Kill for You Sneak Peek
Happy New Year! I'm rolling into 2020 full steam ahead with several releases planned. To kick off the year, I wanted to share an exclusive sneak peek of Kill for You (A Warrior for Her #2) with you. Kill for You, which is Octavio and Faith's story, will release on March 17, 2020!
About Kill for You
I never believed in angels until I saw her standing in the middle of a crime scene, covered in the blood of a girl she knew nothing about. One look and I knew I needed to know more. Turns out, Faith Donovan is the answer to a lot of prayers…and my one shot at taking down Los Zetas, the biggest drug cartel left in Los Angeles.
The way I feel about her has nothing to do with my job though. She makes me want to wrap her in my arms and keep her for myself. Too bad for me, she's off limits.
Witness protection, they call it.
I call it a sentence in hell.
I'm allowed to look, but I'm not supposed to touch the woman who's been abused by her mother and imprisoned by a gang for most of her twenty-one years. I've never been a rule-breaker…but that's exactly what I want to do when she turns those big brown eyes in my direction.
When Los Zetas paint a target on her back, all bets are off. I'll find a way to keep her safe and keep her to myself, even if I have to kill every single cartel member along the way.
My name is Detective Octavio Hernandez, and Faith Donovan belongs to me. Once I claim her, no one will ever touch her again.
"I know you're awake, angel," I murmur, fighting the urge to chuckle.
Her breathing pauses for a second and then her long, sooty lashes flutter. Those wide brown eyes flash open, landing on me. They're bottomless pools of warm honey, shaking me all the way to my core. She's so young, so innocent, but the keen intelligence and enervated acceptance lurking in her gaze make it clear she's wise beyond her years. A healthy dose of ire and a whisper of fear swim in the depths of her red-rimmed eyes too.
I push away from the wall, taking a careful step in her direction.
She pushes herself upright in the bed, grimacing as she uses her bandaged hands to steady herself. The IV in her arm pulls taut where it's gotten wrapped around her upper arm. Before I can lean forward to help her untangle it, she tugs the line free, steadying herself on an elbow. A pained grimace crosses her face, gone as quickly as it appeared as she sits upright, wrapping the sheet around her. She eyes me, her expression carefully blank.
She's a frightened little rabbit, trying like hell to put on a brave face. There are cracks in her armor though, chinks large enough to drive a tank through. The sight sends an unfamiliar desire twisting through me. The urge to wrap her up in my arms and promise her everything will be okay waves through me. I quell the urge, ruthlessly tamping it down.
"I'm Detective Hernandez." I ease myself down onto the stool across from her bed, being careful to leave distance between us. I don't want to crowd her or back her into a corner. She'll never trust me if she's afraid of me.
The tip of her pink tongue peeks from between her full lips. "I know who you are," she whispers, keeping her eyes glued to my face. Her voice washes over me like an aria. Even though it shakes slightly, it's melodic, almost musical. I thought the same thing when she spoke to me outside the bar. "I remember you."
"That's good. How are you feeling?"
She watches me for a moment like she's trying to decide if she wants to tell me the truth or not. "Tired," she finally whispers. "And cold."
I glance around, frowning when I don't see any blankets. "Sai," I call quietly, and then wait for him to peek inside the room. "Go find her a blanket."
He nods and then disappears down the hall.
"That's really not necessary."
"It is," I disagree.
She frowns at me, her face scrunching up in annoyance.
"Do you remember what happened?" I ask, forestalling the argument brewing in those expressive eyes.
She opens her mouth and then closes it, shivering slightly. "Yes, I remember what happened, Detective Hernandez."
Sai taps on the door, drawing my attention. He's got a stack of blankets draped over his arm. "They were in the warmer," he says, holding them out to me.
"Thank you, Officer Patel," Faith murmurs politely when he sets them on the end of the bed.
He nods and ducks back outside, pulling the door partially closed behind him.
She eyes the small crack nervously before looking at me again.
"You're safe with me, Faith," I promise, reaching forward to shake out one of the blankets. I drape it around her shoulders, tucking it carefully so it won't come loose. "I won't hurt you."
"Okay," she whispers, though she doesn't relax until I'm seated on the stool across from her once more. She watches me warily for a long moment, her face scrunched up like she's trying to figure me out. "Do you have more questions for me, Detective Hernandez? I already told you what I saw."
"I do," I say, and then hesitate, reluctant to drag her even further into a war that isn't hers to fight. If I had another option, I wouldn't do it…but the Zetas need to be stopped. Oscar Fuentes needs to be stopped. And all of my instincts scream at me that this woman may have the answers to questions I've been asking for half my life. I just have to convince her to give them to me. "Do you know what esclavo del narco means, Faith?"
"Slave of the narco," she says immediately, the tip of her tongue peeking out to wet her bottom lip again. "It's what people call cartel slaves."
"It is," I murmur, keeping my voice calm and level. "Cartel gangs like the Zetas imprison innocent victims and force them to work. For women, that often entails working as prostitutes. Men are forced to work the cocaine fields, run drugs, or build their tunnels."
"I understand that you were under the protection Oscar Fuentes," I say, grimacing at the word protection. If Fuentes kept her around, it wasn't to protect her. I'd wager my life on that. "But I need to ask if you were there of your own volition, angel."
"I don't understand. I thought you wanted to ask me about the shooting?"
"We'll get to that, Faith," I promise, hating the way she folds in on herself as if trying to make herself a smaller target. Distress whispers across her face, those honey eyes haunted.
