Chapter 1: Breaking Free

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Adult Romance  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Reads: 423
Comments: 2

CHAPTER ONE: Breaking Free

Emily Russell chuckled to herself as she picked up a Smithsonian magazine at a newsstand.  “Fresh meat.”

“What was that?”  The cute light-skinned black guy reminded her of an Island boy she used to know.  With his curly Afro hair reaching down to his wide shoulders, he blinked bushy lashes around soft brown eyes from where he stood behind the cash register of the mini-mart.

“Oh, nothing.”  Emily put the magazine back because she saw out of the corner of her eye a spotter.  Young and green, he appeared on his first assignment.  It was obvious who the spook was as well as who sent him.  Emily proceeded out the arrival gate dragging her carry-on behind her.  She noted how the young man in the navy-blue suit paralleled her movements. 

While she gave him the slip in a sea of people newly arrived, the moment she stepped out of Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) airport, she acquired a tail.  Emily did not care about them since she took the usual precautions.  A decent wig.  Hat.  Contacts.  Sunglasses.  A comfortable Alani dress reached her ankles with a wrap sweater and clogs. 

Her identity was all her own and not used on any of her travel documents today.  Emily learned early never trust anyone, but herself with that like Maven taught her when conducting business.  Many moons ago, when moonlighting as a freelance covert operative, her mentor chose the code name Raven for her.  Feeling that it suited her because she had a fondness for Edgar Allan Poe, Emily continued its use since a new life led with her mentor deserved a new name to commemorate it. 

Dealing with Feds could be tricky, though.  All of them operated under their own agenda chiefly, where the CIA Handler was concerned.  The fact that Emily had an unmarked U.S. government vehicle, a black Chevy Impala following her, lent proof to that.  The driver of the car attempted to be inconspicuous by lagging two cars behind but failed terribly. 

When Emily’s limo she rented for the day wove in and out of traffic along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway toward Washington, D.C., the Feds followed right behind her.  Emily was confident the tail reported to the CIA Handler her every move since her return to the area.  In truth, she made it no secret when and where she would arrive, assuring the CIA Handler she had nothing to hide.  Maven’s alleged disappearance was strange but not as much as the Feds seeking him so heatedly.  Not a good thing for either of them.

The game wore a little thin.  The time to ditch her companions was at hand once Emily reached the safe house.  She sometimes shared it with Maven in the West End of the District.  Besides, Emily wanted to find Maven first.  She had no intention of showing the Handler every secret place she knew of that belong to her mentor or where he might be holed up for some reason.  That meant she needed new wheels to continue her investigation. 

Unbeknownst to her tail, Emily walked passed the Fed’s car with the two suits staring at the entrance of the apartment building she entered 30 minutes ago.  Neither recognized that she altered her appearance to a new short wig, skinny jeans, and leather jacket with her backpack slung over her shoulder instead of pulled behind her.  Down the street, Emily hailed a cab with a new grin giving an address for the storage facility where her things were kept whenever she visited the Nation’s Capital. 

Her mobile burner phone buzzed with a new message the moment Emily turned it on.  Her smile widened at the text she read:  N E luck?

Emily texted back:  2 early 2 tell.

CIA Handler:  Stay on it.

Roger that – she texted with a sigh and leaned back while enjoying the ride.  Emily turned off the phone.  She recalled the first time she heard from the CIA Handler concerning Maven.  Coupled with the worst timing in the world, the Handler never brought good news.

The CIA Handler called from a burner number in the District of Columbia.  Emily recognized the 202 area code that illuminated in the dark of the hotel nightstand, where she left the burner phone and her purse.  She knew that she should have left the damn thing behind.  However, out of habit Emily always carried one, switched it out every three months or so, and for some reason stayed in contact with the Handler.  She checked in by giving the updated phone number in case some work came her way, stirring Emily's interest and keeping her skills sharp.

