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Toys

James Bond and Jason Bourne have just been topped! A battle for the world is set into unstoppable motion and Hays Baker is the only one who can save it.

Hays Baker and his wife Lizbeth possess super-human strength, extraordinary intelligence, stunning looks, a sex life to die for, and two beautiful children. Of course they do—they're Elites, endowed at birth with the very best that the world can offer. The only problem in their perfect world: humans and their toys!

The one with the most toys—dies
The top operative for the Agency of Change, Hays has just won the fiercest battle of his career. He has been praised by the President, and is a national hero. But before he can savor his triumph, he receives an unbelievable shock that overturns everything he thought was true. Suddenly Hays is on the other side of the gun, forced to leave his perfect family and fight for his life.

Now a hunted fugitive, Hays is thrown into a life he never dreamed possible—fighting to save humans everywhere from extinction. He enlists all of his training to uncover the truth that will save millions of lives—maybe even his own. James Patterson's Toys is a thriller on a hyper plane—with a hero who rivals both James Bond and Jason Bourne.

Book One | FALL FROM GRACE

Chapter 4

"IT WOULD BE my pleasure, sir!"

Lizbeth laughed like an impressionable schoolgirl and took over. As her nimble fingers arranged the president's tie into an expert knot, he gave us a conspiratorial nod. Off to the side, Devlin was grimacing and fidgeting, and I hoped we hadn't made an enemy of the giant bodyguard.

"I will tell you this much about my future plans," the president said. "My best people have developed a program to—let's just say, complete the work of making our world a safer, cleaner place with respect to the human strain. We'll be launching it soon. In days, actually."

Lizbeth and I had heard rumors that a sweeping human-containment initiative had been taking shape. It was hard not to be relieved. The foolhardy and dangerous humans had only themselves to blame. They had blown their chance to make the world a better place. It was undeniable that they had accomplished quite the opposite.

"I'm counting on you both for important help with the launch of the human cleanup. Meantime, you're the best we have at holding the gross and undesirable elements in check. Please keep up the good work. Bigger, better things are coming for you two. For all Elites, actually." He checked himself in the mirror. "Come to think of it—humans are responsible for ties!"

President Jacklin smiled, then he said good-bye with effusive warmth—he was obviously an expert at it, perhaps aided by the prototype Cyrano 3000 implant he was rumored to have. I'd only read about the device, but what I knew was that it was surgically attached to a person's inner ear and could offer guidance through any social interaction. The amazing appliance had wireless access to a database of pretested social cues, pertinent information about whatever person you were talking to, and other useful facts, names, quotes, and quips that might fit a given situation. The irony: a human had also invented it.

Jax Moore took my elbow, then Lizbeth's, and walked us back to the oak doors. He lit up another of his cigars and puffed contentedly.

"Not a word about this. There can be no security leaks. Check with me first thing tomorrow," he said. "I have classified information we need to discuss. The president specifically asked for you two on the 'human problem.' You're both...beautiful," Moore closed, giving us an icy grin that could have frozen vegetables. I doubted he'd undergone a Cyrano 3000 implant, or even heard of it.

After the doors closed, Lizbeth took my arm and said,"One of the best nights of our lives, don't you think?" She'd handled the president with perfect poise—and charm—but she was also clearly starstruck after meeting the great man in person. To be honest, so was I. I just didn't let on.

"Definitely in the top hundred or so," I teased her.

"Really," she said archly."You'll have to remind me of the others. Such as?"

"How about the night when we met? Michigan Avenue, New Chicago."

She laughed. "Hmmm. Well, that might be in the top hundred."

"I guess I asked for that," I said as we exchanged a kiss that I'm sure caused a whistle or two in the president's security-camera control room.

Copyright © 2011 by James Patterson

Read by Matthew Bomer

Mathew Bomer currently stars Neal Caffrey on USA's White Collar. Bomer received a BFA Degree from Carnegie Mellon University and his feature film credits include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Flight Plan. Raised in Spring, Texas, Bomer is also a writer and currently lives in Los Angeles.

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