Tuesday, July 18, 2023


Writing and Travel, for me, bring me pleasure beyond imagination

So - Today's post is not, technically about travel. It's a short story of love, infidelity, intrigue, very bad people, very good people, kidnapping and a world of lawless people and a man, the woman he loves and his crew correcting a very bad situation. The lead characters are Michelangelo (Mitch), Lennon, Amanda, Tyler, and, of course, Angel Dog. The bad guys are Carlo and his very bad "problem solvers". It takes place in Las Vegas and other locales. So have a good read. I hope you enjoy my first attempt at short story writing. You can also find the story on www.wattpad.com.

Michelangelo and The Angel Dog

Michelangelo Agosto, alias Mick, slowly rolled over and felt completely alone. The love of his life was gone. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and sat on the edge of the bed. He knew this would happen one day. He had this thing about relationships with women. They always left. His only true-blue companion was his German Shepard Angel Dog. She was the only female that stayed. She had been with him for three years since he resigned from the Las Vegas Police Department, after serving as a highly decorated detective for over twenty years, to become a private detective. Due to her age, after serving in the police department for almost ten years, all of his fellow detectives made sure he took Angel Dog with him into retirement.

So, such is life, in Mick's head. No real job and no woman. He laid back down on the bed, wondering what he would do today. He could see Lennon and her flowing red hair with her piercing dark eyes. She had been with him through thick and thin even before he quit. Even though he was an outstanding detective, he simply burned out. It just became too much. Too much killing, rape, violence, robberies, etc. etc. He had seen it all in twenty years as a crime solving sleuth. But enough was enough. So, he quit. Then, after three years of love and loyalty, Lennon quit. The obsession with each of his cases. Drinking to ease the pain of his chosen profession. He would be gone for days and sometimes weeks, leaving her alone to ponder what was next. He wouldn't commit and she finally moved out and away. Heartbroken, Mitch went into a fearful depressive state and now he was wondering.

He knew he had taken the wrong path three years ago and now wondered what and how he could get back in the game of life and do what he was best at, solving crimes. He painfully found out that private detective work required actual paying clients. And Lennon! His redheaded, dark eyed muse. They were in love, or so he thought. But now she was gone. Plus, he was just scraping by - spending his small pension on seedy motels and dog food. Mitch never envisioned this for himself when he was at the top of the crime solving universe in Las Vegas.

Then fate appeared. Mitch answered his cell phone. He didn't recognize the number. The caller spoke in very clear and concise language. The caller said, "Hello, am I speaking with Michelangelo Agosto. "Yes, this is he – Mick." he replied. "I would like to meet with you to discuss a problem I need you to solve." said the lady on the call. "Well, I don't know you, so, let's start with your name." replied Mick. "My name is Amanda Rossi." she replied.

Mitch pondered that for a few seconds.

Then Mitch asked - "Are you who I think you are? Are you the wife of Carlo Rossi, the owner of Platino Hotel & Casino?" "Yes, I am. And I respectfully request that my identity and this phone conversation be kept strictly between us." replied Amanda.

Mitch thought a little more. This extraordinarily wealthy woman wants him to "solve a problem"?

Mitch, being a former cop with the ability to smell trouble, thought – "no way in hell"! However, he was dead broke. If this fateful chance could bring in some money, he should at least hear her out.

So, Mitch said, "Ok, where would you like to meet to discuss your problem?" Amanda recommended, "Let's meet at Ventano's in Hendersonville. It's outside of Vegas and I will get us a private room. They are very discreet." "When?" Mitch asked. "How about tomorrow at two?" she offered. Mitch agreed, "OK, I'll see you then. How will I know you?" "Just ask the manager when you come in. He knows me." she replied.

Mitch ended the call, sat back down on the bed, and pondered this upcoming talk with the wife of one of the wealthiest casino proprietors in Vegas with some trepidation. However, he told himself, this could bring in some serious money.

So, Mitch, with mixed feelings, decided to take Angel Dog for a run. After the run, he grabbed some take out and headed back to the low rent room he and his best girl were staying in. He fed Angel, then sat down and ate the tacos and fries with a nice cool beer. He had a pretty good feeling as he thought about the meeting he would have the next day.

He said to Angel Dog, "So girl, you'll be by yourself for a while tomorrow. But I won't be gone for very long. But, if I take this job the lady's talking about, you and I might be going on some trips to places unknown."

After finishing his tacos and fries, Mitch hopped in the shower, dried off and went peacefully to sleep for the first time in quite a while. He dreamed about Lennon all night. Mitch woke the next morning deeply missing her beauty, her smarts and her love. He wanted to call her, text her, or find her, but he decided to wait until he got his life back together.

Who knows, he said to himself, today could be the start of something big. He decided to take Angel out for an early morning walk. As they walked down the Vegas Strip, Mitch watched the people starting their day, preparing to lose lots of money. He understood the 11th commandment – The House Always Wins. He had given up gambling, but sometimes he was still drawn to it, even though he knew that 99.9% of the time he would lose.

His best girl, Angel, was always at the ready. She had been "Brain Trained" at the Las Vegas Police Dog Training Academy. She was extraordinarily smart and, if needed, she could become, in a split second, a bona fide bad ass. She had protected Mitch many times when he or other detectives got in a bad situation dealing with some of the most violent criminals that seemed to always be lurking in Vegas.

As they walked, Angel was never on a leash. She was so well trained that she knew what to do when commanded. Mitch thought they made a great pair. He also thought about how much Lennon loved Angel, and it hurt Mitch deeply that she was gone from his and Angel's life. After the walk, they stopped at one of Mitch's favorite little spots just off the strip for breakfast. The owner always had a nice snack for Angel. They finished their breakfast and headed back to the tiny room he was renting. He took a shower and got dressed for his 2:00 PM meeting with Mrs. Rossi. He put out some food for Angel and left her in the room.

After about a thirty-minute drive, he arrived at Ventano's a little before 2:00. He parked and walked in. He was immediately glad he had worn his best suit, even though he did not wear a tie. This place was way above his pay grade. When he asked to see Mrs. Rossi, the manager took him to the back of the restaurant into a private room where she was eagerly awaiting his arrival. They shook hands, introduced themselves, and sat down. She asked what he would like. He said just water for now.

