Sample Sunday – Release Me If You Can

connectedtothedevil{Sample contains spoilers for book one in the series, Catch Me If You Can}


“He’s Taylor’s father.”

For a lingering moment, those words hung in the air, garnering no response.

Hot tears pooled in Renata’s eyes as she swallowed the urge to let them fall. It wasn’t a good time for tears. She wished Quentin would do something. Yell, scream, curse her out… anything had to be better than the look of cold disgust twisted into his handsome face.

He was perfectly still. So still, in fact, that Renata wondered for a second if he was even breathing, but then he finally exhaled, and what she read as disgust twisted into a look of such profound disappointment that it took her breath away.

“You slept with Damien Wolfe?”

There was no emotion in his voice, no inflection to give her even the tiniest of clues to what he was feeling — other than the disappointment. His question… and it wasn’t even a question, the way he delivered it, with none of his usual good-naturedness in his eyes, and his mouth set in a harsh line after… he wasn’t really asking, he was just saying it out loud for the opportunity to have his suspicions confirmed.

Renata didn’t know how to answer that question. If he wanted to phrase it that way… yes. But Renata didn’t feel it fair to characterize Taylor’s conception as if it were some act of shared love, or even passion. Just the thought of it made an old — but very familiar — sense of shame heat her cheeks, and she dropped her gaze to her hands.

“He’s her father,” she repeated, offering only what was already established as fact.

“So you had a personal connection with Wolfe all this time? You’ve… what, been feedin’ him information about us? About our team? About Naomi?”

Her gaze shot up, and she shook her head. “No.  Never. Not… not intentionally. It’s always been hypotheticals, veiled questions. I’ve never knowingly told anyone outside of this team a single thing about this team. First rule of fight club, right?”

Quentin’s expression remained impassive, and Renata’s attempt at injecting a bit of humor slid right off him, shattering on the floor, along with her resolve not shed any tears.

“Why should I believe that?” he asked, in what was nearly a growl, despite his outwardly cool disposition. “From where I’m standin’, it looks like you sought me out for help, knowin’ the connection to Wolfe and Naomi.”

Again, Renata frantically shook her head. “No. I had no idea of your link to Wolfe until I joined this team, months after he took Taylor from. I sought you out because I needed someone I could I trust, and I thought… Quentin, we’re friends.”

Were friends. Yeah, you could trust me, but it looks my trust was misplaced. I’m supposed to believe this is just coincidence?”

She lifted her hands, attempting to touch him — the only thing she could think of to assuage his fears. He backed away, shaking his head, and Renata swallowed hard. She wanted to not take it personally, to accept that he had a right to feel angry — even betrayed, but… fact remained that the repulsion on his face made a stony sense of rejection settle in her stomach.

“It is a coincidence. I swear to you that I didn’t know my friend,” — maybe if she kept saying that, kept emphasizing that she wasn’t a stranger, something would click for him — “CrawDaddy, and you, Quentin LaForte, were the same person. We made a promise to each other, that we would never do that— look each other up—, unless we decided together. I didn’t break that, not really.”

Quentin scoffed. “Not really?”

“Yes. When I was invited onto the team, and you and I met that day… you just felt really familiar to me, like we already knew each other. And then, as I found out more about you — that you were from Louisiana, you being a hacker, that you love crawdads… Quentin, it wasn’t exactly a stretch to figure out.”

With his arms crossed, and face pulled into a stern scowl, Quentin seemed far removed from the charming, flirty man Renata had encountered on her first visit to Five Star Fitness to join he and Naomi’s team. She watched his expression for any hint of a crack in his armor, any sign that he didn’t want to stick her somewhere in a dungeon to rot.

She found none.

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6 years ago

I need this book like yesterday. I’m patiently waiting.

6 years ago

More more more lol

K. Elizabeth @ YUMMommy

Can’t wait!

6 years ago


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