The following is an unedited preview of my upcoming novel Rachel’s Peril, the first novel in the Rachel’s Peril Trilogy. For more information about the book and more chapters, please check out the Rachel’s Peril page!
Chapter One: Hairy Chest
1-1. Andrea (hosted at Bookish Temptations)
Chapter 1-2. Andrea:
“Sir? A moment please?”
George-Phillip Windsor looked up from his desk, raising his eyebrows. There were only two people in the Special Intelligence Service… four people in the entire country… who could walk into his office and interrupt him without an appointment. As the Chief of the SIS—more commonly known simply as C within the agency—he controlled the British government’s foreign intelligence service. Thousands upon thousands of people and billions of pounds dedicated to tracking the enemies of the Queen. And their friends, of course.
George-Phillip—formally known as Prince George-Phillip, Duke of Kent—had served in the SIS since 1986. Unlike his father, who had been content to waste the family’s fortune on fast cars, drunken parties and inappropriate women, George-Phillip had decided immediately on his father’s death that he would spend his life in service to his country. And he had done so, for more than thirty years. One could almost say he had his position in spite of his heritage—members of the Royal family, even those so far removed from the throne that assuming it would be inconceivably, simply did not rise to high ranks in the civil service.
George-Phillip, however, ended up with a fairly unique career. Starting with a brief stint as a special aide to the ambassador in Washington, DC, he’d attended Sandhurst, then entered the SIS. That career had taken him to places as diverse as Afghanistan and China, Istanbul and Paris and finally here, at the nerve center of the intelligence world.
At the door was Oswald O’Leary. O’Leary was as unlikely an aide as one could ever expect the Chief of Intelligence would ever have. He was Irish, for one thing. Small, pug-nosed, O’Leary always looked as if he wanted to grab the nearest person and just shake them.
He was also brilliant, incredibly loyal, and therefore the recipient of some of the most unusual assignments George-Phillip could hand out.
“Sir, I have some information on the Wakhan file.”
George-Phillip winced inwardly. Then he beckoned O’Leary forward.
“What is it?”
O’Leary laid the file on his desk and George-Phillip opened it. His eyes widened.
“Andrea Thompson,” O’Leary said. “This is the youngest daughter of Ambassador Thompson.”
There was no mistaking who she was. A much younger twin to Carrie Thompson, her older sister. Dark hair, pale blue-green eyes, fair skin, remarkable height.
“Why haven’t I seen her before?”
O’Leary shifted. “It seems she lives in Spain with Ambassador Thompson’s mother-in-law, and has little contact with the family. She did briefly visit the United States last summer during the Dega Payan court-martial, then returned home.”
“So what takes her home now?”
“It seems that she’s to be tested as a possible donor match.”
George-Phillip raised his hand to his mouth, covering it. He closed his eyes and sat, motionless, for several seconds. Finally, his eyes opened and darted to O’Leary. “It is imperative you keep me informed, O’Leary. This is a matter of the highest national security. You understand?”
O’Leary looked back at George-Phillip with grim eyes. “I understand, sir.”