In the next highly charged installment of the Always Cambridge Family Saga Series, all the men in Holly’s life come together in one common goal—to keep the woman they love alive.
Special Agent Alex Orton of the FBI prepares Holly for the rigorous court proceedings to come, where she will testify not only against her own family, but also against the Mayhue crime family, including Victor’s volatile and sinister older brother, Lorenzo.
However, in the midst of all the personal turmoil, Holly’s first love and former bodyguard, Randy Phillips, emerges from the chaos. He vows to not only stand by her through the trials, but accompany her into Witness Protection and her afterlife, if in fact they make it that far, as both the Mayhue and Cambridge crime families swear retribution.
But in a twist of law and fate, Lorenzo Mayhue is unexpectedly released from prison and lures Holly to the Mayhue Excavating warehouses under the guise of Victor.
Five people enter the storehouse, but only three walk out.
I had no intention of going out tonight. I just wanted to climb into my tub and soak. But Kara from the club called and she needed some cash. Probably not smart on my part to walk into Lorenzo Mayhue’s establishment. But I was living dangerously these days because the thought of him ending it for me once and for all didn’t scare me as much as it once had. It might actually be a relief. Respite from the heart-wrenching agony of losing Victor. I’d even been so bold, or perhaps stupid, to tend bar or wait tables for Brenda, the manager, when she needed the help. Right in the thick of it. I discovered tons of good info from Lorenzo’s employees. A few drinks went a long way towards engendering their trust.
If Lorenzo happened to walk in, Christ only knew what he’d do to me, if he even noticed me at all. But I pretty much knew his whereabouts at any given time, and he’d been steering clear of the club of late. Most likely avoiding the girl I was here to see.
I stood at the bar as she counted the money. I almost wanted to roll my eyes at the absurdity of it. I was giving her the freakin’ money out of the goodness of my heart, with no expectation of ever being repaid. As if I was going to short change her or something. And I wasn’t naive enough to believe Victor wasn’t giving her money also. I assumed he suspected Lorenzo was the probable papa to Kara’s unborn baby, too.
I sighed heavily and thought about getting a drink. I wasn’t driving anyway. I let my gaze drift back around the bar. Just to be safe. It wasn’t busy yet. But it was a bit early. I glanced up at the TV hanging above one of the patrons. The UFC pay-per-view was on tonight, and the station was running a continuous loop setting up the matches for the fight card. Randy Couture flashed onto the screen. I always thought he was an incredible specimen, both his looks and his physique. It probably didn’t hurt that he owned that name, too. My instructor often had cage-fighting playing on the monitors in the gym during training sessions. I admired the man on TV for another second. And with the name Randy resonating through my head, as it so often did, especially lately, I looked down at the man seated under the screen.
“Randy?” My heart stopped, then painfully resumed pounding. My face grew hot and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
“What?” Kara snapped.
“Nothing. If that’s all you need, I’ve gotta go.”
“Yeah, that’s it. Thanks for everything.”
I rushed from the bar and flattened myself against the bricks just outside the door.
My Randy. I couldn’t believe it. I closed my eyes as they filled. Hot tears ran down my face as I squeezed my eyes shut tight. He was here! It took every ounce of self-control I possessed to keep from running back in there and throwing myself into his strong arms. I miss him. I was tired of running, but I was not drained enough go back. I was so close to having everything I’d worked for. I could not give in to weakness now.
I couldn’t believe how he could still affect me. After Victor, I wasn’t sure I would ever feel anything again but raw. It still hurt to be away from him. But everything Randy that I thought I had so well and truly buried just resurfaced and flayed my insides out.
Was he here for me? Did he know I was here, or was he just in this bar tonight having a few drinks?
“There you are.” The sound of Brenda’s voice near me made me jump. I swatted my tears away, self-consciously.
“Could you help me out behind the bar tonight?” She not only ran the bar but looked after Lorenzo’s girls.
“No, I’m sorry, I can’t. Not now.”
“Good. I didn’t really need you for that. I’ve had another offer for you.”
I smirked at the absurdity of it. “You know I don’t do that.”
“You did it often enough with Victor. I think you’d like this guy, too.” Luckily, Brenda never knew me as my alter-ego here, Randi. She just thought I was screwing Victor.
“Oh yeah? Why’s that?” This should be good, I thought. She wasn’t stupid. She knew I was grieving over Victor. And what woman wouldn’t.
“He’s sweet. Kinda vulnerable in a dangerous sort of way.”
“Sweet and dangerous. Yep. That’s my guy all right.” I pictured Randy.
“I saw you looking at him, or I wouldn’t have bothered to ask you.”
“The guy in the leather jacket?”
“See, I knew you were interested. I’m never wrong.”
“He asked about me? What did he say?”