|"Crimson Shadow: Noir" from|
Tiger Dynasty Publishing
Get your copy of "Crimson Shadow: Noir" today and see what the fates have in store for the Odin Clan and Xander Stryker:
~Limited Edition (print & Kindle @ Amazon)
~On Nook @ Barnes&Noble
*inquire in messages for other formats/sources.
"SON OF A FUCKING BITCH!"
The Beretta pitched in Marcus' grip; the echoes of the gunshots resounding off the walls of the mansion's underground shooting range. Several-hundred yards away, a paper target disintegrated under the assault until the ammunition clip had been emptied. Sighing, he ejected the spent clip and set the weapon down on the counter in front of him. The fourth round had done just as much to settle his nerves as the first three: nothing.
"Marcus!" Depok's voice roared and the others' nervous glances moved from Marcus to their leader long enough to bow their heads.
He hadn't even realized how much attention his furious shouts and merciless firing had attracted from the other clan warriors. Turning towards the head of the Odin Clan, he bowed his head. Positive that he was in for a lecture he braced himself only to be surprised to see that Depok was smiling as he approached.
Depok, despite his many years, had the appearance of a well-kept middle-aged man. His grayed hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail that was bound with strips of leather. His golden eyes—now mirroring his bright smile—took Marcus in for a long moment before finally blinking.
When he was close enough he laid a hand on Marcus' shoulder. “You’re troubled.”
It wasn't a question and neither of them treated it as one.
For a short while Marcus stayed quiet, toying with the idea of lying; of maybe going so far as to tell his leader that nothing was wrong. This thought was short lived, however. Lying, of any sort, was incredibly difficult when Depok was involved.
Letting out a heavy sigh, he nodded, opting for the truth:
"It's the Stryker situation." He said, finding the issue easier to address than it should have been. Upon hearing the name, several of the nearby shooters quickly packed their gear and moved away. Marcus couldn't blame them. "I still don't understand why we're waiting!"
Depok took a calculated breath, "Believe me when I say that I'm just as eager as you to bring him in; everybody is. But there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it."
"Oh come on! If Joseph was still alive—"
"If he was still alive he would be just as obligated to follow the oath as the rest of us!" Depok's voice rang with rage both in and outside Marcus' skull.
Marcus, embarrassed by his brashness, lowered his head, “I understand”—he lied—“I'm sorry. I’m just … impatient.”
Depok smiled, "I know. But it will be dealt with when and if the situation calls for it. Like it or not we are bound by our promise."
Marcus lowered his gaze to the floor, "I understand."
Depok stared at him, his face painted with his own irritation, before he gave a slight nod and turned away. "Have some patience." He called out as he left, "Our late comrade's son is not the only one who's at risk from all of this."
Marcus stood, watching the clan's leader leave. Despite the elder's soothing speech, his tension was unrelenting and, though he hated to admit it, he was bored with shooting.
Now he wanted to hit something.
Stepping out, he took the stairs to the upper levels of the mansion and headed towards the gym.
"Depok read you the riot act." Sophie's voice chimed ahead of him.
Marcus rolled his eyes as he passed her, "Were you watching in or are you in my head again?"
His friend stepped away from the wall and fell into a matching pace beside him. "You really should know better than to bring it up." She said, ignoring his question. "The entire clan is already boiling over about it. Still, I think it's bothering him the most."
Marcus rolled his eyes, "Joseph's kid is going to get himself killed and we're just sitting on our hands and hoping that we don't get shit on them."
"Charming," Sophie sneered, "You really should calm down. After all, there's nothing we can do."
"Bull-fucking-shit! The only things holding us back are a few limp-dick laws and a crazy old bitch!"
"We're being 'held back'—as you put it—by a promise!" Sophie said.
"A promise that never should have been made," Marcus grumbled, stepping into the gym.
Sophie sighed, standing in the doorway a moment before following him in and beginning to stretch. "It's really not up to us at this point."
Marcus scoffed and drove his fist into a triple-reinforced sandbag that hung from the ceiling. As the supporting chains creaked he turned towards Sophie. "Can’t we just talk to him? Would it really be so bad if we gave him the choice?"
Sophie stopped stretching and looked at him, "We're not allowed to approach him at all! If she sensed us anywhere near Xander—"
"Yea yea. It'd be a shit-fit. I know." He thought a moment longer and smiled. "But what if she didn’t sense us?"
Sophie leaned forward, a blond eyebrow rising, "You got something in mind?"
"I might,” Marcus smirked, “And I think it's something that even Depok can agree to."