By: Penelope Marshall


“Just do it, muthafucker,” he said, kneeling on the ground, his wrists restrained behind his back.

“Don’t you tell me what the fuck to do,” I said as I landed another jab to his gut.

Blood spewed from his mouth and onto the concrete in the alley behind the club.

“You hit like a fuckin’ pussy,” he said, spitting a mixture of blood and saliva at my nice new suit.

The anger shot through me like an erupting volcano when I saw the mess he had just made.

“You nasty fuck!” I pulled the handkerchief from my blazer and wiped off the mess, then threw it on the ground. “This was a new suit.”

“Just a little parting gift.”

Straightening out the lapels of my blazer, I said, “I’ll show you a parting gift.”

Using his head as a kickball, I planted the heel of my size ten wingtips across his disrespectful mouth.

He sailed back onto the ground, his mouth bloodied, and missing one of his two front teeth. I picked up the plastic bottle from the ground and stepped toward him, squeezing the clear liquid all over his body.

“I hope what you did was worth it,” I said as I pulled out my lighter.

“Fuck you!” he replied.

I chuckled as my thumb applied pressure to the spark wheel, rolling it down to create a flame.

“Enjoy,” I said, throwing the lighter onto his chest, watching as the flames took hold, roaring into a massive fire.

Black smoke filled the air, accompanied by the aroma of charred meat. His screams echoed throughout the entire length of the alley, spurring potential witnesses to shut their windows.

A smile crept over my face as I took one last look at my work, then turned and walked away, his wails still piercing the night.



It was one of those days I should have just stayed in bed. As soon as my eyes opened up, I knew. I just knew…

My name is Mason Asher, but my friends call me Mace, and I work for a private security contractor based out of the US, called BlaX; short for Blain’s ex-SEALs. Blain is my boss and was my mentor when I was in the Navy; a burly fifty-something-year-old hard-assed former SEAL and the owner of BlaX, which provided security for high valued targets; targets which their respective governments would rather not be linked to. Compared to the shit I saw in war-torn Afghanistan or Ebola-ridden Africa when I was a SEAL, this was as cushy a job as a guy like me was ever gonna get.

I was a glorified bodyguard, usually providing security for scrawny hackers who hadn’t seen the light of day in years, or for a high ranking official who wanted to get their rocks off at the local massage parlor; but it beat the hell out of being shot at.

Yeah, I already know what you’re gonna ask; how can you go from being a proud SEAL to babysitting little piss ass whiners who didn’t need the protection in the first place?

I could say something plausible like the money was good; which it was. I could also say the job kept me in tip top shape because I basically got paid to work out when we weren’t on a contract. But the truth was, I didn’t know how to be anyone else. I knew one thing and one thing only. I knew how to kill a man in a crowded space and be invisible when I did it. The Navy didn’t teach me how to push around papers and sharpen pencils in an air-conditioned office. Unless that sharpened pencil could be used to stab someone in their carotid artery.

Back to BlaX. Blain had one rule and one rule only: No wives or girlfriends. They were a distraction, and he didn’t want any distractions in the field, having seen the effects a nagging wife or girlfriend had on a man in the throes of a mission. Blain found himself having to bury some good men in shallow unmarked graves before he came up with the rule.

Women were nothing but trouble in my book, and the closest I would let them get to my heart was about three inches below my belt buckle, so I totally understood why he had the rule. All the guys on the team did, and we wholeheartedly agreed. Well, that and I had the utmost respect for Blain as a man and as a soldier, so I found myself at times blindly following any order he threw out without much question.

I was brought onto the team by my best friend and old Navy brother, Derrik, whom I had met when I was stationed in San Diego. He was one crazy son of a bitch.