I'm really excited about the progress I've made this past week on the final book of my "War Angel" trilogy. I must admit that the pressure from my readers to find out how it all comes to a conclusion has been inspiring. For those who haven't read any of the books yet, here's a sample chapter to we you appetite. At the bottom of the post, you'll find links to both the Kindle, ebook version as well as a PayPal link to order autographed paperbacks. Enjoy and as always, feel free to leave comments.
A Sample chapter from....
CHAPTER 15 minus 15
And Here We Are Again
enox gazed up at the moon as he walked up the long, winding, concrete driveway that ended at Jon’s doorstep. The number 1187 hung above the door and on either side of the path lay grass, partially buried under the freshly fallen snow. With his feet on the welcome mat, he stood on the shore of the place where the war for his soul was about to be fought. He took a deep breath and rang the doorbell with a surprisingly calm heart. Everything seemed to move in slow motion as a strange sense of peace and acceptance washed over him, soothing nerves that should have been on edge. He waited a few moments and then rang the doorbell again.
He hadn’t watched Josephine’s video so Lenox was surprised when Jon finally opened the door because in his mind’s eye, he had pictured someone totally different. A creepy, sniveling, little weakling did not answer the door. Instead, Lenox found himself standing in front of a hulking, muscular man, heavily tattooed, in a white tank top who had the physique of a bodybuilder or prison inmate. However, on top of his broad neck and shoulders sat the unassuming face of a salesman. Lenox was glad that his gun was already in hand when the door opened. By the way his green eyes opened wide, Jon was not.
“What the fuck!” Jon exclaimed when he opened his front door and found the business end of a gun practically pressed to his forehead. His tan skin turned ghostly white from the fright and even the tattoos seemed to flinch. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich he had only taken one bite out of fell from his hand and hit the floor.
Lenox knew that he should have just pulled the trigger, blew a hole in Jon’s head and be done with the deed but he didn’t. He looked into the eyes of the man he was about to kill and a strange, random thought entered his mind unexpectedly. There was something in the confused, frightened expression on Jon’s face that made Lenox suddenly feel maliciously merciful. That shred of mercy did not extend far enough to spare Jon. Only an act of God could grant him that but, Lenox intended to let this man know what he was about to die for.
“Shut the fuck up and get inside!” Lenox barked.
Jon stumbled backwards awkwardly when Lenox pressed the end of his gun against his sweaty forehead and pushed him into the house. Once they were inside, Lenox used his free hand to close the door behind them.
“I don’t keep money in the house,” Jon pleaded.
“I ain’t here for money,” Lenox growled.
“So what do you want?” Jon asked, confused and terrified.
“Your life,” Lenox answered.
“Why? I d-d-don’t even know you,” Jon stuttered.
“Don’t bother begging. It won’t help you.”
“Why? I’ve never seen you before. I never did anything to you. W-w-why…why would you…” Jon continued until Lenox stopped him.
“I’m here to do what Tone would have done if he was alive,” Lenox told him which seemed to leave Jon even more confused.
“I don’t know anybody named Tone!” exclaimed Jon in an attempt to reason with Lenox whose face remained hard and determined.
A day or two before that evening, Jon may have been able to reach the man with the gun, appealed to his better judgment, humanity, or even took advantage of some measure of lingering uncertainty. Unfortunately for him, Lenox had transformed into a man that would not compromise and could not be reasoned with. He was unmoved by the fear in Jon’s eyes or the pitiful mewling sound of his voice. At that moment, Lenox was consumed by the power he held. What had once felt foreign in his hand had become an extension of his will and his murderous intentions. As Jon continued to beg, words poured uselessly from his mouth the same way that blood was about to flow freely from a bullet wound, or two.
“No, you didn’t know Tone but you know his daughter and as I stand here, ready to kill you for the filthy fucking child rapist that you are, I get the feeling that he’s watching and smiling,” Lenox answered.
Letting Jon know why he was about to die was the extent of Lenox’s mercy. Suddenly tears welled up in Jon’s eyes and resembled green pools that reflected his doom as he finally realized why there was a gun in his face. The shock alone nearly killed him. He couldn’t believe it and wondered how anyone could have possibly found out. He knew that Angela hadn’t dared tell anyone because he had threatened to hurt her mother if she did. He wondered how this man had found out about what he had been doing.
“I can tell by the look on your face and the piss that’s running down the leg of your sweatpants that you understand exactly why I’m here. Good. I ain’t gotta say anything else then,” said Lenox.
“Who s-s-sent you?”
Jon backed away slowly. He would have fallen to his knees and begged if he thought that would have saved him. Instead, he fell in love with the idea of running for his life.
“It doesn’t matter who sent me. I’m basically a mechanic sent to fix fucked up people like you, the only way they can be fixed. That’s why I’m about to put a permanent hole in your head,” Lenox answered before he took a deep breath and squeezed the trigger with thoughts of the days he had been forced to spend between Mrs. Chandler’s sweaty thighs hot on his mind.
BANG!!! A single hot slug ripped through Jon’s left ear as he turned to run away. He stumbled after he was hit but was on the move seconds after with extreme pain and a strong desire to live his driving motivation. His only thought was to get through the kitchen, make it up the stairs to his bedroom to get the gun in his nightstand so that maybe he could defend himself. As slim as his chances were and as ridiculously unlikely as it was, it was all he had to hold on to. As he took off, he heard two empty clicks and realized that Lenox’s gun had jammed. Maybe I can make it, he thought, still clinging to a sliver of hope.
“Fuck!” Lenox grumbled, suddenly regretting not blowing Jon’s head off as soon as he had opened the door.
