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Roman-1(Lane Brothers, Book 5)

By´╝ÜKristina Weaver

Chapter One


I feel like my heart’s about to beat through my ribs, and thanks to the baby inside me attempting to empty my stomach, I’m fighting the need to puke.

The fear is overpowering, because this time I am totally alone. There’s no Daddy to help me and no Roman to stand in front of me and protect me from the big bad world.

In this closet I am unprotected, and what’s worse is that I have more than me to protect now. I have this little baby who is growing inside me, and doesn’t know that Mommy’s made too many mistakes to count and Daddy is…I don’t even know what Roman is anymore.

I’ve lost faith in the man I love. He’s gone—the Roman I was so determined to help. Gone is the man who’d laugh and joke with me while we plotted the downfall of the Patriots. I haven’t heard from in weeks.

The Roman I know, the man who spirited me away and swore to protect me, is so deep in the organization that I sometimes wonder if looking for him is a good idea.

What would I find if I got to him? Would he still be the man who was so intent on dismantling the extremist group and making our world, our country, a safer place, or would he be just as corrupt as those women who started all this?

The truth is that I saw a very startling change in him for days before he left me, and I’m only now admitting it to myself. I have the overwhelming need to see him and confess everything about my feelings and our baby, but I am terrified of the outcome.

What if he isn’t happy about Little Ro? What if I find him and he admits that he’s joined the extremists?

For all I know, it’s one of his cronies standing outside this door about to turn the doorknob and discover me hiding here like some weak, mewling little pissant.

I knew I should have called Uncle Dob, dammit!

I’m on the verge of regurgitating this afternoon’s lunch of dry toast and weak tea by the time the door slowly swings open and I react the only way I can, the way Daddy taught me to.

I yell at the top of my lungs and swing for all I’m worth, connecting with flesh and bone a second before my foot flies up and hits a man’s crotch with enough force to maim him for life.

The bellow and wheezing sounds I hear before my target drops to the floor and curls into the fetal position is the most satisfaction I’ve had in a while, and I spring to action with a grin that is short lived when I run face-first into a muscular chest and arms that feel like steel bands wrapping around me.

“Jesus, Miah, you didn’t see that coming, bro?”


I look up quickly, swallowing the bile that’s risen to my throat when I see a pair of twinkling blue eyes looking down at me with what I think is respect and a small amount of amusement.

Jared Lane, dammit. I had to go and run right into the arms of one of the scariest men I’ve ever met.

“Heya, dollface.”

He’s pretty amused as Miah, his twin brother, rolls to his feet with a groan. I can’t help but stare slack jawed when Jared bursts out laughing at his brother’s curses and throws me a wink before releasing me and holding me at arm’s length for a thorough inspection.

“She’s quick, I’ll give her that,” Miah grumbles and I turn just in time to see his lips twitch before he narrows his eyes on me and tilts his head. “Melissa—”

I already know exactly what he’s thinking, and I feel my gorge rise again as scenes of Daddy’s office start flashing through my mind in a plethora of gruesome images that only serve to heighten the grief I’m feeling.

With all that’s going on right now, I can’t blame myself for wanting to just forget, and yet it shames me to think that I’ve been worried about myself and nothing else for weeks while my father was brought to this point.

He’s dead, I know he is, and I will never see his ruddy face smiling at me or get to witness his tears when I bring my child into this world.

My father may not have been anyone’s idea of a hero, but he was mine and it hurts so much to know that I will never see him again.

“I saw the office, Jeremiah.”

It’s all I can choke out before pressing my lips together and stepping back to get them both in my line of sight.

Miah looks about ready to start cursing again and Jared, for all his scariness, just plants a hand on my shoulder and squeezes, trying to offer a comfort I need but can’t allow myself to want.

“Tell me what happened. Please.”

This is not a good idea and I know it. Knowing how he died is not going to solve a thing right now, but I have a list of all those who have ever wronged me, and after what I just saw, I’m going to be adding someone to the top of that sucker before the day is out.