Thursday Sampler: Lovely Night to Die

He was a freak with a face scarred with burns from the war in Iraq, an assassin for a rogue CIA operation known only as The Association. He had grown weary of the killing solely for political purposes. He wanted out. He wanted to escape. But if he did, he knew The Bohemian would track him down. Did he really care anymore? Read an excerpt from Lovely Night to Die.

 

On the outskirts of Durango, Sand broke protocol.

In Durango, Sand violated his oath.

A low-ranking bureaucrat hired as a real estate broker lived another day because Sand decided the little man should not be the one to die.

Behind the Nocturne Jazz bar, in an alley amidst the stench of stale whiskey bottles and rotting cucumbers, he learned there was little difference between the white hats and the black hats who played a deadly game of chess for wealth and power, for God and country.

It was a game where pawns were expendable and sometimes buried in unmarked graves.

Sand realized his own hat was as black as the dying hours after midnight.

His hands were dirty and sometimes stained with the wrong man’s blood.

The Bureaucrat’s name was Archie Conway.

Sand had found him sipping tequila and licking salt from the rim of the glass in a bar where harried executives stopped for various drinks of hard liquor on their way home from work.

He was on the north side of forty with a fleshy face and frightened eyes.

His dark gray suit was wrinkled.

So was his white shirt.

His fingers were stained with nicotine.

A cigarette dangled from his mouth.

It was no longer lit.

Conway possessed a secret.

The secret had been his death warrant.

The secret must be silenced.

That was the job Sand had been given.

Conway had stood and headed toward the back door as soon as Sand dropped a silver dollar on the table.

He glanced at the date.

Only the Association used silver dollars minted in 1940.

Sand led him into the alley and stood him against a crumbling brick wall as the distant sounds of John Scofield’s guitar blues mingled with the night air.

“So, this is how it ends,” he said softly as he walked.

“It always ends sometime.”

“We never know do we?”

“Nobody ever does.”

Conway had left the Nocturne without asking any questions.

A Sig P320 pressed against the base of his spine needed no further explanation.

Die now or die later.

A man will do whatever it takes to prolong the inevitable.

“I know why you’re here,” Conway said, grasping for each word.

Sand only nodded.

“You’ve been assigned to terminate me.”

“It’s not personal.”

“It never is.”

The glass of tequila slipped from Conway’s grip.

It fell to the pavement and shattered at his feet.

“You know why they want me dead?”

“I never ask.”

“You have a right to know why my blood is on your hands.”

“It’s not important.”

Conway loosened his red and white striped tie and unfastened the top button on his white shirt.

“I know what they don’t want anyone else to know,” he said.

“That’s your business. Not mine,” Sand said.

In a harsh whispered tone, Conway told him his secret.

Sand’s face did not lose its solemn expression, but his eyes flinched.

He lowered the P320 and let it dangle at his side.

He stood for several minutes and fought with his conscience.

He fought with his sanity.

He fought with his guilt.

He fought duty.

He fought the words in the oath he had taken.

He came to one final conclusion.

To hell with them all.

Sand turned without a word and walked out of the alley, fading into the darkness of a hot night in Denver.

He knew someone would kill Archie Conway.

But it would not be Roland Sand who pulled the trigger.

Now he knew the secret.

He had committed the unpardonable sin.

Please click HERE to find Lovely Night to Die on Amazon.

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