Cutting the Cord by Natasha Molt
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.6 MB
Amira Knox is an assassin. Her targets: affluent Europeans. Her commander: the Authenticity Movement. Her weakness: emotion.
Amira has been loyal to the secret terrorist group the Authenticity Movement for as long as she can remember. Adopted by the leader of the movement as an infant, Amira was trained to be the ultimate weapon. But when her brother goes mysteriously missing and her father seems to be keeping secrets from her, she begins to doubt the Movement’s purpose and her own identity. Then there’s Lukas, the handsome German personal protection agent. Can Amira trust him, or does he have a secret agenda of his own? Caught in a web of deception and betrayal, Amira realises she has to get out of the Movement. Fast. But how do you escape a terrorist cult when the leader – your father – wants you dead?
The pistol in her hand doesn’t feel cold. It never does through the gloves. It feels warm in her fingers and the polymer frame makes it light. Her eyes drift down to her scuffed black boot and across to Jonas’s frozen expression. Water from the hose thins his leaking blood. His face will grow familiar – the others have – rising out of cups of coffee first thing in the morning to surprise her. Or when she puts her face underwater, reminding her how they no longer breathe.
She turns to his flowers. Orchids are everywhere, on wooden benches, rows and rows of them: inflorescences of delicate and bright colours. Her nostrils are overwhelmed by the smell of the greenhouse: vanilla, fish, cinnamon, burnt sulphur from the gunpowder – and blood, still warm.
A creaking sound.
Her eyes dart out of the greenhouse towards the thatch-roofed home.
A girl’s voice, sweet and high, calls through the side door.
The child nears. With each step the shadow of the house leaves her and her silhouette becomes more vivid. Young Britta. Jonas’s granddaughter.
She’d seen the young girl with Jonas at the weekend market eating bratwurst on a roll with mustard. She is ten, no older, with fair hair encasing a pale face.
The orchids shield the assassin from Britta’s view.
She has to get out of here.
She bolts out of the greenhouse through the rear door. As she runs towards the barn, time pushes down on her like a vice squeezing wood. Near a barn wall she crouches down; there’s a drumming in her body. She hears screams, the wail of the child, innocence trying to scare off death. She looks back.
The red cedar sliding vents at the base of the greenhouse block her view of Jonas. But she sees the child – her contorted face, the curl of her mouth.
Within seconds, she cries: ‘Hilfe! Hilfe!’
A woman, wearing an apron dusted with white flour, comes running from the house. She grabs the child and yells: ‘Jens! Jens! Hilfe!’
Out comes a man, a woman, more children. They enter the greenhouse and topple down, like falling dominoes, to the ground where Jonas lies.
The assassin blinks.
Past the barn. Over the meadows. Through the forest. Grass turns to a carpet of brown brambles. With each step she pushes them into the soft earth. Before her, wherever she turns, looms the image of Britta’s face. The veins within her temples pound, threatening to explode..
Sirens blare. Loudly at first, almost deafening. The wolves are after her now.
She slithers under the electrical fence where she’d dug the hole and then pushes the rock back into place.
On the country road, her boots clap against the tar. A hundred metres down is the black hatchback.
Her breath is even.