Excerpt: Threat of Raine

Excerpt: Threat of Raine

Book 2: The Lynch Brothers

PROLOGUE

RAINE

Four Years and Nine Months Ago

Even before I kissed him for the first time seven months ago, I had always loved Lucian’s lips. They were full, his mouth wide. They suited his face, which was beautiful but sharp edged. Despite his imposing height, wide shoulders, and seriously defined body, his kisses were gentle, as if he were cradling a porcelain doll. He breathed life into me with those kisses.

I hummed in absolute bliss. “I love your lips.”

The words were a sigh and he swallowed them with an intensity that sent sparks from my hair to my toes. When he flipped me onto my back and pressed his weight into me, I wanted to stay beneath him forever. No one had ever looked at me the way he did and I felt like I could fly.

“My Raine,” he said reverently. “You look great in blue.” He ran his fingers along the straps of my electric-blue bra.

“I’d also look great without it,” I whispered around my heart, which had lodged firmly in my throat. I reached up and tugged one shoulder strap down with my thumb.

A squeal of tires and a hard brake in the driveway made my heart pound furiously in a different way. Lucian was on his feet in the blink of an eye, expletives that sounded like regret falling out of his mouth.

“What’s she doing home?!” I screeched, struggling to shove my arms into my shirt. Mom was supposed to be working the overnight shift. I ran to my window and shoved it open. Thank goodness this was a ranch home and he could easily climb out the single story window.

He pulled me against him hard and gave me a searing kiss that I felt down to my soul. “I love you. Always remember that, okay?”

“Okay! Go! Text me later?”

With a noncommittal grunt, he stuck his head out the window, looked both ways, and climbed out.

Seconds later, my mom slammed the side door open with a force that shook the house. “LORRAINE! WE HAVE TO GO!”

I rolled my eyes, used to my mother’s dramatics. There was always someone after us or some emergency that would turn out to be nothing except a few days away at a shady hotel. She’d been like this since Dad died three years ago. “Yeah, Mom, I’ll be ready in five.”

“WE DON’T HAVE FIVE! NOW! MOVE!”

I grabbed the duffel I kept half packed under my bed and tossed it onto the comforter, where a small, silver phone sat, vibrating. “Oh no.” I rushed back to the window and leaned out. “Lucian?” I whisper-shouted. “Lucian! You left your phone!”

The phone went silent and then buzzed again. The contact was simply labeled “HQ.” I swiped to answer. Maybe they could let him know he had left his phone. Before I could say anything, a deep, male voice came through the speaker.

“Lynch, target compromised. Prepare for extraction.” I hesitated, unsure how to respond. “Lynch, do you copy?” A double beep signaled the end of the call, making my decision for me.

Pulling the phone away from my ear, I stared at it. HQ. Target. Extraction. It didn’t make any sense. I looked out the window and found Lucian running back toward me at full speed, motioning for me to come outside. He had a gun in his hand.

“Lorraine!” My mom shouted from the other side of my door, her fists banging.

“I’m coming!” I yelled back.

“Raine!” Lucian shouted. I leaned out the window, ready to toss him his phone, when the air went deadly silent.

Then the house blew apart.