Give Me Grace (Give Me #3) by Kate McCarthy



“You can,” he replied hoarsely.

“Give me one fucking reason why I can.”

Please. I need something.

“Because there are kids out there right now who need you, you selfish prick! Do you want to see them go through what you went through, or do you want to make your life count for something? You can give them something you never had. You can give them hope. Doesn’t that mean something to you?”

I exhaled heavily. “I’m just one person, Trav. What the fuck can I do?”

“You’re not just one person because you have me. I’m your family now.” His breath was harsh in my ear from the exertion, but I believed him. He was my family now. He was all I had. You would think that was too much pressure for one person, but Travis was rock solid. He always had been. “Just promise me you’ll try, okay? I need you to promise.”

The bastard. After what happened last time, he knew I’d never break another promise as long as I lived. Slumped against Travis in the sand, I stared up at the stars as water flowed around our legs, and I promised.

From that day on, I got out of bed every day, because I’d promised. I went to lectures and I ate when I was supposed to, and I dated girls, because I’d promised. I graduated with a dual degree in policing and psychology, and I moved back to Sydney with Travis, because I’d promised.

When he setup Jamieson and Valentine Consulting with his brother Jared and Jared’s friend, Coby Jamieson, he wanted me in, but I couldn’t do it. Travis had carried me for so long, I needed to stand on my own two feet. So I joined the police force and I trained, and I studied, and I worked so fucking hard I could barely stand from exhaustion. But after an entire year, I hadn’t gotten anywhere. We hauled in criminals just to turn around and watch the system set them loose.

So I quit and became a partner in their business, and as usual, Travis was right. It was a perfect fit and where I should’ve been all along. Located in the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst, the firm was extremely specialised: contracting to various government and private agencies for kidnapping, hostage negotiation, and security services. My primary role was to get kids out of abusive situations by whatever means necessary, and I took whatever means necessary to heart. God help any asshole who got in my way, because if there was one thing that should be feared, it was a man with nothing left to lose.

“Casey,” Travis whispered furiously, startling me back to the present and our current operation.

“What?”

“Who’d you go home with last night?”

“Just some girl,” I muttered.

Loosening the grip on my gun, I freed a hand and swiped it across my brow. His question reminded me that I needed to ring Morgan when I got home. My job might’ve given me a reason to keep going, but so did that file and its unanswered questions from the past. Whatever it took—fancy restaurants, jewellery, tying her to the fucking bed and taking a crop to her ass if that’s how she liked to get off—I’d fucking do it.

Decision made, I resolved to swing by the sex shop on the way home just in case.

Travis glanced sideways, his brows drawn together in a fierce frown. “You’re hiding something.”

“No I’m not,” I lied. Travis would pitch a shit fit about me going against firm policy by sleeping with Morgan. “I’m just getting too old for this shit.” My legs were still cramped, and my cock reminded me with a dull ache that life was passing it by.

“Twenty-nine is old now?”

No, but after graduating, I’d done the one thing I swore I’d never do after Travis saved my sorry ass from drowning. I’d made another promise. There was no way in hell I would hit thirty without putting that file to rest.

“I’ll be thirty before I know it,” I replied.

“You know that worrying about your age makes you a girl?”

“You’re a girl,” I retorted, and right there my immaturity level reached a new low. I blamed it on my hangover.

“I don’t have a clear shot,” he told me. “Target is still armed and coming your way.” Shifting slightly, Travis lowered his aim. “And go find your hookup after this and fuck her stupid if that’s what you need to do. Unless your cock is getting too old for that shit too.”

I resisted the urge to reach down and adjust it in my jeans. “Me getting too old for that shit? You’re the one who’s married,” I whispered out the corner of my mouth. “You’ll be needing that prescription for Viagra soon. Tell Quinn I’m available when she’s ready to trade up.”