Volition Agent Excerpt and Announcement
As promised I have an excerpt from Volition Agent. Below you will find the complete first Chapter. This hasn’t been reviewed by my editor yet so there may be some rough spots but I have made some of the story changes the Beta Readers suggested. I will warn you, once you read this you will want to see Chapter Two. And, if this excerpt gets enough views and buzz around the social media, I’ll likely give you Chapter Two soon.
In the original novel announcement, I suggested a a release in the first week of June. Frankly I may have been a bit overly ambitious on this, and while I still hope for a June release I haven’t even got a copy of the manuscript to my editor. So chances are we are looking at more of an end of June release. Now before you all strike me down in rage, I really want to release the best possible novel I can. I love Lexia, Lance, and the rest of the characters here and I want to make sure I present their story the best way that I can. The beta readers have given me some excellent feed back that requires a bit more tweaking to the story. But trust me, as you will see below, Lexia will knock your socks off.
Before I get to the excerpt, I’d like to say some of my thank yous again. Joy Anna is the beautiful Lexia Santarelli you see on the cover below. I want to thank her for being the first person to ever portray one of my characters, and I didn’t even have to beg. Kristin Irons is the photographer and cover artist responsible for the cover. She only made me beg a little bit. 🙂 I really need you to visit these two great women on Facebook and give them the thank you they deserve. Finally, I’d like to say that I will be working with Tiffany Carrera as my editor for this novel. Though I have known Tiffany for years, this is the first time I will be working with her on a project. I’m looking forward to it.
Now I suppose you are ready to read Chapter One. Well here it is:
Volition Agent: Chapter 1
Copyright Richard Flores IV
The alley had a smell of fresh rain mixed with the odor of a week’s worth of trash. This late at night the traffic was light; occasionally a car could be heard driving down the wet roads. Lexia Santarelli leaned against the brick wall of the six story apartment building, looking over her finger nails. She didn’t understand the need to start her assignments in such filthy locations, but her handler chose the locations. It was out of her control.
Lexia glanced at her watch. He was late, but that wasn’t really a surprise. She pushed off the wall and walked over to a side door of the building. Knowing how her handler, Lance, didn’t like to waste time approaching target, it was likely in this building. It wouldn’t hurt to find a subtle way in. She reached out to test the handle, suddenly her arm jerked back.
“What do you think you are doing? You know you’re supposed to wait for me,” Lance’s voice spoke in her mind.
“And you’re supposed to let me know when you jump in,” Lexia whispered.
“We don’t need any fingerprints left on this assignment. Did you bring your gloves?”
“Of course,” Lexia’s realized Lance had taken full control of her movements as her hand went to the Glock in her shoulder holster. “Damn it, Lance. You think I can’t remember my own gun?”
“I’m just making sure.”
Lexia began slipping on her gloves. “What is today’s assignment?”
“We’ve got an informer. An Agency employee is believed to be passing on information about who we are watching.”
“Well let’s get started,” Lexia opened the alley door.
She made her way down the dimly lit hallway. Lance must have overridden the building’s automatic lighting. As she approached the last door on the right a click could be heard as the door unlocked. Lexia opened the door and looked up the flight of stairs. Somehow she knew it was three floors up.
“Third floor,” Lance’s voice echoed.
“I know,” Lexia started up the stairs keeping a brisk pace. “What’s the hurry?”
“She’s getting ready to leave.”
Lexia pushed through the third floor door. She walked down the hall looking at each door number as she passed it. The creak of a door opening could be heard around the corner. Lexia peaked around and saw a short blonde woman near the door. The blonde looked the other way first, Lexia ducked behind the wall.
Easing around the corner Lexia saw the blonde was turning to lock the door. Lexia moved down the hall at a pace just short of running. She took hold of the blonde and crashed through the door.
A scream echoed in the room as the blonde fell onto the floor. Lexia shoved the door shut. The woman scrambled backwards in an attempt to get away. Lexia picked her up and tossed her on the couch.
“Take it easy,” Lexia said to Lance.
“Wh- Who are you?” The blonde cowered back into the couch.
“Agent Santarelli,” Lexia spoke Lance’s words. They didn’t give names, what was Lance thinking? “What are you doing?”
“I know what I am doing. Let me do the talking now,” Lance said.
“I was just going out to get some things.” The blonde moved closer to the edge of her seat.
“Don’t feed me bullshit, Jamie.” So that was her name. Lexia decided to follow protocol and let Lance talk. “We work for the same people. And our boss knows what you’ve been up to.”
“I don’t understand. I’m just a secretary.”
Lexia picked Jamie up by her shirt and pressed her against the wall. Lexia put her face close to Jamie. “Who have you told and what have you told them?”
Tears began rolling down Jamie’s face. She sniffled once, but said nothing.
Lexia slammed her against the wall again. “I asked a question!”
What has gotten into Lance? In the past year working with him she never saw him get so angry with someone who was clearly so defenseless. Worst of all, he was using her to do it.
“Calm down.” Lexia said in her own words.
“I’m calm.” Lance said in her head.
“I don’t know what you want.” Jamie said in between sobs.
Lexia heard a door open down the hallway. Pulling her gun, she spun to the direction of the sound. It was pointed at a man with a golf club held up high. Lexia felt her finger pull the trigger. In a surreal scene she saw the man fall to the floor, never hearing the shot.
“God damn it, Lance!” Lexia yelled forgetting protocol.
Suddenly Lexia was knocked to the ground by Jamie. Her head smacked the floor, dizziness and stars filled her vision. As her head cleared, Jamie was straddled over her. She delivered a hit to Lexia’s stomach, Jamie wasn’t strong but it got Lexia’s attention. Lexia threw her off.
Jamie rolled over into the wall. Lexia heard a baby crying. A baby. But Lance already had Lexia diving on Jamie again. Lexia realized they were struggling for her gun.
Jamie was no physical match for Lexia, but she refused to let go of the gun. Another shot rang out, a bullet wizzed past her head. Jamie was going to kill her.
Lexia finally was able to twist Jamie’s arm so the gun was pointed at Jamie’s chest. There was a crack. Jamie screamed. Suddenly there was no resistance from Jamie. Lexia had broken her elbow.
Cries came echoing down the hallway, the baby only got louder as time passed. Someone is must have called the police. Come on Lance, we got to go, she thought. Lance couldn’t hear her thoughts, and he didn’t release Jamie. The gun still in both women’s grip was pointed at Jamie’s own chest.
Tears covered Jamie’s swollen face, the faintest signs of bruising were starting to show. She looked into Lexia’s eyes. Then she glanced down the hall at the room were the cries came from.
“Please, don’t kill me,” Jamie pleaded. “You’re not going to kill me are you?”
“I don’t know sweetie, I don’t know,” Lexia said for herself.
Lexia forced Jamie’s finger down on the trigger. Lexia closed her eyes as the gun fired. She pulled the gun from Jamie’s hands and holstered it.
“God damn you,” Lexia yelled. “She is a mom. Don’t you hear that baby?”
“She was a traitor and an enemy of the state,” Lance said. “We need to get out of here. The cops are on their way.”
Copyright Richard Flores IV