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Published by EVERNIGHT PUBLISHING ® at Smashwords


www.evernightpublishing.com




Copyright© 2017 Sam Crescent & Stacey Espino



ISBN: 978-1-77339-346-9


Cover Artist: Jay Aheer


Editor: Karyn White



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.


This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.



CHARMING ASSHOLE


Killer of Kings, 3


Sam Crescent & Stacey Espino


Copyright © 2017


Chapter One


“Where the fuck are you?” Boss asked.

Killian sighed and was tempted to hang up, but Boss was his paycheck, so he didn’t like to be rude. “I told you I needed a fucking break, and I’m not coming back in to do a job, or stop your ass from getting killed.”

When Boss had taken Scarlett, who happened to be Bain’s woman, it had gone against every single moral code that Killian possessed. Bain worked for Boss at Killer of Kings, where Killian also worked. It was an organization that arranged hitmen for hire. If you wanted someone taken out, and could pay the large fee, that person would be dead within the stated deadline.

Bain had gone against Boss’s orders, and then the fucker had shot him, causing Boss to take revenge. That had resulted in Scarlett being taken hostage. Killian had snuffed out so many lives in his years of working for Killer of Kings that he had lost count of them. The men he killed all had it coming. He didn’t like the evil that was in the world, and anyone who hurt a woman, well, that shit didn’t settle well with him.

Boss had killed women, and it was something that Killian couldn’t do. Growing up in Ireland to a mother who worked on the streets, bringing back all kinds of men, he’d seen the lowest of the low. The scum had hurt his mother, and when he was a little lad, he couldn’t do a fucking thing about it. The nights after she had fucked her way through scores of men were the worst. Her pimp would arrive to take his piece of her pie, which was a large fucking piece, considering the man didn’t spread his ass wide to take some of those johns. It had really fucked with Killian’s head.

The pimp had done nothing to help his mother. She worked on his turf, and gave him money. The asshole wasn’t there to protect her or to stop the johns from abusing her. All he did was take money, use her when he wanted, or pass her around like it was some kind of sport. Killian had hated that piece of shit. Every time he saw him, he vowed to take him out, and when the pimp had beaten his mother to death, it had been Killian who had found her body.

He’d been fighting, trying to earn enough money to stop his mother from whoring herself out. Holding her bleeding corpse in his arms, the rage had taken hold of him. All he wanted was blood, and he’d gone in search of that pimp.

By the time Killian was done with that asshole, there was nothing left of him. For seventy-two hours, Killian had taken sixteen years of pain out of that fucker, and made him pay. Every scream, every whimper, every cry had been a mark off the bastard’s debt as far as he was concerned.

In all of his career, he had never, not once, harmed a woman until Scarlett. He hadn’t touched that woman in any way, but he also hadn’t stopped Boss either.

Nothing was ever going to happen to Scarlett. I told you that,” said Boss.

“I don’t care. I need a break. I’ll call you when I’m ready to take on assignments.”

“Just tell me where you are.”

Like you don’t know already? I’m in another lifetime.” He disconnected the call and turned the device off completely. That was his only connection to Killer of Kings, to Boss. He wanted no part of it, not right now. Staring out across the ocean, he could almost hear her from over ten years ago.

Like all of the guys he worked with, he had a history. Not as fucked up as some, but it still hadn’t been a picnic. He’d joined Killer of Kings when he was twenty years old, quite young all things considered.

After killing his mother’s pimp, he’d killed everyone who ever laid a hand on her and caused her pain. He’d gotten the fuck out of there and made his way to the Americas. From there, he had done a great deal of fighting while also living on the streets. He’d lived it rough, and in the underground fighting circuit, he’d made a name for himself. That name had caught the attention of Boss, who had then trained him into the man he was today.

Killing people was something Killian was good at. He considered it an art form, and he was constantly getting it right.

Breathing in some of the fresh salty air, he allowed himself to think about her. The woman who had made him consider what he was doing. Ten years ago, he’d been twenty-six and on an assignment.

He’d been asked to tail this crime lord, and report back his findings to Boss, and only then would he be given details on what the final mission was. Killian couldn’t remember the man he’d ended up killing, but June he remembered. She was the one woman who’d been so innocent, too naive.

Watching her, being around her, had reminded him of the purity of life. When he was with her, he could pretend that he was just a college kid. He’d lied to her about everything. His age, his job, what he did, his past. Every single detail of his life had been nonstop lies. He didn’t know how to be anything else.

