My world, everything I held precious and dear, was destroyed one dark and lonely night. From that moment on, nothing mattered. How could I pick up the pieces? How could I live without? But I did, forging a new life far removed from my family and friends. Still, I was lonely and alone. 

What happens when a bright star, a perfect mourning dove enters your life? Do you capture her essence, consuming her amazing soul? Or allow her to fly away? 

The Jackals 

An elite core of smokejumpers nestled in the heart of Missoula, Montana. 

By day they indulge in their penchant for danger. 

By night they exude passion. 

Are you ready for their brand of domination? 

Prevent. Protect. Preserve. This is their motto.

Publisher’s Note: This adult, action adventure romance offers suspense, danger, mystery, explicit scenes and power exchange elements. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase. 

Excerpt

Chapter One 

 

Extended Attack: Work done after the initial effort has failed to stop a fire 

Firestorm: A mass configuration of fire, a blow up 

Spot Fire: Fire started outside the main fire area by flying sparks or embers 

Zulies: Missoula Smokejumpers 

 

“And the award goes to…” 

“You’re a shoo-in,” he whispered as he nuzzled against Trinity’s neck, blowing hot air from his pursed lips. 

Trinity Hargrove shifted in her seat, glowering at the stunning actor grandstanding on the stage. Christopher Walker was a mainstay in Hollywood, a man considered the best in the business. He was also a womanizing pig. She wasn’t entirely certain she cared whether she won the Film Actor’s award, but her entire management team certainly did. They were banking on a best win to booster the upcoming movie contracts, pushing her into the ‘upper echelon of actors’ as her agent had mentioned at least five times.  

“Trinity Hargrove for Dark Accusations!” 

The audience roared, clapping as they rose to their feet. 

Trinity was well aware that every camera was panned in her direction, capturing her reaction at the glorious win. She plastered on her practiced smile and rose to her feet. 

“I knew you could finally do it, babe.” 

As her pseudo boyfriend wrapped his hand around her wrist, squeezing in a not so gentle reminder that she belonged to him, she had to resist issuing a nasty retort. Chance Reynolds was a catch, according to every tabloid magazine in the entire world. For her? She wanted nothing to do with his nasty attitude and dominating demeanor. Still, she played her part well, cooing as she blew him a kiss. 

As the various well-wishers, other actors who would just as soon rip out her eyes as issue any happy congratulations, hovered in the aisles, she hiked up her long dress. Waving, she headed for the stage, cognizant to hold her breath, keep her stomach in and resist fidgeting with her hair. The entire night was fake, yet perfunctory for the majority of them. They were here to swoon, wave to the enlarged crowds and pretend as if they cared about their fans. 

Almost none of them did. 

She kept the smile, the look of adoration as she walked onto the stage.  

“Here you are, my dear. Congratulations.” After handing her the statue, Christopher leaned over, whispering in her ear, “How about we grab some champagne later? Very much alone?” 

Her look wasn’t caught by anyone but the masterful playboy, but he knew the ‘don’t fuck with me’ expression well enough and took two steps back. The night was young. He’d try again. She stepped in front of the microphone, holding the gilded award close to her breasts. She’d been trained well and caught the various moguls in their seats, locking eyes and nodding. 

At least a few of them would call her agent by the end of the week. When the clapping died down, she changed to a serious look, one befitting the movie, a brutal look at a serial rapist.  

“Thank you so much for this prestigious award. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to receive such amazing recognition for work amongst some brilliant actors. I applaud all of you for your achievements.” She began to clap, finding the other women in the audience. Three of the four were none too happy to be idolized, their faces captured at that moment. What did she care? Play the part. The mantra of the last few years. 

“In this business, there are only a few movies that manage to capture your very soul, dragging you into the part until you become one with the person portrayed. Dark Accusations is that movie, a terrifying look into the mind of a monster.” 

