NOTE: If you purchased this book without a cover you should be

aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold
and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the
publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events
protrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or
are used fictitiously.
silenced
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Brennan.
All rights reserved.
For information address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York,
NY 10010.
ISBN: 978-1-250-00595-3
Printed in the United States of America
St. Martin’s Paperbacks edition / May 2012
St. Martin’s Paperbacks are published by St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth
Avenue, New York, NY 10010.
10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

CHAPTER ONE

Monday
The whore traitor lived in a secure building with live
cameras and nosy neighbors. Brian had to wait for her
to leave.
Waiting made him antsy. He just wanted to get this
job over and done. He didn’t hate the whore. In fact, he
had no feelings about her at all. But she’d crossed the line
from useful to problem, and problems must be solved.
Two hours of waiting—sitting on the park bench in
the heat, pretending to read a book—while watching
the main entrance of the condo. He’d watched her often
enough in the last three weeks to know her habits. How
she left every morning before ten to run in the park.
How she took the Metro to visit her johns in whatever
five-star hotel she’d chosen for the night. How she’d lied
about what she knew and when she knew it.
Washington, DC, sex scandals were a dime a dozen:
affairs with interns, sexy mistresses, even a few cougar

6

AL L I SO N B R E N N A N

congresswomen with stables of young studs to service
them on the side. But selling sex was still taboo and could
take down an elected official as fast as twittering birds
would tweet.
She’d lied to protect her ass, but now she couldn’t be
trusted. All she had to do was keep her fucking mouth
shut while they figured out who had leaked her relationship with Crowley to the press. If the truth came
out, everyone would be on the hot seat. But now she was
talking to the wrong people and her lies were coming
full circle.
The whys didn’t much interest Brian. He was a man
of action and opportunity, not a man who pondered motive or psychology.
Brian stood and stretched. It was appropriate behavior, considering he was wearing running shorts and a
T-shirt. The cathedral bells chimed in the distance. Soon
it would be too hot for her morning run. Unexpected
changes in routine were never good.
He bent over and touched his shins, stretching his
hamstrings. Sweat stained his underarms. He disliked
the smell of body odor, even his own. At this point, all
he wanted was to kill the bitch and take a shower.
As the final bell rang the tenth hour, he stood and saw
Wendy at the corner, jogging in place, waiting for the
light to change. Well, shit, he’d almost missed her, even
in her bright pink shorts and white T-shirt with one of
those pink ribbons on the back. But her attire would
make her easy to spot from a distance.
He called his brother. “I see her. You’re clear.”
“Don’t fuck up.”
“Right back at you.” Brian disconnected, irritated that
Ned thought he’d screw up. Ned was the crazy one, not

S I L EN C E D

7

Brian. Ned had a record, not Brian. But just because Ned
had a college degree and pretty face, everyone thought
he was smarter.
The light changed and Wendy jogged across the street,
into the park, and up the path that she always ran.
Good. Routine is good.
Brian kept his distance. Because it was a weekday and
edging toward ninety degrees, the trails weren’t crowded.
There were a few people running or walking, and the
rushing businessmen with those idiotic earpieces, talking as if no one else could hear them.
He’d followed her several times over the last year,
important when in business with someone who lied for
a living, and so far she’d run the same five-mile route
nearly every day. He cut through a narrow patch of trees
and trekked up a short, steep embankment so he could
cut her off.
At the top, he looked at his watch. It would take her
another three to four minutes to reach this spot. Brian
stretched and focused on catching his breath after climbing the slope. Just another runner trying to beat the heat.
He tilted his head in greeting at a male who jogged
past him wearing a million-dollar running suit. The guy
passed Brian without acknowledgment. Asshole.
Brian spotted the bright pink shorts as Wendy turned
a corner. She’d be winded by now, over three miles into
her run. He waited until she was thirty feet away, then
ran in the same direction at a slower pace. Don’t make
her nervous. Don’t make her think he’s a threat.
A pulse of adrenaline flooded his system. For him,
killing was a means to an end, and he never felt more
than an initial fear and thrill. But this pulse, this vibration of danger, excited him.

8

AL L I SO N B R E N N A N

That excitement made it hard to slow down, but he
did, letting Wendy run past. She had one ear bud in, one
out, classic style of serious runners. He pulled latex gloves
from his pocket. Twenty yards ahead the path curved
to the left before starting the descent back to the main
park. He glanced behind him. A pair of women approached, fast-walking while they chatted. He had one
chance.
As soon as Wendy rounded the curve, Brian sprinted
and tackled her like a linebacker. She went down hard,
opening her mouth to scream, but he’d knocked the wind
out of her. She flailed for something in her pockets. He
searched her, found a container of Mace on her key
chain, and tossed it away.
She gasped for air, and he punched her in the face.
He took no pleasure in hitting the woman, he simply
needed her silent.
He jumped up and dragged her into the thick shrubs.
He rolled her onto her stomach, held his hand over
her mouth, and pinned her with his body until the two
women were beyond earshot.
His brother had told him to fuck her, then kill her, so
her murder would look random, but the fear of getting
caught made his cock shrivel.
The longer this job took, the more likely he’d be seen.
He didn’t even have the dark of night to hide him.
She fought back, surprisingly strong for a little thing.
But he had eight inches and eighty pounds on the bitch. It
was almost worth taking his time, to see how long it
took her to wear herself out.
But of course he didn’t, because there could be any
number of people coming up the path.
Brian sat on her ass and wrapped his gloved hands

S I L EN C E D

9

around her neck. Squeezed. He didn’t need to look at
her, didn’t particularly want to, while she died. Her being
on her stomach made his job much easier. She couldn’t
kick him. She tried to scratch him, but couldn’t reach
back far enough. Her death didn’t take long at all, but
he kept his hold on her neck for another minute just to
make sure.
He was about to get up when he heard a group of
runners, pounding the trail, kicking up dirt. He waited,
lying on top of dead Wendy. He’d picked a good spot for
the kill—if he couldn’t see any passersby, they couldn’t
see him. His nerves were on edge, the overwhelming
fear of exposure making him want to bolt, but he forced
himself to wait.
When he was certain the group was gone, he rolled
off her body, disgusted by touching the dead thing. He
was about to jump back onto the path when his brother’s words came back to him.
It can’t look like a hit.
Brian removed Wendy’s fanny pack. Robbery, right?
He looked inside. License, twenty-dollar bill, pen. Hardly
worth killing anyone over.
He stared at Wendy’s body. No fucking way he could
rape it. He didn’t even want to be this close to her, not
anymore.
But he didn’t have to rape her, right? Just make it
look like rape.
He pulled down her shorts and panties, then spread
her legs as far as they’d go. She’d hate being found dead
like this. How else could he embarrass her?
He looked around, trying to come up with an idea.
Then an idea struck him. He grabbed the pen and wrote
on her bare ass, chuckling quietly at his own humor.

10

ALL I SO N B R E N N A N

Brian was back on the trail less than two minutes
later. When he was far enough away, he called his
brother. “It’s done.”
“We have another problem,” Ned said. “But I’ll take
care of it tonight.”
Ned hung up, leaving Brian with no idea what problem Ned had uncovered.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful