Texas, Book 5)
live to protect. They live to fight for honor and justice. They live to love
the women who have captured their souls. These are the Sons of Texas, from New
York Times bestselling author Donna Grant.
As a double agent,
Maks Petrov has been so many people, he doesn’t know who he is
anymore. While he prefers to work alone, taking down an organization like the
Saints requires some help—even if he loathes asking for it. Just one day in the
company of a sexy, fearless, and brilliant information broker makes him realize
what he’s been missing in life…and fantasizing about what he could have.
Eden Fontaine thought
she knew the evils of the world until she was confronted with knowledge of the
Saints and what they’ve done—and still could do. Lucky for her, she
has Maks by her side, a trained operative who not only makes her feel safe and
cared for but also makes her blood run hot. Eden’s never thought much about
settling down, but Maks makes her crave a world without the Saints and the handsome
guardian by her side for all eternity.
With the Saints upping
their game, Maks and Eden have one shot at assembling the intelligence
necessary to take down the evil organization for good. If they can, they may
have a chance at the happily ever after they both deserve.
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wasn’t even dawn when Eden exited her flat. Maks kept to the shadows across the
street as he noted her tight expression and the way she looked around
nervously. She had replaced her tote with a backpack and a crossbody purse. Her
steps were quick as she began walking.
had wondered all night if she had found his message. It had been hours after he
left her flat before a light had come on. And it and more had remained on until
just a few minutes before she left. From his spot across the street, he saw
that no one had come into the building aside from the delivery woman earlier.
He waited, his gaze searching the shadows. If anyone was watching her, now
would be the time they made their move to trail her.
enough, two men fell into step behind her at different places. Maks looked in
the opposite direction, but there was no sign of anyone else. He discreetly
peeled himself from the shadows and started walking in the same direction as
Eden and the two men.
he realized her direction, Maks became curious as to where she was going via
train. She didn’t stop to purchase a ticket once inside the terminal. Instead,
she went straight to the platform for the trains heading to Budapest.
men following her hurried to buy tickets. Maks didn’t have that kind of time.
He got next to someone going toward the platform with their voucher out to scan
and bumped into them, taking their ticket at the same time. He dropped some
money into the man’s coat pocket to make up for the theft. With his cap pulled
down low, Maks used his travel document and got through before the other two
men had even received their tickets.
moved in behind Eden. He kept one eye on her and the other on anyone who looked
suspicious. Just as the 5:47 a.m. train arrived, the men rushed onto the
platform. They hadn’t seen him yet, which meant that they weren’t looking for
him. Their mission was Eden. Maks wasn’t sure if that indicated they were
supposed to just follow her or kill her. Regardless, he was going to put an end
to all of it soon.
moment the doors of the train opened, Eden got on and headed toward the front
of the third car. Maks stayed behind, letting others go before him. The two
goons got on in separate cars. Maks left the one in Eden’s car and went after
the other. With long strides, he caught up with the man quickly enough.
bumped into him roughly. “Entschuldigung sie. Excuse me,” he said.
man barely looked his way, his attention on trying to keep his focus on Eden.
Maks used that to his advantage and elbowed him in the back of the head,
slamming the man’s face into a metal pole and knocking him out instantly.
grabbed him before he could fall and said loud enough for others to hear, “You
shouldn’t have had that last drink.”
onlookers shook their heads and went back to doing what they had been doing
before. Maks lugged the man to one of the seats in the back of the car and used
the guy’s scarf to bind his hands to the rail just as the train left the
station. He took a few minutes to check the man’s pockets and grabbed his
wallet and mobile phone.
then straightened, putting the items into his coat pocket before walking
through the car and into the next one where Eden and the other goon were
sitting. Eden was facing the front of the train, situated near the window. Her
head was turned to look outside, her leg bouncing nervously up and down. The
man sat diagonally to her across the aisle, his gaze locked on her. Eden was
oblivious to it, as most would be. Only the trained knew what to look for in
more, the goon didn’t look his way. It was as if his only target was Eden, and
he believed nothing could stand in his way of completing a successful mission.
Too bad for him and his buddy that Maks was involved.
sat across from the man and waited for him to look his way. It didn’t take
long. It was just a glance, but the goon did a double-take and realized that
Maks wasn’t just any passenger. Maks smiled and raised his brows, inviting the
man to make a move.
goon didn’t disappoint. He lunged, going straight for Maks’ throat. Maks kicked
the man’s legs out from under him and used the downward momentum of the goon’s
body to punch him in the throat. The man went limp, gagging as he struggled for
breath. Maks then knocked him out with a quick punch to the goon’s jaw.
the aisle, Eden stared at him with wide eyes and a shocked expression. He
ignored her for the moment and propped the man back up in his seat. Maks looked
around, but no one seemed to be paying attention since everyone was on some
kind of electronic gadget.
then moved into the spot next to Eden. She squished herself as small as she
could against the window. He didn’t look her way. “If I wanted you dead, I
would’ve done it last night in your flat while you slept.”
was a beat of silence as anger mixed with fear in her expression. “That was
obviously did a search like I wanted. Otherwise, two men wouldn’t have been
turned his face to her then, noting her confused and wary expression. “They’ve
been on your tail since you walked from your flat, where I was also watching.
