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I have a bounty on my head worth fifty million dollars. Every assassin I can think of will come for me. Even the ones I had called my friends.
To end this nonsense, I need to kill Ethan Carmotte, the man responsible for funding the contract. But first, I need to find him.
Did I mention he's also my ex?
I have a week to get from San Francisco to New York. A contact there is the best at digging up information.
It won’t be easy, though.
News about the big payday is out, and money-hungry assassins are circling.
Attacks are imminent. I know that much for sure.
But if I can make that trip and not die in the process, I’ll have a real chance at finding Ethan and making him wish he’d never made this dumb move.
Wish me luck.
Read An Excerpt
Read An Excerpt
We called them scavies. They were the opportunists who jumped on open contracts. They weren’t assassins by trade—leeches would best describe them. And I had a dozen or so of those bloodsuckers trying their best to take me down.
I had my back pressed against the wall in the hallway near the top of a stairwell. Lying a few feet away from me were five dead men from a local Latino gang: Norteños. Pounding footsteps were making their way up the stairs. I drew a deep breath as I gripped my Glock tighter.
Five steps away.
I raised my handgun and fired into the temple of the first gang member to enter the hallway. I dropped to a squat and shot the knee of the second man to come off the stairs. He crumpled to the floor, howling, and I fired two more bullets into his face to shut him up. I ejected my spent magazine and loaded a fresh one. I’d heard enough pounding on the stairs to know there were three of them coming up. The third one was still on the stairs.
I moved forward, gun out front until I reached the corner. His heavy breaths told me he was either on the second or third stair from the top. I stuck my gun around the corner and fired twice. I heard a moan and then the sound of him tumbling down the stairs.
The thing about scavies was they weren’t really that much of a threat. They were unskilled, unorganized, and unbelievably stupid. But what they lacked in skill, they made up for in numbers. My wasting time and energy dealing with them would give a professional—a trained assassin—an advantage when striking. I was alone, with no one to watch my back. And that was the entire point of the open contract.
The man who put the contract on my head was an ex: Ethan Carmotte, a vengeful man I had left eighteen years ago. He knew me well enough to know that sending hitman after hitman for me was futile. I would dispatch them as they came. But with an open contract and an obnoxious payout—$50 million—it would be impossible for me to see every attack coming. I still liked to think I could.
Why the contract?
Ethan is the biological father of my daughter. When he found out about her, he wanted her, but not for the reasons you would think. He wanted to punish me. Taking her away from me would do just that. He was still bitter about my leaving him. He was a maniac. The last thing I had wanted was to subject my unborn child to a man like him. The second I discovered I was pregnant, I made the decision to leave him.
My daughter’s name is Mui. For seventeen years, Ethan had no clue she existed. And then one day he learned the truth and managed to kidnap her. I had no choice but to come for her.
Long story short, I got her back—but now that he knew we were both alive, he’d never stop coming for us. So I put my daughter into hiding and made myself the sole target: hence, the contract.
But back to the scavies.
I had needed weapons and ammunition quick. I had a contact in the Mission, a neighborhood in San Francisco known for Latino gang activity. My contact wasn’t associated with any of the gangs, but I had wrongly assumed I could trust him. Why? I’d known him for twenty years. I realized a $50 million payout would have people flipping on me. I just didn’t expect him to be one of them. From that point forward, I’d have to rethink every friendly before contacting them for help.
Armando Lopez was the arms dealer I’d gone to see. He lived on the top floor of an apartment complex in the middle of Norteños territory. While Lopez wasn’t strictly affiliated with the gang, he supplied them.
Everything seemed fine when I met with Lopez. I gave him my order beforehand. He had the supplies ready when I arrived: handguns, a mini assault rifle, suppressors, knives, and ammunition. I transferred the money to his offshore account, grabbed my gear, and exited his apartment, only to face a hallway full of Norteños.
They stood casually, hands buried deep inside their saggy jeans with smug looks plastered across their faces. They assumed this tiny woman was easy money. Wrong. I used a single knife to carve my way past them. I didn’t even have to drop the duffel bag I carried in my other hand. Amateurs.
I traded the knife for the Glock I’d bought from Lopez. I had places to be and didn’t have time to waste. I’d received a tip that Ethan was in San Francisco. If you’re wondering how reliable the information was, it came from Ethan himself. It was one of the many games that man loved to play. What he really wanted was a front-row seat to what he thought would be my demise.
