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Ares Security #2
Zebra
January 2017
On Sale: December 27, 2016
Featuring: Mia Ramon; Lucas St. Clair
ISBN: 1420137573
EAN: 9781420137576
Kindle: B01DRXCGBC
Paperback / e-Book
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Five brave military heroes have survived the hell of a Taliban prison to return home—and take on civilian missions no one else can. They’re the men of ARES Security. Highly skilled, intimidating, invincible, and one by one, tested again and again . . .

Lucas St. Clair’s prestigious family had a political future neatly planned out for him—one that didn’t include his high school sweetheart, Mia Ramon. Under their pressure, Lucas gave her up. But since surviving captivity, he’s a changed man—and a crucial member of ARES Security. When he discovers a dead man clutching a picture of Mia that bears a threatening message, his fiercest protective instincts kick in, and he knows he must go to her.

Mia has never forgiven Lucas for breaking her heart, and she’s convinced her feelings for him are in the past. But it’s soon clear that isn’t true for either of them. Now, determined to solve the crime and keep Mia safe, with his ARES buddies backing him up, Lucas will have to reconstruct the murder victim’s last days—and follow a lethal trail that leads right back to the fate of the woman he still loves . . .

Excerpt

Chapter One

The Saloon was the sort of bar that catered to the locals in the quiet Houston neighborhood.

It was small, with lots of wood and polished brass. Overhead there was an open beam ceiling, with muted lights that provided a cozy atmosphere, and on the weekends they invited a jazz band to play quietly on the narrow stage.

Lucas spent most Friday evenings at the table tucked in a back corner. It was unofficially reserved for the five men who ran ARES Security.

The men liked the peaceful ambiance, the communal agreement that everyone should mind their own business, and the fact that the table was situated so no one could sneak up from behind.

Trained soldiers didn’t want surprises.

At the moment, the bar was nearly empty. Not only was it a gray, wet Wednesday evening, but it was the first week of December. That meant Christmas madness was in full swing.

Perfectly normal people were now in crazy-mode as they scurried from store to store, battling one another for the latest, have-to-have gift. It was like Thunderdome without Tina Turner.

Currently Lucas and Teagan shared the bar with a young couple seated near the bay window at the front of the bar. Those two were oblivious to everything but each other. And closer to the empty stage was a table of college girls. Already at the giggly stage of drunk, they were all blatantly checking him out. At least when they weren’t gawking at Teagan.

No biggie.

Both men were accustomed to female attention.

Teagan was a large, heavily muscled man with dark caramel skin, and golden eyes that he’d inherited from his Polynesian mother. He kept his hair shaved close to his skull, and as usual was dressed in a pair of camo pants and shit-kickers. He had an aggressive vibe that was only emphasized by the tight T-shirt that left his arms bare to reveal the numerous tattoos.

Lucas St. Clair, on the other hand, was wearing a thousand-dollar suit that was tailored to perfectly fit his lean body. His glossy black hair was smoothed away from his chiseled face that he’d been told could easily grace the covers of fashion magazines. As if he gave a shit.

His eyes were so dark they looked black. It wasn’t until he was in the sunlight that it became obvious they were a deep, indigo blue.

Most assumed he was the less dangerous of the two men.

They’d be wrong.

But while the girls became increasingly more obvious in their attempts to attract their attention, neither man glanced in their direction.

Teagan because he already had a flock of women who included supermodels and two famous actresses.

And Lucas because… He grimaced.

To be honest, he wasn’t sure why. He only knew that his interest in women hadn’t been the same since he’d crawled out of that hellhole in Afghanistan. Not unless he counted the hours he spent brooding on one woman in particular.

The one who got away.

Lucas gave a sharp shake of his head, reaching for his shot of tequila. It slid down his throat like liquid fire, burning away the past.

Nothing like a twelve-year-old vintage to ease the pain.

Lucas glanced toward his companion’s empty glass.

“Another round?” he asked.

“Sure.” Teagan waited for Lucas to nod toward the bartender, who was washing glasses, at the same time keeping a sharp eye on his few customers. “I assume you’re picking up the tab?”

Lucas cocked a brow. “Why do I always have to pick up the tab?”

“You’re the one with the trust fund, amigo, not me,” Teagan said with a shrug. “The only thing my father ever gave me was a concussion and an intimate knowledge of the Texas penal system.”

Lucas snorted. It was common knowledge that Lucas would beg in the streets before he would touch a penny of the St. Clair fortune. Just as they all knew that Teagan had risen above his abusive background, and temporary housing in the penitentiary, to become a successful businessman. The younger man not only joined ARES, but he owned a mechanic shop that catered to a high-end clientele who had more money than sense when it came to their precious sports cars.

“I might break out the violins if I didn’t know you’re making a fortune,” Lucas told his friend as the bartender arrived to replace their drinks with a silent efficiency.

“Hardly a fortune.” Teagan downed a shot of tequila before he reached for his beer, heaving a faux sigh. “I have overhead out the ass, not to mention paying my cousins twice what they’re worth. A word of warning, amigo. Never go into business with your family.”

“Too late,” Lucas murmured.

As far as he was concerned, the men who crawled out of that Taliban cave with him were his brothers. And the only family that mattered.

“True that.” Teagan gave a slow nod, holding up his frosty glass. “To ARES.”

Lucas clinked his glass against Teagan’s in appreciation of the bond they’d formed.

“To ARES.”

Drinking the tequila in one swallow, Lucas set aside his empty glass. There was a brief silence before Teagan at last spoke the words that’d no doubt been on the tip of his tongue since they walked through the door of the bar.

“Are you ever going to get to the point of why you asked to meet me here?” his friend bluntly demanded.

Lucas leaned back in his chair, arching his brows.

“Couldn’t it just be because I enjoy your sparkling personality?”

Teagan snorted. “If I’d known this was a date I would have worn my lucky shirt.”

“You need a shirt to get lucky?”

“Not usually.” Teagan flashed his friend a mocking smile. “But I’ve heard you like to play hard to get.”

Lucas grimaced at the direct hit. Yeah. Hard to get was one way to put it.

“I want to discuss Hauk,” he admitted, not at all eager to think about his lack of a sex life.



Start Reading KILL WITHOUT SHAME Now

Ares Security



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