She's a killer, but you'd never know it. She travels the world to help those in need, murdering the bad guys by seducing them first with her feminine wiles. She knows her job well, trained by her father in the art of combat and the importance of blending in. Savannah, Georgia, is the place she calls home, her only companion being the caretaker, Sam.
Her true purpose appears when two thugs assassinate her father. She later realizes they are part of a bigger, more powerful group that deserves to be taken down. She uses her assignments to build her skillset and prepare for revenge. Meanwhile, it seems Sam has some secrets of his own, having hidden an impressive gun shop in the guesthouse on her property.
While seeking the men who caused her father's death, she is sent on another mission that will take her in a direction she never expected. This woman of murder and vengeance falls in love, and now, she must choose between matters of the heart and loyalty to her father. Can she alter her murderous tendencies, or will her bloodlust get in the way of happiness?
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.27(d)|
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By G. A. Sands
Abbott PressCopyright © 2016 G. A. Sands
All rights reserved.
It was a bitterly cold evening in St. Petersburg, Russia. The cold ate through one's skin and gnawed at one's bones. The unrelenting chill sent shivers down most people's spines. Not hers. She maintained focus, got her assignment, and closely approached her goal.
She was five feet, four inches, weighed 120 pounds, was in her late twenties. She was unassuming and quite plain among the crowd. However, at this point she was dressed inappropriately for this weather or how her personal preference would dictate. Her athletic build afforded her some leeway when it came to certain attire. Tonight it was a skin-tight red spandex dress, thigh-high patent leather boots, and a deep purple faux fur coat with three-quarter-length sleeves. Her pocketbook, which could house the entire city block, was faux leather with buckles that did not connect parts — fashion for fashion's sake. She wore entirely too much makeup for someone who did not normally wear even lip gloss. The false eyelashes were such a bitch to put on, but with patience and persistence, she got the hang of it. Iridescent eye shadow with small sparkles illuminated her brown eyes. It was all part of the role she was to play.
There was a light bustle of people in the town square. The hour was between the time the sun set and before the people of the deep night decided to ascend from their holes. There was a mild, enigmatic glow from the street lamps that was bright enough to see the sidewalk but dim enough to blur facial features — perfect for dating. The cobblestoned street made walking in the platform boots a bit difficult, but she had poise.
The architecture of the buildings seemed to have a bipolar episode between late-seventeenth-century Baroque and the clean, modern lines of Times Square. Couples ventured out huddled together. Here people didn't fuss with the weather; rather, they embrace it and socialized regardless of the frozen temperatures. It was what one did when one resided in an area on this pale blue dot that had unforgiving weather.
She hustled out of the cold into the luxurious hotel lobby. The architecture was of a Muscovite Baroque style with burgundy, ivory, and embellishments of gold everywhere. The grand entrance chandelier glittered with crystals of all shapes and sizes, as well as a ceiling medallion with cupids and pasture scenes. The crown moldings were grand with acanthus medallions, floral wreath impressions adorned the wall treatments, and the cornices were of exquisite floral carvings, with details in each petal and stem. Floral motifs adorned the furniture. The columns at the entrance mimicked those of the concierge desk and were carved with ivy so detailed the veins of the ivy leaves were visible. The Carrera marble was veined with subtle hues of grey that complemented the dark cherry concierge desk, chairs, coffered ceilings beams, and end tables.
She did not hesitate. She crossed the hotel lobby to the concierge desk and asked in slang Russian for room 313. The concierge lustfully drank her in with his wanton gaze. Again she repeated her request for room 313. He told her which elevators to take, on the left-hand side of the lobby, and gave her a wink.
Slimeball, she thought to herself. At the same time, she realized her disguise was more convincing than she'd initially thought. She went on, collecting a few more stares from the guests in the lobby. She knew the illusion was well played by the disgusted stares from the hotel patrons — men and women in the hotel lobby dressed in business casual attire for some conference, no doubt. There were "Hello, my name is ..." stickers on each person.
She arrived to the elevators, pressed the up button, and waited patiently for the shiny elevators doors to open. Through her peripheral vision, she noticed there was no one accompanying her. Perfect! The elevator doors opened as if they were tired of opening and closing all of the time. She stepped inside the lift, and the doors closed. The number three lit up when she pressed it, as if to reassure the traveler they were ascending to the proper floor.
She got a good look at herself in the reflective elevator doors. "Damn, this is incredible," she said to herself. It was a very convincing disguise, not too proud but on task. "Pride comes before a fall, baby girl," her father's voice echoed in her head. She always recalled life's instruction manual just when it was needed.
The doors opened, and it was not difficult to decide which way she should proceed. Two burly individuals were at the end of the hall to the right of the elevators, in front of room 313. Could he have chosen more inconspicuous bodyguards? she thought. Grinning internally at her own sarcasm, she swung herself in their direction. "Sarcasm and humor will get you far in life as you manage to cohabitate this planet," her father's voice said. Thanks, Dad.
