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Steve Winshel

Copyright 2012

Smashwords Edition

Chapter One

Josh Barnes sat looking at the computer screen, massaging the almost-healed bullet wound on his left leg. Two weeks ago the image would have been inconceivable. A lot can happen in two weeks.

He traveled for work, almost continuously. A steady stream of cities distinguishable only by whether there was a decent place to eat at the airport. Things were always moving, never dull. But after more than a dozen years it was getting stale. The go-to technology guy wherever he worked, he ran departments for companies needing someone smart and savvy. Josh was good at it, but he had started feeling unsettled even though he changed employers every couple of years. Like it was something to keep him busy and paid until he found the one thing that really excited him. He wasn’t even conscious of the struggle, but it showed in his increasing restlessness and job changes. And the travel wasn’t so good on relationships. Josh looked at the spot on his desk where people usually kept pictures of loved ones. There was a stack of unpaid bills instead. The women he dated told him the traveling wasn’t really the problem. It was the restlessness, the absences – not being there – whether he was on an airplane or sitting across from them at dinner. Josh’s mind drifted to those words and he looked out the window of the office he kept at home. There used to be a picture in a frame on the desk. He pushed aside the thought of Jenna, still surprised at how sharply he felt it. Today was different. A new start. The wound on his leg throbbed. His looked back at his computer screen, a decision waiting to be made.

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