Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Assassins Retirement: Chapter Thirty-Three, Part One #amwriting #ION #gentleman


Copyright Lexi Ander


Chapter Thirty-Three

Zane cocked his head, hand on the doorknob to the kitchen, listening. The patio they were on was partially shielded from the drive by the garage. If he'd been inside, he would've heard the perimeter warning that someone was coming up the mountain. Alonzo pushed on Zane's back, urging him to go inside.

Cord and Midnight were in the kitchen, watching the small flat screen on the counter. They must have been disturbed from their rest by the low beeping from the security alarm. Zane turned it off uising the keypad by the door.

Cord pointed at the picture. "One large SUV is parking in front of the garage. A man and a woman are in the front seat and a second man is in the back."

After closing the door, Alonzo brushed by Zane to look at the screen. A huge smile bloomed on his face. "I know them. That is who I called to come pick up the chupacabra."

Amused, Zane followed him to the front door. He hadn't even shaken off the chill before he was going back outside again without a jacket. It was entertaining to see Alonzo so excited, and he wondered what kind of person could pull this side of Alonzo to the forefront.

A blonde man got out the driver seat. His chin-length wavy hair was ruffled by the brisk wind, momentarily hiding his eyes. He buttoned up his wool coat, covering the silver-gray suit he wore underneath. A Hispanic woman climbed out of the passenger seat. She was a sharp contrast to the man in business dress, wearing a close-fitting leather jacket that would do nothing to protect her from the mountain wind. Her black jeans were barely newer than her well-worn combat boots. He didn't miss the gun sitting on her hip.

The blonde raised his hand and smiled Alonzo, brilliant turquoise eyes shining with excitement. "Hey stranger, what have you been up to?"

Alonzo bound down the steps and met the man on the passenger side of the car. Zane followed, watching closely. If Alonzo trusted these people, then so would he.

"Beck Zell," Alonzo hugged him, lifting him off his feet. "¿Cómo estás, amigo?"

Beck laughed and clapped Alonzo on the back when he was once again on his feet. "I am well."

Alonzo turned to the woman and subjected her to the same treatment. Her long, dark hair billowed out in a wave, catching the blowing snow. Her laughter was full of warmth.

"You stopped calling, Mijo. Beck and I were going to hunt you down if we didn't hear from you soon," she said, stepping away to hold him at arm's length. "You're looking happy." Her gaze glanced to Zane. "If I had known you were spending time in a luxury cabin with an amour, I wouldn't have worried."

Zane's cheeks warmed, and he nervously ran his hand over his nape as if the gesture would remove the red from his skin.

Alonzo's heated gaze landed on him, causing his stomach to flip in response. When he held his hand out, Zane crossed to him. He rarely felt embarrassed, but the teasing glint in the woman's eye and his instant arousal at Alonzo's look was new territory for him. He barely kept from making sure his sweater covered his groin.

"Denise, this is Zane Cortese. He's mine."

Zane bumped his shoulder into Alonzo's, extremely pleased with the proclamation. "It is nice to meet you, Denise."

Another car door slammed, and Zane glanced across the hood of the SUV, meeting the dark eyes of a muscular, barrel-chested bruiser of a man. His light brown skin and shoulder-length black hair almost seemed to almost glow.  Zane blinked. That was odd.

"We have a new member to our team," Beck said, motioning to the man.

Alonzo turned and froze. No one seemed to notice but Zane, and he moved quickly to put himself between Alonzo and this newcomer.

"This is Diego Hernandez. He… Alonzo, what's wrong?" Beck did the same as Zane and moved in front of Diego protectively. "Alonzo?" Beck's smile dimmed.

Behind Zane, Alonzo exhaled. "Shaman." The word was spoken so low and reverently that Zane, and perhaps Denise, were the only ones to hear it.

"Nothing is wrong," Zane replied. "He's just surprised." Someone, either Alonzo or Tezcatlipoca, had mentioned something about the tribe being without a shaman. Looking at the three, Zane knew they weren't his to claim. He didn't feel the pull like he had with Cord and the guys. "Come inside and we can talk without freezing to death."

Diego was whispering something to Beck. "Give us a second," Beck said. "We brought the cases of mantles as requested, and we need to unload them."

"Do you need help?" Zane asked, being polite though he only wanted to speak to Alonzo in privacy.

"No, we've got it," Denise replied, going to the rear of the SUV.

Zane turned toward the house, grabbed Alonzo's hand, and pulled him along. He was acting stunned and Zane hoped to find out why before they were joined by Alonzo's friends.

Indoors, Zane turned, taking Alonzo's face between his palms. "What is it?"

Alonzo's brown eyes were wide. "He's a shaman."

"I heard. What does that mean?" Zane coaxed.

"He… They… Every Maricoxi tribe had a shaman to guide the people, but over time they disappeared."

"What does that mean? Were they taken?"


Table of Contents


Chapter One - Retirement
Chapter Two - Normal is not supposed to be this hard
Chapter Three - Caught
Chapter Four - Crimson Comet
Chapter Five - Mountain Magic
Chapter Six, Part 1 - Harbinger of a Nightmare
Chapter Six, Part 2 -
Chapter Seven, Part 1 - Stolen Answers
Chapter Seven, Part 2 -
Chapter Eight, Part 1 - No such thing as heroes
Chapter Eight, Part 2 -
Chapter Nine, Part 1 - Dead is supposed to be... dead
Chapter Nine, Part 2 -
Chapter Ten, Part 1 - Gathering Allies
Chapter Ten, Part 2
Chapter Eleven - Combustible
Chapter Twelve - Standing His Ground
Chapter Thirteen - Choices
Chapter Fourteen, Part 1
Chapter Fourteen, Part 2
Chapter Fifteen, Part 1 - To kill, or not to kill
Chapter Fifteen, Part 2
Chapter Sixteen - Maricoxi Guardians
Chapter Seventeen - Coincidence?
Chapter Eighteen, Part One - Guns Ablazin'
Chapter Eighteen, Part Two
Chapter Nineteen, Part One - Reckoning
Chapter Nineteen, Part Two
Chapter Twenty - Mercy
Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Two
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Three
Chapter Twenty-Three
Chapter Twenty-Four
Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 1

Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 2

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