"I'm not…I'm not that," she mutters, though it sounds more like she's trying to convince herself than me. "I'm not a prostitute. I'm not one of their slaves." She carefully avoids saying she doesn't work for them. She also avoids answering my question.
"Were you there of your own volition, Faith?" I ask again, relieved that she wasn't working the streets for them. I'm not sure why I believe her, but I do. Whatever they forced her to do, they didn't prostitute her. She didn't suffer that horror.
"I don't…" She frowns, pressing one bandaged hand to her forehead like her head hurts. "Why are you asking me this, Detective Hernandez?"
"I spoke to your doctor."
She blanches, her hand dropping heavily back to her lap. The edge of the blanket comes loose, one side fluttering to the floor. Her eyes narrow on me and her cheeks darken, her tawny skin flushing as distress turns to anger. "You had no right to do that."
"Most of your injuries are old," I say, pushing forward even as sympathy wells, demanding I shut up and let her be. She's already been through more than anyone ever should. "The doctor believes you were just a child when you sustained them."
"I don't know what you're talking about," she mutters, her jaw firming. Her shoulders go back as anger grows, her honey-eyes darkening to pools of molten, liquid flame. "My health is none of your business."
Any healthcare provider who suspects abuse has a legal obligation to report it. Her doctor should have told her that, but didn't. I know why he didn't tell her—he was trying to ensure she didn't completely shut down and refuse the medical care she desperately needs. His heart was in the right place, but that won't win him any favors with her. It didn't win me any with her either, apparently.
"Los Zetas came looking for you earlier," I tell her, changing tactics instead of telling her she's wrong.
Despite her best efforts, she can't quite hide the flash of unfettered terror that races through her eyes. I don't miss the lack of surprise either, like she knew the Zetas would come. That tells me everything I need to know about why she was with the Zetas.
"Sai and Rich tell me you tried to sneak out earlier. I'm guessing you were trying to avoid falling back into the hands of the Zetas. If you're afraid of them, I can help you, but you have to help me do that," I murmur, fighting the urge to reach out to comfort her. I've been questioning witnesses for a long time, but doing it this time seems particularly cruel. The fear and hopelessness in her gaze prick at my heart. She's too goddamn young to be so fucking sad.
"What…" She pauses to lick her lips again. "What are you asking me to do, Detective Hernandez? What do you want from me?"
"I just want the truth," I whisper, unable to keep from leaning forward and tucking the blanket around her again. My hand brushes against her arm, making her jump. She doesn't like to be touched. I quickly sit back, giving her space. "If you're in danger, I can keep you safe, but you have to talk to me."
"I–" She breaks off, her gaze roving across my face like she's looking for some hint that I'm lying to her. "How can you keep me safe?" she demands after a moment. Hopelessness rolls through her expression again. "How can anyone?"
"I will," I promise, my voice lethally soft. "I won't allow them to hurt you."
"How?" she asks again.
She cocks a brow, hitting me with a look of adorable disbelief. "Witness protection isn't real."
"Probably not like you mean it," I agree, "but we can move you to a safe location outside of Zeta territory. Somewhere Fuentes can't find you."
"He'll find me," she mutters like she has absolutely no doubts about that.
"Someone will stay with you until they stop looking for you. They'll keep you safe."
"And what do I have to do in exchange?" she asks.
I grit my teeth against the irrational swell of anger her question brings forth. She asks it like she expects me to act like Fuentes and demand something in exchange for keeping her safe. I want to tell her I'm nothing like he is…that not everyone is out to use and abuse her. And yet, I do want something from her.
"I want you to help me bring Fuentes down," I murmur, my voice gruff as frustration pings through me. The last thing I want is for her to view me in the same light as that pendejo, but I can't lie to her about what I want from her either. "You know who they are, how they think…what they do and where. I need to know what you do."
She eyes me silently for another long moment. "You say that like you think I have a choice, Detective Hernandez, but I don't think I do."
I quirk a brow in silent question.
"They already saw me with you," she explains, impatiently batting at a piece of wayward hair. "They know I talked to you. You can pretty it up all you want, but we both know I don't have a choice here. My fate was sealed the moment I agreed to help you at Tiny's. If they find me, they will kill me. You know it as well as I do."
"Then why did you help me?"
"Because you asked," she says like that explains everything, but it doesn't. Not even close.
Why does that matter to her?
And why do I care?
Catch up on the series before Kill for You releases. Fight for You (Cade and January's story) is now available in Kindle Unlimited!
About Fight for You
Some men deserve redemption. Some men are worthy of salvation. I'm not one of them. My name is Michael Kincaid, and I've got so much blood on my hands I'll never wash clean.
I've spent the last ten years trying to outrun my gangbanger past and forget the day I lost everything that mattered…my family, my home, and January James, the only girl I've ever loved.
No matter how far I go, she still haunts me.
Now one of my enemies—a local gang member—has it out for her. He isn't going to stop until she gives him the territory I left her all those years ago.
She deserves better than me, but she's mine anyway. It's time to stop running and fight for her.
She's an angel. I'm the devil on her shoulder. And this is my swan song.
When it's over, I'll either be the monster at the end of this book…or I'll be the man she deserves.
Fight for You is a gritty and emotional brother's best friend, second chance romance. It the first book in a series of interconnected full-length standalone novels featuring alpha male cops willing to do whatever it takes to protect the women who need them most. Each book has no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.