Trinity continued the speech for another minute before she caught Chance’s yawn. The acceptance speech had gone on too long. How the fuck dare he? Still, the signal was all she needed. “Again, thank you to everyone involved and my heartfelt gratitude toward my agent, Marvin Huddles. Without his love and support, I would never have come this far.” 

She was led off the stage and into the wings. Once free of the cameras, she exhaled and shook her head. There would be some commentary tomorrow on the national news regarding her lack of happy words for poor, old, Chance. What a shame. She rolled her eyes and grabbed a cup of water before walking down the second set of stairs and back to her seat. Thank God, there was only one award left. 

Then the parties would begin. 

To say she loathed the festivities was an understatement and a reflection she kept to herself. She’d come a long way in the film industry and enjoyed the perks of money and fame, but she’d grown weary of the bullshit. She slid back into her seat, mindful of several sets of eyes watching her every move. A slight chill trickled down her spine. She would bet he was watching her, the freak who’d been following her around for over a year. 

“You looked okay up there. Next time, you’ll follow my advice. Green is not your color,” Chance said, the tone harsh. 

The words dragged her back into reality. She’d had enough of his condescending attitude, his demands and his constant needs. The man took prima donna to an entirely new level. This was a perfect night to end the relationship. Seething, she said nothing as the next award was given out, acting appropriately for the win and waiting until the cameras stopped rolling before launching out of her seat. 

Chance grabbed her arm, pulling her back. “We have a party to go to. Remember?” 

“I remember. I’m just not going,” she retorted, clawing her way toward the aisle. 

He yanked her until her back hit his chest. “You’re going because I say you are. Don’t make a scene or you know what will happen.” 

Trinity controlled her breathing and waved at the recently named glamor couple of the year. They certainly seemed happy. Then again, looks were entirely deceiving.  

“I have a limo waiting for us,” he whispered and wrapped his arms around her. 

“Fine. I’ll go but I don’t want to stay long.” 

“We’ll leave when I decide.” 

How in the hell had she managed to find a man she considered ‘asshole’ of the year? Oh yeah, the initial date set up by her agent. She shuddered as she thought about how green she’d been even three years before. An ingénue with a hot body and a sharp mind. The statement had haunted her from every director to producer. She’d all but decided that this life, this ridiculous world of make believe, wasn’t what she wanted any longer. 

Now, she just had to tell the powers that be. Walking away wouldn’t be easy, especially with the fact she’d been exploited in every manner possible.  

As Chance led her out of the auditorium, she searched the screaming crowd for any sign of the jerk. A single reporter, paparazzi had made her life miserable. The man was hell bent on making her life an open book by inventing secrets. Unfortunately, he hadn’t crossed any lines. None. There was nothing she could do but endure his wrath.  

“Here we go. Wave so you don’t look like such a bitch,” Chance directed, as he led her down the sidewalk and toward a gleaming black limo. 

“You’re hurting me,” she hissed through clenched teeth, yet she resisted jerking away from him. Any additional bad press and she’d find a brand spanking new label slapped on her resume. Difficult to worth with. The crowd followed her, taking photographs as they breeched the barriers, coming closer. Heat rose from her chest, creeping up both cheeks as claustrophobia set in, driving her heart rate to an uncomfortable level. She could see the various news stations were well represented as microphones were stuck in her face. “Get me out of here.” 

“Wait,” Chance grinned then waved to the fans. “You have to do this. Jesus.” 

Trinity stood still, her knees locked. She couldn’t panic. Not now. 

“Ms. Hargrove. Just one picture.” 

“Ms. Hargrove, what can you tell us about your next film?” 

“Trinity, what are your plans for the future?” 

The questions came fast and furious. Yes, she was trained to answer. Yes, she could give them everything they wanted, but tonight she was full of anger. The recent photographs had kept her on edge.  

She managed to hold up her hand and took a step away from Chance’s controlling hold. “I have several pictures in the works. You’ll be the first to know about them after the contracts are signed.” She gave her signature laugh. 

