Title: Run Don’t Think
Author: C.C. Bolick
Genre: YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
One hundred thousand dollars. A government agency on their trail. Two teens are about to learn their world will never be safe again. In this thrill ride, Angel and Skip go on the run after learning her dad works for a government agency. One of his deadliest enemies is out for blood and Angel could be his next victim. The teens must fight to stay alive as their road trip finds them running from cops and dodging undercover agents. No one is safe from the man with glowing eyes that only Angel can see. Angel has no idea her dad's agency monitors people with special powers or that she's been on their list for years... she definitely never thought vampires could be real.
Skip sat down across from me. “I ordered you a water,” I said.
“I’d rather have coffee.”
I froze. That wasn’t Skip’s voice. Slowly, I lowered the menu enough to see the face of the man who sat across from me.
He leaned over the table. “No sudden movements, Angel. No screaming or attention of any kind.”
This guy knew my name. The sounds of people talking around us faded. I put my hands in my lap so he wouldn’t see them shaking. Where was Skip? I glanced behind him, but the man in glasses had finally looked away.
“Agreed?” he asked.
The guy across from me wore a ball cap with the logo of a football team, dark sunglasses, and a scarf that went all the way up to his chin. “Are you a cop?” I asked.
He pulled off the sunglasses and loosened the scarf. “I’m not a cop. You can call me Agent Payne.”
Agent Payne… this was the same guy from my living room who insisted Dad ride with him to the school. “What do you want?”
“To keep you safe,” he said.
As I stared at his face, his green eyes drew me in. Deep green like emerald… I’d never seen eyes that made me feel both protected and terrified in the same instant. He wore jeans and a t-shirt, not the same black agent suit he’d worn in my living room, but the curves of his face were smooth like he’d shaved first thing that morning. Every inch of this guy—from the way he held himself to the cold, murderous tone—sounded an alarm in my head. He was in control. He wouldn’t back down.
Seeing him from two feet away confirmed my suspicion that he couldn’t be more than twenty. However, the depths of those green eyes held a pain that made him look twice that age. The way his lips set in a fine line told me he wasn’t the friendliest person in the world or the nicest. No, he was here to do a job. I was his job. But the way he watched me, as if he was torn…
“What’s going on?”
I looked up, into Skip’s questioning eyes. His face was alert, as if he planned to either hit the guy or help me to my feet at any second. “This is Agent Payne,” I said.
Agent Payne stared up at Skip, giving him a long, almost familiar look from head-to-toe. Surprise filtered through me. He’d never seen Skip—or had he?
“This is my boyfriend, Skip.” Above me, Skip looked ready to run. I slid over and made room for Skip to sit in the booth beside me.
Reluctantly, Skip dropped onto the wooden seat. “Got a problem, man?”
Agent Payne coughed. “No problem. Skip Greene, right?”
The waitress appeared next to Skip. “Plus one?” she asked as she set our drinks on the table.
“Coffee, black,” Agent Payne said.
Of course black. Despite the fear as this guy watched me, I giggled when the waitress walked off.
Frowning, Agent Payne looked at me. “Are you ready?”
“Ready for what?” Skip asked.
“See that SUV parked across the street?” Agent Payne pointed at the window next to us. “The one with the dark-tinted windows?” Those green eyes met mine. “You will follow me out of this restaurant and climb into that SUV. No arguing. Everyone makes it out of here safe.”
Skip took a long gulp of his water and set the glass back on the table with enough force I was surprised it didn’t shatter in his hands. “She’s not going anywhere without me.”
Agent Payne didn’t hesitate after Skip’s declaration. “There’s plenty of room in the backseat.”
Had he lost his mind? “We’re not getting in a vehicle with you,” I said.
He looked at me, his face curious. “Why not?”
“You could kill us both and dump our bodies in a ditch somewhere. No one would ever find us.”
“Trust me, Angel. You’ve already got enough people looking for you—someone would find your body.”
I looked at the table. “You know about what happened in Kentucky?”
“And Tennessee and the robbery this morning. You’ve managed to put your life in danger multiple times in the last two days.” Agent Payne laughed—not a fake laugh but one with warmth and humor. “I’m actually impressed with your knack for finding trouble.”
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Run Don’t Think is the start of a different kind of vampire story, with an anti-hero who must fight for the person she loves most.
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Runs August 24 – September 2, 2021.
Winner will be drawn on September 3, 2021.
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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