The Maddest of Men

by Ofelia Gränd

The Maddest of Men - Ofelia Grand
Part of the In the Kingpin's Shadow series:
  • The Maddest of Men
Editions:ePub: $ 2.99
ISBN: 9781386783169
Pages: 107

To prove his loyalty to Cham, Grayham is willing to do anything, and he does. He helps Cham run his empire by finding out the truth by any possible means. It’s not as hard as it may seem, all he has to do is ask the right questions, and his internal polygraph will tell him if someone is lying or not. And when they lie—well he deals with that too. Life as an executioner can get quite lonely, not that Grayham plans on doing anything about it. It would kill him to have to off a lover.

Creed is a retrieving agent on a mission. He is to infiltrate one of Carona’s drug organisations to get to the inquisitor. Rumour states the man with the fiery red curls has supernatural powers; it also says anyone coming close to him disappears. Creed has no idea how he’s going to make it out alive or why his supervisor sent him in without backup. But, when an opening to work as a waiter at one of the drug lord’s parties presents itself Creed sets to work.

In a world where people compensate for the years of bombings and starvation with clinic bought physical perfection a man with crooked teeth and mismatching eyes stands out. Grayham notices the waiter watching him straight away. If he’s there to harm Cham, he’ll deal with it. Creed knows he must get his hands on the inquisitor so when he is invited to the man’s flat he agrees to come even though he knows it might be the last thing he’ll ever do.

 

Note: This story contains graphic violence, on page death of secondary characters, and sex acts between male adults.

Excerpt:

Grayham pressed his lips together before taking a sip of the champagne. He hated the warm glow in his chest. It didn't matter that it came from a truthful answer to his question, this wasn't the time for any pleasant heat.

Cole's body had been taken care of without incident, or so Lou claimed. He should be allowed to freeze up inside, but Cham had said to make sure people noticed him.

Glancing around, he observed more than a few pair of eyes skidding away from him. Fucking morons in their expensive clothes carefully picked to show off their perfectly sculptured bodies. It was tempting to sneak away, to go home and not have to deal with these people. Not that Grayham dealt with them—avoidance was the key. He breathed in deep but forced himself not to let it out as a sigh. Fuckers.

"Everything okay, sir?"

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Oh, the pretty waiter was still here. He wasn't exactly pretty, though. Not ugly, but he wasn't store-bought pretty. His dark hair looked like someone had threaded their fingers through it, and his eyes sparkled as he watched Grayham—he even had dimples for fuck's sake. No one should have natural dimples, and Grayham was sure they were natural. "Everything's fine."

"Are you sure?"

What was up with the waiter's eyes? Grayham tried not to stare but they were...they weren't matching. One was blue and the other green. "Yes, I'm sure, and even if I wasn't what would you be able to do about it?"

"I'm happy to give you something else if you want, whatever you need."

There, the coiling cold of a lie. Actually, that was just what Grayham needed, and he needed more of it. All he had to do was continue to ask questions. He raised an eyebrow. "Is that so?"

"Of course." The waiter tilted his hips and shot Grayham a look through thick dark lashes, almost managing to look shy, but the cold remained. Such a pretty little liar. Except his teeth were a little crooked, his lips not quite the right shape everyone else's were. When he smiled, small wrinkles appeared at the corner of his mouth.

Heat shot through him, not the truth heat, something else—something distracting. Grayham grinned. "Maybe I'll take you up on it." He gave the waiter a look to clarify what it might include. "You'd like that?"

For a second the coy look disappeared, but it slipped back into place fast enough for Grayham to ignore he'd seen it go. "Absolutely."

He almost stumbled as his chest filled with warmth. What the fuck? He looked at the man again, nodded, and started walking away through the crowd. As always, people scurried out of his way. He glanced back at Cham where he sat, pale but stoic, and continued making his presence known. An hour, that was the longest he was willing to stay. An hour to figure the waiter out.

***

Creed watched Grayham go. Should he have asked him for his name? He'd heard both Cipriani and the woman he'd served the salmon call him Grayham. It would go into his report, but it would be good to know if Cham's inquisitor referred to himself as Grayham too.

He hurried back to grab a new tray and tried to keep track of Grayham as he walked around smiling at the beautiful women and nodding at the men.

Grayham was in constant motion. He didn't hurry, simply crossed the open hall from as many directions as possible, lightly bumping into people who didn't pay attention. Creed frowned. What is he up to? He didn't seem the type to want attention, and most people scrambled away from him with more or less of their dignity intact anyway.

Was Grayham so cruel people felt the need to hide? His mouth went dry. Maybe it was stupid to offer himself to a man like that. Creed couldn't plead ignorance. He had found the infamous inquisitor, and none too subtly offered to fuck him. Even worse, he'd done it without knowing if Grayham went for men. There had been no rumour of any lover, male or female. Shit. What if he dragged Creed into an alley and slit his throat? That was not a dignified way to go.

What would happen to him if Grayham found out who he was? Stupid thought, he knew what would happen—he'd be dead before the night was over. The cold reality of this mission made him stop in the middle of the floor. Why the hell had Howorth sent him alone?

He looked over his shoulder to where he'd last seen Grayham and forced himself to smile. Grayham was watching him, his face an unreadable mask that had the dryness in Creed's mouth crawling all the way down his throat.

Then he winked.

Creed almost dropped his tray. Shit. It's going to happen, isn't it?

Creed didn't usually whore himself out on a mission, but he needed to get his hands on Grayham, needed to scan him. Howorth would have him killed if he let a chance like this pass him by.

It took a lot of willpower to start walking again but once he did he turned to make sure Grayham got a good look at his arse—the only body part he wouldn't need to have surgery on to match society's ideal. A quick glance over his shoulder confirmed he had Grayham's attention as he steered towards the kitchen.

A few more trays, then he would try to sneak out of here. It didn't matter that his feet ached, he needed to run, needed to feel the asphalt under his feet as he pushed himself to oblivion. Pressing through the swinging doors by the bar, he squinted at the sharp light reflecting on the white tiles of the kitchen.

"There's a tray of pralines and truffles." One of the staff pointed at the artfully decorated chocolate pieces on the counter where the filled trays were queued up.

"Food over?"

The woman dried her hands on her apron, and Creed figured she'd ignore the question, not that it mattered.

"It'll be both hors d'oeuvres and truffles for an hour or so, then mostly drinks."

"Okay, thanks." He grabbed the tray and backed up towards the door, pushing it open with his butt and turned to get the tray through the opening safely.

As an arm encircled his waist, Creed froze.

"Time to put the tray down, sweetheart."

Creed stiffly fumbled to set the tray down on the dimly lit bar counter. The bartender glared at him, and Creed had the feeling he'd seen him before. As a frown settled on his brow, the bartender moved his gaze to Grayham—Creed was almost one hundred percent sure it was Grayham—and whirled around to start organising the bottles behind the bar. Hadn't he walked behind Creed as he went shopping yesterday?

"Time to leave." The growl by his ear had him shivering.

Okay, time to work.

COLLAPSE

About the Author

Ofelia Gränd is Swedish, which often shines through in her stories. She likes to write about everyday people ending up in not-so-everyday situations, and hopefully also getting out of them. She writes contemporary, paranormal, romance, horror, Sci-Fi and whatever else catches her fancy.

Her books are written for readers who want to take a break from their everyday life for an hour or two.

When Ofelia manages to tear herself from the screen and sneak away from husband and children, she likes to take walks in the woods…if she’s lucky she finds her way back home again.


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