Authors: Christopher Smith
Tags: #Fiction, #Mystery, #Retail, #Suspense
To Manhattan…with love
These books are
part of the “Fifth Avenue” series.
All are stand-alone books.
They include “Fifth Avenue,” “Running of the Bulls,” “From Manhattan
with Love,” “A Rush to Violence,” and “From Manhattan with Revenge.”
Coming soon in the series is the
thriller, “Park Avenue.”
All books have been
overall Top-100 best-selling thrillers in the United States and in Europe.
Copyright and Legal
Notice: This publication is protected under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and
all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws, and all
rights are reserved, including resale rights.
service marks, product names or named features are assumed to be the property
of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no
implied endorsement if we use one of these terms. No part of this book may be
reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including
photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission
in writing from the author.
First ebook edition
permissions, please contact the author at:
This is a work of
fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead (unless explicitly noted) is
merely coincidental. Copyright © 2012 Christopher Smith. All rights reserved
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For their help with
this book, the author is particularly grateful to Erich Kaiser, his parents
Ross Smith and Ann Smith, Margaret Nagle, Brandi Doane, literary agent Matt
Bialer, the team at Odyl, his friends at the
Bangor Daily News
and at UMaine, Sandy Phippen, Debra McCann, Diane
Cormier, Lisa Smith, Jon McCann, Jennifer McCann, and his amazing accountant
and financial advisor, Jaime Berube. To all of you, I appreciate it.
The author also
would like to thank his readers, who are the lifeblood of his work. Thank you
for your patience and your incredible support. You are the first and last
reason for every early morning and late night. I’ll see you on
The author also
would like to thank the Amazon team; his friends, Ted Adams and Bari Khan, for
exposing him to the darker side of Manhattan, even if they didn’t know they
were doing so at the time; to those other unnamed men and women who introduced
the author to the real Manhattan while he researched this book; and to friends,
old and new, all of whom either helped to shape this book or who offered
support as it was written.
FROM MANHATTAN WITH LOVE
MANHATTAN WITH REVENGE
by Christopher Smith
Gragera stabbed the heart of her steak with a knife and looked across the table
at the man she was hired to assassinate.
were having dinner at an out-of-the-way restaurant on the Upper East Side not
far from the Park and as she watched him eat, she wasn’t thinking how she would
kill him, but if she could kill him.
contract she agreed upon was specific:
Kill Alex Williams by nine o’clock.
Make it quick but don’t make it clean.
The press tended to pay little attention
to a clean murder.
What they wanted
was something messy and salacious, particularly when they were dealing with a
man as infamous to the FBI as Williams was.
was finished with him, she was to take a cab to LaGuardia and fly back to Paris
on the red eye.
If she came through
with the kill, the remaining half of her payment would be wired to her account
o’clock was ninety minutes away.
looked down at her steak, which was so rare, a pool of brownish-red juices had
formed around it.
She picked at it
while weighing her options, of which there were two.
could kill him.
dollars was a lot to leave on the table simply because she’d broken her own
rules and made the mistake of falling for him.
could let him go and say that when she went to take him down, he escaped.
They’d be furious with her, but since
they knew what he was capable of, there was no reason for them to question her.
trouble with this scenario is that she’d never work for them again, which would
hurt her financially because they hired her often and they paid her well.
But even worse than this is what she
knew they’d do.
They’d bypass her
and hire someone else to kill him.
It was a no-win situation.
Either way, he’d die.
reached for his glass of wine and looked up at her.
“What are you thinking about?” he
“You’ve barely touched your
Is it alright?”
aren’t you eating?”
as hungry as I thought I was.”
on,” he said.
“It’s our last night
You’ve got to eat
The food they’re going
to serve you on the plane will be shit compared to this.”
screwed up his face at her.
You look upset.”
We’ll work together
It might be a few months or
a few years, but it’ll happen.”
read her mind?
what happened last night doesn’t have to be the last time.
In fact, I’d prefer if it wasn’t.”
Williams was thirty-eight, former Marine, stood six-foot-two, had a thick head
of dark wavy hair and was as masculine as they came.
Like her, he was a stone killer, an
international assassin she considered among the best and the brightest.
years, they had joined forces on several jobs, but this last one was their
best, most challenging collaboration because of the high degree of difficulty
involved in pulling it off.
formidable odds, they’d taken out the head of a major corporation, which was
tricky because the man was a paranoid billionaire who had round-the-clock
Getting through them and
to their target had taken six weeks of patience and planning.
But last night they got him and today
their work was national news.
is, yesterday they also did something else.
For the first time since they’d known
each other, they made love, which Carmen now regretted.
She never crossed that line with her
But when Alex came out
of his bedroom with a bottle of wine to celebrate their kill, they drank it on
empty stomachs and gave into the sexual tension that always had been between
we made a mistake yesterday,” she said.
off a piece of his own steak and popped it in his mouth while looking at
screws everything up.”
doesn’t have to.
We’d be lying if we said there wasn’t a
mutual attraction between us.
always has been.
I don’t regret it.”
get involved with anyone I work with.”
you can’t say that anymore.”
prefer the occasional one-night stand.”
It sounded like a lie when she said it and he caught it.
The truth was that she rarely had sex.
She couldn’t remember how long it had
Our jobs take us
There’s always the
chance that we might not see each other again.”
We’re not always
There’s no reason why we
can’t take a few days off to meet up wherever we’re closest, whether it’s here
or in some other corner of the world.”
were in her lap.
She diverted her
eyes from him and, while shaking her head at his comment, she casually glanced
down at her watch.
seventy-five minutes to make a decision.
She wasn’t sure what she should do.
table beside them a couple was leaning into the candle light between them.
They were openly arguing in spite of the
conversations surrounding them, the clatter of dinner and silverware being
removed from tables, the sounds of orders being taken and wine bottles being
They were oblivious to it
watched them for a moment.
were good-looking, probably somewhere in their early thirties, either
successful or deep in debt given the Birkin bag that was at her feet and the
large nickel-plated watch that was on his wrist.
The woman was playing it cool.
Her arms were folded and she wore on her
face the look of the disinterested.
He, on the other hand, looked weirdly demonic in the shadows being cast
onto his face from the candle.
Carmen listened and heard talk of money--or misuse of it--while he
picked up what likely was a two-hundred dollar bottle of wine and topped off
still with me?”
She nodded over at the table, where the
woman now was yawning.
“I was with
for reasons to stay single?”
I’ll always be single.”
We can’t stay in this game forever.
There’s a phase two for each of us.
“Me on a
beach in Bora Bora.”
you doing this?”
I enjoyed last night.
I think of
you when we’re not working together.
I think there’s something here worth exploring.”
He paused for a moment and seemed to
make a decision.
“But it goes
There’s something I was
asked to do tonight that I know I can’t do.”
flashed up to meet his.
my contract was to take you out tonight, Carmen.
There’s no ticket waiting for you at
When we finished the
main job, I was given a second one.
It was to kill you.”