Tim Green: Exact Revenge

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Tim Green Exact Revenge
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    Exact Revenge
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    Триллер / на английском языке
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    Английский
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Exact Revenge: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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A promising attorney and political candidate, Raymond White was on the fast track when his life was suddenly derailed. Unexpectedly framed and convicted of murder, he is sentenced to solitary confinement in a maximum-security prison. Alone with his inner rage, Raymond methodically plots his revenge against those who schemed to ruin his career and take away his life. Now, after spending 18 years behind bars, Raymond makes his escape – and is ready to finally put his plan into action.

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“Still working on that kung-fu stuff, Big Chief?” he said.

“Some people might be offended by a stupid comment like that,” I said. “But they might not understand about people who are mentally challenged.”

Frank laughed.

“You gotta be careful out there,” he said. “It’s a dangerous world.”

“Same for you, Frank. Don’t try to walk and chew gum at the same time.”

“Tell your mom I send my best,” Lexis said, taking Frank by the arm.

He looked up at me and, showing his teeth, said, “Make sure you treat this girl right.”

I forced a smile.

When he was finally gone, Lexis closed the door and came back into the living room. Almost every flat surface was covered with photos of her and me in delicate silver and wood frames. Us at Disney in front of the castle. Her sister’s wedding in L.A. Camping. Our first-anniversary dinner. She moved slowly across the room, stopping to straighten the picture frames as she came.

“Oh, Frank,” I said. “I’m so glad you could console his delicate spirit.”

“He’s gone.”

“But he’ll be back,” I said. “An asshole boomerang.”

“He’s nothing,” she said. “Don’t waste your time.”

I smelled the musky sweetness of Oriental lilies and looked for the source. In a glass vase beside the couch was a fresh-cut flower arrangement. The paintings on the high brick walls were the same as they’d been a month ago. Surreal, with electric blue skies and inanimate objects with bloody teeth. No new work. Even the canvas on her easel had seen little progress. I couldn’t help feeling glad.

Across the room was the door that led to her bedroom. I studied the big king-size sleigh bed in the middle of the wood floor. It was neatly made.

Lexis was in front of me now. In her hands was an inlaid mahogany frame that held a picture of just me. My neck, shoulders, and chest were bare and tan, the lines of muscle and bone clearly drawn. My hair was a dark tangle. My eyes were half shut, but you could still see the yellow slivers set deep in their brown.

“Remember when I took this?” she said, her voice barely above a whisper.

I did remember. A seaside cottage on Cape Cod. She said after sex was the only time I ever really relaxed. She said she liked me that way.

“Yes,” I said in a raspy tone.

She traced a fingertip up the front of my thigh.

“I’m sorry,” she said softly.

“Me too.”

I could feel her touch through the leg of my pants, up over my waist, then through my shirt, sharp and tingling, ascending my abdomen, over my chest and coming to rest just above my collarbone, where she moved it back and forth in a gentle rhythm. It got hard to breathe. I stepped toward her and let my hand slide down the muscular ridge along her spine to the shelf of her round bottom, where I took hold and pulled her close, pressing her hips against my own and kissing her.

Lexis stripped off my coat and frantically unbuttoned my shirt. They both slipped to the floor. The corner of the white envelope poked out from the inside pocket. I started to bend down to tuck it back in, but her dress fell to the floor-came up over her head and down over the top of it. We began to kiss again, holding it as we moved sideways toward the bedroom. One of my hands slipped beneath her bra, the other under the waistband of her lace underwear, finding the small smooth scar at her hip. My belt buckle jingled and came undone.

By the time we reached the bed, we were both naked. She pushed me onto my back, and then, everything stopped.

5

I STARTED FROM MY SLEEP and, for a moment, didn’t know where I was. Then I saw the deep web of Lexis’s hair spilled across the pillow next to me. I breathed deep the familiar hint of incense she sometimes burned. I felt refreshed, but less than a half-hour had gone by. Outside, the sun’s beams were still thick, although slanted nearly flat. They drew long shadows from the windowsills of the building across the street. Out on the studio floor, my suit coat still lay beneath her dress, but the corner of the envelope jutted up into the thin material, casting a small shadow of its own.

I sat up, and the cotton sheets slid easily from my legs.

Lexis groaned and reached for me.

“Where are you going?” she said, her face still buried in the feather pillow.

“I’m sorry,” I said, running my fingers through her hair. “I haven’t even spoken to my father. His phone was disconnected last week. Crazy coot. I’ve got to stop by. I was thinking I could do that, go home and change, and then we could meet for dinner…”

I looked at my watch.

“It’s almost seven-thirty,” I said. “How about nine-thirty?”

Lexis rolled over and I kissed her lips.

“I wouldn’t go if it wasn’t him.”

She touched my lips with her fingertip and said, “I like that you care about him like that.”

When I left Lexis’s apartment, I decided I was going to ask her to marry me. I already had the ring. I’d been waiting to be sure. Waiting to see what the break would do to us. Now I knew. This was it.

When I saw Rangle at his table on the corner of the sidewalk and the alleyway, I was too cheerful to dip my head and walk on by. He was on his feet, waving to me and calling my name. Besides, I thought I owed his buddy Paul Russo a favor. Not my favorite guy, but the vice president at a local bank, and before I left for New York City he had promised to put together that small business loan for my dad.

The world is round.

The Tusk boasts a glass storefront with over five hundred kinds of beer behind a bar decked out in brass. Its doors stay open in the summer so you can smell the yeasty richness even on the sidewalk, and above the bar in gold carved letters are the words: Reality is an hallucination brought about by the lack of good beer. On the wall, in old-world letters, is another sign: Est. 1978.

It was an after-work crowd of lawyers and accountants, along with a handful of skilled tradesmen whose rates were high enough to afford five dollars for a pint of beer. People sat on tapestry stools or stood leaning against the high oak tables. But the best seats were where my friends were, outside in the line of tables that ran down the sidewalk and halfway up the alley.

It wasn’t until I was inside the railing that separated the patrons from the foot traffic, and halfway to their table, that I realized Frank was hiding behind the brick corner of the building. He ended his conversation around the corner and sat down with the other two before looking up at me. He set his mouth in a flat line, then forced a smile. I did the same.

“My man,” Rangle called out in a slurred voice, holding up his hand for a high five. “You know Paul… and Frank I know you know. Hey, we’re all friends here. The future movers and shakers…”

The two of them were dressed for success with glimmering silk ties, white shirts, and suit coats with sharp-angled padded shoulders. In a mean way Rangle did have style, but Russo was shorter and such a potato-head that the clothes just couldn’t compensate. Everyone else sitting around was in shirtsleeves at best. The women wore big-shoulder tops and high moussed hair and we all listened to Wham! U.K. and the theme music to St. Elmo’s Fire.

“Hey, Paul,” I said. “Thanks for helping out my dad.”

“God, I’ve been wicked swamped,” Russo said. His shoulders were broad but thin, like a paper doll’s. His big hooked nose and protruding ears jumped right out at you from a chinless face that was otherwise flat as a pie tin. Pale gray crescents hung beneath his dark, pink-rimmed eyes. His head was mostly bald except for the buzzed-down patches around his mushroom ears that matched the shadow on his chin and jaw. He had a confident spark to him. “He and I have been trading calls. But we’ll get it done for sure.”

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