Excerpts from | Book One | Book Two | Book Three | Book Four | Book Five |

Book Five - Cassidy Jones and the Eternal Flame

Cold rage flushed through my body, and I automatically started ascending steps. The moaner was a woman, Amy or Mrs. Westing. Enough was enough. I wouldn't allow them to suffer or be frightened for a minute longer. Lily was going down.

On the fifth step, Gavin seized my arm. I didn't look at him as I raised my shotgun up to the right-side hall and held up two fingers, indicating the number of lowlifes I could hear down that corridor. Lily's voice and her hostage's moan came from the left. This was a case where reason superseded emotion. I didn't respond to the impulse to advance on her. We had to immobilize the she-devil's forces first.

Gavin moved past me up the stairs, jabbing a finger to his right so I would cover that side while he covered the other. At the top, he peeked around the left corner with his shotgun leading, then motioned for me to head down the right-side hall.

My steps purposeful, my heart a block of ice, I approached the open door where the sounds of police dispatch were coming from, and I could hear the steady breathing of the two wretches inside who were about to see stars.

Gavin loped backward ahead of me, monitoring the left hallway through the scope of his shotgun. A couple feet short of the room, he spun around, cutting me off, and trained his weapon on the scumbags inside.

I stepped into the doorway, wide-stance, breaking room- clearance protocol. The goons' unawareness allowed us to improvise and synchronize our efforts so we could take them out swiftly and silently.

The heedless fools sat with their backs to the door, facing a desk pushed against the floor-to-ceiling window, listening to live dispatch through a laptop.

I took aim at my target, a black male with a head as smooth and shiny as a waxed Ferrari. His thick arms stretched in a yawn. I eased the trigger back.

Our XREPs raced towards their targets.

Baldy's drowsy exhalation choked off, and the quivering bodies of both thugs dropped from their respective chairs. I sped forward to catch them before they hit the floor, gathering the paralyzed hoodlums against me as a doting mother would.

Their chairs struck the floor. Luckily, an area rug dampened the sound. The men's bodies would have been much louder.

On my knees, with a helpless head resting on each shoulder, I set my shotgun down and slid my fingers into coarse hair and over the smooth surface of Baldy's think tank, giving Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum's scalps a little scratch before cracking their skulls together like a pair of coconuts.