Mitch started the conversation, "How did you find me?" Amanda replied, "I found you because you were recommended to me by your former girlfriend. She says you are the best." Mitch asked, "How do you know Lennon?" Amanda said, "A friend of a friend gave me her number. I called her for help and she recommended you instead. I did not tell her specifically who I was trying to find. So, she has no knowledge of why we are meeting today."

Mitch remembered that Lennon was also in the private eye business. She handled small cases for people who wanted to find their birth parents, check the security of a business with an owner or find out if a spouse was cheating. Mitch felt maybe Lennon was still in his life, though remotely. Lennon, unlike Mitch, was also an extraordinarily talented gambler. She usually won a lot of money when she played.

Amanda began to tell him, in exact detail, the problem she needed him to solve.

First off, "I must tell you that every word of this conversation and any others we have must be kept completely secret between you and me."

Mitch agreed, "Of course. Anything you tell me will be held in the strictest confidence."

Amanda started, "I want you to find my lover, Tyler Jones. I have been in love with him for over two years unbeknownst to my husband. My husband does not love me. My husband abuses me. He doesn't beat me, but he constantly belittles me and makes me feel like I am worthless to him or anyone else. Tyler treats me like a lady every time we are together. Tyler  and I have been seeing each other in secret for over two years. He disappeared three weeks ago. No email, no text, and no call – just vanished. I think something terrible has happened and I need to know what and where. So, I want you to find him, no matter the cost." Mitch then said, "Are you sure that he just vanished. Were you and he having any relationship problems?" To which Amanda replied, "Absolutely not. The last time we were together, it was passionate and wonderful. I cried when I had to leave him to return to the hell in my marriage."

Mitch asked, "When and where did you two meet up and for how long the last time you saw him?"

Amanda answered, "It was exactly three weeks ago in a small private hotel in San Francisco, Nob Hill Place. I go there regularly under the guise of visiting my sister, Kimberly, in San Francisco. She knows about my affair. I did not see her on that trip. It was just Tyler and I having a wonderful time together."

Then Mitch asked, "What does Tyler do for a living?"

Amanda said, "He is a remarkably successful entrepreneur. He owns several businesses in San Francisco and other parts of California. He's not super rich but he is very well off. Money is not a problem. And he's not married."

Then Mitch said, "Any information you have about Tyler will help immensely – Where does he live, the names of his businesses, what kind of car does he drive, who are his friends, etc. And of course, pictures and any communications you have had with him such as emails, texts, etc. Amanda said, "OK. I will gather as much info as I can find for you in the next day or so. So, will you take this project on and how much do you expect it to cost?" Mitch replied, "Well, let's start with a $20,000 retainer to begin with. After that it will be $200 an hour plus expenses. And I can promise you that I will find your lover. That's what I do, and I am very good at it." Amanda reached in her handbag, pulled out her checkbook and wrote his retainer for $20 K.

Mitch sent his email and telephone number to Amanda's cell, got up and left. As he drove back to his motel, he pondered the challenge of finding a missing person who just happened to be having an affair with the wife of one of the most powerful, rich people on the planet. He drove to his bank, deposited Amanda's check, and withdrew a thousand dollars. When he arrived, Angel welcomed him as always. After feeding her, he fell asleep and dreamed of Lennon again.

The next morning, Mitch was up and at 'em at 6:00. He packed his clothes, threw everything in the trunk of his immaculate 1967 Regimental Red GTO with a perfectly restored black vinyl top and let Angel sit in the front passenger seat as always. He and his best girl hit the road for San Francisco to find Amanda's lover boy. It was a long drive, but Mitch loved the road and Angel loved riding in that leather front seat. They stopped overnight at a roadside motel and arrived in San Francisco the next day.

Mitch found a small upscale hotel on the outskirts of San Francisco that allowed pets. After checking in, he and Angel went for a walk and found some places where they could get some fairly good food. They stopped in a nice burger joint, had dinner, and headed to the hotel for a restful night.

In the meantime, Amanda had emailed all of the information she could find about Tyler – his home address, his cell phone number, the hotel they stayed in, the businesses he owned and the address and contact number for her sister. Amanda had called her sister to let her know what was going on. Mitch entered all the information in his journal for quick reference.

When Mitch was on a case, he did a tremendous amount of research about who, what and where on the people he was being asked to locate. All he knew right now was that Amanda's lover had vanished into thin air. So, he decided to start by calling her sister to get any information she might have that Amanda hadn't told him. He dialed Kimberly. After talking to her for about thirty minutes, the only information he got was that Amanda had been coming to San Francisco about once a month to see Tyler and that she didn't see her every time she came.

She also told him that sometimes Amanda and Tyler would hookup in other places closer to Las Vegas. And she confirmed that Tyler lived on a small vineyard in Napa Valley that he owned. However, they rarely went there because it was more private to stay in the suite he always reserved at Nob Hill Place. She also told him they would sometimes go to a small place he owned on Lake Tahoe. So, Mitch thought to himself, "these two are enjoying a creative way to have an affair, if they hook up for love in all these cool places." However, he was still pondering the big question, "where did this guy go?" And, as of right now, not a clue!

Mitch and Angel headed out to find Tyler's house. Amanda had given him a key so he could gain entry to investigate. As he pulled into the driveway, he noticed that there was no one around. The eerie stillness he felt gave him much cause for concern. As they entered the upscale residence, he noticed some furniture turned over and some shattered glass on the floor. The kitchen had unwashed dishes in the sink. Being the former cop that he was, he immediately felt that something bad had happened here. As he searched the rest of the house, he noticed that the master bedroom had an unmade bed, and all the lights were on. Also, the master bath was completely disheveled with all manner of items just left on the bathroom counter as if someone had left with no concern for neatness. Then he inspected the garage with Jeff's 2022 $150,000 Porsche Taycan Turbo left in the garage.

