Hunted:A Stepbrother Romance Novel

By: Olivia Long

And there, looming in the distance, was a familiar sight I’d been routinely shoving from my conscious mind for months: the remote mansion of Keenan O’Connor, a slippery drug lord parading beneath the guises of several different businesses.

“There’s no way,” I whispered to myself, gazing up at the white stone turrets. “There’s no way I’m back.”

But, while I was busy promising myself of the impossible, my men flowed around me, from tree to tree, bush to bush, closer and closer. I was making it a point to stay near to a younger man in my unit who was still a little shaky in combat—Seth—but this wasn’t supposed to be combat. That had been made clear to us ... and I was the one taking them into choppy waters.

My own superiors had told us to stay back; we didn’t have the jurisdiction to take down this kingpin on our own. But the Guatemalan forces with whom we collaborated had told me that they could not get any closer to Keenan’s home without triggering his suspicions and losing the man. If they attempted to ambush the location, they would only ever find an empty house. They didn’t have the stealth of our unit requisite to get any closer, and Keenan’s guards were difficult to pass. When I had informed them of our location, they’d subtly begged that we do what they could not, and pull this thorn from their mighty paw once and for all.

I still remembered this day. How could it be happening ... again?

How could I have been so stupid? What had I wanted out of this exchange? Did I think that disobeying my commanders was noble, was glorious, was valiant? Shouldn’t I have known that they wanted us to keep our hands out of the gore for a reason?

My troop crept closer in the tall grass, and I reluctantly followed, because I knew what would happen next and I wasn’t eager to replay the events ... but I couldn’t leave them behind, either.

And it was already happening, just like before.

I overheard the familiar male voices leaking from one balcony.

Keenan supposedly dealt antiques, and yet, somehow, huge amounts of cocaine were moving along a route where his home seemed like a popular rest stop. He was also credited by many other shell companies as a “consultant.” How exactly could one consult on a fraudulent venture? We’d already questioned him in the dissolution of a structure supposedly invested in the acquisition and sale of artwork—with a gallery that was constantly empty.

I held my gun close against my shoulder, though we hadn’t been authorized to use them unless it was absolutely necessary for self-defense. Considering we hadn’t even been authorized to pursue suspicious shipments across the parameters of our area, our most prominent weapons were supposed to be our radios, which we would use to contact Guatemalan officers and alert them of movements. But it was hard to do nothing when we were in the perfect position to do something, even if it was technically forbidden to do so.

The first man to emerge through a filmy curtain of white fabric on one balcony overlooking the garden was Marco Ramirez, another high-profile suspect in a variety of affairs. Suave, well-moneyed and flamboyant, Marco was beloved in the metropolitan area, and it was easy for him to slip his bonds whenever police thought that they had him. Too many people were willing to throw themselves onto the blade in Marco’s name, because, even though he was an oily, conniving, drug-running billionaire, he was also charming. He did favors for people when they were in need, retaining a retinue of essential indentured servants. I had seen people go to jail for this man, though he himself had never seen the inside of a prison. He was both a man’s man and a lady’s man, masculine and impeccably cultured, and at the age of twenty-eight, he was already one of the wealthiest “contractors” in South America.

The other man to join Marco on the balcony was none other than Keenan O’Connor himself. Keenan was slightly older—thirty-two—and the less attractive partner between the pair. He was rugged and scarred, and to look at him was to know that he was a liar when he claimed to be a “consultant” or a damn “antiques dealer.” There was no way. There was no consultant with such ruthless, heavy-lidded eyes. There was no antiques dealer with a pale rope of scar tissue trailing across one cheek. He was often wearing Kevlar and heavy treaded boots in conjunction with his “street” clothes, and there simply existed no man like that, armored down to the bones, with their own private guard.

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