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Guts & Glory – Mercy (In the Shadows Security #1)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Jeanne St. James

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You must fall before you can rise…

Former Delta Force Operator. Scarred inside and out.

In the military, Mercy had seen and done things most people could never imagine. Now working for In the Shadows Security, dangerous jobs are his specialty, the more difficult the better… until his boss assigns him to protect a spoiled, rich woman who never shuts the h*ll up. He has two ways to stop her running mouth, but either could get him fired.

However, first impressions can be deceiving, and underestimating this woman is a mistake Mercy never intended to make. One that might not only threaten his job but the carefully built barriers he’s surrounded himself with.

Witness to a horrific crime, Parris must leave Vegas immediately. After her best friend hires a professional to get her out of Nevada and keep her safe, she discovers there’s more to this emotionally crippled “bodyguard” than meets the eye. As a therapist, Mercy’s a challenge Parris can’t ignore, even when his walls seem too high to breach.

In the end, will Mercy not only be able to keep her safe but allow her to save him? Or will he let the woman who’s become his addiction simply walk away?

Note: Mercy is the first book of the Guts & Glory series, a six-book spin-off from my Dirty Angels MC series. While it’s recommended to read both series in order, each book can be read as a stand-alone. As with all my books, this has an HEA and no cliffhanger or cheating.

Books in Series:

In the Shadows Security Series by Jeanne St. James

Books by Author:

Jeanne St. James Books

“It is mercy, not justice or courage or even heroism, that alone can defeat evil.” ~ Peter Kreeft

Chapter One

You must fall before you can rise.

With his fingers curled around her delicate skin and the fragile frame of her neck, he increased the pressure.

“Harder! Do it harder,” she hissed at him.

Mercy had a feeling she wasn’t talking about fucking her. Fuck no, she was one of “those.”

His grip twitched but he didn’t do as she demanded, instead he pretended to misunderstand her demand and slammed his dick deeper. His pounding rhythm became mindless. Because that’s what she was, just another mindless fuck.

One that had a freaky side.

He seemed to attract those types of bitches.

Random snatch he picked up at the bar. A woman who saw him as a freak and had someone like him on her fuck-it bucket list.

Or one who thought they could bring the life back to his eyes. They saw him as a challenge.

That last kind he tried to avoid since they became the challenge. Especially when it came to scraping them off at the end of the night.

But nights like this were typical for him. Him doing the using, and him being used.

Just busting a nut into some, what the DAMC brothers called “strange.”

No numbers exchanged.

No after-fuck cuddling.

No deep conversation.

Hell, he didn’t even bother to ask their names.

And if they asked him, he just told them his name was John.

It didn’t matter if he was John, Joe or Jack. They just wanted to fuck a cold-hearted, dead-eyed, scarred freak. They got off on that shit. And he let them for the moments it took for him to get off.

Then it was over.

A few nights later, it would happen again. New night, new woman.

Rinse. Repeat.

But the one he was sliding his dick into now?

Fuck. Total fucking freak.

He realized she was still talking. Why didn’t she shut the fuck up?

“C’mon. Show me what you got! Don’t be a pussy. You look like you’d like it rough. Squeeze harder.”

Mercy adjusted his grip on her neck, his fingers curling tighter into her flesh, and he pumped his hips faster and harder.

She was just a “her” to him because if she had told him her name at the bar earlier, he hadn’t paid attention. Or even fucking cared.

“Pretend I’m the enemy, soldier, and your life’s on the line.”

Yeah, bitch, if you were, you wouldn’t be breathing or flapping those gums.

“That’s it, fucker. Give it to me like you mean it.”

He did his best not to sigh out loud.

“Fuck me hard while you tell me how you got those nasty scars. I want to hear every detail.”

Since she could still talk, he apparently wasn’t squeezing hard enough.

But choking her out or telling her about his past was never going to happen. Just like he was never going to end up in this bitch’s bed again.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, she just out and out sucker punched him right in the face. His head jerked back from the impact, and his body went solid. His hips stilled, and his eyes met hers.

Her brown eyes surrounded in thick mascara widened, and her red lipsticked mouth became slack. He dropped his gaze to his fingers and realized he’d finally done what she asked for. Only now he could see the fear in her expression.

Total fucking panic.

When a gurgle bubbled up, he willed his fingers to release her and, luckily for her, his brain was still connected to his digits. He pulled out, rolled away from her, yanked off the condom and threw it on her now heaving stomach. He sat on the edge of the bed, a chill sweeping through him at how close she came to dying.

He could have killed her without a second thought.

Her voice was raspy when she demanded, “What are you doing? We didn’t finish!”

Mercy scrubbed a hand over his short hair.

“I’m not done, you… you monster!”

“You’re done,” he growled without looking at her.

“No, I’m not.”

He pushed to his feet, found his pile of clothes and methodically pulled them on, making sure his knife was still in the back pocket of his jeans and his .38 still tucked in his boot. The only weapons he usually carried into a bar since they were easily concealable.

He strapped on the ankle holster after yanking his cargo pants up over his hips.

Mercy ignored her sitting up in bed, glaring at him.

“Are you seriously leaving?”

He ignored that, too.

“Why are you taking what I said personal?”

He concentrated on lacing up his combat boots.

“Hey! I can have any guy I want!” she screamed as he straightened and focused on the door to his freedom. “Asshole! You ugly-ass freak! It was only a pity fuck!”

A few strides later, he was out of her apartment door and jogging down the steps. At the bottom, he hooked a right and saw his true love waiting for him under the halogen light.

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