This is a work of fiction. The events and characters described herein are imaginary and are not intended to refer to specific places or living persons. The opinions in this expressed in this manuscript are solely the opinions of the author and do not represent the opinions or thoughts of the publisher. The author has represented and warranted full ownership and/or legal right to publish all the material in this book.
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright 2015 Ed Silva Jr.
This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
I would like to thank Anderson Galindo for having patience with me while he was in the process of creating the art cover. I would like to acknowledge everyone who supported me from The Imperfect Plan. I am aware that I still have a lot to learn about the English language. I write because it is a form of therapy for me. We all have a story to tell, and I just decided to tell mine through fiction. Forgive me for the editing or proof-reading, and I hope you be able to enjoy reading the Jessica Cardelini Series, as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Ed Silva Jr.
I would like to dedicate this novel to my wife Luana.
“How is she the Queen of England?!” Lucia Dvorska’s daughter raised her eyebrows to her Mother after studying Jessica through the thin shade cloth curtains that led to the outside balcony. “A woman who was raised in Italy, then learned the American English language…became the Queen?”
I would love to see her address a speech to the Nation…
Her text would consist of bad editing, words misspelled, crazy sentence structure…
People would turn off their televisions from such a shamefulness. ‘The Queen who doesn’t know proper English!’
“You need to respect her, young lady!” Lucia slapped her daughter’s left cheek. “Not only is she the only Royal Queen, but she is also part of our Family. Regardless of how she became the Queen, she is your sister!”
“Half-sister.” The daughter corrected her while rubbing her left hand at the spot where it burned on her cheeks. She sat at the head of the bed.
Richard Maxwell kept his eyes on Jessica at all times. He kept staring at her while pinching the bridge of his nose with his thumb and fore finger. Jessica had her arm raised while waving at the crowd. Then, he watched her lowering her arm while ducking her head.
What is going on? He stopped leaning on the head dresser and took a step towards the curtains.
Jessica turned towards Richard with a fearful facial expression. Crouching towards the inside of their room, she moved the curtains over and started crying. She was pressing her right hand to her lower abdomen.
Sniper/Operative—1 codename Alpha looked through his 10—50X Seiko scope at the entrance to the Buckingham Palace and watched the commotion below. Nearly five seconds ago, he had spotted a tall and slender hooded figure standing in the crowd reaching under his hooded sweatshirt and pulling out a 9mm Semi- automatic silencer attached to the barrel.
An attempt to assassinate the Queen had been in place.
He brought his wrist microphone to his mouth.
“This is Alpha, reporting front entry update movement.”
Behind his head, the full bloody moon filled the summer sky full of stars.
“Alpha go ahead.”
“It is too crowded for me to see the weapon on the ground. We need to have the London Metropolitan Police Officer at barricade near the patrol unit three nine seven to make a ground sweep.”
The response came two seconds later.
“Ten-four. I have already notified the Deputy Prime Minister’s Security Detail. They are in high alert. Alpha please acknowledge.”
Richard helped Jessica get up and looked in her eyes.
“What happened out there?”
She started crying while feeling a nauseous lurch in the pit of her stomach.
“When will this end Richard? Someone just tried to kill me. Again!”
He let go of her arm, and reached for his 9mm semi-automatic. He pulled it out of his holster and held it by his side.
Jessica put her warm hands on top of the gun and said.
“No Richard. Please. Let us not try to use violence. I don’t want to see anyone else dying tonight.”
He moved his gaze and stared at her.
She must have been referring to the incident that occurred at the Dover Castle.
He nodded slightly at her in agreement, placed his gun back in the holster and walked towards the balcony.
Outside the air was cooler than what he had anticipated. He was glad to be wearing his black nylon warm—up, with a Secret Service pin on the left collar. Approaching the railings, he lowered his gaze and studied the crowd. There were at least one thousand people beyond the gates of the Buckingham Palace. Some of them were holding candles, while others were waving the United Kingdom flag. He raised his eyes to the nearest intersection and saw that a couple of people were leaving.
