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Chapter One ~ Under His Protection ~ KC Rice

They killed his brother. They stole a piece of his life and got away with it.
Antonio “Parker” Denoti has dedicated his life to bringing down the man responsible, Mano Torret, the boss of one of Chicago’s most notorious crime families.
His only hope lies with Cashenna Ramsey, a beautiful young woman- unwittingly sucked into Torret’s web of deception and crime- who agrees to testify against him. Now Parker must keep her alive long enough to take the stand.
Cashenna is taken into protective custody and whisked away to a secret location. Under Parker’s protection, he was certain she was safe. But when he arrives at the safehouse, he finds nothing but bloodshed and bodies.
His team is dead, and his witness - missing.

Chapter One

“WE’VE FINALLY GOT THE son of a bitch!” Parker leaned back in his chair and clasped his fingers behind his head, the weight of the world was finally lifting from his shoulders. Mano Torret was the scumbag who’d brutally murdered Parker’s younger brother. Not to mention all his dirty dealings and blackmails that ended up causing the end of peace between two of Chicago’s notorious crime families. Hell, he couldn’t count the number of people Torret had been responsible for murdering. The disappearances, the robberies and daily shipment of contraband that he smuggled into the country, was never-ending. Sitting back up in his chair, he thumbed through the case file open on his desk. The endless photos of bodies found throughout the years. The brutality and gut-wrenching. The numerous times he was confident they had what they needed to put the S.O.B. behind bars for life, only to see him walk, time and time again. But not this time! He ran his finger along the last entry of the file.... Cashenna Ramsey: Auburn hair-brown eyes. Female Caucasian Age 28 5’8” 147 lbs. Identifying Marks: An intricate tattoo of interlocking hearts location, lower right hip. He picked up the photograph attached to the file and studied it. The photo was of two beautiful redheads. One of them was Brianna Ramsey, the other Cashenna Ramsey. Sisters and identical twins. He studied both faces carefully; their height, built, body structure and stance but, couldn’t see any difference. How the hell their parents could ever tell them apart, he wasn’t sure. More proof God enjoyed fucking with mankind, creating two beautiful, flawless specimens. Parker was anxious to meet with the young lady. She was the vital link in nailing Torret’s ass to the wall. So far, he’d managed to keep her identity and location top secret and had chosen the best safe house he could find to keep her in. Only three of his top men knew of its location, and they were there now, ensuring her safety. Flipping the file closed, he tapped the file with his index finger before placing it in the top drawer of his desk to lock it safely away. He was tired, and he knew it. This case had taken its toll on him, his exhaustion was evident in the lines and dark circles around his eyes. Slowly, he stood up and made his way to the door.
THE STREETS OF CHICAGO were dark and gloomy. The only illumination was the occasional street lamp. Dingy and darkened by the thick smog, the lights did very little to help one to see where they were going. Unless you knew this part of town, you were sure to get lost in the night. An SUV cruised down the street unnoticed, its dark color blended well with the night. It slowed and turned off the road and onto a gravel driveway lined with trees on either side. The driver turned off the headlights and focused on the trees keeping the SUV between the rows. The world around them, silent as the vehicle crept along with only the sound of crunching gravel under the tires.
Each of the occupants of the vehicle sat silently, thinking what their job was once they reach their destination. Get In.... Kill.... Leave no survivors. Get out....
The constant ringing of his cell phone had woken Parker up from a dead sleep. “Hello!” He answered gruffly, annoyed at being woken. The commotion coming through the phone made his heart race. It sounded as though a war was going on. Instantly jarring him wide awake. His eyes popped open, and he launched himself out of bed. The sound of gunfire and shouting continued over the phone while he struggled to hear and understand the frantic female voice on the other end. Shoving his feet into his boots, he grabbed his holstered pistol off the bedside table and fastened it to his waistband on the way out of the door to his truck. Putting his phone on speaker, he dropped it on the seat beside him as he peeled out of the parking lot, heading for the safe house. His heart beat erratically as his intuition told him what was happening. Desperate to ensure she survived the raging war surrounding her. He yells into the phone “LISTEN TO ME, DAMN IT!” But the crying and hysterical incoherent babble continued to spill from the phone. In frustration, he rubbed at the smooth skin of his head while his mind raced through one scenario after another. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. “RUN!” He screamed at her.
“Get out of there and get away. Do you understand? I’m almost there.” He shouted at her again unsure if she understood him or even heard him over the sound of gunfire and her own hysterical crying. The echo of gunfire sent his stomach straight to his throat as he sped through the early morning streets. Suddenly, her blood-curdling scream pierced his ears turning his blood to ice. The choppy sounds of her breathing no longer coming through the phone. The gunfire ceased, and silence consumed the cab. He felt as though he’d just been gutted when the line went dead. His thoughts started to run wild as he ran through every possible scenario. “DAMN IT!” He shouted at himself and slammed his fist down onto the steering wheel. “I won’t let that son of a bitch walk again. I’ll kill the mother fucker first.” Off in the distance, the sun’s first rays brought fingers of light that mixed with the black smoke billowing into the sky from the fire. The rear of the truck fish-tails on the gravel as he swung into the driveway and slammed on the brakes a short distance from the safe house. Only four people knew about this place, so how the hell did Torret find out about it? Quickly surveying the area around him, he pulled his gun from the holster and slowly got out of the truck and looked around. The smell of hot blood, burning flesh, wood smoke, and death permeate his nostrils, causing them to burn. Coughing from the smoke as he moved closer. The door of the cabin hung from one hinge. Smoke billowing out the broken glass of the windows. He rushed up the steps and tried to see through the flames. The heat was so intense he could feel it starting to singe his beard. Amidst the crackle and popping of the flames, he thought he heard coughing from somewhere inside. Straining to hear he heard the coughing again. There was someone inside, and they were still alive! Without a thought, he tucked his gun away into the holster and leaped through the door into the inferno using his arms to shield his face. The flames licked at him when he crossed the threshold, and he could hear the timbers as they began to creak and bow. Parker knew he only had a matter of seconds before the cabin walls and roof would collapse in on him. He covered his mouth with his shirt collar and followed the sound of coughing. His foot had hit something, and a hand grasped weakly at his ankle. Kneeling, he could barely make out the ash covered face of his best friend, Von.
He lifted him over his shoulder into a fireman’s carry and retreated out the door just as the walls began to sag in. The few remaining windows exploded, sending glass and embers, flying in every direction. The walls and roof collapsed, and the building crumbled into a fiery heap of rubble. A falling piece of wall had knocked him from his feet just as he cleared the door. The smoky heat and the burn in his eyes as he fell.... The pain of the gravel biting into his arms and knees as the ground outside rushed up to meet him as he tried desperately to shield Von from the impact.

