Before

🞋Assasinated by Love🞋

By: S Courtney


NOTE: Meet Colin just as he was completing his training to become an assassin and graduating college. How he told those closest to him and how he began his close relationship with his intel counterpart. It is set nearly 20 years in the past.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form on by an electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.


Subject: Intelligence Brief

Location: Unknown

Time: 0800 


"Welcome agents to your first real-world intel brief. You've trained for the last 36 weeks in firearms and special arms training, hand-to-hand combat, intelligence gathering, tracking, movement, and, most importantly, multiple IDs and personalities. That's only highlighting a small portion of what you learned.


Today is the day you choose your alias. You will only be known as this person from here on out; essentially, your former self is dead. You will advise only two people of your involvement with the agency with the bare minimum information. These are the people we notify in the event of your serious injury or death. Choose wisely."


Two people? At this point in my life, I only have one option, my best friend, Vincent. I wouldn't tell my family and possibly put them in danger. This way, if something happens, Vincent can give them access to whatever I earned after his take, but he also will be the bearer of bad news that their son/brother isn’t coming home. That’s a pretty heavy responsibility.


This will be an interesting conversation. How do you even begin that talk? "Oh, hey, I was recruited by a top-notch secret agency to eliminate major crime syndicates, mobsters, and the scum of the Earth. I'm just telling you in case I die and you need to tell my family." I guarantee you that he won't believe me. 


The lead agent, codename Artemis, breaks me out of my thoughts, "When choosing your alias, it should have no indications or ties to your former life. One correlation could result in deadly consequences."


Shit! What was I doing? This is insane! Everything could get me killed!


"Also, you will be presented with your official code names based on your overall performance. The top tier will receive names of the Greek gods and goddesses denoting their superior performance…."


Great, I'll probably get something stupid like Mud or Dirt. Artemis, named after the god of the hunt, had a very appropriate name. When we played paintball, rookies versus agents, each agent had a specific color. After the first round, he marked every recruit with his bright green indicator. By the tenth time and every time after, I avoided downfall by his hand. After that, he made it his mission to mark me but never did. I considered that a small victory. 


I looked around the classroom. Some of these guys were fresh out of high school. How does one go looking for them? Going to games like regular recruiters? Anyway, they recruited me out of college from the University of Missouri. I was in my final year when the opportunity presented itself. We don’t talk about that part, ever.


Anyway, I balanced senior year, finals, and graduation, all while learning the ins and outs of being a trained killer. We did so much firearm training that my trigger finger was raw and bleeding. I also had no feeling between it and my thumb, but did I whine about it? Absolutely not; assassins don’t complain; they kill, period. One downfall to the many hours of combat training was taking so many blows to the face I was confident that those lumps, bumps, black eyes, and other bruises didn't make me physically appealing to the ladies.


It didn't matter; I was failing in romance anyway. I wasn't a real jock playing football or basketball with the hopes of being drafted. I took up lesser-known hobbies like skeet shooting, hunting, and went to the range as often as golfers went golfing, every chance I could. 


Vincent would force me to socialize by dragging me to frat parties and the club, pushing the first set of tits my way in hopes I would add another notch to my belt. Unfortunately, he was right because nothing ever got past casual sex. Vincent and I were opposites; he wanted one-night stands and quickies. I wanted more. Maybe it was my upbringing with three older sisters. One was already married by the time I graduated high school, and the youngest engaged to her high school sweetheart. They all seemed to have little or no effort in finding their better half, but not me. They teased me about it, but I was only 22. I have plenty of time to find someone of substance. I just need to get out more, well, whatever time is left from reading up on targets and completing assignments.


“And now we present your codenames; the results have been posted on the board by rank. Congratulations, agents, you made it through the grueling process.” The agents leave and there’s a pause before everyone goes rushing up to the whiteboard. There are bursts of cheers and screams, a few groans, and a multitude of high fives. Everyone seemed to approve where they had fallen on the scale.