All of these things that Mitch noticed and photographed gave him great pause. Either someone had kidnapped Tyler, or he left in a hurry because someone was after him. However, it would seem that he would have taken his car if that were the case. No. He was certain that Tyler had been forcibly removed after a struggle, So, he and Angel left without bringing any attention to his search of the house. Next, Mitch called Tyler's housekeeper. He asked her if she had any knowledge of what had happened. She told him that she did not because she only came once a month and had not been there this month. Mitch told her what he saw and advised her not to come back to the house until further notice and to call him if she discovered any additional information concerning the disappearance of Tyler. Then he sent Amanda an email with photographs telling her what he had found at Tyler's house.

Next stop. Nob Hill Place. Mitch left Angel in the car as he entered the exclusive five-star hotel and asked to speak to Mr. Westbrook, the concierge who knew both Tyler and Amanda on a personal level. Amanda had already called him and told him to expect Mitch.

Mitch and Mr. Andrews sat down in a private office.

Mitch asked, "How often did Mrs. Rossi and Mr. Jones come here and usually for how long?"

Mr. Westbrook answered, "They usually came at least once a month for anywhere from a week to ten days. They also usually come on holidays like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and other holidays."

Mitch asked another important question, "Are you aware of the relationships that Mrs. Rossi and Mr. Jones have in their separate lives?" Mr. Westbrook replied, "Only that Amanda is married to a very wealthy casino owner in Las Vegas and that Mr. Jones is single. Also, Mr. Jones always pays the bill."

Then Mitch asked, "What kinds of things do they do. Do they go out very much or do they stay close by the hotel?"

To which Mr. Andrews replied, "Actually, they go out very little. They always stay in our presidential suite which is very private. It has its own sauna, hot tub, and small swimming pool. It also has its own spa where they regularly have massages together provided by private massage therapists. They often order room service from our restaurant or other places in San Francisco and eat in the small dining area in the suite."

Finally, Mitch asked, "Has anyone else come to the hotel looking for Mrs. Rossi or Mr. Jones or have you ever been asked about the couple by anyone other than me." Mr. Andrews said, "As a matter of fact, yes. A very attractive young woman by the name of Lennon English was here about three weeks ago asking about Mr. Tyler. However, I gave her no information."

Mitch immediately pondered this information. So, Lennon was also interested in finding Tyler Jones. Who in the name of the good Lord would hire her to do that? This added a completely new wrinkle to the task at hand for Mitch. He needed to find Tyler. But he also needed to find out who hired Lennon and why.

Mitch immediately dialed Amanda. Mitch asked Amanda, "Are you aware of the fact that someone, I don't know who yet, hired Lennon English to find your boyfriend?" Amanda said - "Oh my God, I had no idea! However, the first person on that list would have to be my husband. He is a very powerful man who knows many important people and, also, many people that do things that other people don't do. It's possible that he could have seen my phone or my laptop and gotten information from texts or emails. Tyler and I are always texting passionate things back and forth and I don't always delete them after I read them." Then Mitch asked, "Do you have any contacts that you can trust that may know this kind of information about your husband?" She answered, "No I really don't. I have very little to do with his circle of friends or any of the fixers he regularly employs." To which Mitch replied, "OK. I have some contacts in Vegas that will help me find out what is going on with Lennon. But, for now, just be cool and don't ask anybody any questions about this."

Mitch decided he needed a run, so, he and Angel went for a couple of miles so Mitch could clear his head and figure out his next move. As a former cop and now a private eye, he knew many people in the information business who could find out things that nobody else could. Some were cops and others were guys that could ask questions quietly to get information. So, Mitch dialed one of his closest acquaintances, Gino Farina, who operated on the dark side as a confidential informant for the police in Las Vegas. He had done time, but he was very good at finding things out quietly under the radar.

Mitch told Gino he needed to know who had hired Lennon and why she was looking for Tyler Jones. They agreed on the job and the price. Mitch made it very plain that this must be on the QT, or it could get both of them hurt. Mitch told him to call him as soon as he had the information he needed.

Mitch was getting a very uncomfortable feeling about this turn of events. He thought about calling Lennon but decided against it. He did not want her in any more danger than she could already be in.

Mitch and Angel Dog hunkered down and took the long trip back to Vegas, stopping to rest when needed then checked into an upscale hotel near the strip. He decided to cool his jets until he heard back from Gino. He had learned over many years as a cop that patience, sometimes, is a virtue. Meanwhile, he and Angel Dog went for walks and runs to relax and get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors. On one walk they encountered a guy that seemed to be out of control. He ran up to Mitch demanding his wallet and any money he was carrying. Mitch quietly said "down" and Angel Dog took the guy down with one pounce. Angel's loyalty to Mitch and her training always prevailed in any serious confrontation. She stood over the man as Mitch called her off and they walked away, leaving the man to rethink his attitude about his need to confront people and demand things that weren't his. Mitch and Angel Dog continued their walk as the man slowly got up and headed in the opposite direction.

Mitch and his girl stopped off at a little diner near his hotel that had outstanding chili and a glass of wine. The owner also had a treat for Angel Dog from the kitchen. After dinner, they returned to the hotel, Mitch took a shower and drifted off to sleep wondering about Lennon’s involvement in this case.

The next morning, Mitch's cell rang while he and Angel Dog were having a light breakfast.

Mitch answered Gino's call, "What do you know?" Gino replied, "I know as much as you need to know, and it doesn't sound good." Mitch said, "Lay it on me." Gino continued, "The big man, Rossi, has indeed hired your lady Lennon to find the guy you are looking for. According to my contact in the casino, the boss knows his wife has been having an affair with this guy and he contacted Lennon to find him." Mitch then asked, "Did you find out whether or not she found the guy?" Gino said, "According to my source - the answer is yes, and it gets worse from there. Apparently, she found him, and a small group of goons went to the guy's house in Frisco, kidnapped him, and now have him locked up in a room in the basement of the casino. No information on what exactly they are going to do with him."

