Hired Gun (Serial Novel Book 1)

By: A.J. Bennett

To my PA Amy Chris. Thank you for everything you do!





1



Thorne Hollow, grandson of Theseus, opened the aluminum suitcase and removed a 9mm Ruger, along with a silencer. He locked the slide to the rear and checked to make sure the chamber was clear. It was.

Safety first, he thought with a smirk.

Using the palm of his hand, he slammed in the magazine, released the slide and chambered a bullet. Turning the gun to the left and to the right he observed the piece of art in admiration. Then he slid the gun into the concealed holster in the back of his pants. It was a shame really. The pistol would be a throwaway piece. But such was the nature of the job.

He tucked the silencer into his side pocket before pulling out a piece of paper from the bottom of the case. Quickly, he scanned the cipher regarding his next target. On the surface, the gibberish made no sense, and he mentally swapped the letters around to read the hidden message. After memorizing the information, he moved into the kitchen, turned on the burner and watched as the paper turned into ash. Humans loved all this cloak and dagger shit.

Back in his day, he was given the name of a target and killed them. Simple as that. None of this fancy bullshit. Granted he’d been around over two thousand years, and a lot had changed. But, whatever. His job kept him busy, and that was a good thing.

If he knew one thing for certain, it was that immortality got old real quick. Running and gunning – as the boys liked to call it – made the passing time somewhat enjoyable. Hell, he was bred to bring on death and destruction; it was in his genetic makeup. It’s what got his juices flowing. That, and a willing woman to occupy his bed for a few hours, made the days passable. Every. Last. One of them. Some days it was like being on a merry-go-round. Round and round we go, where you stop no one knows. But for him there was no stopping. Just another slash mark on the calendar.

He shouldn’t complain. For the most part life was good. But there was only so much nonsense a man unable to die could take.

True, each century the living arrangements got more enjoyable. He was digging all the modern conveniences, but watching his friends and loved ones die wasn’t something he’d wish on his worst enemy. Well, maybe his worst…

On his way back to the living room, Thorne caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. Six foot five, two hundred and thirty pounds of pure muscle, coal black hair, and a chiseled jaw. Stormy gray eyes stared back at him. They were the eyes of his human mother, who died so long ago, it was hard for him to recall her face or the sound of her voice. His eyes were an ever-present reminder of a woman and a time long since gone. It was because of her that he’d been forsaken by the Gods, forced to remain on earth for eternity. Not only that, but the assholes made him sterile, so he couldn’t even have a family of his own.

His crime? Defying the Gods to be by his mother’s side when she was on her deathbed.

Fuck them.

Given the chance, he’d do it again.

Realizing his fists were clenched, Thorne slowly uncurled his fingers and ran his hands over the dark stubble on his jaw as he continued into the living room. Now was not the time to reminisce. He’d learned long ago to shut out emotions. Looking back at the past prevented one from moving forward.

Today there was a scumbag that needed killing, and he was just the immortal for the job.

His target was human. Some of the guys in The Sicarii wouldn’t touch a hit on a human with a ten-foot pole. Him? He didn’t discriminate. Which of course made his services all the more in demand. Fine by him.

Thorne flicked his wrist to check his Panerai for the time. It was just a little after four, which meant he still had well over two hours to waste.

What to do? What to do? He looked around the expansive apartment and realized he was bored out of his freaking mind.

He might as well grab a cheeseburger at Apotheca. Maybe one of the boys would be around to shoot the shit. He grabbed his leather jacket, shrugged into it and strolled out the door of his penthouse. As he made his way down the hallway towards the elevator, he spotted one of the cleaning ladies heading his way. He shot her a wink. Instantly her face flushed red, and she looked down at the floor.

He had that effect on the ladies. They loved him. And he loved them. Over and over again. So many over the years it was impossible to keep count.

“Come on, Angie. You’ve been with me way too long to act all shy. I know you’re married. Just having a little fun. Make sure you tell Rogers how lucky he is to have you.”

She nodded and hurried down the hallway. After only a few feet down the hall, she turned to get another glimpse. If her face was red before, it was scarlet when she realized he’d noticed. Thorne gave her a little wave and a crooked grin.

The shy ones never really did it for him, although sometimes the reserved ones surprised him and were hellcats in the bedroom. And to be the one to break them out of their shell was quite satisfying.

But for the most part, he left married women alone. Unless they came on to him. That was a whole different ball of wax. Their karma not his. At least, that’s how he justified it in his mind.

He punched the button on the panel to the basement floor. When he stepped inside, he closed his eyes and used one of his many powers to turn off the annoying elevator music. That shit drove him batty. In all his years, it had never changed. Seriously, who the hell thought of finding the most annoying music in existence and blaring it in a contained space? Whoever that fucker was should have been strung up by his toes and forced to listen to the crap. Hey, now, that wasn’t a bad form of torture. Maybe he could use that today with the little weasel he was going to take out. Then again, the pencil neck wasn’t even worth the time or effort.

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