Excerpt of The Informationist by Taylor Stevens
(Page 6 of 9)
Printer Friendly Excerpt
She didn't move and in a voice laced with confession said, "I might
be taking another assignment."
"It's why I've come back."
Logan studied her. "I'm surprised you're even giving it consideration.
I thought you'd told Kate to turn down all incoming requests."
"You already know what I think," he said. If he was upset, he hid it
well. "If you decide to take it, I'll be there to back you up."
She smiled, reached for his hand, and in his palm placed the medallion.
"It was perfect," she said. "Thanks."
He nodded and with a half grin said, "I'll add it to the collection."
He put his arm around her shoulders. "Come on, let's go."
They exited the office and living area through the back door that
opened to the warehouse and workshop, and halfway to the end of the
building they stopped. Munroe reached into a set of stacked plastic drawers,
retrieving a backpack and a few personal items while Logan let
down a ramp and rolled the Ducati from its storage space.
The bike was sleek black-on-black, a thing of pure beauty, and
Munroe smiled as she ran her fingers over the custom race fairings. "I've
taken good care of her," Logan said. "Took her out for a spin last week
just to make sure everything's tweaked and peaked."
If it were possible to love a machine, Munroe loved this one. It symbolized
power, life broken into split-second intervals, calculated risk.
Few things were capable of providing the same adrenaline rush that the
horses between her legs delivered as they tore down the roads at over
150 miles an hour. The rush had become a form of self-medicating,
a narcotic sweeter than drugs or alcohol, just as addictive and equally
Three years prior she'd totaled the bike's predecessor. Shattered
bones and a head injury had kept her in a hospital for several months,
and when released she'd taken a taxi direct from the hospital to the dealership
to pick up a new machine.
Munroe straddled the bike, sighed, and turned the ignition. She felt
the surge of adrenaline and smiled. This was home: running along a razor's
edge of self-induced terror, calculating mortality against probability.
Assignments were the reprieve. When she was abroad, although she
would do whatever was necessary to get the job done, there was a degree
of normalcy, sanity, purpose, and the destructive forces propelling her to
gamble with her life were dormant.
Munroe nodded a helmeted good-bye to Logan and, with the screaming
whine of the engine, shot forward. Returning home was an eventuality,
but if she planned to stay alive, perhaps not all that smart.
It was early evening when she returned to the hotel. She had spent
the day at the spa, had been soaked and wrapped, peeled and painted;
they had given her back her dignity and femininity, and she had loved
She now wore clothes that hugged her body, accentuating long legs
and model height. Hers was an androgynous figure - boyish, sleek, and
angular - and she walked through the lobby with a sensual stride, subtly
provocative, fully aware of the surreptitious glances coming from the
mostly male guests.
...When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is
The attention amused her, and she took her time.
...I hurt; I am black; astonishment has taken hold...
Now, on her eighth trip back to the United States, each return more
of the same and with anxiety continuing to crest wave upon wave, it was
time to find a distraction. A challenge. A game.
He was in Room 319. But first there was business to attend to. Munroe
glanced at the clock. Breeden would already be waiting.
Six years ago Kate Breeden had a thriving law practice in downtown
Austin and was married, with a daughter in junior high, an
eight-hundred-thousand-dollar home, three luxury cars, and yearly trips
to faraway places. Then came the messy divorce.
Excerpted from The Informationist
by Taylor Stevens. Copyright © 2011 by Taylor Stevens.
Excerpted by permission of Crown. All rights
reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted
without permission in writing from the publisher.