The other one is in the car behind us.”
they dead?” she asked in a whisper.
swallowed, the sound loud even on the high-speed train. “Is Maks your real
looked forward then and released a breath. “Because I am.”
did you find me? Why did you come into my apartment? What are the Saints? Why
are you still following me?”
every question, her body uncurled, muscles going tight with annoyance and
indignation. He looked at her once more. “I followed you from the office
yesterday. I wanted to find out who you were. The Saints are a secret
organization that has infiltrated every government, military, and security
agency in the world. And I knew if you looked into them, they’d send someone.
And…I need your help.”
turned her head away to look out the window. She was silent for several
minutes. Maks had taken a risk by asking for her help. He wasn’t sure why he’d
done it. Maybe it was because of how he’d seen her yesterday—carefree and
happy. If she was involved with the Saints, they wouldn’t have sent men after
least, that was his thought.
not nice to break into someone’s house,” Eden stated before she looked at him.
met her hazel eyes. “Extreme times call for extreme measures. I had to know
what kind of person you were.”
the words you left on my computer were a test?” she asked, her eyes narrowing
shrugged. “Call it whatever you want.”
wanted me to prove that you can trust me?” She rolled her eyes, snorting.
“You’re the one who should be gaining my trust. Not the other way
a doubt, she intrigued him. Eden wasn’t used to his way of life. Her reactions
since the night before proved that. And yet she had spunk despite her fear. She
might have a bright outlook on life, but she wasn’t one to be taken advantage
right,” he said. “You have a point. However, you’re the one who has been doing
research on me.”
settled more comfortably in the chair. “That’s actually not true. My coworkers
are, as well. Though it’s difficult to do when you don’t exist.”
good are you at your job?”
enough that SynTech offered me a package to work for them—including moving me
to Vienna—that nearly doubled what I was making on my own. And I was making a
very good living working for myself.”
bit back a smile. Yeah, she had pluck in spades. Which was a good thing because
she was going to need it.
entire floor of IBs were looking for anything and everything on you,” she
continued. “What did you do to get someone so riled up?”
decided not to answer that for the moment. He might want her help, but that
didn’t mean he trusted her. Not with the information that he was a spy. “You
found something. In Amsterdam.”
froze, once more taken off guard. Her visible reactions helped for him to put
more trust in her, because reactions like that couldn’t be faked. Not to
someone like him, who had been trained to look for anything that wasn’t
could you possibly know about that?” she demanded.
lifted a shoulder in a shrug. “I saw you at your desk through my scope. You
were watching footage of me in the train station.”
she mumbled and looked forward. “I never expected that.”
took pity on her when he saw the amount of stress she was under. “I shouldn’t
have gotten you to look into the Saints.”
head snapped to him. “Why did you pick me?”
lie filled his head, but he didn’t say the words. “I saw you yesterday. People
aren’t usually that cheerful going into work, but you were. I then did some
recon on the building and spotted you again.”
saw you yesterday at lunch. Twice,” she said with a firm nod.
didn’t confirm or deny that.
thought I was losing my mind,” she said more to herself than to him.
tilted his head to the side. “Why didn’t you report me to your boss? I’m sure
you handed over the train station footage.”
cut her eyes to him and twisted her lips. “Actually, I didn’t. Another coworker
of mine, Kyle, was the one who used his special algorithm to locate where you’d
been. I kinda stole that information from him and used it myself.”
couldn’t help but smile at her kinda stole comment. “That still doesn’t
explain why you didn’t turn over the information.”
don’t know,” she said with a half-hearted shrug. “From the moment they gave us
the picture of you, there was something about you that pulled at me. At first,
I thought it was because finding information on you was a challenge, but,”—she
paused, a frown creasing her brow—“it’s more than that. Yet I can’t explain
knew precisely what she was talking about because he’d felt the same thing
about her from the moment he first laid eyes on her. “I’m glad you didn’t tell
anyone about that.”
didn’t tell anyone that I thought I saw you yesterday, either.” She rolled her
eyes, chuckling softly. “I’d stayed up the night before doing more digging on
you from my home computer, so I chalked it up to me being tired.”
he knew why she’d slept for so long. “Did Kyle find me?”
He was in the office with the suits yesterday when I left for lunch. I’m not
sure how much he found. My guess is that he didn’t see the footage of you
jumping in front of the train, though.”
was even more impressed that she’d found that. “I was being tailed and had to
How did they find you?”
knew I was in Amsterdam since I’d been found earlier that night. It made sense
to watch public transportation.”
licked her lips. “I got a decent look at your face on the CCTV from the
station. You did good keeping yourself from being seen, but after you got to
the other platform and walked with the crowd up the steps to the main floor,
they got a good shot of three-quarters of your face.”
He couldn’t make mistakes like that. While he couldn’t account for every
camera—because some were hidden on purpose—he should’ve expected one to be in
that spot to catch those coming up from the trains below.
did you know who was looking into you?” Eden asked in puzzlement.
have a friend who is a hacker. She found the company that was hired to dig up
information about me.”
glanced away. “I see. Did you intend to pick someone to help you?”
he admitted. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I needed to look at the
building, learn more about the company and their employees, and go from there.”
don’t seem concerned that someone is looking for you.”
drew in a deep breath and slowly released it. “It comes with the territory, I
do you live like this?”
suppose you get used to it.”
looked out the window, nodding absently. Then she faced him. “Are you a spy?”
stared into her hazel eyes, a dozen lies coming to mind. Whoever was looking
for him had already blown his cover. So what if someone knew his profession? He
was going down, and he was going to take anyone and everyone associated with
the Saints down with him.
eyes widened briefly. “I didn’t expect you to admit it.”
tell me, then?”
He smiled, chuckling softly. “Damned if I know.”
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