Here is a sneak peak at the opening of Black Rose, which is available now in paperback, hard cover, and ebook! C.A. Michaels’ Books
February, 2015 Moscow, Russia
“Karen, hang on!” Elite Agent Del Maningham yelled out to her.
His eyes widened at her great strength while she held onto the rail of the bottom of the Patriarshy Bridge with one hand. He glanced across to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and said a quick prayer to help them all survive this. Watching her trying to lift herself up, he lunged forward. When he looked back, Sergi Aminov ran toward him and thrust his fist to Del’s nose. As Del’s eyes watered, Sergi continued with the many lefts and rights to his stomach.
“You took her from me, you son of a bitch!” Sergi yelled.
Del held his nose as it bled.
“No, you took her from us! You just couldn’t stand the fact she was with me first,” Del said.
Karen continued her desperate screams for help. “Help, someone, help!”
Elite Agent Jennifer Long ran to the scene with her weapons drawn. As she looked through the scopes on the weapons, she didn’t have a clear shot. Del stood in front of Sergi as he wobbled. But he still held his fists up to try to block the punches from his former best friend, brother.
“Del, back down, let me get him!” Jen yelled.
“No, he’s mine!” Del yelled.
Jen moved left and right trying to aim her pistols at Sergi. Del kept blocking her attempts. It was when Del slightly moved to his left, she had a second opening and she fired both pistols. The bullets sailed through the air and she pounded her foot on the sidewalk of the bridge for missing. She aimed again and another man ran toward the battle with a shotgun in hand.
“I got her brother, shall I take her out?” Pavlov asked.
Sergi glanced over his shoulder and smiled at his younger brother, “Yes, take out Agent Long please!”
Pavlov aimed and fired. Jen went down. Del broke from Sergi’s assault and ran to his partner.
“Tell me you wore it! Come on Jen, tell me you wore it!” Del ripped open her white button down blouse and smiled.
She coughed and slowly rose to face him.
“Man, that was close,” he said.
She reached her fingers into the Kevlar vest and pulled out the shell. As she stared at it, she blinked her eyes. Shaking the images of her death away, she looked up to Del.
“Are you okay, can you finish this?” Del checked.
She coughed again and stared at the shell. But she nodded after a few moments of taking a few deep breaths and pushing away the sting.
The gun shots from Pavlov continued as Sergi raced toward them. Jen saw and nodded to Del. As he stood in front of her, he reached for her pistols that laid nearby. He handed them to her and nodded. She fired as he leaned into her left shoulder. Jen emptied both clips and still missed.
“Damn it. Why won’t these bastards die?” Jen asked.
“Someone, help!” Karen screamed.
Jen looked to Del and he nodded. He helped her up and she ran to the side where Karen barely hung on with one hand. She leaned over as far as she could reach while holding the rail with her feet.
“Come on, reach Karen. Grab my hand!” Jen screamed.
Karen reached her left hand up but her other hand slipped. She looked to Jen with sorrow. Jen understood but she was not going to let her best friend die.
“Come on, you can do it! Grab my hand!” Jen yelled again.
Karen reached for her hand once more. Jen grabbed it, but Karen’s other hand slipped. Jen held onto her other hand.
“I gotcha, come on, I know you’re strong.”
Karen nodded. She pulled her body up. But she looked down at the frozen river.
“No. Come on, you can do it Karen! I’m not going to lose you!” Jen yelled.
One more nod and a look back at the water, she lifted her body up once more. Jen pulled a few more times but Karen was slipping again.
“Help, someone help!” Jen yelled.
Jen felt someone wrap their arms around her shins. She smiled. She knew it was Elite Agent Zander Cole.
“I got you girl. Come on,” Zander said.
He pulled them up but Karen continued slipping.
Behind them, Del continued blocking Sergi’s punches.
“You son of a bitch! You killed my brother! For that, you will pay!” Sergi screamed.
He threw one right and left after another at Del. The agent tried desperately to block. Sergi overpowered him for the most part. However, Del reached down and pulled some inner strength. He swung his leg around and made contact with Sergi’s head. The big man finally went down.
Del looked over at the others. He ran toward them.
“Karen!” Jen screamed.
Jen felt her slipping.
“Let me go Jen. Please, I can’t come back from what that bastard did to me. Please, promise me one thing.”
“Don’t let him do the same to anyone else.”
Jen pulled but the sweat on Karen’s hand didn’t make for a strong grip. She slipped and Jen reached for her but the older agent fell into the icy cold waters. Jen screamed in agony. Tears streamed down her face.
Zander pulled Jen back up as Del met them. He looked out into the water for his love. They all fell onto the side walk near the rail of the bridge. Their sorrow heard throughout the city.