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King Maker (King Maker #3)
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From USA Today’s bestselling author Terri E. Laine comes the epic conclusion to the King Maker Trilogy. This final chapter, ruthless and no less determined Scottish billionaire Kalen Brinner has a choice to make. To walk away or fight for the only woman he’s ever fallen for.
This is not a standalone. You must read book one – Money Man and then book two – Queen Maker, prior to reading this book or you will be lost.
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Time melted away as I projected a calm I didn’t feel. Bailey was in the hands of someone with nothing to lose. Hours had passed without any contact from anyone for ransom. This was most likely personal. The longer she was gone, the more likely we wouldn’t find her safe.
Turner’s pacing came to a stop. He looked up at me with fathomable eyes that clearly spoke volumes of the love he had for a woman I’d claimed as mine.
“Who’s coming again?”
I stopped myself from rolling my eyes. I’d already explained this to him, Bailey’s father, and then to the council members of the community.
Though my temper flared, I managed to tamp it down. He did hold the same fear I did.
“Matt,” I gritted out. I took a second to breathe before I finished. “The brother of Lizzy, Bailey’s best friend from college.”
His hand scrubbed over his face before he nodded. “Why would he fly here at a minute’s notice?”
Frustration welled up in me. Gaelic words hung on my tongue, but I held them back, knowing he wouldn’t understand them. I fought the urge to push back at the guy. Putting up with his grilling was starting to crack my façade.
“She’s his sister’s best friend,” I repeated. “And a cop.”
Turner wasn’t a stupid guy. He looked at me man-to-man, calling me on my bullshit.
“I think he may have had a thing for her,” I admitted.
He shook his head as if to say he figured as much.
“I don’t think anything ever came of it. She’s really close to their family,” I said and wondered why I was explaining myself.
After taking a cleansing breath, I opened my eyes to find his brown eyes trained on me as he spoke. “A security team from your friend’s company is picking this Matt up before heading here.”
“Yes,” I said, my nerves frayed.
“You have a stake in the company?”
It was my turn to scrub my face in hopes of wiping the grimace off it before I spoke. “No.” Though that wasn’t exactly true, I didn’t tell him that. I’d helped Griffin with the start-up cost, but he’d long ago paid me back.
I was also one of his largest clients, as I’d brought his team in-house to combat hackers and help screen future and current employees of King Enterprises. Now he was working to help clear my name of possible charges against me.
His eyes conveyed he wasn’t convinced. “Why are you even here? She told me you broke up.”
We hadn’t actually been together. Though I didn’t contradict his statement.
“Because it’s my problem.”
A fire blazed in his eyes that mirrored my own. “We can take care of her.”
I wanted to shout, can you? But considering she was gone, I hadn’t been able to protect her either.
Instead, I calmly explained, “If it weren’t for my company, she wouldn’t be in danger. Even if it was someone else, I would be involved. I’m responsible.”
It took a few moments before he nodded. “How long before this Matt shows up?”
A quick look at my watch revealed it would be soon. “Maybe a half an hour.”
“Fine. I’ll be back.”
I watched him go and breathed a sigh of relief. His tension only added to my own. I took the opportunity to call Griffin.
“Tell me you have something,” I said.
“We’ve narrowed the make of the vehicle based on the pictures of the tire tread you sent.”
“And how does that help find her?” I snapped.
“We’ll know what car to look for when we pull video.”
I pinched the bridge of my nose. Frustration was wearing on me. “Yeah… right… Sorry.”
“I’ve got everyone working on this. But if we don’t know what kind of car we are looking for—”
“I get it.”
“Kalen, we’ll find her.”
I hoped so. “Call me when you have more.”
“Will do,” he said.
I ended the call and tried not to think about what someone might be doing to my girl. A sobering huff escaped my lips. Was she mine?
The question plagued me because of her eyes. The way she gazed at me, even after I arrived. They betrayed her words in every way, causing doubt, especially after last night.
With irritation, I ran a hand over my head before stepping outside to find space to breathe. I would never understand women. If not Bailey, I would never let another woman into my heart again. Ever.
A second later, a call came through, but it wasn’t Griffin.
“Lizzy,” I said.
“Where is she?” Bailey’s best friend sounded like she was spitting fire.
“I’m going to find her.”
“You better because this is your fault.” The blow connected right where she wanted. “Bailey doesn’t deserve this. She’s a sweet, kind, girl—no, scratch that—woman. She’s never done anything to anyone.”
I wanted to dispute that. She had me tied up in knots and I would bet the same could be said for Turner. Not that it was her fault. She just had that something special.