Rule of Law
Chimera Files, Book 1
October 15, 2019
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” —Nelson Mandela
Lana, a wayward senator’s daughter and dark angel in the making, must earn her freedom and her wings. Law, the underworld lord of a secret clan, captures her and gives her the space to battle her demons. But once she spreads her wings, will he set her free?
Read an Excerpt
He feared nothing.
He feared no one.
Because he had lost everything.
High atop his seven-story compound, impervious to the wicked whip of the wind or the cold bite of rain that soaked through his clothes to his skin, Law cast his gaze toward the dark unsettled bay. Its churning calmed him in a way that placid water could not. Perhaps it was because there was so much unsettled within him.
His gaze moved to the lights that dotted the docks, glittering in the rain like terrestrial stars, outshone by the brilliant glow of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge to the north.
Against the night sky, the bridge radiated energy, its majestic reflection rippling on the bay, a beacon to guests and locals alike. The constant stream of headlights and taillights flowing in both directions never ceased. Its rebuilding after the last big earthquake was an engineering marvel worth the extraordinary cost, connecting two very different cities.
San Francisco. The shimmering jewel of the west coast. A melting pot of citizens, crime and culture. Oversensitive and oversold, in his opinion.
He preferred the city that he had helped resuscitate. The one that pulsed angrily behind him. Oakland. Just as diverse. Just as cultured, and just as criminally sophisticated. The forgotten city. He’d taken advantage of that fact. It served him well these past years. It would serve him better in the years to come.
Tonight would mark his first preemptive strike to right a terrible wrong. Every thought, every move, every choice he had made since he was five years old served one purpose: vengeance.
Lightening struck the weather pole less than ten feet from where he stood. Sparks spewed from the violent impact, showering him in hot stabs of heat. Impervious to the pain, Law stood stalwart gazing at the bridge.
The wheels of revenge had been set in motion.
Like a shark swimming the dark waters in search of prey, he would strike.
His lips tightened when his cell phone vibrated in his hand.
The text from Unknown read: Package located.
Fifteen minutes later, his phone vibrated again. Package secured.
He smiled and tossed the burner cell into the bay. Stealing was so much more entertaining than going to the trouble of paying.
So was payback.
An eye for an eye. In his world there was no other way…
Read a Second Excerpt
She was cold.
She was naked.
But not afraid.
Nothing scared her.
Because she didn’t care.
She was in motion. Awareness slowly infused Lana’s senses.
She was cold. The stench of body odor, urine and cigarettes clogged her nostrils. She opened her eyes to darkness. The hard metal she lay on gave no comfort to her twitching body. The rhythmic back and forth staccato of windshield wipers pounded in cadence to the dull throb of her temples.
The vehicle came to an abrupt halt, jerking Lana further from the warm safe place only a heroin fix could give her.
She was curled in a ball, hooded, gagged and bound, her kneecaps pressed into her forearms, her elbows digging into her thighs.
Where was she? What happened? Was this part of rehab? Some ploy to make her so miserable she’d do anything for a fix? She wouldn’t do it! Not again. So many times she had tried and failed. Damn Anton for getting her started. Damn her for not caring enough to stop.
Memories poured into her brain.
“Fuuuck,” she breathed against the wet gag.
The smell of expensive cigars, the deep thrum of male voices as they commanded her and the other girls to bend, grind, thrust, and prance for them. Hands sliding along her legs, squeezing her tits, checking her teeth as if she were a mare at auction. She’d allowed it. Welcomed it. Needed it. Along with the fix she so desperately didn’t want to crave. Anton had shot her up after the man on the phone paid a ridiculous amount of money for her.
The euphoria that replaced the horror of being sold to the highest bidder had been instant.
And she lived for that shit. Would do anything for it. Anton made sure of it.
She, Alana Elizabeth Conti, the wild child of a conservative senator, was a groveling, utterly degraded, relapsed heroin addict. And now, the property of a complete stranger.
What had she done?
Lifting her head, she listened. The shrillness of an approaching siren abruptly silenced.
Hope injected her sluggish brain. Had daddy finally come to his senses and realized she was worth saving? Hope bloomed. “Daddy!” she cried against the soggy gag. “I’m here!” But no one heard her.
“Motherfuckers,” the driver cursed. Cold air whooshed into the vehicle when the driver rolled down his window and shouted, “Do you know who you’re fucking with?”
A sudden hard staccato startled her. Metal hitting metal. Ping. Ping. Lana realized suddenly that the sound was bullets piercing the roof of what she was sure was a van. Tightening into the fetal position, Lana prayed. For survival. For death. Whichever would free her.
The van jerked into reverse, swerving then hydroplaning across the road. Squeezing her eyes shut, Lana braced herself as best she could before they hit something. Her body slammed hard into the sidewall of the van.
The driver cursed wildly, grinding the gears, jamming down on the gas, trying to blast out and away.
The van shot forward, slamming into something solid. Whiplashing her neck. Sheet metal banged and crumpled, deafening her as the back doors swung open. Cold air whooshed in, curling around her body, chilling her to the bone.
Strong hands grabbed her ankles and pulled her from the vehicle. Somebody held her close, surrounding her with instant warmth. Still stunned, she couldn’t lift her head. Couldn’t see him.
“You can’t take her!” the driver screamed.
“Looks like we already did, amigo,” a male voice with a distinct Latino accent answered. “Now shut the fuck up, and hand over the paperwork, Carson.”
Not a name Lana had heard before.
“Paperwork?” Carson asked dumbly.
A suppressed gunshot erupted so close to Lana’s head, her ears rang. Carson shrieked in enraged pain.
“Dude!” He was hysterical now. “You fucking shot me!”
“Had to, slowpoke. Now give me that.”
Carson kept stalling. “Do you know who she belongs to? You’re dead if you–” Another gunshot immediately followed by another shriek of pain. “Here! Take the fucking contract!” Carson screamed.
“Grab it,” her new captor calmly said to someone close by.
Lana was rearranged so that she was being held close to the warmth of the hard body striding away from the van.
“Got it, bromista,” a new strange voice answered.
The man holding her pulled her tighter against him and called to Carson, “Tell Dragovich we’ll be in touch.” The van doors slammed shut.
“Who are you?” Carson screamed from the van.
The man holding her laughed. “Figure it out, pendejo.”
“Is she alive?” another strange male voice asked.
“Yeah,” her new captor said, moving quickly with her in his arms. “Did you get hit?” The man holding her demanded, shaking her slightly.
Shivering in fear, all Lana could manage was a weak shake of her head.
Metal doors opened. From his movement the man holding her stepped up, maybe into a truck? She was carefully deposited onto a hard surface. Instinctively Lana tightened into a ball. Her legs were pulled straight and strapped down, same with her arms. Terrified they might hurt her if she rebelled, Lana lay unmoving. Seconds later the familiar slide of a needle pricked her left arm and then a warm blanket was placed over her.
They were taking care of her in a weird way. Lana’s mind began to drift. The black hood settled over her face.
“Daddy,” she sobbed. “Is that you?”
“No, baby doll, I’m not your daddy,” her new captor said, softly from beside her. “There’s nothing he can do for you now.”
Doors slammed shut. The shocks registered the weight of the driver as he settled in. In seconds they sped off into the night.