Out of Plans (The Mercenaries #2)

BOOK: Out of Plans (The Mercenaries #2)
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Out of Plans

 

STYLO FANTÔME

Published by BattleAxe Productions

Copyright
©
2015

Stylo Fantôme

 

Critique Partner:
Ratula Roy

 

Editing Aides:

Barbara Shane Hoover

Ratula Roy

 

Cover Design

Najla Qamber Designs

http://najlaqamberdesigns.com/
Copyright © 2015

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.

It is the copyrighted property of the author,

and may not be reproduced, copied, re-sold, or re-distributed.

If you're reading this ebook and did not purchase it,

or it was not purchased for your use only,

then this copy must be destroyed.

Please purchase a copy for yourself from a licensed seller.

Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

MISSION STATEMENT

 

I not only write, I read. A lot. Probably more than is healthy. There are a lot of things I love about self-publishing/indie authors, and a lot of things I'm not a fan of. Just personal preferences, no disrespect meant. So when I decided to self-publish, I made some promises to myself to try my hardest to avoid doing those things I didn't like seeing/happening in other stories. Now I would like to make those promises to you, the reader:

 

I promise
to never leave you hanging. If I write a story with a cliffhanger ending, I will only publish it when the second part is completely written.

 

I promise
that all
cliffhanger sequels
will be published within 16 weeks –
maximum
– of the previous part (i.e., part
two
will come within four months of part
one
. Part
three
will come within four months of part
two
, and so on, and so forth). You will never have to wait six months, or a year, or
years
, for a sequel to any
cliffhangers
that I might write.

 

I promise
that, while I am an
unsigned indie
author, I will never raise the price of any part of a
series
above $2.99. I will not “hook you” with book one, two, and three at $1.99 and/or $2.99, and then suddenly book
four
is $4.99. I refuse to pay for series that are like that, so I will never do that to you.

 

I promise
that if I am lucky enough and blessed enough to have fans, I will interact and communicate with them as much as possible – you are who this is all for, after all.

 

If at any point in time, I fail to live up to any of these promises, you have my permission to tar and feather me, beat me, leave me for dead, or worst of all – call me out.

No work is ever really completed, no story ever completely told, but I will always try my hardest to bring you my best.

 

Thank you for reading.

DEDICATION

 

For Ratula

 

Without whom, none of this would exist.

 

For inspiring and conspiring to bring mercenary romance to the world.

Out of Plans

The Mercenaries #2

FIFTEEN KILOMETERS EAST OF SALENTO, COLOMBIA

 

Liliana Brewster used one hand to hold the roll bar above her head. Her other arm was out the side of the car, holding against the door. She used her grip to stabilize her body as the Jeep she was riding in crashed through the jungle, roaring through puddles and leaping off of downed trees.

“You see!?” the man driving the vehicle shouted, pointing through the windshield. She squinted her eyes, trying to see what was out there, but the mud splattered all over the glass, and a mist had started to come down on them, making visibility low.

“No!” she shouted back.

“Hold on, we are almost to the part where -”

The Jeep began to skid as he pumped the brakes, the tires losing traction in the mud and causing the back end to swing around a little. When they came to a stop, Lily looked over to her right and realize they were on the ledge of a very steep embankment. She stood up in her seat and leaned her hips against the windshield.

“Where did you see it?” she asked, bringing a pair of large binoculars to her eyes.

“Over there, to the right,” her guide said, motioning to the same place as before, leaning over his wheel.

Lily turned, straining her eyes. The weather was shit. Low cloud cover hung over the jungle, threatening to dump at any moment – the mist was just a warning. She wanted to get to her destination before that happened. She wiped her damp hair off her forehead and kept looking.


There!
” she shouted.

A couple kilometers in the distance, rising out of the thick canopy, was a spindly little plume of smoke. Light gray and barely noticeable, it couldn't have been anything more than a campfire. A
small
campfire. Suitable for one or two people, max. She dropped the binoculars into the back seat, then tracked the smoke with her bare eyes. She began to smile.