“Aye, you gonna take a look?” One of my colleagues asked when he came back and sat down.

“Yeah, let the crowd have their fun. I probably got a shit name anyway. Some of these guys had to have been better than me. What name did you get?”


He sits up straighter, puffing out his chest, “You can call me Hermes. It suits me and it’s the #2 spot!”


“Congrats! I guess I should just rip the bandaid off and go take a look and deal with it.” I sigh loud and long as he claps my back.


Well, here goes nothing. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears and feel the sweat on my palms. I’m lucky I didn’t get cut. We started with 57 agents and now we have 15. It’s a very cutthroat process. Those cut had the opportunity to become consultants and agents in the office instead of out in the field. It looks like everyone had seen their results and sat down or left the room. Good, fewer people to see how poorly I did.


I close my eyes and take a deep breath; here goes nothing. I open my eyes and it takes a millisecond for my eyes to focus on the white paper with the tiny print. Due to my tall stature, I lean down to search for my name. I find it at the bottom; oh brother, I knew I was dead last on the list! I should just resign and work in the office where I belong.


Then I hear a voice that says to stop chastising myself before I even look. There’d be plenty of time after the fact.


I slide my finger over to the codenames and the ranking.


Zeus, #1


I feel like I’m in a tunnel; this can’t be right. I shut my eyes and opened again and saw that I was, in fact, the #1 agent, codename Zeus. The ruler, protector, father of all gods and humans. King of the gods of Mount Olympus. The name bestowed upon me as the best of the best. I was still in shock.


“I’m number one?!” Hermes made his way next to me and clapped my back while chuckling. “Yeah, I wanted to let you sweat a bit, but you are a certified badass! Cream of the crop and I guess the valedictorian of our class. Let’s celebrate and get you laid!”


“I knew it. Is that all you can think about?”


“Buddy, we’re about to live the fast-paced life! We’re about to be all over the place, no homes, no families, no kids! So come on, Zeus, let’s cheers to you being the number one agent in the agency.”


“Alright, let’s go celebrate.”


“And get you laid….”


“What?”


“Nothing. Drinks on the man!”


We find our way to the local bar and start with three shots of Jameson. 


That was probably not my most brilliant move, but hey, we were celebrating sealing the top two spots. Hermes turns around after the last shot, scans the dance floor, and growls while stroking his beard. “I don’t know about you, but I’m looking for a filly to get my ego stroked, if you know what I mean.” He nudges me with his elbow. “You should do the same.”


I don’t answer and he takes that as my reply as he goes into the crowd. I raise my hand to signal the bartender, “Jameson and soda on the rocks.” He nods as he goes to prepare my drink. I couldn’t take another shot.


“Hi.” I notice a pretty blonde now seated next to me. 


“Hey.”


She holds out her hand, and I gently shake it. “I’m Madeline and you?” Good time to use my alias so that it becomes a habit. “Colin, nice to meet you.”


She shifts in her seat and I notice every mouthwatering move. She’s in a tube top and short shorts. Even for the middle of July, it’s still scantily clad. She had beautiful, almost turquoise eyes and a gorgeous smile. When she shifted, she turned toward me and straightened her posture with her breasts on full display. They were one wrong move from spilling out of that shirt the size of a band-aid. 


She ran her fingers up her bare thighs before she leaned towards me and placed her hands high up on my legs, her thumbs rubbing back and forth, grazing the print of my dick. She could make me explode right here and now. I’m so wound up.


I’m sure she felt me tense up and she took that as her cue. “Nice to meet you, too. How about we get out of here and have some fun?” Her tongue swept across her glossy pink lips and she gave me a sly smile. Well, isn’t she forward? 


I remember what Hermes said about the fast-paced life and getting while the getting was good.


I think she could see my hesitation and she increased her chances by grazing her entire hand across my package.


