PLUS: First in the series Injustice is reduced to $12 in paperback, and K.A. Kron's lesbian military romance series Don't Tell and Shades of Gray are only $8 in paperback each!
Read an excerpt from the book:
As I rolled to a stop, I quickly closed the windows and sunroof, before the dust covered the interior of the Jeep. I pulled my long, unruly black hair into a ponytail and grabbed a pair of sunglasses from the center console. I walked toward the house, wondering what new trouble Charlie was getting me into today. Knowing him, I expected to see at least one person toting a gun. As if on cue, I heard boots crunching in the gravel on the side of the nearest building. I stopped dead in my tracks as a very large, muscular man stepped around the corner, an automatic weapon in his hands. He was obviously here to deter uninvited guests. Charlie appeared behind him, also packing serious fi repower.
“Cripes, put that thing away,” I said, waving my hand at Charlie.
Charlie lowered the weapon, but didn’t relax. “It’s about time you got here. I was expecting you an hour ago, Riley.” He nodded to the other man. “Victor gets itchy when people aren’t on time.”
I took a swig of my lukewarm coffee. “Good morning to you, too, and to you, Victor,” I yawned. “I was busy last night...I overslept.”
Charlie rolled his eyes. “What number are you up to?”
Ever since Ali and I had broken up, Charlie and my friends had taken a special interest in my sex life. I tried to keep the iciness out of my voice. “Who’s keeping count?”
He grinned. “Oliver,” Charlie replied, referring to our mutual friend and my current roommate.
I snorted. “It was a rhetorical question.” I looked around the barren landscape. “What the hell are you doing out here? And what the hell am I doing out here, especially so early in the morning?”
Charlie kicked at the dirt with his boots, avoiding my eyes. “Well, I need a ride.”
I wasn’t surprised. Charlie’s legal and illegal exploits rarely shocked me anymore. “A ride? Where?” I looked past Charlie and watched a tumbleweed roll across the road, knowing there wasn’t a Starbucks within miles. I sighed and looked at my watch.
“There’s no coff ee out here, Riley.” Charlie shook his head, reading my thoughts. “I know you’re not going to like it, but I’ve got to drop some things off , and if I’m late my associates get a bit cranky.” He started walking toward one of the bigger buildings and I trailed behind, not willing to let Charlie know I was almost excited to be a part of his adventure, regardless of how dangerous or illegal it would be. Inside was a small airplane and despite my conflicted feelings about Charlie’s latest venture, I was drawn to the sleek beauty of the small aircraft. I moved closer, peering through the open cargo door that was stacked with crates containing items I didn’t want to know about.
“Fuck me. Are you serious?”
Charlie Black crossed his large, tattooed arms, giving him an even more intimidating look. He hadn’t been in either the military or the CIA in two years, but Charlie still kept his dark hair short and could pass the U.S. Navy SEAL physical tests with relative ease. Charlie appeared to be in his mid-thirties, but even I didn’t know his true age. He had been my mentor and friend in the CIA and was there for me at a point when we were forced to fl ee the agency together.
While I had tried to assimilate into civilian life by enrolling in law school and getting a job, Charlie had more difficulty letting go of his former world and still operated on the edge. He had kept me out of his shenanigans for the most part, until now.
“I don’t have much choice,” Charlie said. “If there was any other way, I’d have already taken care of it. We’ll be back before you know it.”
I stood on the concrete fl oor, staring at the plane in front of me. Without knowing the details, I knew that what Charlie was asking could have serious consequences. Of course, at this point in my life, I really didn’t give a shit.
“Let’s roll this thing out then, so I can do the preflight. I hope you were kidding about the coffee, Charlie. You’d better find me fresh cup. Good thing I didn’t have any more to drink last night or there’s no way I’d even consider flying.”
I set about getting the plane ready, while Victor muscled open the hangar doors, and Charlie secured the cargo. I didn’t ask him who was originally supposed to make the run, because I honestly didn’t want to know. I hadn’t flown in some time, but it was like riding a bike. Charlie climbed in next to me once we were ready to roll, a cup of steaming coffee in each hand.
While I warmed up the engines, he plugged coordinates into the GPS. It was a pretty plane, with a pretty price. I hoped that its real owner didn’t want it back before the flight was over.
I looked over at Charlie, my eyes still stinging from the lack of sleep. He’d put the assault rifle in the back seat, but least he didn’t have it in his lap. “So, where are we going?”
Charlie didn’t beat around the bush. “Just down to New Mexico.”
I shook my head. “New Mexico, for sure, not Old Mexico?”
He nodded, and I stared in his eyes for a full minute, knowing that Charlie could change our destination once we were closer, and I’d be hard pressed to do anything about it. I was convinced, for the moment, that he was being truthful. “Well, at least we’re not leaving the country.”
He grinned. “Not today.”
For that, he received my evil eye. “I’m not doing this again.”
“Come on, Riley. Don’t be such a killjoy. Don’t you feel alive? The thrill of the unknown? The adrenaline pumping?” Charlie poked me in the shoulder and smiled, his teeth glowing against his tan skin and scruffy beard.
I yawned again as I gave the plane full throttle, the grass beneath us providing a surprisingly smooth runway.
We took flight and I climbed to a safe altitude. “Are we going to be shot at when we land?”
He shook his head, but offered a dazzling smile. “I don’t think so.”
“Then I don’t see why there should be any fuss, unless there’s a sting operation in progress. And I’m assuming your contacts would have let you know that, right?”
Charlie sighed. “You’re taking all the fun out of this,” he said.
“Yep. That’s my goal.”
We reached our destination without incident, and landed with minimal jarring. The runway was not well maintained, so I had to watch carefully to avoid large potholes that could have easily flipped the plane.Before rolling to a stop, I positioned the aircraft so that we were facing down the runway, ready for takeoff . I didn’t shut down the engines, or unfasten my seat belt.
Charlie instinctively grabbed his rifle, handing me a Glock handgun. “Just in case.”
I checked to make sure it was loaded as several vehicles approached the plane at a rapid pace. My adrenaline was pumping and I was wide awake, and not because of the coffee. “Charlie. Make it quick, okay?”
He stood in the open doorway and smiled. “That’s the plan.”