Then he saw an ambulance coming his way. He kept following them until it came to a stop near a group of London Police Officers wearing lime green vests. The rear doors of the ambulance were opened and a gurney pulled out. A Police Officer pointed towards a spot on the asphalt and Richard looked at it.
There was a body lying motionless on the ground.
When will this end Richard? Someone just tried to kill me… Jessica’s voice echoed in his head.
He reached for his flashlight on his belt holster and flickered it on. Pointing towards the wooden floor of the balcony, he searched for clues while trying relocating the path of the bullet. He brushed his fingers against the railings of the balcony. He tried not paying attention to the roar of the crowd below him. Crouching where he had seen Jessica lowering her head, he looked through the railings of the balcony, and then tilted his head backwards. He straightened and approached the siding of the Palace. He pointed his flashlight next to the light mounted on the siding wall next to the curtains.
Jessica was right after all…
Raising his left hand, he touched the hole next to the lamp and confirmed.
It was a bullet hole.
Lucia Dvorska’s daughter eyed Jessica suspiciously, managed a smile and got up from the bed.
My Father showed me everything about YOU…
“If you could please excuse me, I am going to the kitchen to get something to drink.”
Jessica waved at her without saying a word.
Lucia’s daughter opened the door and left the room.
The Deputy Prime Minister raised his eyebrows to Lucia.
“You didn’t have to slap her. She may be feeling confused just like you are. Perhaps she may be jealous that your precious daughter has been found and returned home after…twenty four years. Give her time to get used to things. It will work out.”
Lucia nodded and approached Jessica. She hugged her tightly and sighed.
“I will not let anything bad happen to you. Perhaps, only death may separate us, and if God is willing, we will live for a very long time.”
Lucia kissed Jessica’s forehead. Her hair smelled cocoanut.
Lucia’s daughter walked down the hallway next to the floor to ceiling windows. Arriving behind the west-facing garden façade at the rear of the palace, she saw bright halogen lights from a street pole illuminating the dark greenish turf flowing into a waterbed full of red flowers.
Stopping at the end of the hall, she gave a quick peak at the way she had come from and felt relieved. She was not being followed. Reaching for the door knob to the door that was closed in front of her, she carefully twisted it open. She went inside and turned on the lights. The fluorescent lights overhead flickered on. She walked around the storage room searching for a specific item. Carefully opening cabinets so she wouldn’t make noise, she found what she had been looking for; and hid it inside of her pocket.
The item she found was rat poison.
The walk to the kitchen was quicker than she had visualized in her mind. Growing up around the Royal Family made her have an even better feel for what everything was really about.
I am like one of them!
She reached under the kitchen island and grabbed a metal tray.
I can’t capture the idea of how could someone just walk here for the very first time and be ‘crowned’ the Queen…
…She is an Impostor!
My Father showed me everything!
He is dead because of you!
She placed four cups made of glass on top the metal tray. These cups were one of the most expensive cups in the Palace. There was the Royal Family emblem engraved to the glass.
She was looking over her shoulder while reaching for the rat poison, when a Secret Service Agent stopped near the refrigerator.
“Ma’am, is everything all right?”
She froze and felt her stomach muscles tightening.
“Yes.” She turned around and managed a smile. “Everything is fine. Thank you.”
“Where is the house keeper?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. I am feeling so nervous right now that I completely forgot to call him for assistance.”
I am feeling very nervous, but I got this!
She watched him disappear around the corner, and inserted the poison inside of her sweater.
She walked inside of the room with trembling hands, and managed a fake smile.
“Sorry for the delay.”
Richard eyed her and felt his throat going dry. He saw her immediately turning to Jessica instead.
“Would you care for some water?”
Jessica nodded. I need to stay hydrated.
“I have a question.” Richard asked.
“Yes sir.” She approached him, but only because she had to go through him to get to Jessica.
