August – Advice, like medicine, needs to be the right dose


Thiago stared at his most recent picture of his beautiful daughter Lara as if that alone would bring her back. Her long almost auburn hair, slightly wavy like his, big chocolate eyes with lashes that needed little cosmetic enhancement, generous mouth with perfect teeth smiling like she had a secret. Lara was around 1.7 meters, trim, with a well-proportioned figure he feared too many males would notice when she went away to university. Her grace when she walked and her lilting laughter, to say nothing of his wealth, made her a very sought after heiress, whom he’d overprotected her entire life. He missed that laughter in their home. The four months that his daughter had been gone had felt closer to a year.

Lara was brilliant in her subjects, fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, with a stubborn streak that matched his own. Hard headed when it came to her dreams of modeling and being an actress. As if he’d allow his daughter to ever pursue a career like that. Maybe if her mother had lived, these pursuits would have been nipped in the bud and channeled into her legacy. Thiago knew she was more than capable of stepping into his shoes one day and taking over his interests in his iron, steel, and petroleum business. She knew a great deal about the business, the social requirements, and many of his associates. She simply didn’t want it like she had when she was younger. Most likely because he wanted her to do it, along with the influences of college.

He hoped his meeting with Otto today for lunch would provide a new option for locating Lara. As wealthy and powerful as Thiago Bernardes was in Brazil and throughout Latin America for that matter, he hadn’t been able to find his daughter Lara. He’d been able to keep the fact that she was missing from the press and friends with the contrived story of her vacationing at a spa. How much longer that would work was an open question. Oscar, the head of his security team, had done some digging and tracking, discreetly of course, but had no real leads.

Otto was visiting for an update on the financial investments that his firm provided to Bernardes Ltd. They’d been friends for many years, and Otto had advised him well for investments. Thiago knew, however, that Otto had many inroads to information sources. As Thiago entered the restaurant, he was delighted to see that Otto was already seated. Otto stood to shake hands as he approached.

“Thiago, my friend, so happy you could meet with me today. The cuisine smells amazing, and I hope you have a recommendation,” Otto said as he shook hands with his old friend.

Thiago responded with a slight smile, “It is very nice to see you again. We get together in person too rarely, my friend. Yes, of course I have my favorites which I will recommend.”

They sat down and glanced at the menus briefly while giving the waiter their drink orders. The waiter provided a list of the specials and indicated he would be back with their drinks and to take their orders.

“Business, by all reports, appears to be good here in Brazil and throughout South America. Your investments, I am happy to report, are doing quite well, and I have a few items for your consideration. But, before all of that boring discussion takes place, tell me about yourself and of course your lovely daughter, Lara. I thought perhaps she might be joining us today.” Otto smiled, pleased to be there with his old friend.

A shadow crossed Thiago’s face, deepening the lines of stress. “Business is very good, Otto. Lara however is a different matter. I was thinking of confiding in you and seeking your counsel. I require your utmost discretion, however, if we continue with that discussion. But let’s order lunch first, shall we, and discuss the weather and such.”

“Of course. I have never broken a confidence of yours. Problem with Lara? From all you have told me over the years, I find that difficult to believe.”

The waiter interrupted when he returned with their drinks. They both chose from the specials offered, with the waiter indicating they would be most pleased with their choices. When the waiter left, they toasted their meeting and discussed the weather and such as they waited for their meals. Though Thiago looked less robust than previously, Otto strived to keep the conversation light. Their luncheon was served, and they were left in peace to their corner of the restaurant.

“Thiago, this salmon is excellent. How is your swordfish?”

“Very nice. To be honest I have yet to have a poor meal here. Consistently delicious though a bit pricey on some dishes. I find these days my appetite is not what it once was, so this always tempts me to eat more.”

“Ah, so how is your progress on overcoming your health challenges? You look a bit tired, but I would attribute that to worry from what you indicated before lunch.”

“The doctors were not encouraged at my visit last week. Some recommendations have been made, but I fear that the end is closer than they are willing to admit. That is another of the reasons I would like to discuss Lara with you and see if you have any options I might explore.”

“Your health is critical so of course you must either seek other medical opinions or adhere to their recommendations.”

“I have consulted with two other doctors, and they are all aligned in the treatment methods. They all indicate I can overcome this issue, but I need to reduce my stress, exercise, take their silly pills, and rest more. I am doing my best to adhere to their guidance and am scheduled for some additional procedures in a few weeks.

“Otto, Lara is missing. She has been for months. So far all my efforts haven’t resulted in any leads on her whereabouts. Due to my health problems and lack of finding Lara, I have also redone my will naming you as the executor. I have no other choice until Lara returns.”

“There are courses of action for your health. That is good. Executor of your estate? That seems extreme, but I will honor your wishes for the time being. Now what about Lara? What is the problem? I of course would like to help you if I can.”

