Kyle Lachlan is a sophisticated and deadly hitman, one of the best. Conan Roan is his coordinator, a scarred British veteran. After years of working together, they encounter something that turns their world upside down; her name? Sadie.
Sadie Brooks, a homeless sliver of a girl, has been living near rock bottom. Now, somewhere between a rescue and a captive, she’s caught between the sharp and harrowing Lachlan and the bearish Roan, both of whom evoke feelings she never expected.
Introduced to the hedonistic lifestyle of professional killers, the opulence, the glamour, and the violence, she is swept up from the street into a whirlwind of danger, guns, and the sex that comes with the business.
Can she survive, a lamb amidst the wolves?
This was the third, maybe the fourth time, that I’d woken up. It was different in that it was the first time I felt any sort of with it when I did. I had vague impressions of the first few times. Of waking up, mouth dry, an arm behind my shoulders lifting me into a sitting position enough to drink. Water, a salty chicken broth, some Gatorade, maybe…
I vaguely remember being helped to the bathroom a time or two, but none of it made sense. None of it looked real. A fever dream of opulent surroundings. A home, a rich one, and not a hospital.
I twisted onto my side and huddled in on myself and waited for the dizziness to pass, trying to put the nonsensical images into some sort of comprehensible order. I wasn’t having any luck.
I hurt, stiff from lying in bed for too long, aching, tired, my head full of cotton batting rather than the brains I was born with.
I pushed myself up into a sitting position and the room tilted at a crazy angle. I put a hand to my face, the heel of it pressed to my forehead as I winced and waited for the sensation of my brain sloshing around in my skull to dissipate. A rich voice, velveteen and wrapped in a British accent, startled me.
“Here, drink, you’re dehydrated, Love. The good doctor cautioned against restarting an IV until I was certain you wouldn’t panic.”
I looked up sharply and cried out, stilling as everything screamed in protest and star fire erupted at the edges of my vision.
“Who are you? Where am I?” I demanded, voice shaking.
“My mother named me Conan, but you can call me Roan, and you’re in my house,” he said. The mountain of a man stepped forward, his loafers sinking into the plush carpet, his gait a little uneven. He used a cane, but that didn’t seem right. I mean, he was too young to be using one. Probably late thirties? Maybe early forties.
I let my eyes skate over the expensive black slacks and crisp white dress shirt until I looked up into cautious light green eyes. They were made vivid by the fiery orange ginger of his hair and the light dusting of his beard; his pale skin heavily freckled. He had the beginning of crow’s feet around his eyes. Not an age thing, and not a smile thing; at least I didn’t think. I mean, he wasn’t smiling now and with the shuttered and guarded look he gave me, I didn’t think he ever did.
He held out a bowl that was gently steaming and said again, “Drink, Sadie.”
“How do you know my name?” I demanded. “Where am I?”
“A mutual acquaintance of ours found you and brought you here. Please have a bit more,” he urged again, and held out the bowl a bit more for emphasis.
I tried to swallow, but my mouth was too dry and finally, reluctantly, I took the bowl.
I drank, and the motion quickly became greedy because God, was that good… A rich chicken broth with vegetable and herbal notes, yet no pieces of either in it.
“Um, thank you,” I said and handed the bowl back, wiping my lips with the back of my hand. I looked down and pulled the blanket up over my chest, blushing. “Where are my clothes?” I demanded.
“Does this not suit you?” he asked, setting the bowl aside on the nightstand.
It was actually a nice satin and lace nightgown, but no – not really. Not when my nipples were on full display pressing against the off-white cloth so thin you could see the shadow of my areola through it.
What the hell? I thought, followed by, Oh, God… was this guy a human trafficker? What happened, how did I even get here?
“You’re safe here, you have my word,” he soothed. “Please don’t be upset.”
Lord have mercy, there was absolutely nothing that I could keep to myself. Every thought, every feeling, crossed my face as though it were a reader board and no matter how hard I tried, I could never keep it under wraps. I was an open book to anyone who ever looked at me and it got me into more trouble than…
“Miss Brooks.” His voice was disapproving and held a note of warning.
I had tried to act fast. Had tried to act before it could show on my face, but no luck. I tried to bolt past him for the door and I almost made it except for that damn cane of his.
He flipped it around and literally hooked my foot, and I went crashing to the floor.
“That would be inadvisable,” he said crisply and held down a hand to me. I scooted away from him and looked up into an unreadable face – his expression tight around the edges with something I couldn’t define. I just knew it wasn’t good.
Everything ran smoothly. One of the biggest security weaknesses in the world was the wide-open world of the IoT, the Internet of Things. The IoT was comprised of every piece of technology that was capable of accessing the internet. There was plenty of security and protocols for actual computers and mainframes, but the IoT was made of smart televisions, game consoles, doorbell cameras, and every other dumb gadget smart enough to connect.
Lach had no idea just how powerful a device his phone, with the programs and changes I had made to it, was. Everywhere he went, I had bait in the water, a mobile hotspot ready and eager to grab anything that wanted Bluetooth or internet connectivity. The colloquial term for this was a Stingray, a device that law enforcement and others used to hijack cellphones and such during crisis situations. His pocket stingray grabbed game systems, smart thermostats, smart TVs, smart refrigerators, and all the rest. The number of these devices with no protection should be a matter of national security.
It let me hijack computers because unsecured phones connected to the local Wi-Fi, or smart pedometers, or one of my new personal favorite accessories, wireless headphones. Bored TSA agents, low oversight, listening to streaming music. Might as well have the front door wedged open for me.