Mitch thanked Gino and hung up. This was a very bad development for him, Amanda, Tyler, and Lennon. Lennon was not a "tough broad." She was a breathtakingly beautiful female with a gentle soul who enjoyed being a small-time private eye. Business investigations, husbands and wives gone astray, and other minor kinds of things is all she really knew. She had no idea the seriousness of what she had now become involved with. Mitch didn't know if she knew Tyler Jones had been kidnapped. Mitch now had two things to do. At the top of the list was to call Amanda and give her a status report on Tyler and let her know that Lennon had found him. He also needed to let her know that he was being held in a private secure room in the basement of the casino. Second, he needed to talk to Lennon, find out what she knew and produce a plan to save Tyler Jones' life and not endanger Lennon, himself, or Amanda. 

Even though no one really knew, the rumors of Rossi having mob ties were rampant. Therefore, Mitch knew he was going to need a perfect plan to free Tyler and end up with everyone alive and well. From his many years of experience, Mitch knew that it never ended well when someone was kidnapped and locked up somewhere, particularly if he is the lover of a beautiful woman who is married to a very rich and powerful casino owner not really subject to the same laws and rules of society that regular people are. So, Mitch decided to go see Lennon in person.

Mitch and Angel Dog headed to find Lennon. He had gotten her address from his Vegas contact. They pulled into the driveway of a tiny house that Lennon was renting. He and Angel Dog walked up to the door and Mitch knocked. The door opened and there stood the love of his life. Angel Dog immediately responded lovingly to Lennon as she had done so many times before. Lennon returned that love energetically. Then she asked, "First, how did you find me and second, what do you want?"

Mitch said, "This is going to take a while, can I come in?" She said, "OK, have a seat?" Mitch wanted to take her and hug and kiss her so badly, his heart was pounding a thousand beats a minute! But he just sat down on the small couch she had in her place. He started the conversation, "The reason for my visit is complicated. First, were you hired by Carlo Rossi, owner of the Platino Hotel & Casino, to find a man named Tyler Jones?" To which she replied, "As you know that kind of information is usually confidential. So, I need to know why you want this information and what you are going to do with it if I give it to you."

Mitch continued, "OK - One PD to another. I was also hired to find Mr. Jones and have come up empty so far. Then I called a contact in Vegas, and he discovered that you had found Mr. Jones. First of all, how did you find Tyler Jones? She replied, "Well, I am a private detective. I found him online pretty easily actually. He is well known throughout California due to all the businesses he owns. I found his home address, located him, and confirmed that he was, indeed, living there. I also found some information, purely by searching online, on his monthly visits to a San Francisco hotel named Nob Hill Place. Then Mitch asked, "Also, what did you tell Mr. Rossi once you found Jones and what did he do when you gave him Jones' location?"

She said simply, "I called him on the phone and sent him an email report along with my invoice. He promptly sent me payment and that was that. He never told me why he wanted to find Jones – only that he had disappeared, and he needed to talk to him. He never said what about."

Mitch quickly pondered how to tell Lennon what he knew about the kidnapping of Amanda's lover and what they should do to free him from captivity and make all this end peacefully for everyone involved.

Mitch decided to tell the whole story, "OK. What I am about to tell you must be completely, utterly confidential." Lennon said, "I understand." Mitch started, "Like I said, I was hired by Amanda Rossi, the wife of Carlo Rossi, to find her lover, Tyler Jones. Amanda and Tyler have been having an affair for over two years and, according to her, he simply vanished three weeks ago. I went to Jones’ house and discovered that he had likely been taken from his house against his will. Then I went to the hotel in San Francisco where they usually stayed. That's where I learned that you were there asking questions about the whereabouts of Jones. Then I called my contact in Vegas, and he discovered that you had indeed found Tyler, and informed Rossi of his whereabouts. Then, the bombshell – he said Amanda's husband hired some of his goons to kidnap Jones from his house. They kidnapped him, brought him to the Platino and are keeping him in a secure room in the basement."

Lennon freaked, "Oh my God, what have I done? All I thought I was doing was finding a man that Mr. Rossi needed to talk to. I had no idea this would happen. This is very, very bad!" Mitch continued, "Yes, it is very, very bad. Generally speaking, people who get kidnapped and locked up somewhere rarely survive. So, we need to come up with a plan to free Mr. Jones, protect you and me and, somehow, make this all go away with all parties still alive and unharmed. That will not be easy given that Rossi is one of the richest, most powerful casino owners in Las Vegas with alleged mob ties. Add to that the kidnapping of the man who has been having an affair with his wife for two years."

Lennon asked, "So how on earth can we do that?" Mitch said, "First, I need to call Amanda and find out what her status is with Carlo. That's where we need to start. And we need to do whatever we are going to do quickly. I don't think Tyler has much time before something very bad is done to him. You just lay low here and contact me if you get any calls or anything else that gives you a concern. I'm going back to my hotel, think about this and call Amanda. I'll call you as soon as I have a plan."

Mitch and Angel Dog headed back to his hotel. All the way there, Mitch kept thinking to himself, "How do I handle this so everyone ends up alive and Carlo goes away quietly. All tough things to accomplish." After arriving at the hotel, Mitch fed Angel, sat down, and called Amanda.

Amanda answered the call, “This is Mitch and I have some very difficult things to discuss with you and I must develop a plan to solve your problem with everybody still alive and well." Amanda, very nervously asked, "What have you found out? Is this something we need to talk about face to face?" Mitch replied, "Yes. I believe we need to meet one on one. When can you meet me again at Ventano's?" She said, "I can leave right now. Let's say 2:00 o'clock." He replied, "Sounds good. See you in a few."