Forcibly calming himself and taking a breath, Thiago succinctly stated, “Lara essentially ran away four months ago. I have kept it out of the press, but have no leads on where she is. I am so worried, that I am starting to neglect the business and imagining all the worst for my princess.”

He paused again, then continued, “I have Oscar on it, but he has found nothing of any substance. He tracked her on a flight to Argentina then totally lost her.”

“Oh my! I am so sorry. Do you know what she took with her? Was there an event that caused her to leave? You two didn’t butt heads, did you?”

Shaking his head and looking very sad, he responded, “She took two suitcases filled with clothes, her passport, her credit cards which she has not used since the purchase of the airline ticket, and a few thousand U.S. dollars cash.

“To be quite honest, we did have an argument. She wanted to try her hand at modeling and acting, but I could never allow my daughter to do that. I put my foot down and reminded her of the responsibilities to the company and our people. We stood toe to toe, with me giving orders and her saying she was grown and could make her own choices. I told her my expectations. My last words were to forbid her to pursue modeling and acting. She glared at me and told me I was impossible and then she ran from the library where we’d been talking to her room. When I got up in the morning, I didn’t see her and figured she was cooling off. When I returned from work that evening, she was gone with no word to any of the staff. I then discovered the missing luggage and the other items.”

Otto empathized, “You’ve had no word, no calls from her? Are you sure that she wasn’t taken? How could she escape the scrutiny of her bodyguard? She adores you. I am surprised she wouldn’t have at least called you to say she was alright.”

With tears coming into his eyes, Thiago said, “Honestly she’s been outsmarting her bodyguards over the years, though not in public. Even during her time at the university, she adhered to the security requirements. Oscar and I both believe she left voluntarily. The words were terribly ugly between us. I told her she would fail and not to do this then come begging for help from me. At one point during our argument, she said she didn’t need me and could do this on her own.”

“I understand. Sometimes when we are mad we say things that we would never otherwise say. I am sure it was the case on both sides of the argument. So Oscar has had no success. You believe she left on her own. Overall she has not been in the limelight and thus is not immediately recognized so no paparazzi interest, I would guess. How do you think I can help you?”

“Otto, I am confident that you have resources outside of the financial investments which we have always dealt with. Perhaps you can make some discreet inquiries. Keep an eye out for her. I do not want it in the press. It is far too private and that would really alienate her, I fear. We have been fortunate to not be a targeted family, as some of my associates are.”

Otto sat back and thought for a few minutes. Could he use his resources to help here? It was different than other activities his team was involved with, but then again perhaps not so much. His team was the best at getting information, but to be discreet would take time. Perhaps JAC and Quip would have some ideas, he thought.

“Thiago, this is not an area in which I or my associates would normally get involved. However, I have known you for a long time and Lara since she was very little. I have a couple of folks that I might be able to have work on it. It will take time though, especially if you do not want the press involved.

“Doesn’t she speak several languages? This is important to potentially discover where she might have traveled to. Do you have some current photographs of her? Exactly how much cash do you believe she left with and in which currencies? She aspires to be a model and an actress, right? As I recall, she is tall and thin but more proportioned than the typical anorexic runway model, with a face like an angel and with a slightly bronzed complexion and huge eyes. Did she do any acting in school?”

Thiago nodded and said, “She speaks fluently in languages that would allow her to easily fit in anywhere in North America or South America. She did not act in any school plays, but said her whole life was like playing a role. Sadly, though she inherited the looks of her mother, she also got her tenacity, or what you would call mule headedness from my side of the gene pool.”

They both grinned, knowing that trait was well engrained in the both of them. It contributed to their success in business overall. Their discussion continued down the business path of the main objective for their lunch when it was originally scheduled. Otto wanted to gather his thoughts as well as give Thiago a chance to recover his composure after telling of the disagreement with his daughter. As they finished up their conversation, paid for their lunch, and readied to leave, Otto ventured forth with an offer.

“Thiago, I will have my team make some discreet inquiries.”

“I understand, Otto, and I appreciate that it will take time. She could be any place and doing anything to reach her dream. Money is no object so please let me know your fees for this.”

“Do not insult me with fees for doing a friend a favor. If the team incurs costs then you can reimburse for those, but no fees. You do have to make a promise to me for doing this.” Otto knew that the longer she was gone the greater the risk at her recovery, and he wanted to push Thiago.

“Of course, anything! What do I need to promise?”

“That no matter how long it takes, and it could take some time to maintain your requested discretion, you will do what your doctors say so that you can see her when she is found.”

“That is not fair. I can hardly control that.”

“You will adhere to their requests, and I will have a doctor I know review the treatment recommendations as well. When she is found then you can readdress your will. Agreed?”

 As they stepped outside, Thiago seemed reinvigorated, “Alright. I agree. Thank you, Otto. I will send some information to you. Please provide progress updates. Oscar is at your disposal if needed.”

Excerpted from "The Enigma Rising (The Enigma Series) (Volume 2)" by Breakfield and Burkey. Copyright © 0 by Breakfield and Burkey. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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