She strutted down the hall toward room 313, and all the while she swayed her hips, flipped her hair, and fit into her part. The short pile carpet of the hallway was ideal for walking with those god-awful boots. The dim lights of the hallway décor ensured her position as a hooker. "Lighting creates the effects you want — and don't want. Choose carefully," she recalled from her training. All of her surveillance had certainly paid off. She knew the hotel layout, the guards, and their boss very well. She always kept the subject of chaos in the back of her mind. Even in the most seemingly ideal situations, shit got screwed up. Be prepared. Have an exit plan. Don't want to repeat London.
She had been watching the boss for three months, and his methods were routine. He never deviated from his schedule. He had a better routine than NASA before a launch. She knew his every move after one month of surveillance, but she created backup plans and wanted to be sure he didn't decide to have a flower-sniffing day to break up his monotony. Nope. This dude was predictable.
"It's amazing he hasn't been taken out before," she said to Natasha.
"There have been threats on his life, but no one has ever dared to come close. He supplies the people with drugs, and in turn they submit to him. He has many eyes everywhere," Natasha said.
"I guess that's why you hired me. Lucky for me." she said with a laugh.
He would get up every morning at ten a.m. and have a fat shit, shower, and then eat breakfast via room service. She asked Natasha if this guy ever left the hotel.
Natasha said, "No. He has a permanent residence in the hotel." The hotel staff provided a service, and in return he provided them with consistent business and financial stability. After breakfast, he reviewed his shipment logs, balanced his books, and went to the local restaurant for lunch. Granted, he could have hired someone to manage the details, but he trusted no one. He ate his meals in the back of the restaurant with his back to the wall and a constant vigil on the front door. The restaurant emptied out each day to accommodate his dining experience. He repaid the proprietor handsomely.
"Seems like a waste for one meal," she said to Natasha.
"Yes, but they have the best borscht."
Once he had made a glutton of himself, he returned to the hotel for dinner and a show. He brought his girls as a part the show and dessert. He talked with them; they danced for him, on him, and around him; and he had his way with them. He would usually have three to five girls at a time — any more than that, and he felt overwhelmed. He was a bit insecure for a man in his situation: constant supply of drugs, a city at his leisure, and an exorbitant amount of money. Any less, and he did not feel he was the center of attention. Who would have thought this powerful man would feel intimated by the women he preyed upon? After that, he called it a night.
The guards looked at her, and she was aware of the fact she was expected. The boss always liked his girls slim and sleazy. The larger of the two guards was the seasoned one and had been with the boss for a while. The smaller of the two was new, enlisted within the last two weeks. The smaller guy looked at her in a way that would not be approved by the boss. This gave her the confirmation of costume. Oh, yeah. I have succeeded in slutifying myself, she concluded.
"Hi," she said to the guards in Russian. The smaller guard responded with grotesque tongue gestures and lewd body language. The seasoned guard elbowed the new guy and opened the doors of the hotel room for her. As she walked over the threshold, the smaller guard reached to play grab-ass, but the larger guard punched him in the shoulder. The boss never wanted "his girls" to be touched by anyone, particularly his guards. He felt his guards were meant to serve one purpose and one purpose only: protect him at all costs. Sex would have distracted them from their ultimate agenda, and he couldn't afford such lapses in judgment. In addition to this concept, they were beneath him on the scale he used to judge people. Guards were the filth of the earth — easily spent, easily replaced. His girls were beneath him in more ways than one. The larger bodyguard knew his place and was constantly teaching these newer, younger ones theirs. The lesson was ongoing. After he punched the smaller guard in the arm, he rolled his eyes.
She entered the room. The room was dressed in a cheesy 1970s décor with orange shag carpet, wood paneling, and Formica furniture. It was warm and humid from the hot tub located in the center of the room. The temperature in the smoldering room was very different from the icy temperature outside, beyond a simple pane of glass. She approached the hot tub slowly as he sat there marinating, and she ensured she had his attention. Why let a child at Christmas tear open all of the presents without first enjoying the sight of the brightly colored wrapping and glistening bows?
His round face, bald head, and handlebar mustache glistened with sweat from the heat of the bubbling water. He was the type of guy who would sweat in the middle of a snow storm. It was odd that he'd chosen a room with a hot tub, but he liked his girls just as sweaty and wet as he was. The hair on his chest was so thick that it appeared to gravitate to his shoulders and back, hoping to seek out new skin on which to proliferate. He had a short neck with two thick gold chains around it. The thickness of the chains tried to breathe through his chest hair, without avail. Pinky rings and bracelets adored his appendages. This pile of flesh was trying to compensate for his lack of looks by abundantly accessorizing. It was a weak attempt.