It worked. I couldn’t think about anything other than having Madeline scream my name before she quivered and released all over me. It will be weird to hear her call for Colin, asking him for more, begging me to dominate her body, and rewarding her with multiple orgasms. But that’s who I am now. I am Colin, and Colin is me.


“Where are you staying, handsome?”


I swallowed the lump in my throat that seemed to be simultaneously growing in my pants with her touch.


“I have a room at the Westminster, King’s suite.” I forced the words out without stuttering as she continued to torture me, now running her fingernails across.


“Let’s go then.” I closed my tab with the bartender and stood up to put my wallet away when Hermes returned; he had a curly-haired brunette latched onto him. He has a huge smile on his smug face. “Clearing out, eh?” He looks over at my potential and holds his hand out, “Nice. I’ll see you in the morning before we get our first jobs.” I nod as I shake his hand. She takes my hand and leads me out of the bar.


An hour later:


“Colin! Oh god, right there! Right there…yes!”


Well, it doesn’t sound half bad. I think I can get used to it. I’m slamming into her hard and fast like she’s screaming at me to. She won’t be able to walk right for a few days, but I feel like I should oblige her and leave her with the memories like she’s leaving scratches on my back.


I’m sure now that we have our official titles and aliases that we’ll be assigned immediately, I’ll never see her again, so I better make the most of it. Who knows the next time I’ll be able to touch a soft, curvy body, ample tits, and a plump round ass.


“Colin, please…” I don’t know what she’s asking for, but by instinct, I wrap her hair around my hand and pull aggressively but not violently and that was it as she screamed out and shuddered. She tightened around me so much I almost blacked out from pleasure. I shake my head to gain my senses back so I can chase my release.


“Oh, god! Yesssss I’m coming! Don’t stop! Don’t fucking stop!” I sped up my thrusting, trying to find that magical combination. I finish with a growl as I release into the condom. She flops over onto the bed, breathing hard and heavily like she just completed a half marathon.


“That was amazing….” She sputtered out in between her deep breaths. Not going to lie and say that didn’t stroke my ego a bit.


“Can I see you again?”


And ego deflated. “Sorry, darling, I don’t reside here and I’m sure I’ll be getting my assignment today and ship out.”


She lays on her side, her breasts exposed, making it very hard for me to concentrate. “That’s too bad, well….” She shifts and straddles me and I shoot up like a fire hose. “How about another for the road?” 


I started to think, is that how my life will be? Instead of settling down, having a family, and all that ordinary people do, I’ll be caught up in a world of cheap one-night stands and go nowhere dates?


The next day at HQ, I pulled Artemis aside. “Congratulations, Zeus. What can I do for you?”


“I just wanted to make sure you guys were certain I was first in this class. Not any of the more athletic, faster guys?”


He sits on the edge of his desk, analyzing me because that’s what all good agents do. “No doubt about it, Zeus. You ranked above the rest because of your heart and dedication and, of course, your top scores. You mentally processed and executed your tasks like our current top agents. For some, that takes years of repetition. You may not see it right now, but you’re destined for greatness. It may take a few assignments, but eventually, you’ll see what we saw. Speaking of assignments, I need to announce those. Please take a seat.”


I nod and process what he says while looking at the other agents. I just couldn’t believe it, but now I had to prove it to them andself.


“Listen up, you have your first assignment location, but it is also a test. Each of you will return to your home of record and wait for your first official assignment. In the meantime, you will connect with those two points of contact. Each agent’s graduation pay has already been dispersed. Dismissed and welcome to the agency.”


Great, I was still figuring out how I would tell Vincent and I had less time than initially thought. I called and booked my flight from the classroom while some agents left to pack or catch their flights. I knew a few lived close and would take the sensible route and drive home. I had a red-eye to St. Louis in six hours, so I called Madeline for a few more rounds of goodbye sex.


