Drake (Book 1)

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[27]-Chanel No. 5

Bordeaux

1:59 p.m.

Lyn sat on the stage with Rain and Sullivan. Their legs dangled over the edge like children at a playground. Red and velvet curtains with golden ropes left a wide gap in the stage with empty props. Rows of empty seats filled the theatre from front to back with a wide red carpet running between them. Heavy bags of sand rested idly and blank lights loomed over them in the catwalks above the stage.

Sullivan grabbed her hand and said, “Lyn, we can’t do this without you. You’re the only one who can get close enough to Ulysses…”

His words sounded as if they were underwater. Rain sat beside her and smirked. She traced her ghoulish talons along Lyn’s thigh, leaving thin scratches. Then Rain tasted her blood and relished its flavor. Her ears rang with a piercing screech as if scratching a nail against glass. She shook her head and froze. Drake’s face flashed in her mind, and a small zap stung her neck.

Could he be alive?

“You okay?” Sullivan inquired.

Lyn faked a smile. “Yeah... “

“Let’s hope so for the sake of the plan,” Rain said peevishly.

Sullivan squeezed her hands, which distracted her fury from Rain. At least for the moment. His warm cinnamon eyes met hers. The child of the sun, who looked as if he was descended from Apollo himself, trapped her with his gaze. She felt warm, as if she was basking in the sun. During the time they spent together, Sullivan shared his interests of music, poetry and archery with her. Though he would never admit Lyn was a better archer.

“Ulysses is having a party on his yacht tonight off the coast,” Sullivan prompted. “You will masquerade as a maid, infiltrate his quarters and silence him. That’s all there is to it…”

Lyn made a face. “But why me-?”

Rain split her words. “Because you’re the only one Ulysses doesn’t know personally. That’s why…”

“Rain and I will take care of the crew and the passengers. Then when you kill Ulysses, meet us at the ship’s bow.”

8:00 p.m.

She tightened the corset around her waist and winced from its vise-like grip around her ribs. Then she slipped on the fishnet stockings and black heels that complimented her maid’s attire. She tied her hair in a high ponytail with a steel pin laced with poison. On her thigh and cleverly hidden rested a pistol. Each of her heels concealed a bladed tip, a technique she learned from working with Russia’s infamous KGB.

A bottle of perfume caught her attention resting on a make-up dresser. She inspected the label. Chanel No. 5, her favorite perfume. In the underworld, Lyn was regarded as the cold-blooded beauty who smelled of blood and Chanel. Though those days were behind her; however, a killer never forgot how to kill. In the spring of her youth, Lyn often immersed herself in cosmology and ballet. But fate always had a cruel twist…

She felt Rain’s evil intent and snapped her head towards the bedroom door. Rain leaned on the frame wearing a crimson dress that parted at her thigh and left her back exposed. White gloves covered her arms, and she wore a red choker. The woman looked like a porcelain doll.

Lyn formed a grimace. “I’m gonna kill you after this is over…”

Rain scoffed. “Really? You intend to do that without your pearls? Or should I say, Styx?”

Lyn reached for a necklace that wasn’t there. Reality hit her like a haymaker. For years, the pearls never left her neck. It became another part of her body, the same way a sword felt like an extension of the swordsman’s arm. She felt naked without the pearls. All the woe and sorrow she tried to flee came creeping back and attached to her like a shadow.

But she didn’t need her bow to kill Ulysses. He was only a man. A decrepit one…

“You’ve really grown up since that day we met,” Rain said.

Her face grew dark with anger. “Is there something you need to say!”

Rain kept a blank countenance. She sauntered over to Lyn, standing inches from her face.

“I didn’t realize it at first. But I had met Drake before… in St. Petersburg. It was right before the revolution happened.”

Lyn raised a brow. “What was he doing in St. Petersburg?”

Rain snickered. “I can’t really say. But believe it or not. I was a human once too-”

“Could have fooled me,” Lyn said demurely.

“-anyways!” Rain cleared her throat. “My father owned a bakery. I guess the aroma of bread and pastries attracted him that day. He was there with a woman…”

“Irene?”

Rain shook her head. “No. She had dark red hair and golden eyes. My… was she a sight.” Rain pondered for a moment. “Ah, yes! Her name was Anna! In some ways, you and her are a lot alike; headstrong with a terrible attitude…”

“Fuck you…”

Rain giggled. “Come on, little bird. The show is about to begin.”

8:30 p.m.

When Sullivan described Ulysses’ yacht, Lyn thought it to be like every other yacht. She was wrong. Ulysses did, in fact own a yacht. A superyacht to be exact. One of the largest and most luxurious in the world. She remembered seeing it from the air as they landed on its deck via helicopter. From a distance in the blackest of night, its myriad of lights illuminated like tiny orbs in the sea. Festive lights strung across the ship hung over them with colorful banners.

Above the yacht’s hull was a full size pool. The party continued as the world’s wealthy and elite congregated on each deck. The yacht sailed smoothly along the coast with fair winds and calm seas. Older men, most likely politicians, landed on the deck with their dates or wives. She recognized a few to include a congressional representative from the U.S. escorted by armed bodyguards in black suits.

Some of the elite gathered below deck to take part in less than respectable activities. It intrigued Lyn to investigate, but she reminded herself the purpose of her mission. To keep her cover as a maid; she signed a non-disclosure agreement, vowing her silence. She knew enough money made some people above the law. And money always talked.

She blended with a group of maids returning to the kitchen from serving finger foods. An older English gentleman yelled at a group of servers with stern authority. She peeked around the corner towards the main kitchen where the man continued barking orders.

She almost dropped the silver platter in her hands and gasped.

Godfrey!

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