“Thank you for being so kind, but who went with you to the kitchen?”
“No one sir.”
It was Lucia’s turn to look at Richard with a fierce look in her eyes.
“What are you trying to say Mr. Maxwell?”
Richard shrugged. “I’m just having this gut feeling that something is not quite right.”
“Of course it’s not! Look at the commotion outside!” The Deputy Prime Minister pointed out the balcony. “Any suggestion on how to fix that?”
“I am sorry.” He motioned for Lucia’s daughter to move through. “I just found strange that no one followed you to the kitchen. Usually in scenario like these, there is a Secret Service Agent to every movement someone makes in this Palace.”
“Oh give me a break.” She furrowed her eyebrows and quickened her step. “I was raised here. I know how important the Queen is to us.”
Richard stretched out his left leg so she would trip and fall. She dropped the water mug on the floor. But the cups landed on Jessica’s lap and she got soaked with water.
“Look what you made me do!” She immediately came on her feet and anger started rising.
He grabbed her by the arm and it caused her to flinch because of his firm grip.
“You pay attention to me.” He glanced at Lucia and then the Deputy Prime Minister. He spoke to Lucia’s daughter while pointing at Jessica. “I am not going to allow anyone pose a suspicious threat to her. Do you understand?”
She didn’t respond.
“Do you understand?” He repeated.
“Enough.” The Deputy Prime Minister took Richard’s hands off her. “Maybe this is just a misunderstanding. Now Jessica, go to the bathroom and dry yourself. You may change into another dress if you wish.”
As Jessica made her way towards the bathroom, she crossed the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace.
I can only feel that I am threating Lucia’s daughter somehow…
Her eyes gleamed at the sight of gold on the wall, and the velvet curtains covering the windows, hindering the light from the outside.
…As if for some reason I will be taking her place, or…
She paused before opening the door to the bathroom and chuckled to herself.
…Why am I thinking about this? I am the Queen. I am supposed to be setting the orders here and not be the one taking them!
Lucia’s daughter got up from the bed.
“Sir, what is your name?”
“Agent Maxwell, I just wanted to apologize for the things that I have done. I am not here to harm anybody. Now may I please go apologize Jessica? This is not how I wanted to begin my relationship with her.”
Richard felt hesitant for a second, but he could see the Deputy Prime Minister slightly nodding in agreement.
“Yes, of course.”
Jessica looked amazed at the dark green marble sink that had its length from wall to wall. The faucets were made of chrome, and the tiles on the floor were of white marble. The bathroom was kept clean and smelling fresh at all times. There was a strong smell of cleaning products in the air. Opening the faucet, she glanced at her reflection in the mirror. She never had the time to stop and realized how she had gained a little weight, and how there were signs of tiredness under her eyes.
Of course, I have been up since six in the morning. I’ll need some sleep soon!
As Lucia’s daughter arrived at the hallway that lead to the bathroom, she picked up a head bust sculpture of the Queen and felt the weight of the marble in her hands.
This is the perfect opportunity…
If this is not revenge for the Royal Family…
Then I am doing this for my Father!
Her gaze went from her own image on the mirror, to Lucia’s daughter pushing open the door. She turned around immediately. In that split second the object that she had been carrying exploded next to her head. It shattered the glass, causing shards to fall on the sink.
What the hell!
“I am not going to let you fool anyone.” Lucia’s daughter brought her hands up and closed her fists into a ball. “I know exactly who you are, and your plans about being here.”
She closed her distance to Jessica.
“I swear to God you must have confused me with someone else.” She waved her hands. A strand of hair fell to the side of her face, and she pulled it to behind her ear. “I mean… I am the Queen! I can get you arrested for threatening me. But I will keep my composure while the Palace Police locate us, if not, I can press one button on my speed dial and get in touch with Richard.”
Jessica raised her phone to show she wasn’t playing.
