Fix Marcosa is at war.
The battlefield: New York City.
He knows every street like the back of his hand. The darkened alleyways and back streets conceal secrets only he knows.
Somewhere out there, an unknown element is threatening the life of the woman he loves.
Fix doesn"t mind shedding a little blood to get protect those close to him, though.
He doesn"t mind getting his hands dirty.
And when he goes to war"he sure as hell doesn"t lose.
Sera Lafferty knows what it"s like to run.
She"s been running her whole damn life.
With death now looming over her, it seems as though she must run again if she wants to survive.
The dark, storm-kissed stranger she met in a motel room offers another solution, however.
Fix is a challenge. An enigma. A savage force of nature. He will be her shield against the coming darkness, if only she will let him.
But can she trust the tortured ex-priest to keep her safe"
Should she run from New York as fast as possible"
Or should she stand and fight"Books by Author:Callie Hart Books
I had never killed anyone before.
There had been times when the desire had been there, of course. Plenty of times when the rage and the pain inside had demanded justice. This was the first time I"d taken action, though. And once the task was done, once the girl was dead, I was sure the knot of anger that roiled inside me would finally subside. That finally there would be peace, if only a tarnished, impure kind of peace that maybe wouldn"t eradicate all of the suffering and the trauma but might bring with it a shadow of rest.
That would be enough. Maybe then, there would be some way forward out of the darkness that had obscured the world for so long.
As I stood in front of the laptop on the otherwise empty desk, the words appeared almost by themselves on the screen. Another email, this time severing the contract that had been put in place. Marcosa had seemed like a solid bet. A man who would carry out the job he"d been hired to do without pause. There"d been no way to know he would fall for the girl. So fucking stupid. Lafferty was beautiful, there was no denying that, but the assassin had come with the highest of recommendations. Had never once quailed at the hardest of jobs. So why, now, had the man allowed his morals and his dick to get in the way" It should have been easy. Should have been a quick, clean kill that took up no more than thirty minutes of his day.
My fingers hammered at the keyboard.
Disappointment doesn"t cover it. I trusted your colleague to be a professional. Now, I"ve discovered your services to be unreliable. I"ve entered into an alternative contract to take care of the matter. This new individual"s methods are questionable at best, but he will not waiver until the work is complete. Please convey my dissatisfaction to Mr. Marcosa. Tell him, whereas before he could have saved SL considerable pain and misery, he has now guaranteed that she will suffer.
Closing the laptop and stowing it away, I considered the stack of drawings sitting in the bag beneath the desk. The images depicted on those countless sheets of paper were as graphic and sexual as could be. They"d been in that bag, carried from pillar to post, from one side of the country to the other, for years now. They"d become a focus of intrigue and hate, a fascination and an obsession, but now they were no longer needed.
Sera Lafferty would soon be dead, and this whole, messy saga would be done with. No more need for sneaking around. No more lies and deception. Tendrils of spite and fury would no longer choke the very air I breathed.
Those drawings wouldn"t be carried back home this time. The bag would stay down here to rot, just like the disgusting piece of shit lying on the cot on the other side of the bunker"the same piece of shit who hadn"t stopped sniveling and whining since the needle had pierced the crook of his arm fifteen minutes ago and the poison had slowly entered his sluggish bloodstream.
"Don"t. Don"t just fucking leave me down here. I can help you. I know what to do. I won"t mess it up, I swear!"
I sneered. "There is one way you can help me."
"How"" Anderson"s eyes were already bloodshot and bulging, the toxins getting to work inside him.
"I could really use your sneakers." Kicking the polished leather shoes off was easy; the damn things were three sizes too big. I began unlacing Anderson"s dusty, filthy New Balance running shoes, tugging them from his feet, first the left and then the right.
"Why are you doing this"" he moaned. "I ain"t done nothing to deserve this."
I almost laughed at that. "You know all too well what you did."
The sneakers stank to high heaven and were trodden down at the back where he"d jammed his feet into them without undoing the laces, as I had just done. I set my jaw and slipped my own feet inside, fastening them up tight. Anderson"s car was parked a mile away and it was dark outside"there was little chance of being seen"but still. I"d run back to the car just to be safe, and I didn"t want to end up tripping over my own feet. The sneakers were still too big, but better than the dress shoes had been.
I turned, ready to leave this godawful place behind forever, but Anderson grabbed the hem of the shirt I was wearing, fisting the material tightly. "What happened to you"" he whispered.
The man lying on the cot had gone by another name once upon a time. Just as I had, he"d changed his given name in order to build a new life for himself. He"d wasted the opportunity, though. He was old now. Fat. Useless. Another ugly sneer contorted my face; I felt it molding my features, setting there permanently. "I am merely a product of my surroundings." I tilted my head, studying him with utter contempt. "But you, Anderson" What happened to you""