Read an excerpt from The Trade

trade_240x360Almeida sat in his office like a spider in the center of his web. Savio saw him through the plate glass windows as the elevator door slid open and he stepped out of the elevator.

The explosion ripped open the rear of the building before his boot connected with the floor. The world blew apart.

Savio opened his eyes, just a crack at first but saw nothing but brilliant light. The burst of light from the flash grenade had blown his pupils, even now they were beginning to respond. A second later his brain kicked in and began to process facts. His dulled senses could hear sounds, shouts and yells, a broken off scream. He smelled the pungent odor of chemicals. His fingertips tingled, almost as if his hands had fallen asleep. The back of his head must have struck the interior of the elevator. He recalled the mirrored interior walls and experimentally shifted his head. Pain bloomed in the back on his skull. He couldn’t focus his gaze well enough to see how much damage he’d caused. If it was enough, then he’d be sporting some of his own injuries. He didn’t feel blood trickling down his neck so maybe the shattered mirror hadn’t caused lacerations.

Something touched his calf and he realized he was laying on the floor of the elevator, cold marble tile chilling his back where his shirt had been pulled up out of his jeans. He felt more disoriented than he should, it had been a while since he’d experienced that kind of blowback.

He shifted his arms, tried to brace his elbows on the floor for leverage. His muscles felt watery and limp. He inhaled and exhaled twice, concentrating on making sure his lungs were clear.

Instinctively he marked and identified sensory information. A trio of popping sounds registered. Handguns. The response was swift and deadly, a spray of automatic gunfire.

His ears popped, recalibrating from the force of the blast. A cacophony of noises erupted, overwhelming his reeling senses. Screams and panicked cries answered the burst of bullets. Acrid smoke billowed through the door, the ventilation system funneling the greenish cloud across the interior of the fourteenth floor. Through his blurred vision he saw the wall begin to slide toward his lower body. Instinctively he yanked his leg back from the movement and it took a moment before he realized the wall hadn’t collapsed. Instead the elevator door had closed.

At least the building wasn’t coming down in a heap.

The attack had come from the roof and the outside balcony. A clever move.

The sudden cessation of sound and smoke was equally disorienting. He tried to sit up, fell on one side, and scrabbled across the floor to the control panel. He pushed the star button at the bottom for the basement parking structure and the cubicle responded immediately, smoothing into motion.

Gunfire popped above him.

The elevator began to slow at the next floor.

Savio rolled over and slapped at the large brass half-sphere that locked the elevator into private mode. He applied the mechanism in time and the elevator continued to descend. The Almeida Offices were on the fourteenth floor. The two floors directly below belonged to an import/export company, probably an Almeida enterprise. The building was large enough that it had to house other legitimate businesses. That was part of the cartel’s successful longevity, they blended in with authentic business endeavors.

As long as no one shut down the lift system or cut the power, he might reach the basement undetected. One of the perks of the wealthy he found new appreciation for – and something he’d remember for future use.

If he got out of this situation in one piece and still had a job.

Want to read the whole thing? Available now for your clickity finger right HERE. Savio’s story continues in the upcoming Ambushing the Vigilante, coming soon to a retailer near you…

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  1. Reading Links…10/1/14 | TraciKenworth's Blog

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