Now Lenox had no choice but to take off after him as Jon ran through the house like a frightened wild animal, bloodied and wounded. As Jon reached the kitchen, Lenox caught him by the shoulder and spun him around. Most of his ear was missing and blood flowed in rivers from the gruesome wound but the man was far from dead. As he was wheeled around, he landed a solid punch squarely on Lenox’s jaw, hard enough to make him drop his gun and rattle his brain in his skull. As Lenox staggered, he bumped into the drain board next to the kitchen sink, shaking the dishes that sat in it. Jon started to hope a little more and lunged forward to wrap his hands around Lenox’s throat. His fingers were like vices as he fought for his life and Lenox couldn’t break his grip.
While fighting not to black out, Lenox spotted a butcher’s knife in the sink, covered with peanut butter and jelly. He reached for it as he started to see stars and knew his life depending on it. His knees nearly buckled as he stretched, desperate to get his hands on the handle. A split second later, Jon saw the gleam of metal of the knife’s blade raised high in the air and wished that he had used a butter knife to make his sandwich earlier. Lenox brought the knife down like a hammer with all the strength he had left and buried it in Jon’s collar, all the way to the handle. Jon’s grip weakened but he didn’t let go. He slumped forward into Lenox’s unwelcoming arms.
“I told you. There’s no way to stop this,” Lenox whispered in Jon’s ear before he pulled the knife out slowly.
Jon grunted weakly, still holding on to Lenox’s throat while tears flowed freely from his eyes the same way the blood leaked from his wound. Lenox stabbed Jon again, this time in the stomach, tearing the man open. As he dragged the knife across his belly, entrails spilled onto the floor until Lenox was standing in a pool of blood and guts. Lenox felt strong hands weaken and fall away from his throat as Jon collapsed at his feet in a twisted, sickening heap. The heavy, wet, thud woke Lenox from a murderous, crimson daydream. Later on he would wonder if it had been the side-effect of an adrenaline rush or if he had really lost himself. He stared at what he had done for a few moments, shocked, disgusted and fascinated. Once he was sure that Jon was dead, he stepped over the body, picked up his gun and left.
To Lenox’s dismay, Hector was gone and the car was locked when he got back outside. He wondered if leaving him stranded at the scene of a murder that he had just committed had been a part of Carmen’s plan all along. Without his car, his chances of quickly putting distance between himself and Jon’s corpse was impossible. He couldn’t just call a cab and there was no public transportation in such a swanky, private community. Even if there was, he was completely covered in blood. He almost laughed at how foolish he had been to get caught up in Carmen’s snare. That’s when Hector showed up, walking briskly from the shadows at the side of the house, carrying a small, black duffel bag.
“Are you crazy? Where the fuck were you?” Lenox asked.
“I used the key that Josephine gave Carmen to sneak upstairs without a fuss to steal money and jewelry,” Hector explained as he opened the car doors. “Now get in!”
“That ain’t what we fuckin’ came here for!” Lenox complained.
“No, it’s not but we needed to make this look like a robbery to protect Josephine. Oh, by the way, I broke the lock on the side door on purpose so I’m sure the silent alarm is going off as we stand here fucking arguing. It might be better if we finished our conversation somewhere else…unless of course you want to wait and explain things to the cops?” Hector asked before he got in the car and started the engine.
With his chest heaving and filled with the frosty evening air, Lenox frantically opened the car door and got in the back seat. Surprisingly, he still held a firm grip on the gun in his right hand that only a few hours before wouldn’t stop trembling. The clip was still fully loaded except for the single round it had discharged just a few moments before. After that, it had jammed which forced him to improvise on the fly. In his left hand, he still held onto the kitchen knife he’d only seen for the first time that very night. Every nerve in his body felt raw and exposed, making it difficult for him to decide whether he was more alive than ever or disturbingly closer to death. He strained his eyes to examine the front of his black sweatshirt, wet with blood that wasn’t his own. Of course, in the dark he couldn’t see it but it was there and he was covered in it. After what he had just done, it would have been impossible not to be drenched in it. The sickening metallic scent of the gore clawed up his nostrils and nearly forced what little food sat in his stomach to creep up into his throat. He held his breath until the overwhelming wave of nausea passed. He felt feverish and even the winter chill wasn’t enough to stop the steady stream of perspiration that trickled down the sides of his face. The pressure in his temples pounded in perfect pace with his racing heart as part of a maniacal symphony in his pulse.
“Is it done?” Hector asked from the driver’s seat.
He kept one hand on the gear shifter and the other on the gun hidden in his jacket. Carmen trusted Lenox but he didn’t. The jealousy that still pumped through his veins made him wish that Lenox would give him a reason to kill him.
“Yes,” Lenox murmured.
“Are you sure?” Hector asked again.
“I said it’s done. Now let’s go!” Lenox growled, annoyed by the hint of mocking sarcasm in Hector’s tone.
There was something sinister and malicious in the question that served as the harbinger of very unpleasant things to come. There was a long, quiet, moment of tension before Hector grudgingly took his hand off of his gun, gripped the steering wheel and floored the gas pedal. The car skated down the icy, suburban road which was lined with beautifully leafless trees, decorated with snow-covered limbs; a sharp contrast to the bloody, crimson horror that Lenox had left behind in the house he’d just run out of. While Hector drove recklessly to get them out of the area as quickly as he could, Lenox breathed a sigh of relief and laid himself flat across the back seat. He longed for his own bed but for the moment, it would have to suffice. He lay on his back, let the gory knife fall from his hand and closed his eyes, feeling safer being low enough not to be seen. He attempted to wipe away the steady flow of sweat with his black-gloved hands but became disgusted when he realized that he had accidentally smeared blood all over his face. Even though the car swerved erratically down the dangerously slick roads, fish-tailing as Hector sped around corners, Lenox drifted off to sleep.