The Prince of the Deep - Book cover

The Prince of the Deep

F.R. Black

Chapter 1

Book Four: The Prince of the Deep

The moon lies.

I want to be angry, but I do not have the energy.

The moon has this miraculous ability to produce an abnormal amount of excitement in its victims, casting a veil of deceit.

This excitement leads to bad judgment, red flags being overlooked, disguised by ecstasy and the thrill of the moment.

Did you know blood sparkles like diamonds in the moonlight?

Deep hues of black and stunning hints of scarlet have me in a trance. Only a full moon could produce such splendor.

I reflect as I take a labored breath.

The color could be called betrayal.

I think most people would agree that when pinning a color to the damning word, they would approve with my assessment.

I look up, seeing the luminous orb in the night sky, and realize that a full moon is not an invitation but a dire warning.

I think I have heard that bad things happen on a full moon. You should stay inside and lock your doors.

Well, if it has the ability to transform a mere man into a ten-foot wolf, then there is some truth to that saying. Maybe if I had remembered this earlier, I would have had my guard up.

I mentally laugh, tasting metallic blood on my tongue as I cough.

My tickets to Paris are now a soggy mess next to me, the dashed dreams of my life in luxury.

This was the gig of a lifetime, a job we have worked toward for the past three years. Being so careful, honing our skills almost to perfection.

Lucus had promised me that this would be our last job, with a payment beyond our imaginations. Diamonds. Thousands of them.

Well, he was half right—this would be my last job, but not his.

Vetrov Yankovich had been my Russian prey tonight. The bisexual billionaire was perfect with his thirst for extravagance. His harem-like tastes and massive orgies made him an easy target, a clear mission.

Vetrov and I shared the same feelings for wealth and the more beautiful things in life. We became fast friends and moved in the same social circles, giving me an easy in.

What can I say, I have always had high tastes.

Since I was a little girl, my father had always spoiled me with lavish gifts. The infamous drug lord had more money than he could spend.

But when he died, I couldn’t walk away from the life I knew so well and loved. I needed it, yearned for it. I wanted extravagance.

And I did what I had to do to keep it.

I steal expensive things from billionaires. But I was fucking stupid tonight, for lack of better words.

Lucas is probably on a one-way flight out of here, sipping champagne while getting a shoulder massage to ease the guilt and tension he must be feeling. I make a sound of disgust.

It’s not easy being a monster.

The poor thing.

I can still remember looking up at the glowing moon with a silly smile on my red lips, my glittering gown swaying in the slight breeze.

The thrill and adrenaline were still coursing through my veins, powered by this energy that I had felt.

We did it, I had thought.

In my bag was over three hundred million dollars worth of precious diamonds. Lucas and I were flawless, getting by security like seasoned thieves.

This heist was executed with precision and extreme talent that took years to master. Vetrov will probably not notice the fakes in his massive safe, at least not for a while.

But I was not focused on the real threat.

The blaring threat that told me he loved me and that he would buy me the moon if he could.

How fitting . . . the moon. Such a mysterious thing.

I wonder how many red flags I missed tonight, like when he was on his phone and quickly hung up when I glanced in his direction.

Or when he told me that we should take separate flights so as not to draw unwanted attention to us.

In hindsight, he had been distant lately. But I had thought it was just the nerves, the impending obligation that we had to do this job without fault.

I had been so imprudent that I can’t even get mad at Lucas. I should have smelled the bullshit a mile away. Now my life in riches is but a vague memory.

Poor Camila.

Poor Camila. . .

“Camila,” Lucas had said, coming up to me with a broad smile, dashing as always, “do you have the bag?”

I grinned back at him, the alleyway hiding us from curious eyes. “That depends.”

His black suit matched the darkness around us. “On what?” He was still grinning. “You going to skip town without me?”

“Never,” I said too fast. “But I want the biggest diamond ring to wear on my finger,” I purred, my arms snaking around his neck.

“And you shall have it, mi reina.”

My Queen.


He always called me his Queen, something that I found quite endearing—until now, that is.

My vision blurs for a moment then rights itself.

Lucas had grabbed my face and passionately kissed me, saying, “I will take the bag, cariña.”

I remember frowning. “I thought we decided I would take it?”

“I don’t want you to risk it. Let me handle this.”

I had smiled at him, thinking that this man must truly love me to protect me like this, and I handed over the bag—which was my death sentence.

The knife in my stomach happened so fast that I was still in shock when he kissed me again, saying how sorry he was before impaling me harder.

He slowly lowered me to the ground and kissed my head for the last time.