The stud beneath her, distracted Emily's thoughts from the phone while he clutched her waist.  With force, he aimed Emily into his wanton thrusts.  "Ahhhh!" she groaned, tilting her head back. 

Now was not the time for the bad timing buzz kill the CIA Handler dealt her.  Right now, the Nameless One beneath her offered what Emily needed.  She wanted to be numb or giddy with pleasure.  A bit of both would have been perfect with the number of cocktails she had sloshing within her.

Her breakup with David was brutal.  No amount of Cuervo could ease that burning disaster.  The shocked hurt on his cute Puerto Rican face when she told him goodbye broke her heart.  Emily wanted to erase it from memory.  There was only one way to do it successfully.  To get over someone, she would need to get under another.

How could Emily be such a cruel bitch?  What the hell was wrong with her?  A good guy loved her and would have given anything to make her happy.  He bent on one knee in Times Square and asked to marry her with tears of hope in his eyes.  Why couldn’t she accept that David Lamboi wanted forever with lots of kids?  Why couldn’t she be like every other normal woman on the planet and take the love he desperately sought to give her? 

That was just it.  Emily wasn’t just any woman.  That kind of life never appealed to her.  As she knew she would, she crushed David's heart and all his dreams of them together building a family.

“Ahhh!” Emily panted each time the Nameless One grunted beneath her, and their flesh collided in a union of sweet pain.  The dim light from the fire in the fireplace beside the bed shown his sweat-glistened body tense with his flexing muscles in his effort to keep up with her rapid humping.  “Harder, you bastard!” Emily shouted angrily as she slapped his cheek, “Now!”

He moaned a curse.  “Baby!” he shouted in his excitement of the wildest lay of his life. Each of his thrusts up to meet her came faster and harder than before. 

Emily gripped his muscular thighs with his clapping effort to shove his length inside her.  Tears flowed from her eyes, not because the pleasure this man gave was incredible.  It was everything she hoped it would be.  From the moment she met him on the dance floor of Cielo three hours earlier, she ground on him all night.  Working him into a fine frenzy, he demanded to have her there if she would allow it. 

Emily was not a whore or at least, so she liked to believe when not otherwise doing an odd job for the federal government.  However, the fine Champagne Taittinger the young thing bought her had a way of lowering her inhibitions in a hurry.  Her panties had done the same when she took them off on the dance floor and threw them at him.  She left him watching her strut out of the club.  Emily didn’t have to wait long for him to flow like a dog in heat.  By the time she hailed a cab, her puppy happily climbed in after her while sniffing her silk panties like they were a drug. 

So, if she would have the Nameless One built like one of the extras of the 300 movies, tall, short dark hair, blue eyes, she decided her hotel suite, and in particular, her king-size bed deserved a workout.  Her instincts were right about everything concerning the puppy.  He touched her everywhere; possessed her body completely.  She loved this young man’s lust!  His vigor.  When that gorgeous member jammed into her with an urgent need, no skill was necessary for the rawness of her cravings.  She held enough for both of them. 

Emily made sure the Nameless One understood that he was hers how ever she chose to have him.  She controlled the depth he went.  Emily dictated when he came and how often she reached orgasm.  The latter was a lot before she tired herself.  He yielded to her, and she rewarded him well.

His length compelled her to sever the last of her ties to her old life in New York.  Each grind marked Emily’s final send-off.  The supreme hard goodbye.  Her body ached for release from the pain and strain of what she was no matter how she would pretend to be different or run from it.  Emily plowed the Nameless One until sweat dripped along her body, mingling with his.  Emily’s long damp hair plastered to her face.  Her appetite ran ravenous to the point of gluttony and nowhere close to satiated.

Hours coasted by as he strove for control that slipped away.  The Nameless One begged while catching his breath with his hands on her beautiful ass, “Please, baby!  Oh, God!  Please let me come!”

