Authors: Marie Carnay
© 2016 by Marie Carnay.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by information storage and retrieval system, without written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law.
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
The use of stock photo images in this e-book in no way imply that the models depicted personally endorse, condone, or engage in the fictional conduct depicted herein, expressly or by implication. The person(s) depicted are models and are used for illustrative purposes only.
This book is for sale to mature, adult audiences only. It contains sexually explicit situations and graphic language which may be considered offensive by some readers. Please store this e-book where it cannot be accessed by minors.
Editor: Edit Me Gently
Cover Image: Deposit Photos
A murder throws them together. A baby could rip them apart.
amien was sent
to do a job, not find a witness. When the DA’s daughter falls into his arms, he’s faced with an impossible choice. Handing her over might be his ticket to freedom, but it means her certain death. After one forbidden night leads to another, Damien can’t let her go. If the cartel wants to steal the woman he loves, they’ll have to kill him first.
Mia’s always been a good girl. But when she witnesses a brutal murder, she’s dragged kicking and screaming into the city’s seedy underbelly. Only one man stands between her and the next bullet. Underneath his tattoos and scars, he’s more than just a hired gun. He’s the father of her unborn child and she’ll do anything to protect him. Even break his heart.
Lace and Bullets
is a full-length steamy romance full of enemies-to-lovers, opposites attract, secret baby goodness. No cliffhangers or cheating. Guaranteed HEA.
the pearls up to her neck and frowned at her reflection. Her mother had been dead for ten years and she still couldn’t wear them.
She slid them back into their case and snapped the lid shut.
Ten more minutes. That’s all.
Her hands ran over the eyelet cotton comforter, her fingers snagging on the loops of flowers and leaves.
The whole room smelled of dust. It hadn’t been aired out in months.
Not that she cared. It had been a long time since Mia felt welcome in the Davenport residence.
The landscape lighting flicked on outside and Mia turned to the window. Perfect little hedges sat in a row along a stone path. A quaint swing stood empty beneath an oak tree. Grass as green as a golf course covered the hill that used to be filled with her mother’s roses.
A bitter taste rose in Mia’s throat and she looked away. From the outside, the Davenports had the perfect life. Her father was an expert at keeping up appearances. It was the only reason he’d asked her to come back.
The District Attorney for the city of Wellington and the surrounding county couldn’t run for re-election without parading his family in front of the media.
Unfortunately for Mia, she was the only family left.
He might ignore her for three hundred and sixty-four days of the year, but on the eve of re-election, he always called. At least this time, Mia would be getting something out of the deal.
Her father might be the most powerful lawyer in the whole state, but Mia was going to right his wrongs. One conviction at a time.
She checked the time. According to her father’s calendar, he’d just walked into a meeting downtown. That gave her an hour. Her feet slipped on the stairs as she took them two at a time. If she could break into his office and find the file…It just might work.
The idea had first come to her while she sat in her apartment, staring at her father’s email. When he had first asked her to come home, she had turned him down. It wasn’t until he had emailed with details that the idea had come to her. A bad, bad idea.
But the more she thought about it, the more the idea grew. Spiraling out of control inside her mind and hooking its claws deep, the damn little thing wouldn’t let go.
If her father wasn’t going to be home, she had a chance that might never come again. She had to risk it.
Mia scurried down the hall, hugging her body close to the wall. High-tech security cameras dotted the ceiling every few feet. The live feed went straight to an app on her father’s phone and to his security company.
But he was in an important, do-not-disturb meeting. He wouldn’t be checking up on her. Would the security company call if his daughter rifled through his files? It was a risk she had to take. By the time he got the message, she would have found what she needed and would be upstairs getting dressed.
Her father could be furious all he wanted. He wouldn’t ruin the charity gala and his appearance by hurting her. His election meant more than anything.
With a deep breath, Mia turned the knob. The door to his office swung open on silent hinges. All dark wood and leather, the whole room screamed pompous ass.
Mia crept to the file cabinets lining the far wall. It had to be in there. Her father kept duplicate files on all of the office’s capital cases. She pulled open the first drawer and scanned the file folders. Nothing.
