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Chapter 68

Copyright© 2013 by Banzai Ben

Flashback – Ben – In Moscow

My "Guests" finally arrived. I jumped up out of the wheelchair (that's right, while at first I couldn't walk, now my legs weren't perfect but they sure as hell were functional) hugged Yuri and asked, "Did you get everything I asked for?"

He hugged the hell out of me, pulled away and replied, "Yes Ben we did and it is good to see you walking again. Are you sure you want to go through with this? You must know your Major is returning today, and do you realize our officers are going to hate you for this?"

I grinned at him and answered, "Fuck all of the Russian officers! And he's not my fucking Major he's a big fucking pain in the ass! I've never been surer of this in my life; if I do not get out of here now, I will never be able to leave to complete my mission."

I changed into the Spetsnaz uniform Yuri brought me, notice the rank and complained like hell, "Yuri, what the fuck are you doing making me a Captain?"

Yuri and all the other Spetsnaz laughed as he answered, "Ben, if you are an officer there will be less problems for you because fewer soldiers will question your actions."

Then Yuri handed me a large envelope. I took the contents and divided it between the two envelopes that contained the letters I'd written earlier and Yuri remarked, "I still cannot believe you were able to trick the nurses and the doctors about the current condition of your legs."

I grinned and answered, "Hell, I had been practicing this for almost a week and it was easy. The biggest problem was the new damn physical therapist they brought in today. She kept giving me funny looks during therapy and I was sure she figured it out but she did not say anything."

I walked around and made sure to shake Yuri's and the other Spetsnaz' hands. Yuri grinned at me so I questioned, "What the hell is the grin for?"

Yuri leaned in closely and answered, "Ben, we have the other item you requested but were are not sure you will like it. It's downstairs in the Козел1 we borrowed for you, along with the intel regarding the Chechen bastards last known positions."

1 Kozlik – Literally Goat – The UAZ-469 or Russian equivalent to the Jeep.

After his explanation, I understood the grin, returned it with one of my own and stated, "Yuri what's not to like about it, it will be fucking awesome! Did any of our men try it?"

Yuri shook his head and explained, "We asked everyone and they all refused. I guess no one is as crazy as you."

He handed me another large manila envelope. I opened it, looked inside and discovered it was full of documents so I questioned, "What the hell is all of this shit?"

Yuri shook his head and asked, "Ben, have you forgotten where you are? Inside of this is a forged Russian passport, make sure you memorize your name, and travel orders which will allow you to travel anywhere in Russia."

I had forgotten that and realized I would have been stopped and captured at the first checkpoint without them. I vigorously shook his hand and thanked him, "Damn, thank you very much! In my hurry to leave, I forgot all about this."

Then I looked around the room at the other men, my 'comrades', and stated, "Just remember if I do get caught as far as I am concerned none of you were ever here."

I prepared to leave and Yuri said, "Ben, you are forgetting the most important thing."

I blinked and replied, "I can't think of a thing I'm forgetting."

One of the men produced a bottle of vodka and I understood. We hadn't sat and drank a shot for good luck before I left (a typical Russian tradition). Shot glasses appeared, Yuri filled them, stood up and toasted, "Our comrade Ben, with this drink we all wish you хорошая охота!"

We all drank our shot, smashed the shot glasses in the corner and shouted хорошая охота (good hunting)! Then we slipped out of the room as a group...

Flashback – Tatiana – In Moscow

I finally gave up on sleeping as I had tossed and turned all night and could not remove the concerns in my mind about Ben possibly growing tired of me (or even worse). And Masha's last call, before my ill-fated attempt at sleep, informed me that Ben probably knew I lied to him about cooking the meal. This just fueled the fires of my concerns. I replayed all of our interactions in my head and decided I had made too many mistakes in my relationship with Ben. The biggest being the lie about dinner, followed closely behind by how much of a сука (bitch) I had been to him. He deserved better than me. I resolved to beg Ben to forgive me and I would promise him that I would never lie to him again and that I would not be a сука anymore. I went into my bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror and was shocked! My face looked terrible from not sleeping last night and crying: It was bloated and I had large black bags under my eyes, I must take care of this disaster before I go to see Ben!

