Here I was living another new life. I was up in the hills overlooking a beautiful snow filled valley far from any touch of civilization. This was my third winter since I disappeared.
I'd better explain a bit. My name is John Martin (this time). My name has changed so many times that I almost forgot what my mother named me when I was born.
I was the usual clueless spouse. My wife of 15 years had been in love with another man, Louie Amico, for longer than we had been married. She had married me to provide the things Louie couldn't, like a home, steady income, and a cover so she could continue to see him.
He was already married to the local crime boss's daughter. The father-in-law didn't care if my wife's lover got "some on the side", but Louie could never hurt his daughter.
I found out about the affair when my daughters were injured in an auto accident. The hospital called me, informed me of the accident. They asked if I could donate one of my organs to help save my younger daughter's life.
After the hospital tested me, they informed me that I couldn't donate. There was no tissue match. I wasn't related to my daughter.
My other daughter was also injured in the accident and was not well enough to stand the stress of donation so we needed to contact my wife.
They tried to reach my wife who was out of town at a two week long conference. They found out that there was no conference, no hotel reservations, and her cell phone was turned off.
My daughter Kim died that weekend.
We were not able to find a donor fast enough.
I had the necessary DNA tests done on my other daughter while she was in the hospital, and as I expected, she was not my child either.
I shared this information with "my" daughter, Angie. She realized that her mother had lied to her for her entire life, and by doing so had caused her sister's death. She asked me to make sure that her mother never saw her again.
She also asked if she could live with me.
Let me back up a bit and tell you about my job.
When I was in the Army, they discovered I had a knack for analyzing data. So I was assigned to the Intelligence section of that branch of service. That was where my real abilities came to the surface. And with those abilities came a visit from the CIA. They offered me a contract job at mega bucks, with the requirement that I not tell anyone what I did.
Well I'd be a fool to pass the offer up, and I became a "spook".
They set it up that I was working for a front company and trained me how to hack into computers. I took to it like a duck to water.
So here I was, 10 years later, one of the best in my field.
My "loving" wife had no idea what I did for a living. All she knew was that I worked in an office and joint checking account never went dry.
I called my CIA boss and explained about the accident, the DNA test results, "my" daughter's subsequent death, and that I needed to disappear or I'd kill my wife when she got home.
I never realized how fast the CIA could work. Three days later my living daughter and I were on a private "Company" jet heading west toward a new life.
My old life was over. The bank accounts, credit cards, 401k just disappeared. There was never an indication my daughter and I ever existed.
One night the home I had lived in and raised my family in also burnt to the ground. These guys eliminated everything. Too bad my cheating wife wasn't home when it burnt.
I can just imagine the expression on my wife's face when she came home. Her cell phone wouldn't work, no one was at the airport to pick her up, and when she finally arrived home, all she found was what was left of the basement.
She was left with exactly what she entered our marriage with, nothing.
My daughter and I were given new identities (John and Julie Martin) and were settled on a ranch in Montana. The house was almost 3000 sq. ft. on 350 acres of some of the most beautiful land I had ever seen.
The house was set up for me to continue my work for the CIA. They kept up the maintenance on it so I could continue with my work.
My cover said I was a writer and needed the peace and quiet to write my novels. My cover also said I was very successful and had money to burn.
My daughter enrolled at a state college and loved it. I missed her company, but my work kept me busy.
Remember I said I was a very good computer hacker? Well somehow all the financial records for Louie's father-in-law, the crime boss, started printing out on all the printers in the FBI's Organized Crime Division. The FBI now knew where to look and went right to work.
One month later all crime organization's assets were seized, a bunch of people were arrested, and a divorce was started. That's right, a divorce between the son-in-law and his wife. It seems that she got a report of all her husband's little affairs over the years along with all his financial records. She even got all the hidden and off shore account numbers too. Her attorney had a field day.
Louie's body was later found in a ditch. My wife was never seen again. I always wondered if she got away in time before the mob found her and killed her.
My daughter never knew what happened to her mother, and she never asked. Her hatred for her mother ran that deep.
My second winter on the ranch was a bear. I was snowed in for weeks at a time. One night I had the outside spotlights on to watch it snow when I noticed a movement at the edge of the light and started to watch it to see what it was. I was nervous that somehow somebody with revenge on their mind had found me.
Well you can imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a very large Timber Wolf. This guy must have weighed at least 150 lbs, and stood 48" tall at the shoulders.
He was big!
But he looked as if he was in trouble.
As I watched I realized that he was in bad need of food. The hard winter was taking its toll on him.
Yesterday I had dragged a "road killed" deer up to my barn to see if there was any meat I might salvage. I made a hasty decision to share the deer with him.
He looked as if he needed it more that I did.
I wasn't exactly stupid. I first turned every outside light that was controlled from the house on. Next I grabbed one of my rifles, and my .50 cal Desert Eagle pistol. I didn't want to be part of the wolf's next meal.
I dragged the dead deer out from the barn and put it where I had last seen the wolf. I then went back into the house, turned off the lights and went to bed.
The next morning the deer was gone.
A couple of weeks later he was back. This time he wasn't pacing back and forth, but just sitting there watching my house.
I had another deer in the meat locker that wasn't very tasty. It was old and tough.
I thought, "What the hell."
I armed myself and went out to the meat locker and grabbed the venison.
When I came out of the meat locker, there he was just sitting about 20 feet from me, watching.
With one hand on my gun, I relocked the meat locker and started dragging the deer away from the house.
He walked with me out to the spot I had left the road kill. He never got closer than about 20 ft to me and always kept the carcass between us. He wasn't aggressive toward me, nor did he appear afraid of me.
It was more like two old friends talking a walk together.
After I dropped the deer, I started backing away, when he just barked at something behind me. I spun my head and found myself eyeball to eyeball with another wolf. The newcomer was standing dead still looking at the other wolf.
My "friend" started making "wolf" noises toward the newcomer. The newcomer suddenly backed away and circled to the large wolf's side. As I watched I realized that the newcomer was a female and probably the mate of my alpha male.
I did what any brave human would do when confronted by two wolves; I got the hell out of there!
As I was backing up, I noticed that they didn't start eating, but working as a team, dragged the deer into the woods.
I emailed my daughter, at school, later that day and explained about the wolf. I told her to call me before coming home so I could make sure the wolves were gone before she arrived.
The wolf visited me a couple of more times that winter. While never really friendly, we reached an understanding. I let him have some meat when he visited and he left me alone.
When he was sitting outside my meat locker, he wanted a hand out. He left me alone the rest of the time.
In all fairness to him, he never came looking for handouts except when the weather was really bad and he couldn't hunt.
And he never asked for more than he could carry.
I was out walking one afternoon, just enjoying the spring air and all the wonders that happened every spring, when I saw my friendly wolf, just watching me.
I was a long way from the house, but I still had my Desert Eagle with me. He sort of "greeted" me in wolf talk.
Not aggressively, but almost friendly.
Then he looked at me and started walking away. When I didn't follow, he came back and did the same ritual.
After he did this a few times, the light went on; he wanted me to follow him.
So off we went, him leading and me following.
About 10 minutes into the woods we stopped at a small clearing, and there was his mate feeding his young. There were two wolf pups with their mother. My alpha male walked over to her and nuzzled and licked her.
It was as if he were showing me his family.
.... There is more of this story ...