Disclaimer: There's violence, swearing, and sex. Don't read if any of these bother you. And on that note, hope you enjoy.

RAFE'S REDEMPTION

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PROLOGUE

'Fucking bitch.' Rafe thought almost cruelly as she leaned against her 79 Mustang.

She lifted her cigarette and took a deep drag. It wasn't her savior, but sometimes—Rafe would admit that the smoke helped contain so much of the fury inside of her.

That was the problem.

She had a literal storm brewing inside of her. It'd been there for too long. It might've started the day her mother broke free and deserted her or it could've been the day when Rafe watched her older sister frantically pack a bag with raised voices and loud crashes on the other side of their closed door.

Rafe had been eight when she was told to sit on her bed and she watched, with frightened and already sageful eyes as the 'fucking bitch' had escaped through their bedroom window.

Sarah Sullivan.

That was the name of the 'fucking bitch' and Rafe hadn't heard hide nor hair from dear cut-and-run sister in eighteen years.

The eighteen years was up.

Rafe had gotten a text message three days ago from her sister. It said one word—help.

The timing of the text message had been somewhat too perfect in Rafe's twisted idea of how the universe should work.

Fucking Jace Lanser, Rafe's mentor, savior, and boss had just quit their team of underground DEA Agents.

Well…if the fucking boss could cut and run—so could she.

And so, just as Rafe had given her notice, left their hideout warehouse, and thrown her tight jean-clad leg over her motorcycle, her phone had buzzed near her ass.

She caught herself, straddled the cycle standing up, and extracted the phone. The red light alerted what she already knew, but it didn't warn Rafe about the explosion of emotions she'd never identify.

It was the same number that Sarah had given her eighteen years ago.

Imagine that.

Well, to be honest, Rafe didn't and she didn't give a shit, at least not then and there. It wasn't until two days later, after a nice drunken binge from her freedom, that Rafe glanced at the phone again and warily filtered back to her sister's text.

Help.

What the fuck had that meant?

That was among the questions sifting through Rafe's unusually alert mind after a drunken escapade.

As she rolled free from the constricting bedsheets against her naked skin, Rafe swung her muscled slim legs to the floor and bit back a yawn. A groan escaped beside her, but she never looked over her sculpted shoulder.

The guy had been good, but Rafe traced the phone in her hands again. The numbers had been engraved in her head for too long. She thought she'd forgotten them, but the numbers had haunted her mind for two days now—Rafe bit back a savage curse as she realized that she'd never forgotten.

The letters stood out. It seemed like they leapt at her from the screen.

Help.

HELP.

Was that how they'd been written? Why had they been written? Why now?
A strand of her dirty blonde hair slipped over her shoulder and fell to the phone. Rafe didn't bite back the curse as she savagely swiped at the hair.

"Hey, baby…" The guy shifted on the bed and braced himself behind her, almost plastered against her naked back.

Rafe's chocolate eyes held steadfast to the text message.

A hand slid down her back in a caress.

Rafe snapped out of her trance and whipped around. She had a hand to his throat and slammed him to the headboard before either of them could blink.

His eyes widened in shock. His arms bunched around tight muscles, but he held still as he saw someone who he hadn't bedded the night before. That woman had been sensual, passionate, and his wet dream come true.

This woman—was an animal.

With her free hand, Rafe snapped the phone closed and let it fall into the opened cowboy boot beside the bed. As she heard it land with a soft thump, Rafe nearly snarled, "Don't touch me."

"Hey, hey." He soothed, confused, as one hand raised tentatively to touch her arm.

Rafe twitched from underneath his hand and her free hand wrapped around his wrist and snapped it back to a breaking point.

"Holy shit!" He balked underneath the sudden stabbing pain, but Rafe didn't care. She watched with cold eyes and said smoothly, "I told you not to touch me. You touched me."

She thought about it—just a second, but she thought about finishing the twist. His wrist would've been broken. She was trained to do worse, but Rafe held back the storm inside of her.

'Know your true target.'

Jace's words came back to her.

Rafe blinked and loosened her hold on his wrist, but only his wrist.

This one night stand wasn't her target. And to be honest, Rafe wasn't sure who was, but the guy needed to be discarded.

The fight inside of her was over in an instant and Rafe removed her other constricting hand.

The guy abruptly bounced off the headboard and rolled to a stand on the opposite side of the bed. With a hand raised to rub his throat, he watched with shocked cautiousness.

Rafe ignored his gaze, knew it landed on her back, and didn't care that he'd see scars that had faded over the years. He wouldn't have felt them in the night. They weren't raised enough to be noticeable, not during their sex, but with the beam of light that shone brightly into her hotel room—there was no way that he wouldn't not see them.

She heard the swift intake of breath and knew when his eyes fell to them.

She stood, naked and confident, as the blanket fell back to the bed.

As she reached for her jeans and camisole on the second bed, she drawled, "I want you gone when I get out of my shower."

He didn't move.

Rafe grabbed up her single blue faded backpack and ignored him as she brushed past into the bathroom.

She never turned on the water. She didn't turn on the fan, but she stood just on the other side of the bathroom door.

Her head was bent slightly towards the door and her flat toned stomach brushed against the cold metal of the handle as she waited.

It took less than a minute before she heard the door slam shut…and that's when she opened the door and crossed the room to lock the hotel door before she turned back to showering, dressing, and heading out to finding her sister.

Rafe couldn't figure out why she had located where the text message had come from. She didn't know if it was from cold curiosity, detached love, or for the mere fact to finally enact her own revenge.

Whatever the reason, it had landed her across the street, underneath the shadowed canopy of some trees, and with her third pack of cigarettes in a pile around her cowboy boots. She took a slow drag as she leaned against her 79 Mustang and watched as the door burst open from across the street and two drunks stumbled out of the Carla's Cats and into a back alley.

Rafe didn't move.

She wasn't there for those guys.

She was just there to find her sister.

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