“What about your next leading man?” 

The question was sweet and came from a fan. Trinity winked as she inched even closer. “Now that, you’re just going to have to wait and find out. I can tell you that he’s hot, and not just on the big screen.” The answer garnered her enough laughs and smiles that she started to move back toward the limo and out of the limelight.  

“Ms. Hargrove. What can you tell me about the young woman you destroyed four years ago?” 

The question seemed to echo, the words elongated and lingering in the now hushed crowd. She knew the voice, the scratchy baritone coming from the single man that was trying to derail her career, her life. Without thinking, she turned in his direction and took two purposeful steps toward him, her mind reeling as she noticed his wry grin. She’d had enough. 

“I have one thing to say to you. Get. Out. Of. My. Life.” 

Wham! 

*** 

“What in the hell is wrong with you?” Chance railed, his face beet red.  

“Just let me alone. Okay?” Trinity grabbed the glass of wine, walking away from him and into her living room. The floor to ceiling window gave her an incredible view of the ocean, a view she’d paid through the ass to secure. She could hear his heavy footsteps behind her. Another confrontation she wasn’t in the mood for. 

Chance stopped a few feet behind her. “You got your wish. We’re home. You can relax. You can crawl under the sheets, your normal response.” 

She wanted to rip out his throat. “Relax? That’s not going to happen.” A chill remained, sliding into every muscle. What in the hell was the bastard after? 

Using a single finger, he rubbed from her shoulder all the way down her arm. “At least we can get cozy. I’ve missed you.” He wrapped his arm around her, sliding his hand past the bodice of her dress. Cupping and squeezing her breast, he rubbed her nipple between his fingers. “A great deal.” 

Swallowing back bile, she allowed the touch, even thinking she could do this, could perform another night. When he pinched and twisted her hardened bud, she took a step away, breaking the connection. “Not tonight.” 

“Oh, come on. We haven’t been intimate in months.” 

She wanted to tell him all the reasons why, but she bit her tongue. He’d already had too much to drink. 

Exhaling, he took a swig of his drink before tipping his head. “You have no idea what you just did.” 

“And you have no idea how that monster is trying to destroy my life!” She glared into the glass, eyeing his terse reflection.  

“Comes with the territory, sweetheart. You’re on public display at all times.” 

“Not like that.” Anger swelled from deep within, dragging her back to so many years before, a past she’d rather leave buried like the dead. Snorting, she took a gulp of merlot, savoring the flavor, the slight burn given her parched throat. Chance could care less that she was being harassed. He was more worried about his career, his brand than anything else.  

“Don’t be a child. You should have just blown him off.” Chance mumbled something else under his breath. 

“What did you say?” 

Laughing, he moved back toward her couch, plopping down. “I said, you need to learn your place.” 

Swinging around, she took several long strides toward him. “I don’t know who you think you are, but I won’t tolerate that kind of insolence from anyone. Do you hear me?” You bet this was the perfect night to get rid of excess and unwanted baggage. 

Chance took a long gulp of his drink, allowing the ice cubes to clink against the glass. His eyes never left her as he slapped the crystal down on the side table. “I think you need to mind your manners. In fact, I think you need a hard lesson tonight.” 

Trinity watched as if in slow motion as he patted his lap. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” 

“You need to be whipped.” 

The words were ridiculous, hysterical. “You are such an asshole.” 

He jerked up, unbuckling his belt. “I’m in charge here. Get your fuckin’ slutty ass over here or the whipping will be worse.” 

There weren’t enough words to issue the statement that had been brewing in her mind for the last several months. To think she’d actually allowed this man, this freak to take certain levels of control, even issuing spankings when he considered her a bad little girl was disgusting. “Get out.” 

“What did you say?” He folded over the strap and narrowed his eyes. 

“You heard me. We’re done. We are so done. Get out of my house and my life.” 

He shook his head, his eyes flashing amusement. “I know you’re joking. We are together, even though you really are a bitch.” 