Fighting through her orgasm during the performance of her reverse cowgirl, Emily eased the tug of his sensitive sack, trying to seize up into his body.  At last, she let it go so that he could roll his eyes back in the relief at the finally allowing the fluid building jet inside her warm confines as he convulsed.  Emily cried out in her victory.  She was free. 

Dismounting to the side of him, panting with her tears of emptiness, she trembled in the aftermath of her physical high.  He rolled near, kissing her neck and then soundly fell asleep with his chin against her shoulder and arm draped over her middle.  Emily shoved him away on to his back and curled on her side away from him with the sheet wrapped around her.  She never felt so cold after purging before.  Already the memory of her pleasure satiated, faded, and regret sank into her bones in its place.  Wasn’t that ultimately what she desired more than love?  Freedom to rule her heart again and her body?

Shutting her eyes, Emily calmed her mind by starting with her breathing by moderate intakes.  She always flew in this pattern.  When things got too heavy in a relationship, she fled for the hills.  Commitment made Emily feel like she couldn’t breathe.  She needed space to be. 

David’s love smothered her, putting demands on her she could never live with long-term.  But, the alternative was liberating?  Sleeping with strangers who didn’t know her and didn’t want to?  All they desired was the physical gratification without a soul.  Could a fabulous screw make her forget even for a moment what she built with David?  Comfort and stability?  Respect and love?  What about Austin before him or Jason before him? 

With each man, it had been the same way.  While she loved them, Emily did not love them enough to stay.  She threw what they had away as if it meant nothing, another stamp in her passport of life.  Emily trampled on their hearts and destroyed what they built together.  For what?  So she could come and go as she pleased because she could not stand to be owned by anyone?  That gold ring meant nothing but bondage, and it terrified her.

Another buzzing sounded announcing a new text.  She peeled her eyes open while her flesh cooled after being so well appeased by the Nameless One in her bed, snoring softly.  Emily reached for the buzzing phone and picked it up. 

Irritable because the cusp of sleep hovered close, she groaned, “Good God, what do you want?”

Pressing a button, Emily unlocked the phone, and she swiped the screen to see the text message in her inbox. 

Bird of death. 

Her eyes widened as she sat up and rubbed them.  It was she then and not some telemarketer or robo-caller.  Terrific.  Emily reread the text, knowing it had not changed.  She switched the view on the phone to the keyboard and typed on the screen her reply:  Raven.

Thirty seconds later, the same number buzzed on her phone in a call.  Clenching her jaw, she knew what it meant.  The CIA Handler needed something…badly to call twice.  Not her style typically.  If she didn’t get you the first time, she moved on to someone else on her list of assassins. 

Emily dared not look at the time of day.  It would only upset her how early it was without a shot of Cuervo in her hand.  She fell asleep, dammit, even if it was for eight minutes!  The fire burnt to embers in the fireplace when hours ago high flames consumed it as bright as her lust for the Nameless One. 

After the breakup with David, Emily found sleeping a hard thing.  The only medicine she discovered for her insomnia was rough sex with a hot young guy.  Good thing Manhattan suffered no shortage of them.  Much better than any over the counter remedy out there for sure.

“What?” Emily snapped groggily at the phone.

“Is that any way to greet an old friend?” the CIA Handler witch inquired with frigidness dripping at her every word. 

Emily never liked her, and the feeling was mutual.  Both once held very similar relationships with Maven.  Emily walked away of her own free will.  Jane Smith, a CIA agent in black ops whose real name was Vera Clapton born and raised in Niles, Michigan couldn’t.  Maven had the woman wrapped up in some twisted game for his amusement or to pass the time.  The result turned out the same.  The witch could not break free of him.

Emily affectionately called her Cobra because the CIA Handler had a way of biting you.  At least, so she observed in her attempt to get to know Jane Smith better during the early years.  Emily saw that in Maven’s case, Cobra liked to meet in one of her favorite hotels like the J.W. Marriott.  She appreciated her trysts kinky, and Maven accommodated when the mood struck him, which lessened over the years.  Frankly, Emily never understood what Maven saw in the woman.  Too clingy.