She pulled open the second.
Flip, flip, flip.
She tore through the files as quickly as her fingers would allow, reading each case file, but coming up empty.
Crouching, she pulled open the drawer closest to the floor and hit pay dirt.
State v. Watson
. She pulled the file out of the drawer when the sound of voices filled the hall.
“I don’t give a flying fuck what the Governor has to say. That meeting had been scheduled for weeks. He should know better than to waste my time like that!”
. Her father. He couldn’t catch her in his office with a file in her hand. It would ruin everything. Mia scanned the room.
Where can I hide?
His footsteps sounded closer and closer. He’d be coming in any second. She raced to the coat closet.
Please don’t hang up your jacket, please.
She yanked the door open and slipped inside as the main door to the office opened.
Mia pulled the closet door shut and prayed.
“I don’t care when he’s available. I have a re-election campaign to run, or doesn’t he remember? You tell the Governor I’ll meet with him when my time permits.”
Her father cursed and Mia peered through the slats in the door. She watched as he threw his cell phone on the desk and shrugged off his suit jacket. It landed on the guest chair and Mia bit back a sigh of relief.
As long as she stayed quiet, he would never know she was there. Hopefully.
Her father strode to the liquor cabinet and pulled out a bottle of Macallan. He poured a hefty amount into a lowball glass and gulped down half of it before walking back to his desk. George Davenport did like a good scotch.
Mia slid down to the floor. She had just enough room to curl up with her knees against her chest. From the looks of things, it would be a long night.
She didn’t know when she had drifted off, but something woke her. She blinked her eyes open and winced in pain. It all came back.
Right. I’m stuck in the closet.
She rubbed the back of her neck as her father’s voice stopped her still.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
. Had he found her? She pulled back from the door, an apology on her lips, when another voice pricked the hairs on her arms.
“The cartel is not happy with the recent arrests.”
Mia squinted to see through the slats. A man stood in front of her father’s desk, hands clasped behind his back. Mia covered her mouth with her hand. One of his hands held a gun.
Oh my God
. From her angle, she couldn’t make out more than his clothes. Black suit, broad shoulders. Greasy hair pulled back in a ponytail. Not someone she knew.
Her father leaned back in his chair and picked up his glass. “Marcelo knows I can’t control the arrests. The conviction rate is still excellent. Under forty percent.”
“Mr. Marcelo expects the arrests to decrease. His guys are being held for forty-eight hours. It’s crimping his business operations.”
“Then you tell him to stop sending stupid lugs who can’t help but get arrested. I’ve got no control over the cops. You know that.”
Mia’s gut twisted. She knew the name Marcelo. He was the head of the biggest drug cartel in the state. A modern-day mafia don. He’d created an entire family out of drug dealers and pushers, weapons runners and human traffickers. A whole network of thugs and low-lifes who would do anything for him.
She swallowed. If her father was tied up with someone like Marcelo, then he was way worse than she had thought. He was a criminal.
The man holding the gun stepped closer. “You don’t seem to be taking this seriously.”
“Why should I? There’s nothing Marcelo can do to me. I’m the fucking District Attorney.” Her father leaned back in his chair and put his hands behind his head.
Mia’s blood ran cold. Was he that much of an egotistical ass? Did he not see the danger?
She rose up onto the balls of her toes and clutched at the wall. The man with the gun aimed it straight at her father’s chest. Her heart thudded louder and louder. She was sure they must be able to hear it beyond the door.
If she stayed quiet, the man would kill her father, she was sure of it. If she made a move, he would kill her too.
Mia didn’t know what to do.
With her blood whooshing through her veins, Mia scrambled along the floor of the closet, searching for something,
, that could help. She came up empty.
Oh, God. This can’t be happening.
Her father paled. He pushed back in his chair and the wheels rolled across the gleaming wood. It was the only sound in the room.
He held up one hand. “Easy, Angelo. You know I didn’t mean anything by it. Marcelo’s still my man.”
“It sounds like you’ve become too big for your britches.”
Her father tried to smile. “Not at all. I was just pulling your leg. Put the gun away and we’ll talk.”