Trinity wanted nothing more than to physically throw him out, but at this point, she needed a clear head and anything other than a direct and bitter end would give him a reason to try and weasel. She’d allowed him to suck up to her, showering her with roses, diamonds and even a car. What a damn fool she’d been. He meant nothing to her. The objects meant nothing to her. Nothing. She’d lost her self-esteem and her vibe by allowing him to drag her down a road of discipline. No more.  

“Did you hear me?” he demanded. 

Smiling, she walked out of the room and toward the hallway. Of course, he followed. He had to have the upper hand, a belief that he was top dog. The moment she heard his footsteps, she opened the door, damn glad she’d never given him a key. “Get out. I’ll have your things sent to you when I get a chance.” When Hell froze over. 

Chance swaggered toward her, his smile equal to one of her own. Crowding her space, he kept his tone of voice bland, the volume little more than a whisper. “I know things about you, secrets from your tawdry past. I will ruin you. Trust me, babe. You’re done in Hollywood.”  

She pushed the door back against the hinges until the door thumped. “Get. The. Fuck. Out.” 

Sniffing, he brushed both hands through his hair then stormed out, stopping just outside. “This isn’t over by a long shot.” 

“Take a number.”  

Bam! 

The door reverberated after the hard slam and she shivered as the adrenaline rush created an instant headache. She quickly locked and bolted the door, her hands shaking. What a horrible night. Ugly thoughts and visions swam through her mind, images of a happier time at least until… 

“No!” Slapping her hands against the door, suddenly her legs gave out and she slowly slid down to the floor as the tears began to fall.  

Every contrived picture, every ugly representation of her previous life was such a lie. 

But the real truth was eating her alive. 

*** 

Riker Sheffield rounded the corner, pushing the Harley to its limits. He loved the crisp spring air, the way the wind whipped around his body as he accelerated. Leaning into another curve, he could see a line of cars ahead, moving at a snail’s pace. When he was on a straight section, he jutted out and bolted ahead, passing all four vehicles. He had a couple days off and the free time would allow him to play. 

The end of the bitter cold winter meant a new fire season. As if the past season had allowed the smokejumping team any concept of rest. Too many dangerous fires had destroyed thousands of acres of land in three states. He was exhausted and antsy, longing to spend a few weeks by himself. He hissed as he rolled into town, shooting by Ziggy’s. While he’d developed real friendships with the Jackals, the majority of the smokejumping team would never understand the man inside. 

Neither did he any longer. 

He remained bitter, full of anger to the point he’d succumbed to drinking alone, something he swore he’d never do. At least the pain was dulled enough he could sleep, freefalling into a drunken state and away from the constant nightmares. He wanted to say enough was enough, but there was nothing that could drag him away from the anguish. Nothing.  

After stopping at a red light, he contemplated where he was going to land for the night. A single thought came to his mind. The biker bar was on the other side of town and far removed from a location his buddies would consider, perhaps with the exception of Landen. However, his best friend and a man after his own heart had a woman. A damn woman. Yeah, he couldn’t help but smile. Someone deserved a level of happiness. 

He took off, roaring past the sightseers and tourists, heading in the direction of the dilapidated bar. He’d been to the place a few times, his presence never questioned. Tonight, he needed some kind of relief, or he was going to crawl out of his skin.  

Rolling into the parking lot, he darted a glance at the other vehicles. Mostly bikes of various sizes and types, he knew he’d feel comfortable, even fitting right in. He parked in the back and climbed off, securing his helmet. He could hear the loud music pumping through the thin walls. The time wasn’t even nine-thirty and already things were getting wild. 

Exactly what he needed. A damn good time. 

Riker headed inside, taking only a moment before walking straight for the bar. There were no odd looks, other than perhaps given his massive size. Yeah, he towered over almost every man, but his look was basically the same. Jeans, shit kicker boots, a T-shirt and jacket, only his being leather instead of tattered denim. The place was crowded, wall to wall with mostly men. He could see more than one game of pool, a few throwing darts and all were drinking. 

