As it is with all good things, the free previews of Steve Westover’s “Gold Clash” must come to an end, which they will with today’s excerpt.
The dull yellow light from the overhead fixture glimmered off theblade. “Thank you, Uncle Alex. You have given me everything Ineed to step into your old role in the syndicate . . . but I no longerneed you.”
Alex faced his nephew and stood as tall as his small framewould allow. His jaw hardened and his eyes glistened with anger.He removed his glasses, tucked them into his shirt pocket, and thenglared into his nephew’s eyes. “Do you honestly think my men willfollow you?” Alex spat.
Ace stared at his uncle, his expression flat. “Like you said, theyare loyal only to themselves . . . and those who provide the paycheck.That will be me.”
Wrinkles formed at Alex’s eyes as he studied his nephew. His lipspuckered. “Do your best and do it quick, or I will make you pay.”
Ace nodded. With his fingers folded tight around the hilt of hisknife, he lunged at his uncle. Alex stepped to the side and landedhis elbow between Ace’s shoulder blades. Ace fell to his knees andthen jolted as his uncle kicked him in the gut with his pointy Italianshoes. He moaned and looked at his uncle standing above him.
Moving the blade to the other hand, Ace swiped and connected withAlex’s calf. Alex slumped over to grab his injured leg. Ace angled theblade upward and stabbed his uncle’s chest. The blade penetrateddeep. Ace jammed it in further, and his uncle’s eyes widened withpain and surprise.
Staring at his uncle, Ace twisted the stiletto, then pulled it outand stabbed twice into his uncle’s abdomen. He pushed his uncle tothe right and leaned out of the way, causing Alex Nicas to collapseonto his side on the wood floor.
Ace glared at his dying mentor. He removed the gold cufflinksfrom his uncle’s wrists and tucked them into his pocket, claimingthem as his own. He then rummaged through his duffel bag andremoved rubber rain pants and a poncho. After dressing in the raingear, he pulled the hood over his head and placed goggles over hiseyes. Reaching back into his bag, he took out a machete.
Ace swallowed the bile rising in his throat as the coppery smellof blood filled his nostrils. His shoulders rose, and he shivered indisgust. Shaking his arms, he hopped up and down softly like anathlete psyching himself up before a game.
Ace’s mouth tightened and his forehead creased as he raised themachete over his head and then hammered down onto his uncle.
After a few minutes, Ace studied his gory work and set themachete on the floor. He raised the blood-spattered goggles onto hisforehead and then removed three new items from his duffel bag: abutcher knife, some pruning shears, and a hacksaw.