If you’re reading or have finished my novel THE PROFESSIONAL, you might recall Javari, and might wonder what her deal was: What was she doing before she showed up in the story? You’ll find out soon in UNDERCOVER.

An excerpt:




Undercover eBook Cover-250Cancun, Mexico Summer, 1997

“Who are you, DEA?” Candace Milano asked the two men sitting on the other side of her patio table.

The older agent—who’d introduced himself as Edgecombe said, “No Miss Milano, we’re not; not at all.”

Edgecombe reminded her of the actor Jimmy Stewart. He had the same “aw shucks” disposition. He was dressed the part too, like a tourist in a vomit-inducing tropical print shirt and Bermuda shorts exposing tragic fish belly white legs. She wasn’t buying his good guy act.

“Well, you can’t be FBI,” Candace said. “You’d be out of your jurisdiction. CIA?”

Even behind his dark sunglasses she sensed Edgecombe darting a glance at his younger partner, Agent Silva. Silva wore a linen jacket over a tee-shirt and the same dark glasses as his partner. She had a feeling the sunglasses weren’t for protection from the Mexican sun, but because these two preferred being stealthy even when they were out in the light of day.

Silva said, “We’re more covert than that, which is a good thing for you.”

Silva was thin and beige-skinned, and Candace detected the slight remnant of a childhood accent. She was good with dialects, and figured he was the product of Cuban immigrants.

“Because?” she asked.

“Because you’re not safe here,” Silva said.

“I’m fine here. Just because you found me doesn’t mean anyone else will.”

“Well now, we didn’t quite find you,” Edgecombe said. “We were watching back in ’80 when you left New Jersey for Colorado after your testimony in the Penta trial.”

“And we watched you in Colorado,” Silva said, “including while you had a live-in lover for a month.”[1]

Candace knew Silva’s comment was a low blow intended to demonstrate how open her life was to them.

Edgecombe said, “Now that wasn’t a smart move, Candace, contacting Roberta Moretti back home to send you someone to play with. You’re sure lucky that back then we were the only ones watching. You could’ve led them right to you, and then where would you be? You would’ve been in some kind of pickle, that’s where. You probably wouldn’t be sitting here right now in your mighty fine house on the beach in Cancun, watching your daughter having a grand old time playing out there on the beach.”

Candace looked past the agents to the beach, where her fourteen year-old daughter was playing Frisbee catch with a boy from their villa. She wanted to call out to her to come rub on more sunscreen, but not while these guys were around. Her daughter was smart and understood many things about their life, but she didn’t know everything, and Candace didn’t trust what these agents from some as yet undetermined government agency might say in front of her.

“Okay, so you were watching me,” she said. “What do you want now, all these years after the trial?”

“Well Candace, we want to help you,” Edgecombe said. “And believe you me, you really need our help.”

“Why do I need your help?”

“Because the bad boys back home don’t forget. You put a lot of them in jail, you know.”

“Screw them. They killed my husband.”

“Be that as it may, times aren’t like the good old days when you could dye your hair, move one state away and just (here Edgecombe snapped his fingers) disappear. We’ve got all this technology now, technology that opens up our lives to the world. The bad guys have that technology too, and you, dear lady, have been found.”

Silva said, “Since we already knew you were here we were a few steps ahead of them. But those steps are getting shorter. You need to leave here, immediately.”

Out on the beach her daughter screeched. Candace’s heart stalled as her eyes snapped that way. The boy her daughter was playing catch with had fallen in the surf. Her daughter’s screech was only laughter. “Well, thanks for the heads up, boys. I’ll think about it.”

“You don’t have time to think,” Edgecombe said. “And you can’t run on your own. Technology is a leash—a long one, but still a leash. You can only run so far before you run out of rope and it stops you; snatches you right back. You can’t run and hide on your own this time, Candace. You can’t book a flight. You can’t rent a car. You can’t use a credit card to buy a sandwich. If you do, they’ll know, and they’ll know where you are and probably where you’re going.”

“And not just you,” Silva said. They’ll find your daughter, too. And odds are it’ll be the Maldonado cartel, who’ve partnered with the men you helped lock up, that gets to you, because they’re right here.”

“And they’re not nice guys, not bound by certain traditions like the boys back home,” Edgecombe added. “They kill women. They kill children, too.”

From the beach her daughter waved at her. In spite of the heat of the day, Candace felt a chill that made the hairs on her nape prickle. “So you can get us out of here?”

Once again she detected eyes shifting behind dark sunglasses, this time two pairs.

