Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
La Tecia D. Sykes would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Retail Recon: Fatal Promotions

By La Tecia D. Sykes All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Action

Pay The Piper 1

“This is the end of the road, Joe.”

No response. Probably because I was alone and talking to myself had become an annoying habit. Three weeks, three weeks I had been tracking this mark, much to my chagrin. Even more unsettling, the thing that set my golf-ball-sized ulcer ablaze, were my orders. No diplomacy, no negotiation, just an order to terminate. I’d shot people before but this…this felt like the first time. I had become accustomed to shooting only in self-defense. What if this mark didn’t fight back? I shook my head hard and yanked open the door to the abandoned building. I stepped in quietly, leading with my gun in case this place was not as abandoned as it seemed.

 The warehouse was dark; the only light a small lamp next to a cot in the corner. Not quite the setting I was expecting. I couldn’t let the look of this dismal location deceive me. Many criminals had “crash pads”. Hell, I had one, what did that make me? My “crash pad” was a small, nondescript hideout I used for stashing money, passports, you name it. Every spy, noble or otherwise needed a backup plan, an “out” if you will. This was probably just a place to catch some rest before leaving the country. I scanned the rest of the open space. There was very little to take in. No booby-traps, though. To my left was a small table and chair. I sat down, laying my weapon on the table. This had to end tonight. Those were my orders, like it or not. I decided to wait. When the mark entered several minutes later, her disbelief was palpable.

“How’d you find this place?”

“That’s not important. Sit. Let’s have a little chat.” She approached the table cautiously relaxing a little when she saw my weapon revealed. My cards were on the table, so to speak. “You’ve been busy…”

She stiffened. We both knew why I was here. Her…“activities” had come to someone’s attention; the kind of someone who knew all my deepest, darkest secrets.  The kind of someone who would lay them bare if I didn’t handle this tonight. Action had to be taken. I could see the wheels turning in her head; the mental inventory of all the ways she could kill me and escape. I, too, was running the scenarios and when she made her move, I thought I was prepared.

“I’m not going back!”

She lunged forward, slamming the table into my stomach in an attempt to grab my gun! I rolled with the attack, narrowly avoiding broken ribs, and barely maintaining my balance as my chair tipped. I took two quick steps back as the mark whirled to train my own gun on me.  Just before she pulled the trigger, I grabbed her wrist and pulled her toward me. The gun fired wildly over my left shoulder. I twisted her wrist trying to wrench the gun from it but she was as stubborn as I. She pulled the trigger again and this bullet nearly left a hole in my Prada suit coat!

That was it! You do not play with a fashionista’s outfit.  The fight had moved us closer to the cot and lamp. I reached blindly behind me and was rewarded when my fingers closed around the firm pole of the lamp. I swung it wildly, sweeping her feet from beneath her with a thud. Tossing the broken lamp to the side, I quickly disarmed her with my left hand, drawing my other fully loaded weapon with the right. She was instantly on her knees, begging.

“Please! Why are you doing this?!”

A fair question, to be sure. I had asked myself that same question half a dozen times during tonight’s exploits and had settled upon only one reasonable answer: Because I had to. I had made a very rash decision that led me to this point and this was my penance. All that was required of me was the will to follow thru. The woman kneeled before began to sob uncontrollably, shaking my resolve.

“This isn’t personal. It never was. I have my orders and they say only one of us can walk out of here tonight. I promise you Joanna, it will be me.”

“You’re a heartless bitch, Sparrow! You always were! All you have is this job. It’s more than you deserve.”

“That’s where you’re wrong Joe. I want a real life! And I can only have it if I take care of this; of you. No matter what you believe, I wish things could be different.”

“Do it! Save yourself. I know who sent you and if you think this is the end. You’re wrong. DEAD wrong.”  She spat the words at me like venom, her façade of wanting mercy ripped off like a Halloween mask.