Nothing the cold witch could want regarding Emily would be good.  It never was.  Cobra seemed somewhat jealous of Emily’s special relationship with Maven.  No one else ever managed to get closer than Emily to him and live.

“I’m busy, Jane.  What do you want?”

“Is he with you?”

Already Emily imagined the woman bared her long fangs desiring a bite she would never get.  “Who?” she asked coyly because there was only one person Cobra dared pursue.  Certainly not the Nameless One who was a college student at NYU and son of some wealthy stockbroker on Wall Street or at least, so he boasted when they met.  Emily had no doubt he was some trust fund baby the way he spent his cash at the VIP lounge.

“Maven.  Where is he, damn you?!”

“Not with me.”  Emily ran her hand over her tangle of hair, understanding two things.  One, that Cobra was desperate, and that was dangerous.  Two that Cobra had no clue where Maven was.

Emily glanced beside her at the hunky man-flesh on his back with barely a sheet covering the expanse of muscular youth.  The Nameless One slept deeply.  Emily envied the ease of his regular breathing and wanted to join him.  Sighing, she stood up and allowed the sheet to fall away from her nakedness. 

Boldly, Emily walked barefoot to the balcony.  No time to waste, she moved in silence to distance herself from her careless companion for the night.  The chill in the air did not bother her.  Nothing much did.  As David told her a week ago, when she left him, her heart was colder than an arctic winter.  Perhaps that wasn’t too far from the truth.

Emily shut the French door behind her because this conversation she wanted in private. Turning back upon the balcony high above the city streets, she approached the night illuminated by the bright lights and noise of a city alive like the beast within.  A city that never slept.  One that could only be New York for there was no beast like it in all the world.  The easiest of those to lose your soul to besides Vegas, of course.  Both had their allure. 

“Why ask me, Jane?” Emily inquired after the long pause where neither of them spoke.

Cobra sighed at length, inhaled a drag from a cigarette maybe because Emily heard the sizzle as the stick burned.  The Handler breathed out, and then said after she cursed under her breath, “Maven took an assignment but failed to complete it.”

Emily’s mouth dropped open.  She gripped the stone ledge with her free hand when she faulted a step.  “He never fails,” Emily whispered in shock. 

Her mentor was cautious.  Mistakes like failing to complete a job were not done in the whole 25 years the man operated as a premier hitman.  Maven had a contingency plan for everything he did, no matter how mundane the detail.  And even that plan had a damn plan.  Furthermore, once a contract was taken, Maven completed it.  Every time.  To hear that her mentor failed in doing something he set out to do was simply unheard of. 

“I have proof.”

“No way.  Can’t be.  Must be some mistake.”

“The target lives.  As a result, dozens more died.  Where is he, Raven?  I had to give him up as the cause of the collateral damage.  Replacements were ordered, and now he’s on the hit list.”

Emily shook her head and broke her nails that gripped the stone ledge without a flinch.  She did not feel it.  “I don’t know.”

“Are you sure?  Don’t play with me.  I know how closely you’ve worked in the past.”

She stood straight as a bit of anger ran through her.  “Yes, in the past.  Not now.” Emily clipped.

“And he hasn’t reached out to you at all?”

“No.”  Emily knew that it might have been years since last they had a conversation.  However, she was always careful in what she told this woman she didn’t trust.

“Hmmm…what was he working on?  I know he did freelance.  For whom?  It didn’t interfere with my work before, so I didn’t care.  Obviously not anymore because it has caused ripples impossible to see yet.”

“I don’t know.”  Emily ran her hand over her head, shaken by this development.  “What about the job Maven didn’t—”

Cobra cut her off, “No, it’s already handled, but I do have another mission for you that is critical due to your master’s failure.  You do this for me, and we may stay clear of the fallout over this.”

