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With her daughter Mui by her side, Sei makes a daring escape from the Black Wolf, only to find her extraction point compromised.
Surrounded and pinned down by sniper fire, Sei makes an unconscionable choice. She gives up her daughter.
Read An Excerpt
Read An Excerpt
Darkness engulfed me.
I blinked to ensure my eyes were open. They were.
Where am I?
There was stiffness in my side. I was lying on a cool, hard surface—a smooth slab of concrete. Stuffy air passed through my nostrils, and my tongue felt sticky inside my mouth.
I’m definitely in a windowless room.
Handcuffs secured my hands behind my back, and the pressure from me resting on them had caused the metal to cut into my right wrist. I had to have been unconscious for some time—a few hours at the least, eight at the most. It seemed as though I was still fully dressed, except for my shoes.
I rolled completely onto my back to relieve the pressure on my side, but this movement caused my fingers to pinch under the weight of my body. I sat up, which instantly triggered a dizzy spasm, multiplying the throbbing in my head. I took a few deep breaths, and that helped a little. Stretching my legs provided some additional comfort, but what I wanted was to stretch my arms. There was enough give in the handcuffs for me to slip my hands underneath my butt and slide them up along the bottom of my legs and under my feet.
With my cuffed hands in front of me, I lay back down and stretched my arms over my head. It felt wonderful, but it triggered pain in places I hadn’t yet noticed—my ribs, primarily. No sharp pain when I breathed deeply. I assumed no fractured ribs, but deep bruising. My jaw ached when I twisted my head, and there was a tender bump on the back of my head.
I stood up to further gauge my mobility and injuries. I kicked my legs out one by one, balled my fists repeatedly, lifted my arms up and down, and twisted my head from side to side. My body seemed to be in working order. A plus, given my circumstances.
Still, whoever had put me in the room hadn’t thought it through well enough. A pair of handcuffs? All right, Sei—time to get to work.
I held my hands out in front of me and took steady steps until I came into contact with a wooden wall. I turned around and walked straight ahead, counting each step until I hit another wall. I knew my steps well enough to estimate the distance to be ten feet.
With my hands resting against the flat surface, I moved slowly to the left until I reached a corner, where another wall began. Then I moved in the opposite direction, counting my steps until I reached another corner. I continued this dance twice more, managing to locate a door in the process. It didn’t have a handle.
From what I could tell, I was being held in a twelve-by-ten-foot room, with a handle-less door and no furnishings, lighting, or windows. I’d woken to worse situations.
I moved to the rear of the room. With my back against the wall and facing the door, I slid down to my butt and waited for an unlucky person to enter.
While I waited, I tried to work out how I’d come to be here.
I remembered being at the bottom of a mountain, near a village named Car. Crouching with Mui at the edge of a forest.
I had traveled to the Caucasus region of Azerbaijan to free my daughter. An assassin named the Black Wolf had kidnapped her as a newborn. For two years I'd believed that she'd died during childbirth, only discovering the truth when the Wolf’s men had offered me a contract, with Mui as payment.
Only they never intended to hand her over.
Years later I'd tracked the Wolf to Azerbaijan, to a fortified compound high on a mountain, where he lived with a clan of assassins. She was eight by then.
I'd found Mui on my way up the mountain, so I hadn’t had to breach the compound at all. Our descent had been surprisingly straightforward. The worst we'd had to contend with was an overnight storm. It had been too easy, and part of me wondered if we'd been set up. I'd kept thinking the Wolf would appear at any moment.
Demos Kostas, a CIA officer who had helped me search for Mui, had been responsible for getting us out of the country. He would arrive in a silver Skoda. He was late.
I remembered feeling perplexed by Kostas’s tardiness. He had known that we'd be coming in hot, with the Wolf and his men behind us. Kostas should have been in position already.
While we waited, Mui spotted one of the Wolf’s snipers camped inside a barn. I wasn’t concerned. First, the sniper wouldn’t know the Skoda was for us. Second, I would dispatch him with Mui’s sniper rifle before we broke cover.
But suddenly the shooting had started.
Bullets whistled past us from the north, somewhere inside the woods. They struck the tree next to us, sending pieces of bark exploding against my face.
I took off running, dragging Mui behind me. She hesitated. I had to keep jerking her forward. I couldn’t quite determine if I was the sole target. Then the barn sniper begun firing as well, and we were being targeted from two locations.
I had placed Mui in danger. Some of the shots had barely missed her. As hard as the decision had been, it was necessary. I separated myself from Mui and forced her to go on alone.
Would you sacrifice your child to save yourself?
Find out how it all ends in this action-filled conclusion. Grab Contract Endgame now.
"This last book in Sei‘s journey to find Mui is one you won’t want to miss." ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ — Reader Review
Series: Sei Assassin Thriller #5
Ebook: 294 pages