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Authors: Olivia Linden,LeTeisha Newton

SCRATCH (Corporate Hitman Book 2)

BOOK: SCRATCH (Corporate Hitman Book 2)
2.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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CORPORATE HITMAN VOL.2

 

 

Copyright © 2014 by Olivia Linden & LeTeisha Newton.
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.  This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.  If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN - 9780989019224

 

 

 

 

 

Prologue

 

 

April 5th 2011

Location: Federal Correctional Institution, Allenwood Low

Inmate: Inzio Vikhrov

Conviction:  Ten counts of Racketeering under the RICO Law

Sentence: 25 years

Status: Conviction vacated, transferred from Federal Correctional Institution, Tallahassee

 

Inzio was a fighter. Always had been, always would be. It was why, when he’d been transferred from his home at FPC in Tallahassee to some unknown location in the dark of night with a hood on his head, he didn’t struggle. Never fight from a position of disadvantage until you know where you are, how many enemies, and what they wanted from you. It had been his motto, the pretty boy from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Fight when he could, and learn when he couldn’t.

 

So he let the assholes drag him. Gave him time to count how many of them there were. Two guards holding him, one walking in front, and one to the back. But he knew there had to be more. He kept his head down, his ears open, and his eyes closed. No use getting nauseous from the turns and twists when his eyes couldn’t make out much. He heard the scrape of a chair, and then he was slammed down in a seat. He waited as they transferred his cuffs to a ground connection, he could feel it from the tug on his ankle chains. And then he heard nothing but the breathing of someone next to him.

 

Nothing about this could be good. When they’d imprisoned him, just two years before, he’d had every intention of breaking out. He fought every day, wanting to see how fast they responded, how they’d move him. Federal institutions were locked tight, he’d known that, but he’d been too angry to give a shit about the consequences. He’d made the Vikhrov family way too much fucking money—had made sure that all their dirty money had been cleaned, moved, and redistributed with amazing finesse. And why not? He’d known nothing but a life of crime all his life, and it kept one of the people in his life that he could protect safe—his mother. The other one, well, she knew that he couldn’t show that he gave a shit about her or they’d do something worse. At least as long as he did what they wanted, she was safe too, maybe. That was all he could hope for.

 

That was until they showed him that he didn’t mean a fucking thing, and all he’d thought he’d been doing had been a lie. No, he’d made them all money, and they tossed him to the dogs when the Feds came looking. He should have known to expect it, but he couldn’t cry over spilt milk now. All he could do was wait, watch, and learn. The minute he could get free—and he would—he’d make sure they paid for it. Every fucking one of them.

 

Inzio’s thoughts were interrupted when he heard someone else being dragged in, the seat next to him being pulled, and then someone falling into the seat the same way he had in his. So three prisoners. He wondered what the hell all this shit was about. His hood was ripped off with a callous yank, and he blinked to clear his eyes before looking around. The man to his left looked model worthy, but something about him told Inzio he didn’t like being in the limelight. The other man, Asian by his look, was smaller. He sat quietly, watching everything. Of them all, Inzio saw death in his eyes. Whoever he was, he was bad news. Dragon tattoos. Inzio had seen some of those around home. He’d bet his last dollar he was Triad or something.

 

Not that any of that helped him to understand what the fuck was going on, or helped him get out of there. He was locked down solid and the stationing of the guards would make it impossible to fight. He was trapped.

 

“Gentlemen,” said a slightly British accented voice. The suit entered the room with six guards, with AR’s at the ready. Yeah, this wasn’t good at all. The man looked to be in his fifties or so, well-mannered, clipped speech, and his salt-n-pepper hair was done perfectly with nothing out of place. This was the kind of man Inzio was used to dealing with. Had even looked like on more than one occasion when he’d been on the street. A Zegna suit wasn’t cheap, and not something anyone would just stroll around in.

 

“Not that any of you are the ask questions type, but I’m going to cut to the proverbial chase and inform you of what your life is going to be from here on.”

 

Silence—absolute silence from them all.

 

“They say we all have choices in life, but your choices were taken away from you when you stepped foot behind these lovely federal bars. You are, however, not without one last option.  You can use your talents working for me, or live out the rest of your sentences in this hellhole. That is barring any accidents, or incidents that may prolong your stay.”

 

Inzio smiled. Yeah, he knew how to deal with men like this. And fuck yeah he was taking the deal, whatever he had to do. He had people to deal with, issues to clear up. All he needed was freedom, and it looked like that exactly what he was about to get.

