A sexy, suspenseful new romance is coming tomorrow from J.T. Geissinger—the first instalment in an all-new series—and I have a sneak peek for you.
“It’ll be simple,” they said. “Just observe and report,” they said. Your first op, Naz, will be a walk in the park. Get a tan while you’re down there. Drink some beer. Make some easy money by spying on the Russian oligarch’s spoiled runaway wife.
Easy. Sure. Except apparently everyone, including her husband, underestimated this broad to a laughable fucking degree.
Like something out of a Tarantino movie, she strolls out of the shadows of the alley with her chin in the air and a .38 special in her hand. A beautiful woman with crazy pinwheeling eyes, out for blood. I can almost hear the dramatic flamenco guitar in the background.
I shoulda stayed in the celebrity bodyguard business. Babysitting Evalina Ivanova is turning out to be a royal pain in my ass.
“I don’t want any trouble.”
Her voice is surprisingly tremulous for a woman with such a steady grip on her weapon. Such furious, murderous eyes.
Hmm. Maybe she’s not as tough as she’s trying to look.
My new bestie Diego-the-drug-dealer is thinking the same thing.
He assesses her with the swift cagey look of a guy used to staring down the barrel of a gun at least twice before lunch every day. Just a bit of opening banter to establish the pecking order, see who comes out on top. His ugly grin grows wider as he discounts her as a real threat.
He takes another step forward. The scumbag on my left snickers. The one on my right mutters something nasty under his breath.
I sigh. Here we go.
“One more step and you’ll be singing falsetto, amigo,” says Evalina, lowering her gun slightly so it’s pointed at Diego’s crotch.
“Shut up, you dumb bitch.”
His step doesn’t falter. I imagine he probably gets threats to his family jewels on the regular. Must be on account of all that irrepressible charm.
“I’m serious,” she says, her voice growing higher. “Don’t make me shoot!”
“Are we gonna do this deal or what, man?” Diego stops in the middle of the street. He looks at me over his shoulder like he can’t decide which one of us he should kill first, her or me.
“No disrespect. But we’re doing business. You can play with your new toy after I get what I came for.” I withdraw a fat wad of cash from the pocket of my shorts and wave it at him like a dare.
Evalina is staring at me like I’m outta my mind. Those big brown eyes, whew. They’re even more stunning up close than through my camera lens. I can see why her husband wants her back so bad. I wish she’d take her finger off that trigger, though. I have a feeling that if she hears any sudden loud noises, we’re all dead.
“Okay, my man. Business first.” Diego cracks another ugly grin.
For someone with a mouthful of decay, he sure likes to smile.
He shoots a glance to his friend on my left, jerking his chin back toward Evalina like take care of that. Then he strolls back toward me while the others make a beeline for her.
Then it all happens fast.
As soon as Diego’s within reach, my fist makes its acquaintance with his nose, which crumbles like a cracker. Blood sprays everywhere. He bellows and crashes to a knee. His friends wheel around to see what the commotion is. I yank the gun from the waistband of Diego’s jeans, kick him in the chest so he topples onto his back, and take aim at the four men standing there gaping at me.
In Spanish I tell them to fuck off or eat lead.
They wisely choose the first option.
They back up slowly with their hands in the air. “You’re a dead man,” says one of them softly, staring at me with glittering eyes.
“I get that a lot,” I say, then kick Diego in the ribs to get him going.
He’s groaning and cursing, staggering to his feet and cradling his nose like it’s a baby. “You broke my nose, man! My fuckin’ nose!”
“Boo-hoo. I’ll break the rest of your face if you don’t move faster. Go join your friends. It’s time to say bye-bye.”
He sends me a hard, dangerous stare. “I’ll remember your face, gringo,” he promises, backing away.
“You do that, Diego. And I’ll remember yours. Won’t be hard—it’s the ugliest I’ve seen. Visit a dentist, you fucking degenerate, that shit is disgusting.”
He lowers his hands from his face and bares his teeth like an animal. His nose is smashed to a pulp. His black eyes are murderous slits. Blood has stained the top half of his white undershirt red.
Truly, I’ve seen better-looking roadkill.
Diego and his compatriots retreat to the nearest corner, then they disappear around it at a run.
I pick up my cash from where it fell on the sidewalk and stuff Diego’s semiauto into the back of my cargo shorts and pull my shirt over it. Then I glance at Evalina, still standing across the street with her own gun half raised, looking like she’s just been electrocuted.
“They’ll be back in a few minutes. This time they’ll all have weapons.”
I let her fill in the blanks, then start off down the street in the opposite direction from where Diego and his friends disappeared.
It kills me not to, but I don’t look back. She can’t think I was there for her. I’m just a dude trying to buy some pot who happens to have some experience handling scumbags, not the guy her husband hired to spy on her. The last thing I want is for her to disappear again, under mywatch.
Wouldn’t be a great way to start my first gig at my new job.