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Kim Harrison

The Drafter

Kim Harrison The Drafter
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Series:

The Peri Reed Chronicles

Excerpt from book:

The Drafter

CHAPTER

ONE


FIVE YEARS LATER

Peri Reed reclined in the plush leather chair across from the CEO’s desk, her feet up on the coffee table, enjoying the adrenaline pooling as she waited in the dark for Jack to find what they had come for. His mood was bad, but that wasn’t her fault. Bored, she helped herself to a foil-wrapped, imported chocolate from a nearby dish.

“Really, Peri?” Jack said at her mmm of appreciation.

“So hurry up.” Licking her lips, she deftly folded the foil into a tiny hat, which she set jauntily on the statue of the naked woman holding the dish. “This guy knows his chocolate.”

“I prepped for glass. Wave technology isn’t even on the shelves yet,” Jack complained, his tan face pale and distorted through the holographic monitor. The touch-screen projection hazed Jack’s athletic shape and black Gucci suit, and Peri wondered whose ass the CEO of Global Genetics was kissing to get the new holographic touch-screen technology.

“My good heels are in the car. Waiting. Like me,” she prompted, and he hunched, his jabbing fingers opening and closing files faster than a texting fourteen-year-old.

Impatient, Peri stood and ran a quick hand through her short black hair. Her mother would hate its length, insisting that a woman of quality kept long hair until she was forty, and only then allowed it to be cut shorter. Moving to the window, Peri smiled at her manicure in perverse satisfaction. Her mother would hate the color as well—which might be why Peri loved the vibrant maroon.

Shaking her hem down to cover her low-heeled boots, she exhaled her tension and focused on the hazy night. The black Diane von Furstenberg silk jumpsuit wasn’t her favorite, even if it had been tailored to fit her precisely and was lined with silk to feel like ice against her skin when she moved. But add the pearls currently in the car with her heels, and it would get second and third glances at the upscale pool hall she’d picked out as a spot where she and Jack could decompress.

If we ever get out of here, she thought, sighing dramatically to make Jack’s ears redden.

The projected monitor was the only spot of light in the office suite with its heavy furniture and pictures of past CEOs. Surrounding buildings were lit by security lights dimmed to save power. Low clouds threw back the midnight haze of Charlotte, North Carolina. This high up, the stink of money had washed away the stink of the streets. The corruption, Peri thought, stretching to run a finger over the lintel to intentionally leave a fingerprint, is harder to hide.

“One of these days, that’s going to bite you on the ass,” Jack said as she dropped back to her heels. Her print would come up as classified, but it would also tell Opti that they’d been successful—or at least that they’d come and gone. Success was beginning to look questionable. Five minutes in, and Jack was still searching for the encrypted master file of Global Genetics’ latest engineered virus, the hidden one that made it race-specific.

The faint clunk and hum of the elevator iced through her. Her head tilted to the cracked door, and she shocked herself with the sweet candy still on her lips. She never would’ve heard it had the floor been busy, but in the silence of a quasi-legal, government-sanctioned break-in . . .

“Don’t leave my sight,” Jack demanded as he hooked the rolling chair with his foot and pulled the leather throne toward him to sit. His fingers hesitated, jab“The amazingly gifted Harrison is back… the multifaceted layers of this storyline will keep readers guessing—and riveted. This is going to be one truly wild wide.”


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