a couple of weeks ago

Get your final peek at the next Friessens book!

Here's your final peek at my upcoming Friessens release!  STAY AWAY FROM MY DAUGHTER will be released tomorrow, but here's an exclusive look at Chapter 5!  

Her father says he’s no good for her, and she doesn’t want to believe that he might be right.
 
Sara Friessen, the youngest daughter of Laura and Andy, believes she’ll never find the man who can make her soul sing, especially because after just one meeting with her father, every young man who has ever knocked on her door has come to the quick conclusion that she isn’t worth the trouble. Fearing the promised wrath (as Andy so aptly puts it) that could befall them if they mess with his daughter, they always run the other way.

That is until one night when a mysterious handsome stranger comes to her rescue. He’s bold and strong, just the kind of man she never expected could be real or that she would ever possibly meet—but she soon uncovers a hidden truth and the cold, ruthless side of the dark world he belongs to.
 
Even though he tells her to stay away from him and that no good can come from getting involved with the likes of him, Sara’s heart has different ideas, and she’s determined to show him that true love is all they could ever need.

STAY AWAY FROM MY DAUGHTER (The Friessens, Book 24) is available for pre-sale at:

Did you miss your sneak peek of Chapter 4?  If so, click here.

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CHAPTER 5

“So did you get the money?”

Devon swore, at times, that Anton never moved from the sofa in the apartment they rented just outside downtown, where the rents were cheap. What was his brother doing? Playing video games, the same thing he did almost every minute of every day. He never even pulled his gaze from the large-screen TV as he handled the controller, speaking over the sound of guns blasting.

“Nope. Kind of ran into a problem,” Devon said as he dropped the keys to his old Mazda on the table and walked into the galley kitchen, where he pulled open the door to the fridge, which had a perpetual rattle. Like everything in this apartment, it was showing its age. He pulled out an orange soda and cracked the top, hearing a thump, knowing his brother had likely dumped the controller on the coffee table and he now had his full attention.

“And what exactly would that be? Fuck, Devon. We kind of need that money for rent, gas, expenses…” Anton was a year older but had always seemed older than that, considering he’d been the only one to ever give a shit about Devon while they were growing up.

Devon walked out of the kitchen into the small dining room, which was furnished with a bargain basement table and three mismatched chairs. “You think I don’t know that? Look, a girl was attacked. I intervened, pulled the guy off her. After, the cops were there…”

“Whoa, whoa!” Anton cut him off. “What the fuck? What the hell do you mean, cops? What did you do?” His expression darkened. Of course he was pissed, angry, and Devon could see his disbelief. His mind was likely going right to the worst case, and he knew Anton would have a lot to say about what he had done. “A girl was attacked and you did what, exactly? Are you serious, Devon? Have I taught you nothing? Has that pretty head of yours heard anything I’ve ever said to you?”

Anton was now standing barefoot in sweats and the same blue T-shirt he’d been wearing for the last two days. But at least he’d shaved his face and his head. He was a big guy, the same height as Devon, six two, but he had at least fifty pounds on him, give or take. He took after his own dad, and Devon took after his.

“Look, you weren’t there,” Devon said. “The guy was on top of her in the parking lot. He beat the crap out of her and was in the process of working her pants down. She screamed. He’d have raped her, likely killed her if I hadn’t stepped in. You think I should have ignored it and kept walking?” He held the soda can and took in his brother’s pissed-off expression, which held not an ounce of sympathy.

“I think you should’ve kept your head down and minded your fucking business. The girl isn’t your problem,” Anton snapped. “Sticking your neck out for some strange girl could cause us both some serious problems.”

“Maybe so, but let me ask you this. If a white girl’s raped in the parking lot, how long do you think it is until the finger is pointed at me?”

The way Anton watched him, he knew he didn’t get it.

“I’m on campus late,” he continued. “I’m not supposed to be there, so I must be selling something. They start pulling up security footage from somewhere and see my face, or maybe your contact on campus who I was going to meet tosses my name out because he gets caught. Yeah, I didn’t rape her, but it would be easy enough to jam me up, point the finger at me, and create something circumstantial. Or how about this scenario, which is way worse? A white girl is found dead and raped in the college parking lot. How hard do you think they would look for anyone else once they learned I was there? That could have me sitting on death row, and you know it.”

