THE PATTELS (Hawk & Raven)
Book 1 in The Pattels Series will be Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble on April 30th.
“Okay, Raven, that’s enough,” her mother said. “You’re not in a courtroom right now so you don’t get to judge. Yes, Angel and Nikki may have been raised differently–”
“That’s an understatement if I ever heard one,” Raven snorted.
“But they are exactly what the other needs,” her mother continued. “You should know by now that life isn’t a fairy tale. Your prince may not come in the package that you dream he will. You could be missing out on the love of your life because you refuse to look beneath the surface of what someone presents to you, and that, my dear would be an absolute shame.”
“I couldn’t have said it better myself.”
Raven stiffened in her chair when she heard the unmistakable sound of Angel’s voice behind her seconds before she saw him walk up to the table. He was casually dressed in a pair of off white slacks, brown leather loafers, and a baby blue button down shirt he’d left untucked. The only jewelry he wore was his gold diamond studded wedding ring and an expensive watch that she was sure cost more than her yearly salary.
As her mother put it, it was part of her job to ‘look beneath the surface’ of people and Angelo LaCroix was just as foul and corrupt as they came. Raven knew for a fact that he was in the crosshairs of every major law enforcement agency in the country, including the FBI and the DEA. And he knew that she knew. No one had ever been able to touch him, which was a nod to his savvy, intelligence, self-preservation, and plain old luck.
Thus far, he’d avoided getting caught but with the kind of intense heat he faced every day, it wouldn’t last. It was only a matter of time before his luck ran out. When that happened, Raven wanted her sister and nephew as far away from the fallout as possible.
Biting back an irritated sigh, she remembered the talk she’d had with herself on the plane ride over. Because it was A.J.’s birthday, she would be civil with Angel if it killed her. She refused to ruin this day for her nephew or cause Nikki undue stress. She’d be leaving tomorrow. She could do this.
She clenched her teeth and forced herself to remain calm. Even though he’d only said her name, he’d uttered it with an intentionally mocking tone, no doubt designed to get under her skin. But not today. She wouldn’t let him.
Breaking eye contact, she stabbed a piece of fruit with her fork and brought it to her mouth. The party would be starting soon. She doubted if they’d even be around one another for the rest of her visit, which would make things a lot easier.
Watching him lean down to kiss her mother on the cheek, Raven rolled her eyes at the way her mother preened under his attention. Ughhh!
“So how was your trip, Raven?” Angel asked.
“It was fine, thank you.”
“And when are you leaving?”
Raven paused in the act of bringing another piece of fruit to her mouth. She didn’t want to be under the same roof as him any more than he wanted her there.
“Tomorrow,” she answered in a short growl.
“Pity you couldn’t have come earlier. Your parents have been here for a week now. It would’ve been nice if you’d made more time to visit with them.”
“I was telling her the same thing. She works entirely too hard,” her mother added.
“I wouldn’t have to work so hard if there weren’t so many criminals on the street. But it’ll be worth it. Before I’m done, they’ll all be exactly where they belong–locked up behind bars for the rest of their natural lives.” Her look told Angel she included him in that group.
“Good luck with that. From what I heard, you suffered quite a blow in the courtroom with Frank Giuliani a couple of weeks ago. Giuliani is small time. If you can’t manage to put him away, what makes you think you have a shot at getting to those at the top?”
Raven carefully placed her fork down on the plate and wiped her mouth with the linen napkin. “You don’t have to believe me. Just watch me work.”
“Oh, I will. Count on that.”
Ignoring her mother, who watched them through anxious eyes, Raven returned Angel’s stare without flinching. The tension in the room grew thick. Neither had to be specific about what they actually meant. The gauntlet had been thrown down between them years ago and as a result, they both knew where they stood with one another.
THE PATTELS (Hawk & Raven)
THE PATTELS (HAWK & RAVEN)
BOOK 1 IN THE PATTEL SERIES