Copyrighted By K.C Rice

About the Author

K.C considers herself “Just a simple country girl with the best readers in the world”.

Born and raised in Frankfort, KY. A wife, mom and Nana. She first started sharing her talents with the world one canvas at a time. She says the scents of oil paints and mineral spirits early in the morning, are as calming to her as a Mimosa. Getting lost in her thoughts, she allows the paints and brush to tell the story. Though she has sold many of her paintings, she says her greatest reward is the look on the recipients face when she gives one as a gift.

Just recently she began sharing her imagination in creative writing, enjoying putting to print the characters and their thoughts. Her preferred genres: Romance, Suspense and Mystery.

She is the proud author of six published books,three of which are the new sensation, Tattered Series, carrying numerous five star reviews. Ask K what drives her, and she’ll reply,”If I can help just one person escape the hum drum of life through my stories, even if for a short time….. Well I guess I’ve been successful”.

Find K.C.

1 comment

KC Rice ~Author-Pure Romance said...

Thank you so much for your support!
I must say I experienced many emotions writing #UHP. In the shadows lurks a different powerful enemy... unfortunately one that hits close to home for many, including me. My son's childhood best friend lost his life to this enemy as have many others. The pain and anger that courses through my heart was the very reason I wrote about it. I wanted to educate, I wanted to feel the pain one last time and finally let it go through my words.
One reader described UHP as a roller coaster of emotions. So, sit back, fasten your seat belts and hold on.

Much Love,