Here is a first chapter preview of the new book, The Divine Devils
Lance Gibson stood outside the sprawling mansion on this cool middle of May morning waiting patiently for the two teenage kids he was assigned to protect. He tapped on his silver watch nervously in rhythm with his pulse rate, as if time would slow down. Worry lined his face, for if they didn’t leave soon, he was going to get the kids to school late, which would set off a chain reaction of anger from their mother. She had read him the riot act several times about punctuality, placing the blame squarely on him. though it was rarely his fault.
When hired the thirty-four-year-old head of security didn’t quite understand, with no experience what it was like dealing with one female seventeen-year-old high school senior and a male fifteen-year-old who was a freshman. Each with their own agenda, neither of which lined up with each other’s or Lance’s, which was to get them to their destination on time and in one piece. Even with a loaded Glock on his hip hidden by his favorite black leather jacket, they had no fear of repercussions, and harsh words couldn’t convince them to move any faster. Which meant they would have to race to the school, opening the possibility of mistakes being made, leading to danger he might not be able to prevent, even with the two other skilled members of his team as back-up.
The son was the first to show up, dressed in brown shorts, high-top sneakers, a defiant t-shirt his parents probably hated, while carrying a bright blue backpack that was overstuffed to the point it was tearing in spots. Deion’s long straightened black hair with crimson streaks, was swept back and held in place by a substance that came out of a spray can, making it look shiny and a bit greasy. In contrast to his brown skin, his right ear sparkled from an earring that may have been a diamond, a statement of his family’s wealth. Though his genealogy said he’d be over six foot someday, the teenage growth spurt had alluded him, and was around 5’4” and a lean one-hundred-twenty pounds. He strolled out without saying a word, his nose buried in his over-sized iPhone as he about ran into Lance, before climbing through the waiting open door into the backseat of the limousine.
Checking his watch again, Lance began heading into the house, when he saw all 5’10” of Olivia coming his way. She was wearing a long black skirt, matching boots with a lot of heel, a red blouse with open shouldered sleeves covering her slender frame. Her straight shoulder length ebony hair, with jade highlights flowed as she walked, covering her ears and hiding the wireless earbuds that were blasting the music she listened to every morning. She had a shiny black purse over one shoulder and gray backpack over the other, her left hand cradling her iPhone lovingly. She strutted like a movie star, smiling as she passed Lance, and joined her brother in the backseat. The three members of the security team took their places, one behind the wheel, the other in the front seat, while Lance sat in the back with the two kids. Reggie the driver headed the limo out and down the winding driveaway from the Colorado Springs foothills-based home.
“Can we stop the music for a minute, so we can go over things?” asked Lance, waving to get the kids attention.
Deion looked up from his iPhone, a frown on his face, while Olivia seemed to ignore him completely, her head slightly bobbing while lip-syncing to the song saturating her eardrums. Lance reached over and swept back her hair and removed one of the headphones.
“Hey,” she bellowed in anger, waving as if swatting a fly bothering her. “The song was getting to my favorite part.”
“Pause the music and listen,” Lance stated firmly. “You know we have to go over what to do.”
She reached down and tapped the pause button. “Why do we have to do this every day?”
Lance handed her the white earpiece. “Because you need to be prepared in case of danger.”
“It has been six weeks since the last incident. I keep telling mom it was just some muggers.”
Lance shook his head, unconvinced by her logic. “Highly unlikely. They showed up and tried to drag you out of the car. When your boyfriend tried to stop them, they beat the crap out of him.”
“He wasn’t my boyfriend,” answered Olivia defiantly.
“Just some guy with his hand up her blouse,” uttered Deion with a snotty smirk.
Olivia turned her head. “How would you know?”
“Word gets out around school,” replied Deion, his nose still buried in his iPhone. “Who knows what else you’d have let him do if you hadn’t been interrupted. I hear the football players won’t go out with you a second time unless they at least get a BJ on the first date.”
Oliva punched him in the arm in a fit of rage. Deion tried to retaliate, but Lance grabbed his wrist, stopping him.
“Enough!” he yelled. “You two need to be there for each other. Do you understand?”
Olivia crossed her arms, putting on her pouting face while mumbling under her breath. It was a reaction Lance had seen many times and wasn’t affected. Even though she was a week from turning eighteen, she still had a lot of growing up to do. His job wasn’t to babysit, but to protect them, though he often wondered if he wasn’t a highly paid nanny.
“You both need to be clear on what to do when danger arises,” stressed Lance, his finger pointing at them. “If you make the wrong move and panic, you’re dead. Is that clear enough?”
He was being a little dramatic for effect. They likely would be taken and not killed, at least not immediately. The threat to them appeared to be real, though for what reason was still a mystery. His job right now was to make sure they remained safe until the police had a better idea of what was going on. Though nothing to date had brought the investigators to any concrete conclusions.
