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 saves 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. Can they work together to save lives after Rena learns his real mission is to unlock her power?
“Rena,” someone said.
“I’ve got to see him.” Without looking back, I twisted the handle to his door.
Inside, Coach Andrews glanced up from his desk and stopped speaking mid-sentence. “Get out.”
The man sitting before him turned around and smiled. His crisp gray suit seemed like prime attire for the funeral of someone he’d rather see dead than alive. With one leg crossed over the other, the pattern of his snake-skinned boots stood out against the rest of his outfit. The sunglasses he wore flashed my reflection. He removed the sunglasses and sat them on the desk. His soft blue eyes, almost a gray like his suit, shined with a dangerous glint. His spiked hair, a thick mass of silver with enough grease to reflect the light around us, completed the ‘don’t mess with me’ look. “No reason she can’t join our meeting. Thought you’d be halfway to Portland by now.”
“Do you work for Louis?” I asked.
“I said go,” Coach Andrews growled. “Can’t you take a hint?”
The man in gray reached into his jacket and withdrew a gun with a chrome barrel, similar to the one Dad had on the table last night.
I moved closer to see the handle and breathed a sigh of relief. This wasn’t Dad’s gun.
He stood and waved the gun, ushering me to sit in the chair he’d vacated. When I didn’t move, he pointed the gun at my face. “You should be shaking in fear. Where are your manners?”
“I’m not scared of you.” I glared past him to Coach Andrews. “Where is my brother?”
Coach Andrews shook his head. “You don’t follow orders well.” He stood and reached across the desk before I could speak. He grabbed the man’s arms, forcing him to drop the gun, which clanked on the floor. Coach stepped around the desk to stand before his opponent.
The man laughed. “You’re stronger than you look, but I’m faster.” He flipped his hands over and gripped Coach’s arm.
Coach fought the grip on his arm as the man twisted him around. With a laugh, the man dealt a blow to the back of Coach’s right leg, just below the knee, that brought the two-hundred-and-eighty-pound ex-Ranger crashing to the floor. On his way down, Coach reached for the bookcase next to his desk. The picture of him and Dad toppled from the bookcase and shattered on the floor next to his feet.
The man reached for his gun and leaned over Coach Andrews.
“Don’t kill him,” I said.
Laughter came from the man holding the gun, along with a look of surprise. “You think I’m an idiot? Agent Mason would hang me by my boots and gut my insides.” He kicked one of Coach’s shoes. “Still might if I don’t get this mess cleaned up soon.”
Agent Mason would… was he talking about Dad? “Who are you?”
“You really have no fear.” He pointed the gun at me. “Call me Max. I’ve been waiting to meet you.”
“Meet me?” I asked. “Why?”
“Because most people would run when faced with the possibility of death. Instead, you stand and ask questions as if armed men visit your principal here on a daily basis. What if I told you he deserved that beating?”
Coach Andrews groaned.
“I don’t believe you,” I said.
“Because they’ve lied to you,” he said. “For years, nothing but lies about who you really are. Your father, his friend—”
“Are you going to hurt me?”
“Still you keep a straight face.” Laughing again, he leaned closer and used the cold barrel of the gun to slide a lock of hair from my shoulder. “If I harmed a hair on this pretty head, your father would kill me. No, I plan to enlighten you. That would hurt him far worse.”
“You can call me Max. Others call me The Detonator.”
With a roll of my eyes, I took a step forward. “That sounds dumb. What did this Louis person do with my dad?”
Max’s face filled with the glow of excitement. “It’s been a long time since I got to do the dirty work.” He placed his gun inside the gray jacket and pulled another gun from his waist, offering the handle to me as if it were a gift. This gun was solid black without the revolving part like Dad’s. “I’ll give you a head start. Let’s see… five minutes… ten? I want to make this fair.”
“Fair?” I stared at the gun. “I’ve never held a gun.”
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C.C. Bolick is an engineer by day and author by night who loves mixing sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal. Her books are simply written and heavy on dialogue, with twists you won't see coming and characters who deserve their happily ever after. If you enjoy page-turning drama, family secrets, and a special power or two, her books might be for you. Each series follows a timeline and some characters will cross between series. C.C. enjoys her characters and has a blast connecting each of their stories in her universe. You never know who you'll meet next or which old friend you'll welcome back!
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