I never betrayed my friend.
Last year, I was kidnapped along with presidential candidate’s daughter Lindsay Bosworth, forced to help her assailants, my mother implicated in one of the biggest political scandals in American history.
I’ve been cleared of any wrongdoing, but that doesn’t matter. Once you’re tried by the media, you’re guilty as sin. The truth doesn’t get the public’s attention.
But shame? Shame sells.
And everyone assumes you’re tainted.
Now I have my own personal security team, courtesy of the United States government. Not the one you learned about in civics class, though.
I’m being tracked by the deep state. The shadow government. They’ve assigned Silas Gentian to be with me twenty-four seven. He thinks he knows everything about me – all of it bad — and he does.
Like everyone else, he assumes I’m a traitor. A backstabber. A betrayer. Someone who helped a group of violent psychopaths, puppets of powerful men in Washington who made me into a tool.
Yet I see how he looks at me. True desire can’t be faked.
And that goes both ways.
He assumes I’m trying to fool him.
And he might be right.
But not for the reasons he thinks.
A Shameless Little Con is the first book in the Shameless trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine.
Read the whole series:
Book 1: A Shameless Little CON
Book 2: A Shameless Little LIE
Book 3: A Shameless Little BET
“Of course I have.”
“And you’ve rejected that. Completely.”
“Then you’re really bad at your job, Silas,” I say, letting all the bitterness and contempt come through my voice.
“You’ve wounded me, Jane.” Turns out he can do contempt, too. Better than I can.
“I mean it. Anyone whose job is to protect people can’t be such an absolutist. It makes you weak. Gives other people an easy shot at you.”
“‘Other people’? Do you mean people like you?”
“No. I mean people like the ones who attacked Lindsay.”
“Right. People like you.”
I shake my head slowly, the waves of panic flowing through me, giving in to them. Letting them come because what choice do I have?
And guess what?
You can feel all of that panic, let the anxiety overwhelm you, nearly black out from the incongruity of being shamed, driving toward an unknown destination where you have no control–
–and still stand up for yourself.
“I have nothing left to lose, Silas. My mom is dead, my reputation’s beyond salvageable, I don’t have a job or a place to live, and everywhere I go someone’s trying to kill me. Even my online world is nothing but garbage and threats from shitlords. So, as a simple thought exercise, can you try? You’re protecting me. Someone assigned you to me. Give me the courtesy of doing your job completely. If I’m stuck with you–and I know I am–I, at least, want you to do your best.”
Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.