But Lucia punched the phone out of her hand and said. “Shut up!”
Jessica felt anger rising within her, and she remembered a few self-defense hand to hand combat Francisco Cardelini had taught her. She cracked her knuckles and raised her hands to her face.
“I see you rather go dancing. Come on then.”
Jessica raised her knees in attempt to hit Lucia’s daughter stomach, but she pushed it back down. Lucia then counter attacked by throwing a left punch, which Jessica lowered her head and ducked the bow. Jessica twisted her hips and fired a left hook into Lucia’s daughter lower right rib cage, immediately followed by a push as if trying to create a space and get her away.
Lucia landed at the sink, facing away from Jessica. She looked over her right shoulder and her lips curl into a sideways smile.
“Good. But not good enough.”
Jessica looked down at her hips and saw a ripped section of her dress. Lucia’s daughter approached and slapped Jessica’s ears. Jessica raised her left hand and palm strike Lucia’s nose. She immediately stopped moving and screamed in agony. Falling backwards with her hands to her nose, she felt her hands wet as there were a lot of blood coming out. Jessica hopped over Lucia and ran into the hallway.
“What will be of England tomorrow morning?” The Deputy Prime Minister said thoughtfully to Richard. “How will we adapt to this idea of Ms. Cardelini in the Royal throne. Has the arrest of the Impostors made overseas?”
The Queen was visiting the White House.
“The Senior Special Agent Leonardo Hingenbrinck in charge of the operation overseas will be contacting us tomorrow morning. I will keep you updated. We also need to create a staff meeting to assign or re-assign all of the Agents who will be part of Ms. Cardelini Security Detail.”
Richard moved his eyes to the doorway, where he saw Jessica stopping. Her hair was mussed. Her mascara was smudged beneath her eyes, a sign that she been crying.
“Jessica, Oh my God!” Richard hurried towards her. “What happened?!”
“That psychotic bitch just tried to kill me!”
Jessica looked over to Lucia’s direction and nodded. “Yes. I was referring to your daughter!”
“Will you two ever get along?”
“Where is she?” Richard’s facial expression turned for the worse. “I tried warning her not to mess with you.”
“I left her in the bathroom. I think I broke her nose.”
Lucia’s hands went to her mouth as she visualized such a painful scene.
Richard’s hands went to his gun on his holster.
Enough is enough!
Lucia’s daughter moved across the Plate Room heading towards the Guard Room while cleaning the blood coming from her nose. Due to the light fixtures not turned on in certain areas of the hall, some spots looked dimmer than others.
Arriving at the Guard Room, she flickered on the lights and approached the floor to ceiling cabinet against the wall. Pulling one of the doors, she eyed all of the arsenal in front of her. There were at least ten different types of guns hanging on the wall. The Palace had kept this arsenal, in case there was a massive attack in the Palace against any Royal Family Member.
She suddenly had a vision of when she was with her Dad.
“Today we are going to learn how to shoot with this gun. See, you notice it is unloaded, the slide is locking back. Take your fully loaded magazine, you’re going to insert into the magazine well. Make sure you slap it in, so it is seated properly, and then you’re going to rack the slide forward. Now the gun is loaded. You take your stance and you want to grip the gun with the handle firm in the palm of your hands. Keep your index finger straight until you’re ready to shoot. Remember, your thumbs goes together straight with each other. When you are ready, your finger goes on the trigger…go ahead, try hitting your mark. She pressed the trigger twice, her Dad’s voice came muffled through the ear muffins she had on. He pulled the board so they could see where she had hit the target. The picture drawn on the targeting board was not the traditional black silhouette of a man, but instead, it was the photograph of Jessica Cardelini.”
Back to the present moment, Lucia’s daughter located a gun similar to the one she used to practice with her Dad, and took it out of the cabinet.
Richard, Jessica, the Deputy Prime Minister and Lucia arrived at the bathroom.
“It’s empty!” Richard peaked inside.
