She was a genetic experiment that was never supposed to get out of the lab. If the government finds her, they will kill her without hesitation. She's a crack shot, though, and she's used to looking out for herself. Her affinity for all things mechanical helps her make a living on the underground street racing circuit, but it's a dangerous game, and lately things haven't been going so well.
Shotgun falls hard from the first time he meets her, and is determined to make her his own. When accidents keep plaguing Kalie's car, he gets suspicious and with the help of his mercenary buddies he is determined to find the source of the problem and keep his woman safe.
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Excerpt:Riding Shotgun (Mercenaries 3)
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Copyright ©2014 Anne Kane
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A subtle movement on the far ridge caught Shotgun's attention. It could be a deer on the far ridge, but he doubted it. Moving the scope of his rifle in a slow sweep, he searched for the cause. There. On the west slope. A faint flash as the late afternoon sun reflected off a metal surface.
He kept the rifle trained on the spot, his trigger finger itching, and sure enough, there she was. A sharpshooter. Her rifle looked suspiciously similar to his own, and she handled it like a pro. Her mistake had been not making sure all the shiny metal was covered up.
Her outfit blended well with the surrounding rocks and he had to give her credit for finding a good vantage point. She'd managed to position herself in a wide crack in between two large outcrops of rock. Her back was protected by a sheer wall of granite. An irregular jumble of boulders in front of her gave her numerous places to rest the barrel of her rifle.
He recognized her from the portfolio Brice had shown them of the Lost Children. Kalie. Her riotous mop of long dark curls was held back behind a wide hairband, and the camo outfit she wore covered her deliciously ripe curves. He was too far away to see if her eyes really were as dark and sensual as they looked in her picture, but he was sure it was Kalie.
Her undivided attention was on the gathering in the clearing below. That would be her second mistake. Just because you're hunting, doesn't mean you aren't also being hunted. As he glanced around, gauging the distance between them and the amount of cover available, he felt the corner of his mouth lift in a slow grin.
Nothing like a bit of a challenge to liven up the evening.
* * *
The man came out of nowhere. Jerking her rifle out of her hands, he flipped her over and slammed her body into the ground. The breath whooshed out of her in one long exhale as he pinned her to the ground with his superior weight. Instinctively, she tried to bring her knee up to fend him off.
"I don't think that's such a good idea, little girl." His voice was low, a thread of humor running through it as he blocked the move with a casual flick of his leg. He could afford to be amused. He was planted firmly on top of her, and her rifle was no longer snugged comfortingly against her chin. She eyed up the distance to the weapon. Too far.
A fierce anger enveloped her, fueled by an unfamiliar feeling of helplessness. No one snuck up on her like that. No one. Taking a deep breath, she forced her body to relax. She could get out of this. If he thought she'd given up, he'd let his guard down.
"Who are you?" She spat the words out between clenched teeth, betraying her fury. So much for letting him think she'd given up.
"Name's Shotgun, Kalie. I'm with Saralyn down there, and her new beau. Just kind of keeping an eye on the situation when I noticed you over here. I don't like people watching my friends through the scope of a rifle."
"Really?" He knew her name. Shit. He probably knew about the other girls as well. Her sisters. That couldn't be good. She needed to neutralize him quickly and let them know they'd been found out. She shifted her weight, as if trying to get more comfortable. "Well, I don't like people skulking around watching my friends either, so I guess we're even. Would you mind getting off me? You're heavy."
"Not quite yet." He somehow managed to transfer both of her wrists to one hand. Raising his other arm, he spoke into the comm unit strapped around his wrist. "I got some action up here, Sarge. Little girl, with a big gun. Name of Kalie. Says she's watching point for the others. You want to verify that?"
"Should have expected something like this." Sarge's voice crackled over the unit. "I'll have Jackson check with the girls. Bring her on down, and we'll see if her story checks out."
"Roger that. Be down in a few."
Shotgun looked down at her. He was a big man. Big and hard. His face was all hard angles and planes, with a faint scar running down one side of his temple. She could feel hard muscles pressing into every inch of her. There wasn't a single soft spot on his entire body. Was he enhanced? One of the soldiers they'd fed those experimental drugs to during the provincial wars? That would explain how he'd managed to sneak up on her without her hearing him.
As she watched, a mischievous light danced in the depths of his eyes. He certainly didn't seem to think she was much of a threat. Maybe she could use that to her advantage "Looks like we're going to join the party. Up you get." He surged to his feet with an innate grace that told her he'd kept up his training after the wars. Holding out a hand to help her up, he still managed to keep that rifle pointed directly at her.
"Fine. Let's get moving." She ignored the outstretched hand and stood. "Can I have my rifle back now, please?"