Mitch said goodbye to Angel, jumped in his car, drove to Ventano's, walked in, and was ushered to the private room to see Amanda. As they sat down, Mitch knew that this conversation was going to be hard on Amanda. He needed her to know some critical information now. Mitch started, "First – I know where Tyler is. He has been kidnapped and locked up under the order of your husband in a private room in the basement of the casino. However, that's only the beginning of this story that has some extremely difficult things that no one expected." Amanda, surprisedsurprised, asked, "What are those things?" Mitch replied, "In the first place, I am not the one who found Tyler. My former girlfriend, Lennon, did. I discovered this after I inspected Mr. Jones house in San Francisco. There was broken glass on the floor, turned over furniture and other indications that Tyler had been kidnapped from his house. That was further supported by the fact that his Porsche was still in his garage. After I saw this, I called a contact I have in Vegas and tasked him to find out what, if anything, had happened to Tyler. He confirmed my worst fears. This alone places this job in a whole new category. Your husband obviously knows that you have been having an affair and we don't know what, if any, information Tyler has given him."

Amanda began to tear up with obvious concerns for the man she was truly in love with. She didn't know what to say or even ask. Mitch continued, "Here is what we have to do to extract you and Tyler from the love triangle that has been created by you, Tyler and now Carlo. It's going to require some very dangerous actions to simply rescue Tyler. He is under constant surveillance and security is very tight. What your husband has done is a felony under Nevada law. However, as they say – the rich are different than you and me. Therefore, he is not subject to the same laws and rules as the rest of us."

Then Amanda said, "What if I simply filed for a divorce? We have a very strongly written prenuptial agreement and adultery cannot be used to alter any alimony that has already been set up, which is $20 million. The only reason I have not left him by now is pure, unadulterated fear. He is a very possessive man and always tries to control me. We have become completely uninvolved with each other."

Mitch started to lay out a plan – "First, we need to confirm exactly where Tyler is, free him and then hide him. I have some people that can help me accomplish that. Once we do that, then we will find him, free him, and then hide him. We will need to document all of this with photographs and other proof that Tyler was, indeed, kidnapped. I will also bring Angel, my retired Police Dog, along when we free Tyler. She will take care of the guys that are guarding Tyler if necessary. I also think Lennon should be part of the rescue plan because she is the one who found Tyler."

Amanda then said, "I hope you know what you are doing. This sounds extremely dangerous." To which Mitch replied, "Don't worry about that. I have done this kind of thing for over twenty years. If it's planned properly, with the right people, it will be successful." They agreed to move forward with Mitch's plan. Mitch said he would prepare a detailed report with the plan and email it to her by the next day.

When Mitch got back to his hotel room, around 8:00 PM, he was surprised to find Lennon asleep in his bed with Angel Dog quietly lying beside her. Mitch was struck by this real vision that he had been dreaming of night after night since she had left. It was almost surreal. To be sure she was not disturbed, he just sat down in the chair and fell asleep.

Mitch woke up around 7:00 AM and took Angel Dog out for a run. They stopped off at one of his favorite places and filled up on an omelet and got some breakfast for Lennon. He didn't want her going out anywhere until this love triangle resolution was completed. They walked in around 9:00 and she had taken a shower and put on a robe. Seeing her beauty with her wet red hair just drying freely brought back some fabulous memories he had over the last three years.

One thing he noticed was that she was relaxed and not nervous or tense. This made him feel good. He took Angel outside so she could do her business then he fed her. He sat down on the bed and looked at Lennon with pure unadulterated love and desire. As she began to eat the breakfast he brought her, Mitch got up and took a shower and came out in his robe. He thought to himself, "This is like old times – being with my two favorite girls." It seemed so natural. But that discussion was for later.

Meanwhile, he needed to tell Lennon what they – he and she - were going to do to resolve the kidnapping issue and ensure everyone was alive and free from the wealthy casino owner. So, he laid the entire plan out for her and asked, "What do you think and are you in?" To which she replied, "Absolutely. I've never done anything this big before, but I am with you and the team all the way."

After that discussion, Mitch decided to call some people he knew could help get Tyler Jones free. He also called and reserved a four-bedroom AIRBNB located in a quiet neighborhood in Hendersonville. Then he reserved a small hotel in the isolated town of Boulder City about thirty minutes from Vegas. After calling the crew he was going to use to accomplish the rescue of Tyler, he arranged a meeting at the AIRBNB the next day. After that he and Lennon just enjoyed each other's company, reminiscing about all the great times they had when they were together. Mitch still did not mention the possibility of Lennon returning to him.

The next morning after feeding Angel Dog and grabbing a quick breakfast, Mitch, Lennon, and Angel Dog drove to the AIRBNB to meet the crew. As they drove up to the house, he noticed that everyone had already arrived. He opened the door with the code provided by the owner. They all sat down in the living room to discuss the plan and time frames. Mitch brought an easel to write on so everyone could gain a complete understanding of the task at hand. This group was comprised of a very eclectic group of people who had experience in police work, intelligence and other more serious actions involving extremely violent perpetrators of various crimes. The group included Bobby, a former cop that Mitch had worked with for over twenty years, Joe, a retired CIA agent and Gino, a confidential informant who found out Tyler was being held in a room in the casino building, Mitch, and Lennon. And, of course, Angel Dog would be an important part of the crew to perform any actions needed during the rescue.

Mitch explained the plan from top to bottom and expressed to all that they were dealing with a potentially dangerous encounter when they attempted to free Tyler Jones. After finishing his explanation of his plan, he asked, "Any questions?" To which one of the crew asked, "When?" Mitch answered, "Three days from now on Monday right after midnight. After we free him, I will take him in a rental car to the place where he will be hidden. None of you need to know where. You will all be paid within 24 hours of completing the rescue. Joe, I would like you to do some snooping at the casino and figure out where, exactly, they are holding Mr. Jones. Angel Dog and I will deal with Rossi."

Then Mitch said, "Please, if there is anyone who wants out, now is the time to speak up. I have you all here because I know you are exceptionally good at the things you do. Enjoy staying here until we complete the mission. Please do not go out together. I will have some food sent over to make sure you are all comfortable."

No one bowed out, so, everything was a go depending on what Joe found out about the location of Tyler in the casino. Joe, the retired CIA agent, knew several people that were connected with the casino that he could trust for information and silence.

Mitch called Amanda. He told her, "I have met with my crew and the plan is being implemented. For your protection, I will not give you any details. Also, I will text you as soon as we have rescued Tyler and taken him to a place you don't need to know about just yet. In addition, you need to know that the rest of this project is going to set you back another $40,000. To which she replied, "Do you need that now or can it wait? He said, "Just have it ready when we meet after the rescue."