The backdoors that these created? Well, it was a cyber-disaster in the making.
These back-channel portals were how I handled half of my work in the field. If Lach spent more than a minute near a closed-circuit camera, I could tie into its feed. More than ninety seconds and I could spoof its feedback. It was easy. It was insultingly easy. Known systems were even easier, like Ocean City’s security terminal. As long as Lach went through gate two, I didn’t have to touch a key. The macros went into action efficiently and silently, I just supervised the scripts running.
A few days in St Anne’s with that phone and the scripts I had written into it, I was inside their security system. It was surprisingly primitive. There was CCTV, the links were there, but they were still running what seemed like analog tape machines and not digital. There was no way to link the two. I supposed that was for their security and the privacy of their guests; the people who visited the island to get their rocks off. Lach had confirmed there were people there that most everyone knew, from celebrities to political types and even just top-tier high-money players. The sort of people who would have business with a couple of Adidas-wearing fiends like the Verbas.
While Lach was gallivanting across some unlisted island in the Caribbean, my time was less extravagantly spent. Our highlight reels could not have been more different. While he was rendering Radamir unconscious and staging his naked suicide, I had to deal with changing landscaping companies. To be honest, the thought of hanging the previous company’s rep by one of their mower belts was very tempting. Tedious, fucking patronizing asshole.
He was one of those ‘thank you for your service’ types, support the troops, all that nonsense. I couldn’t shake the military, it hung around me like some sort of cloud – my choice in shirts, exercise regimen, even the way I walked – or so I was told. I laughed the first time I was told that one. I absolutely walk like a military man, comes with having half my leg taken off and looking like someone tried to run me through a wood chipper, Fargo style, only getting tired halfway through.
I still felt like half the person, maybe less, than I had been before.
“That is going to cost you extra, Lachlan,” Svetlana said from where she was still sitting on the floor. Her hair was tousled, her expensive lingerie in need of laundering, and her makeup was a ruin, my last orgasm spent on her chiseled Russian face.
“You know I don’t care,” I said, with a careless smirk. “And you know I pay my bills.” I could see her scowling at me through the mirror of the hotel bathroom. Her lipstick was smeared, and I could see my cum as it dripped from the point of her chin onto her tits. When it came to being a hedonist – one of Roan’s words – Radamir had been nothing more than a crude amateur, cowering on an island, hiding behind a wall of bodies, fucking any guy who would turn and drop pants for him, all the while eyes popping out from coke and knockoff blue pills.
That was like picking a used car dealership to steal cars from when the exotic car dealership was across the street. Svetlana – not her real name, her real name was one of the train wrecks of Slavic syllables long enough to require an acronym – was a Ferrari, a Maserati of a woman. Tall, skinny, angular, and there was no doubt that her lingerie was top shelf, expensive. Her makeup was more of the same, probably sold by consultation only at some high-end boutique in DC, or maybe even New York City.
To the average man walking down the street, she was the sort of creature he couldn’t even imagine talking to. She was an alien who only lived in underwear commercials and the pages of lingerie catalogs. She wasn’t fucking real to them. With the money that Radamir had, he should have had a half dozen male models in his bungalow – sculpted and flawless examples of what a human body could be when its only purpose was perfection.
“Maybe warn me next time if you’re in that sort of mood,” she said, finally getting up off of the floor. She excused herself to the bathroom and shut the door. I heard her making small noises and then spit into the toilet.
I felt a wicked smile creep onto my face, replacing the smirk.
She might have been a flawless and unapproachable goddess to almost every man on this planet, but for me, she was three holes to fuck and a face to come on. I felt a twitch between my legs at the thought. It was only a twitch though. I didn’t snort coke or resort to erectile dysfunction pills like some sort of degenerate, and three rounds was more than satisfying.
The room was in her name, so I didn’t worry about leaving while she was still getting cleaned up. That was normal enough. I checked the funds app on my phone and saw that the transaction had been completed. Svet and her people had been paid. I took a bottle of mineral water from the mini-fridge as I was leaving. Considering how long it would take her to shower, and then reapply her face and clothing, I had plenty of time for a drink or two in the hotel bar. She might just end up staying in for the night. I probably got a little carried away when I took her from behind, but either she liked it, or was a good actress about it.
That was why I never minded the higher cost of Svetlana and girls from her service.
The hotel bar was a swanky high-end joint, wood paneling and a faux nautical theme, like a yacht club. I had a couple of gin and tonics, insisting on the best stuff they had. I considered charging them to the room, but that would have been unfair. If I charged a drink back to the room, I would never see that escort again. I only did it sparingly, and when I felt that I had been overcharged for what I was sent.
Roan would be livid if he knew about any of that. He bristled enough about my dalliances with escorts. Not that they were security risks, more that he disagreed with the concept of prostitution. I supposed he couldn’t comprehend the pleasures that a professional could provide, and was stuck thinking about the beaten, drug-addicted, down-on-their-luck women who were arrested for hooking on the side of the street.
The thought of the tacky clothing, bruises, and the way that those people smelled and talked finished off whatever interest that might have been rallying in my balls. Shame, the MILF at the other end of the bar could have been carrying a protest sign that she was a lonely horny woman looking to fuck because her husband was a career man who needed pills. I gave her a half-power smile as I walked past and saw her cheeks flush.
It was good to be me.
Text Copyright © 2020 A.J. Downey & Jared KingPacal Lain
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
All Rights Reserved