The End of You: A Single Lady Spy Series Novella (The Single Lady Spy Series Book 3)

BOOK: The End of You: A Single Lady Spy Series Novella (The Single Lady Spy Series Book 3)
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The End of You
 

A
Single Lady Spy Series Novella

 

Copyright 2014 Tara Brown

 

http://TaraBrown22.blogspot.com

 

Amazon edition

 

This ebook is a work of fiction and is
licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or
given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re
reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use
only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard
work of this author. No alteration or copying of content is permitted. This
book is a work of the author’s crazy mind—any similarities are
coincidental. Any similarities are by chance and not intentional.

The novel is recommended for readers eighteen
and older.

 

Cover Art by Once Upon a Time Covers

Edited by Andrea Burns

 

Other Books by Tara Brown writing as

TL Brown, AE Watson, Erin Leigh, and Sophie
Starr

 

The Devil’s Roses

Cursed

Bane

Witch

Hyde

Death

Blackwater

Midnight Coven

Redeemers

 

The Born Trilogy

Born

Born to Fight

Reborn

 

The Light Series

The Light of the World

The Four Horsemen

 

Imaginations

Imaginations

 

The Blood Trail Chronicles

Vengeance

 

The Single Lady Spy Series

The End of Me

The End of Games

 

My Side

The Long Way Home

The Lonely

LOST BOY

First Kiss

Sunder

In The Fading Light

For Love or Money

Blood and Bone

The Seventh Day

The Club

 
 
 
 
 
 

Greed.

Five
simple little letters that can mean many different breeds of sin.

There
is gluttony and voracity. There’s financial greed. There’s the need to own
people, places, and things.

To
me the worst kind of sin committed in the name of greed is the one that leaves
the hole inside of you bigger than when you started out. Because essentially
greed is just that, an attempt at filling a void. We need more because we have
less. We are less.

 
Chapter One
 

The
dark of the night made it impossible to see what he was thinking. Coop paced,
passing by the window and casting shadows about the room. I kept my breathing
even and relaxed so he wouldn't know I saw him there. I could sense the end of
us nearing. I could sense his thoughts straying to other women, younger women.
I could feel every insecurity my dead husband lovingly bestowed upon me,
lingering in the air with the man who had never given me a reason to doubt him.

But
I did.

Not
like a college girl doubts the feelings and affections of every boy she smiles
at, but the way a woman doubts the man she loves because deep down she knows
she doesn't love him as much as she should. It’s a dark place where she admits
this to herself, deep in the recesses of her soul where she doesn't want to
look. But experience and wisdom have taught her to know better.

Girls
blame the guy, believing themselves in the right and screaming of the
injustice. Women silently blame him and push away the obvious fact that it’s
their own shortcoming.

There,
in the dark room with the handsome young man pacing back and forth like a caged
cat, I knew which one of us was to blame for the moment we were each wordlessly
having.

The
lights of the airport in Denver shone through the blackout curtains we didn't
close all the way. They provided the dim light I needed to see the doubt on his
face. The doubt I required to justify my desire to end things.

We
had been playing at our secret agent—spy—lover—instant family
roles long enough for all the dust to be settled. The dust unfortunately had
been filtering out the important things, blocking them out so we might be fooled
by the lack of clarity. But there in the dark room I believed we both saw it
for what it was. I was a single woman, desperate to fill the void my husband’s
many betrayals had created. I was a single mom, even more desperate to not to
be parenting in the world alone. And lastly, I was a broken woman struggling
with the possibility I had caused my husband to stray because there was nothing
desirable about me.

Coop
healed all those places. He loved my kids. He made me feel beautiful. He made
us all feel safe. Something we hadn’t felt in a long time. We weren’t alone
with him, none of us. He slipped into the holes, like plaster filling them up
and patching the cracks.

And
the worst part of it all was that I had let him.

I
had been selfish and greedy enough in my desire to be normal again that I
forgot the one sacred rule about relationships. That one special thing that will
always find a way—love.

He
continued to pace, pausing in the window. His stomach was flexed, making me
wish I could push it all away—all the doubts and worries about us and the
lack of love I feared I felt for him. The lust could be enough if I let it.

I
closed my eyes, letting myself believe that was a better option. Lust could
turn to love. I could let it.

Somehow
I slept with that as a blanket tucking me in and telling me to sleep, like my
mother had when I was a girl.

I
woke to Coop staring at me from the chair across the room. He was dressed and
ready to catch our flight to England. I rubbed my eyes, praying the stone-cold
expression upon his beautiful face was caused by the sleep in my eyes. But when
I blinked it was still there, the awkward stillness in him from the night
before with the pacing.

“I
think you should go home.” Finally, he had spoken the words I could tell he was
thinking, only they weren’t what I expected.

I
cocked an eyebrow, confused and too tired to actually fight about whether we
should both be on a mission with the kids at home with my mother and Fitz.