He told me that this hurt him more than it did me, and left without looking back. . .

More tears stream down my face as I feel my heart pounding against my chest, laboring. I let my head fall back and wait for the darkness to consume me.

Maybe I will get to see my father again, and we can laugh together over our dumb life choices. . .



I hear them echoing.



I open my heavy lids as a flash of adrenaline courses through me.

“E . . . lllllppp,” I try to wheeze out. I’m not sure how much blood I’ve lost, but I know I have but minutes left.

I try to focus my vision as I see a tall, burly figure stop in front of me.

I look up at him, wondering why he is not calling for help at the shocking sight of me.

“Mister,” I moan. “Help. 9-911!”

He kneels right in front of me, his features coming into focus. He is very handsome, I realize, but not recognizable.

The man tilts his head at me with a bright smile. “Camila, is that you? Almost didn’t recognize you with the wig.”

I frown at him.

He knows me?

And why is he talking to me like I am not dying?!

The man shakes his head and holds up his hand. “You don’t have to answer that. I see that you have gotten yourself in a little bit of a pickle.”

A pickle?!

Is this guy nuts? I am about to die!

“Help,” I wheeze. “I’m s-stabbed.”

Why is he happy? Smiling?!

The man frowns suddenly and steps back as if not to dirty his shoes with my pooling blood.

“Sorry, these are my favorite shoes,” he says apologetically, making my mouth drop open.

He studies me with his hands in his suit pockets, making me think he might have been at the same party as me. Maybe he knows what we did—a detective, perhaps.

“I know that you are confused, and honestly, this has not been your night. Am I right?”

I can’t say anything.

He looks around then back at me. “Well, Camila, your luck is about to change. I have an offer for you, and the fact that you’re dying might alter our mission, and we can’t have that.

“When Fate picks us a girl, we take that very seriously.” He gives me a pointed look. “The universe depends on you . . . maybe. You have like a one and five chance, actually. But, still.”


I must be hallucinating.


I wait for him to say “AND WELCOME TO HELL!” as fire explodes behind him and he turns into something horrific.

“I’m dying, call 911!” I plead, as my vision spots with black dots.

I really don’t want to die. I want revenge.

And this man is a lunatic!

He shakes his head. “No point. You have lost too much blood for that, I’m afraid. By the time you arrived at the hospital, your body would be a cold corpse.” He tilts his head.

“So you must listen carefully. I have a job for you, and if you sign this contract,” he is now holding a glittering piece of paper, making me think I may have died already, “I will save your life.”

“Am I dead?” I whisper.

“Well, not yet,” he continues. “I’m trying to prevent that if you have not noticed.”

My hands and feet feel numb as I stare at him. “You can save m-me?”

He smiles and studies me. “Of course I can. I just need you to sign your name, my dear. Fairy Godmother Inc. would like to employ you. We are the keepers of balance, sustaining the universe by true love’s kiss.”

I stare at him.

He is serious.

Did he say Fairy Godmother Inc.?

I am good at reading people—er, until tonight, that is. Maybe he is a doctor? A billionaire with a chopper on one of the skyscrapers nearby? Flight for life?

“I-I’ll sign.”

I know this is ridiculous, but beggars can’t be choosers.

This is my only hope.

He holds the glowing letter right in front of me and it looks real. Like, real real. I know I am dying, but something tells me that I’m really seeing this.

My eyes trace over my full name that is written on the first line.

No one knows my real name.

No one.

I look up at the man, my breathing labored, my lungs stinging.

“Who are you?” I whisper in awe.

He grabs a pen from out of his perfect suit and holds it out to me. “This is your lucky day, Camila.”

I reach to grab the pen, but my arm will not move.

The man leans closer and grabs my limp arm, lifting it. It’s strange, but I can smell the spice of his cologne.

“Do I have your permission to help you sign?”

“Yes,” I rasp.

He places the pen in my limp fingers and guides it to the glowing letter, helping me sign my name on the dotted line at the bottom. It’s messy, blood dripping on the magical contract, but it’s done.

I look up at him, waiting for him to call for help.

To do anything.

He stands up quickly and touches his ear as if he is wired, confusing me.

“Randy, I need an extraction now. This is a code triple X—Medical staff on standby.” He looks at me. “Camila. I want to formally welcome you to Fairy Godmother Inc.”

I think I am frowning.

Maybe he is a nutbag.

“Welcome, Camila.”

I am about to sputter curse words at him when something strange happens to my person. My whole body feels prickly and fuzzy, and before I can panic . . .

Everything goes utterly BLACK. The last image I see is that strange man winking at me.

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