Angelo stepped closer. “Marcelo is done talking. You aren’t delivering to his satisfaction. There are plenty of others in line who will.”
Her father reached under his seat and sweat broke out across Mia’s forehead.
What is he…oh, no.
She dug her nails into the trim around the door.
The second her father pulled the concealed pistol from its hiding place Mia knew it was over. Her father was going to die.
He pointed the gun at Angelo. “I’m not the fall guy for anyone. I run this town, not Marcelo. It’s time he remembered that.” Her father squeezed the trigger, but he wasn’t fast enough.
Mia watched in horror as the other man fired again and again. Her father jerked in the chair as bullet after bullet hit its target. His mouth fell open in shock and the gun clattered to the floor.
As she stared, the bullet holes turned crimson. Blood oozed in ever-expanding circles on her father’s starched white dress shirt. Mia crumpled against the wall of the closet. Her father was dead.
Sadness or guilt should be overwhelming her.
Instead, relief filled her. Her father couldn’t hurt anyone anymore. Not the innocent people he put behind bars or the families he destroyed in the process. He couldn’t cover up for the drug dealers and weapons runners that made up the Marcelo crime family.
Without him, the city would be safer.
The man who shot him took a step and staggered into the mahogany desk. Blood coated his hand as he reached forward to check her father’s pulse.
Where was security? Her father had the best in town. Sirens should have filled the house and police should have been busting through the front door by now.
This isn’t right
Mia steeled herself as the shooter slumped to the floor. He would bleed out and Mia would escape. She only had to wait him out.
A pair of black, scuffed boots appeared on the edge of her vision through the slats in the closet door.
Oh my God. There’s another one?
She slid back into the darkness and clutched the folder to her chest.
One hitman was enough for a lifetime. Mia didn’t know if she’d survive another.
“H-help me.” The killer on the floor reached out a hand as he gagged on his own blood.
The boots-wearing man sank into a crouch. “You were supposed to wait.” The man’s voice dropped lower as he leaned down to speak to the dying man.
Black pants. Black hoodie pulled over his head to hide his face.
. All she could see were his thick, strong hands.
Mia held her breath and strained to listen, but she couldn’t make out the words. Things like this didn’t happen to her. Her life was boring. Uncomplicated.
All she did was go to law school and go back to her tiny apartment alone. She didn’t even own a cat.
At last, the late arrival stood up.
Don’t find me, don’t find me.
She repeated the words over and over as she squeezed her eyes shut and wished she could disappear.
The edges of the folder dug into her palms and the pain kept her focused. It meant she was alive.
Footsteps moved to the other side of the room and she popped an eye open. The man had opened a cabinet and was rifling through the files. He was searching for something.
If he came to search the closet…
She stared, transfixed, as he rifled through her father’s entire office. His shoulders were broad and commanding, but he moved with grace and speed. A fighter? Bodyguard for the cartel? With his hood on, Mia couldn’t make out a single feature.
All she knew was he was ruthless. Indifferent to the gurgling man dying in a pool of his own blood a few feet away.
After a few minutes, the man stood up empty handed. He shoved the hood back off his head and she glimpsed him for the first time. Buzzed hair, square jaw, crooked nose. He wasn’t a pretty boy but he could hold his own, probably with one hand tied behind his back.
The man stalked back to the shooter still lying on the floor and gripped him by the only part of his shirt not stained red. “Did you ask him?”
All he got in response was a gurgle. He tossed the man back on the ground and exhaled in disgust.
Mia started to shiver. The shooter had scared her. This new man sent shockwaves straight to her bones.
He stepped around the groaning heap and slipped a glove onto his hand. Before Mia could understand what was happening, he had picked up her father’s gun.
“Sorry, Angelo. I have no choice.”
Mia bit down on the inside of her cheek as he leaned over the dying man. He aimed at the center of his chest and Mia bit harder as he fired at point blank range. The man slumped to the floor and a tiny whimper slipped past Mia’s lips.
The shooter’s head snapped up and she scurried to the back of the closet. She wasn’t getting out of there alive.