Then Mitch asked, "Have you met with your attorney?" To which she replied, "Yes, everything is in place. All of the divorce papers are ready to file and the prenup agreement has been set up for Carlo to sign. However, this is not going to be easy. He is a very paranoid, controlling man. But I am ready to do this. All I want is to leave the hell I am living in to be with the man I love."

Mitch ended the call, "Amanda, I cannot stress enough, you must keep a low profile until you hear from me that we have Tyler. I will text you as soon as we complete this mission with the word DONE."

Mitch had it clear in his mind how this rescue mission could be accomplished. But,But the biggest problem was how to deal with Carlo about the impending divorce and the agreement to forget about Amanda and Tyler and let them live their lives. So, he decided to call up a Las Vegas prosecutor he knew from his days as a cop to discuss what his options were in dealing with Carlo, who was guilty of arranging and hiring the men that kidnapped Tyler.

Mitch dialed the number. A lady answered, "Las Vegas Prosecutor's Office, may I help you?" Mitch said, "Please connect me with Theo Clarkson. Please tell him it's Mitch Agosto and it's urgent." Theo answered the phone, "Mitch, how long has it been.been? What are you up to these days." Mitch replied, "Well, I'm a private detective and I am on a huge case, and I need to run something by you. Theo replied, "Lay it on me." Mitch started, "OK. I have a big, complicated case. Anything I tell you must be kept in the strictest confidence. I am trying to help a very high-profile woman, who is married to a very high-profile casino owner. She has a lover who was kidnapped under the direction of her husband. She is ready to file for divorce, but, first, I have to rescue her lover who is being kept under lock and key in a room in the basement of a casino. That part of this job is fairly simple and straight forward. I have an exceptionally talented team of men and one woman and my favorite girl Angel Dog to find the guy and rescue him. The problem I have is the husband. He is very wealthy, allegedly has mob ties and will probably not be willing to let his wife and her lover ride off into the sunset. So, my question is, Can I tell this guy, if he doesn't agree to the divorce and to leave my client and her lover alone, I will notify the police and your office, and he will be arrested, charged, and tried for kidnapping? Would you take that on and prosecute him if that came to pass?"

Theo answered, "Absolutely if convicted of kidnapping, he would serve 15 to 20. However, you must get absolute proof that that is what he did, particularly if he is a wealthy guy. You know what they say – The rich are different than you and me." Mitch replied, "Well. The lover has been locked up in the casino for about three weeks, so I don't think getting solid evidence will be difficult." Theo answered, "OK. Just be incredibly careful. These kinds of things can get people hurt or killed, so make sure you use your 20+ years of experience to accomplish this task." Mitch closed the call, "Don't worry, my team is ready.

Mitch knew that this rescue had to be planned to the utmost degree. No detail was too small. Then Mitch called Joe to see if he had any information on the location of Tyler in the casino.

Joe explained, "Yes, I know what room he's in. It's in the basement of the Platino. I also got the floor plans of the casino, so we will be able to easily go to the room. I also found out that three guys are securing the space he is being kept in. Two guys outside and one inside. So, we need to plan how we are going to take all three out of the picture when we go in." Mitch said, "Good news. Tell the crew that I will be over tomorrow to discuss who will do what."

It was around 9:00 AM when Mitch finished the calls he needed to make. He looked at Lennon, still asleep, and began to imagine their life together, past, present, and future. He wanted to talk to her about getting back together but decided to wait until this rescue was over. He also decided to personally see Carlo after they rescued Tyler and had him sequestered in the hotel in the small town of Boulder City, Nevada. He knew this would be the most dangerous part of the plan, but he was certain he could get Amanda and Tyler free and clear after Carlo agreed to the divorce.

After Lennon woke up Mitch told her he and Angel Dog were going for a short run and would bring back some breakfast. The rest of the day, Mitch and Lennon looked at the floor plans and reviewed the plan to rescue Tyler. She knew and Mitch knew that, as a gorgeous female, she could play a key role in taking the thugs that were guarding Tyler off their game. Mitch knew that he had assembled a very accomplished crew that could get this potentially dangerous job done. At 5:00 o'clock, Mitch, Lennon and Angel Dog piled into the GTO and headed to the AIRBNB. As the team gathered in the living room, Mitch laid out the casino and hotel floor plans and the schedule of activities and who would accomplish them.

Mitch began, "We know that Tyler is being held in an empty unused room, No. 101, in the basement of the casino. The simplest way in is from the lower level of the parking deck. However, that is under heavy security and difficult to enter. So, we are going to reserve several rooms separately at the casino. Once we check in, everyone needs to get the layout of the place quickly. Most important is the determination of how to escape fast and safely. Then I will relocate Tyler to a place only I know about. Also, how do we take out the two hallway guards and the guard in the room? We must be very efficient as we determine these two critical things. We will communicate with our phones. Once we are confident we have all the issues resolved, we will return to our rooms to prepare for the rescue. I think we should do this right after midnight."

After confirming the escape route and the plan to take out the guards, Mitch texted the team– Let's do this.

The hallway where Room 101 was located was curved and fairly long. Gino was able to stand at one end of the hallway as a lookout without being seen. He also had a view of the entrance/exit. Mitch parked a rental car right next to the entrance/exit. Then, from the other end of the hallway, Lennon, dressed in the most seductive dress she could find, along with Angel Dog, Joe, and Bobby, gets off the elevator and begins to talk slowly with slurring speech as if she had too much to drink. As they got closer to the two guards by the door, she says to Joe and Bobby – "Hey, I think we're lost, we need to get to our room so we can party." As they got right to the first guard, she stumbled and fell to the floor. As the guard leaned down to help her up, Joe tasered him. Then Angel Dog lunged at the other guard, took him down, and held him down on the floor while Joe chloroformed both guards on the floor, handcuffed them, and relieved them of their guns. He also found the key to the room in one of the bodyguards’ pockets.

