Here is a sample chapter of my new crime thriller, ONE BULLET. If you enjoy this chapter, please consider buying the novel, available in paperback and ebook at Amazon. Thank you.
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ONE BULLET by Mark Boss
As I walk to the airport terminal, I check my pockets again. Make sure I have my cell phone, picture ID, ticket and boarding pass. And the password envelope.
I look back at my gal, Carly, but she’s looking down at her phone. I left her with the keys to Vlad’s Lexus, and told her not to smoke in the car. When I asked to borrow the Lexus from Vlad this morning because my Audi is in the shop, he was real reluctant. I guess he’s particular about his cars.
Inside the terminal, a trickle of sweat runs under my shirt when I enter the TSA security line. My ticket to Philly is a there-and-back in business class, but I’m not going on any airplane ride. The ticket is just for show.
The TSA trolls send me through the cattle gate, then wand me, and I grab the plastic tub with my stuff. Except the envelope. That’s still in my jacket pocket, damp with sweat. I’ve done a dozen exchanges like this, but there’s always some nerves.
The trolls stop an old lady behind me and give her the choice of getting groped or x-rayed. She must be ninety.
It’s almost lunchtime, and it’s tough getting around all the families with baby strollers and the stressed-out business types just off the flight from Atlanta. I could use my size to push through, but I look at them and see the exhaustion on their faces and forget using my elbows and just walk.
Find Gate A3 and take a seat outside the men’s room. The setup is simple. We meet at an airport or a courthouse, anywhere with metal detectors, that way both parties have to go unarmed. Go in the bathroom, make the exchange, and walk out with a sack of cash. Security doesn’t check people who are leaving.
The Cartel has used the same Mexican bagman twice now and I scan the crowd for him, but he’s probably already in the men’s room.
I pat the envelope for the tenth time, and go to the bathroom door. There’s one of those wet floor signs in front, with a picture of a guy slipping and falling.
The bathroom is big and cold. There’s a long row of sinks and dryers on my left, then a row of urinals. When I round the corner to the stalls, I see the kid. He looks half Samoan, half Sasquatch. He’s even bigger than me, with cauliflower ears and some weird tattoo on his neck.
Definitely not the usual Mexican.
He smiles. “Whassup? You got something for me?”
“Where’s the regular guy?” I take a step back. On my left, there’s a boot.
A fancy stitched cowboy boot sticking toes up out from under the stall.
Kid Sasquatch throws an overhand right.
Ten years ago, I’d have slipped it and punched him in the liver.
Instead, I take it on the forearm and stumble into the wall.
He comes in swinging and I pop him with a quick left that does nothing. Try to punch him in the throat, but his chin is tucked into his shoulder. He’s a pro.
He grabs me in a clinch and shoves me against the wall. His mouth opens to take a breath and I try to fishhook him. He bites my thumb, and I yank it free while it’s still attached. His knees shoot up like he’s bouncing a soccer ball, one after another into my gut. I bend over to save my ribs, flex my knees to unload an upper cut and….
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ONE BULLET at Amazon
The excellent cover is by Jayson Kretzer.