My Pervy Reader,
Book #30 had to be special. It had to be a big deal. I had to bring back my Lake Cliff boys. Bleed And Seek is special and it’s a very big deal. It’s full of sex, danger and love. And laughter. We’ll always find time to laugh. Life is not as it seems in Lake Cliff and secrets, lies and time have a way of catching up with us in the end.
Wondering what Lavender’s been up to while we’ve been away? Here’s a peek at the first chapter of Bleed And Seek, available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xxwmIB.
“Make sure the jet’s ready to go and I need those pictures on my phone by the time I land in Paris,” Lavender said as he stepped into an elevator at the Park Lane Four Seasons. He pretended to see a scuff on the toe of his shoe as he turned away from the camera.
“The jet’s waiting and a car will pick you up at the west exit,” Denver said and Lavender’s eyes narrowed at the sound of gunfire in the background.
“I hope I’m not catching you at an inconvenient time. Would you like to call me when you’re done with your game?” He asked as he rubbed the top of his shoe against his calf.
“No, I’m cool. I see eight men. Six in the living slash dining room and two in the bedroom. The two in the back appear to be fighting,” Denver said absently and Lavender rolled his eyes as he ended the call. He pushed the phone into his back pocket as the doors opened. He stepped into the hall and pulled his gloves from his pocket and tugged them on as he slowly made his way toward the Blue Suite. Lavender hummed softly and his brows pulled together as he tried to recall the name of the piece.
“We were just there last night,” he complained as he mentally replayed the scene from the opera in his head then waved it off before he tapped his knuckles on the suite’s door.
He reached into his coat and pulled two guns from his holster just as the door opened. A large black man’s eyes widened in shock as Lavender pulled the triggers and two red stains spread across his chest. Lavender kicked the door wide then grabbed the front of the man’s shirt as he swayed and hid behind him as he aimed over his shoulder and took down a large Syrian behind the bar. Two bullets punched Lavender’s body shield as he put a round between the eyes of a shorter Syrian by the window and the glass cracked behind him as he slid to the floor.
Lavender pushed the body away then spun around a wall, into a small alcove. He glanced at his watch and nodded. He was making good time. One of the bodyguards ran behind the bar and ducked just as Lavender shot out the lamp and shattered the large mirror at the back of the bar. The glass spilled down the wall and demolished the bottles, decanters and glasses. Lavender tilted away as bullets pelted the molding next to his head then set the guns on the desk and reached for a newspaper. A headline caught his eye for a moment and he smirked before he crumpled it in his fist then reached into his pocket for a lighter. Lavender lit the ball of paper and gave it a moment to catch before he tossed it at the bar. A second later, there was a loud poof! as flames spread across the bar and up the wall. The last two bodyguards jumped from behind the couch and ran for the door as Lavender reached for his guns. He stepped out of the alcove and shot one guard through the temple and the other twice, between the shoulder blades then dropped the guns.
The bodyguard behind the bar screamed in Levantine Arabic and flames spread up his side as he ran at Lavender. He pulled a gun from behind his back and shot the guard between the eyes as he grabbed the front of his jacket. It took four shots to get the door to the bedroom to open and Lavender’s face and hand were uncomfortably hot by the time he was able to throw his human Molotov cocktail into the room. A man yelled in horror and Lavender’s arm swung toward him as he hurried into the room. He found his target as he pulled the other gun from behind his back.
“Please!” Omar al-Otari cried as he dropped his gun and held up his hands. Lavender’s eyes swept to the other person in the room and his finger relaxed on the trigger.
“Put on your clothes,” Lavender said calmly to the girl weeping and cowering in the corner. Her face was battered and bloody and her body was covered in bruises and scratches.
“You can take her if you want her and I’ll pay you whatev…” Otari’s eyes crossed and his mouth drooped as a bullet passed through his forehead and his brain sprayed the curtain behind him.
“I’m not interested,” Lavender said as he tossed the guns on the bed then reached into his coat and removed his wallet. He grabbed all the paper money in the billfold as the girl threw herself at him. Lavender held her off as he pushed the money at her. “I didn’t come to rescue you. Take this and forget you saw me,” he said as he gave her a severe look. She nodded then bolted from the room. Lavender grabbed the laptop off the table and put it in the small refrigerator as he quickly backed out of the room so it wouldn’t be damaged by the sprinklers. He turned and edged around the flames engulfing the bar then looked up as the fire alarms shrieked. Lavender slipped into the hall and dashed to the nearest stairwell just before the hallway filled with curious and panicked guests. He jogged down the steps to the next landing and hid behind the door just as it was pushed open and people spilled past him and down the stairs. He held it open and waved for people to hurry then followed the last person down. Everyone remained relatively calm and Lavender gripped an elderly man’s shoulder reassuringly as they waited at the exit to the west parking lot. “We’re just about out,” he said soothingly and the man nodded as he craned his neck to see around the people ahead of them.