Then Lennon opened the door to the room and entered as seductively as she could. Still feigning being drunk, she told the bodyguard that the door was open, then leaned against the wall, held up her room key and asked the guard if he could help her find her room. As the guard approached her, Angel Dog came through the door and leveled him. Joe rushed in, chloroformed him, handcuffed him, and relieved him of his gun.

Lennon untied Tyler while Joe and Bobby dragged the other two bodyguards into the room.

Lennon helped Tyler stand up. Apparently, he had been treated fairly well while in captivity. She, Tyler, and Angel Dog headed out the door towards the exit as Mitch pulled up. Tyler sat in the front seat with Mitch with Lennon and Angel Dog in the backseat. Mitch slowly drove out of the garage and headed to Boulder City. After driving the short thirty minutes down US 515, he pulled into the small hotel in a high-end area and checked in. Mitch told Tyler to stay there until he contacted him. He also gave him a cell phone so they could communicate. He told him, "Do not leave, do not call anyone – just lay low until I complete this project. I will have food brought in for you each morning." Tyler didn't say much, he just nodded with an understanding of what he needed to do and not do over the next 24-48 hours.

Mitch got back in the rental car, texted DONE to Amanda and said they needed to meet to discuss Phase Two of this insane and dangerous project. Lennon got in the front seat and sat quietly next to the man she was regaining some intense respect for as she remembered the great times they enjoyed in the past. Mitch took her and Angel Dog to her place and told her to lay low for the next 24-48 hours.

Mitch met Amanda at Ventano's in Hendersonville. As they sat down in the private room, she was visibly shaken. She said to Mitch, "Now that you have rescued Tyler, how do we end this thing with my soon-to-be ex-husband?" Mitch started talking, "Let's assume for a moment that Carlo does not know that Tyler is gone. His three guards are handcuffed and locked up in the room in the basement with two of my guys keeping guard, so he may or may not know."

Mitch laid out the plan for Amanda. "Here is how we are going to end this. First, you need to call Carlo and set up a time to meet him in his office. She said, "Normally, he doesn't have guards around, but he might if he finds out Tyler has been rescued." Mitch said, "Angel Dog and I will take care of that if required. Next, you need to pack, get in your car and drive to the hotel where I took Tyler. No one knows where he is except me. Once, you get there, you and Tyler need to book a flight to Italy, Spain, France, or wherever you want to go, preferably out of the country, and disappear."

Mitch continued, "The next part of this plan is convincing Carlo to 1) Sign the divorce papers, sign the prenup papers and write you the settlement check for $20 million. 2) Agree to leave you and Tyler alone forever and 3) Forget about everybody and anybody that participated in the rescuing of Tyler. If he refuses to agree to those conditions, then, I will tell him that he will be arrested soon after I call the State Attorney General to send his detectives to arrest him for kidnapping.

They both agreed on the plan and Mitch told Amanda to call him when the meeting was set. Mitch decided to go to Lennon's place to make sure she and Angel Dog were ok. What she had just done was way out of her comfort zone, but Mitch was extremely impressed by how she performed. He knocked on the door. When Lennon opened the door, she kissed him deeply as they held each other tightly. She even suggested that Mitch stay the night.

Early the next morning, Amanda called Mitch to let him know that the meeting was arranged with Carlo. She also indicated that she didn't think he was aware of Tyler's rescue. The meeting was set for 4:00 PM in Carlo's office. Mitch got Angel Dog and drove to the casino.

Mitch and Angel Dog entered the main lobby of the casino, got on the elevator, and headed up to Carlo’s office on the top floor. Mitch and Angel Dog walked right in. Carlo, realizing that Amanda was not there for the meeting, was very angry. Mitch pulled out the divorce and prenup papers from his attaché case and spread them out on the table. Then he said, "I know by now you are aware that Tyler  has been rescued and his kidnaping has been very well documented. I am here for three reasons, 1) I want you to agree and sign these documents for an uncontested divorce that honors your prenuptial agreement and write a settlement check for $20 million to Amanda 2) I want you to agree, without any reservations, to leave Amanda and Tyler Jones alone for the rest of their lives and 3) To forget about ever contacting or threatening any of the people who assisted in the rescue of the man you kidnapped."

Carlo listened intensely to every word he said and waited a few seconds. He picked up his phone and dialed one digit and said, "Frank, bring Al and come to my office immediately." A few seconds later the door swung open and two large men walked in wearing guns on their shoulders. As soon as they cleared the door, Mitch quietly said, "down" and Angel Dog took the first bruiser to the floor with her massive teeth around his neck. Mitch pulled his gun and said, "You really need to drop your weapon because you do not want that dog to teach you a very painful lesson." The man dropped his weapon and stood perfectly still as Angel Dog waited for another command.

Carlo, Mitch, and Angel Dog stood in silence for several seconds. Finally, Mitch said, "Mr. Rossi, do you really want to push this? I strongly suggest that you sign the papers, write the prenup check and agree to leave well enough alone. Because, if you don't, my next call will be to my very good friend, Mr. Theo Clarkson, Chief Prosecutor for the Las Vegas Division of Law Enforcement. He will send his detectives to arrest and charge you with kidnapping, false imprisonment, and any other criminal acts of which you are guilty. I have all the facts, photographs and sworn statements that will convict you and send you to prison for 15-20 years."

At that point, Carlo sat down and asked Mitch to let his man up. Mitch walked over and removed his gun from his holster, looked at Angel Dog and quietly said, "up." Carlo told the two men to go back to their offices and never discuss what had just happened. Then Carlo said, "OK. You got me. I will sign the papers and write the check. As far as forgetting about Ms. English, and the rest of your crew, I also agree to leave everyone alone. However, if any person involved in this rescue of yours ever says a word about this agreement or this meeting all bets are off." He signed the papers and handed them to Mitch. Then he wrote a check for $20 million to Amanda and handed it to Mitch. Mitch put the signed papers and the check in his attaché. He then told Carlo that he would call his people watching the three bodyguards downstairs, tell them to uncuff them and leave the casino. He thanked Carlo and walked out of the office with Angel Dog. Mitch called his guys in the basement and told them to uncuff the other bruisers and let them go.