“Ms. Lily,” her guide started. “Why do you search so badly for this man?”

“What man?” she asked, trying to guesstimate how long the drive would be to get to the smoke.

“I heard you last night, you said you are searching for a man,” he explained. Her smile turned to a frown.


Marcelle De Sant,
” she said softly.

“Yes. Why do you want to find this … this De Sant person so badly?”

“Because,” she finally looked at her guide.

“Because why?”

“I'm going to kill him.”

DAY THIRTY-ONE

 

Finding the mercenary Kingsley Law hadn't been as easy she'd thought it would be; Lily had to learn on her feet. The phone number on the card he'd left her actually worked, but it didn't lead to the posh British man himself – it led to a cranky guy in Brooklyn.

“Everyone wants Law, lady,” the guy had squawked. “How much money you got!?”

The fact that Lily knew Kingsley's real name and had one of Kingsley's personal cards spoke volumes, so the man, who introduced himself as Carl, finally decided to help her. Turned out, Kingsley had left her name with the contractor, with instructions that when she called –
when
not
if

he was to help her get a hold of Kingsley.

“Bangkok, lady. You'll find the asshole in Bangkok.”

When Marcelle De Sant had left her in Africa, he'd left her with a sizable amount of money. All cash. So she ditched the swanky resort he'd checked her into and she bought a ticket to Bangkok. One way.

Kingsley wasn't at his hotel when she got there, so she got herself a room and waited for him. And waited. And waited some more. After four days, she called Carl back, asked if maybe Kingsley had moved on to somewhere else.

“Nah, just give him time, lady. Sometimes it takes him a while to find his way home,” was all the man would tell her.

Lily remembered a conversation with Marc, after everything had gone down with Ivanov and they'd been laying low in Casablanca. Marc had said that people in “
their lifestyle
” had different ways of coping with it. Kingsley had “
Law's Lifestyle
”, which in Marc's own words meant “
fucking anything that moved
” - and directly after saying that, they had both listened to Kingsley fuck a prostitute into the wee hours of the morning.

Prostitutes. Kingsley likes to fuck them. Okay, it's not much, but it's something.

It took three days of investigating the red light district to find him. She stuck to high end brothels, places that took a lot of money just to get into, and then even more money to ask questions about the clients.

He was in a suite, and apparently had been there for over a week. When Lily knocked on the door, a gorgeous Thai woman opened up and led her into the main part of the room. Two other women were lounging about the living area, sprawled haphazardly across furniture. More like throw rugs than people.

There was smoke in the air, a combination of scents. Cigarettes primarily – Kingsley was a smoker. Also marijuana, that was unmistakable. But there was something sweet, as well. Something she didn't recognize. She smiled at the women and moved through the suite into the bedroom. Upon seeing that it was empty, she kept moving on into the bathroom.

Kingsley Law was a devastatingly handsome man. He was quite tall, with gray-blue eyes and chiseled features, toned muscles underneath fair skin. A quick wit and a sharp smile. Trim physique, and always sharply dressed in stylish suits.

So the person she came upon in the bathroom was quite a shock to see. He was still wearing his suit pants and shoes, but his shirt, tie, and jacket were gone. He was lying in a huge tub, his arms carelessly slung over the sides. A soaked cigarette was stuck between his fingertips. He had his head thrown back, and his normally fair skin was more of a sickly gray. The shower was on and he was soaking wet.

“What the hell are you doing, Kingsley?” she asked under her breath. As she knelt down next to the tub, she felt something brush against her leg. She looked down to see a long necked pipe. She scowled, then looked back at him. This was her savior? This was who she had flown across the world for?

Lily slapped him across the face.


Mai!?
” he shouted as he came to, obviously startled.

“Nope,” Lily replied, raising up on her knees and shrugging out of her jacket.

