Excerpt: The Target of Lies
As the third book in my Hunted series, The Target of Lies is shortly due to be released on pre-order, I thought you might like a sneak preview into an excerpt from the book:
REACHING THE SIDE DOOR of the club that all the staff and “associates” used, Jorge rapped on it loudly. The front, with its gleaming façade and posh gold lettering outlined it as the upmarket Gentlemen’s club that it was, attracting a high class of clientele.
The door was opened by Jimmy – one of the many security – a huge bull-headed man with a grizzled face and no neck. ‘Jorge,’ Jimmy nodded, waving him through. ‘Mr Turner said to go straight in.’
‘Thanks Jimmy,’ Jorge smiled, hoping John would be pleased with what he’d achieved today. Several of the most reluctant payers had had a change of heart and he was getting the hang of how things needed to be done to get the results. He’d surprised himself by how quickly he’d taken to it.
Knocking on the office door, Jorge walked in. ‘Evening, Mr Turner. I’ve g…’
Jorge stopped mid-sentence seeing a man standing next to John wearing a finely-tailored grey suit. He studied his handsome face, somehow knowing immediately that this tall, well-built brown-haired stranger was his father.
‘Jorge? Good to meet you.’ The man’s voice dripped with authority. He extended his hand. ‘Neil Sparks.’
Jorge froze. What exactly was he supposed to do? Pulling himself together, he shook Neil’s hand firmly.
Neil walked around the other side of the desk and motioned for Jorge to take a seat.
Jorge sat down, irritated that his legs felt unsteady and covertly studied Neil Sparks. He didn’t want to give anything away but wanted this person who was his father to like him. There was something about this man that he couldn’t quite put his finger on, but he didn’t want to start babbling questions that he was desperate to ask.
It was Neil who broke the silence.
‘Drink?’ he asked, reaching for the large, exquisitely cut crystal decanter on his large, polished desk.
Jorge shook his head. ‘No thank you,’ he said, glad his voice displayed no waver, but noticed a flicker of something passing behind Neil’s eyes as he slowly poured a measure of what smelt like very fine bourbon. Irritation with his refusal to take a drink, perhaps?
‘How’s your mother?’ Neil’s asked. ‘Marianne, isn’t it?’
Jorge swallowed his immediate irritation. This man had fathered him, yet he had to double check the name of the woman he’d made pregnant? Christ, he was unprepared for this. In his mind he’d always thought of what he’d ask his father, given the opportunity. But he hadn’t expected to get the opportunity.
He willed the sweat to disappear from the back of his neck and rearranged himself in the chair. What the hell was the matter with him? He was acting like a bloody scared schoolboy. ‘Yes, my mother’s name is Marianne,’ he said, a slight caustic edge to his voice. ‘And she’s fine.’ No, she wasn’t. She never had been, but he wasn’t about to tell him that.
‘You look just like her,’ Neil continued, exposing a row of straight white teeth. ‘It’s good to meet you, son.’
Jorge flinched. Son? He was calling him son? That sounded odd but nice all the same.
Neil watched Jorge closely. He’d been more than surprised when John said his son had pitched up. He’d got enough to sort out as it was, without that inconvenience. But John had told him he’d done a bit of homework on the boy; he was handy with his fists and clever to boot, therefore his initial reticence to want anything to do with this kid had softened, especially when he might come in more than useful with his plan, so once he’d returned from his short visit up north he’d given John the nod to bring the boy in.
‘I appreciate this is awkward for you and I must admit, it is for me too, but John tells me that you’ve been working well for the past couple of weeks, which I’m pleased to hear.’
Unsure of what else to do, Jorge nodded and brushed away the tingle of pride he felt by getting unfamiliar praise.
Neil clasped his hands on the shiny surface of the desk. ‘I have some things I’m dealing with at the moment, hence my unexpected return from France.’
‘I was under the impression you weren’t returning,’ Jorge answered.
‘Although I didn’t expect to be back, I am and you’re here, so what I’m proposing is that we get to know each other.’
Jorge saw John glance at Neil. It was a discernible look that had he blinked, he’d have missed it, but it was there all the same.
‘I thought the best way to do that, apart from spend some time together of course, is for you to help me out with what I need to do,’ Neil continued.
Jorge frowned. ‘What is it?’
Neil took another sip of whisky. ‘It’s complicated and may take some time. Would that be something you might be interested in?’
John watched the proceedings unfold. Neil hadn’t mentioned pulling Jorge into this and it bothered him. He’d seen from the off that the kid had nowhere near the collateral he’d made out. The most he’d probably previously done was shout at a couple of old dears late with their payment for a cooker, but he’d wanted to give the kid a chance. He knew with help from his team of enforcers that Jorge would learn the deal quickly enough and he’d been right.
He’d initially put Jorge with Shaun – he knew his man would show the boy the ropes without being a twat and it turned out that his instincts over the lad were correct. Jorge was a natural, but he wasn’t ready for heavy or complex shit like Neil had planned.
John frowned. His hands were tied because he’d told Neil that Jorge had loads of experience, otherwise the man would never have entertained him remaining on the firm, son or not. But if Jorge took Neil up on his offer it complicated matters.
Copyright © Edie Baylis 2020
The Target of Lies (Hunted #3) will shortly be available to pre-order from Amazon. In the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, catch up with the Hunted series: