by James Purkey
Contract Book One
Donald “The Blade” Cody, a professional killer, has neglected his contract with The Company. A contract that is unbreakable and now he will be hunted for the rest of his life by the best to fulfill that contract.
The Company picks the best because they need the best, and Jackson ‘The Bear’ Beck is the best hitter they have. He’s brought in to find and eliminate Cody and satisfy the obligation.
Cody has many friends in The Company that owe him favors. He will use those favors to do anything to keep himself alive, even if it means destroying Beck from the inside out…through his family.
Beck will travel anywhere to find Cody and complete the contract and protect his family.
Trekking around the world, through many twists, turns, revelations and heartbreak, they will clash in an endgame that only one can walk away from.
Genre: ThrillerPurchase link(s): Amazon iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Assassins, Suspense, Action
Release Date: June 8, 2016
Excerpt & More
An ordinary guy, sort of. He has a nine-to-five job that he goes to Monday through Friday, has a wife he loves and kids he adores…but, when the sun goes down, Jackson Beck becomes a lethal contract killer for a company that specializes in assassinations.
The Company has many contracted assassins, they kill anyone, anywhere…but only when they’re told to. The Company has rules. The number one rule is: the Hitter has to finish the contract they are assigned.
One of them, Donald Cody, has decided to go rogue, he doesn’t finish his contract and runs away with the Target.
The Company sends other Hitters after him to eliminate him and close out his contract, to no avail.
Only Beck is capable of finishing the obligation, he’s the best of the best and will stop at nothing to take them out.
Once Cody realizes who he’s up against, he decides to play dirty and use Becks family against him.
As Cody travels the world to throw The Company off, Beck plans the perfect way to finish him.
Adventure, revelation, twist and turns lead them into a final battle that will explode and split their worlds wide open.
The silence is what kills you. You know, that point while you're lying there on your belly, pronated, breathing, and the only thing that you hear is…you. In those two seconds it takes to line up the crosshairs on the center mass, check your wind, hear the words “send it” from my spotter, and pull the trigger. Yep, those two seconds of silence is more like a week. Control the breathing, control the heart rate, make sure you don't have a tickle in your throat, ignore the fact that you've got to pee and have needed to for the last three hours, then...squeeze that trigger. There are times I miss having that spotter, though.
When you hear that sharp crack, see the flash from the barrel and then, sometimes even the look of surprise on the Target’s face, then they collapse like a wet dishrag, it quickly brings you back to reality. It's time to move after the shot. Have to get your gear, and yourself, out of there, but not too quickly. Too much movement will give away your position. Not enough will get you caught only a few yards from where you started.
Methodical movement with purpose my instructor called it. How would the enemy take it if a bunch of weeds just jumped up and took off running? Not well it seems. They like to put as many bullet holes in those “running weeds” as they can.
But the days of the Target shooting back are over for the most part. When I joined and became a Marine, I took a battery of tests that showed that I had a high aptitude for retaining information, great eyesight, excellent hearing and something in my psyche that would allow me to...not care about the things I had done.
Something that would make me not regret anybody that I maimed or killed. I was then taken aside, trained differently after boot camp and loaned out to any number of agencies that may need some clandestine mission completed. I was trained to shoot, long-range, short-range and with anything from a sling-shot to a .50 caliber rifle. I was trained in close quarters combat, hand-to-hand, or knife or ink pen or shoe string, it didn't matter if it has an edge or a point I can use it to cut or stab. My fists, elbows, feet, knees, and shins were beaten and abused so much they became like iron. I was taught to use poisons, gases, and liquids, all to my advantage. Chemistry was a huge part of the training. Psychological warfare was always fun too, but that's not something I get to do much anymore. I never was one for the torture, though, I was trained in it, yes, but the screaming was unbearable, I just wanted them to be quiet and would finish them before I got the information I needed.
Now, I get the phone call or text message on a secure phone, kiss the wife and kids goodbye for the night and drive to meet my Handler wherever he has been instructed to fly out of from. It works out so well- I don't miss work, nobody ever suspects what I do, and if there is some type of trouble, there's a trained team of men to come get me and lay waste to the “other guys.” They aren’t precision marksmen or precision killers. They take care of the bulk stuff, but only, and it’s a rare only if needed.
No, they’re not always bad guys that I kill, just the person that has a contract on them. And no, I'm not a sadist. I'm not some serial killer either. Sadists' kill indiscriminately and serials kill because mommy didn't change their diapers often enough. I do it for the money and because I'm damn good at it. I have no emotional attachment to the “Targs” and I don't take away any keepsakes from the mission. That's what gets them caught. That's stupid.
The way it works is this: somebody gets a call “Hey, I need this guy gone from my life” or something like that. Enough money is placed on the table then the plan goes into effect. The Targ is placed under surveillance for a few days by a crew of three to five men until a pattern can be distinguished and that's when my Handler gets a call. He calls me and we meet and fly out to where I'm to perform my duties.
Sometimes it's supposed to be messy so it looks like a crime scene, sometimes it’s a hunting accident, sometimes it’s supposed to be an animal attack (harder to pull off than you'd think too), natural causes where I'd use poisons or medications that are extremely hard to trace. Then, I pack up, come home and go about my day as I normally would. I never take down a Targ in my hometown, I never go to the same place twice in a month. Those are a partial list of the way this works and believe me, it's a long list of rules.
In my everyday life, I'm a computer repair specialist for a university. Yeah, I'm the IT guy, the computer geek, the one that you don't know is an IT guy till your computer crashes, then I'm your hero for a few minutes. Otherwise, I just blend into the background. While I was in the Marines, I learned to shoot, fight and take apart computers from inside the programming.
I have a wife and two kids. I sleep very well at night too. I'm not any different from anybody else during the time the public can see me. When the sun goes down, I pack up and head out if the call comes. And the calls do come in. Usually about two or three a week. I'll bet you never thought there were that many people that died that often by another person’s hand, much less the same persons hand. I'm paid very well for my services. There may be a hundred or so of us out there, were not all active at the same time either. About half at a time. I have gone as long as three months without killing anybody.
I can take it or leave it. I'm contracted to do this for ten years. If I do it longer I get more money, there's not a shorter time period. I have been trained by the best, military and CIA. I do my part in training others too. After ten years we can “retire” and take our money and walk away, some stay and double the money. We can recognize each other by our signet rings with a distinguishing color and symbol on them. I've met a few retirees.
There are dire consequences to messing up too. One and you’re told not to do it again. Two and you’re reprimanded. Three and you’re made an example of. I've been at this for eight years and have seen two examples be made. Messy business that. Always comes from internally too. We have to kill one of our own. Of course, the families never know that it was us and they are always well compensated. The Company isn't as cold hearted at they may sound. Sometimes it’s even quick and painless.
Our Handlers range from doctors to lawyers to businessmen. They take excellent care of us and deserve whatever they get as compensation too. My name is Jackson by the way. Jackson Beck. Friends (the few I let in) call me Jack. I have a nickname like all killers. I am The Bear. Yeah, that's right, Jack “The Bear” Beck. Don't make fun, I'm two-hundred-fifty pounds of scary sonofabitch...when I want to be. The times that make me want to be are paid for, though.
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