Title: Fear Justice (The Fear Chronicles Book 1)
Author: C.C. Bolick
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Seventeen-year-old Rena Mason counts the days until she can leave for college. Every night her father drinks himself to sleep, leaving her to care for her younger brother. When her father is kidnapped by terrorists, her dreams of freedom become a nightmare. Stunned that her father has a history with these terrorists, Rena knows she must run or be their next victim. She learns the tough guy at school has a reason to look after her. He works for a government agency with the same goal as the terrorists - find a woman who disappeared eighteen years ago. Time is running out since only this woman's special gift can save the world from a nuclear attack. Rena can't trust the agent who saved her. Nothing about him seems real except for his fight to find justice for his own missing dad. That and the gloves he never takes off. Even while pushing him away, she longs to touch his hand. She has no idea he's more than just a normal agent. Can they work together to save lives after Rena learns his real mission is to unlock her power?
Behind me, a man yelled and I spun around, thinking Max had followed me. Had it been five minutes already? Without slowing, I turned back to face the parking lot. A gray car spun tires as it rounded a curve and sped along the sidewalk, screeching to a stop before me. Dumbfounded, I stared at the dark tinted windows.
A Nova. No, it couldn’t be.
The driver’s window rolled down. Peering inside, I realized it could be. Tony’s face became visible as the window lowered, his arm steadily cranking a handle inside the door.
“No power windows?” I asked.
His green eyes raked over me. “That’s the best you can do? Get in.”
“Where are you going?”
Someone yelled my name from behind. Tony leaned forward and craned his neck to see around me. “Should I kill the engine while I wait?” The annoyance in his voice didn’t send me into motion, but the sounds of a siren approaching did. He gripped the wheel.
I ran around the front of the car, to the passenger’s door. Tony leaned across the bench seat and opened the door for me. That’s when I realized I still had my backpack. I dropped the bag on the red carpet and jumped in the car, slamming the door at my side. With one hand, I reached for the seatbelt. With the other, I braced myself against the dash.
Tony shifted the car into gear and slammed on the gas. At the parking lot’s exit, he slid the car to the right in front of another car that swerved to miss us. The smell of exhaust fumes from the car made me cough. In the mirror to my side, blue flashing lights turned in front of the school. Cars behind us pulled off the road as wailing sirens approached. A car in front of us slowed and Tony went around the car, cutting into the other lane and nearly getting us slammed head-on.
“That was close,” I yelled. Thoughts of the accident surfaced and I twisted the radio dial in an attempt to block out the painful screaming. It didn’t matter if Tony couldn’t hear the cries. “Where’s the music?”
“Radio doesn’t work.”
Great. I leaned my head back against the seat. “Where are we going?”
He glanced in the rear-view mirror. “You can start with thanks.” Tony’s black-gloved hands gripped the steering wheel as he came to a light and turned right without slowing. He cut the turn wide enough he took up both lanes. Thankfully no one occupied the other lane. “I think it’s time we disappear.”
“Thanks.” I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. “I have no idea what just happened.”
“You ran out of the school. Who was after you?”
“A man who beat up Coach Andrews. Knocked him to the floor with one kick. I think this man is working for another man who kidnapped my dad.” When Tony didn’t speak, I opened my eyes. “I just said he knocked our principal to the floor. He also had a gun. Why aren’t you freaking out?”
“Why aren’t you?”
“I don’t freak out,” I said. “It’s not me.”
Tony’s eyes stayed on the road. “Me either.”
I turned to stare at the signs we passed. He’d aimed the car for the center of town. “Why did you pick me up?”
“Something was wrong, I could feel it. I saw the man with the silver hair go into the office. He was packing inside his jacket with another gun in his pants. When you went in, I grabbed the car.”
“How did you know that man had a gun?”
“I told you before—my dad was a hunter. He taught me things about people like how to look for danger and when to run. It was definitely time to run.”
“I shouldn’t have left Coach Andrews, but he told me to run.”
Tony cleared his throat. “You said your dad was kidnapped?”
“Last night. Coach and my dad were friends. They joined the Army together.” Why was I babbling? Tony didn’t need to know my life story. “I showed up this morning because I thought he might know why these people were after my dad.”
“Did either of them tell you?”
I shook my head and looked at Tony. “The man who beat up Coach Andrews—he said he’d give me a head start before hunting me down.”
Again, Tony glanced in the mirror. “He didn’t happen to say he drives a black Lincoln, did he?”
As I spun in the seat and leaned over the headrest to see, the belt cut into my neck. Behind us, a black car crept closer with every second. Someone in the passenger seat leaned out of the window with a gun. “There’s a man with a gun following us and I’m not freaking out. At least, I don’t think I am.”
“No, you’re cool.”
With a bitter laugh, I turned back around and dropped down on the red vinyl seat. “Cool? When are you going to ask why I’m not afraid?”
Tony hit the brakes and made a turn that left me choking from the belt’s grip.
“Right after you ask why I picked you up.”
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C.C. Bolick grew up in south Alabama, where she’s happy to still reside. She’s an engineer by day and a writer by night—too bad she could never do one without the other.
Camping, fishing… she loves the outdoors and the warm Alabama weather. For years she thought up stories to write and finally started putting them on paper back in 2006. If you hear her talking with no one to answer, don’t think she’s crazy. Since talking through her stories works best, a library is her worst place to write… even though it’s her favorite!
C.C. loves to mix sci-fi and paranormal—throw in a little romance and adventure and you’ve got her kind of story. She’s written a dozen books including the Leftover Girl series, The Agency series, and The Fear Chronicles.
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