 

Maybe this wasn’t such a bad event after all…

Chapter 1

 

scratch \ˈskrach\

1
.  to gather money or make a living, especially through irregular means and sacrifice

2.  Slang Money

 

 

Today was not going to be a good day. That was Scratch’s first thoughts as he opened his eyes, squinting against the harsh rays of sun that managed to slip through his venetian blinds. A hard night of drinking and indulging a very flexible brunette, left him with a killer headache. His pain worsened when he recalled the meeting planned for him. That and the fact that he was late.

 

Shit!

 

He had exactly thirty minutes to get showered, dressed and in his Benz in order to make it downtown to Hawk Global on time. The shave he was in desperate need of would have to be skipped. Eagle wouldn’t be pleased with his tardiness on a good day, but the fact that the FBI were their guests for this meeting fueled his urgency. His life was already on the line as it stood. No need to sign up for a trip to an early grave.

 

He hoped Manhattan traffic wasn’t too hellish.

 

Twenty minutes later, he was rushing out of his bedroom. He felt like shit, and probably looked worse, but his motto was that a designer suit could fix most situations. So he went with a classic single-breasted Calvin Klein design—charcoal with black pinstripes, complemented by a turquoise tie. Women always gushed about how that color brought out his eyes. For him, it was just his favorite color.

 

With his blazer still on the hanger, he grabbed a bottle of water to suck down the two pills he would take to ease the pounding in his head, and headed to the garage. Glitch’s car was parked in his it’s usual spot, and probably would be all day since he had no reason to go into the office. Jack’s sleek black A8 was, however, missing. Scratch wasn’t aware of any particular mission his partner was on, and wondered whether he’d gone into work early. And why.

 

Catching every yellow light on his drive down the West Side highway, he arrived at the office in record time. He was still pushing it. According to his watch, a vintage Rolex that he’d won in a card game, he had exactly five minutes. The doors to the elevator that would take him to the conference level were just about to close before he wedged his briefcase between the sliding steel. The lone occupant, he took the opportunity to put on his jacket, and give himself a once over in the reflective wall of the enclosure.

 

Most people thought Scratch was too over the top, always dressed in designer duds, and never a hair out of place. He was like a male peacock the way he primped, preened, and paraded around the women of the office. They saw him as an attractive yet arrogant narcissist, but despite it all, the women still flocked—unable to resist the delicious scent of his cologne, or his intense magnetism.

Scratch didn’t care either way. He wanted them to put him in a box, underestimate him. Where Glitch tried to fly under the radar, and Jack just scared people away, Scratch took advantage of the lure he had on women. It was best if they viewed him as a temporary conquest and not a viable option for creating a future together. He didn’t have it in him to give, so why pretend?

 

Scratch took a deep breath to center himself. Focus. He needed to be on point. It was stupid of him to get smashed the night before, but some things couldn’t be helped. When you live with the kind of pain that he tried to bury day in and day out, you found a way to numb it. For Scratch, it was drinking and sex. The drinking helped him forget, and the sex, well, it felt good. And he was good at it. The best, if the moans of praise from his latest conquest were to be believed. Whatever. So yeah, it felt good, and kept him from drinking himself into a living hell.

 

As he pulled himself together, he became aware of a faint, sweet scent lingering in the air. Vanilla and some sort of flower. Maybe lavender? It was slightly calming and arousing at the same time. He entertained a fleeting thought of being confined in the small space with the woman who owned that alluring aroma. She would have been sexy enough for him to take advantage of their close proximity. He laughed. Elevator sex was the best.

 

A loud ding brought him abruptly back to reality. As the doors slowly crept open, he put on the best game face he could muster. His head still hurt, and the bright sun light that beamed through the large wall of windows that faced the elevator bank made him pause—closing his eyes briefly as he fought off the pain. The conference room was just a short walk down the hall to his left. The murmurs drifting from the room confirmed that Eagle was already in attendance as well as two others. One female for sure. Her low, sultry voice stood out from the rest. 

 

“So good of you to join us, George.” Eagle’s sarcastic greeting felt like a fist to his skull. Scratch just nodded tightly, ignoring the verbal jab, and glanced around the room to size up their visitors. The enticing scent from the elevator engulfed him, and he searched for the source. Seated across from Eagle were two agents, proudly sporting badges that read FBI in big bold letters. The woman in question was a vision.