Thank God they hadn't turned off the hot water2! I took a long hot shower and let it run over my face. I wiped the steam from the mirror, looked at my face and discovered it was still swollen. If the hot water didn't work, then it must require cold water. I went to the freezer, withdrew some ice and began to ice my swollen face.

2 Much of Moscow has centralized hot water plants and the water is moved in large distribution pipes to the residences where it is used both for heat and personal hygiene. They turn it off several weeks out of the year to clean the plants and pipes.

After ten minutes of this torture, I looked at my face in the mirror and while it was still a little swollen, it was now acceptable except for the black bags under my eyes. Those I could deal with since a little extra makeup (I normally did not wear much) would cover them. I carefully applied my makeup in the perfect amount to cover the bags but not make me look like the women Ben teased me about who wore too much makeup (he rudely called it 'war paint'). Then I decided I needed something special under my uniform today to excite Ben (if he still loved me and forgave me) so I put on my best, most sexy, almost scandalous underwear which cost me a month's salary.

I brought out my best fitting nurse's uniform, squeezed into it, zipped it up, checked myself in the mirror and was happy with what I saw. Yes, I was now ready for the battle of winning Ben back.

The trip to the hospital seemed to take forever in the Moscow Metro3 but I realized I was just nervous. We finally arrived at my stop, I fought my way out of the train, into the bustling crowd and up the interminably long escalator4 to the street where I could breathe the fresh air of early morning. I wanted to run to the hospital but restrained myself so I didn't ruin my makeup and wrinkle my uniform. I even made a special stop on the way to the hospital and bought something I knew Ben would appreciate. I finally made it to the hospital, once again checked my makeup and outfit in the elevator mirrors and was happy with what I saw. I entered Ben's room and was shocked that he wasn't in bed. After recovering from my initial surprise I saw two envelopes. I opened the one addressed to me and couldn't believe what it said when I opened it! I ... I ... I ... needed to call Masha!!!

3 Moscow Metro – The subway system that runs mostly under Moscow

4 The Moscow Metro is very deep, and was designed to also serve as a fallout shelter. Park Pobedy is 84 meters below the ground (the height of a 28 story building). It also contains the longest escalators in Europe, each one is 126 metres long and has 740 steps. The escalator ride to the surface takes approximately three minutes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Pobedy_%28Moscow_Metro%29

Flashback – Masha – In Moscow

Ohhhh my head, what is that? Jack nudged me and muttered, "Masha, the phone."

I glanced at the clock beside the bed and swore to myself, tvoyu mat who in hades was calling at this ungodly time and why did I let Jack talk me into finishing the bottle of wine last night. And why then had we continued with a bottle of vodka? Each beat of my heart reverberated in my head like a big bass drum and the infernal ringing of the phone clanged like fire bells in my mind. Jacked nudged me again and groused, "Masha, the damn phone is ringing."

I began to jump out of bed, tvoyu mat where were my clothes! Then I remembered what and how many times Jack and I did what we did last night and it made me feel better. Even though he was much older than me, his enthusiasm, passion and endurance were unrivaled by any lover I had ever had.

Jack complained once more, "Masha, why aren't you speaking! Are you alive and when in the hell are you going to answer the damn fucking phone?"

I apologized, "Sorry Jack my love, I was looking for my clothes or my robe."

Jack then stated the obvious, "Masha we are the only two here, you don't need clothes or a robe."

I was going to complain about it being cold but decided Jack was right so I jumped out of bed, dashed into the living room and shivered while I answered the phone.

A very upset and distraught Tatiana immediately cried, "Masha, he is gone!"

My mind was still fuzzy as a result of the debauchery of last night so I unfortunately felt it necessary to question, "Who is gone?"

Tatiana wailed loudly (which pained my throbbing head), "Ben is gone!"

