After a steamy one-night stand leaves Alexis with a baby on the way, and no way to find the father, she's forced to make the rash decision to marry the infatuated small-town police chief who promises her the safety and security she needs.
But safety is the last thing her new husband offers as their relationship gradually becomes violent. When the abuse reaches an all-time high, Alexis finally finds the courage to take her daughter and run. Determined to raise her daughter alone, Alexis leaves everything behind, until a freak accident brings her face to face with the same man she'd shared that heated night with two years before.
Warning: This novel contains sexual situations, adult language, and scenes of violence, including domestic violence that may be disturbing for some readers.
Release date: April 29, 2021
Print pages: 311
Content advisory: This book contains violent scenes and sexual situations intended for readers 18 years or older.
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Lies Between Us
“Okay, listen up.” Conner turned around in his front passenger seat to look at us as he spoke. “Once we get inside, we have twenty-five minutes before the system overrides and the alarm goes off. I want us out of here in twenty. They won’t know what happened until we're gone.”
Conner Jackson was our boss. He hired each of us for the different skill sets we possessed: Marshall for his safe-cracking expertise, me for my knowledge of explosives, Cortez for his experience as a wheelman, and Kingston for—whatever he does on that laptop of his besides scowling in a corner.
We pulled onto the dim street and Cortez slowed down while Kingston typed vigorously on his laptop. Once he finished, he looked up and gave Conner a nod. Conner tapped on Cortez’s shoulder and he pulled us into the large, empty parking garage. The office would be empty at that time of night and I was relieved that we wouldn’t have to deal with any bystanders.
I took a deep breath and gripped my backpack a little tighter than I needed to. My heart pounded in my chest, pumping that old familiar rush of adrenaline through my veins. I was ready. I could do the job, get out, and be done with Conner's crew. We’d gone over the plan for over a month. Studied and anticipated every possible scenario.
“Alright, masks down, boys,” Conner ordered, and we simultaneously slipped the black ski masks down over our faces. As cliche as they might be, they were effective.
As soon as the car was in park, we jumped into action. Cortez stayed in the driver's seat, ready to go as soon as we finished, and Kingston stayed behind with his laptop to handle the security from a technical standpoint while we did the dirty work.
We moved through the building, checking each room for witnesses finding no one there. I had studied the map so many times that I could practically walk through the mission blindfolded. First, we came to a high-end concrete door. That was where my skill set came into play. I swung my backpack in front of me, pulled out the hexotape, and lined the door. We moved back, shielding ourselves behind a wall until after the explosive tape blew a way so that we could get to the main office space.
We had one more door to get through to get into the boss's office. It was locked and required fingerprint scans and a security badge. I grabbed a small explosive, attached to an adhesive strip, from my bag, and stuck it on the control panel.
I motioned for everyone to step back and they did. Once the small explosion went off, we were easily able to open the door.
I caught a glimpse of the immaculate office and the large landscape painting that hung behind the dark-stained wooden desk. Conner pushed past me and pulled the painting out of the way, revealing our target, a large wall safe.
“Marshall, you’re up.” Conner nodded toward the metal safe and Marshall jumped into action. The guy stood out from the rest of the group. While most of the guys looked like they practically lived in the gym, Marshall’s wiry frame and thick glasses made me think he probably spent more time in a comic bookstore than in the gym. Add to that his beady eyes that always looked like he’d taken one too many shots of espresso and you could understand why some people referred to him as the rat. He could get in anywhere.
“Ten minutes,” Conner warned.
“Almost got it.” Marshall worked with laser focus, never looking away from the job. Two minutes later the safe opened and Conner removed the small metal box that easily fit in his hand.
“What is that thing?” Marshall tilted his head and studied the box.
“None of your concern,” Conner’s tone warned that Marshall was getting close to asking too many questions. “Let’s get out of here.”
We fled the building faster than we’d come in, having no time to waste and already clearing the office on our way in. As we rounded the hall into the main office we were met with the wide-eyed fear-stricken face of a slender blonde woman. Shit. No one was supposed to be here at this time of night.
“Go, get out of here. I’ll take care of her and meet you at the car.” I grabbed her roughly by the arm and pulled her to the side office, catching a glimpse of Conner as he nodded and motioned Marshall out of the building.
I checked my watch. Only two minutes to get out before security went back online. I’d have to make it quick.
“Here’s to a successful job well done.” Marshall and Cortez held up their drinks and I lifted mine toward them. I didn’t like going out with the guys I worked with. Usually, I had a rule about mixing business with pleasure but sometimes the job called for it.
Our table was in the perfect spot, away from the loud thudding music and pulsing lights of the dance floor, but close enough for a perfect view of all the women writhing to the beat.
“Damn, look at that smoking hot red-head by the bar. I could hit that.” Cortez motioned his head toward a young, jaw-dropping woman in a tight black micro-dress that draped over her shoulders and looked like it could fall off at any moment. She gazed around the bar with an air of awe, making her look sweet and innocent.
