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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 1

FORTY-EIGHT HOURS EARLIER—a mere two days before I watched the 7-4 Day film at my parents' house.

When I arrived at President Hughes Jacklin's inauguration party that night in the year 2061, I was flying high, happier and more self-satisfied than I had ever been. I couldn't have dreamed I would end up losing everything I cared about—my home, my job, my two darling daughters, Chloe and April, and my beautiful wife, Lizbeth, who was there by my side.

In the catastrophic whirlwind of those next horrible days, it would seem as if my world had been turned upside down and any part of my personality that wasn't securely bolted in place had fallen into the void. And what was left was what I guess you'd call the essential Hays Baker—well, if you brought the old me and the new me to a party, I guarantee nobody would accuse us of a family resemblance.

Lizbeth and I arrived at the presidential estate at around eight thirty, delivered in high style by our artificially intelligent Daimler SX-5500 limo. This wasn't our usual car, of course.

A cheery, top-of-the-line iJeeves butler helped us out onto the resplendent, putting-green-short grass of the front lawn. We promptly began to gawk at our surroundings—like a couple of tourists, I suppose. Hell, like lowly humans given an unlikely glimpse of the good life.

Even now, I remember that the warm night air was sweet with the fragrance of thousands of roses, gardenias, and other genetically enhanced flowering plants in the president's gardens, all programmed to bloom tonight. What a botanical miracle it was, though a bit show-offy, I'd say.

"This is absolutely incredible, Hays. Dazzling, inspiring," Lizbeth gushed, her gorgeous eyes shining with excitement."We really do run the world, don't we?"

By "we," Lizbeth wasn't talking about just herself and me. She was speaking of our broader identity as ruling Elites, the upper echelon of civilized society for the past two decades.

Most Elites were attractive, of course, but Lizbeth, with her violet hair set off by ivory skin and an almost decadent silver silk gown, well, she sparkled like a diamond dropped into a pile of wood chips.

"You're going to knock them dead, Jinxie," I said, winking. "As always."

"Flattery," she said, winking back, "will get you everywhere."

Jinxie was my favorite nickname for her. It stemmed from the fact that she'd come into this world on a Friday the thirteenth, but there wasn't a single thing unlucky about her—or our life together, for that matter.

I took her tastefully bejeweled hand in mine, inwardly thrilled that she was my wife. God, how I loved this woman. How lucky I was to be with her, as husband, as father to our two daughters.

Every head turned as we walked into the huge, high-ceilinged ballroom, and you'd have thought we were music or film stars from the bygone human era.

But not everybody in the high-society Elite crowd was pleased to see Lizbeth and me.

Well, hey, you can't make everyone happy. Isn't that the sanest way to view the world? Of course it is.

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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