King of Paine: Sample Page 5

Now alone with Reyes, Frank inferred from his glare that the tip’s origin had not been forgotten. The fiery Latino gripped his left bicep, shoving him into a soft yellow chair in the far corner of the bedroom.

“Okay, cabrón, spill the frijoles,” he snarled in hushed tones. “Why are four federal agents investigating a rape? If this is another publicity stunt like that Good Morning Atlanta interview you gave last week, your badge is mine.”

“Yeah, I arranged a rape to get on the cover of Time,” Frank said. “Part of my ‘Man of the Year’ campaign.”

Reyes shot him the kind of look that could leave a bruise. His epitaph would no doubt read: “Actor. G-Man. Irreverent wise-ass.” Maybe soon, if he kept pissing off the wrong people.

Five years ago, to prepare for his role in G-Man, he’d spent a month shadowing guys like Reyes, real men who placed their lives in jeopardy for the public good, men who’d earned respect. That flick, G-Man, thrust Frank from dime-a-dozen pretty boy to action hero, but the experience made him question a system that rewarded pretenders while genuine heroes struggled to get by. And when his decadent lifestyle had continued to propel him down a path of self-destruction, costing him the woman he loved, his working class roots guided him back to the lessons learned from that movie, from guys like the one awaiting an answer from him now.

Frank ran a hand through his wavy, sun-bleached hair and pondered how Lee Fields would direct him to draw upon the Bureau’s ideals to earn Reyes’s respect. He conjured up the owlish image of his aging mentor, uniquely identifiable by a pair of ridiculously bushy white eyebrows, roomy enough to house a small family of wrens. Use your noodle, Frankie Boy. Play it smart, consider the character’s motivation.

 Copyright © 2011 by Larry Kahn

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