“Where the fuck am I!? Who the fuck are you!?” he demanded, rubbing his hands down his face. She ignored him and climbed to her feet.

“Okay!” she shouted, clapping her hands together as she made her way back into the living room. “Time to go, ladies!”

There was shouting in Thai, and she had to get physical with one of the girls in order to get her to leave, but eventually all three hookers were in the hall. Lily slammed the door shut and went back into the bathroom. Kingsley was sitting upright in the shower, still rubbing his hands all over his face and head.

“Is it cold in here?” he asked. She grabbed his arm and hauled him to his feet.

“Yes, it's cold in here because you're in the water,” she explained, careful as she helped him get out of the tub.

“Right, right, that makes sense,” he agreed. He leaned on her and she staggered under his weight. They tumbled out of the room and fell onto his king sized bed.

“C'mon, up up up,” she urged, sitting upright. He rolled onto his back, instead.

Lily got down on the floor, working to pull off his shoes. It wasn't easy, he kept moving his legs and kicking his feet. His wet laces also put up a fight, but she eventually won the battle and threw the shoes across the room.

“Oi, thanks love, I hate those shoes!” he called to her as he struggled to sit upright.

“Well, then why did you -”

For being stoned out of his mind, Kingsley was surprisingly quick, and he grabbed her by the back of her neck and yanked her forward. Lily was underneath him before she even knew what was happening, and then before she could react to what he'd just done, he was kissing her. Kingsley had kissed her once before, but it had been a goodbye kiss. No tongue, more of a show than anything else.

There was nothing funny about the way he was kissing her now. It was like he was ravenous, and she was a full buffet. She squealed and tried to push him off, but he didn't even notice. His hands wandered down her body, squeezing her breasts while his tongue explored her mouth.

This may have been a bad idea. Maybe I should've gone back to Ohio.

Lily smacked him in the side of the head, and when he pulled away to question her, she whacked him in the throat. Not hard enough to do any real damage, but hard enough to make him choke and gag.

“What the fuck do you think you're doing!?” he demanded, his voice hoarse.

“I could ask you the same question!” she yelled back, pushing at his chest, trying to get him off her.

“What kind of whore are you!?”

“I'm not a whore!”

He paused. His hand was on his throat, massaging where she'd hit him, and he looked down at her. His pupils were huge, and he seemed to have trouble focusing on one point. But then his eyes found hers and he stopped.

“Lily,” he said her name in a soft voice. The hand he had against his throat fell away, lightly touching the side of her face.

“Yeah, it's me,” she said back, keeping her own voice low.

“I'm very glad you're here,” he started, “though I wish I'd known you were coming. I hate for you to see me like this.”

“Me, too. I tried to call.”

“I'm sure you did. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm terribly sorry, but I think I'm going to pass out.”

And he did just that, collapsing on top of her. She gasped underneath his weight, and it took her a couple moments to wriggle free of him.

“Great, just great,” she grumbled, looking over at him as he snored away.

What was she supposed to do with a stoned mercenary!?

 

*

 

Lily woke up the next day with a start, struggling with a blanket. She blinked her eyes and glanced around. After stripping Kingsley out of his soaking wet pants and tidying up the bathroom, she'd fallen asleep on a love seat in the living area. It was tiny, her legs had to hang over one end, and she'd gone to sleep using her jacket as a blanket. But now there was a real blanket over her.

She shoved it to the floor and stood up, glancing around. There were glass doors off to one side, and they were open, so she headed that way. There was a sizable terrace, and Kingsley was stretched out on a lounge chair out there. He was back in a suit, his hair was gelled and styled, and he sipped at a cup of coffee while he looked over a newspaper. A cigarette was burning in an ashtray next to his arm.

Did I dream yesterday?

“Ah! You're awake!” he said when she approached him. But he didn't look up, just kept reading his paper.

