Liberty Begins (The Liberty Series)

Free Liberty Begins (The Liberty Series) by Leigh James

Book: Liberty Begins (The Liberty Series) by Leigh James Read Free Book Online
Authors: Leigh James
Tags: Book One
    John pulled down a tray table from the seat in front of him, reached across the aisle and did the same for me, and started serving us both. “Corey, like me, is a Retaliation Operative. All of us are. We are hired by private clients and sometimes the odd government to capture assets.”
    Corey nodded and walked quickly towards the back. I made myself take a sip of coffee. Black. Normally I took cream, but I needed as high a concentration of caffeine as I could get right now. My stomach growled again and I shoved some croissant into my mouth gracelessly. I couldn’t be worried about how I looked eating while I was being told that my first-ever love interest was some sort of bounty hunter.
    “And the repurposing?” I managed to whisper out, past my croissant. I was starting to worry about what that might mean.
    “It’s not what you might think,” John said sympathetically, generously spreading raspberry jam on a blueberry scone. “Well, sometimes it is. But we only take cases that we believe in. We screen them carefully. The cases we accept involve what we believe is a real injustice, where the asset has done something really wrong. So we believe that punishment is necessary.”
    I finished chewing before I asked my next question. “What about just leaving it to the proper authorities? The police? The FBI?”
    “We don’t interfere with their work,” John said. “We take cases that they might not be able to prosecute for various reasons, and also cases where they can’t properly make arrests. Clients come to us when they can’t find justice through the normal channels.”
    I sat and finished my croissant, drinking more coffee. I had a lot more questions about this, but I wasn’t sure if he would answer them. I wasn’t really sure I wanted the answers.
    “As for question number three, we are in Colorado, heading east. Cruz has agreed to give you a paid leave of absence as part of his arrangement with us.” John smiled at me and finished his scone.
    “Colorado?” I asked. “Huh?” I shook my head, confused. “I have to work tomorrow. I don’t want to lose my shifts — and I have to pay rent at the end of this week,” I said, starting to panic. “I need to go home.”
    “Don’t worry about any of that,” John said, sitting back in his chair with his coffee. He looked gorgeous and relaxed. “Everything is taken care of.”
    He was starting to irritate me. He didn’t understand. There were no vacations when you lived paycheck to paycheck, and there were plenty of hungry girls in Vegas who would love my job.
    “I don’t want everything to be taken care of,” I said, my voice rising. I was becoming totally overwhelmed. “ I want to take care of everything. That’s what I do. Not ride around in a tour bus with a hostage and a bunch of vigilantes.”
    The rest of what he had said was just starting to dawn on me. What had Cruz and John done, striking a deal involving me? Like I was some sort of trading card? Yes, I had held John’s hand. Yes, I had used my stripper pose on him. Yes, he had made me throb down there just by looking at me with those sexy eyes. None of this meant I was for sale.
    “You have the wrong idea about me, John,” I said, my voice loud. “I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong impression — but I’m not going to be some part of an arrangement where Cruz is paying me to be your escort.”
    I stood up. “I may be a stripper,” I yelled, “but I’m not a prostitute!”
    Then I turned and saw that the other guys on the bus were studiously not watching us, except Darius, who looked like he might be smiling underneath the duct tape. I quickly sat down.
    “No, no, Liberty! Of course not. You don’t have to say that,” John said, reaching across the aisle to grab both of my wrists and almost knocking all the food to the floor. The plates clattered but then settled. “Please.”
    Corey appeared with the tray and within a moment, everything was cleared away. I was

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