Authors: Kerrigan Byrne
Tags: #Suspense, #Contemporary, #Romance, #Mystery
A Shakespearean Suspense
A Righteous Kill © 2013 Kerrigan Byrne
All rights reserved
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This ebook is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
Cover Art © 2013 Kelli Ann Morgan / Inspire Creative Services
Interior book design by Bob Houston eBook Formatting
Also by Kerrigan Byrne
Unleashed – The first Highland Historical Trilogy
Reclaimed – The second Highland Historical Trilogy
I recognized you instantly and never looked back.
First and always to my little “coven” of witches: Cynthia St. Aubin, Cindy Stark, and USA Today bestselling Author, Tiffinie Helmer. (See what I did there?) You ladies are my sounding board, my inspiration, my sanity, and the source of so many smiles. I’m so excited for the magic we’re about to produce together!
A special “Thank you” to Janet Juengling-Snell and Nicole Garcia for all the work you do on my behalf! Also, to my beta-readers who go above and beyond! Namely, Lynne Harter, Emma Elliot, Suzi Behar, Gigi Rivera, Carly Gentleman, Amy Byrd, and Jennie McDuffie Nunn.
Thank you to the WID: Mikki Kells, Ariadne Kane, and H.M. Turner. I’m so excited for what the next years will bring for you all. I’m honored to be a part of it.
“That man that hath a tongue, I say is no man,
If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.”
~William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.
Forty Years Ago
Russians always sold the best weapons.
He checked his position against the explosive charges he’d hidden beneath where the two gray vans parked. One wrong move and they’d all be squinting up at St. Peter with their ears still ringing from the blast. Heaven’s doorman would let old “Danny Boy” through those pearly gates, of course, as he’d be a martyr for the holy cause and all.
That was why he liked to do this kind of thing alone. He didn’t ever want to be the reason a brother was blown to bits.
Himself? Well, he couldn’t think of a better way to go.
The Russians? Nothing would make him happier than to blow them to wee pieces. They
going to try to kill him first after all.
But a fellow
? Wasn’t worth the bloody risk to his soul.
Meeting in Switzerland was a brilliant idea on his part. Neutral ground and all that. Plus, a bulk of Irish Republican Army funds were stored here. And on the off chance that this deal went through as planned, he might need quick access to more money.
Checking their quaint, mountainous surroundings, Danny Boy opened the door to his rented Volkswagen and stepped out. His briefcase hung from a hand cuff off his right wrist, bursting with cash. It always surprised people when he pulled his weapon from its holster with his left hand. They didn’t stay surprised for long. He only drew if he planned to put a bullet in someone.
Left-handed people were supposed to be artistic weren’t they? It fecking applied. He was a virtuoso. A bloody artisan of anything combustible. Explosives, firearms, engines… women.
Lifting his arms out to the side to show the briefcase and the dangerous weapon in the shoulder holster beneath his jacket, he turned in a slow circle.
That’s right you double-dealing twats, send out your best to feck with me.
The passenger door to the front vehicle opened. The boot that hit the rocky earth shocked him.
Black leather. With heels that had to be at least three inches.
Tucked into those knee-length boots was the longest pair of legs he’d
seen. And the woman attached to those perfect gams? She could have been strutting on one of Paris’ catwalks instead of a damp, nefarious road in the Alps. Long, glossy black hair disappeared behind her slim shoulders. It framed a perfectly symmetrical, delicately angled face with flawless olive skin.
This couldn’t be the fabled
, could it? The assassin arm of the corrupt KGB general who sold illegal arms to—well—to men like himself.
Her hands remained tucked into the pockets of her short-waisted leather jacket. He’d bet his favorite rosary that she had something sharp in her hand instead of a gun.
That meant she’d have to get close to him. He smiled at the thought.
With the boots he’d put her at almost six foot tall, which meant that she’d have an inch or so on him in her bare feet.
Didn’t matter, they’d be horizontal for what they’d spend most of their time doing. Unless she had those fantastic legs wrapped around him while they stood.
would bring them face to face. His body responded to that thought.
He couldn’t feckin’ wait.
She stopped inches from him, her dark almond eyes flicking over him in a quick and dismissive assessment.
He smirked, knowing what she saw. Hell, he shaved his freckled, ginger mug in the mirror every morning. What he lacked in height, he made up for in heft. He had to turn sideways to get his shoulders through doors sometimes. And his heavy arms were the length of a much taller man’s with big, ugly hands that were surprisingly deft with things that took precision. He wasn’t handsome, but he knew his green eyes sparkled when he smiled.