Mitch called Amanda and briefly told her about the meeting. Then he asked Amanda why she thought Carlo agreed to sign the papers and leave well enough alone. To which she replied, "Because he has not loved me for a long time and he realized that I meant business and I also think he knows that he would have placed himself in an untenable situation if the kidnapping were made public, which he knows it would be. I mean, keep in mind he is highly connected with some bad people who don't like things that get, shall we say, complicated."

Mitch drove to the hotel in Boulder City, gave Amanda the signed papers and the prenup check, and took his final payment of $40,000 to pay his crew and himself for completing a very dangerous, complicated project. She hugged him and Angel Dog, thanked them, and said, "Hopefully, I will never need to call you again." She was smiling big as she closed the door. Life had turned around for this troubled woman and the man she loved. Tyler was on the phone making reservations for their trip to wherever. Then Mitch drove back to the AIRBNB, paid his team and thanked them for a job well done and told them to never talk about this crazy, complicated rescue they had just completed to anyone. He left Angel Dog with Gino and said, "I'm gonna be gone for a while, take care of my favorite girl." Gino just smiled, nodded, and said, "Enjoy yourself, see you when you get back." Mitch went to Lennon's to celebrate the project they had completed together.

Mitch sat down on the couch and asked Lennon, "Would you be interested in a romantic trip to Italy with me? I've left Angel Dog with Gino." She smiled and said, "Absolutely. Let's go!" They headed to the airport, turned in the car and settled into their first-class seats for their flight to Florence. They smiled, kissed, and held each other close. As they raised their glasses for a toast to their new life, Mitch and Lennon knew their life was back in order. And this time, Mitch was going to commit to the woman he knew he would love forever.


Love, Read and Travel



Lyle Lovett & His Large Band perform live in Germany. Just click and enjoy - 

She's Hot To Go She's Ready 

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

USA - Still the Official Place of Refuge for Nomads & Vagabonds with Dreams

The Grand Experiment is Still Grand!!
As we awoke to another celebration of our founding this morning, I began to ponder the onslaught of attempts by powers, great and small, to destroy our great country, as well as our own self-inflicted wounds on the very freedoms that we have held up to the world for generations. When you view Lady Liberty or you read of the sacrifice of men and women to foster freedom, you have to remind yourself that this country, this USA, came to be because men, rebels all, said ENOUGH!!  In a single act of incomparable bravery and genius, this nation was birthed to give refuge to the Nomads and Vagabonds who wanted a better life in the New World, who wanted to worship their God in peace and determine their own destiny without government intervention.
Now this is not a political blog, but one cannot discuss this amazing country without some discussion of the one subject that is not supposed to be discussed in polite company. And when you watch the news or read a blog or do something really quaint like read a newspaper, you realize that we simply do not have any current-day Washingtons, Jeffersons, Adams, or Hamiltons. No, we Americans shake our heads in flummoxed disbelief at the current crop of empty suits that are running the place. I have a friend who believes the demise of this great country is imminent. It's not if, but when he says. To that, I say - Balderdash!! If you have any knowledge of the history of this great country, you can rest assured that its greatness comes from its people, and their willingness to "throw the bums out" when righting the ship becomes necessary. With the greatest document written in human history to guide us, the US Constitution, we WILL defeat attacks of any kind on the virtues and ideals that came from the most unique concept of freedom ever envisioned by man. I am convinced we will, indeed, right this ship for generations to come.

And what About Generations Y & Z?

As we BOOMERS lament the current crop of children - GEN X (1962-1980) - who are now running the place, we discuss all the faults of the forty-fifty-somethings we have raised. And what about the latest crew - GEN Y (1982-2004) & GEN Z (1997-2012)  along with the kids coming right behind them - GEN ALPHA (2010-2025)?  My oh my, oh my, oh my!! And I must admit it is somewhat disconcerting to see and hear, back in the day, several young twenty-somethings were asked by late-night purveyor of culture Jay Leno various questions on Geography. The answers are both funny and disturbing. I mean, what did they learn about geography in high school or college?

However, we Boomers conveniently forget that we invented that most base of human traits - narcissism. You do remember Stephen Stills' mantra to self-indulgence -
 If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with - don't you? That line along with so many others during the greatest decade of modern music, the sixties, had an unimaginable impact on our culture. The change in American youth as we grew up in the sixties is worth at least three credit hours of directed study on human behavior gone awry. As the most privileged, upwardly mobile generation, we grew up with three channels of TV, hot cars and a vision of America that fit us like a glove. So, spare me the judgment of the kids that are working through their lives day by day in a world very different than the post-war world of optimism we Boomers enjoyed. 

Numerous studies point out that this new generation is growing up in a world we Boomers know about, but don't really understand - all of the changes & implications impacting our culture due to the internet, social media, cancel culture, and on and on and on. I recently had a long discussion about this with my forty-something kids and I am utterly convinced that this country, with all its challenges, is in good hands. These guys get it and will keep the dream alive. They may use their I-phones and I-pads more than we wish, but they will pursue true happiness in their own way. It will just be - different. And on that note, here's a text my son, now 44, sent me at the tender young age of 31:
"Just landed in Denver - staying at The Curtis Hotel...be back Monday - Happy 4th - God Bless America!"
It's a new day! Whether it's on parchment or a smartphone, the love of this country means the same thing, and it's ever-new. By the way, The Nomad Architect assisted in finding The Curtis - a very cool place to lay your weary head in downtown Denver.
So - as you head out to Grandma's house or some other favorite place to celebrate our day, the Fourth of July, I implore you to read our Declaration of Independence, written by one of history's greatest minds, Thomas Jefferson, at the ripe old age of thirty-three. A Gen Y'er we can all believe in. 

The Preamble to The Declaration of Independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.”

Oh, Say Can You See!
D.L. Stafford
Quote of The Week - "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."  Thomas Jefferson 
Video Artist of The Week - Jamey Johnson. The National Anthem as only this amazing award-winning country artist can deliver.