Hello, all! April has arrived, and for me that means edits, edits, edits. This month I'm working on edits for Love in Spades and Love and Payne. Plus I'm writing the second Kings book Be Still My Heart. These fellas are certainly keeping me busy!
For this week's THIRDS Thursday we have an excerpt from Zach and Austen's book, Love and Payne. Don't worry, no spoilers included! I'm so excited about introducing you all to the Zachary clan. Zach and Austen's book has been a long time coming. I hope you all enjoy following these two on their road to love. You can bet it's going to be a bumpy ride!
Also, there's a giveaway! Check the end of the post for more info.
Love and Payne Excerpt
“Who the fuck are you guys?” Edan asked, his wide eyes on Brayden.
“You okay?” Brayden asked, stepping up to Edan, his expression softening. “Did they hurt you?”
What the hell? “I’m fine, buddy. Thanks for asking,” Austen said dryly, catching his breath.
Brayden gave Austen a sheepish smile. “Sorry.”
“Whatever.” Austen waved a hand in dismissal before dropping onto the couch. Not like he could—or wanted to—compete with eye candy like Edan. The guy was sexy as sin, with bad boy looks and muscles to spare.
Colin glanced from Austen to Brayden and back before erupting. “What the ever-loving fuck is going on!”
Austen let out a snort. “And he says I curse a lot.”
Bram stood at the foot of Zach’s bed. “Caley said Zach’s boyfriend was in trouble.”
“I’m not his boyfriend,” Austen said with a heavy sigh. Why the hell did everyone think he was Zach’s boyfriend? Wait…. Austen sat up and peered at Edan, who was Zach’s partner in crime. The two were always together. “Did he tell you I was his boyfriend?”
Bram shook his head, and Colin let out a snort, his amber eyes boring into Austen. “If our baby brother had a boyfriend, he would have told us.”
Everyone turned to look at Edan, who cleared his throat, addressing Austen. “He never specifically used the word boyfriend, but the way he talks about you, and how often he talks about you, made me wonder. You’re Austen Payne, right? SSA for Destructive Delta.”
Colin frowned at his brother. “How come this is the first time I’m hearing about this?”
Edan rolled his eyes. “Because you go all Terminator protector mode on him. You know how much he hates that.”
Colin narrowed his eyes, then moved his wary gaze to Austen. “You and I are going to have a long talk about this.”
“No, we’re not,” Austen said, getting up. “Here’s what’s going to happen.” He pointed at Bram. “You’re going to call Lieutenant Sparks and tell her exactly what happened. She’ll take it from there.” He moved his finger to Edan. “You will relay to your lieutenant whatever Sparks tells you.” He turned to Colin. “And you’re going to make sure no one in your family knows what happened here. Meanwhile, I’m going to find a safe place to hide Zach.”
Colin moved forward. “Are you out of your mind? Who the hell do you think you are?”
Austen stepped up to Colin and poked him in the chest. “I’m the guy who’s going to keep your brother alive. Now you listen here. I’m only going to say this once. My priority is keeping Zach safe. Someone sent two trained killers after your brother. They won’t be the last. How do I know that?” He crouched beside the wolf Therian he’d killed, and pulled down the glove to reveal a tattoo of a black heart shredded through with a clawed hand around it. “Because these guys belong to the same network of killers for hire.”
“And you think the THIRDS can’t keep him safe?” Colin asked, sounding affronted. “You think you can keep him safe?” He let out a derisive laugh, and Austen bristled.
“You’re not just an SSA,” Edan said, looking from Austen to Brayden and back, “are you?”
Brayden gave nothing away. He came to stand beside Austen, his hands clasped in front of him.
“I’ve never seen SSAs fight like that.” Edan crossed his tree-trunk arms over his wide chest. “Considering your connections, I’m going to go with TIN.”
The air was sucked out of the room, the two remaining Zachary brothers staring at them in stunned silence.
“I can neither confirm nor deny that information. What I can confirm is that your brother is in someone’s crosshairs, and as skilled as you and your brothers are, my security clearance and skillset are above your paygrade. I can keep him safe.”
“And we’re just supposed to take your word for it? If you really are TIN, then for all we know your being here is what put him in danger in the first place,” Colin snarled, his hands curling into fists as he took a step toward Austen. Brayden placed himself between Colin and Austen. He had to lift his chin and stand on his toes, but the growl that followed his hiss was impressive for a guy who looked about as terrifying as a fluffy bunny.
“Listen here. Austen has been doing this far longer than you have. If he says he’s the best guy for the job, he’s the best guy for the job.”
“I don’t care who you guys are,” Colin spat, looming over them with a menacing scowl. “We’re his brothers. There’s no way in hell we’re going to stand down.”
Bram nodded his agreement. “We’re involved whether you like it or not. He’s our baby brother, so we’re not going to leave him out there on his own. I don’t care who you work for or how good you guys are.”
Austen knew enough about the Zacharys to know the brothers weren’t going to back down. Bear Therians were almost as stubborn as lion Therians. Almost. Austen let out a heavy sigh.
“Okay. But just Bram and Edan.”
“No way,” Colin ground out. “You’re not keeping me out of this.”
“You got kids. Hell, you have grandkids, Colin.” Austen shook his head. “I’m not having that shit on my conscience.”
“This isn’t up for discussion,” Colin stated firmly.
Goddamn bear Therians and their stubborn asses.
Hello, all! I'm giving away a THIRDS swag pack which includes this snazzy TIN tote bag! Giveaway is open internationally.
To enter just leave a comment below with which THIRDS couple/characters you want to see get their book next!
Giveaway ends April 30th at midnight EST. Please allow a week for shipment of your goodies.
*** WINNER UPDATE ***
Thank you all so much for joining in the fun! Chosen at random, the winner is Didi P.! If you didn't win this time around, don't worry, we have more giveaways heading this way! Thank you!