USA Today Bestselling Author
Don’t get noticed.
Zoey “Zero D” Danson thought it was an easy rule to follow. For years she toiled in cubicle 12A of the NSA’s data farm compiling security briefings and Intelligence reports. But she put her neck on the line and burned a dirty government operation to keep a covert ops team alive.
Now she’s “one of them.” She’s not a nameless, faceless civilian anymore. She’s part of The Arsenal—and in way, way over her head.
Trust no one.
Gage Sanderson recognizes a threat when he sees it, and the newest geek in The Arsenal’s back office is trouble. She’s smart, secretive, sexy, and everything he shouldn’t want. They risked their necks to keep her safe, but she’s hiding something and it’s up to him to figure out what.
He’s sworn to never trust another crew at his back, but his team is worth the risk. He won’t make the same mistake twice—even if it means killing the only woman who’s ever made her way past his defenses.
This book takes over where Blood Vows leaves off. Zoey has helped the Arsenal in several things earning their respect. However, the most recent has unfortunately put a target on her back, a call to the Arsenal has them sending someone to meet her.
Gage stepped in to get her out of a very sticky situation with orders to secure her and get her to the Arsenal.
This is a favorite scene as they collect her things and her cat.
“I don’t trust her,” Gage declared into the com.
Zoey Dansworth may have saved Fallon and his team, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t trouble. The woman skulked into her bathroom and shut the door. They’d been in the small, upper northside apartment for five minutes, and she’d yet to find Dobby—aka the reason they were there.
Gage glowered as something flashed in his peripheral vision. He drew his weapon and eased into the next room, a small dining room. The entire apartment was…
Antiseptic, devoid of personal touches. Gage wasn’t the personal touch kind of guy. Give him a pillow and a passable sleeping surface, and he was good to go. But he had three sisters and a mom.
Hell, even Vi and Mary nested in their operational theater at The Arsenal compound—little knickknacks spread here and there, a few more than at first now that they’d both settled in with their men.
“She saved Fallon. I’ve worked with her in the past. She’s solid,” Vi said.
Gage couldn’t think of anyone he’d trust more than Vi and Mary, but that didn’t make them right. He aimed his weapon under the dining room table, where the white tablecloth moved. Something swiped at his leg.
What the ever-loving fuck?
He jumped backward and flicked the safety off his gun. A growl rumbled from beneath the table, followed by a hiss. Some rabid animal maybe? The paw had been small and gray, definitely not a cat.
“What are you doing? Put that away!” Zoey swatted his hand, positioned herself in front of his drawn weapon, and crouched down. “It’s okay, Dobby. The mean, scary commando isn’t going to hurt you. Come on out. It’s okay. Come on.”
Gage clicked the safety on his gun and listened as the woman cooed and whispered nonsensically. A hideous thing crawled from beneath the dining room table.
“That’s a cat?”
No way in hell. The wrinkled animal was half rat-gray and half tan, with bulging, green eyes. A feral-like rumble radiated from it as it swiped at Gage again and offered an opened-mouth hiss.
“Don’t be rude,” Zoey spat angrily as she curled the hairless, big-eared “cat” against her body and glared. “Dobby is a beautiful Sphynx. He takes a while to warm up to people, though. Here, you get to know him while I pack his clothes.”
“Clothes? Cats have clothes?” He stared at the strange woman as she went back toward the bedroom.
Snickering on the other end of the com made Gage growl a low warning in his throat. “Don’t.”
“Oh, you don’t scare me, Gage Sanderson. My man growls way better than that,” Vi said.
She was not wrong. Judson Jensen was one of the few men Gage wouldn’t ever want to take on in a fight. The former assassin had become a hell of an Arsenal asset, one who got a wide berth from everyone—including Gage.
“Here, put Dobby’s sweater on him, and I’ll get the rest of his things.”
The hairless cat growled from his new position in the crook of Gage’s arm. Zoey, aka Zero D, wandered out of the room. He followed.
Her shoulder-length hair was a bright purple with pink tips. She was a short bundle of full curves he couldn’t help but appreciate, especially since she’d changed into curve-hugging leggings with telephone booths which ran down her short legs.
He glanced down at Dobby, who watched with a wary expression. “I don’t like the situation either, but we’d best man the fuck up and get on with this. You gonna let me do this the easy way, or are we going the hard route?”
Zoey’s voice drifted from the other room. Suspicious, he quietly made his way toward the bedroom, but couldn’t hear what she was saying.
“Can you amplify what she’s saying, Vi?”
The earbud he wore went silent a heartbeat, then returned, the volume louder than before. Gage didn’t know how Vi had turned the com into a listening device. He never understood half of what she and Mary did. That’s what made them the Quillery Edge.
“I’m sorry. I know the timing sucks, but I’ve gotta go. I’ll be in touch when I can, but until then I need you locking everything down, just in case. I’m sure it’ll be fine, but we need to be safe.” Zoey’s voice paused. “Okay. Let me know if you see anything or anyone at all suspicious. Don’t try and be a badass. Bye.”
“Find out who she was talking to,” he ordered.
“Already in process,” Vi said. “I started vetting her through HERA before we dispatched you to retrieve her. Her phone records will be dumped soon enough.”
While a part of Gage was more than willing to eat a bullet because she’d saved Fallon and his team, he wasn’t fully ready to trust her. Not yet.
He’d almost died because of blind trust once before.
He wouldn’t ever let it happen again. The moment she entered the living room, he crowded into her personal space until she backed up against the wall. The flash of fear in her gaze gave him a second’s hesitation, but this needed to be done.
The Arsenal was good people. They didn’t deserve to get mired in whatever shit Zoey Danson was hiding. She’d done Fallon and his team a solid, which meant Gage and everyone else would have her back.
“You’re hiding something,” he said.
“Whatever you’re hiding had better not surface and affect The Arsenal. If it does, you and I are gonna have problems.” Gage stepped back and handed over the sweater-clad cat. The sooner they got back to The Arsenal, the better.
Cara Carnes. Zero Trace (Kindle Locations 238-284). Heartscape Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
As Zoey keeps her secret things are about to take a turn. Her former boss Ian Schmidt from the NSA links her to the disappearance of a Congressman’s daughter. Zoey has no choice but to involve the Arsenal in her network that saves women and children in trouble.
Lots of hold your breath moments, suspense and action will keep you turning the pages as you watch not only Zoey’s network but also her and Gage’s relationship. These two are kindle melting hot in more ways than one.
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Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.