Read The Judas Relic: An Evangeline Heart Holiday Adventure Online

Authors: A.K. Alexander,Jen Greyson

Tags: #NA fantasy, #Paranormal, #fantasy NA, #NA series, #urban fantasy, #NA fantasy series, #bestselling NA

The Judas Relic: An Evangeline Heart Holiday Adventure

BOOK: The Judas Relic: An Evangeline Heart Holiday Adventure
9.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Contents

Title Page

Evangeline Heart Adventures

Dedication

Clay

Lina

Clay

Lina

Lina

Lina

Lina

Lina

Lina

Lina

Clay

Lina

Lina

Lina

Lina

Extras

THE JUDAS RELIC

An Evangeline Heart Holiday Adventure

by

A.K. Alexander

&

Jen Greyson

Evangeline Heart Adventures:

The Archangel Agenda

The Judas Relic

Books by A.K. Alexander

Daddy’s Home

Blood and Roses

Mommy, May I?

The Cartel

Covert Reich

Saddled with Trouble

Death Reins In

Tacked to Death

Hear No Evil

See No Evil

Books by Jen Greyson

Lightning Rider

Shadow Boxer

Undertow

Snowed Under

The Judas Relic

Published by Michele Scott

Copyright © 2014 by Michele Scott and Jen Greyson

All rights reserved.

Ebook Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Dedication

Dear Friends,

We are super excited to bring you Lina Heart. This is such a fun series for us to write and we hope you enjoy reading it. If you haven’t read the first book in the series,
The Archangel Agenda
, we suggest you start there. However,
The Judas Relic
is a stand alone holiday story. At the end of Lina’s holiday adventure, we have offered excerpts of
The Archangel Agenda
, and the upcoming
The God Game
. We have also included excerpts from a couple of our individual titles. You can find all of our titles at Amazon.com.

Thank You for joining us on this journey!

Happy Holidays to each and every one of you!

Cheers,

A.K. (Michele) & Jen

Clay

And said unto them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
— Matthew 26:15

Easiest fence this month. Clay Wellers clicked the briefcase closed and nodded curtly to the jeweler, Mr. Gordon Schmaltz. They’d traded millions in jewels and cash together over the years, but Clay still didn’t like him. Schmaltz was a crotchety old bastard, but the heavy weight of the cash made up for it. So Clay kept coming back.

Outside, the frigid Manhattan winter air slapped Clay’s face. He tugged his collar up around his jaw and tightened his hold on the handle of the briefcase. He had to admit to himself that his heart was heavy. This was par for the course for him at this time of year. It couldn’t be helped. No matter how much cash he had, no matter how much he enjoyed what he did, the pain inside couldn’t be rectified. In less than a week, the anniversary of his little brother’s death promised to mar Christmas Eve.
 

Clay hailed a taxi and took it to Fifth, near Museum Mile. He paid the driver and walked straight into the lobby of the best assisted-living care facility the city had to offer. It was where his mother had called home for the past three years when he had to move her out the home she’d lived in for over fifty years. He’d thought moving her from upstate into the city to be closer to him would help facilitate more visits on his end, but he was ashamed to admit that he knew it wasn’t enough. She deserved more.

The head nurse smiled up at him as he passed the nursing station and he smiled widely at her, making her blush. “She had a good day today. She’ll be happy to see you,” she said.

Clay nodded. “Hope so, Susie. Hope so. I brought her a little present.” He held up a small box that the jeweler had wrapped for him. In it contained a pearl-and-diamond necklace that he knew was far from practical for his mom, but he wanted her to have it anyway. Alzheimer’s or not, he believed his mom still deserved the finest that money could buy. He paused at the door, not expecting much.

She smiled politely. “Hello there.”

“Hi, Mom.” He moved cautiously toward the edge of the bed.

“Oh!” Her eyes widened and she reached out both hands for him. “Oh, Clay. Come here, darling.”
 

He set the briefcase down and leaned in, kissing her cheek. “You look great, Mom.” He loved it when she remembered who he was. Just that moment would be the best gift he could receive for Christmas.

“Thank you, sweetie. How are you?”

“I’m good. I’ve been busy with work.”

She nodded. “What do you do?”

They went through this every time and she always had the same response. “I’m a thief, Mom. I get paid a lot of money by crazy wealthy people to steal expensive artifacts, jewels, artwork … you name it. I’m their man.”

“You are so funny,” she said. “Did you graduate from high school yet? Where do you go to school?”

He patted her knee. “I graduated fifteen years ago.”

“Hmmm. Now, what do you do…”

And, that’s how it went. It was like a never-ending cycle reminiscent of the movie
Groundhog Day
, but Clay knew she enjoyed the company, so he would repeat himself as much as need be. He handed her the gift. “This is for you, Mom. Merry Christmas.”

She looked at him with wide eyes. “Oh, it’s Christmas. Where’s your dad? Where’s Jeremy?” she asked, referring to Clay’s brother.

He swallowed hard and took her hands, not able to remind her of the grim truth—that his father and brother had been dead and buried for many years. His hands shook slightly as he started to unwrap the gift and opened the box.
 

“This is for you.” He held up the necklace and she smiled.
 

“That’s so nice, Jeremy. Thank you.”

He nodded and stood, giving her a kiss on the cheek. “I love you, Mom.”

She looked up and smiled at him. “I love you, too.”

Clay knew he’d fudged Christmas by a week to his mom, but the thing about Alzheimer’s was that she’d never remember. Just like she couldn’t remember he was a professional thief, or that his brother and father were dead. If Clay agreed to the newest heist offer that had arrived in his email this morning, he’d likely be in the UK over the holidays.
 

Thing was, Clay knew he’d need help with this one, and he always worked alone—until recently.