“Send me the dossier, but I’ll get to the bottom of Maven’s disappearance.”

“If I don’t first.  More to come on that.  Regardless, make sure you’re ready.”  Cobra ended the call.

Emily imagined her charmed life in New York was over.  However, moving on might have been in order anyway.  She stayed too long and became too complacent.  A change of scenery could give Emily a differing perspective.  It remained the best secondary way to purge her old life and embark on something new, no matter how painful.

Submitted: April 12, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Amy F. Turner. All rights reserved.


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Add Your Comments:



THIS Emily is a chef and restaurant owner? I think I vaguely remember her from book one and I certainly remember Maven. I don't recall David or her other list of men, so I didn't make it that far. Just guessing at nomenclature, a CIA handler is like a middleman working between a 'private sector agent' and the CIA? This would be Cobra?

Not that it matters, but did Emily and Maven have a 'thing' going on...a sexual thing? Or was it strictly business with a bit of a distant crush. From what I can recall (and also Cobra's assertions) I'd say Emily held a certain degree of affection for the man, regardless of his elusiveness. She sounds pretty sexually insatiable as well, though she doesn't bother with names too much. It's funny she would know so much about this NYU kid otherwise...his father's occupation and the like. I do kind of remember this story has a lot of hotel sex in upscale establishments...with balconies. Seems like that's how the first book started.

So, it's obvious that Emily is concerned about Maven. Based on the first few paragraphs, it was her intention to track him down when she came to NY, despite the fact that she suggested otherwise to the CIA. It sounds like Emily and the CIA have a somewhat adversarial relationship despite the fact that she does some work on their behalf. I wonder what drives her to do that? The same thing that keeps her dancing from one eligible bachelor to the next, I suppose.

As a side note, and speaking of chefs who work for the CIA, I read that Julia Child (The French Chef) worked for the Office of Strategic Services for two years during WWII - the organization which later became the CIA. She was listed on a Web report about spy celebrities.

Mon, April 13th, 2020 5:16am


Emily was not in the other book "Dangerous Play." Maven definitely was. As I mentioned previously, you don't need to read that story to enjoy this one other than some tidbits bleed from that story. Those who read "Dangerous Play" will pick up on those subtleties like an Easter egg. "Games We Play" continues on from that universe with a few characters from the other story. However, rest assured there is no need to puzzle over what you remember or don't. A lot here will be new as this story functions as a "spin-off" and wholly its own entity.
Your assessment of Emily is correct in relation to Maven. She does hold something for her mentor that was "more". She clues us into some of why that is but not all. Emily is complicated, as is her life, no matter how simple she would make it. She does like to "moonlight" in other areas that interest her which will become more clear as we learn more about her.
I've heard about celebrity spies before, which I find fascinating. When at war it makes sense that recruitment for intelligence would come from everywhere. Perhaps, Julia and Emily have a lot in common.

Mon, April 13th, 2020 3:29am

The Paladin

Wow! You and I writing about two different Ravens at the same time! Maybe we have a mental connection.

My thoughts are Maven is gone for good, right? Maybe he was disposed of like the guy in the car in Goldfinger.

God I wish I look like Sean Connery now as he did back then!

Sorry. Getting off track. Wonder what this new assignment will be.

I think it’s a hoot that Maven was doing both of them. Or did I read it wrong?

Wed, January 27th, 2021 9:31pm


Hmmm, I've been told that I am mental in many ways. Not all good though, lol.

M could be at this point. Have to read the other story to know for sure, but the evidence found isn't good. R would know best considering she knows him so well.

Sean was a tall drink of water no matter the age. I did so enjoy watching him on the screen no matter what he was doing.

M was a hoot alright in how he liked to play with fire concerning his acolyte and his boss. Both were liable to burn him. R was probably better off, but Cobra who knows. R's has not seen M in years but did keep tabs on him.

Wed, January 27th, 2021 11:01pm

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