Of course I’m posting a bit from the end, after the beginning and the middle!
From NY to sunny Miami, Ann and Mark run into a maze of lie, betrayal, and death, where love is the only, terrifying certainty. And when truth unravels, they will have to risk all to survive.
Ann My sister was all the family I had. She was taken from me and now, someone wants me dead, too. Not sure why.
I’m sure I’m not going to give my life up, though. I’m not going to let them get away with my sister’s murder.
The new me will try, anyway.
You see, when she was alive I could live in brightness and peace. Now I have to accept the darkness within me. After all, isn’t life about balance? Ironically, the man who can teach me how to embrace the shadows is broken, hopeless, and angry. Mark is also the only one I trust to lead me through my heart’s night, and back into the light.
The one I trust to keep us alive.
Mark A favor to a teammate: pick up two girls in trouble, take them to the Team’s safehouse. Should have been easy. It was not.
Then someone killed one of my team, one of my brothers. Now it’s personal.
They want me, too. I can deal with that. But they want Ann. The only person who cut through me, who woke me, who grabbed my hand and guided me back into life one smile at the time.
I’ll be damned if I let them have anything.
Not. One. Damned. Thing.
Ann nearly said the word out loud to make it more real: the end.
The concept would fit well into an autumn day, when red and yellow leaves swirled on the ground for the last dance to a nostalgic song. But crossing the final point–of their nightmare? Of their lives?–sounded wrong when the sun was up, shiny, ready to pound from the get go.
Mark’s words echoed in her heart and filled her with bittersweet anticipation. Soon, they would live their love, or they would be dead.
Locked in the car, Ann watched people migrating to the beach: men in floral shirts and weird hairdos, girls in stamp-sized bikinis with huge straw bags in the crook of their arms. From the bars spread over along the sidewalks, Hispanic music crept into the car in muffled thumps.
Mary’s voice, the frantic run in a deserted New York, the first meeting with Mark seemed so far away. So closed in time.
She had all the answers now; Mark had them too, and yet they were driving into the lion’s den. “Why are we here?” she murmured. “I mean, I know why my sister died, you know the Team’s clean, the Boss is calling for help. Why don’t we just stay put, wait for them to do their job?”
Mark’s hand lay on hers as his gaze flew beyond the window, to the glass towers of Downtown, to bikers rushing to the beach and students rushing around the Freedom Tower. “I have to make sure they’re locked up for good. This city, this Country, doesn’t deserve what’s coming with that boat.”
“Do we deserve it?”
“We have no idea what’s there. It might be that the Boss dragged the whole FBI there, and all that’s left for us to do is watch the show.”
His hold on her hand tightened. “Tell me you want out,” he pleaded. “There’s still time to take you somewhere safe.”
“I do want out, but I won’t leave. I guess I need closure. Seeing the people responsible for Mary’s death handed over to the police might do it. Sounds lame, doesn’t it?”
He didn’t answer, but his lips shaped in one of those sweet smiles she loved so much.
“Here we are,” Snake said turning into Port Boulevard, the only link between the land and the port.
The bridge stretched like a long concrete ribbon into a cloudless sky. Few cars around. A rainbow of containers, the black and white tower cranes, the smell of salt and gasoline, emerged in front of them. So did the roadblock: four police cars, two for each lane, stopped the traffic in both directions.
Snake slowed down. “Looks like the Boss made it. I say we go and take a look. I mean, we have a right to– What the fuck is that?”
The silver Mercedes was a bullet shooting from the port to the city; it didn’t slow down when it crushed and cut through two police cars.
The Team didn’t move. When Snake’s phone rang, he simply threw it back on Mark’s lap.
“Bear,” he answered. The frown deepened, his jaw twitched. “Got it.”
He ended the call, tucked the phone into his pocket, took the gun and checked the ammo. “They ran. Let’s get ’em.”
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