As he left his mom and walked outside of the building, snowflakes swirled across the sidewalk where he hailed a cab. Clay slid into the backseat just as his phone buzzed. Pulling it out, he recognized Lina’s number and read her text.

Hoping for new details. Going to L to see R.

Interesting. He’d just been thinking about her.
 

Clay and Lina had first crossed paths during a heist when they’d been after the same religious relic—for completely different reasons. Clay had been after a large payday, but she’d wanted the relic known as Solomon’s ring—which was a ring with a unique stone in it—to open one of the back gates to Hell (apparently there are a few entrances into the devil’s den) and retrieve her fiancé’s soul in order to ascend him to where he was supposed to be living out a blissful eternity.
 

They’d since teamed up on a wild scavenger hunt for the other relics. It sounded crazy, but Clay had been forced to become a believer in Lina’s quest when the Archangel Metatron paid a visit to the two of them at his place while they downed some brews and talked “shop.” Long story short: the golden gilded angel wings, the fact that the “guy” could make time, people, everything stop and freeze in midair and a few other magic tricks that even the best magicians in Vegas couldn’t pull off—all of it had made Clay a believer.

Metatron had seemed to have a huge influence on the team he’d put together to save the soul of Griffin (the fiancé’s). It included Clay, Lina’s mentor Malcolm, and Ralph, an old guy who was a collector of all things ancient and religious. Ralph was a cool dude who lived in Chelsea, London, and now Lina was on her way to see him. Clay let this sink in for a minute. Had she found something new on her journey? Was Metatron sending her back over to meet with Ralph? Quite curious. So, Lina was headed to the other side of the pond, and the heist he’d been propositioned with was also located in London. Hmmm. Was it as simplistic as mere serendipity? He would need help with this job.

“Where to, sir?” The cab driver broke his train of thought.

“Uh, yeah. Sorry.” He tucked his phone back into his pocket and gave the driver his address. He didn’t know how to take Lina’s text. Was that an invitation? And if not, why was she telling him what she was doing? That woman was fierce and unapologetic and damn sure didn’t need anyone’s permission or approval for anything. Frankly, she scared the hell out of him.

But … she was also beautiful, intelligent, funny, and a tad crazy, which he kind of liked. He didn’t care for overboard crazy, but a tad crazy was a good thing.
 

Her intimidating profession as a trained assassin kept him from putting the moves on too hard, though. Not to mention that she’d lost the love of her life only a few short months ago.

Thankfully they hadn’t met on one of her kills, but only when she’d tried her hand—horribly unsuccessfully—at breaking into his business. Which left him wondering why she’d told him that she was going to London.

Maybe Christmas was a lonely time for her, too. With both parents dead along with her fiancé, and her mentor Malcolm on assignment, she’d be alone—just like he would.

Lina

I flexed my fingers around the hilt of my knife. When I’d taken the assignment, I’d forgotten how damn cold it was in Wales. And now that I was on my third hour in the dark outside Mik Bartholomew’s home, I was seriously itching for a kill in Belize next. Though I’d probably better be careful what I wished for, considering that I was likely going to be taking an upcoming trip to Hell. By then I’d be begging for this frigid air.

My gaze constantly scanned the modest house and simple landscaping from my hiding spot behind the row of hedges that bordered Bartholomew’s detached garage on the edge of his backyard. I shook my head. This guy was something else. He’d been one of the leaders in a sex-trafficking and child-pornography ring. I was certain he was responsible for thousands of abductions and sales of children, all for the profit of grotesque and heinous individuals.
 

I could taste the bitterness in my mouth for the creep. He’d been one of the sidearms for the South Asian kingpin I’d taken out a few months back—the same guy whose crew turned around and murdered Griffin in retaliation, and I planned to take them out one by one.

I wiggled my toes and slowed my breath, concentrating on keeping my heart rate even and pumping warm blood to my extremities. I shouldn’t have to wait much longer.

The hair at my nape stiffened and I tensed, lowering myself a few inches. I’d staked out his place and habits for the last three nights. He had no family to speak of—he was a sick and disturbed loner who played in his playground with a handful of other sickos. He was always on the computer, or traveling wherever the girls were easily found and easily abused.

I kept myself in the shadows and watched and waited, knowing he’d be headed my way before long. I was in his “playroom,” built off his garage. It was where he studied photographs of children from toddlers to teens. But his studying of anything, his exploitation of anyone, was about to come to an end.

The front door of his house slammed shut. Bartholomew belched loudly and scratched himself, then lumbered down the steps and toward the garage that connected to his special room behind me.

Where I’d planned to finish my job.

He paused and glared at the overhead bulb that I’d unscrewed, then shrugged and pushed through the door. “Ah, bloody hell,” he mumbled.

I slipped in behind him before he could try to flip on the interior light, knowing two burned-out bulbs would make him suspicious and I’d lose my advantage.

I drew my blade across his throat.

The bastard outweighed me by at least a hundred and a half. I’d taken out bigger guys before, but preferred not to have to wrestle them if I could help it.

He grabbed at my hands, but they lost their grip on the slippery blood rushing out of his body. I put my knee in the middle of his back and pushed, shoving us apart and sending him crashing against the hood of his Jaguar.

“Nice car,” I said to its dying owner as he gurgled a reply and tried to look at me while falling to the greasy, stained concrete. I grabbed one of his work rags and wiped my knife and the back of my hand where I’d been splattered, listening closely for anything out of place beyond the walls.

I slid my clean knife back into my calf holster and my phone rang. “Christ.” I fumbled around in my pocket. I shook my head and answered Clay’s call. “Hey.”

BOOK: The Judas Relic: An Evangeline Heart Holiday Adventure
9.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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