Bloodlines – Aubrey Irons

“Looks like your luck’s run out, Aela.”

Rain pours in sheets outside, crashing like waves against the big factory windows of the old building. Graffiti tags the crumbling brick walls, glowing neon with each flash of lightning outside.

The flash also illuminates the silvery metal of the gun in his hand.

My chest feels tight, like I can’t breathe. My pulse pounds like a drum in my ears as I eye the gleaming metal and the grinning man holding it.

He shakes his head. “Aela, Aela, Aela. What are we going to do with you?”

It’s a rhetorical question. I’m not exactly going to answer with a gag in my mouth.

He lifts the gun, hefting the weight of it in his hand as he steps towards me. Thunder booms outside.

“You know, your father would be so disappointed in you.”

The rage comes flashing to the surface just as the lightning crashes, and I scream at him through the gag. I lunge toward him even though I know it’s a futile gesture, the plastic ties binding my wrists to the chair burn hot as they dig into my skin. My eyes squeeze shut as the fight drains from me.

He chuckles.

“Headstrong and reckless as ever. You know, that’s what got you into this mess in the first place.”

It’s not.

He’s what got me into this mess in the first place.

He’s the one that set me up.

He’s the reason I’m here, and why my world is shattering around me.

He’s why the man I love is lying bleeding back in the church with a hole in him.

Love.

Or loved. Or still love. Or maybe it’s “love again.”

It’s a moot point now anyways, though.

This is what I get for coming back here. This is what I get for falling into him and his arms all over again — for letting go, for throwing caution and rational thinking to the wind and letting what always came natural to us carry me away again.

This is what I get for wanting him.

For surrendering myself to the man who already broke me once. For craving his touch. For being addicted to how sinfully dirty he makes me feel, how perfectly bad it is when I’m with him.

The way he shatters my world like he shattered my heart all those years ago.

The tears I’ve been swearing to myself I wouldn’t let this man see — the one holding the gun who stole that away from me — finally trickle from me eyes, trailing hot lines down my cheeks to drip onto the white wedding dress I’m wearing.

He grins smugly, as if my crying is a win for him.

“I want you to know this is nothing personal.”

He lifts the gun.

The tears are still falling, but I’m screaming in rage at him now. I’m straining against the binds, feeling the blood run hot down my wrists to stain the white dress, and not even caring as I stare fire, rage, and death at the man who’s about to murder me.

The man who took everything I’ve ever loved.

The man who’s leveling a gun at the center of my forehead, about to take the last of me as he slowly shakes his head.

“It’s nothing personal.”

The hammer draws back. This is the end of the line.

This is what I get for coming back here.

“It’s just business, Aela, that’s it. But for what it’s worth?”

He shrugs.

“You never should have come back here.”

I close my eyes.

I think of the man I love.

And the gun roars.

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Burned Promises by Willow Winters My world is caving in on itself; the scars of my past threatening to consume me. I was ready to fall from the top of my empire and I didn’t give a damn. But then she showed up; falling back into my life and into my bed. My sweetheart. I should let her walk away again; I’m a bad man, but I’m too selfish. This time, I’m keeping her.

Dirty Debt by Lauren Landish It’s time to collect on the biggest debt anyone in the city owes me. Jacob Waters, the bastard that killed my father. He’s an abusive prick and he’ll pay the ultimate price. But before I take him down, I’m taking his most prized possession. His precious Sarah.

Bound to the BB – Crystal Kaswell Brendon. My best friend’s brother. The smoking hot tattoo artist miles and miles out of my league. He wants me. He wants me bound. I’ve had a crush on him since I can remember, but can I really handle him like *this*?

Protector by Bella Lovewins Robin – I bump into the bad boy who broke my sister’s heart nine years ago, and everything changes. I never expect forbidden fireworks, secrets and danger at every turn, and a hero in my corner when I need him most.

Redeeming Viktor by Alexis Abbott A passionate one-night-stand ends in heartbreak. Five years later, and he’s back, but can what they have be rekindled once he realizes they have a daughter?

Hostage by Vivian Wood World-weary ex-soldier Sam isn’t expecting to find beautiful, broken Kat in the snow. When he takes her back to his hunting lodge and cleans her bruises, she tries to flee. Scared for her life. Sam is determined to protect the delicate blonde from the world, even if that means putting his life on the line. Now that he’s found her, he won’t let her go…

Lumberjack Boss by Tabatha Kiss Wealth. Power. Wood. Three things I had more of than anybody else until Hazel showed up to protest my latest project. She won’t take my money. She doesn’t care about my family’s influence. Maybe a little wood is what she needs… and I’ve got more than enough to give her.

Bloodlines by Aubrey Irons Once upon a time, he was my prince not-so-charming. But there are no happy ever afters with life in the Dark Saints Irish mafia. I swore I’d never come back to Boston after he pushed me away six years ago. But that’s before there was a price on my head, and I needed protection. I won’t fall for him again. Giving in to temptation this time around doesn’t mean a broken heart. It means we’re dead.

Hard Rock Promise by Athena Wright I thought it’d be an easy job when my friend asked me to “babysit” her out-of-control brother — her playboy, arrogant, *sinfully sexy* older brother. As the bassist in the rock band Cherry Lips, Gael’s had more than his fair share of women. But his dirty, sexy words ignite my body, just as his promises of forever ignite my heart. Is Gael playing me or playing for keeps?

Crossfire by KB Winters I’m Jameson O’Leary. When I find a sweet Irish babe on the side of the road, it’s time to get down and dirty—on and off my bike. I just pray baby girl doesn’t get caught in the crossfire.

One Night Stand by Kylie Walker Heather Blair was only going to check up on her assistant. To see how the wedding was going. She hadn’t planned on being snowed in or make a night of it with a tall, dark and sexy billionaire. Have a one night stand her assistant told her! When she finds out who he really is, the question is, will she run out the door or into his arms?

Signed SEAL’d Delivered by Holly Hart Ripped muscle and strict discipline, that’s what SEAL’s are made of and exactly why Jax was hired for the job. When Jax sees Alex, the girl he loved all those years ago, his years of hard work and his career are put to the test.

A Fake Wife by Sierra Rose Charlie’s plan: Sweep into town, pick up a fake bride, get his inheritance, and leave like the wind after a quickie divorce in Caribbean paradise, untying the knot fast enough to cause whiplash. Jaime’s plan: Getting intimate, then signing papers over Piña Coladas and saying adios wasn’t quite her style. She knew a happily ever after with Charlie was never going to happen… unless fate intervened.