Contents Copyright Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Author's Note Acknowledgments Other Books by K.C. Stewart About the Author
Swelter by K.C. Stewart © 2016 by K.C. Stewart. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the author, except where permitted by law. This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Cover Design © L.J. Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations Editing by: Dare to Dream Editing
Chapter One “Where have you been?” the man barked at her. “Is it done?” She had two answers for him. “Fuck no and none of your business.” “I’m paying you for a job, when you disappear after part of it was to be completed, it becomes my business. I thought I hired the best?” After she failed to kill the sister of
her target, because the target found her beforehand and then proceeded to take her captive for the night, Charley didn’t feel that her embarrassment was any of his business. Although, she made up for it in the end with her disappearing act. She hoped Silas like the note she left him. With her bag packed, Charley zipped it closed and moved to the next. The fact that Silas knew where she lived and how to get into her apartment wasn’t an issue before but she pissed him off and proved him wrong. The man would be sending out his guys to bring her back. Luckily, she had a few holes in the city and was packing up the essentials to move. “Calm your face, it will be done.”
Her employer this time around was a whiny hardass. He checked in a few times a day and nagged her relentlessly. She typically didn’t get involved with the whys of the situation just the who’s and how’s. As in, who did they want dead and how did they want it done. But sometimes, and right now was a perfect example, she really wished she could kill the people who hired her instead of the targets, the world would have one less asshole. But then she wouldn’t get paid and Charley really liked to get paid. Although in this case, the money was not nearly as tempting as putting a hole in Mr. Bergman’s chest. “Get it done within the week and I’ll double what I’m paying you.”
Well now… “You’d pay me four million dollars to kill the leader of the Green sept of dragons?” “Only if you do it by Saturday night.” Oh man, this was what she lived for. Charley was born half angel, half bastard. She had no idea what her other half was since her bitch of a mother left her when she was five. Foster homes made up the next thirteen years of her life until she was eighteen and could walk away from the life her mother had condemned her to. Hunting and killing things had started off as selfpreservation in a hard world full of creatures that hated her because she wasn’t one of their perfect races. Being
a Halfling made her a target, being a good shot got the bull's-eye off her back and onto the head of someone else. Turns out that just because people hate you for what you had no choice in, didn’t mean they wouldn’t pay you to kill someone they hated more. She had a pretty good life for herself. Then that fucking green dragon had to come knocking. Charley had been thrilled to find that someone hated that cock sucker as much as she did. The man broke into her home after having virtually nothing on her. She knew, she kept track of those things. He just broke in to see who she was. This led her to believe he was either stupid and stumbled into the wrong apartment-which considering he was known as one
of the most ruthless men in his species, she didn’t think stupid was a very good description--or he must have known her from somewhere else. Charley doubted he was trying to hire her. He had his own men for that shit. That meant he had to know her sperm donor. She had made assumptions about her father throughout the years. Who he was. What he was. She never got a definite answer. Silas’s presence in her apartment pushed her towards the idea that her father was a dragon. Her assumptions were confirmed just last night. Silas knew her father. He flashed her his hand and it was tempting, so damn tempting. But then again, so was money.
