Synopsis: Cold Ghost –
Joel was just a regular ol’ park ranger, minding his own business when Yukihiro, a recently retired assassin for a Tokyo yakuza family, burst through a window and into his life. Now, he’s trapped quite figuratively in a web of deceit and danger that goes beyond the usual ‘hilarious misunderstanding’ and driven straight to ‘running away for dear life’. Will Joel survive the adventure?  Will Yukihiro ever explain what it’s all about or why Triads want him dead?  Or will everyone just be eaten alive by bears?


Next Chapter: Chapter 6 – Easy Fight Rambling

Chapter 5: Middle of Nowhere


Nathan Hart was not known for always being a patient man. Methodical yes, determined yes, but when the goal was in sight, he couldn’t help but feel antsy. It wasn’t the best trait to have when you worked for the Organised Crime Unit practically speaking, but Nathan was good at his job. Well, most of the time he was anyway.

Currently, he sat in the front office of a tiny police office on Prince Edward Island, nursing a paper cup of coffee. His team had been following a lead on a drugs running operation between there and the mainland. A fisherman had set up a meth factory in an old boat shed, and hiding the goods in barrels of mackerel, and selling it on to drug runners shipping it to the main land. They’d finally caught him last night, but he’d tried to swim away so of course they had to dive in after him. Lucky they hadn’t collapsed with hypothermia.

“How are you doing there, Hart? Got any feeling left in your extremities?”

“Got enough feeling left to right hook you, James. We got any word back on transporting this moron back to the mainland?”

James –which was his family name and not his actual given name, which was Maximillian unfortunately, shook his head and rubbed his hands together. It was the two of them who had taken the plunge in after their ambitious fisherman.

“Nothing back from head office yet… We might have to hand him over to the locals for the mean time…”

Nathan slumped back and growled under his breath.

“But I did get an odd call. Apparently someone called head office looking for you, about a lead on another case you were working a while back.”

“Yeah, and what did they say? I got an awful lot of case files sitting on my desk, so I hope they were a hell of a lot more specific than that,” Nathan said, sipping his coffee.

James shrugged, and stood over Nathan’s shoulder, arms crossed across his chest.

“Apparently, they didn’t say much of anything. They wanted to speak to you, and only you, but it must have been about the time we went in for a paddle… Office said that you were unavailable, out on assignment and all and asked to take a message. Guy said he could only speak to you directly about the details, wouldn’t say which case or if it was urgent but he mentioned an email address or number for you to contact him at. Head office has got it, but they say it looks bogus to them,” he said, sighing.

Nathan continued sipping and taking his time about it, but the hamster on the wheel in his head was doing over time, trying to figure out which lead it could be. Recently, anonymous leads had a nasty habit of disappearing or turning up dead, or even worse, in the Atlantic Ocean. There were a bunch of active files that were open at the moment, and a few more that were coming up on review in court. It had to be someone who didn’t know his schedule; knew his name but not his routine. In a strange way, it concerned him that there was someone looking for him, but it relieved him that they obviously had no clue about shadowing people.

His stomach did a small flip. Nathan had thought of someone. It was someone who he didn’t think would have come looking for him. A naive sentimental part of him had pondered the possibility that this person could coming looking for him, but the cynic inside told him that the more likely possibility was pigs sprouting wings and taking flight, or Gerard Butler picking him up in the bar tonight. It had been a few months now, so was the contact details that he had left a clue?

“No message at all, I just have to wait until I get back into work and get this dealt with? That’s about as useful as a migraine, James,” Nathan replied, slightly terse.  He hoped that James didn’t start to ask him questions; he’d been pretty vocal on his thoughts on the matter the last time he had spoken with this person.

James shrugged: “Not my fault, it could just be a crank. If they were an old friend, they’d have your cell phone number or home number or something, right? Whoever it was, they called the precinct reception, asked for an Organised Crime Unit detective. It could just be a reporter on a fishing expedition, and it’s not an issue we can solve out on this stinking island.”

Phew – James seemed to be clueless so far. Maybe Nathan could relax then.

“Got something against Prince Edward Island there, James?”

“Nothing personal, I just could have done without that bracing plunge last night. I’m looking forward to being back in Ontario with my delightful family. It ain’t manly to admit it, but the rotten weather makes a guy think, you know? Be nice to get back and not be on some away assignment at this time of year,” James said.

Nathan didn’t say much to that – he’d met James’ family, and they were a great bunch, even if the toddler did have interesting ideas about appropriate indoor voice volume a lot of the time. A part of him wanted to begrudge his partner for having something to look forward to when he got home. All Nathan had to look forward was a fancy TV dinner and a lot of terrible films over the holiday period this year. If things had perhaps gone a little better with that person – Joel – then he’d hoped that the two of them could… No, it didn’t matter. It wasn’t going to happen, so there was no point dwelling on it like this. Things didn’t work out and that was just the way of it.

Stupid, sexy, Joel and his stupid but sexy ways… He sure did pick them sometimes. He couldn’t believe he’d actually taken time off of work to try and track him down and sort things out… crap, what the hell was wrong with him? Things were over between the two of them, they’d been over for nearly four or five months now. Not that he was keeping track. It was stupid to be thinking about someone he wasn’t even involved with anymore and it was infantile to dwell about how it had gone straight to hell so quickly. So he had turned out to be needy and pushy, big fucking deal. Well, maybe ‘straight to hell’ was a bit strong, but when things had hit a rough patch, they had gone south pretty quickly and as far as he was concerned, Joel hadn’t been patient enough, so it was his fucking loss.

“Guess it’ll be good to get back on the mainland…” Nathan muttered, half to himself and half to James. He shook his head, still trying to wrap his head around the phone call – the cold water from last night must have frozen his brains. “Head Office really didn’t say anything about who it was? I mean, they must have tried to contact the number or something. Chambers wouldn’t have just sat with his hands under his ass and waited for us to report back in. He wouldn’t have, he’d have tried to contact the number…”

James plonked a hand down on Nathan’s shoulder: “Hey, easy on the conspiracy theories there Mulder. In all seriousness, Head Office said nothing, given us no information beyond you have to return a call when you get back into work. Think about this for a second, think about it properly. If it’s that urgent or if it was an open case, Chambers would have had us on a boat or plane back to Toronto hours ago, frostbite or no frostbite. Give it a rest.”

Nodding numbly at his partner’s words, Nathan went back to sipping coffee. Warmth began to filter through him very slowly. He tried to rationalise it. James was probably right anyway: there wasn’t anything they could do about it out here, and if it had been urgent then Chambers would have already sent for them.

God, but this was the kind of thing he hated, having to hang about and wait to find things out. He was tired of bottling all of it up, compartmentalising it. C’mon now, he had to get a grip and calm down. James had said that the office didn’t think it was urgent, that Chambers had said nothing. That had to be a good sign, that he didn’t have anything to worry about. He was just being paranoid and irrational.
Still had a gross, cold creeping feeling going through his body, and he couldn’t figure out why. He didn’t really think that it was frostbite setting in in any case.
It was definitely the first time in a long time that he had looked forward to getting back to Toronto.

Previous Chapter: Chapter 4: When Tomorrow Comes


Next Chapter: Chapter 6 – Easy Fight Rambling

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