Authors: K.S. Ruff
book two in the broken series
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters,
locales, brands, media, businesses, and incidents are either the product of the
author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons,
living or dead, is purely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademarked
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© 2013 by Ruff Publishing, LLC
design and photography by Kari Kunkel Anderson
other titles by K.S. Ruff at ksruff.com
my mom, whose road has been far more broken than mine.
you for proving it doesn’t have to define who we are.
I am truly humbled by the people who have encouraged
and supported me throughout the creation of this book series. First and
foremost, I’d like to thank my husband, Tobin, for putting up with all the long
hours, for being such a wonderful sounding board for the storyline, and for
providing the inspiration for Kadyn’s character.
I also want to thank my children for drawing me away
from my work with their sweet notes, contagious laughs, and warm hugs. You
always seemed to know when I needed it most! I’d also like to thank my parents
for their love and support, for encouraging me to dream big, and for seeing me
through all the challenges that life has thrown my way.
I’m extremely grateful to Christine Bedard-Dannels
for ensuring my French translations were correct for this book. I’ll add
another note of thanks to my brother, David, for marrying such a sweet woman
and for encouraging me throughout this project. You best get on that book of
yours, little brother. You got some catching up to do!
I also want to thank my friend, Kari Kunkel Anderson,
for shooting my book covers. Girl, you’ve got some serious talent. I still
can’t believe what you were able to accomplish in the middle of my garage!
I’d like to extend a special thanks to my friend, TJ
Crane, for his copyright and business advice. A huge thanks to Phil Hagen for
helping me establish the necessary connections and for guiding me through the
process of getting a small business and website up and running. I’d also like
to thank Dave Burris for designing a website that literally took my breath
I’d really like to thank those friends who formed
the bones and the inspiration for so many of the characters in this book, those
who are mentioned by name and those who preferred aliases. Everyone should be
blessed with a circle of friends like you!
I’d also like to thank my reviewers: Mary Barnes,
Jenny Letowt, Autumn Leva, Cenia Miller, Kristen Miller, Channa Threat,
Christine Bedard-Dannels, Valerie Norman-Dannels, Shira BenZion, and Lexie
Hoines. Thank you for offering such wonderful advice and for your willingness
to read such
rough drafts. I’d also like to thank my book club
ladies for their continued enthusiasm and support.
Once again, I’d like to
thank author John Locke for taking the time to write a book that would help
aspiring authors. Your insight and advice were invaluable, and I really do love
your sense of humor! Finally, I’d like to thank the folks at Amazon for
creating a venue for self-publishing authors like me.
froze at the sound of his voice.
he whispered silkily from behind me.
clutched my blouse to my chest and slowly turned around. “
leaned against the doorway to my bedroom. He was wearing black slacks and a
white dress shirt with brushed silver cuff links. The top two buttons of his
shirt were open, and he was missing a tie. The guy looked like he belonged on
the cover of a romance novel. Jet black hair fell over his face in perfect
waves, accentuating blatantly lustful eyes. His skin was a beautiful caramel
color, and even this early in the morning, he was hinting at a five o’clock
swept through me. “How did you get in here?”
shrugged nonchalantly. “
not important?” I asked incredulously. I huffed out a breath, then narrowed my
eyes. “What do you want?”
,” he responded with hooded eyes.
stilled as his eyes met mine. “In English, Michael. I know you can speak
English.” I tugged the blouse over my head, suddenly aware that I was still
only half dressed.
pulse ratcheted up a few notches. “You want… only me? Michael, we’ve been
through this before. I don’t love you. I
love you. I’m in love
with someone else. You need to move on… and you need to get out of my apartment,
or I’m calling the police.”
is standing right here in front of
me.” He pushed off from the doorframe. “I am bored with these games you insist
slipped a pair of black heels over my feet and grabbed my suit jacket. “I’m not
playing games, Michael. You need to leave.
I’m going to
be late for work.” I steeled myself as I tried pushing past him in the narrow doorway.
grabbed me. The smell of cedar, citrus, and cloves swirled around me as he yanked
me against his chest. “You are not going to work,
. You are
coming with me.”
shoved him in the chest. “I’m not going anywhere with you, Michael. Let me go
tightened his hold on me as he began kissing my neck. “Oh, but you will,” he
murmured. He nipped at my jaw before continuing. “You see,
have invested in a little insurance policy.”
wanted to feel repulsed by his kiss, but I couldn’t. Michael was impossible to
love. He was dangerous, rude, manipulative, and entirely too consuming. Still, I
found him difficult to resist. I wrenched my traitorous body away from Michael,
then scowled irritably. “What do you mean you have an insurance policy?”
pulled a small black cell phone from his pocket. “Your lover is my insurance
lover? You mean Kadyn?”
paused, uncertain as to whether I wanted the answer to the next question. “How
can Kadyn be your insurance policy?”
shrugged. “You love him,
I agreed hesitantly.
you will want for him to live.”
felt my composure slip. I took a couple of deep breaths as I tried not to panic.
“Michael, what are you talking about? Why wouldn’t he live?”
this.” Michael held the cell phone up for me to see. “It is amazing how few
buttons you have to push.”
bumps crawled up my arms, then scattered down my spine. “Push? For what?”
detonate a car.”
breath caught. “You put a bomb on Kadyn’s car?”
shook his head. “There are six cars with explosive devices parked at the
Pentagon. It is very simple, really. If you care anything for your lover, you
will come with me. If you wish to avoid thousands of deaths, you will come
willingly. If not…” Michael’s voice trailed off. He didn’t need to explain any
fell against the wall as I fought back tears. The walls in my bedroom pressed in
on me as I absorbed Michael’s words. I shook my head, completely unable to speak.
remained standing in the doorway. “Where is your passport, Kristine?” When I
didn’t respond, he continued. “I know you have one. You used a passport to go
to the Bahamas.”
breath caught. “How do you know I went to the Bahamas?”
eyes turned nearly black. “I was there.”
stared at him in shock. “You were in the Bahamas?”
have been more places than you know,” Michael responded darkly. He waved his
hand dismissively. “We can talk about this later. We are running out of time.
Our flight leaves in two hours. I want your passport, now.”
studied Michael. I knew he was wanted in Portugal for some white collar crimes but
blowing up cars? That was entirely different. Then I remembered what my friend
Dan had told me… that Michael was suspected of having ties with some Eastern
European terrorist group. He may not have built the bombs, but it was quite possible
he knew people who could. There were plenty of news stories on CNN about
terrorists using cell phones to detonate bombs in the Middle East, so I didn’t
doubt that was possible. Of course, Michael could be lying in order to manipulate
me, but there was no way I could take that chance. I couldn’t be responsible
for all those people dying…
for Kadyn dying