Easing onto a bar stool, he tapped his fingers on top of the bar. Almost instantly the bartender acknowledged him, giving him a respectful nod. Not a single one knew of his status, a supposed hero to so many in town, nor would they give a shit. This was just the way he liked it. He was nothing to no one, which meant there wasn’t a thing expected from him. 

“What’ll ya have?” 

“Budweiser. Bourbon chaser.” Riker thought of Stoker, the man’s usual drink and snickered. Wouldn’t the jumper be proud?  

The place was hot. Too many bodies in one damn place. After removing his jacket, he settled into the worn wooden stool and gave a quick glance at the ancient television, the grainy picture highlighting some game that he sure as shit didn’t care about. The thought made him sigh. He’d been forced to face some ugly truths as of late. He didn’t give a shit about anything but his job. Not a single blessed thing. 

“Here ya go. You got a credit card?” The bartender asked as he slid the drinks across the bar. 

Riker grabbed a twenty, tossing it past the drinks. “Cash still good?” 

“Works for me. Let me know when you need another one.” 

He raised the bottle, taking a swig. At least the beer was ice cold. Polishing off half the bottle, he noticed a group of females sitting together at a table in the back. An unusual site in a place like this. Biker women were well attached and not a single man would let them come out in a pack. So, why were they here? He snickered and shook his head. Listen to his barbarian thoughts. Things had certainly changed in a few years.  

The bourbon was just smooth enough, settling his aching head and he could feel a portion of the tension easing away. Even the headaches had occurred more often, keeping him grumpy, or so he’d been told more than once. This would be a good respite, albeit brief, to find his soul. This time, he resisted laughing. His soul had been ripped away one fateful night.  

When one of the girls eased out of her chair, he couldn’t help but notice. She was striking. Long, reddish-blonde hair and a killer body. As she walked through the crowd, swishing her hips in a way every red-blooded male would notice, he watched. He didn’t mind enjoying the view.  

“Hey ya, hot mama. Wanna play?”  

She stopped, gave the man a hard look and pointed her finger. “Sorry, dude. You don’t have what it takes.”  

“Ooh!” Several men yelled then whistled their approval. 

The damn bars were all the same. At least this one had some entertainment value. He fingered the glass before polishing off the bourbon, lifting the finished product so the bartender could see. 

“Gotcha,” the man said, immediately grabbing a glass. 

The girl slid her hand against almost every shoulder as she passed, her walk becoming more exaggerated. And she was headed right for him. 

Riker looked away, concentrating on the second drink as it appeared, the man behind the bar no longer asking for an instant payment. He swirled the drink, listening to the various conversations, none of which were interesting in any manner.  

“Hi ya. Haven’t seen you here before.” Her voice was sultry, laced with a hint of huskiness, either practiced or from too many nights of cigarettes and booze. 

He gave her a once over and shrugged. “Just stopping in.” 

“Mmm… Our luck. Would you like to join the girls? We’re out for a night of fun and you’re the kind of man we’re looking for.” 

He shot the table a glance. “All of you?” 

Giggling, she inched closer, resting her arm on the bar. “Could you handle all five of us?” 

The question was asked as if he’d honestly consider. “Not interested. Thanks for the offer.” 

“Oh, you’re a one-woman kind of guy. I like that.” She bit her lower lip and reached down, taking the drink from his hand. Her eyes never leaving his, she took a sip then licked the rim. “Tasty. No doubt just like you.” 

He inhaled, gathering the scent of what she no doubt considered French perfume and twisted in his seat. “Would you like a drink?” 

“I believe I would. What you’re having is just fine with me.” 

Riker simply lifted his glass and nodded in her direction. He knew the bartender would follow along.  

“So, do you have a name?” 

“Don’t we all?” He could tell she was surprised at his answer. 