“Deal. He’ll be dead by Saturday.” ***** “You’ve been distracted all night,” Hailey whispered to him. He blinked away the glaze in his eyes and focused back on her. They were the only ones dancing under the millions of tiny twinkling lights of the small dance floor. Then again considering she was one of three women here, the options were limited. His sister made a beautiful bride, even more so when she smiled like she was. Her surprise mating to Dacea had gone as planned and Silas had to admit, he was happy for it. He had grown tired of their back and forth love battles and arguments. Had they not
done this today, he would have kidnapped them both and officiated the ceremony himself while they were bound and gagged. “I’m distracted by your beauty.” She snorted. “Nice try. What’s on your mind?” Little red headed escape artists. “Work.” “Then why are you smiling?” Silas narrowed his eyes. Cocky little thing today, wasn’t she? He spun her out and pulled her back with a giggle on her lips. “Maybe I’m smiling because you are so happy, it makes me happy.” “I don’t think that’s a lie but it sure ain’t the whole truth.” “Hailey,” he said in warning. “I do
not wish to discuss it.” “It’s my wedding and I’ll grill you if I want to. Now talk.” She stepped on his foot but he kept them moving. Traditional dances were not something she was familiar with and mixed with her lack of coordination on a good day, his toes would be bruised that evening. Still, he spun them around so effortlessly that no one would be the wiser of her coordination issues unless they were watching for her grimaces. “A prisoner escaped from the cells last night.” Surprised she said, “I thought that was impossible. Well, beyond my heroic escape.” “So did I.” It bothered him all day.
He had spent his time before the mating locked in the room trying to see a way out from her perspective. He found none. His men were doing the same now but during his last check in, they hadn’t found any way out either. “Who was it?” “No one important,” he said dismissively. Hailey wasn’t buying it. “Try again.” But Charlotte wasn’t important, she merely over took his mind at all hours of the day and consumed his thoughts so thoroughly that he could get nothing else done. “A woman who you do not need to hear any more about.” “Is this that woman Dak mentioned?
Started with a C or something.” He’d need to thank Dacea with his fist later on for telling Hailey about Charlotte. “Yes,” he said stiffly. “No frowning at the bride.” Silas exhaled trying to find patience. “Hailey-“ “Geez, fine. I’ll stop.” “Thank you.” The song ended and wasn’t that just perfect timing. Silas stepped back and with a bow, he excused himself. He heard her mutter “coward” at his back but didn’t step up to the challenge. She’d get her answers, eventually. First, he wanted his own answers. Charlotte missed her original target. That was going to eat at her if it wasn’t
already. She was a perfectionist and from the look she had when he told her of the miss, he knew that had been a first. She’d come after him hard now, wanting to finish the job and move on. Most in his situation would hide away and increase their security. Silas planned on doing the opposite. She wanted to kill him for profit. So he would put himself out there for her to try. He’d show himself so she would have to show herself. There were a few functions he was invited to that would work well for this plan. Normally he would send a check in lieu of attending, which most preferred since he didn’t “play well with others,” as Hailey put it. He would enjoy seeing
the faces of everyone when he did show up, especially those at his table. The poor souls won’t know what hit them.
Chapter Two “Silas, I want a drink.” The sound of her voice put his teeth on edge. Silas kept a neutral face while he nodded to those he knew at the benefit. “Then go get one.” “But I want you to get me one,” Krystal said, hanging off his arm. Never again would he bring one of
the women he fucked as a date, especially a nymph. There was a reason he gagged them when they met up and this was it. Their voices were like screech owls. Just once, he wanted a woman who could either shut up and look pretty or actually enhance a conversation with intelligence and wit. To have both would be a godsend. “Baby,” Krystal said with such a nasally high tone that his eardrums almost burst. “I am not yours nor anyone else’s baby.” What had he been thinking? They had only been there twenty minutes, they hadn’t even eaten dinner yet. How was he supposed to get through the evening surrounded by people he could barely
tolerate on a good day with the sound of Krystal’s whining only a foot beside him the entire night? “Baby,” she said, not even hearing his comment on the name. Silas groaned. “What’s for dinner? Did you tell them that I am only eating organically grown, seaweed harvested off the coast of Nova Scotia this week?” Silas’s mask broke. The only response he had was a look of exasperation. “No,” he ground out. “Frankly, I don’t care if you eat at all. What I do need is for you to close your mouth and to not open it again until you have walked through your front door. Right now, you my dear, are a prop. Nothing more than something to hang off
my arm this evening.” She pouted and made a little indignant squeaking noise that he found repulsive. Why did women think that a pout would get them anything other than a bit lip? He pulled down on the of...