“Crap.” Jessica felt nervous. “Can we leave here? I would like to go somewhere else. I don’t want to be in a Palace where people are trying to kill me.”
“Hang on. I’m trying to call her.” Lucia pressed her phone against her ear. “She never acted out this way. I don’t know what is going on! She is not answering.”
There was a loud noise, followed by the hum of the ventilation slowly coming to a stop. They heard a noise similar to the noise of an airplane turbine winding down, until it completely fell silent. Apparently, Lucia’s daughter had just cut off the power supply to the Palace.
Everything was dark. Jessica couldn’t see a palm in front of her. Standing there in the silence, they listened to the roar of the crowd outside of the Palace.
“I guess this was a form of answering your phone call.” Jessica managed a sarcasm towards her Mother.
Richard flickered on his flashlight and beamed towards Jessica.
“Hang on…” He froze and pointed the flashlight towards a window at the end of the hall. They were standing near the Conservatory Room.
“What is it Agent Maxwell?” Lucia followed the direction that Richard was looking at.
They listened to the sound of metal against the concrete outside.
“If your daughter cut off the power supply to the Palace, this mean that the Gates were also affected and they are now unlocked.”
“And the crowd is now breaking in.” Jessica’s words came slowly, as she felt her knees giving up on her.
Sniper/Operative—1 codename Alpha looked through his night vision goggles.
“The crowd is approaching the Palace from the pedestrian gate and the garage. Reporting over.”
Exactly what the hell is happening in the Palace?
“You have the go code to shoot anyone who crosses the gate.”
The crowd began pushing each other as they were going through the gates even before the Switchboard had finish giving him the authorization to shoot.
“Can you show us how to get to the Palace’s Main Circuit Breaker Box?” Richard asked the Deputy Prime Minister. “I will personally bring the power back, and let Lucia’s daughter realized she is playing with fire. If all this is a sick joke, then she has reached her limits.”
“Yes, of course.” The Deputy Prime Minister nodded in agreement. “This way please.”
A group of teenagers were using sling shots to fire rocks at the windows of the palace. They were also targeting the Queen’s vehicle. Tires were being sliced, and the windshield was shattered. Another group moved toward the helicopter that had landed at the helipad. They popped the door open with a sledgehammer and got inside.
Sniper/Operative—1 codename Alpha got up from his crouched position and just stared in disbelief.
Everything is falling apart!
Now a group of protesters managed to get inside of the helicopter…
…watch someone use a-
As in response to his thoughts, the earth shook as flames combust towards the street in a red—and—yellow eruption visible from miles. Instinctively he turned sideways, away from the heat. The explosion took out the entire side façade of the Palace, scattering debris for half—a—block to their left.
The Palace rattled and it took his concentration away.
“What the hell was that?!”
The sprinklers on the ceiling released the water, and the fire alarm began beeping as the energy from the back-up generator came on.
“Come on, we are almost there!” The Deputy Prime Minister ran in the hall.
Richard and Jessica followed him with a confused expression on their faces.
Are we under attack?
The Deputy Prime Minister pointed in the direction of an opened door at the end of the hall.
“The switch should be located in there!”
Richard beamed his flashlight around the room. He was looking into a massive room that resembled nothing so much as an industrial factory. The greyish cement floor was unfinished. There were cardboard boxes neatly stocked against the left corner. A dusty piano.
“Over there!” The Prime Minister pointed next to the piano, towards the opened Circuit Breaker Box.
Richard approached the Box with trembling hands.
I hate messing with electricity!
Let us hope it works!
He lifted the main power switch and the lights in the room flickered on. The Deputy Prime Minister, Jessica and Lucia started clapping their hands.
The sound of a gun being fired momentarily broke their celebration. Jessica’s facial expression showed that she was feeling a lot of pain. She glanced down at her stomach. There was a blood mark growing beneath her dress.
“NOOO! OH GOD!! PLEASE NO…” Richard started crying while feeling a nauseous lurch in the pit of his stomach.