June deserved better, and after tasting her sweetness for a few short weeks, he’d been sure to leave her to get on with her life.

Ten years had passed since he’d last seen her. Where he stood, in this very spot, was where he had first met her. She had been walking along with friends. The sand had been so dry that as she walked, she’d tripped. If he hadn’t caught her, she’d have ended up with her face flat in the sand.

He smiled just thinking about that memory.

She’d fallen into his arms, and one look in her grey eyes, and he’d never wanted to look back. Many people believe in love at first sight. Before June, he’d believed it was a pile of bollocks.

After catching her, staring into her eyes, he’d known that it was very real.

He snorted to himself, thinking about how pathetic he sounded. She was probably pleased to be done with him. He imagined her being the CEO of an important company or something like that. Maybe married with 2.5 kids and the whole fucking white picket fence deal.

Not a moment went by when he wasn’t tempted to go and look for her. Only his lies kept him at bay. He’d never told her the truth.

The story he’d woven had been everything he’d wanted in the past growing up.

He doubted she was still here, but he’d wanted to remember better times. After what he’d done, he wanted to be somewhere where he hadn’t fucked up. When the memories were much better for him.

Come here, you little shit!”

Killian frowned, and glanced toward the pier. He saw one man chasing after a little boy who couldn’t be a day over ten years old.

“Come here now!”

“Fuck you. I didn’t do nothin’.”

The little kid had a bad attitude that was for sure.

The large guy finally caught up with the kid just as they exited the pier. The kid was grabbed by the scruff of his neck.

I’ve told you before that I don’t want your sort at my venue. Piece of thieving shit.”

I didn’t take nothing, you fat twat. Let me go.”

“Your mother should be ashamed of you.”

Yeah, well, you can’t do nothin’. Let me go.” The kid kicked the guy in the nuts, which meant he dropped to the floor.

Women and kids were Killian’s limit. When he saw the guy about to take a swipe at him, he couldn’t stand back and watch that.

What is it the kid’s done?” Killian asked.

The guy looked at him, and then at the kid. “Is this a fucking joke?”

“Watch your language.”

“Then watch your kid more closely. Good for nothing, the lot of you.”

The man shoved the kid into his arms, and Killian stared down … at himself. He stared at the kid, and was taken aback. Just looking at this boy and he could have sworn he’d gone back in time.

“Get off me,” the kid said.

“What’s your name?”

Why do you want to know? You a perv? Want to take me somewhere, treat me special and fiddle with me? My friends told me about your kind.”

Killian had had just about had enough of this kid’s language. “I’m not a damn perv. Now tell me, what’s your name?” He grabbed his arms, bent down, and gave him the best stern look he could.

The kid recoiled. “Killian, my name is Killian.”

Holy shit!

He couldn’t believe what was happening right now. There was only one person who would name her son after him, and it was the very woman he’d been thinking about less than a minute ago.

“Is your mother’s name June?”

Yeah, what’s it to you? Are you one of her family that hates her because of me?” he asked.

What?” Killian shook his head. “Take me to your mother now.”

“Oh man, do we have to go? I’m sorry. I don’t want no trouble.”

I’m not looking to get into any trouble. Take me to your damn mother now.” There was no denying that this boy was his. It was like looking into his past, and he’d spent a lot of time growing up, staring at himself. He’d always wondered who his father was. With a whore for a mother, she’d told him it could be anyone.

He had promised himself that he would never father children, and yet there was one right before him.

Killian Junior led the way, and Killian senior was fucking nervous. Ten years had passed, and from what he just saw, the life he thought June had clearly wasn’t the case.

****

June was going to throttle her son, and then she was going to yell, scream, and possible smother him with kisses. She had asked him to stay at their apartment until she was done waitressing. It was high tourism season, and it was the time she got to save up as much of her earning as possible. She wanted to make it a good Christmas, and to do that without getting into debt, required double shifts, and often triple shifts.

Working at the diner was the only place that offered steady work outside of the seasons, and meant she could have some semblance of a life, or at least keep her son out of trouble, and away from some of the street gangs that were around nowadays.

He had to be at one of his friends or something. She would go three doors down, and make sure he was there before calling the police. Marching toward the door, she flung it open, and came face to face with her past.

“Killian,” she whispered.

For several seconds neither of them spoke, nor moved. Her heart began to race as she stared at the man, who had aged gracefully. She’d spent months after finding out she was pregnant trying to find this very man. A man who had lied to her about the college he went to, the job he was working. Every little detail she had remembered that he’d told her had been a lie. That was what this man did, he lied.