I began to raise the custom nine-millimeter, the silencer softly caressing her forehead. This wasn’t just for me; it was for my family. I had chosen this life out of selfish disregard. If I failed tonight the fallout would extend well beyond me. Could I live with what I was about to do? Maybe. But I was absolutely certain I couldn’t live without my family. As I deliberated Josie took advantage of my distraction. She charged me full force as I raised my weapon to eye-level! A knee-jerk reaction. 

I flinched when the hammer dropped. Turning in a state of shock and disbelief, I quickly removed myself from the scene leaving Joanna staring into the night sky. Surely someone had heard the scuffle, the wild gunshots. The authorities were no doubt on their way as I made a hasty retreat down a gloom-filled, filthy alley.   

Stopping at a broken window, I checked my appearance, more out of habit than necessity. As always, things were in place. My brown skin looked flawless even in the poorly lit alley. My shoulder length black hair descended from a meticulously trimmed set of bangs. The two sparrows tattooed on either side of my chest were barely visible beneath my crisp white Ralph Lauren blouse. These sparrows meant so much more than aesthetics. They were permanent reminders of a life-debt to my former team and the two women who risked everything to save me. My well-tailored Armani ebony suit hung over me in an exquisite draping evidence of a designer-quality even with the label hidden. I gave myself an approving nod and moved down the alley with sirens blaring at my back careful not to scratch my black suede Yeezy 2’s on the uneven terrain. 

Who am I? How can I take a life simply to preserve my own? I am closer than you think. Closer than you could ever imagine. It would be so easy to call me a “monster” but, terrifyingly enough, I was once like you.  Are you worried yet? You should be. I bet you don’t even get it. You will.


Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

kim: This is great! Maybe it could just be a little more specific. One of the keys to great writing is describing things in detail. I think you're off to a great start. I wish you much luck.

Kalyan Shobhana: There is not a moment in this book where you think...let me stop now. this book cast a spell that compels you to finish it. in the end...you just hope and pray that may it turn out to be a series and the author keeps writing more and more. Let's just say this books makes me want to be selfish ,so...

Khuston: I have read Derek Smith's Vincent Macleod: Agent of T.R.A.C.E and I was completely drawn to the idea and story line. It was't a typically super hero book, and the detail I found described everything fully. I could picture the events happening in my head as I read the story. At the end, I found my...

263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...

Keith R. Pharis Jr.: Thoroughly enjoyed the novel. I was drawn in and stayed intrigued throughout the entire story. It was full of drama and emotion. Very well written. It left me wanting more. I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone. It will certainly leave you wanting more and more. Excellent job.

lopezmariana97: I loved everything about this book. I read it in a weekend because it was so hard to put down. I real liked that it wasn't a typical demon story and that It didn't involve vampires. I pictured the cast for this book if it ever becomes a movie. 100% love

Alexis Dredd Zarcal: Overall, it's a rather thrilling piece, merging superstition, psychology, slice of life, and the usual Japanese risque fare. All the elements have rhyme and reason in being placed together.The respective background stories of the characters involved so far also give a sense of flair and thrill.I'...

tyleroakleyfan: thank you for writing this story I loved it. it was great I enjoyed every minute of it I couldn't stop reading you did a fantastic job. Thanks for killing ron he was starting to piss me off. he was being a dick. I love that you made it a gay love story its about time someone did. love it great job.

Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...

More Recommendations

mrh: This interesting take on the Harry Potter series fascinated me from line one on. I am in love with this tale and its characters and cannot wait to read the next chapter. I look forward to more soon.When can I expect the next chapter? I am so excited to read it!

GeorgeS: The author has a VERY refreshingly direct writing style. Sometimes being punched in the gut (or nose, as the case may be) can be an excellent thing, indeed. Whatever may be lacking in subtlety is more than made up for in the diamond clarity of character development. I look forward to MORE. I c...

smile4me: Exciting page turner. I was barely able to put it down to go to bed. I can usually figure out the twists before they are revealed but not this time! Such a thrill to be surprised. I can hardly wait for the follow up!!

harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.