Chapter 19

"No, Ruth. It's John Brock. I need to speak with Harry."

"John? What are you doing here?" Ruth asked. "Aren't you meant to be doing Harry's job?"

John smiled ruefully. "I'm trying, though I've been interrupted by a journey to Burma and a new wife."

"A wife? You, John?" Ruth said, utterly astonished. "Sorry, but…of all the men…I never expected…" Her voice trailed off.

Chuckling, John replied, "I understand completely. Frankly, I don't know what she sees in me but I'm certainly not planning to argue."

"Come in and tell me all about it," Ruth said, finally managing to open the door. "Harry is Christmas shopping but I expect him back at any moment. His tolerance for store personnel is quite limited."

Ruth set about making tea, dropping a few chocolate biscuits on a plate and placing them in front of the Head of Counter-terrorism for MI-5, John Brock, the man with a heart of iron.

Scooping loose tea into a stainless steel mesh tea ball, Ruth dropped it into the pot. "So, your wife," she began slowly.

"Caroline," John said.

Typical spook, Ruth mused. Never gives away more information than is absolutely necessary. "Where did you meet?"

"In Burma," John replied. "We were cellmates, in fact."

"Cellmates?" Ruth exclaimed. Her next question was interrupted by her mobile. Ack. Cell phone, here in Canada. It was from Harry.

.999.

Ruth's gasp brought John to her side. "What does bus fourteen mean?" he asked, his voice suddenly serious. "Is that the transit number?"

"I think…." Ruth tried to reboot her brain. "Yes. We take the #14 down West Broadway to the uni. Gun. He says there's a gun."

"999. He does realize that emergency services are 911 here?" John asked.

"No. He always forgets. Oh, Harry," she said, trying to call his number. Her gaze returned to John. "He's not answering."

"Call the police. Tell them there's a gunman on Bus 14. Text Harry and tell him that I'm on my way," John said, retrieving his Glock from his shoulder holster and checking it. And then he was off at a run.