Story Excerpt
Strength of an Assassin

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"He's a big one."

The anger was instant. The rage explosive. I stared through the thick iron bars, stalking from one side of my cell to the other. My growl was low, threatening. I'd tear apart any who came near me. I'd end them without blinking an eyelash.

I lunged at the bars, snickering when the three men watching me jumped back.

Pansy ass bastards.

They were weak. Fools. They dared to take me captive, to toss me into a cage like an animal. They were dead men and they didn't even know it. Their bodies just hadn't caught up with their fate.

One guy chuckled, the sound nervous and forced. "Oh, yeah, he'll do."

"The boss will go nuts over him," the one in the middle stated.

I knew they were guards simply from the things they said. I just didn't think they were very good guards. If I had been them and I was faced with me, I would have had me in shackles at the very least. They didn't even have me tied up.


I still couldn't believe I had ended up here. Wherever here was. The guys back at headquarters were going to laugh their asses off if they ever learned about this.

It had been a simple termination assignment. My mark was a coyote shifter for fuck's sake. They were not the sharpest crayons in the box. Even the five who had been waiting for me should not have been able to take me.

I curled my lip back as I glanced at the blue feather tipped dart I had pulled from my thigh once I woke up. It explained a lot. I was ashamed to admit I had walked right into the trap they set up for me.

They shouldn't have even known I was coming.

Someone had squealed.

 And as soon as I escaped whatever hell this was, I was going to find whoever had blabbed and show them why it was a very bad idea to piss me off.

I knew my pride would come for me just as soon as they figured out where I was. I had stayed in contact with my handler, even checking in with Ion before I went to scout out the warehouse where my mark was supposed to be meeting his associates to broker a gun deal. Ion knew the location of the warehouse. He had given it to me.

I just didn't think I was in the warehouse anymore.

I shot a quick look around my cell. It was made of mostly stone. I could hear water trickling somewhere off in the distance, but it was more of a leaky pipe sound rather than a creek. There was also a stench of rot and mold saturating the air. It almost overshadowed the despair that seemed to seep from the very pours of the cell.


I suspected whoever had occupied my cell before me had died a horrible death. The smirk on the faces of the three men facing me from their relative safety on the other side of the iron bars told me I was headed in the same direction if I didn't find a way out of my cell.

They didn't concern me.

The single iron barred door behind me did. It was dark. Even with my enhanced eyesight, I couldn't tell where it went beyond a stone tunnel that led away from my cell.

When one of the men watching me raised a black dart gun and pointed it in my direction, I growled. I tensed, my muscles hardening. I clenched my hands, wishing I could reach the three men and pound them into the ground.

I dove out of the way when the man pulled the trigger and an orange feather tipped dart shot out, headed right for me. I wanted to laugh at the anger I could see on the man's face, but there wasn't time. The guard pulled the trigger again.

As I dove out of the way of that dart, I missed the one fired by the other guy, and the guard next to him. Two darts hit me in the chest simultaneously. The first guy shot me again, this time in the leg.

The guy laughed. "That should amp him up nice and good."

I pulled out the darts and brought them to my nose. There was an acidic smell to all three darts, but I couldn't place it. I did detect a chemical component to the smell so I was pretty sure it wasn't natural.

Which meant I had just been dosed with some sort of drug.

Fucking peachy.

It was a little different than the one I had pulled out earlier, so I wondered what it was. I tossed the darts into the corner and went back to staring at the three men. They seemed quite amused, which probably didn't bode well for me.

Especially when I felt my skin begin to itch.

I clenched my hands again. Blood had started rushing through my system, setting me on edge. I was growing agitated. Uneasy. It was almost as if I had been given a massive dose of adrenaline.

If that was true, the guards on the other side of the iron bars weren't going to be laughing much longer. I was stronger than most on most days. Shot full of adrenaline, I'd rip the bars right out of the wall and beat the guards with them.

The thought actually brought a smile to my lips.

I narrowed my eyes and turned when I heard a grating noise behind me. A deep foreboding entered me when I saw the iron gate leading into darkness raising. I wasn't stupid. I knew I was supposed to go wherever the dark tunnel led.

I just didn't want to.

I jerked when another dart embedded into my thigh. I snarled at the three guards. I so wanted to rip them into tiny little pieces.

My blood started pounding through my body, my agitation growing.

When all three of the men lifted their dart guns, I stepped into the tunnel. I knew I was playing right into their hands, but I didn't want to get shot with another dart. I could already feel my heart rate beating out of control.

I didn't have long to walk before I started to see light at the end of the tunnel. I hoped it wasn't an oncoming train.

A little farther and I started to hear noise, nothing specific. More like the low murmur of many voices. Yeah, it was probably a train, or something just as dangerous. I stopped at the edge of the opening at the far end of the tunnel. It was easy to see that the second I stepped out into the light, my life was going to get very busy.