He smiled at her as she approached the hot tub. His yellow teeth reminded her of the harvest gold tile in her parents' bathroom in the old house, before they'd moved to Savannah. He flicked his tongue, insinuating the flicking of her clitoris. She wanted to put a bullet in his head here and now, but the noise would attract too much attention. She proceeded to blow him a kiss — a kiss of death, to be sure. If it was possible, he seemed more aroused by the kiss. She started her dance of seduction. As she removed her faux fur coat, she swayed her hips to the aged disco music that played in the background. She moved as if to simulate submissive behavior — something she knew he fell for every time. This dude was certainly stuck in the disco era. "Dancing Queen" was playing, and though she maintained focus, she wanted to laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Some fat fuck was destined to be fish food while Abba serenaded in the distance.
She unzipped her dress slowly, tantalizing him with each click of the zipper. He looked like a kid in a candy store who couldn't wait to remove the wrapping from his treat. She took the shoulder strap off her right shoulder and then her left. She slipped the dress down over her breasts, past her abs, and to her mid-thighs. He was licking his lips; she'd gotten his attention. She had on a strapless black satin bra with matching panties. The thigh-high stockings, with lace just above the patent leather boots, were now visible. She moved around the hot tub to where he was sitting. She crouched down and lightly ran her fingers from the crook of his elbow to his earlobe. She massaged his shoulders and allowed her hair to fall off her shoulder and onto his face. The smell of hair had heightened his arousal: she smelled of jasmine and soap. He was distracted, no doubt about that. She reached into her right boot and flicked out her stainless steel butterfly knife with a pearl handle. Gratefully, Abba was singing too loud, and he had not heard the click of the blade. "Young and sweet, only seventeen." Thank you, Abba.
She took her left hand under his chin to simulate her moving his face up to meet hers for a kiss he'd never get. She took the knife and started the blade at the left side of his neck, just below his ear, and proceeded to the right side deep enough to take the jugulars and carotids. He was stunned to the point of paralysis. The heat of the tub allowed for him to exsanguinate quickly. His skin grew paler each second. She cleaned off the butterfly knife in the water. The knife was a gift from her dad and not something to part with. He started to slip under the water, but he was so large that his head, neck, and a small portion of his chest still sat above the waterline. Job done.
"Da svidanya, slimeball. You will never again rape, sodomize, or humiliate another woman, or prey on the people whom you enslave with your drugs," she said. His eyes stared directly at hers in shock. His mouth gaped open in a silent scream no one would hear. "The world has been cleansed of yet another evil man."
Dad always encouraged the use of language in all forms. "Communication is the number one form of expression, whether it's verbal or nonverbal, and it must take many forms," he'd said. She loved languages and had a knack for absorbing, translating, and blending them through her words. Dad would play linguistic games with her. "What's the Latin translation for family?" he'd ask. "Familire," she'd respond. "Excellent, baby girl." As a child, learning language came very easy to her, which proved useful later in life.
She proceeded to get dressed but took her time. She wanted it to seem real to the bodyguards. No longer than fifteen minutes — the boss didn't tolerate his girls any longer than that. He may request the same girl repeatedly, but he never had her longer than a quarter of an hour. She shuffled her hair and had some perspiration due to the hot, humid room. Her glistening body reiterated the act for which she was hired to do. She crossed the room, took another look to ensure she hadn't left any evidence, and left. As she closed the door behind her, she winked at the larger guard, knowing full well he wouldn't respond. The smaller guard had already disappeared from his post. The veteran hadn't wasted any time; it would take at least forty-eight hours before the new man was replaced. That worked to her plan. She strutted past the large guard and toward the elevators. The guards never checked in on the boss after he'd had his girls until the next morning; he never liked to be bothered in his post-coital bliss. She arrived at the elevator doors and didn't look back — too suspicious. She'd been called to service him, and that was all. She took the elevators to the lobby and headed back out into the bitter cold. The weather felt even icier due to her perspiration, freezing her from her temples to her cleavage.
Natasha was waiting for her outside. Natasha was her contact, the one who'd hired her to clean the boss. Natasha's sister had been raped and beaten to death by the boss, but her body was never found. Natasha was one of his girls and never led him to believe Katrina was her sister. Natasha witnessed the whole event when her sister wouldn't give him a blow job. He smashed Katrina's face into the tile that lined the hot tub. When she was unconscious, he raped her while Natasha was made to watch. This was how it worked in the silent world of women when the boss signed their checks. The women who worked the night when economic times were hard and there were mouths to feed did what they had to do.
Natasha was waiting in a small, rusted-out 1994 ZAZ-968M Zaporozhets. She parked next to the boss's Mercedes S-Class AMG. The hotel personnel knew his vehicle well, so stealing the boss's car wouldn't have been ideal. Being in a nondescript piece of shit worked for her. She hopped in, and Natasha drove away.
Excerpted from She by G. A. Sands. Copyright © 2016 G. A. Sands. Excerpted by permission of Abbott Press.
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