 

A vision he’d seen before. She’d captured his attention in passing, down one of the halls of Hawk Global, and made him lose all train of thought. And she was doing it again. Not wanting to seem obvious, but determined to have a closer look at her, Scratch took his time making his way to his seat next to Eagle. Agent Tidwell, as her name read on the badge, briefly met his intense gaze with a casual glance. Looking away as if he posed no interest to her. It was just enough time for him to note the expressiveness of her big, round, brown eyes. Today her hair flowed down to her shoulders in a sleek look. The first time he’d seen her, she let the natural coils flow free. He couldn’t decide which look suited her better, but he’d be happy to run his fingers through either. Her smooth nutmeg brown skin glowed in its flawlessness. She projected that kind of radiance that cosmetic commercials tried to sell. Scratch had seen and had many women over the years, but there was something about this one. He found himself wanting to know everything about her. Too bad she was here to put his ass in jail.   

 

The male agent sat like a typical stiff; trying to project a certain posture, but feigning the air of being relaxed with his arm slung over the back of his chair. While he chatted with Eagle, and seemed amicable enough, his cockiness could not be missed. Over the years, Scratch learned to fine-tune his people skills. He could read just about anyone, and this guy was going to be a real son of a bitch. The expression was clearly obvious in his gaze as he sized Scratch up. 

 

“This is George Hines, Treasurer of International Accounts here at Hawk Global. George, meet agents Axe and Tidwell. They will be heading up the investigation into our financial acquisitions. Apparently, it sends up red flags when a corporation is consistently successful.”  Eagle spoke without taking a breath. It was just like him to mix insults into an introduction.

 

“Agent Monica Tidwell,” she leaned forward slightly, giving Scratch a glimpse of her ample cleavage as she held out her hand.  Her voice had a gentle rasp to it, adding to his overpowering attraction to her. “And we don’t investigate companies because they are simply doing well. We investigate companies when we get insider information that laws are being broken to obtain that success. I hope you will be helpful in proving us wrong.” 

 

Although her words implied a positive outcome, the determination in her eyes and the firmness of her grip suggested something else. Before Scratch could respond, her partner chimed in.

 

“Agent Roderick Axe.” The man jutted his hand into Scratch’s, which was still holding onto Monica’s with a reluctance to let go. “Mr. Eaglemohr has ensured us that you will be our point of contact for this investigation. I can not impress upon you enough that we require your cooperation.”

 

Ah, the age-old good cop, bad cop routine. Scratch wasn’t a stranger to it.

 

“I’m sure I’ll do what I can,” he replied as he took his seat.

 

The next two hours were spent with the two agents explaining that at the time no charges had been filed, but outlined the details and cause of their investigation. ‘Someone’ reported Hawk Global for using illegal business tactics during the hostile takeover of a small security firm. As he looked over the documented accusations, Scratch became increasingly agitated. He wasn’t familiar with the name of the company in question, nor did he have anything to do with setting up an account for it. Not wanting to cause a stir, he remained quiet. He would just ask Glitch about it later. Or even Jack, since it was security related and that was his area of expertise.

 

It was decided that Agent Axe would work with Eagle as far as the business scope of the company, and Agent Tidwell would work the accounting aspect with Scratch. He almost couldn’t contain his smirk as he enjoyed his luck. Getting tangled up with a federal agent was about as high on his list of things to do as getting a bikini wax, but there was no harm in flirting. As worried as he was about covering his ass, he was looking forward to spending some time with Monica Tidwell.

 

Stalling to get her alone, Scratch took his time gathering his reports and putting them into their corresponding file. Eagle had assigned him the task of properly introducing Monica to the other accounting heads. Agent Axe followed Eagle out of the conference room, but did a double take on his way out. Keeping his head down to hide his interest, Scratch waited for the other men to clear the room before he spoke.

 

“So, I was thinking. Maybe we could grab an early lunch to go over some of this information. Get to know each other a little better,” he suggested with the most innocent voice he could muster. Lord knows he hadn’t been innocent for a long time.

 

“Hmmm,” she snorted as she gave him a full onceover and then grabbed her own briefcase off the conference room table. “Maybe you should get over your last date before you invite the next woman to lunch.”

 

Scratch grinned at her rejection, and didn’t let it bother him. Her barb gave her away. She noticed him, just as he had noticed her.  Enjoying the view, he followed the sway of her nicely curved hips out of the room.

BOOK: SCRATCH (Corporate Hitman Book 2)
2.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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