“June,” he said.

“Hey, Mom. He says he’s not a perv? So I thought I’d bring him home.”

“Why are you speaking in an English accent?” she asked.

Told ya, Mom, guys don’t mess with the Brits. Think of that spy I’ve seen on the telly.”

She closed her eyes and wished the floor could open her up.

“I’ve got a kid,” Killian said.

Ignoring the big Killian, she bent down, and looked at her son. “Will you do me a huge favor? Go to your room and finish your homework.” When he went to complain, she pressed a finger against his lips. “You do that and I won’t drag you to work with me next week, and make you do more than your homework. I’ll make you clean grease for the entire five hours.”

“Oh, Mom.”

“Go. Homework. Now.”

Killian went to his room, and she held onto the door. “You do not need to be here,” she said.

“Excuse me, but that is my son.”

He’s not your son. You have no claim over him whatsoever. Don’t even for a second think you can come here, and make some stupid claim.” Pain unlike anything she had ever felt before struck her hard. This man, she had given him everything. Her body, her heart, everything. She had loved him more than anything in the world. One day she’d woken up to discover him gone, and was told he would never return, that she had to move on with her life.

She’d tried to move on, and when it had started to work, the morning sickness happened. The pregnancy test happened, and finally, being thrown out by her parents, kicked out of college, and hitting rock bottom had also happened. Staring at Killian, as much as she was excited to see him, the pain held her back.

She went to close the door, and with very little effort, he pushed it open, and allowed himself back into her apartment. Where she lived was the best she could afford. The furniture was well used, second-hand. She tried her hardest to keep the smell of damp out of her place, and nights of praying she didn’t live near drug dealers filled her life. This was so far from the ideal life she had hoped for.

Clenching her hands into fists, she stared at him as he closed the door with him inside her apartment.

What do you want?” she asked, folding her arms. If she didn’t keep herself together, she was going to attack him and not stop.

Killian looked around her apartment, and she saw the judgement in his eyes.

“This is where you live?”

“Yes.”

“That boy, it’s mine?”

“It’s? He, Killian, yes, and he’s your son.” She gritted her teeth together, and took a deep breath. “Why are you here?”

“What happened to college?” he asked, avoiding her question.

They didn’t like knocked up candidates in their classroom, and then screaming babies cramp the studying environment.” That was what the principal had told her. She had been let go, and her scholarship had gone to someone else. Her son was the best thing that had happened to her. She loved him more than anything, and never told him any different.

“Where are your parents?”

You really don’t get it, do you?” she asked. Even though ten years had passed, he seemed to think her life hadn’t changed. “They wanted nothing to do with me. I’ve been alone, Killian. The only person I’ve got is Killian.”

“And what a great job you’re doing with him. His language is fucking awful.”

She laughed. “Seriously, you’re going to come here out of the blue, and start yelling at me? You want to judge me for what happened?”

He turned his back toward her, and began pacing. “This is not what you were supposed to have. You were always meant to have something more. You had college, an entire life in front of you.”

She looked around her small space, and up until he’d criticized it, she had thought that she’d been doing really well. Every spare moment she worked to give her Killian a better life.

“I’m doing fine. You can leave, Killian. I don’t know why you’re even here, but whatever it is, I don’t need you.”

Don’t need me? You’re living in a shithole with my son. You think for a second this is okay? Why the fuck didn’t you reach out to me? I could have provided for you, and given you all the help you n—”

All of her life she had been the calm person, the respectful one. She rarely raised her voice, and the cops had even told her she wasn’t hard enough on her son. Everything she had been through, from the loneliness, the hard labor, and everything in between. The men at the diner who had offered her more cash for her to suck their cock, or to let them fuck her ass. She’d had to grow up fast, and drop any notion of life being easy.

She had turned men down politely, even as they made her skin crawl. Everything she had gone through, and Killian thought it was fixed with just a phone call.

Picking up the nearest lamp, which had so many chips in it, she launched it at him. He didn’t have time to catch it as it slammed into his middle. Next, she grabbed a coaster and threw it at him.

Provided for me? Do you even know what I went through? The moment I found out, I tried to find you! But you know what, Killian? You were nowhere to be found. There was no contact information for you at your college, at your job. You completely vanished into thin air, so don’t you fucking dare for a second try to turn this on me. I tried to find you. I was eighteen, the love of my life had just left me without any reason, and then I was pregnant. I was terrified!” She yelled the last part, and tears spilled down her cheeks.