Early the following day I arrived in St. Louis. I stayed at the Regency and called Vincent to meet me here at noon. I ordered room service because I know once he sees my suite, he’ll milk me for all I got. 


Once cleaned up, I paced my room, trying to figure out what I was going to say or how I would say it.


Then there were five distinct rapid knocks on my door, in a 2-2-1 pattern, our secret club knock when we were younger. I open the door to see that wide grinning son of a bitch.


“What’s up….” I hold my hand up, “Stop. We need to talk about something serious.” He gauged my demeanor and knew I was serious and stepped in. I didn’t want to hear my government name, I had to get used to hearing Colin, and it starts now.


Vincent sits on the couch when the doorbell rings, it’s room service with my order. I tip the attendee and shut the door.


I push the cart full of food into the living room. I sit down and sigh, rubbing my face. “Okay, I don’t even know how to have this conversation, so I’m just going to spit it out. I have spent the last year or so becoming a government agent. I take out crime bosses and syndicates. I kill people for a living now. I don’t go by my government name, ever. In the future, I will only be known as Colin. You cannot call me by my other name; it’s dangerous. The only reason I am telling you this is in the chance something happens to me, you can tell my family and make sure they receive my earnings, minus your 20%.”


I pause to observe him, wringing and rubbing my hands. He's quiet, longer than his usual. I was about to break the silence when he burst out laughing. “Get the fuck out of here! This is a joke. Did you call me for jokes? What’d you order?”


I lift the silver cover to reveal two burgers, fries, and loaded potato wedges with a six-pack of beer. I hand him a plate and let him dig in as I try to improvise my strategy.


He sits back down with a full plate and reaches for the remote, but I quickly snatch it. “Vincent, listen to me. I am dead serious. I am only allowed to tell two people, and you were the only one I was going to tell because I trust you with this secret. Look at me. I am not lying to you about this.” I reach in a drawer and pull out my pair of 9mm in the shoulder holster.


His face went pale, his mouth fell open, and a fry dropped out. He sets the plate down and sits back, still looking at me, but there is that dead silence again, but this time, I think he got it with the help of visual aids. I nod as he shakes his head in disbelief.


“Those are real, aren't they? You’re serious? This is not one of your poorly crafted pranks? Cause I was always better at them than you!” I'm not too sure, but I think a flash of fear registered for a moment. 


“Yes, you were, but no, it’s not. I kill bad people for a living. Well, I haven’t yet. I just graduated from the course but I will and you can’t call me you know what anymore. It’s Colin, Colin Wentworth. My old life can’t be tied to my new one; it's too dangerous for my family.”


“And what about your family?”


“No, they can never know. They know that I am graduating from the University, which I did early. I’m just not attending the ceremony. And I’m onto the next step of a normal life, living on my own and supporting myself. Technically, I am doing that. I'm just omitting some...details….”

“SOME?! Dude, you just told me you are a contracted killer, there are two guns on the table, and if you die, I have to tell your family! This is fucking insane! This….” He starts pacing in front of the couch, laughing nervously.


“I know this is a lot to take in, but you are the only person outside of them that I trust. I need to know you can do this. I don’t have anyone else. Please.”


I stare at him as he watches me while still pacing. He pulls at his hair and sighs into a groan. “Dude, what the fuck, man. What the fuck. I…I can’t leave you hanging; this is just so, yeah…fuck man! Wait, can I contract you to kill people for free or at a discount? There’s this douchebag at work I know no one would miss.”


I believe he was dead serious on the hit. “No, I am contracted by the agency and ridding the world of evil you can't even imagine. Let’s not go into too much detail. I just need you to agree to keep my secret. You’re the only one I can trust.”


He takes his plate and bites into his double bacon cheeseburger and takes a long swig of his beer. “I don’t have a choice. I am your only friend. Well, I guess now I’m Colin’s only friend. Colin? Really? Nothing more exciting like Ace, Orion, or Taz?”