“An anonymous kind of guy. I like that. Mysterious. Very kinky.” Using the tip of her nail, she trailed down the length of his arm, swirling around his various tattoos. “Nice ink.” 

“Thanks.” The flirting was interesting. 

“So, what do you do, big boy?” 

Riker fingered his drink and tipped his head. “I’m a smokejumper.” 

“A what?” Her eyes opened wide. 

Chuckling, he took a sip of his drink. Even stationed out of Missoula, a big little town as he liked to call the place, very few residents knew the term or the horrific concept of danger. “Like firefighters without the use of water.” 

“How in the hell can that happen? I mean…” Wrinkling her nose, she shifted, obviously uncomfortable. 

Lifting a single eyebrow, he lowered his voice so only she could hear. “We get into the belly of the beast, the raging fires that consume thousands of acres. Sometimes we go in by truck, sometimes by airplane, parachuting in. It’s always very dangerous work. We dig trenches, cut down trees that would fuel the ongoing fire in an effort to stop the monster from growing. All this to prevent, protect and preserve property and life.” He took another gulp and waited to see her response. 

“That makes you a true hero.” 

Riker was taken aback not only by her statement but by the look of respect in her eyes. “Appreciate it, but I’m just doing my job.” An awkward silence settled in. 

She leaned closer, the move pushing her breasts further out of the skimpy and very tight top. “You know, you seem like a man who knows exactly what he wants. I could help you with that.” 

“I’m sure you could, given how beautiful you are. Just looking for a night alone, a couple of drinks.” In truth, his cock was already swelling, a need he hadn’t satisfied in a hell of a long time bridging the surface.  

“Oh, poo. I want to have some fun. The girls are great, but I prefer a man, his touch and lips, his big, thick cock.” She offered another giggle and grabbed the drink the moment it was placed on the bar. “To new friends, Mr. Sexy.” 

Riker allowed the toast and enjoyed the sexual bantering. She wasn’t as young as she appeared from a distance, but she was very pretty, even though her makeup didn’t suit her face. Still, she had a nice set of tits and long legs, her ass sculpted in the tight, leather skirt. The bustier was flaming red, the single leather string a dangling teaser. Yeah, he wanted to see her swollen nipples, her rosy buds. Then again, he wasn’t looking for a relationship, or even the concept of dating. He was ready for a single night, maybe two and nothing more.  

She slipped her hand to the back of his neck, her fingers flipping through his short-cropped hair. “All rugged and male. I can only imagine the rest of you.” 

Now, his cock was aching, pushing hard against the tight jeans. He took another sip, contemplating accepting the bait. No, this wasn’t what he wanted. “Like I said. Just here for a couple of drinks. Nothing more.” 

She wrinkled her nose and took a step back, her expression turning hard. “Well, fine. You have no idea what you’re missing. Thanks for the drink.” 

“Anytime. Enjoy the evening.” He didn’t need to know she’d left. He could tell by the hungry words spouted off as she walked by several drunk men.  

The bartender walked closer, a grin on his face. “Careful with that one. Hear she’s a bit of a gold digger.” 

“Well, then she came to the wrong guy.” Riker broke into a smile as he thought about his meager belongings. The girl would be mighty disappointed.  

“I hear that, brother.” 

Barely thirty minutes later and he’d grown bored, the tension returning with a vengeance. Dropping another set of bills, he grabbed his jacket and walked out the door, acknowledging no one. The moon was bright, illuminating the shadowed sky. Exhaling, he glanced at the billowing clouds, the twinkling stars, wishing for another time. 

“I thought I’d try one last time. I really do think you’re one hot man.” 

Riker wasn’t surprised she’d followed him outside. There wasn’t much of a choice with the dudes hanging out in the bar, the majority far too drunk to be of any benefit. “I play hard.” 

“I like that. The kinkier the better.” She rubbed her hand through her hair and adjusted the trench coat covering her outfit.  

He debated as he reached for his helmet. There was an erotic vibe, a sensual appeal about the woman. She certainly knew what she wanted. 

