Tiger Mom (Killer Moms #4) - Eve Langlais


The night she witnessed Ronin murder his cousin—the blade he pulled from a pocket sliding with ease into Aroon—Macey knew she had to leave. Not because he’d killed someone. She’d always known he had a rough edge to him, the capacity for violence. Ronin hadn’t become the head of his family because he followed the rules. It was one of the things that attracted her.

What she feared was how easily he could be provoked. He’d killed his favorite cousin, and for what? Because Aroon bought the same car as Ronin, down to the color.

Some people would have taken that as a compliment. Ronin saw it as Aroon trying to hedge in on his power base. His pride couldn’t handle it.

So Ronin, without warning or chance of apology, killed his favorite cousin.

If he could do that to Aroon, what would he do to Macey? She’d rather leave before she found out.

But how could she escape? After two years of dating, Ronin controlled almost every aspect of her life. From the apartment he set her up in, to ensuring that his driver took her to the research institute and back home.

As he often told her: You belong to me.

Once upon a time, Macey had thought those words exciting. Thrilling, to have a powerful man like Ronin paying her attention. Now, they resembled a threat.

Ronin turned from the slumping body, Aroon’s eyes open in shock, his lips parting on one last sigh. Despite having killed someone, Ronin’s expression and demeanor remained calm. She would wager that this wasn’t his first time or even his second. Too nonchalant for that.

For Macey, though? It was a first, and her stomach churned.

This can’t be happening. Aroon can’t be dead.

While Macey had never particularly liked the man, he didn’t deserve to die. Why would Ronin let her see him doing this?

This wasn’t good.

Not good at all.

Macey kept her gaze from Aroon’s chest where the red stain blossomed.

“That went better than expected.”

“Better, how?” she almost bitterly exclaimed.

Ronin snapped his fingers and reminded her they weren’t alone. Chen stood nearby—the equivalent of Ronin’s right-hand man. Almost a business partner. Or, if looking at it with a more villainous bent, Chen the henchman.

“I hate it when they cry and whine.” Silent until now, Chen stepped forward from his spot by the doorway, entering into the otherwise sealed room.

A slender man dressed in a velvet tracksuit, navy blue with a white stripe, he reveled in his position as Ronin’s most trusted associate. Which was the polite term. In reality, Chen worked for Ronin.

“Some people have no honor,” Ronin agreed. He’d chosen to dress casually this evening in a designer knockoff of the bad boy image—jeans, strategically worn and ripped. An athletic and slim-fitting, short-sleeve tee in matte black. Over the top, a leather jacket—no colors, no markings. He didn’t need to announce his name. People simply knew who Ronin was.

“You know what to do with it.” Its edge glistening with blood, Ronin handed the murder weapon to Chen.

“Consider it done.” Chen wrapped the knife in a cloth and then pulled out a plastic bag. That took a level of preparation that indicated premeditation. With the murder weapon tucked away, Chen nudged the body with a booted foot. “Full disappearance, or do you want him found as a lesson?” Chen spoke in English. All of Ronin’s friends, family, and coworkers did when Macey was around. He’d said it would be rude to do otherwise, given that she didn’t speak their language. She was learning slowly, though, enough that she caught hints of Ronin’s true business. It wasn’t just exporting cheap goods and drugs. Apparently, he was fond of weapons, too.

Repeat after me: Mob boyfriends are only hot in books. Once reality had set in, it became terrifying.

“Have him found. Publicly, if you can. Apparently, a reminder is needed as to who is in charge and what happens to those who trespass against me.”

Trespass? He’d murdered someone over a freaking car. She had to wonder what petty thing would set Ronin off next.

Maybe the way she chewed on her toast. He’d remarked upon it just last week. How about the fact that she hated swimming? Anything might be grounds for him to do the same thing to her.

I could die next. And she’d only have herself to blame.

Her stupidity practically slapped her. She’d seen the signs and ignored them. The way people didn’t just defer to Ronin but feared him. The way his temper could flare, not loudly or violently, not with heated outbursts,