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Authors: George P Saunders

Gray Area

BOOK: Gray Area
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Gray Area
George P Saunders
iUniverse (2012)

Lou Diamond is known for being the best field agent around in the Los Angeles Police Department's elite division, the Office of Special Services. The OSS, quite simply, gets the worst crime jobs on the planet-and Lou Diamond, at one time or another, has seen them all. An ex-tactical assault agent with Special Weapons and Tactics, Diamond has enjoyed a near one hundred percent success rate in solving any crime, anywhere.

But when lawyers suddenly end up mysteriously dying at his brother's prestigious law firm, the evidence to be found is wanting in every way. The suspects in Lou Diamond's book are all dirty in some way, but all clear of the suspicion of murder. As the body count continues to grow at the firm he is investigating, so to does Diamond's belief that the murderer at large is killing with a purpose other than personal revenge.

Things become more complicated still when he meets one of the firm's most powerful partners, the beautiful and alluring, Linda Baylor. Compelled into a bizarre, sexual relationship with Baylor, Diamond begins to have a terrible suspicion that there is a gray area between sex, trust and blood. And that at the end of the day, nothing is as it seems-and no one is who they claim to be.

Lou Diamond comes to understand that the end result of such ambiguity is death.








George P. Saunders








© 2006


blished by George P.
Saunders. Copyright 2006 by George P. Saunders. All rights reserved. No part of
this book may be used, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any
information storage or retrieval system, without the written permission of the
publisher, except where permitted by law, or in the case of brief quotations
embodied in critical articles and reviews.




The day his wife was murdered, a large part of Lou Diamond’s own life was
destroyed.  The destruction did not slowly repair itself; the passage of
time did not heal the trauma, nor did it give a sense of perspective that life
was a journey filled with pleasure and pain, and sometimes loss.  For Lou
Diamond, the agony of his particular loss would remain a burning harshness in
his body and soul that would forever rage out of control.

Where there was once a man who had been a soldier, a lawyer, and a
dedicated police officer highly decorated by his peers … now there was only a
shell of that former greatness.  Arguably, he was still the best cop and
field agent in the Los Angeles Department’s elite force known as the Special
Response Team.  This division handled the most violent of crimes, the most
volatile of situations, the worst of the worst when it came to armed robbery,
homicide or terrorism.  To be an agent with SRT, a man or a woman had to
be a special breed.  A breed of warrior that had no fear of death … and
zero hesitation when it came to the kill.

Lou Diamond was such a man.

His personal mantra, before Maria’s death, was to get the job done and
enjoy the private satisfaction that as a result of his efforts the world would
be left a better place, safe for a time.  Until the next episode of evil
reared its ugly head and would again demand the intervention of a man like Lou
Diamond to hopefully save the day.

That was then.

Today … there was only the job, minus any sense of personal jubilation at
triumphing over the forces of darkness.  Today, five years after Maria’s
brutal murder, Lou Diamond did his duty robotically and, unlike days long gone
by, he found himself enjoying the kill … something he had never enjoyed before
outside of recognizing the necessity for it on the varied fields of battle he
had known in his lifetime.

There was not a day that passed where Lou Diamond did not wish for his
own death, be it either in harness or by his own hand.  So far he had
cheated the Grim Reaper through the years while on assignment to the SRT …
though, in his stead, he had relieved numerous individuals guilty of violent
crime from the burden of existence.  And he had resisted the temptation of
suicide … if for no other reason than that of his eight year old daughter,
Sonia.  She was his sole raison d’etre for continued existence on this
piss-hole of a planet.

Lou Diamond was a man convinced that nothing would ever surprise him
again.  He had seen it all, done it all.  Now, there was only the job
and his daughter.  Period.  End of story.

When Sonia was grown, he would be finished.

Lou Diamond was not afraid of death.

The reason was simple.

As far as Lou Diamond was concerned … he was already dead.




Los Angeles - 11:15 pm - December 15


It was damn near Christmas in the City of Angels, and Jason Randall, Esq.
felt like Santa Claus had just given him an early ho-ho present.  He sat
back in his chair and watched Marianne Simpson slide a pair of stockings down
her shapely legs.  She may have been the most beautiful woman he had ever
known.  In another second, blouse and skirt were quickly removed, followed
hard upon by bra and panties.  Jason released an unconscious moan of
commingled desire and awe.

“Want me, baby?” she whispered, though it was clearly a rhetorical
question.  Jason’s hard-on bulging through his pants was a standing
erection-admission that there was definitely a sense of want in the air. 
To his credit, he at least managed a nod.  His speechlessness was not only
due to her exquisite nakedness, her teasing beckoning to him from atop the long
conference table here in the Berenson &
Marelli law library—the place where they both worked as
attorneys.  In larger part, it was because Jason Randall had never possessed
a woman in a more perilous environment.  That was the real turn-on, the
hook.  He’d had scores of women before – but none like Marianne
Simpson.  None that were as intrepid (or as reckless) as himself. 
And never in a place like this.  

Marianne Simpson giggled as she reached out for his hand.  Jason
made a light-speed decision to forego romantic foreplay.  He fairly leapt
from his chair and stripped away his clothes in what had to be record
time.  In a few seconds he stood in his socks, every other piece of
clothing in a heap near his ankles.  Marianne’s clothes were tossed
haphazardly on the table.  Their joint research into the Arc-Link class
action suit had ceased twenty minutes ago … about the same time that Marianne
reached for his groin and continued from there.  Non-billable stuff to be
sure, but Jason didn’t protest.  Marianne was like a drug to him;
impossible to resist, tantalizing, addictive.

