Series: Rough Edges #2
Lucien Falco knew Evie was hiding something. The talented, beautiful hacker was a puzzle Luc wanted to solve. Raised in a loving, close knit family, he’s always known what’s he’s been looking for. But no woman has ever come close.
“Only if you’re bringing me donuts.”
He entered, shutting the door. He sat, tossing a folder on my desk.
“We have a situation.” He nodded at the folder.
Photos of mutilated dolls and letters with threats in thick black ink.
I sobered, frowning. “Who is the client?”
“It’s not a client. They were sent to Evie.”
“What the fuck?” I re-examined the letters. “What’s our plan?”
“Mailroom reported it. They’ve been coming for the last week.”
“Shit. These are –” I tossed the photos on the desk. “She know?”
“Fuck.” I leaned back, pinching the bridge of my nose. “Sawyer’s been digging up her past. There’s nothing. Literally nothing.”
Pax crossed his arms, pegging me with a glare. “And why is one of my analysts doing that without my permission?”
“I’m her next of kin. Not an actual fucking family member. You ever hear about her past? No. She deflects. All the fucking time. She pushes you away. She keeps people at arm’s length, she–”
“No, it’s because you’re into her.”
“You fuck off, douchebag.” Pax leaned forward. “You’re into her. I’ve been distracted, but I’m not blind. Don’t bullshit a bullshitter. If you try to tell me you’re not into her, then you’re a fucking idiot and I’ll take you outside.”
“Well, fuck.” I offered a wry smile. “Can’t pull one over you.”
“You idiot.” He tossed a pen at me. I caught it, spinning it with one hand.
“What are we doing about this?” I tapped the photos.
“We need to find the threat.”
“Maybe.” Pax reached for one of the photos. “This is disturbing.” He held it up. The dolls genitals were melted, its mouth covered by duct tape.
“It’s personal. And angry. There’s a lot of rage in this picture. That’s dangerous.”
“She needs protection.”
“She’s leaving. Got her official resignation letter today.” The words tasted like sawdust. “London.”
“What’s the new job?”
“You didn’t do the referee check?”
I frowned. “No. I assumed you did.”
Pax leaned forward, tapping a hand against his knee. “Do you know the name of the company?”
I shook my head. “Let me call Sawyer.” I hit the digits on my handset, leaving it on loudspeaker.
“Yel-low?” Sawyer answered.
“Sawyer, I’m here with Pax. Which start-up is Evie working for in London.”
Sawyer paused. “I… I don’t think she’s said.”
I exchanged a look with Pax. “Can you find out? Quietly?”
“Give me five.”
We waited, hearing his keys as he typed, muttering to himself.
“Umm, this is unexpected.” He murmured down the phoneline.
“What is?” I prompted.
“She doesn’t have a passport. Or any flights booked. There are no visa applications either.”
“She’s meant to be leaving at the end of the month.”
“Dude. She may be leaving us, but there is no evidence that she’s leaving the country.”
“Thanks.” I hung up, looking over at Pax. “She’s hiding.”
Pax nodded. “This.” He tapped a picture on the table. “And her leaving? Too coincidental.”
“Fuck.” I ran a hand through my hair. “Just… fuck.”
“You’re gonna need to get the full story.”
“If she’s been planning this, I highly doubt she’s going to do anything but run.”
“Way I see it, you have two options. One, you tell her and she runs. Or two, you tell her and she stays. Either way, you need to tell her. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t keep her in the dark.”
“You dick.” I threw the pen back at him. He caught it mid-air, sending me a shit-eating grin.
“Am I wrong?”
I rubbed a hand over my mouth, frowning. “Fine. But I’ll handle it.”
“And if she runs?”
“We’ll find her.”
Pax grinned. “Finally. You have your balls back.”
Kim is an introvert who loves writing about fierce women and the men who love them. Her favourite kind of story is the one where Red Riding Hood rescues herself.
Kim writes political thrillers, romance and everything in between. She’s been an event coordinator, bar manager, shop assistant and an intern too many times to count. These days, she works part-time while writing the kind of stories she loves to read.
Kim is a transplant to Canberra where she lives with her husband and their sausage dog in their house full of books.