Just One Tease (The Kingston Family #9) Read Online Carly Phillips

Categories Genre: Action, Alpha Male, Billionaire, Contemporary, Suspense Tags Authors: Series: The Kingston Family Series by Carly Phillips

Total pages in book: 60
Estimated words: 56893 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 284(@200wpm)___ 228(@250wpm)___ 190(@300wpm)

He’s the last single Dare sibling standing.
She’s his lost love who disappeared.
Now she’s back, bringing secrets and danger.

Hadley Stevens is on the run with her younger sister—again—but this time, she’s in control. Zach Dare might hate her, but she knows he’d never turn away someone in need. He’s the only man she trusts. The man she’s never gotten over. Even if she left him without a word.

Zach never expected the girl he once loved to walk into his bar. The last time he saw her, he’d dropped her off after school and promised to pick her up for prom. Except she disappeared.

Now, she’s back with a new name, but the same doe eyes and pouty lips, and she’s asking for the help he would have gladly given her all those years ago.

Zach agrees to protect them, but he refuses to fall for Hadley again. But late nights working side by side give them a tempting glimpse at the life they could have had…and all the reasons he loved her come flooding back.

He’ll have to keep her safe.

Before he can convince her to stay.

*Though connected by family, all books stand alone.'

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

Chapter One

Hadley Stevens loved her job but this time of year always turned high school kids into fidgety, hormonal savages thanks to being stuck inside a stuffy brick building seven hours a day, five days a week. They were so close to summer freedom, even she could relate to their restless spirits.

The sun shone overhead as she walked to her car. Coworkers also strode to their vehicles and Hadley knew without asking they were all grateful it was the second to last Friday of the school year. It helped that the weather was warm, even for mid-June in Braxton, Illinois, giving everyone an extra pep in their step. Hadley had no plans for the weekend beyond reading and relaxing, and if the weather stayed nice, she would sit outside and chill.

The house she lived in with her father, Gregg, and thirteen-year-old sister, Danika, had a small patio in the backyard where Hadley always found peace. No doubt some of this weekend would include shuffling Dani to and from a friend’s house, too, something Hadley didn’t mind at all.

She approached her car, key fob in hand when a man strode up beside her, his shadow blocking the sun.

“Hadley Stevens.” He said her name in a low voice.

She stiffened and looked up, recognizing him immediately. He was one of the sleazy men who’d been meeting with her father in their home most evenings, hanging out in their family room, and eyeing her just-developing thirteen-year-old sister with lust-filled eyes. Their perversion scared Hadley to no end and she always kept Dani within arm’s reach until the men left.

“What do you want?” Hadley slid her finger over the alarm on her key fob.

He grasped her wrist tight enough to bruise. “Don’t. Hear me out and nobody has to get hurt.” He slid his jacket aside, revealing a holstered gun.

Shaking now, she straightened her shoulders and refused to show more fear. “I’m listening.”

“Tell your father if he doesn’t do what we asked, we’ll take you and your pretty little sister as payment instead.” Releasing her wrist, he strode off, mixing in with the male and female teachers in the lot.

Trembling, she could barely unlock her car door and when she finally climbed inside, she jammed her finger against the door-lock button four times before she convinced herself she was safe.

Dani, she thought, her stomach twisting in knots. She had to get home to her sister. The plan calmed her down enough to drive but the past she’d been told to forget crashed through her mind for the duration of the fifteen-minute trip.

Hadley had just come home from shopping for last-minute makeup and hair clips for her boyfriend’s prom night. Getting out of his car, she was high on life and excited to be his date for the senior prom. He didn’t care that she was a junior. She and Zach Dare had been friends for years and a couple for almost eight months. And she planned to give him her virginity on prom night.

Except there’d been no prom. Not for her. And probably not for Zach, either. When Hadley had walked into her house that day eleven years ago, she’d been greeted by her father and the federal agents who’d relocated them that night, changing her name, her identity and altering the course of her life forever. She was sure Zach hated her for abandoning him without a word and did her best not to think about the cute boy she thought she’d loved.

Now, as she approached the home where she’d lived since being uprooted from everything and everyone she knew, that same gut-churning feeling returned. She already knew her father had gotten involved with the wrong people again but this time, she doubted they’d have government protection to keep her and Dani safe.

She pulled into the driveway, relieved to find it empty with no other cars on the street. It didn’t mean the men weren’t inside the house, but it gave her some hope. She glanced at the small home and though the white paint was chipped in places, she’d done her best to keep the grounds pretty by planting flowers and bulbs that bloomed yearly.

She pulled her car into the garage beside her father’s vehicle and tapped the button to close the electric door behind her. Still shaking, she walked inside and paused to listen. It was quiet. She didn’t hear men’s voices and Dani wasn’t blasting loud music. Knowing her sister, she was probably using earbuds and destroying her hearing instead.

Hadley rushed through the hall and into the kitchen to find her father pacing back and forth across the small area. “Dad? What did you do?”

“Hadley!” He spun around, his dark hair, newly threaded with gray, an unruly mess. He made it worse when he ran his hand through the too-long strands. His face was drawn and pale, the lines around his eyes and mouth more pronounced. “I’ve been waiting for you to get home from work.”