Once outside, Lavender pretended to be concerned until they found the man’s son then waved farewell before he turned and hurried around a large cluster of irritated guests and into the open door of a Bentley. The door shut and the driver pulled away from the curb a moment later. Lavender lowered the window and tossed out his gloves then pulled his phone from his back pocket. He muttered a curse as he dialed Denver then rolled his eyes as he waited through several rings.
“Looks like everything went well. The fire was a nice touch,” he said and Lavender snorted.
“There were seven men,” he said sharply.
“Huh?” Denver grunted.
“Seven men and one very young woman. I’m not even sure she was of legal age,” Lavender clarified and the line was silent for several moments. “Reginald would have known,” he scolded.
“Still eight, though,” Denver said dismissively and Lavender’s tongue pressed against the inside of his cheek.
“You’re to make it completely and extremely clear that I am not considering any new jobs and you’re just holding down the fort until Reginald returns,” he said and Denver sighed.
“That’s such a waste, sir,” he complained and Lavender shook his head as he checked his watch again. He needed to board that jet in thirty minutes. Lavender checked the traffic and relaxed, everything looked like it was moving along.
“Any word on the fire?” He asked and Denver hummed under his breath as he checked.
“Looks like the sprinklers and staff handled it and no one was injured. I mean, aside from Otari and his crew,” he said and Lavender tugged at his sleeves as he sat back.
“Good. I don’t want you to take this the wrong way but if you ever call me in the middle of the night for anything unrelated to mine or my husband’s life and death, I will drown you in your own blood,” he said nonchalantly and Denver was silent for several moments. It was long enough for Lavender to imagine hog tying him then putting him face down in a bathtub.
“Sorry. But the United States thanks you for your assistance in the War On Terror. The money was just deposited into your account,” he said cheerfully and Lavender stifled a yawn. The new “temp” Reginald recommended was a nightmare. He was an American and a former intel analyst. He was gifted but lacked Reginald’s breeding, restraint and attention to detail. For all of Reginald’s many faults, he understood Lavender’s needs and knew just how much he could get away with.
“You’re not to call me, Denver. I don’t care how big the job is or who it’s for. If you call me again and make my husband ask questions, I’ll kill you slowly.”
“Got it, boss,” Denver said. “It looks like you’re running on time. You’ve got a fresh suit in the jet and your dinner reservations are for 9:00. I watched Rose’s live feed, she enjoyed her walk and is snoring like a chainsaw,” he added and Lavender nodded.
“That’s all for now. I’ll call you if I need anything,” he said then ended the call. “I never thought I’d miss Reginald,” he muttered as he searched the internet for the newspaper article he spotted earlier. He sighed and glanced out the window as he waited for a flash of guilt to pass. It was the third job in eight months. He was able to keep his nose clean for fourteen months after Petrovich then fell off the wagon while in Italy with Sage. While Lavender didn’t miss taking lives, he missed the act of taking lives terribly. The preparation and planning, the feel of his guns in his hands, matching his reflexes and skill against his opponent’s, the steadying of his nerves and the sharpening of his focus as he took out his target. It was all of that and a lot of fucking adrenaline. It was everything his otherwise perfect life lacked so every job felt like an act of infidelity. “This is the last time,” he insisted under his breath as he turned his attention back to his phone.
Less than three hours later, Lavender jogged up the steps toward the Musée d’Orsay and Sage waved before he hurried toward him.
“How was the Degas exhibit?” He asked as he caught Sage and pulled him close.
“Amazing. It’s Thursday night, they’re open late. We can run in and take a lap,” Sage offered and Lavender shook his head as their lips brushed.
“We can try and squeeze it in tomorrow before we leave but we’ve got dinner reservations and we’ll never make it to Hexagone if we don’t leave now,” he said and Sage gasped.
“You’re so amazing!” He declared as they made their way down the steps and the driver rushed around the car and opened the door.
“I didn’t get to spend the first half of the evening with you, I want to make sure the rest of the night is special,” Lavender said and Sage glared teasingly.
“We came to Paris because you needed to meet with your textile suppliers, not so you could spoil me,” he argued as he ducked into the backseat. Lavender offered the driver a nod before he lowered then slid onto the seat next to him.
“I’m allowed to do both,” he said as he reclined and pulled Sage so he was resting against his chest. “Tell me what you think of these patterns, I’m having a hard time making up my mind,” Lavender said as he swiped at his phone’s screen and found pictures of numerous fabric samples.
Bleed And Seek is here and my boys of Lake Cliff are waiting for you. Go get them.