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Former FBI Agent Angel Farin has one purpose—Revenge!
Angel Farin, left for dead by the criminals she was investigating, was taken out of her job before she was ready and now she's wants to find the person responsible for ending her career ... Angel's willing to step on anyone in her way ... including FBI fugitive Agent Carl Zeik.
FBI Agent Carl Zeik has one purpose—Protecting Angel.
Special Agent Carl Zeik is assigned the most difficult undercover job of his career—protect the big boss' daughter—Angel Farin, and finding out who's threatening her ... with or without her cooperation.
Reluctantly teamed, Zeik and Angel begin to unravel the mystery behind a bank robbery gone wrong ... it seemed simple ... until they discover much more than they bargained for.
|Publisher:||Liquid Silver Books|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||380 KB|
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Read an Excerpt
"Echo One, this is Echo Five, I'm in pursuit of suspect." FBI Agent Angel Farin panted as she ran past a boarded up house, her heart pounding in excitement. She sprinted into the alley, the stench so foul she sucked in her breath and held it. The narrow space wasn't her friend, more than the fact the bums used it as a bathroom; it limited her movement. This part of Chicago wasn't on the must-see list for out-of-towners.
Cars raced by on the other end of the alley, their roars magnified by the close walls. The skinny teen sprinting past a dumpster matched the photo she had in her pocket perfectly. Didn't matter, she would know the kid anywhere; she had been tracking this particular gang of bank robbers for six months. She could pick him out from a crowd of clones, easy.
Still running, she frowned. Strange he would take the tracker. This group wasn't sloppy. Taking the electronic device which tracked their location was careless, especially for an experienced bank robbery team like this group.
"Roger, Echo Five on our way. Be careful," her team leader said.
"FBI. Stop, now!" Angel pointed her Glock 22 directly at the suspect. He skidded to a halt and turned to face her.
"Get down. Get down, now!"
The arm that held the bag of money he had taken from the bank twitched; other than that, there was no sign he was going to comply with her orders.
Angel tensed, a million thoughts cascading through her mind.
Is he armed? He's moving. Is he going to reach for a gun? He's just a kid ... Can I shoot him? Will I be able to shoot a fourteen-year-old boy? Am I in the best position to shoot him? I don't have my vest on. If heshoots me--he could kill me.
"Get your hands up." Angel circled around him, trying to place herself in the optimum position for defensive action. He wasn't listening to her. He had that wide-eyed look, the one kids had when they were high on crack, or whatever the drug of the day was.
"I will shoot you. Slowly raise your hands."
He wasn't responding to her commands. Then it happened, faster than she dreamed it could. His hand flew to his waist, grabbed something out of his belt, and raised his arm. He moved too fast for her brain to register what he was reaching for. She wasn't positive about taking the shot. She hesitated. Christ, he's a kid.
He fired, and suddenly she was sure. As the bullet struck her, she fired her own round. One shot was all she got off before the bullet tore through her shoulder and she went down. Another shot hit her leg.
Falling, she was falling. She didn't feel the ground come up and meet her body until she lay flat against it. She didn't feel anything. Strange subjects floated through her mind.
My dog, I left Wana inside. If I die, no one will let her out.
Everything around her moved in slow motion. Her ears were ringing.
The suspect stood over her, pointing his gun directly at her head.
Angel squinted as her vision narrowed on the gun. Then the kid turned.
She heard someone yelling at him. He swiveled back to her. She knew at that moment she was staring into the eyes of her executioner, the kid she couldn't shoot. Her hesitation had caused her death.
Another bullet sped through the air. She didn't feel the pain as it struck her. Warm liquid oozed down the side of her face. Angel dropped her head to the right and tried to see, but her vision blurred. She wanted to raise her arm, wanted to get off another shot, but her limb wouldn't move. It seemed as if someone had tied her arms to the pavement. She could feel her heart pumping, feel it in her head and the slow pulse of her blood dripping out of her body onto the pavement.
A voice came, sounding far away although she knew it was nearby. "Get into the car, Sam, you idiot. She's already dead. She's a fucking Federal Agent. There'll be a million cops here in a matter of seconds. Get into the fucking car, ass-wipe! We did what we were ordered to do. Don't get thrown in jail because of it."
Red, the car was red, old, it was an old car, and the man was a white male, scruffy. With one final look, the kid tucked the gun back into his belt and ran toward the car. He ducked in. She tried to file the facts in her head before she lost consciousness. She knew it was coming, a whirling black hole. She felt it hover on the edge of her brain, waiting to suck her in.
The COM attached to her ear blared, the sound piercing. She winced.
"Echo Five, status? Echo Five, where are you? Echo Five, report. Angel, what's happening?"
In a last ditch effort to save her life, Angel slid her arm off the pavement to her COM. It took all her remaining energy to press the broadcast button.
"I'm down, shot, corner of ninth and Sorell. Need ambulance." Her hand dropped back to the pavement, her strength seeping out of her along with her lifeblood.
"Angel, Angel, shit ... hang in there. Help's on the way."
Right. Easy for him to say. She closed her eyes as the world disappeared.
"Zeik, where are you?"
Holding up the newspaper to cover his face, Carlos Zeik pressed a button under his shirt. The wire was connected to the Secret Service issue COM, the earpiece that was tucked in his ear barely visible.