He put every bit of that sparkling into his grin.
The very instant that I saw you, did my heart fly to your service
.” Danny Boy was shite with words. Only The Bard could express his feelings correctly.
She blinked and cleared her throat but looked unimpressed. “You’re Daniel?” she asked in a husky, brusque Russian accent.
, I don’t use my given name in military operations.”
Her full and lovely lip curled at the word
. She was one of those who filed the IRA under ‘Terrorist’ rather than ‘Military.’
No matter, now they’d have a subject for pillow talk.
“Is that the money?” She motioned to the briefcase with her chin.
Her eyes snagged with his.
Maybe the old Irish sparkle was working? He amped it up a notch.
She looked away.
Aye, it was working
“It’s my job to take your money and kill you,” she informed him. ”I’m
good at my job.” Her stone-faced act was damned adorable. One problem though, her black eyes weren’t dead. They crackled with life. With curiosity. With passion. She
kill him, given the chance. Of that he had no doubt.
“I know it.” He held up the briefcase cuffed to his wrist. ”Only I have the key and I’ll give it to you when you’re done handing me the merchandise.”
His eyes were on the long, serrated knife she pulled from her pocket. It was why he didn’t see the devastating punch to his solar plexus. He was still fighting for breath when by some act of kung-fu magic, she had both hands pinned behind him and the knife to his throat.
“I could just cut off the arm attached to the money and leave you to bleed out,” she purred against his ear in that sexy Eastern accent of hers.
He wished he had his hands free to adjust what was going on in his pants. But, she’d have his jugular spilling on to the dirt, so he let her have them. Besides, her full breasts pressed against his back every time she took a breath. And he liked that.
The knife broke skin.
“Do it, and the explosives beneath both your vehicles will create a new valley for the alp skiers this winter.”
She took a breath and let out a stream of Russian words that probably would have made her grandmother blush. ”Where’s the detonator?” she demanded.
“My boot. If I touch my toe to the top, we’ll be incinerated.”
“How did you avoid the explosion while we struggled just now?” She sounded impressed. Good. He was getting somewhere.
“We Irishmen are fleet-footed. I’m more agile than I look. I have absolute control of
part of my body.” He took a chance by stroking the inside of her wrist with the rough pad of his thumb.
She must have understood the innuendo, because she wrenched his arm so hard she would have dislocated the shoulder of a weaker man. But she didn’t cut him again. So… progress. ”I think you do not,” she said wryly. ”
control some parts of it now, eh?”
And didn’t that turn him on more than it should? He’d never let a woman tie him up before, but he’d happily submit to any torture she could devise.
“No one’s ever tried
on me before.” Her voice had a smile in it.
She knew Shakespeare? Danny Boy decided he was going to spend the rest of his life with her.
They would make beautiful babies.
A door slammed. ”Zoya?” a hard, male voice prompted.
I’ll follow you and make a heaven out of hell, and I’ll die by your hand which I love so well
.” Danny Boy decided to stick with what was working. Shakespeare had a saying for just about any situation.
She loosened her grip on the knife. ”
If love be rough with you, be rough with love.
” A nip at his ear punctuated the challenge.
“Jaysus woman, if we didn’t have company, I’d already have you naked against the first hard spot I could find.” Okay, so, Shakespeare never said that, but he’d wanted too.
“Then…” She let him go, altogether. ”Get rid of our company.”
“Did you actually bring the explosives we asked for?”
“No,” she confessed.
“Good.” He grinned and took her wrist, sprinting for cover.
The explosion was nothing compared to what would be coming as soon as he got her out of those boots.
As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods;
they kill us for their sport. ~ William Shakespeare
If work was calling this time of night, it only meant one thing. A dead body.
Luca Ramirez ran a tired hand over his face and blinked hard, trying to clear the fog from his contacts. Didn’t work. Maybe the fog was outside? At midnight, it could be either. He was so damned out of it, the streetlights ran together and he’d been doing his level best not to crash his new government-issued black Dodge Charger into anything. Thus far, that had been the extent of his plans to be effective for the rest of the weekend. The urge to grab his phone and huck it into the Willamette River seized him with such force, he white-knuckled the steering wheel and took a bracing breath before reaching for it.