Alright, lovelies! It’s WIP Wednesday and I’ve got a brand new book to start sharing snippets of… book 2 in my Daughters of Eltera series, ‘Tara’! The Daughters of Eltera series is full of gods, goddesses, and a cursed, enslaved race of female warriors known as the Faeoihn [Fay-OH-een]. Each book follows one of the Faeoihn as they find love – and perhaps freedom – after over two thousand years of slavery. Curious? Book 1 of the series ‘Fae’ was released last year, and you can find it on Amazon over here if you want to catch up! This snippet is from the first chapter of the new book, and it follows Alaric as he is given a job that will take him on one wild ride.
“What can I do for you?” Alaric felt the cold in the air penetrate farther than it should have with his coat, the chill settling all over to leave him in that mental state that kept him separate, and logical, and heading for the finish line. Just how Luca’s group had trained him.
“We have a quick turn-around request, and you’re the closest to the action. Sending you an e-mail, decrypt algorithm A46JZX.” Luca’s voice was all business now that the conversation had really started, and Alaric logged the string of letters and numbers in his short-term memory while he brought up the email server.
“A moment.” His touch opened up an email that looked like spam on the surface, an advert for a dating website offering a month of free membership. Ha ha, Luca. Hitting a few keys he brought up the decryption software and typed in the algorithm. In moments the real email appeared with three attachments. “What am I looking at?”
“I need you to hear me out before you make a decision, Alaric.” Luca’s voice was strained, and he saw why immediately. The first attachment was full of timetables and maps. But on the top of the second attachment was a series of photos shot at some fancy party and they were all of the same woman. Young, looking unreal in a long black dress. Honey blonde hair was pulled up off her neck in a messy bun, and she was dripping with jewels, a million-dollar smile lighting up her face as she was tracked through the party by whoever’s camera had been clicking. A forty-something man in a tux had his arm coiled around her in almost every picture, his chest puffed up with the pride of having her on his arm.
“You better tell me that this is about him.” Alaric’s voice was firm, but he could see from the angle of the photos, and how she was centered in each of them, that this call was about her.
No women. No kids.
That had been his rule since he’d started with Infinity Consulting, which, contradictory to its name, specialized in endings, and didn’t consult anyone about anything.
“It’s about both of them, actually, and don’t you dare hang up on me! Hear me out.” Luca snapped out the words as if he was racing the end button on Alaric’s phone.
“Talk.” Alaric was tempted to hang up, potentially hard enough to crush the cell.
Let Luca try and track him then.
“The client attempted to make a deal with the man in the picture, Gianni Formato. The deal was declined and the client wants Gianni eliminated.” The tension in Luca’s voice eased as he kept talking and the line was still open. Alaric didn’t have a problem with what he was saying so far. He could remove Gianni from the picture with ease. Tapping open the third document to cover up the pictures of that woman he saw the floor plans of a three story – plus basement – villa in Milan, Italy. Exterior pictures were below the floor plans. There was a heavy-duty gate in front of the driveway and the garage, but that gate came right up to the surface streets. All the windows had security bars, and to most people it looked like a fortress, but Alaric’s mind was already clicking away at an entrance strategy.
Then his mind screeched to a halt as he tuned back in to what Luca was saying.
“- just bring the girl back to the client, and all done.”
“What?” Alaric tilted the laptop towards his body as a man and a woman left the café and walked past him. Slipping into German he continued, “You know my rules, Luca.”
“Listen, the client doesn’t want a hair touched on her head. In fact, he’ll be pissed if she’s hurt. That leaves me with an extremely short list of people I can send in with a shred of moral fiber that are also within range to have this done tonight. In fact, that list is you. Just you.” Luca’s voice was deadly serious.
“I’m not a delivery boy.” Alaric gripped the strap of his messenger bag hard enough to make his knuckles go white. He couldn’t raise his voice, couldn’t draw attention to himself, but he didn’t want to be involved in anything with the elegant socialite in those pictures.
“Alaric, if you turn this down I’m just going to have to call someone else within range, and no one else within range has the same,” another pause, “values you have.”
Hello back, meet corner.
“I will not hurt her.” Alaric said it quietly enough that only the sensitive microphone angling down from his ear could pick it up, just in case someone around him spoke German.
“Is that a yes?”
“Tell me the rest.” Alaric sighed and leaned back against the cold chair. He reached for his tea out of habit, but the cold air had turned it into an unsatisfying waste of tea leaves. Over the next fifteen minutes Alaric finished reading through the documents, all of it the bare minimum he needed to know to do the job. Most of the information Luca transferred was about the when and the where. They usually had plenty of time to plan these things, but this had to happen tonight, between midnight and four am.
“He’s paying two million, and another half a million upon delivery. It’s a pretty nice pay day for a few days of work.” Luca was back to his happy self on the other end of the line, and Alaric could almost see the smile in his mind as Luca talked while his hands moved over the keyboard in his computer cave. All those screens flashing information at him while he handled the navigation of their invisible ship to keep them all afloat.
He’d spent his first years sitting in a chair next to Luca, watching in awe as the man pulled strings across the globe like some kind of genius puppet master. It had impressed him, made him awestruck by the man – but now? Now, he was just Luca, and this was just another job.
“The client is going to have to cover all my expenses. This kind of turnaround is going to cost money.” Alaric had already pulled up the internet to start looking at flights to Milan. It was going to take him at least five hours to pull out of Toulouse and fly to Milan, get a car, and gear up. That was all before he could even scout the place in the daylight.
“I don’t think he’ll have a problem with that.” Luca had already checked out of their conversation. The contract had been assigned, and he had others to call, other moves to make.
“Alright Luca, I’m on it.”
That is, as long as no one asked him to hurt the girl he would be.
“That’s my boy, Alaric. Call me when it’s done, and you have her, so I can update the client.”
This was a long snippet, but it’s the perfect setup to the story! Alaric is a bundle of complications, but that makes him a perfect counterpoint to Tara, who we’ll meet in the next blog hop Saturday Spanks! You’ll have plenty of time to read ‘Fae’ before this book comes out, probably in May sometime (which happens to be my birthday month!). I hope you’ll stick around, and check this one out. All of the Daughters of Eltera books are dark paranormal romance, and a different pace than Lethal Sin, but I think you’ll really enjoy it! Until then, check out these other blog hops on the page below!
P.S. – Lethal Sin is live on Amazon now, so please swing by and leave a review! You’d make my day!