A Free Partial Chapter Sample:
THOMAS SLOWLY TURNED the knob of her door pushing it forward wanting to see how loose the door was from the frame. His ear to the door he heard footsteps stop close by. So, she wasn’t sleeping yet, damn. He backed away from the door and headed around the corner holding his breath waiting. Morgana shut down all the lights and tried to look thru the cracks of the door frame. Creeping to the door, no sense trying to look thru the peek hole, she knew someone was on the other side. She saw the knob turn. Grabbing hold of the slugger in her right hand she slid the safety chain off track. Taking a deep breath, she unfastened the lock and pulled the door open, left leg bracing the door the bat in both hands held high. No one was there. Thomas already moving down the stairs outside into the night running towards his car, but not before a pair of yellowish/orange eyes tracked him.
Stashing the car, changing the plates on it with another set, making sure that no one was in the area he pulled back the plank and entered the abandoned building. He’s pissed that this black-market check and Meth issue was causing such a problem. I don’t want to hurt the woman, but she saw me now more than likely the police have a positive ID on me by now. Need to get the hell out of town, I’ve already messed up shooting the salesclerk. Looking for his half-empty bottle of Dewar he settles down on his makeshift bedding. Growl, grrrh, “What the fu…!!!!! Oh, Shit!” Dropping the bottle, he lunges for the long pole on the ground ~ A damn panther staring right at him. How did it get in? He’s too afraid to make any sudden moves this pole not gonna do shit against this mother. Get to the gun. He moves towards the wall; the beast is right there. Growl, Roarrr, Grrrh. Ok, so not gonna work. The large cat sits down licking its lips, it snaps up his hat and shakes its head from side to side rendering the hat into shreds of rags. Just as quick as it appeared it walks away thru into the darkness.
It took a little over twenty minutes to get his nerves settle when a strange man walked into his living area metal baseball bat in hand. “Look, man, I have nothing you want no money, no food and no liquor ~ go squat somewhere else.” This time Thomas made it to the wall area where the gun was hidden. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. You’ve been busy tonight and I need for you to sit on that crate so we can talk. This conversation will decide your fate if you have one after we finish speaking.” Thomas stood transfixed next to the drawer that held the pistol he could see it right there within arm’s reach. The problem was he didn’t have the arm, he couldn’t bring his body around quick enough to grab the blasted thing. He did what the man suggested and sat down on the crate. “Do I owe you money or something?” “In a manner of speaking yes you do.” Chandler positioned himself against the wall the bat within reach, he had no intention of using it but it made for a nice deterrent towards stupidity. “This must be the worse week of your life outside of losing your arm that is. You have a drug habit, you shot the store clerk, then you make the mistake of endangering my woman.”
Chandler let these events sink into Thomas’s brain. Looking around the remnants of Thomas’s belongings he doesn’t have much, but his military training hasn’t left him. His clothes are folded as neat as possible he’s used crates as drawers and everything is neat and tidy. The man still had his dignity. He doesn’t get the feeling that this man is a career criminal more like a man that’s made bad choices and just got caught up in the fallout. Frustrated and defeated by his situation and handicap.
“Look, man, I wanted to scare the lady, she saw me shoot that clerk, I’d missed my Meth appointment, and all I wanted was money for a fix. Don’t expect you to understand me or forgive me but, It’s the third time I’ve lost my containers. They are going to red flag me and I’d have start the detox program all over again.” Thomas rises. “you better be shifting your seat to get more comfortable. Trust me you won’t make it over here quick enough to do any damage.”
Thomas hears the veiled threat of violence underlining the words. The man’s voice isn’t loud or blustering just cold, deadpan and matter of fact. He’s seen his kind before a power player, this man would deliver whatever he promised.
“Listen no need to get violent, I was going for the bottle.”
“You don’t need the bottle besides I want you sober so you can make the correct choice for your future. I’ve got a proposition for you so pay attention if I were to kill you, my woman, is safe and the police would rejoice ~ case closed. You, however, won’t fair so well and you won’t have any future option for turning your life around.”