He
lifted a hand, holding off the argument I was brewing in my still foggy brain.
“I think you should go home and try to keep some sense of normalcy. Luce and
Jack are coming. We are meeting Servario in Dubai. I think you should let us
take care of this.” Luce and Jack were our partners, people we trusted with our
lives and those of the people we loved the most—my kids.

I
shook my head. “My mom has the kids. She’s fine. She and Fitz are better spies
than you and I will ever be and ten times the assassins.” The image of my
mother peeling the flesh from a man who was still alive would haunt me all the
days of my life.

He
nodded, wincing as well. We both would never recover from the viciousness of my
mother and Fitz. Thank God they were on our side.

His
eyes darted to the ground. “This is going to be another human trafficking case,
Evie. I don't want you to see it.” I couldn't help but wonder if that was
really what he was worried about. Or if he just didn't want me there because he
knew we were nearing the end of us.

Granted,
the memory of rescuing children from human trafficking still haunted me. It was
something I would NEVER recover from. It was a stain that permanently dyed my
heart and soul black.

Not
all of me, just the parts that had been previously innocent or naive in any way.
They were gone, completely. But the idea of backing out because it would be
hard, like I was some sort of delicate female, actually made me annoyed. The
stubborn bitch inside of me dug her heels in. “I’m coming.” I had a terrible
feeling this was more about me seeing Servario and less about human
trafficking.

My
heartbeat picked up its pace with just the mention of Servario inside my
thoughts. He was the one bad thing I wanted for myself but being a mom and a
responsible human being prevented us from ever testing that water out. He was
the bad guy and I was the good girl and never the twain shall meet, not in this
world. Not even by accident. I had to stop those accidental fuckings.

I
glanced at the tense look in Coop’s steely-blue eyes and nodded, not so much at
him but just in general.

“You
need to consider what we will see when we get there.” His voice was firm as if
he were giving me an order.

I
shook my head. “I’m going to take it as it comes and pray we aren’t put into a
situation that's worse than the others we’ve already survived.”

He
stood abruptly, not looking pleased by my choice, but it was still my choice.
He might have been my superior at work, but I could tell the order was coming
from the guy having the relationship with me. As my boss he had no reason at
all to try to make me stay behind. Not since I saved his ass last time we were
counting.

We
wiped down the room, still living in the awkward silence we had started the day
out with. We left it stripped and ready for housekeeping. We looked like we
might be polite and helping the hotel staff out, but honestly, we didn't like
leaving behind traces of ourselves.

When
we boarded the plane I was fortunate to be sitting next to an older lady who was
content to show me pictures of her grandkids and tell me about the garden she
had grown in the summer. She reminded me of my mother, before my mother
confessed to being an international spy and assassin.

Now
I saw her more as something from a movie. She wasn’t soft, she wasn’t sweet,
and she didn't ever let anyone off the hook. The whole thing was insane and
bizarre, and yet somehow true. Finding out my parents were both spies was about
the biggest lie I had ever been the victim of. Bigger than the affairs my
husband had before he died. Bigger than the lies the government told the rest
of the world. Bigger than the lie I told myself about my feelings for a man who
was too dangerous for my own good.

Coop
had taken the flight before me, just an hour earlier. He was meeting Luce and
Jack in London at Heathrow and meeting me in Norwich. We were then flying from
Norwich to Dubai on a private jet.

It
would have been exciting had it been for any other reason than the one we were
traveling for. No one ever said being a spy was fun, no one who actually did
the job. The rest of the world saw
James
Bond
and
Mission Impossible
and
believed it was all glamour, sex, and disguises. The movies rarely filled
people in on the dirty side, like letting a piece-of-shit cartel rat put his
dick in your mouth because it served the greater good. The image of stabbing
the last man who had done that to me made me feel ever so slightly less dirty.

My
mind drifted as the older woman rattled on and eventually I was asleep.

When
I woke we were in Norwich.

I
cleared customs as Barbara Newton, a Canadian who was on vacation and visiting
her great aunt who was on her deathbed. When I rounded the corner to the baggage
claim, my bag instantly caught my eye. Not because it was lime-green and
stuffed to the max with vacation clothing, but because the hand holding it made
my thighs tighten.

His
firm grip and large body made me quiver at the sight. My gaze didn't lift to
his face; I didn't need to see it or the smug look upon it.

I
knew his hand well enough to know exactly who was holding my bag.

Glancing
around, I wasn't certain what my options were. The man holding my bag was the
man who also, coincidentally, held my heart captive. He was the ultimate
package and not in the way you would expect or want. He was the sort of man who
could make you want him—make you choose him over considerably smarter
choices. Everything about him was too much. His intense kind of love was the
type you dreamt of and avoided at the same time. It burned too hot for you to
survive it. The mystery surrounding him was the appetizer, something to wet
your pallet and get the games started in your head. Just when you thought you
had him figured out, he did something incredibly evil or saintly or sweet. It
was confusing in every way. He took opposite stances on discussions regular
people wouldn't ever consider thinking.

BOOK: The End of You: A Single Lady Spy Series Novella (The Single Lady Spy Series Book 3)
7.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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