By JA Huss
Publication date: 12-2-15
Everyone needs a hero.
That’s what Detective Molly Masters tells me. “What we need,” she says, “what the whole world needs,” she pleads, “is a champion.”
The only thing I want to talk about with Molly Masters is how I’d like to make her scream my name when I push her up against a wall, slide my hand up her thigh, and live out my wildest fantasies.
“Someone who will fight against injustice,” she says.
I’ll fight against anything you want, honey. Just come a little closer.
“Someone who will stand tall in the face of adversity,” she says.
I’ll do it standing, sitting, or lying down. See how easy I am?
“Someone who believes in the value of a good deed,” she says.
I believe in the value of me, sweetheart. Because I’m Lincoln Wade. Jaded genius, obscenely wealthy, capable of violence, and looking for revenge.
Molly Masters might have delusions of grandeur. She might see me as some superman capable of cleaning up the scum, filth, and corruption in Cathedral City.
But I’m not the hero she’s looking for.
I’m the dark alley where all her good intentions hide.
So be careful what you wish for, Molly Masters.
Because you’re about to get it.
“You know what Case and I call you behind your back?”
“Come on, Lincoln—”
“No, fuck you, Case. You get all paranoid because I go missing for a few hours—”
“A whole fucking day, you asshole. A night and a day, actually. Where the hell did you go? And what’s the deal with the girl?”
“It’s been taken care of.”
“I hope you did it right,” Thomas says, taking his martini from Mac, who makes another quick escape down to the other end of the bar. “Because you’re fucking up a lot of plans right now.” He glares at me from the corner of his eye. “And we never gave you authority to start killing people.”
“We? What is this we shit? You’re so sure we’re on the same team, Thomas?” I laugh, it’s so absurd. “Maybe we were way back, but you haven’t been one of us for a very long time, brother. Way too long to just start talking about bygones. So why don’t you put your fancy black gloves back on, take your coat off that stool, walk back the way you came, and go fuck yourself.”
“Shit,” Case says with a grunted laugh. “You’re an idiot, Lincoln.” Case grabs my gun hand and points it at Thomas. “Shoot him, then. If he’s not one of us, then shoot the fucker and prove it.”
I can’t shoot him. The three of us know this. And it’s not that I’ve got some sentimental affection for the old days. Some long-ago sense of loyalty. No. I simply cannot shoot him.
My hand trembles and I’m not even aiming, Case is. My whole body starts to sweat and my hands heat up. Perspiration collects on my forehead in drops and then it’s rolling down my face. The shakes start and I’m ready to double over from the nausea. Another second and I’ll collapse to the floor.
I wrench my gun hand away from Case, lower it to the ground, and the symptoms of inhibition poisoning ease back. But it takes many more seconds to recover than it does to be affected.
“I guess I am one of you,” Thomas says with a satisfied smile as he takes another sip of his martini. “Now be a good boy, Lincoln, and do your job like we planned it. Stop this madness before you get us all killed.” He gulps the rest of his drink, places his glass on the bar, and then reaches for his wallet, throwing down a twenty. “I’ll see you both Friday night at my new headquarters for the SkyEye party. And feel free to bring your date, Lincoln. I’d love to see her.”
“It’s sick what you did over there,” I say.
“So you saw it?” Thomas asks, one eyebrow raised. “I think it’s quite spectacular.”
“Yeah, if you want to be reminded of death.”
“You’re so dramatic, Lincoln. Grow a pair, will you? This is the big leagues and I’m not going to let you mess this shit up over petty vengeance.”
“Says the kettle to the pot.”
“My plans are a lifetime in the making. A legacy. I’m only taking what’s owed to me. And don’t you ever forget that I’m the one who saved you, Lincoln. I could’ve walked out and never looked back.”
“I thought that’s what you did,” I growl.
Thomas looks over at Case. “You better get him on a leash,” he says, turning his back to us and walking out. “Or I’ll step in and do it myself.”
There’s a lingering silence as the door whooshes shut after Thomas makes his exit and when I finally look over at Case, he’s got lots of questions. “What?” I ask.
“What did you do to the girl?”
“I took care of it.” And I did. But damn if she hasn’t been on my mind ever since. Everything about her has been on my mind since the minutes we wanted to fight out on the road. And she had a badge in her purse issued from the CCPD.
Detective Molly Masters.
Why didn’t I know she was the new detective?
“What if she…” Case stops, maybe choosing his words carefully. “What if she becomes a problem?”
“I told you,” I growl, giving him a look from the corner of my eye. “It’s taken care of. She won’t be a problem.”
I leave Case at the bar, all his questions unanswered. If I wasn’t offered answers about why Thomas is here, then why should Case get answers about me?
“You better go home tonight, Linc. I’m fucking serious.”
I shoot him the finger over my shoulder as I walk out the door.
JA Huss is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.
If you’re interested in getting your hands on an advanced release copy of her upcoming books, sneak peek teasers, or information on her upcoming personal appearances, you can join her newsletter list and get those details delivered right to your inbox.
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