He lifted the soda, because saying out loud what had been in the back of his mind only brought out a fear that he hadn’t been willing to admit. A cold sweat chilled his spine. “No, I did the right thing, pulling the white boy off her, saving her—and you know what? Now I’m the hero.”

That hadn’t been why he’d saved her, but telling his brother why when he couldn’t explain it himself wouldn’t earn him any points. Then there was the sheriff, who he was pretty sure was going to track him down. No matter what he said, he knew it wouldn’t be as easy as them using his statement and then leaving him be. No, he’d be dragged right into the middle of a mess and might be asked a lot of questions about why he was on the campus even though that was completely irrelevant to the girl being assaulted. He’d seen enough of his friends and family get jammed up by the law and then screwed over by some public defender, accepting pleas for things they hadn’t done.

“And the cops now have your name?” Anton said.

“Yeah, but stop worrying. It’ll be fine. I’m not the one who attacked her.”

The way his brother was staring over to him with that heavy gaze, he knew he was still pissed. “But you know who did it?” he asked.

What could he say? “It was dark…” he started, but the way his brother angled his head, narrowing his gaze, of course he knew he was trying to evade the question. “Maybe, but not a hundred percent. Could’ve been that jerkoff who never paid you a few months back, but I can’t say for sure, and I sure didn’t want to tell the cops.”

“What the fuck? Seriously, if it was him and the cops catch him, then what? He saw you.”

If the guy was caught and saw his name on the witness statement, that could bring down a whole host of problems, considering he’d told the sheriff he didn’t know who’d done it. “That’s if they find him,” he said.

His brother groaned and shook his head, then smacked his hands together as if he needed to make a point. “That’s why I’ve told you, Devon, you keep your head down, you don’t get involved, and if something is going down, you turn around and get the fuck out of there without attracting attention. And you never, never, ever give any cop your name, and never a statement! The only statement you have is that you didn’t see a fucking thing, but you wouldn’t be saying that, because you wouldn’t be there to begin with.”

He took another swallow of his soda, remembering the haunted look in Sara’s eyes. Those amazing green eyes. “I stand by what I did,” he finally said. “And what difference does it make? It’s done. I think you’re making too big a deal out of it.”

His brother sat back down on the sofa and reached for the controller. “No, I’m not, Devon. The problem is when they find this guy and he remembers you, how long do you think it’ll be before he tries making some deal with the cops in return for you and me? Not long, and you know what? I can tell you right now if the cops have a choice between going after a white boy or nailing another black one, it’ll be you and me. White boy will get a slap on the wrist, and both of us will be doing some serious hard time. Our lives will be over.” Anton tossed the controller on the sofa table again and then leaned back, running his hand across his forehead. Yup, he was mad.

“I think you’re worrying over something that may never happen,” Devon said, but even as he did, he had a hard time believing it now since his brother had pointed out the obvious. The kind of idiots they dealt with didn’t have a loyal bone in their body, considering what they were doing and the services they were paying Anton for.

His brother was shaking his head. “No. If they don’t find this white boy, then I guess we don’t have anything to worry about.”

Devon froze with the soda halfway to his mouth as he took in his brother and the seriousness that had overcome him. “What is that supposed to mean?”

Anton turned to him. “It means if it is the guy who didn’t pay me, then one of two things is going to happen. He’s going to disappear, or… There’s another alternative. Dead men don’t talk.”

Devon just stared at Anton, who leaned back again and reached for the controller, then resumed playing his game.

“And another thing,” he said. “The delivery you were supposed to make tonight, call him and reschedule, but this time, you make sure he gets it so that I can get the money we need.”

“I’ll get the money, but, Anton, don’t do something we’ll both regret. You’re all I have left for family, and the last thing I want to do is visit you with a glass wall between us.”

But his brother did what he always did: He gave all his attention to that damn video game about mercenaries and guns, killing anyone and everyone.


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