Title: Rough Code
Series: Rough Edges #2
Author: Kim Congram
Genre: Standalone Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 14, 2019
Evie Franklin doesnât know the meaning of home. On the run since her teens, Evieâs whole life is built around a quick exit. After a violent attack leaves her vulnerable, Evieâs forced to rely on the only man who makes her wish she could stay.
Lucien Falco knew Evie was hiding something. The talented, beautiful hacker was a puzzle Luc wanted to solve. Raised in a loving, close knit family, heâs always known whatâs heâs been looking for. But no woman has ever come close.
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âYou have a minute?â Paxton asked, leaning against my office door. I sat back, opening my arms in a welcoming gesture.
âOnly if youâre bringing me donuts.â
He entered, shutting the door. He sat, tossing a folder on my desk.
âWe have a situation.â He nodded at the folder.
Photos of mutilated dolls and letters with threats in thick black ink.
I sobered, frowning. âWho is the client?â
âItâs not a client. They were sent to Evie.â
âWhat the fuck?â I re-examined the letters. âWhatâs our plan?â
âMailroom reported it. Theyâve been coming for the last week.â
âShit. These are ââ I tossed the photos on the desk. âShe know?â
âFuck.â I leaned back, pinching the bridge of my nose. âSawyerâs been digging up her past. Thereâs nothing. Literally nothing.â
Pax crossed his arms, pegging me with a glare. âAnd why is one of my analysts doing that without my permission?â
âIâm her next of kin. Not an actual fucking family member. You ever hear about her past? No. She deflects. All the fucking time. She pushes you away. She keeps people at armâs length, sheââ
âNo, itâs because youâre into her.â
âYou fuck off, douchebag.â Pax leaned forward. âYouâre into her. Iâve been distracted, but Iâm not blind. Donât bullshit a bullshitter. If you try to tell me youâre not into her, then youâre a fucking idiot and Iâll take you outside.â
âWell, fuck.â I offered a wry smile. âCanât pull one over you.â
âYou idiot.â He tossed a pen at me. I caught it, spinning it with one hand.
âWhat are we doing about this?â I tapped the photos.
âWe need to find the threat.â
âMaybe.â Pax reached for one of the photos. âThis is disturbing.â He held it up. The dolls genitals were melted, its mouth covered by duct tape.
âItâs personal. And angry. Thereâs a lot of rage in this picture. Thatâs dangerous.â
âShe needs protection.â
âSheâs leaving. Got her official resignation letter today.â The words tasted like sawdust. âLondon.â
âWhatâs the new job?â
âYou didnât do the referee check?â
I frowned. âNo. I assumed you did.â
Pax leaned forward, tapping a hand against his knee. âDo you know the name of the company?â
I shook my head. âLet me call Sawyer.â I hit the digits on my handset, leaving it on loudspeaker.
âYel-low?â Sawyer answered.
âSawyer, Iâm here with Pax. Which start-up is Evie working for in London.â
Sawyer paused. âIâ¦ I donât think sheâs said.â
I exchanged a look with Pax. âCan you find out? Quietly?â
âGive me five.â
We waited, hearing his keys as he typed, muttering to himself.
âUmm, this is unexpected.â He murmured down the phoneline.
âWhat is?â I prompted.
âShe doesnât have a passport. Or any flights booked. There are no visa applications either.â
âSheâs meant to be leaving at the end of the month.â
âDude. She may be leaving us, but there is no evidence that sheâs leaving the country.â
âThanks.â I hung up, looking over at Pax. âSheâs hiding.â
Pax nodded. âThis.â He tapped a picture on the table. âAnd her leaving? Too coincidental.â
âFuck.â I ran a hand through my hair. âJustâ¦ fuck.â
âYouâre gonna need to get the full story.â
âIf sheâs been planning this, I highly doubt sheâs going to do anything but run.â
âWay I see it, you have two options. One, you tell her and she runs. Or two, you tell her and she stays. Either way, you need to tell her. Learn from my mistakes. Donât keep her in the dark.â
âYou dick.â I threw the pen back at him. He caught it mid-air, sending me a shit-eating grin.
âAm I wrong?â
I rubbed a hand over my mouth, frowning. âFine. But Iâll handle it.â
âAnd if she runs?â
âWeâll find her.â
Pax grinned. âFinally. You have your balls back.â
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Kim is an introvert who loves writing about fierce women and the men who love them. Her favourite kind of story is the one where Red Riding Hood rescues herself.
Kim writes political thrillers, romance and everything in between. She's been an event coordinator, bar manager, shop assistant and an intern too many times to count. These days, she works part-time while writing the kind of stories she loves to read.
Kim is a transplant to Canberra where she lives with her husband and their sausage dog in their house full of books.