The news shocked my senses and my mind slowly began to awaken. This did not sound right so I questioned, "What do you mean Ben is gone, how and where did he go?"

She continued to cry and answered, "Masha I have no idea. I came to his room to apologize to him and it was empty. He left two letters, one addressed to me and one addressed to Jack. I opened mine and Ben said he hoped I would forgive him but he needed to leave and go take care of some business. He would return when he was finished."

Tvoyu mat, what in hades did Ben do now! I prepared to answer when I was interrupted...

Flashback – Jack – In Moscow

Despite my morning fog I tried to remember - how many times had our sleep been interrupted by Masha's fucking late night and early morning phone calls? Hell, I couldn't count it on both my hands but this bullshit needed to stop! I figured since I was awake I would take a leak so I hopped out of the warm bed and ... Fuck me, now I knew why Masha wanted her robe, it was cold as hell in her apartment this morning! That reminded me, I wanted to work on the damn Russian windows that didn't close right and let the hot air leak out like a sieve. I headed into the bathroom, finished my business and decided I would be a good fiancé and bring Masha her robe. I rummaged through the hastily (from last night) discarded clothing on the floor, and smiled when I remembered last night, we went at it multiple times like a couple of teenagers. Masha was the most exciting and enthusiastic lover I had ever had and I looked forward to many nights like this after we were married.

I finally found her robe, walked into the living room, saw her on the phone and my heart practically stopped: Damn did I have a beautiful fiancée! I walked up to her from behind, wrapped my arms around her and massaged her breasts.

Masha quickly turned, pushed my hands away, covered the phone with one hand and said, "Jack not right now, we have an emergency! Ben is missing!"

I blinked a couple times, then I remember what Banzai told me and I swore, "That crazy son of a bitch, I didn't think he was serious!"

Masha looked at me and demanded, "Jack, what in hades are you talking about?"

I quickly analyzed the situation and realized the fuck storm that was coming if Masha was correct. I backed away from Masha, sat in a dining room chair, held my head in my hands and answered, "Banzai told me what I thought was a bullshit story yesterday about how he was going to leave and kill the fucking Chechen bastards that attacked the school. I chalked it up to his bravado because he couldn't even walk so how in the hell could he leave to go after the bastards."

A rather strange emotion (one I had not seen before) crossed Masha's face as she took a deep breath and answered...

Flashback – Masha – In Moscow

I was furious at Jack for not mentioning anything to me about Ben's plans. If we had been warned we could have diverted the train wreck that was surely coming. I almost began to berate him for his negligence, then I saw my robe in his hands and his care and concern for me quickly changed my attitude because no Russian man would have done such a thing. Besides Jack looked to truly be in pain over the situation. I quickly told Tatiana, "We will be there as soon as possible, just don't do anything crazy." And since I was speaking in Russian and Jack could not understand I added, "And that is an order."

Tatiana still cried, "Masha I understand but I cannot help but feel this is my fault."

I swore under my breath and answered, "Tatiana that is the exact sort of crazy action I am referring to. Regain control of yourself and we will be there soon."

I hung up the phone, walked over to Jack, took my robe from him, put it on, gave him a huge kiss and said, "Jack my love thank you for being so loving and caring to bring my robe to me."

Jack shook his head, sighed and confessed, "Shit Masha, I never thought Banzai would, no I didn't know he could do such a thing. Hell Masha he can't even walk, what the fuck does he think he's doing going after those bastards by himself? He's probably going to get killed and I will have that burden on my conscience forever."

Tvoyu mat! Had everyone lost their minds other than me? Jack, my Jack, was in a terrible state that I had never witnessed before. I knew he loved Ben like a son but there was no way this was my Jack's fault and I needed to inform him of that. I answered, "Jack, now is not the proper time for these crazy thoughts since there are more important things to deal with right now which might get Ben back before anything terrible happens."

Jack looked at me and added to the burden, "You haven't heard the worst of it: Major Mike is coming back today."

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