"I'm in the coffee shop. Got an eye on the suspect," he murmured. "Amazing what you can find in one of these places. Like the girlfriend of a murderer. Stand by."
"I told you to stay outside." By the saw-edged tone of her voice, his boss, Special Agent Jo Clarin--a force to be reckoned with--was not happy.
Zeik shrugged, even though she couldn't see him. Jo was a little over seven months pregnant, coordinating this well planned operation from her desk and as grumpy as a mama bear awakened early from her winter nap. Zeik and all of the other agents tried to keep out of her way.
He'd begun the surveillance by lurking outside the corner of 78th street and International. But as much as he tried to fit in, his blond surfer-goes-to-college looks didn't blend in with the gang members and the occasional working girl strolling by. He was as out of place in this neighborhood as the locals would be on Rodeo Drive. It wouldn't take them long to spot him, and when you were fingered as a Law Enforcement Officer in Oakland, it came in the form of a bullet.
"Needed to come inside. Let me do my job, Jo." He kept his voice low. He didn't want to be made by the suspect's girlfriend, Callie Jones. She was their link to the fugitive of the day, a major gangbanger wanted for murder and she was sitting in the coffee shop not twenty feet away. Callie's boyfriend was Jacob Warner, a career criminal who, if Zeik had his way, would be delivered into Federal custody very soon.
"Okay, Z." She sounded as if she spoke through clenched teeth. "It's your case. Run it the way you want."
Thank you. He sat back in the chair to watch Callie while he sipped his coffee. He'd worked under Jo Clarin for nearly five years now. It was time to break off on his own. The squad used him, his looks and his smarts, to get what they wanted. He wasn't bitter. He had skills that would catapult him to the top of his career with the FBI. He'd learned what he could from Jo, and now it was his turn to run an operation.
Making up his mind to get the action started, he held his still warm cup of coffee, got up and walked to the counter. The mousy counter girl simpered under his smile. Using a small amount of charm and a little social engineering, he found out what his target was drinking and ordered one.
He approached Callie's table, the two coffees in his hands. Sliding into the chair across from her, he pasted on his I-think-you're-gorgeous smile and set the coffees down.
"How ya doing today?"
Callie glanced up from her book. She smiled back, her face turning a subtle shade of pink. She was sweet and so young, a shame she was shacked up with such a loser. He noticed she sported a black eye unsuccessfully covered by makeup. In that instant, he decided what tactic to play.
"What's a beautiful woman like you doing here all alone?" He pushed the coffee toward her. "And in need of a refill, as well."
"Oh, wow, thanks." She flipped her hand back and forth. Nervous; she was nervous. He knew what she saw; a good-looking man paying attention to her, telling her she was pretty. Parking his elbow on the table, he rested his chin in his hand and studied her. He let his expression show the real concern he felt.
"Tell me where the man who beat you is and I'll take care of him for you. A woman like you should be cherished, not abused."
Her hand flew to her eye and she sucked in an audible breath. "No, no, it's not what you think."
He captured her flailing hand in his. Gently, he turned it over. He rubbed his thumb over her palm, feeling the calloused and rough skin. This woman lived a difficult life. His eyes connected with hers as he slowly raised her palm to his lips and pressed a kiss in the middle. "Way too beautiful to be beat on."
Her eyes widened, tears welling up.
"Tell me where Jacob Warner is, Callie. I swear I'll protect you. I'll see to it, personally."
She snatched her hand from his and sat back in her chair. She stared at him, horror in her doe brown eyes.
He held out his hand in greeting. "FBI Special Agent Carl Zeik, at your service." He winked.
Her teeth chewed on her lower lip. She hesitated, making him think of a filly that needed soothing.
"I've never make a promise I can't keep," he whispered as he moved his hand closer to hers. She jerked further back. "I swear it." He kept his voice low with a sleepy quality, his 'horse whisperer' voice, Jo called it.
Tentatively, she inched her hand forward. Bit by bit, she laid her hand into his and clasped down.
"Where is he?"
"You swear I'll be safe? You promise? He'll kill me," she squeaked out, her voice breaking off in a sob.
He released her hand. Using his thumb, he wiped the single tear from her face. He loved women, all women, tall and short, wide or small. Jo joked God made him to please women. And this girl touched his heart.
"I swear," he said.
She gave him a single nod. "945 Orchard Street, apartment five. He's dangerous, has a bunch of guns and is drunk most the time. Don't go in alone or he'll kill you."
"Is there a back door?"
When she nodded, Zeik bounced to his feet and pointed at her. "Don't leave here." He spoke into COM. "Jo, 945 Orchard Street. Get SWAT. He's in a bad mood. I'll lead them."
"Roger that. I'm on it. How did you get the information? Please don't tell me it's fruit from the poisonous tree. I don't want to jeopardize a case for you by getting information illegally."
Zeik rolled his eyes. "I used my God-given gift."
"Ahhh, Z, you charmed her."
Striding out of the coffee shop, Zeik smiled. "Yeah, I used my charm. I want an agent over here to pick up Callie. Need to get her into protective custody until we pick this bastard up."
"You got it."
"Thanks. Let's meet at the office for an ops briefing, then hit it. I need to grab a judge."
"Roger that, see ya there."