Cut back to me getting out of that apartment building.
Down the stairs I went while peering over the railing. Two more gang members were making their way up. One fired a shotgun at me. I pulled back in time to avoid being shot in the face. I fired through the railings, striking the shooter in the center of his forehead. My second shot hit his partner behind him in the cheek. I fired again, ending him. I was on the landing between the sixth and fifth floors. I still had a ways to go.
A grenade bounced off a wall near me and settled on the stairs to reach the fifth-floor hallway. I bolted down the hall, avoiding the shrapnel from the blast. But as luck would have it, the hallway ended with a brick wall, and every apartment door I passed was closed.
Norteños were running after me. I fired twice, hitting one and backing the rest of the group off, but seconds later, they returned fire. Finally, an apartment door opened, and a confused man poked his head out. I slipped right inside.
“I apologize,” I said as I ran past him toward the balcony.
I slipped the duffel bag over my shoulder, hopped the balcony railing, and hung with just one hand. I swung my legs and landed on the balcony below. Into the apartment I went, past a startled family. I apologized again and headed straight to the front door. I burst out into the fourth-floor hallway only to see about twenty gang members running down the hall toward me.
I ran back into the apartment and out to the balcony. I hopped over the railing and hung by one hand, repeating the swinging motion to the patio below me. But by then, the gang members had smartened up and appeared on other balconies and fired at me.
There wasn’t much cover on the balcony. I had little choice but to head into the apartment. The residents weren’t home, so I shot the locked sliding glass door, shattering it so I could enter.
The third-floor hallway was empty, but it was only a matter of time before the gang caught up with me. I sprinted toward the stairwell and reached it just as a Norteño rounded the corner of the landing below me between floors. He shot up the stairs toward me and I slammed the butt of my gun into his nose. His legs gave way and I finished him off with two shots as he fell backward.
I took out two more men coming down the stairs and emptied my magazine in the process. Extra magazines were in my duffel bag. I slipped it off my shoulder as I bounded down the stairs. The rumble of numerous footsteps could be heard on the stairs above me. I reloaded on the fly.
A gang member appeared at the bottom of the stairs on the second floor. I leaped in the air and kicked him in the face, sending him flying back into the wall behind him. I followed with a knee strike to his face and a devastating blow to the top of his head from my handgun. Unfortunately, the remaining gang members following me had caught up by then.
The first one to reach me lashed out with a machete. I caught his wrist and kicked his crotch, disarming him in the process and then shoving the machete through his neck.
I hacked the face of the man right behind him and followed with a snapping high kick to the side of the head before I dropped low and lodged the machete into his shinbone.
Like they were on a conveyor belt, the gang members appeared one after another. I was forced to throw my duffel bag at the next one to avoid being shot. A quick succession of fist strikes stunned him, and I used his handgun to shoot him in the throat. I used him as a human shield to avoid the multiple rounds fired from two men on the stairs.
I split their foreheads open with a shot each and then finished off my human shield with a single bullet to the top of his head. He collapsed on my duffel bag. There were too many men coming down the stairs for me to get it out from under him.
Down the stairs I went, shooting another gang member on his way up and emptying the clip in the gun I had in the process. I traded my Glock for his and continued. I still needed to get out of that building and onto my motorcycle parked outside—if it was still there.
A group of Norteños had gathered at the entrance. They quickly became an accumulated pile of dead bodies. Since they were all armed with Glocks (Lopez’s doing), I ejected the magazines from their weapons and took them with me. All I had was that handgun and whatever ammo I could scavenge.
I knew Ethan would be well protected, and I would need firepower to break through his defenses. I wanted to end this mess before it spun out of control. I still planned on doing that. Now it just needed to be done with a single handgun.
I hopped onto my motorcycle, slipped the helmet over my head, and twisted the throttle. The pick-up on the black Kawasaki Ninja rocketed me out of range of the firing gang members in a matter of seconds. I had a pretty good idea of where Ethan might be hiding. There was no time to find a new supplier, let alone one I could trust. I had to trust my skills.
Life was good until her ex showed up. Now she has a $50 million problem.
Dumb Move revives the Sei thriller series ten years later. You'll cheer for Sei once again.
"It will take every trick up her sleeve to come out on top." ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ — Reader Review
Series: Sei Assassin Thriller #6
Ebook: 264 pages