Headhunter (With Me in Seattle Mafia #2) - Kristen Proby
“I’m not doing this for you anymore.” I glare at my father and raise my chin, trying to appear way more confident than I feel.
My stomach pitches when he slowly turns to glare at me with cold, blue eyes. The same eyes that look back at me in the mirror.
But I’m nothing like the man who sired me. And I never will be.
Without another word, he turns back to the task at hand, making an egg sandwich. Our apartment is small and in a dirty little neighborhood in the Bronx. He says it helps us blend in, that no one will pay us any mind here.
In reality, he spends money as quickly as it lands in his pocket, and this is all he can afford.
I turn sixteen this summer, and he’s already made it clear that I’ll be quitting school and taking a full-time job.
What I want doesn’t matter. It never has with this man.
“Did you hear me?” I demand.
“I hear nothing important.” His voice is calm, thick with that Bulgarian accent that I hate so much.
“I’m serious. I’m not doing your bidding anymore. If I get caught, I’ll go to jail.”
“You are too young for jail.”
“No.” I shake my head and plant my hands on my hips. “I’m not too young. They’ll send me to juvie. Either way, I’ll be locked up, and I’m not doing that for you. This is ridiculous. Why can’t you be a normal father instead of gambling and selling fake jewelry? Why don’t you just get a real job so we can live a normal life?”
Without a look, he spins and backhands me, sending me sprawling on the floor. My cheek sings in pain, and I see stars as he leans over so close that his nose nudges mine.
“You are my property,” he growls. “You are nothing but a female. And you’ll do exactly as I say, when I say. If you try to defy me again, I’ll sell you to the many men who have already asked for your body.”
I gasp and stare up at him in utter shock and revulsion. “You wouldn’t.”
“Yes.” He stands and straightens his crisp, white shirt. “I would. Do not test me again, Laryssa.”
The knock on the door is sharp, startling us both.
“I know you’re in there, Pavlov,” a man yells through the door, and all the blood drains from my father’s face.
“How?” he whispers and then turns to me. “Hide me, daughter.”
I shake my head, only enraging him further. He raises a hand, but before he can hit me for a second time, someone busts the door open, and three men walk inside.
“Did you think you could steal from us and get away with it?” The biggest one reaches for my father and pushes him against the wall.
This is it. This is my chance.
I scurry into my little bedroom and grab the bag I always keep packed—always ready to run if the opportunity arises.
I won’t get another chance like this.
“No, I wouldn’t steal from you. I just had to earn the money to repay you.”
Another man punches him in the face as I slip out the front door and make a run for it.
My heart hammers in my chest. I can’t hear the street noises through the rush of blood in my head and over my loud, panting breaths.
I have exactly four hundred and thirty-two dollars, some clothing, and my mother’s wedding ring.
And a new freedom.
Because I’m never going back to live with a man who makes me do the things my father does.
I’ll die first.
“Take the shot.”
The voice is calm in my ear, coming from several thousand miles away in a secure office at the White House.
I’m lying on my stomach on a rooftop, my sights trained on the target, but people keep walking in front of him.
“Not clear,” I whisper and swear when the target walks into another room.
“It’s taken three weeks for you to find him,” the president reminds me. “Take him out. Now.”
Yeah, yeah. I don’t need her to remind me how long I searched for this asshole. And as soon as he moves a little to the left…
I squeeze the trigger, and less than a second later, the target falls.
“Mission accomplished,” I say and move quickly to the stairwell that leads to a waiting car below.
In less than three minutes, I’m safely away from the scene and headed to the airport.
“Good work,” she says into my ear. “Now, get yourself home. The plane’s waiting for you.”
“Thank you, Madame President.”
I nod to the