“Taz? Like the Tasmanian Devil? No, keep it simple; as long as it has no ties to my old life, we are good. It doesn’t need to be cool.”


“I disagree. You could get more women if you had a cool name.”


“It’s not about the women.” His eyes went wide. I instantly regretted that statement.


“It’s always about women and bagging the next one. You’re about to be as dry as the desert, I hope you have a ton of lotion packed and remember to alternate between your left and right hand, or you'll be lopsided..” He bursts out laughing, almost knocking over his beer.


“For your information, I had a multiple round session just last night; you can still smell her orgasms on the sheets, so finding a quickie is no problem, but that’s not my style. It's yours." He raised his brow and seemed impressed. 


"Damn right it is. I'm going to be a bachelor for life. See how I am when I'm 40." He takes another bite of his burger. "Are you going to be okay with living the bachelor life? You know how you are, especially raised with only sisters and your mom. She's a saint. She wants her baby boy to settle down."


He's right, mom was like any other mother, wanting the best for all her kids and since my sisters all took the path of starting families and getting married, I always assumed she wanted the same for me. And she does, however, in one of the last conversations before heading to college, said not to rush it and not to compare. She said when the time came, I would know. "Live life," she said, "love will find you." Then she hugged me and kissed my forehead, sealing those words forever to my memory.


"It'll find me no matter what I do and I'll be ready. I think, but until then, it's time to buckle down and solidify my position as their #1 pick of my class. I need to  stay laser-focused and ready, my first…." 


Just as I was going to talk about getting my assignment, my burner phone buzzed, startling me a bit. 


It read: 1st assignment pending, location Boston, MA. Book flight now; details forthcoming. Bounty: 100k.


 I almost choked looking at the bounty amount. 100 grand to execute somebody?! That's insane. I look back at Vincent nonchalantly eating while waiting for me to resume talking. "I got to go, got my first contract. I'll, uh, keep in contact when I can." I turn around to pack my bag.


I can hear him follow me into the bedroom. "You're really going to do this, huh?"


"Well yeah, not something I would ever think I would end up, but here we are. Hey, if it doesn't work out, I can always use my business technology degree."


We share a laugh and he sits on my bed while I grab my stuff from the bathroom.


"I'm proud of you, man. This is an opportunity few get to have. I mean, we played cops and robbers as kids, but you get to do it in real life and take out the bad guys."


I suppose he's right.


"Plus, that'll get you plenty of ass." He laughs as I try to find something to throw at him. I chuck my water bottle that he narrowly avoids.


"Way to ruin a touching moment, douchebag." I zip up my bag and start to book my flight. It takes five minutes to complete.


"Alright, buddy, I must be going. The moment when I'm free, I'll let you know. Thanks again. I couldn’t do this without you."


"Damn right! Hey, could I stay and use your room since you have to leave now? I have the perfect girl to come and mark me up. She loves to tie me up and spank me."


His grin is mischievous and I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. I sigh and hand him my key card.


"Check out is noon tomorrow, don't go beyond that. And don't trash the place. I'll know and have to kill you and you know I'm serious and very, very capable."


I saw him swallow hard before a nervous laugh left his lips. "Haha, that used to be funny, now...not so much. I won't risk it."


I grab my bag and leave my old life behind.


On the way to the airport, my phone rings.


"Hello?"


"Guess the first lesson will be how to answer your phone. Always use 'Go for' and your codename. Let’s try now."


The voice went quiet, waiting for me to reply.


"Go for Zeus."


"Wow, I didn't think I'd get assigned to the number one agent. No pressure there. Greetings Zeus, I will be your assigned agent who will brief and debrief you."


I am meeting my agent rep, and now it's official. 


I'm an assassin. 


"What do I call you?"


"You may call me Socrates."



End of backstory.


Stay up to date on the upcoming release of Assassinated by Love! 


Book one of the Illusive Lovers Series by A Lies and Secrets Production


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