“I live close by. We could go there.” Her words were little more than a purr. 

“What’s your name?” 

She cocked her hip, her smile seductive. “What do you want it to be?” 

Exhaling, he climbed onto the bike, starting the engine. “I’m not into games. Period.” 

Taking a few quick steps, she rubbed her hand down his arm. “Kiki. It’s Kiki. Okay?” 

The offer was too good to pass up and maybe even what he needed to get him out of his funk. Without saying another word, he grabbed the second helmet from his satchel, tossing it to her. “Get on.” 

“Purr, baby. I’d love to. You’re going to have a damn good time.” 

Yeah, he’d have to see about that. After all, he was in a predatory mood. 

*** 

The air was invigorating, the moonless night allowing him to maneuver through the darkened streets with ease. He knew exactly where he was going. Rolling down the street, he turned the lights off before he reached his destination. The neighborhood was large, the houses positioned on several acres. He wouldn’t have to worry about sound. Not that the asshole would have any time to react, let alone scream for help. 

Easing out of the car, he grabbed the pistol, placing it inside his jacket then looked down the street. There was no one coming, no lights even in sight. As he headed for the house, he crouched down and moved around the side. There were a few lights on inside, but there was only one person home. Timing was everything. 

He crept through the well-manicured grass toward the back gate. He knew the area very well, the house and the exits like the back of his hand. The house was secure but there were no annoying systems to hamper his entrance. As he unlatched the gate, he was careful to make certain there had been no recent purchases at the houses surrounding, dogs to keep a watchful eye. Snickering, he closed the gate behind him before advancing. 

The door was locked, just as he knew it would be. His favorite pick would be enough for the single cylinder lock. Within seconds he heard the clicking sound and smiled. Everything was going according to plan. 

Walking inside, he gathered a scent of rosemary and baked chicken, one of his favorites. The homeowner was, after all, a consummate cook. The prestigious man also kept a schedule that almost never varied. The concept alone had allowed for an easy event. Surprise. Surprise. He fought the laughter creeping up his throat.  

He crept down the darkened hallway, finally able to hear the television blaring from the den. The man always retired to the wood paneled location for a brandy, a cigar and a snooze. As he eased into the room, he surveyed the cluttered space. He had no visitors, no women over for an entertaining night. As a matter of fact, the man was boring as fuck and deserved to die. 

The thought giving him a smile, he stood to his full height and inched inside. The light snoring sound was coming from the comfy, overstuffed leather chair. He could see the remnants of the man’s drink, the expensive brandy a glorious amber color. He’d have to purchase a bottle at some point. 

He pulled the gun into the light of the television and sauntered in front of the chair. This was far too easy. “Hey. Wake up, fuckhead.” 

The man snorted then wiped his mouth but didn’t open his eyes. 

What the fuck? In a drunken stupor? No, the asshole had to know what was coming. He kicked the chair hard. “Wake the fuck up.” 

Stirring, the man lifted his head, blinking as he tried to focus. Then his eyes opened wide, a look of utter terror displayed as the television scene reflected in his eyes. “What the hell do you want? Get out of here!” 

“What do I want? To give you what you fucking deserve.” 

Bam! 

The single shot was all that was needed. Right between the eyes. He couldn’t help himself and blew on the end of the gun before sliding it back into his jacket. Leaning down, he was prepared to hoist the lug of a man over his shoulder. “Hmmm.” Grabbing the glass instead, he threw back the entire contents, relishing in the smoothness, the way the liquid seemed to just slide down his throat. The taste was damn good. 

When he was finished, he yanked the man by the arm and managed to pull him over his shoulders. The fucker was heavy as shit. Laboring out of the house, he had the asshole in the trunk in no time. 

He removed his gloves and tugged out his phone, humming as he dialed. When the party answered, he was almost gleeful, giddy in fact. “Yes, I’d like to report a bomb threat.”