Excerpts from No Exit

Dathan Castero hovered over the nearly dead body of Detective Clive Palmer.

“My CI’s name was Mr. Wiles,” the detective sputtered as blood sprayed from his mouth. His face was bloody, his body battered. There wasn’t much life left in him.

“Ah, Mr. Wiles, I should have known,” Dathan said calmly.

The traitor worked for Dathan’s multibillion dollar company, Valet Corp. Now, after all this, he needed to find out why one of his employees was a Confidential Informant for the New York Police Department. It baffled him how one little person could create such a monstrous mess. Now it was up to Dathan to clean it up.

Prior to that evening, Dathan and Detective Palmer had been complete strangers. Now Clive would have to die, and the blame for that would rest solely upon Mr. Wiles.

Dathan hadn’t wanted to play interrogator and executioner, but the man left him no choice. Not only was he a detective, but his wife was a reporter for the Times. Not a very good combination when you have a laundry list of secrets and are always in the public eye.

“I told you what you wanted to know,” Clive said between ragged breaths. “Are you going to let me go? I haven’t filed the report yet. No one else knows.”

“The thing about information, Clive, is that it spreads. Like a wildfire, it will spread and grow and burn, unless you cut off its fuel supply. Mr. Wiles is a dangerous spark, and this is one fire I can’t afford to let ignite.”

With a gloved hand, Dathan unholstered his Springfield 1911 pistol and pressed the barrel against the man’s temple.

“You’re the fuel,” Dathan added before he pulled the trigger.

It was four years ago, the first time he saw it. Jonathan walked into the sparkling lobby of Valet Corp. The Beretta 9mm hidden by his shirt grazed the doorframe on his way in. He had almost forgotten he had it on him. He was running late—something that rarely happened. He held the door open for a beautiful brunette who walked in right behind him. They both headed for the secure access door.

She gave him a smile and a “Thank you” for holding the door.

He smiled back and said, “You’re welcome,” trying to sound as casual as possible. She was probably in her twenties, green eyes, slender figure.

They had almost reached the glass wall when someone behind them with a rough voice yelled, “Freeze!”

Jonathan turned his head to see a guy in a mask holding an AR15.

Then chaos came. The people in the lobby were screaming, and the security guards were shouting into their intercoms.

A switch flipped inside Jonathan, and he reacted without even thinking. In one fluid motion, he grabbed the pretty brunette across the waist with his left arm and spun around so that she was behind him. He unholstered his weapon with his right hand while simultaneously flipping off the safety. He leveled it on the intruder and pulled the trigger without a second thought. The masked man collapsed on the floor, his rifle clattering against the marble.

The lobby was instantly silent.

Jonathan and the woman dropped to the floor, his left arm still against her waist. Their faces were so close, and her breath was hot on his cheek. She stared at him, her eyes looking back and forth between each of his. She gave him the smile he instantly adored as she whispered, “My name’s Rebekah.”

“Jonathan,” he said lightly.