The following is a brief excerpt from one of my earlier novellas, Fallen Angel.
The morning was unseasonably warm for early spring. Too warm for this damn suit, the young man mused silently as he entered the air conditioned highrise downtown. Ahead of him walked his boss, Anthony Cappelli. The pair had been silent since meeting almost a half hour earlier. Theirs was not a business of words, but of action when required. The cool air of the building was welcomed by the overdressed man, who would have been more comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans. Taking deep, calming breaths on the elevator ride to the top floor, he relaxed and centered himself, focusing completely on the meeting he was heading into; on the future implications of what was about to happen. There was too much riding on his every action to let the jitters get the best of him. Pushing personal doubt aside, he followed his boss out of the elevator and down the hall to the private office, where they were waved inside by the secretary at the desk.
The office itself was as imposing as the man who occupied it. Heavy, dark furniture gleamed from daily polishing. Valuable antiques graced small tables in the corners of the room and original paintings adorned the walls. Priceless pieces purchased with money earned in the traffic of drugs and laundered clean by his own personal staff. Not a pencil or a piece of paper was out of place.
Anthony had filled him in on the phone as he’d summoned him to the meeting early that morning, and all that was left was the simple formality of the introduction.
The young man stood straight and tall, his eyes dead ahead as his superior spoke to him. His heart leapt in his chest and beat more quickly as he was introduced to the man behind the desk, but he did not let the satisfaction he felt reach his eyes. After two months, he’d finally made a huge leap towards his goal. No one else had gotten as far as he had, despite years of effort.
“We’re pleased with your work, King. You’ve proved yourself to be a most valuable asset to the team. You’ve earned this new position,” the stocky head of security told him.
“Thank you, sir,” the young man replied simply.
The older man seated behind the enormous mahogany desk finally spoke. His voice was laced
with a distinct South American accent, which clung to him despite many years spent living in the U.S. “I am entrusting you with my most valuable possessions. My family and my home.”
“Understood, sir. I won’t let you down.” The young man’s warm, hazel eyes moved at last to the face of his employer.
Eduardo Vasquez, reputed drug lord and head of one of the most notorious crime syndicates in the country stared back at him, eyes dark, cold and appraising. “You will live at the family compound,” he informed him in a flat tone. “You have the rest of the day off today to move your things into the house.”
Eduardo’s Chief of Security produced a small plastic key-card from his pocket and handed it to the new bodyguard. “That will grant you access to the compound. Ask for Roberto when you arrive. He will assign you quarters. Familiarize yourself thoroughly with the house, the grounds and the staff.”
“You will accompany me on some business I have tomorrow afternoon,” Vasquez ordered quietly. “Until then, your time is your own. Use it wisely, for it will be limited in the future.” His eyes left those of his employee, effectively dismissing the man.
With a brief nod of acknowledgement, Vasquez’ new personal bodyguard left the office and the building, relaxing only marginally once he was out on the streets of the city once again. After two months he was finally where he wanted to be. And the hard part was yet to come. As he reached the dark blue rental car, he pulled out his cell phone and quickly dialed.
A familiar voice came over the line. “101st, Griffin.”
“Kevin, it’s Peter. I’m in.”