Now that he had their attention, he started going over what to do in case of trouble. The limo was built solidly, with steel reinforcement on the chassis making it bulletproof. The glass resistant to gunfire but could be penetrated with a powerful enough weapon. It was an impressive vehicle but still anyone making an aggressive attempt could get them. Fortunately, it was a short drive to Cheyenne Mountain High School, down Cresta Road—a hilly, winding street that led to the main driveway of the school. Because they were running late, there would be a lot of traffic dropping off students and normally you’d run into a backup of cars coming and going, making for congestion he wanted to avoid.
Lance noticed Deion had a frown on his face, looking at his iPhone screen in disgust.
“My streaming music stopped playing,” he stated out loud. “My phone says, ‘No Service’ for some reason.”
Olivia looked at her phone, confirming what her brother had said.
Pulling out his phone from his inner jacket pocket, Lance unlocked the screen just as they turned onto Cresta Road from Constellation Drive. They only travelled a block, when they were rammed into by a moving, heavy object, halting the limo’s motion as it slid sideways off the street and onto a grass shoulder that dipped downward slightly.
Lance was shaken up, but not too badly, his eyes scanning to see what hit them. A heavy-duty jacked-up pickup truck with large metal grill had plowed into them, now backing up to bar them from going forward. From behind a big dark SUV spun sideways, obstructing the rear, impeding their escape.
Looking at his phone, Lance saw the “No Service” message as well, their attackers likely using cell jammers. He yelled up front to see if his men were awake. Reggie the driver was out cold, but the passenger, George was alert with some bruises and cuts he was shaking off. They needed to act quickly.
“Are you two hurt?” Lance asked of the two kids.
They glared at each other, then both replied they weren’t injured.
“We’ll be getting out,” explained Lance calmly, but with force in his voice. “You know what to do. No matter what, don’t come out unless we use the safe word, despite what you hear. Do you understand?”
He saw fear in their eyes and a bit of panic. It was an emotion he wanted to avoid, though he knew that would be difficult under the circumstances, even for himself.
“It will be OK. Just push the button and get down.”
They both responded affirmatively, and Lance opened the door rolling his toned six foot plus body to the grassy ground, closing it quickly, the lock in place. He had seen men through the one-way rear glass getting out of the SUV, looking heavily armed. The front passenger door opened and out jumped George, his Glock in hand. A man came around the front, a high-powered weapon pointed, and George fired. He hit the assailant in the throat, but the man got off two shots striking George, who clutched his chest before slumping over onto the pavement. Lance checked on him, the eyes open, but he was certainly dead. Lance reacted to noise behind him, firing a rushed round, missing the mark, before getting hit in the right shoulder, the force knocking him to the ground. He attempted to roll away, hoping to switch his gun to his other hand but couldn’t, stopped by a sun blocking big man, a large AR-15 pointed at Lance.
“Slide the gun over,” ordered the big man dressed all in black, his voice deep and raspy, face covered under his black hood.
Lance knew he was out gunned, seeing two other men with weapons, their faces covered. He pushed the gun away as best he could with his injured limb.
“We want the kids,” demanded the big man after pocketing the Glock. “Tell them it’s safe and to open the door.”
While clutching at his bleeding shoulder, Lance shook his head, pride and toughness preventing him from giving up the kids. He was holding out, hoping to buy time until the police arrived.
“The limo is a decoy,” Lance announced, trying to sound convincing through the pain. “They aren’t with us.”
“We know better. Call out to them or I take out a knee!”
“It can’t hurt much more than the shoulder,” stated Lance through the agony.
“So be it…”
The man fired the gun, striking Lance above the left knee, the scream echoing off the limo, the agony meter rising, despite what he’d hoped. He cursed at the man, his left hand now clutching the knee, but he held fast in defiance.
“Tough and stupid,” commented the big man. “But not worth killing you for.” He turned to his other men. “Pry it open.”
From behind him, came one of the men with a large pry bar. He jammed it into the gap and after a few tries got the door open. He looked inside but didn’t find anyone. The kids were nowhere to be found.
“Where the fuck are they!” yelled the big man.
Lying there motionless, the big man kicked at Lance, finding him passed out from the pain, not able to answer. Could it really have been a decoy? Was their inside information wrong?
“Check the trunk,” ordered the big man.
It didn’t take much to open it, but still nothing was inside but a spare tire and a toolbox. In the background sirens could be heard.
“Fuck,” uttered the big man. “Let’s get out of here. Grab our man and blow the truck.”
One of the men grabbed their dead team member and tossed him unceremoniously into the back of the SUV. The rest of the men loaded into the SUV, a second team member with a remote in hand. They drove off quickly, when the large truck they had used for the ramming, exploded into flames, blocking the road on all sides, sending debris everywhere. Their escape path had been mapped out and they disappeared down backroads before two Colorado Springs patrol cars arrived. A shocking moment in what was normally a quiet, crime free area of the city. But today violence had reached out and grabbed them, leaving a war zone of debris and bodies.