Jessica began falling towards the floor, Richard followed her momentum and absorbed her impact by holding her in his arms.
Lucia’s daughter stood behind the door with her arm stretched forward. She was holding a gun. The moment the Deputy Prime Minister looked in her direction, she dropped the gun and started crying.
“What have you done?!”
Lucia looked at Jessica in Richard’s arm and brought her trembling hands to her mouth. She was disgusted at her Daughter’s actions.
I raised a murder!
Now what can I do to prevent the worse?
We need an ambulance immediately!
Jessica rested her head against Richard’s forearm and managed a smile.
“At least I am about to die in your arms…”
Richard cut her off, and tried to calm her down. “Hey, shhh… relax. No, no, no. You’re are not about to die. The ambulance is already on the way.”
“…I…truthfully…felt loved by you. Honestly…” Her mouth went dry and she swallowed hard. She spoke in a raspy voice. “I had already visualized being pregnant, and building a life with you. But, what can I say, like is a box full of surprises. Funny how last year you told me that you once got somebody killed that shouldn’t have been killed…and now here I am about to die in your arms.”
“No Jessica, not true!”
Richard looked up and saw Lucia pointing her index finger at his direction. The paramedics were running at his direction.
The Prime Minister’s daughter was being handcuffed by the Palace’s Police. She noticed that he was looking at her, and decided to curl her lips and smiled.
“You never knew what Operation White Diamond was really about did you?”
Richard never replied. He felt an anger building up within.
First they took my Mother…
Then…Jessica is now battling between life and death…
He looked back down and saw that Jessica had closed her eyes. He shook her in his arms, but she didn’t respond. He hugged her tightly, and then kissed her forehead. A tear rolled down from his eyes. He checked for a pulse.
There wasn’t one.
Mike raised the shiny key to the Castle’s secret passage and inserted in the key hole. He twisted the key and the bolt unlocked. With sweating hands, he pushed open the door.
He immediately saw three people sitting at the table eating dinner. They were staring at the television mounted on the wall, across from the dining room table. However, the moment he entered the room, they turned towards him.
A male sat to the left of the table. He was clean-shaven, and his white hair had been cut very short, and was neatly combed. The male looked confused and gave him a fierce who—the—hell—are—you? look. His eyes were dark blue, and it was very intimidating.
Mike moved his eyes to the right side of the table and studied an elderly woman sitting across from him. Her grayish hair was pulled over her ear in a tight and elegant ponytail. She froze to the spot while holding a knife and a piece of corn in her hand.
The third person was another female. She had her back to him. Her long brunette hair was tied behind her head.
Mike approached her while turning his head look at her face. She was of medium height and had the body of a runner. She appeared to be in her mid-twenties. She had long and wavy auburn hair. She was elegantly dressed, and had earrings made of diamonds. Her eyes were stunning, fetchingly gray-green.
Wait a second…
I think I have seen you before.
You are the female targeted for elimination by Winterfield…
Your name is Jessica Cardelini.
His eyes grew big.
But wait, this can’t be possible, because you left here… how can there be two of you?
In the calmest voice he could muster, he decided to ask.
“Ma’am…What is your name?”
She used a white cloth to clean the corner of her mouth, finished chewing her food, and said.
“Are you serious? You break into my house, and you are asking me who am I…Are you not recognizing who I am?”
“Who gave you permission to open that door?” The white haired man asked.
He ignored. “Please, I just need a name.”
The twentyish year old woman nodded.
“My name is Ivy Lockhart, and I am the Queen of England.”
The Prime Minister's daughter knows her Father left her a legacy. Her mission is to get rid of the newest threat that could split England forever. Jessica Cardelini knew that the path to the British Royal throne was not going to be an easy task. But with the help of the MI-5 Black Ops. Richard Maxwell, she felt confident that her time to reign has finally arrived... But then she met her half sister... And everything changed!