Authors: Elle Christensen,K Webster
Copyright © 2014 K. Webster and Elle Christensen
Cover Design: K. Webster
Photo: Dollar Photo Club
Editor: Mickey Reed
Formatting: Champagne Formats
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information and retrieval system without express written permission from the Author/Publisher.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
To my husband—thank you for teaching me all of my sexy moves. You give me something new to write about each time.
To my writing buddy—you’re a rock star and I’m so proud of you.
~Author K Webster~
To my real-life book boyfriend, no other man, real or fictional, will ever live up to you.
To my partner in crime, thank you for believing in me. For taking a chance on me. And, for helping me to make a dream come true. I can’t wait to get into even more trouble with you in the future!
~Author Elle Christensen~
A Note from the Authors
Being an author oftentimes means a very lonely job. However, sometimes you’re presented with an opportunity to work with a friend and you jump on it. K Webster and Elle Christensen, buddies that had recently only met in the flesh while in Las Vegas, took this opportunity. Together, they worked hard to bring you Joss and Slade’s story, Erased.
Now, co-writing a book is a bit of a challenge. Who writes what? Where do you even start? K and Elle discovered they were not immune to the confusion that was involved with writing a book by two different authors. To make things a little easier, they divided the character “roles.” K took Joss and Elle took Slade. This way, they were able to immerse themselves in their characters and give the book a real sense of separate personalities and points of view. Along the way, they constantly hashed out the story line and potential plot holes so that together they could work them out.
As the story progressed, they found a groove that worked for the both of them. And, with beta suggestions and a lot of hard work from their editor to make two author voices flow as one, they finally came up with something they were wholly proud of.
K and Elle thought you would enjoy hearing the process of how they created Erased. Now, they hope that you adore the book baby they made together!
Love, K Webster and Elle Christensen
I’ve always loved the experience of working together with other people toward an artistic goal. ~ Trey Anastasio ~
WHAT THE HELL?
I open my eyes and reach for the vibrating phone on my nightstand. As I sit up, I glance at the clock on the screen, growl, and finally answer the call.
“It’s four thirty in the damn morning, Bruce. What the fuck do you need at this ungodly hour?”
There is a beat of silence before a low, cultured voice responds, “No need to be crude, Gideon.”
I roll my eyes.
“I have a job for you.”
My fist tightens around the phone. “Four thirty in the morning, Bruce,” I grumble into the phone. “Call me at a decent hour.”
Before I can hang up, he speaks again. “It’s time sensitive. I need you to put together a team for an acquisition. This will need to happen tonight.”
I sigh in resignation and flop back down onto my pillows, staring at the stark, white walls of my bedroom. “Fine. What are we going after?”
“You’ll have to go into a little more detail if you want me to ‘acquire’ a person, Bruce,” I mutter sarcastically.
“All you need to know is that she’s the key to a locked door.” Irritation is evident in his tone. “I’ll tell you when and where. Just have your team ready by six tonight.”
“Is this about the virus you had me steal?” It’s too soon for him to have another job for me—this has to be related to the last one.
He’s silent for a moment, clearly contemplating how much to tell me. Finally, he gives in. “Yes. It’s encrypted. My buyers are anxious for the data. This girl is leverage. Incentive for the man with the encryption key to . . . share his information.” There is tension and urgency in his voice.
“I wasn’t going to take another job. I’m out, Bruce. I told you that.” Exhaustion weighs down on me. I am so done with this shit.
“I’m sure you were serious.”
I can hear the skepticism in his words. I don’t give a damn whether they believe it or not. I am out of here in a matter of days. No more living in the shadows, no more empty apartments, no more fast-food diets, and definitely no more of being under someone else’s control.
“Forget it. I’m done.” I pull the phone from my ear, once again intent on hanging up and getting back to sleep—my only escape from this shitty life.
“I’ll pay you double.”
I pause and slowly bring the phone back to my ear. “You’ll what?”
Bruce sniffs in annoyance. The pompous ass. “I said I’ll pay you double. Think about it as an extension of your last job for me. After this, I won’t bother you again.” He swallows hard before he bites out his next words. “I need you. I know you can get it done. I cannot fail. Do you understand? I
I sit up again, shocked. Bruce does not beg.
Sighing once again, I scrub my free hand down my face. “Fine. Double. But that’s it. When this is over, if you contact me again, you’ll be breathing out of a tube after I break your face. You got it?”
When he sniffs again, I contemplate fixing that nasal problem with my own brand of reconstructive surgery.
“Just do the job. After that, you have my word—we’re done.”
“Yeah, yeah. Give me the details.”
Bruce lays out the plan for the evening and I begin building a mental list of who to call and what supplies we’ll need. Most of the guys I work with are on new jobs. We parted ways when I informed them that I was leaving the game. Damn . . . I’d have to call in favors.
I roll my shoulders, trying to loosen the ever-present tension in my muscles. I seriously need a beach to relax on and a woman to lose myself in.
Finally, we come to an agreement on the details.
Once again, there is a hint of desperation in his tone. “Remember, you pull this off and you’ll get what you want. A lot of money and to never hear from me again.”
“Yeah. It’s that second one that has me motivated.” I can’t resist the dig; this guy is such a prick.
I want to thump my head against the wall behind the bed. Is English his second language? No one should need to ruminate on their words that much.
“Are we finished with this delightful conversation?” I ask.
“Yes. Six o’clock. Be ready.”