Friday, May 7, 2010

Bad Girl Blogfest

Andrew Rosenberg over at The Write Runner is hosting a Bad Girl Blogfest today.  I thought I'd enter Hayden James, the love interest in one of my earlier Thriller/Action novels, Chasing Darkness.

To set up the scene, she and August, the main character, work for Intelli-Trace Group as sort of bounty hunters for stolen corporate technology. From biotechnology to prototypes, if its stolen, Intelli-Trace employees track it down, steal it back, and destroy the competition's gains.

August, on assignment in East Africa, was in a small plane that was shot down a few hours ago. Worried and getting no information from August's handler, Marco, Hayden is out of patience.  She's tracking an intelligence broker in Greece but wants to be out finding August.  Marken, her partner, is with her...

Chasing Darkness
Chapter Fourteen

They sat on the bench waiting for Bootsy, the information tech, to call back.

“I heard about August,” Marken said quietly. “Any news?”

Hayden’s stomach flopped. She’d been trying not to think about it.

“He’s fast and he’s smart,” she said, determined to keep her voice steady. “He’s come out of worse situations without a scratch.”

“Yeah,” Marken agreed. “I mean, I’ve heard he’s one of the best guys out there. He’ll be fine.”

Hayden thought he sounded artificially cheerful.

“Sure, he’ll be fine,” she repeated and tried to believe it.

A minute later Bootsy called her back.

“The address is for Angelicos Packing,” He said. “He’ll probably either meet his contact there or get more directions from a land line. Get going. I’ll send you directions in a minute.”

“Let’s go,” Hayden said to Marken. “We’ve got his destination.”

Marken took the camera and stuffed it in his knapsack.

“I tell you, so many people have shades and don’t use them,” Marken remarked. “Honestly, it amazes me that criminals aren’t more paranoid.”

“Oh he’s paranoid,” Hayden said. They walked back down the trail to their car. “Just not enough. If he knew we were after him he’d be scared.”

Marken chuckled and pulled open the driver’s side door. “We’re on the same side and you still scare me.”

Hayden smirked and hopped in the car. “That’s the way it should be, my friend.”

Bootsy shot them over the directions and Hayden navigated for them. They pulled to a stop a couple of streets over and then made their way toward the packing building by foot. Halfway there, her PhoneLink vibrated with a text message. Thinking it was more information from Intelli-Bond, she pulled it out of her pocket. It was from the man who’d called before with information on August.

Rumor of hostage situation involving expedition team member. Report of explosion in vicinity of rescue path. Assignmet moved to ‘Evacuate’ status.

Hayden’s chest tightened with dread, threatening to send her into a panic. Unable to get back in touch with Marco, all the information she had was coming from an unconfirmed source. Hayden stopped and leaned against the building, her heart pounding.

“What’s the matter?” Marken whispered.

“Nothing,” Hayden said, trying to cover the fear in her voice. “Let’s get this done.” She pulled her weapon from the clip-on waist holster hidden under her sweatshirt.

“Whoa, whoa,” Marken said, reaching out to stop her. “We’re just supposed to follow this guy.”

Hayden shook her head. “Plans just changed,” she whispered. “I need that name now.” She pulled away from Marken and strode quickly along the street toward the rear of the packing house.

“What are you going to do?” Marken fell into step behind her.

“I don’t know yet.”


“I said I don’t know yet!” Hayden hissed. They slid along the fence near the rear entrance. “I’ve never worked with Mr. Stavros before.”

She put her hand on the door lever but Marken stopped her.
“Do you expect him to just give up a contact ‘cause you asked?”

Hayden pulled away from Marken again. “Don’t get in my way again Marken,” she warned.

“Hayden,” Marken began but she was already through the door.

Stavros froze in the middle of the room with one hand stretched toward an old time phone on the table and the other hand in his pocket. His mouth flopped open and closed as if trying to speak but Hayden was already in his face, pressing her gun under his chin. Hayden put her finger to her lips in a ‘be quiet’ gesture. Stavros nodded and sat down on the chair next to the table. Marken ran in after her, then went to check that the place was empty.

“Waiting for a call?” Hayden whispered.

“Who are you?” Stavros demanded. “You have no right…”

Hayden hit him on the nose with the handle of her gun cutting off his words. He crumpled to the ground.

“I asked you to be quiet,” Hayden whispered hoarsely.

“My nose, you broke my nose,” Stavros croaked. He dripped crimson down the front of his suit.

“Ah great,” Marken moaned when he hurried back over to them. “I leave you for five seconds and you hurt him.”

Hayden ignored Marken. She pulled a chair over to her side and patted the seat.

“Have a seat Stavros,” Hayden said evenly. “We need to talk about your contact. Where are you meeting the Koreans?”

He swore at her in Greek.

“I know what that means, you know,” Hayden said. She pulled a silencer out of her sweatshirt pocket and screwed it onto the barrel of her gun. She knit her brows together and frowned. “And I take offense.”

Marken took a step back, his eye flit to her gun. “What are you doing?”

“I’m in a little bit of a time crunch here, so you’re going to have to work with me on this one,” she said to Marken. To Stavros; in Greek, “Did you already get the call?”

Stavros spit at her, and stared back defiantly and Hayden, losing her temper shot at his head. She aimed six inches to the right; her round thumping in a fifty pound bag of rice behind him but the effect was what she’d wanted. Stavros yelped and cowered in his chair.

“No, no call yet,” Stavros sputtered in English. He had his hands over his face, hiding. “Five more minutes.”

“Have you lost your mind?” Marken shouted. His face was flushed, wary. “We’re just supposed to follow him.”

Hayden reached out and felt the phone receiver.

“Phones still warm Stavros,” she said and brought her gun back up. “You were on that phone before we came in. She aimed her gun at Stavros’s knee. “Roll up your pant’s leg,” Hayden ordered.

“Wait,” Stavros stammered. “Wait.” He looked frantically at Marken.

“I am not kidding here Stavros,” Hayden said. She made her gun hand shake a little for effect. “I apologize in advance if I miss a little high. I’ve had a lot of coffee.”

“Hayden…” Marken warned. He licked his lips nervously.

“No more lying,” she said to Stavros in Greek. She cocked her head, closed her left eye, and pretended to have trouble aiming. “I don’t have time for this.”

Stavros stared at her wide eyed, but didn’t say anything.

Hayden shrugged and aimed to the left of Stavros’s knee, at another bag of rice, and fired a round. Marken swore out loud. Stavros flinched and raised his arms up over his head, trembling.

“No more lying,” Stavros stammered while nodding his head vehemently. “No more lies, okay?” He looked from Hayden to Marken and then back. “I receive call. You are right.”

Hayden put her gun down and looked at Marken. “You see what we’re dealing with here?”

Marken looked at her and nodded, his face pulled into a frown.

“Yeah,” he said quietly. “Crazy.”

I hope you enjoyed meeting my Bad Girl, Hayden...there are other great entries at The Write Runner. Take a minute to check them out.

I am at a Writer's Conference this week and might not comment right away...but I promise I will...I can't resist reading all of your great posts!

Photograph by honey-bee, Uploaded on May 17, 2007. Photograph by TaniaSaiz, Uploaded on April 23, 2010