Silva turned in his chair and looked to the beach, to where her daughter sprinted in the surf, sending water spraying as she chased the Frisbee. He said, “She’s an amazing kid: IQ off the charts; speaks Spanish and Portuguese like a native, and isn’t too shabby with French.”

Candace used her anger to tamp down the dark dread suddenly bubbling in the pit of her stomach. “How the hell do you know about my daughter? And why do you know it?”

Ignoring her question, Silva said, “And thanks to her racial…ambiguity…she could pass for just about anybody, from anywhere.”

They knew so much. Too much. “What is this? Who are you people?”

Ignoring her questions, Edgecombe said, “The Maldonado cartel pairing up with organized crime in the States to manufacture, transport and sell narcotics is bad news, real bad news. They need to be stopped. So far we can’t get a handle on anything they’re up to because we can’t get inside. These south-of-the-border boys are bad news because they’re good at what they do. So we need to position somebody inside the cartel, somebody who’ll be part of their organization from their beginnings, not somebody trying to walk in off the street. The cartel won’t go for that, no sir. We need a mole, like we and the Russians used against each other during the Cold War.”

Candace thought she knew then where they were going with this, even though it was so impossibly preposterous she couldn’t make herself accept it before one of them dared utter the words.

“We want to recruit your daughter,” Silva said. “We’ll get you out of Mexico, get you somewhere in Europe with a new identity, but she needs to stay.”

Candace shoved away from the table and shot to her feet. “Get the fuck off my property.”

Edgecombe held up his hands conciliatorily. “Candace, this is a take it or leave it proposition. I know it’s a cruel deal we’re offering, but it’s the only deal we will. Turn it down and inside a week—two at the most—and you and your daughter will be dead.” Edgecombe’s expression changed then, as if he’d slipped off his good guy mask to reveal his true self. His new oily smile said he was someone who not only wasn’t good, but was capable of terrible things. “Well, if your daughter’s lucky they’ll only kill her. She’s a very pretty girl. Young and fresh. Certain types would pay a lot for her, even if the cartel boys used her a little bit first.”

Only that she knew Edgecombe was telling the truth kept Candace from leaping over the patio table to beat the disgusting thought out of his head. “Why would you even come to me with this?” she asked, her voice trembling. Why do you want my little girl?”

Silva said, “Because when the time comes the cartel and the organization are going to vet her. So she’ll need a contact they can verify, someone with irrefutable ties to organized crime whose word is beyond question. Roberta Moretti is your godmother, and great-godmother to your daughter. She’ll vouch for your daughter’s legitimacy.”

Candace shook her head. “For something like this? She won’t agree to do it.”

“She already has,” Edgecombe said. “She loves you both and wants you to stay alive.”




Yuma, Arizona Autumn, 2001

Javari drove the Porsche 911 thirty miles over the speed limit for twenty minutes before a state trooper pulled her over. Then she acted nervous enough to make the cop suspicious. He searched her vehicle and found half a kilo of cocaine under the spare tire. She was arrested, booked, fingerprinted and posed for her mug shot.

Javari-05aShe was eighteen years old so she would be tried as an adult. There would be no question of her guilt, so conviction was a certainty.

Javari knew that in the United States the average sentence for first-offense drug trafficking was three years. She figured since she wasn’t one hundred percent Caucasian, her sentence would be twice that, maybe more. Not that it mattered.

If things went as they were supposed to, a judge would sentence her to serve her time at the state prison in Perryville. There was an inmate there, a woman named Louisa. She would get close to Louisa by whatever method necessary. When she and Louisa were friends and she’d gained her confidence she would reveal to her that the coke she’d been busted for was nothing compared to the quantities she usually moved. She’d tell Louisa that she’d been in the game since she was fifteen, and that the people she worked for were so industrious they provided her with speedboats to transport merchandise between Florida and the Caribbean and along the Gulf Coast.

If things went as planned, two years after her incarceration the warden at Perryville would receive a Federal directive mandating her transfer to a prison in New York as part of a DEA investigation. The directive would be bogus, and once she left Perryville she would be free again.

By then Louisa would have contacted her people in the Maldonado cartel and told them about her and her contacts. At some point after that introductions would be made.

The game would begin.


[1] From The Professional by The Black.


Undercover on Kindle     Undercover on the Nook

The Professional on Kindle     The Professional on the Nook

The Professional 2: The Client List on Kindle     The Professional 2: The Client List on Nook

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Posted on December 4, 2013, in african american, Books, Free Stories, thriller and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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