The Rise of Chloe

A Cavazutti Crime Novel #2

by Carlo Cavazutti

Mikhail Brozovitch has come up through the ranks of Spetsnaz, KGB and the FSB. Now the highly trained operator has turned arms dealer to the worst of the worst all over the world with the blessings of his Kremlin masters. But he makes one fatal step making a multi tens of million dollar deal with one of Mother Russia’s sworn enemies, the Chechens. He is forced to flee with his beloved Marisha who is also the mistress of President Grigori Chekov. Not only are they pursued by the FSB but also one very deadly female assassin known as Gina and her protégé Chloe.

Gina, Chloe and the FSB chase Mikhail all through Eastern Europe, Italy and Sicily before they can corner him in a secreted mountain hideaway in the hills near Catania which is overshadowed by Mount Etna. Two distinct Mafia clans control the area through which they must pass, and both clans demand their tribute. After all, deals must be brokered. But who survives to the end?


Chapter One


The Bunker / Present Time


My crew had slipped out of town as discretely as they had entered, blending into the throng of rush-hour traffic and the ever-lengthening evening shadows created by the slowly sinking, setting sun. The reds, yellows, and orange it produced were spectacular tonight, almost as spectacular as those on a Caribbean island. If a Caribbean sunset was just right, it was rumored that one could see a green flash as the sun fully set. Coupled with the large puffy cumulus clouds, the sky looked like a scene out of a fairy tale.

There was an eeriness of quiet throughout the bunker except for the occasional newscast or activity in the kitchen for the few of us that remained. Our conversation was muted for fear of disturbing the young girl in the room she shared with Gina. She probably didn’t know we even existed, let alone know where she was.

Gina kept her sedated and even if we had spoken in a normal tone, she probably wouldn’t have heard us due to the acoustics. Aside from a moan or a retching sound, we didn’t know she existed either except for the fact that we had rescued her, or I should say Gina rescued her.

As for the girl, a dark heavy fog raged in her brain and pain racked her body as every muscle contracted at once and held for what seemed like an eternity. I had been there a few times myself after late-night dates with too much Booker’s, forcing myself to hold it down while slumped in the back seat of an Uber.

Her stomach did somersaults as she leaned over the side of the bed and attempted to empty the contents of an unfed stomach. Nothing came out. The room seemed to dance about in a mad choreography of spinning, adding to her disorientation and ill feeling. The unfamiliar surroundings didn’t help and caused her to panic slightly. She knew it wasn’t her room which gave her more pause for alarm.

Even though her stomach revolted she felt famished at the same time. She couldn’t remember the last time she ate but sensed it had been a while.

Chloe felt a hand come to rest on her shoulder and a soft voice assuring her, and said, “Lay back, you are safe. Take this.” The woman whose voice she heard and touch she felt on her shoulder handed her a glass of water and a pill. Chloe at first recoiled as she had a cloudy, vague memory of the last time she was touched, which hadn’t been a pleasant experience.

“What is this and who are you?” she managed in a low moaning voice. She was trying to be assertive while scrunching up her face and drawing back.

“Right now I am your best friend. This is something to help the pain and the withdrawal. I’ve been injecting it into the IV but now that you are awake you can take it orally. I carried you out of that hellhole you were trapped in. Do you recall anything?”

“The last thing I remember, I was at a nice restaurant and then my mind seemed to float away like I had no control over what I did. How long have I been here and what happened to me? Where’s my mother, please, I need to call her right now,” she said as she swallowed the pill and gulped the water to quench her parched throat. Her mouth tasted nasty and her breath smelled worse. “What, wait a minute, did you say withdrawal? Please tell me what happened and why does my arm have these marks on it, and what is this stuck in me?” She was referring to the Lactated Ringer’s IV that was inserted into the back of her left hand to keep her hydrated.

“You’re really dehydrated but let the pill work and the spasms will stop. I will tell you everything once you’re not in pain,” Gina said in a calm but assuring voice. “I’ll get you something to eat and when you are ready to get up there’s a shower. You can clean yourself up good. Everything you need is in there along with a toothbrush and toothpaste. I’m sure you could use it. I’ve been sponging you off, but you need a good, long, hot shower. Now, what would you like to eat?”

“Just some toast would be fine. That’s what my mom always made me when I didn’t feel well. And thank you, whoever you are.”

“All right, just lay back until after you eat. I’ll bring you some ginger ale to help with settling your stomach. And you may call me Gina.”

* * *

Gina left the room and entered the kitchen area of the bunker. Sly and I were the only ones around having our usual sip. For those unaware, our usual sip is a glass of Booker’s Bourbon. Brit was upstairs in the club cleaning with the rest of Sly’s crew. The place needed a cleaning after the last couple of weeks, and all signs of everything had to go away—meaning forensic signs. And what had to go away was blood and gore.

“How is she?” I inquired.

“She doesn’t remember anything yet, but she wants to know what happened. I’m debating what and how much I should tell her, but I am inclined to tell her the truth. I would want to know, waking up in a strange room, not knowing anyone or anything and feeling sicker than shit. I wish we could have given them a small measure of what they did to her,” Gina said in reference to the Albanians. “Imagine what she would have endured had they made away with her.”

“She would have been better off dead,” Sly commented. “I’m glad we got to her in time.”

“I think killing them all was a pretty good start at payback. But then again, they won’t have the pleasure of emotional scars like she will,” I said.

Gina said, “I made it out, she will too. By the time I am done with her no one will fuck with her again.”

“Care to share?” I asked not letting her Freudian slip get past me.

“Share what? What I’m going to do with her?”

“You said you made it out, care to elaborate?”

“My focus is on her, not what happened to me. Maybe someday if you’re a good boy. In the meantime, I hate your total recall,” she replied. That devious little smile appeared on her face and she gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. No doubt it would be a good tale, a little sad and a lot bloody if I knew Gina.

She was a lethal assassin with kills all over the world making her targets of no use to anyone anymore. She had more than double the number of kills that Chris Kyle, the American sniper, had and that was a lot to be said.

The toast popped up golden brown and hot. Gina slathered butter on both pieces, took some honey and a jar of jelly, and placed them on the tray to take to Chloe. “Hopefully she will be able to keep this down. I am going to start her on withdrawal today, cold turkey, after I talk to her, so this may be all she will eat for a few days. Her withdrawal could take up to seven days and none of it fun.”

“Whatever you need we’re here to help,” I said.

“How are you feeling, able to breathe any better?” Gina asked referring to the twelve-gauge shotgun slug I took in the trauma plate of my vest.

“Every day it gets a little easier, thanks for asking,” I responded. Gina walked away with the tray as if my answer was not required. But then again that was just Gina being Gina.


"The Rise of Chloe"


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Crime Thriller

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