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-- "Jennifer Probst, New York Times bestselling author"
No Love Lost, an all-new sexy and suspenseful, standalone in the Master and Mercenaries: The Forgotten series by New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake is available now!
When Ezra Fain joined the ranks of the CIA, the last thing on his mind was romance. After meeting Kim Soloman, it was difficult to think of anything else. A tragic mistake drove them apart, leaving him shattered and unable to forgive the woman he loved. But when his greatest enemy threatens her life, Ezra leaps into action, prepared to do anything to try to save her.
Solo accepted long ago that she won’t get over Ezra. She’s worked for years to get back into his life, looking for any way to reignite the love they once shared. Unfortunately, nothing seems to penetrate the wall he has built between them. When she’s arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, she believes she’s on her own.
Racing across the globe, Ezra and Solo find themselves together again, caught in the crosshairs of the agency they sacrificed so much to serve. Days on the run soon turn to steamy nights, but Levi Green isn’t about to let them find their happily ever after. And when the smoke clears, the men and women of McKay-Taggart will never be the same again.
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“Kim, stop.” Beck sighed, an exhausted sound. “Please.”
It was the please that did it. He was so rarely polite to her. She took a deep breath and turned to him. They needed to ratchet down the emotion. It was what always tripped them up. “I don’t think we can work together.”
“We certainly can’t if I continue to be a massive asshole.” He moved toward her, putting his hands on her shoulders. “I’m sorry. You’re still a touchy subject for me.”
She nodded, unable to say a word for fear of unleashing a tidal wave. Not seconds before she’d told herself to tamp down the emotion, but here it was, threatening to overwhelm her and all he’d had to do was touch her.
“How about we agree that Levi Green is a problem for both of us and we work together to solve it,” he offered. “Kim, we’ve been going in circles for years. Maybe it’s time we find a way to move on. I know I’m tired of hating you.”
She stepped back. She couldn’t have his hands on her when he used that word. It was wrong when all she’d ever done was love him. “Ariel pointed out that it would be easier on both of us if I stopped showing up in your life.”
His gaze softened. “Would it? I didn’t see you for a couple of years and it didn’t feel any easier.”
She let a moment pass. How was it she felt even more vulnerable than she had when she was with Levi? “I know. I’ve tried to move on. I don’t seem to be able to.”
His hands moved as if he wanted to touch her, but he seemed to rethink the idea. “So maybe we should go about this another way. Maybe we should take this time and do what we didn’t do before. Talk. Try to find a way to get through this. I’m sorry I said what I did about you and Levi. It still hurts and I’m lashing out. All I know is when I thought you were in danger, I knew I couldn’t sit on my hands and let it happen. I can’t do it now either. Let me come with you. Let me help fix this.”
No. It was the only word she should say to him, and then she should turn and walk out and never look back. If she let him in, he would hurt her no matter how good his intentions were. Beck had always had a well of rage inside him that he wouldn’t deal with, wouldn’t acknowledge even existed. He hadn’t changed.
“Okay.” She hadn’t changed either. She was still helpless when it came to this man. She was still in love with him and likely always would be.
He let go of a heavy breath. “Good.” He was silent for a moment, looking her over. “Did he hurt you? Are your wrists okay?”
She’d managed to get what was left of the zip ties off in the car. She had some red marks on her wrists.
“They’re sore, but all right. He didn’t slap me around this time.”
She watched as Beck’s hands formed fists and wished she hadn’t said that. His rage was always simmering under the surface when she was around.
He seemed to let it go. “All right. We should get on the road. Can you grab some water and protein bars? I don’t know what we’ll find when we get to Paris.”
She kind of thought she did know. She’d done a lot of homework on Big Tag, and if Rene was who she thought he was, then Beck would feel right at home.
Still, she grabbed the water bottles and bars and stuffed them in the duffel Steph had provided for her. There were a couple of T-shirts and a pair of sweatpants that would likely be too short, but beggars couldn’t be choosers.
This was all she had in the world. It was odd. She would have said possessions were meaningless, but now that she had no access to any of the things that brought her comfort, she missed them with all her heart. She had one thing. She reached up and found some peace knowing her ring was still there. All these years and she still had her wedding ring. It hung low around her neck, and she always hid it under her shirt when Beck was around.
It was all she had left of her marriage.
“You ready?” Beck fitted a cap to his head and passed her another. “You might want to put your hair up. I know if I was looking for you, all that hair would be the first thing to catch my eye.”
How many nights had he tangled his fingers in her hair and gently tugged, had he told her how beautiful it was and that he never wanted her to cut it? “Yeah. I’m ready.”
He stepped in front of her and placed the cap on her head, his gorgeous eyes staring down at her. “I really am sorry I said what I did. Can you forgive me?”
Her whole soul threatened to melt. She nodded.
“Can I hug you? I want to. I want to reassure myself that you’re really okay.”
She nodded again and then she was in his arms for the first time in years.
“Promise me he didn’t get a chance to hurt you,” Beck whispered.
He sounded like he actually cared. His arms around her made her feel safer than she had in forever. “He threatened me with a bunch of stuff, but I don’t want to talk about it. I will, but not now.”
They stood there for the longest time, the sound of his heartbeat the only thing she could hear.
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