“Yeah,” she replied, and moved so she was facing him, leaning against the railing.

“I'd say I'm surprised to see you here, but honestly, I knew it was a matter of time. I just didn't expect it quite so soon,” he continued, flipping a page. She raised her eyebrows.

“Clearly,” she stated. He paused, then folded the paper up.

“I'm sorry for what you saw yesterday,” he apologized in a simple voice, though he still refused to look at her. He had on a pair of dark sunglasses and he stared off to her left, looking out at open sky.

“Me, too.”

“I didn't know you'd turn up here, you understand. We all have our little …
ways
, of coping with this job. I'm guessing you've seen Marc's – he shuns all human contact. Convinces himself that he needs nothing and no one,” Kingsley explained.

“Yes, I'm very familiar with that particular trick of his. But you, Kingsley. I expected the hookers – how do you think I knew where to look? That doesn't shock me. The drugs, though. Opium? Very old fashioned of you,” she called him out. He gave her a tight lipped smile and folded his hands in his lap.

“We all have our ways,” he repeated himself, his voice barely above a whisper.

“How long have you been doing it?” she asked. He shrugged.

“First time, I was maybe seventeen, sixteen,” he answered honestly.

“Were you using it in Africa?” she pressed.

“Good god, no. I would never use on a job,” he sounded insulted, and he finally looked at her.

“How often do you use it?” she kept questioning him.

“Only after a particularly difficult job. Sex is my usual escape, but on this occasion it wasn't quite enough. Look, darling, I appreciate the concern, but I am not some drug addict, and I don't need lectures from someone who, up until a couple years ago, was destined to become a
soccer mom
. I was taking a breather, alright?” he snapped at her.

“Did you catch your breath, then?” she was snide.

“I don't remember you being this bitchy,” he told her, lowering his glasses so he could look her in the eye.

“You didn't really know me that well,” she pointed out.

“Touché. Why are you here?” he asked, finally getting out of the chair and standing up.

“I think you know why I'm here.”

“It's too early for games, darling, and I've got a splitting headache. Be a love and go easy on me, please?” he begged, pouting his lips at her before heading back into the room.

“You guessed right, Marc left me. Sent me some '
Dear John
' letter, saying I wasn't cut out for this lifestyle, that I was naive, that he would take care of things for me, that I shouldn't worry, should find someone else, blah blah blah,” she explained.

“And you think that's such a bad thing?” Kingsley called out, walking over to a sideboard. Lily was surprised to see it covered in food.

“I think it's an asshole thing,” she replied.

“What Marc did?”

“He … he told me to go home,” she said, her voice falling quiet. Kingsley took off his glasses completely and turned to look at her.

“Ah. I see.”

“I don't know where that is anymore,” she whispered. He smiled and walked back towards her.

“And now you know why we all have our little '
ways
' of coping,” he leaned down and whispered back to her. She cleared her throat and he stood upright.

“You once said you would help me. Well, I need help,” she told him. He nodded.

“Of course, love. At your service,” he bowed his head.

“No more drugs,” she warned him in a sharp voice. He sighed.

“You are going to be a project I regret, I can already feel it.”

“And I want to learn everything. I want to be just as good as you. Better. Better than
him
,” she added.

“Making you better than him will be easy, darling, but better than me? That's impossible,” he teased. She rolled her eyes.

“And no flirting. Flirting is what got me into trouble in Africa.
No flirting
. No relationship.
No sex,
” she stressed. Kingsley snorted.

“I take it back – you're
already
making me regret this.”

“Deal?” she asked, sticking out her hand.

“What deal? Sounds like you're offering nothing in return,” he laughed, shaking her hand.

“Exactly. Sounds like a hell of a deal to me.”

“Dear god, you've already picked up on De Sant's awful sense of humor. We have so much
un
-training to do,” Kingsley sighed.

BOOK: Out of Plans (The Mercenaries #2)
7.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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