Threat Level:Red (The Disavowed Book 3)

By: David Leadbeater



“I guess.” She looked momentarily disappointed, full lips pouting and dark hair falling across her face, then perked up. “I want extra pineapple. And mushrooms. Oh, and sweet peppers too.”

“You got it.” Radford moved thankfully over to the house phone and placed the call. By the time he was done, Amanda was back on the couch, smearing some kind of cream over her bare legs. Just watching her made him want to take her into the bedroom. Or the shower. Or the deck. Or the garden.

Calm down, Dan ole boy. Anyone would think this was your first time.

Maybe it was. When feelings shifted so far across their axis wasn’t it all brand new?

They had an hour to wait for the pizza guy. An hour was long enough to make some inroads. He walked over to her, met her eyes, and thought about what he had to say.

“Amanda,” he began, “I have something important to tell you. Crazy important. But crazy good. It’s about me. And . . . and you.”

His wife looked a little scared. “What is it?”

“What would you say to us becoming exclusive again? Trying out our marriage again? Being a couple.”

Amanda’s face fell in confusion. “What? Why? I don’t—”

“Because . . . because I love you.”

The front door blew in. The explosion tore it off its hinges. The heavy panel careered across the hallway floor, striking and chipping the far wall. Radford rose fast but by the time he was upright two masked men were already in the room.

Levelling semi-automatics at him.

Four more followed, fanning out.

Radford put his hands in the air. Amanda stood too, still in shock at his words and now facing the intruders in sheer disbelief.

“What the hell do you want? You’re not the pizza guy.”

“Dan Radford,” one of them growled as he sighted in his weapon. “That’s who we want.”

Before anyone could move, he fired.





5





The Moose pondered the authoritative call he’d received from Blanka Davic and how quickly he’d then had to fly into LAX. Davic wasn’t a man to be kept waiting, not even by one of the best and most ruthless contract killers in the world. Even then, he’d balked when Davic had told him his part of the plan. The Moose hadn’t spoken aloud of course. Only inside his soul.

A kid? Really? Have we sunk so low?

The Moose had earned his reputation on hard ground. Famous ground. East Germany. Yugoslavia. Uganda. And later Afghanistan. Iraq. Many of his deeds had become legendary among the nastier forces in play around the globe, earning him the chance to take his craft on the road. Since becoming a killer for hire, the Moose had risen to the loftier heights of anonymity, available only to the select few.

Blanka Davic was a member of that group. Davic, Kovalenko, one or two others. And two shady organizations—a very old one and a brand new one so far untested. The Moose was normally happy to be at work, his tradecraft was taught in terrorist schools all over the Middle East, but today? Not so much.

The kid was eight years old. There were no human words for what the Moose was about to do to Michael Trent.

Observations had gone well. Several times, he could already have made the play. Game over. But Davic wanted it done at a precise time. Something about fitting in with his global plan.

It all sounded crazy to the Moose. But then Davic was at least three parts loon, one part psychotic maniac. The dark, warped plateaus of his mind would not be a pretty sight. The Moose remembered a time when he had thought he himself was going a little crazy. Not his best couple of years.

Thankfully he was over all that.

The gym had helped pull him through. The Moose loved it beyond comprehension, lived entirely for getting lost in that physical exertion; the popping sweat and straining tendons; the muscles that ached and jabbed with a red-hot energy all their own. Testing his limits. Breaking them. Destroying his body only to build it back up again, make it over with even harder muscle and strong sinew.

Satisfied that his plan for the kid met with Davic’s demands, the Moose now sought out a pay-as-you-train gym through an app on his Xperia. He tapped the new coordinates into his rental car’s satnav. The rest of the night was his and looked promising.

He hoped the kid enjoyed tonight too. There was no doubt it would be his last.

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