“She’d look great passed out on my bed, knowing I could do whatever I wanted.” Cortez was a sick fuck. I’d learned that back when I first met him. He’d told me stories about how he had a thing about dosing a girl’s drink in the club and taking her home to do whatever depraved things his twisted little mind could come up with. He’d dump the girl in an alley somewhere when he was through. She’d wake up hours later with no memory of what had happened, which from the stories I'd heard were a mixed blessing for the poor girl.
Hearing stories of his conquests had threatened to make me sick the night he’d bragged to me about some of the worst he’d done. One day soon, he'd get his. Looking at that beautiful woman, laughing and gazing around the club with innocent fascination, the idea of him touching her made me murderous. I couldn’t let that happen.
“Bet you I can take her home and I won’t even need the help of your goody bag.” I nodded toward his jacket pocket where he was known to keep a small stash of pills.
“Oh, you’re on. Don’t worry, once I win this little bet, I might even let you have my sloppy seconds.”
I fought the urge to punch Cortez in the face. I reminded myself that I would only have to put up with him for one more week and the job would be done. With that in mind, I stalked over to her and offered my most genuine smile.
“Hi. I’m Kevin.”
“Alexis.” Her subtle southern accent sent me into overdrive. There was something so sexy and innocent about a southern girl.
“Alexis. That is a beautiful name.”
I flashed her my best smile and leaned against the bar, casting a quick glance back to my buddy, Camden, who was working behind the bar. I couldn’t pull any punches when it came to seducing that woman. If I did, Cortez would see my defeat as a chance for him to swoop in. “Something tells me you aren’t from around here.”
She shook her head and a few auburn curls fell onto her face. “I and a couple of friends are just in the city for summer vacation. We wanted to have one more adventure since we just finished our last year of college.”
“That sounds like fun. So, what do you have planned while you’re here in Miami?”
“Tonight’s actually our last night. We’ve been seeing the sights, hanging out on the beach, and checking out different clubs all week.”
“Your last night and I’m just meeting you now?” I leaned over and brushed a curl from her face, gently tucking it behind her ear and she shivered.
“And she’s looking for a great one-night stand as the cherry on top of this awesome trip.” A drunk brunette leaned over, intruding into our conversation and Alexis blushed bright when I turned back to her.
“She a friend of yours?”
Alexis laughed and it was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. “Yeah. That’s Courtney. Don’t listen to a thing she says. She’s drunk.”
“So, you’re looking for one wild night in Miami before you go home?” I couldn't hide the hope in my voice, but it seemed to be working for me.
“Well, I mean...” She bit her bottom lip, and it was everything I could do not to pounce on her right then and there.
I waited, not pushing for her to confess what the blush on her cheeks already told me.
“I might be interested in that. It's just that I've never had a one-night stand before. I’ve had sex. It’s just always been with someone I was dating.”
She rambled when she got nervous. It was adorable but to win the bet with Cortez, I needed to seal the deal.
“Want my advice?”
“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have a one-night stand. The whole point of it is to have no pressure. You have fun. You meet someone who intrigues you, dance, flirt, and if it feels right, you go for it. Have one great night, knowing what it is from the start, so no one gets the wrong idea, then you move on with your life.”
“You make it sound so easy.”
“It should be easy. If it isn’t, then it’s not for you.”
She nodded, letting my words roll around in her head, but I had to stop her before she thought too far into it.
“Sure.” She looked pleasantly surprised at my sudden request. I pulled her hand, guiding her out onto the dance floor and she giggled.
We danced for a while slowly moving closer together until she was practically grinding against me to the deep bass of the music. After a while, the music slowed to a sensual beat. With my hands on her hips, I pulled her back firmly against me. Our bodies moved as one. We rolled our hips to the slow beat, grinding against one another, her back to my front. She had seemed so innocent, but the way she moved against me on the dance floor showed me there was a whole other side to her. There was a sensual, sexy side to her that could bring a man like me to his knees. I wanted her—desperately—and she seemed interested in a one-night stand which was perfect considering I couldn’t even tell her my real name.
One night. One extraordinary night was all I could give her and one night was exactly what she was looking for.
I tightened my grip on her hips, the same way I imagined I would when I thrust into her. I fought back a groan as she ground against the painfully throbbing bulge in my pants.
I kissed her neck and she let out a ragged breath mixed with the tiniest moan that I could feel more than hear over the music. Trailing soft kisses up to her ear, I let my warm breath caress her. “You wanna get out of here?”
She turned in my arms, clasping her hands behind my neck. Her sweet, shy smile gave way to desire that burned in her eyes. She lifted onto her tiptoes, her soft lips brushing against mine in a tender kiss that left me silently begging for more.
“More than anything.” She bit her lip as she gazed up with lust in those sexy blue pools.
I grabbed her by the hand and led her toward the door. I gave Cortez a glance and he returned it with a knowing look just as we disappeared into the side alley. I hurried her into my car, desperate to get her back to my apartment.
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