For months, even years, she had thought about this moment so many times. In her fantasies, they had all been a lot nicer, a lot easier to deal with. They had talked, and everything had been fine.

Wrapping her arms around herself, she stared at the man who had broken her in more ways than she had thought possible. This was the man who had changed her life in ways she hadn’t been able to comprehend at the time.

He stared at her, and neither of them spoke. She was panting, and trying her hardest not to fall apart. Nausea filled her, and finally, she turned her back on him, needing to go and see her Killian.

Standing in the doorway of her son’s bedroom, he was reading his book.

“I love you, Mom,” he said.

Oh, honey, I love you, too.”

So much. More than you can ever know.

Chapter Two


Killian had come here to clear his head, and never expected this revelation. All these years he’d had a kid and didn’t even know it. Years he’d missed out on. He was no different than his own father who’d fucked his mother and disappeared. He felt sick to his stomach. And pissed off with the world.

He looked around the apartment, and his gut did another flip. Over the past ten years, he’d lived on top of the world with more cash than he could spend. Killer of Kings was very lucrative, and now he was Boss’s right-hand man used for personal security and priority hits. He’d never stopped thinking of June, but had honestly believed she’d moved on with her life. The belief had both comforted him and torn him to shreds. Now he’d discovered she’d been slumming it in a piece of shit apartment, all her dreams left behind.

And there was a kid. His kid.

Killian couldn’t believe the past was on rewind, his own son struggling to survive with a single mother killing herself to put food on the table. He felt tears prick his eyes, his throat getting scratchy. His kid deserved better than he’d had it. Shit, he shouldn’t be running the streets in hand-me-down clothes, stealing to survive.

But it was too late to make amends. Killian would never see him as a father. He would forever be a fucking stranger, the bastard who’d abandoned his mother. He paced the room more, feeling anxious and volatile. He wanted to be angry at June, but she was right. He’d left with no way to contact him. It was supposed to be a sacrifice on his part, giving her up so she could live a normal life, a good life. If he had known she carried his baby, he never would have walked away.

“You didn’t tell him anything, did you?” she asked.

He turned to find her back in the room with him. “Tell him what? That I’m his father?”

“Yeah. That.”

“No, but is that a problem? He is my son, after all.”

She shook her head. “You gave up that right when you left without a trace. I won’t have you confusing him, hurting him. He’ll just fall in love with you, and then you’ll be gone. Trust me, I know how that feels.”

“I didn’t know you were pregnant. For God’s sake, you can’t pretend I don’t exist. I just found out I was a father twenty minutes ago,” he said.

Well, I’ve been his mother and father for the past ten years. It hasn’t been easy, but I managed. You know why, because I had no choice. Being a parent comes with a lifetime responsibility, but you wouldn’t understand that, would you?”

His fists clenched at his sides. He felt like he was on trial for a crime he hadn’t committed, and he’d done a lot of bad shit.

“Look, I haven’t stopped thinking about you over the years. You’re the reason I came back to this town. But this, a kid, I never imagined any of it. If I’d known things would have been different,” he said.

“Let me guess, you wouldn’t have come back at all? Don’t worry, I don’t want your child support. You’re free to leave.” She crossed her arms over her chest again, completely blocking him out.

So many nights he’d picture this moment, this reunion, and it sure turned out better than the reality.

You’re fucking impossible!” He walked over to her and braced a hand on each of her shoulders. “I want to help. I want to make things right.”

I can’t do this. I won’t have you play with Killian’s heartstrings … or mine.” She shrugged him off and opened the door. “Pretend you never found us. You’re good at that.”

He stood in the doorway for a minute, staring at her. She hadn’t changed much since she was an innocent eighteen year old, still a natural beauty—still stubborn. Her gray eyes held him captive as they always had. One thing he couldn’t help but notice was how she’d matured into a woman, a woman with enough curves to make his dick take notice. Just looking at her now, he struggled to take his eyes off her. She had a big, juicy set of tits, that there was no hiding. She had a rounder stomach, and even her thighs looked thicker. He didn’t mind. This was his woman.

But he didn’t like how tired she looked, dark circles under her eyes, the zest he remembered snuffed out. This life could do that to a person, he knew that firsthand. He’d watched his own mother waste away, her hard reality stripping her essence layer by layer until she was a shell of a woman.

Killian wanted to make things right, to give her back that sparkle, to make her dreams come true.

He wasn’t going to fight her on this, not when they were both strung out on emotions. “If you think this is over, you’re wrong. I’ll never leave my son.”


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