While Jake was making his uneventful getaway, Jack Brandon and his wife, the former Kathy Grayson, were checking into a suite at the Convention Center in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh was Jack’s favorite city. He graduated from Pitt and played football with the Panthers; he had been a star cornerback until his knee blew out. Jack felt at home in Pittsburgh. He knew the city. His days as a detective sergeant in the homicide unit after Marine Recon had been happy days until his marriage fell apart and his wife left him for a big name trial lawyer. That was all in the past now and he had no regrets.
Paying for an expensive suite was no problem for Jack. His father had left nearly half a billion dollars to his only son. Only Jack and Kathy knew the fortune was based on KGB money his father had taken when he opted for freedom in America. The KGB had searched for their renegade deep cover agent for years, managing to kill Jack’s mother and baby sister before they lost the trail. Jack only learned the story – and about the existence of the baby sister – when his father was near death. He told Kathy his father’s history when he proposed to her. She was shaken at first but her love for Jack overcame this bizarre story.
Kathy was a CIA officer on the fast track when her mother’s medical bills led to her resignation so she could take a more financially rewarding position with the Brandon Group. The Brandon Group, composed of Jack, Kathy, and Anita Marino undertook risky and violent assignments associated with the Brandon family’s past in fighting terrorism and hostile espionage. Anita Marino, another CIA agent, was killed in Kathmandu, Nepal, very early in their mission. Jack and Kathy recruited Kelly Marino, Anita’s only child, when she was a student at Pitt to work for the Brandon Group. She had her mother’s genes and quickly became a skilled warrior. Helpful contacts within the Pittsburgh police, where Jack had once served as a homicide detective, and his father’s long-standing contact with a senior CIA officer provided information and equipment to help in their fight against the nation’s enemies. Jack’s big black Bouvier, Shadow, had saved their lives more than once. Where Jack went, Shadow went. Shadow was graciously admitted to their suite. Money and an in with a city police captain gave the Brandons special privileges. But Shadow still had to use the freight elevator.
Later in the evening, Jack and Kathy were scheduled to have dinner with Captain Shorer, Jack’s old boss, in the Fish Market restaurant. The captain loved to eat there. There was a note in their suite saying Captain Shorer would be an hour late.
“Fine,” Kathy said. “That gives me a chance to get a workout.”
“I’ll join you as soon as I take Shadow for a walk down to the river,” Jack replied.
Jack never tired of the view at the Point Park where the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers join to form the Ohio.