Skye witnesses a double murder and is forced to run for her life. She doesn't know how she'll survive, but she'll do anything to live another day. When contracts are taken out on her life, her only hope is a rival assassin determined to use her as collateral. It's not the best situation but at least she's safe for now. Things get immeasurably more complicated when she starts to fall for her captor.

Galen King kills for a living, but it's nothing personal. He works for the Circle of Monsters, a group of ruthless contract hitmen. They do their job, no questions asked, and emotions never get in the way. Each hit is another payday until he has Skye Lewis in his sights—then nothing is the same.

Can he change the rules and keep Skye alive? Or will his boss demand he follow orders or pay the ultimate price?

Be Warned: anal sex

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Cover Art by Jay Aheer

As soon as Galen’s boss walked away, she could finally breathe again. He was so dark, terrifying, and impossible to read. There was an eerie calmness surrounding him that she knew was anything but peaceful. She could envision him torturing people without an ounce of remorse.

Skye felt safe with Galen. It didn’t make sense, but she was usually a good judge of character. He may be a hit man or whatever he claimed, but he had a good heart, she just knew it. She was drawn to him, knowing he wouldn’t hurt her—at least she hoped.

“This isn’t in my job description,” Galen mumbled.

“What isn’t?”

He looked down at her, more like glared, as if she was a problem to solve. “Keeping people alive.”

She swallowed hard. “It’s better than killing.”

He exhaled his irritation then headed to the doors. She chased behind him, occasionally checking over her shoulder to make sure the other guy wasn’t back. Once they were both inside his car, the tension was palpable.

“So…” she started.

“He can’t be that mad if I can’t keep you alive. I mean, you’re not much use to him anyway.”

“I think you better listen to him,” she said. “He doesn’t seem like a forgiving kind of guy.”

Right now, her only concern was keeping alive and breathing as long as possible. The desire to survive was overwhelming. The past twenty-four hours had been a whirlwind. She should have known her life was too perfect before now. Something had to give, but she never expected to witness a double murder and then get tossed in the middle of a tug-of-war with professional killers.

She’d always been a dreamer. Skye was a live-in nanny, but that didn’t stop her from dreaming about adventure and her own happily ever after—no matter how unlikely. This was not what she had in mind. Her hero may be rock-hard, covered in ink, and unconventionally attractive, but he was just itching to get rid of her. Maybe even kill her. Prince Charming was not supposed to snuff out Cinderella. Everything about this fantasy was messed up.

“I need to eat,” he suddenly said. “I haven’t had any protein today.”

“I imagine you need a lot to feed all those muscles.” She clamped her big, dumb mouth shut to keep from saying anything else. Her face felt instantly hot and flushed.

He gave her a sideways glare, so he wasn’t flattered. He probably thought she was being snarky when she wasn’t.

“We’ll grab some food then we’re going to my place. I need somewhere to keep you until this blows over.”

She felt like a goldfish or something, an unwanted responsibility that wasn’t really much trouble.

“Any chance you’ll just let me go?”

It was worth another shot, but he didn’t answer her. A short time later, he pulled into the drive-thru lane of a fast-food joint. As they waited in line, she noted the bulky watch on his wrist and how the muscles twitched in his thick forearm as he steered the wheel. He even smelled good—a rich, earthy musk that she wanted to breathe in deep.

“What do you want?”

She snapped out of her reverie, trying to gauge the situation. “Huh? Oh, whatever you’re having.”

Once they had their food, they hit the highway. She sipped on her drink, wondering what he was thinking. Did he hate her? Skye knew he didn’t want to babysit her, but she never asked for any of this. Could a man really turn off all emotions or did he feel a little pity for her? If she wanted to stay alive, she needed to appeal to his softer side—if he had one.

“You know, I’m not a child. I won’t inconvenience you or anything.”

“You’re practically a child.”

Her hackles rose. “I’m twenty-five. That’s very much a woman.”

She’d done it again. Skye slunk down in her seat, wishing it would swallow her up whole.

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