“This is nuts,” he said feebly, giving a one-two glance to his right and
left for anyone that might be around, a cleaning person, perhaps.  At this
time of night on Friday, all partners and associates had long ago gone
home.  No real problem on that front.  No worries.  Still…

“Of course it’s nuts,” Marianne cooed back.  “Want me to stop?”

She edged closer to him on the table, kissed his bare stomach one, twice,
then took him into her mouth.  Jason closed his eyes and made a mental
footnote summing up the madness of the moment. 

He’d been an associate with Berenson & Marelli for two years, a top
grad from Harvard Law School, a first-string quarterback that every major firm
in the country had courted.  Berenson & Marelli had won the bid simply
because they threw the most money at him.  Marianne was his gender
counterpart; Yale, clerk to a Supreme Court Justice for two years, smart as a
whip, born to money ... and gorgeous.  On paper, both were letter perfect.

Both Jason and Marianne had been assigned the prestigious Arc-Link case
by old man Berenson himself three months earlier.  The chemistry was
instantaneous, galvanized by hours of close quarter study, research, and
strategizing.  Strategizing had, in short order, led to a fair amount of
stolen moments here and there; hurried kisses, gropes, fingering, and once,
even a blow-job in the Men’s Room on an early morning two days ago.  Aside
from the Suck Fest, these other relatively innocuous encounters took place in
offices, hallways, or in libraries ... like here, now, just after

However, tonight, Marianne had decided that fellatio along with grope and
jerk games were to be a thing of the past. 

Jason kept his eyes closed as Marianne continued to have her way with
him.  One word repeated itself in his stimulated mind over and over again.

Dangerous.  This was dangerous.  Dangerous to his career,
his job, his future.  And yet ...

Fifty feet away, the doors of the service elevator opened and
closed.  The individual that exited the elevator wore an overcoat and
boots.  That individual also held a Colt .380 ACP, fully loaded and
cocked.  It took roughly twenty seconds to reach the law library where
Jason Randall, the first string pride of Berenson & Marelli, and Marianne
Simpson, top litigation associate and blue blood debutante of Jackson County,
West Virginia, 1993, were about to engage in some very vigorous intercourse.

Marianne finished teasing him and lay back on the long conference table,
pulling Jason with her.  She guided him into her wetness a moment later
and let out a small cry.  Jason shuddered as he began to drive himself
into Marianne with furious abandon, oblivious to the silent intruder even now
entering the library. 

Jason noticed the gun first, his peripheral vision catching the flicker
of light off of the barrel. 

Marianne, suddenly switched to a top position and straddled Jason, grinding
hard, screaming with every desperate thrust.  She had her back roughly to
the shooter, and thus her field of vision was nil.  Noticing his lack of
commitment to the moment, Marianne analyzed Jason’s expression in an instant
then turned to his focus of attention. 

There was no time to plead, or even cry out for mercy.

The Colt exploded.  And the bullet hit Marianne square in the
forehead.  She was dead before she slumped over on top of Jason. 

Jason let out a stunned whimper, pushed Marianne’s corpse off of his
chest, and rolled to the floor.  He turned on his naked ass, backpedaling
along the carpet toward the nearest wall.  The shooter walked forward,
relentlessly ... unhurriedly, and methodically.  The Colt came up to aim
once more.

“Please—God—don’t,” Jason gurgled, hands and arms raising instinctively
over his face and chest.

The gun discharged again, the muted sound of the silencer beginning and
ending in less than a second.  The bullet found Jason’s windpipe. 
His death was not as quick nor as blindingly merciful as that of
Marianne.  He clawed for air, more terrified than anything else … pain
became an afterthought a second later.  The shooter fired again, putting
Jason out of his misery.

The shooter put the Colt into a pocket, then turned and walked back down
the hall, this time through the fire stairs. 

Marianne’s corpse twitched for the next five minutes, the strange
paroxysm of stunned nerve endings and synaptic response to sudden death. 
A trail of blood from Jason’s mouth flowed toward Marianne’s left hand, until
it gathered in a pool around it shortly before 12:30 a.m.





1:01 a.m. - December 15


Lou Diamond was furious.  Furious that he had allowed himself to be
put in a situation which he now had little control over.  Furious, because
tonight he realized that his error in judgment might very well cost him his
life, and the lives of his two associates.

The man known as Palomito smiled at him.  Palomito, the name rolled
around in Diamond’s head.  It meant little dove in Spanish; a meaning that
stood in sharp contrast to the beast that stood before him.  Diamond was
strapped to a metal fold-out chair, as was DEA Agent Matthews and Sergeant
Peoples who flanked him.  The smile continued as Palomito approached
Diamond and ferociously back-handed him across the jaw with a .357
Magnum.  Diamond’s head snapped to the left, pain and fury mounting -
particularly fury.  He considered the warehouse he was now imprisoned
within, tasting blood on his lip.  Only one decent fucking exit, he
thought.  And because somehow, due to a run of good luck, he managed to be
trapped in the only
warehouse in the northern hemisphere, that
meant there was zero cover in a potential firefight.  This was just a
shit-grub deal, no other way to call it otherwise. 

Because of his weakness, he thought.  Because of his dick, truth be

BOOK: Gray Area
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