Thomas is still, was there a chance he might come out of this alive? Push comes to shove he wanted to live just not like this, but he’d take whatever he could get. Glimpsing into the man’s eyes Chandler saw a glimmer of hope then the light diminished as if the man realized his plight in life. What good was hope if you had no way to make that dream a reality? Chandler took a square ornate box from behind his back and placed it on the floor between them. “Here’s the deal Thomas.”
“How’d you know my name?”
“You wanna hear this or not? You will leave the country never to return if you do I will end your life. No questions asked, no negotiating if I find you: you’re dead. Go through a detox program of my choice once you have graduated from the program in good standing ~ other provisions will be made available to you. I’m a prominent businessman from out of state, and I have several holdings aboard that could use your expertise in security. I’d be interested in retaining your services for which you will be handsomely rewarded. For instance, the government will only provide you with a standard arm as per insurance. I’m not hampered by insurance protocal. ‘ll consider a designer prosthetic arm.“
Damn, this man knew how to work a boardroom meeting. He was a heavy power player, and deadly yet he walked and carried himself like an average joe. No airs, none of that haute pretentious attitude that most rich people draped over themselves. Thomas looked at him and knew that black ops had nothing on him in the way of combat training. He could write his own book. His lady was lucky to have his protection she also seemed like a decent person. “What’s the box for?” Chandler smiled for the first time since entering the building. He’d have to watch his time it was close to dawn.
“That’s the game changer Thomas. If you agree to my terms, you’re on my payroll. You’ll pack what you need to take with you, I’ll have some of my people work up a background for you, a new name, we’ll work on your appearance to get through security and you will leave here by tomorrow morning. An asp is inside the box. Upon placing your hand all the way inside you are pledging your loyalty to me and mine. I pledge never to break from you for as long as you pledge never to break from me or mine.”
Thomas looks at his employer, “don’t tell me. If I do, I’m dead.”
Chandler allowed a grin to appear
“I so appreciate a quick study.”
Sitting there looking at that box, there’s been many a strange thing tonight, this might be his ticket out of the jam he’d gotten himself into. God, he’d been praying for a break. His mother would know what to do ~ he missed her so much. Longing to have one more day with her to tell her how much he loved her as a parent and a friend.
Her untimely demised rocked his world upside down and inside out. He always told her – her friendliness and unwavering belief in the goodness of everyone would be the death of her one day. She was a loving, god fearing woman, church every Sunday and volunteered at the woman’s shelter. She’d give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. Somehow after dad died, she cared for them both on her meager salary until she got her promotion. Often working three jobs: she scrimped and saved, paying for his first year of college before he enlisted. He would often beg her not to believe everything people told her. “God is my Protector and my Shield, this is what I’m called to do Thomas. Be not afraid for me.” So, one night after leaving the hospital working a fourteen-hour shift she’s waiting at the bus stop to come home. A woman approached her asking for food she opened her purse to give the woman some money and was hit in the head from behind. She woke up gagged and bound in her own home, several hours later. A man and a woman ransacking her place looking for drugs and more money, they knew she worked at the hospital, she had treated the man two weeks ago in the ER for syphilis. When they couldn’t find what they wanted, they left her to bleed to death, but not before they tortured her with burning cigarettes, boiling hot water, stab wounds from several sized kitchen knives. He came home honorably discharged with the new Jag position already in place. Two weeks early a surprise from Uncle Sam. He remembered fantasizing about the smile and look on his mother’s face as he purchased a bouquet of wildflowers and a stuff rabbit from the local florist. Her pet name for him as she had given him a choice of a rabbit or hare ~ some choice. As he crossed the street entering the building, he never thought he would come home and find her dead broken and discarded in her bed.
The Medical Examiner informed him she had a trace of the syphilis germ in her body. He used his position within the court system, every available contact and then some to gain access to the ER reports and found the name of the man she treated. It took two years to find both the man and his sister: the woman who approached his mother that fateful night. The fools tried the same scenario in Nebraska. His persistence paid off, he found them and made them pay ~ The Iranians having taught him a few new twists on torture. Downfall was his carelessness in the cleanup, his mentor having cornered him and giving him an option to leave while he worked on damaged control. Turning in his bar card he walked away and never regretted his actions.