What is Mine
~ Twenty-One ~


A soft rush of air ruffled the stack of handwritten documents at Doctor Jack Whelan's elbow. He raised his head, irate that despite his express orders, someone had dared to disturb him in the sanctuary of his office.

At the threshold watching him was a slim stranger. Jack's practiced eye swept the stranger from head to foot. His slight build was not quite natural for his height and he leaned heavily upon the ornately carved cane beneath his left hand. The stranger's expensive suit hung just a little loosely, but still spoke of affluence.


Keen green eyes pierced Jack with their intensity. The stranger did not speak, but stood in the doorway assessing the doctor with a thoroughness that equaled Jack's own.

“I am afraid that I am quite busy-”

The stranger stepped into the room and, with his eyes fixed on Jack, closed the door behind him. He made his way to the doctor's desk with a measured gait that held just the slightest of limps.

Jack tensed as his silent visitor reached into the inner breast pocket of his dark suit. The stranger extended his clenched fist Jack's way before slowly unfurling his fingers and allowing the object he held to slide to the desktop.

Cautiously the doctor allowed his eyes to dart to the desktop. What he saw froze him in place. For the first time in his entire adult life, Doctor Robert Whelan experienced an emotion he had never known – fear.

An antique medallion and chain lay in an innocuous little pile upon the smooth oak desktop. But Jack could not help his instinctive recoil as he immediately recognized the medallion. It was identical to the one he had taken from the dead woman's body and placed in her injured companion's inner breast pocket.

Jack felt suddenly numb. He raised his gaze back to the watching stranger. The cold determination shining in the man's green eyes told the doctor that the sum of his worse fears now stood before him.

“I owe you my life,” the stranger finally uttered. His smooth, cultured voice, with just a hint of his Russian accent, was calm and even.

“But the repayment of that debt will not come at the cost of my son.”