#Read An #Excerpt From Healing Rain Karen-Anne Stewart
Kas exits the large doors of the Boston Logan International Airport. The bitter cold and blowing snow is barely noticed as he hails a cab, doing his best to quench the nagging feeling of deception tugging at him relentlessly. Honesty is a huge deal with him, and he is struggling with by passing his beliefs in this instance, lying to Raina about needing to go into work today instead of telling her the truth.
He glances at his watch, thinking of the engraving Raina had put on the back. She is his life, and there is no way he will allow Waterford to get by with hurting her. He’s going to make it perfectly clear that he is to never lay a hand on Raina again. Leaning against the headrest, their argument last night replays in his mind. He had tried to reason with her to press charges against her father this time.
He had rationalized, yelled, begged, then, flat-out ordered her to. He hated the sadness in her eyes when she had refused, her gaze leaving his when she softly shook her head and whispered she was sorry. He had pulled her into his arms, knowing her father has brainwashed her, sickly twisting everything around, making her feel guilty when she owns no blame for what he has done to her.
Frustration had bitten straight through him when he thought of how she immediately pressed charges against Chris, but won’t against Waterford. He fears her father’s threat is a large part of her refusal, and he plans on deflating that threat so Waterford can’t hold it over her head any longer. He had called Henry after she fell asleep, only to be discouraged by the angry regret in his words that there isn’t much they can do without the physical proof being on her anymore and her refusal to contact the authorities.
Kas had taken pictures of her stomach in Italy while she slept, and he was tempted to press charges himself, but knew the outcome probably wouldn’t be to his liking. So, now, he is back to his original plan, going straight to the source, hoping he can maintain enough self-control to not cause lasting damage. He checks the address as the cab pulls to the curb. Quickly, he pays the driver and steps onto the damp sidewalk, his breath leaving puffs of white clouds as he leans against the brick wall at the edge of the alley, scanning everyone’s face before they enter the bar.
When Kas sees Waterford exit his vehicle, he takes a deep breath, forcing himself not to maim him. He steps in front of the arrogant man before he reaches the bar entrance, his gaze determined, unnerving, even to a seasoned cut-throat lawyer like Raina’s father.
His fists coil at his side, his jaw clenching as he almost growls, “I’m Kas Pierce, Raina’s husband.”
The shocked expression on William Waterford’s face doesn’t last long, he subconsciously steps back, feeling the raw force behind Kas’ current state of barely controlled wrath. “Well, I guess congratulations are in order.”
Kas squeezes his fingers tighter into his fist at the veiled sarcasm in his voice. His blazing glare unwaveringly penetrates Waterford’s until her father shifts his gaze, looking away. With that bit of male dominance out of the way, he decides to not waste time mincing words as he grabs his jacket, hauling him into the alley, roughly slamming his back against the cold, wet brick wall. “If you ever touch her again, I will take my time ripping you apart, piece by pathetic piece, making sure you have plenty of time to digest the pain and the knowledge of what I’m going to do to you next.”
“Do you have any idea who I am?” William spits out, trying to keep the fear out of his voice, “you just threw your career straight into the toilet, son.”
“Do you honestly think my career is more important to me than Raina?” Kas asks incredulously, wanting to really damage him, cause significant bodily harm, but he holds back. He’s not the same kind of man as Waterford, and if Raina ever found out it would devastate her.
He reins in his murderous thoughts enough to only knock the air from his lungs as he punches Waterford in the ribs, being sure to hit him hard enough to leave him good and bruised.
Waterford gasps for breath as Kas tries to control his urge to kick him, knowing he has kicked Raina. The photos of her badly battered body flash in his head, and he makes himself take a step back, the urge to mercilessly beat Waterford becoming dangerously uncontrollable. He stares down at the spineless coward in front of him, fury filling him when he takes in the considerable size of Raina’s father. He finds it nearly impossible to walk away as he thinks of how Waterford has repeatedly used his large, firm frame to terrorize and inflict serious pain on his daughter since she was only five years old.
The only saving grace for Waterford is the sudden image of Raina’s face, her innocence, her love, and her willingness to forgive, burning in his mind, slowly calming the blinding rage.
Kas gives one last look to the malevolent reprobate slumped on his knees before he kneels down, roughly yanking Waterford’s hair so he’s facing him. “Stay away from my wife!” his voice as lethal as drops of deadly poison.
William leans against the damp bricks after Kas is gone, air finally filling his lungs as he holds his burning ribs. He is outraged by the knowledge that Raina is married. Thoughts of Beth cripple him, and tears run down his face. Hatred sears him from Raina’s happiness and the audacity of her husband scoffing at his threat. Let’s see which one he decides to choose after I’m done with him.
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Shattered when Raina runs after his marriage proposal, Kas is hell-bent to find her and bring her home, where she belongs. He will bend every law necessary to do so, willing to do anything to protect Raina from her demons and the men who haunt her, going as far as placing his career and life on the line to save hers. Raina will give up everything she has worked so hard to achieve, even flee the country to keep Kas from the wrath and powerful reach of her abusive father.
In the midst of the FBI team closing in on the Ghost, another ghost from Raina’s past taunts her, promising that she will be his. Meanwhile, a different trafficking ring is gaining strength in New Jersey. Michael solicits Raina’s help, needing her smooth, sultry voice to win the audition for the new singer in the ring leader’s swanky night club. Raina knows her life is in jeopardy with the dangers of being undercover, but she is blindsided when she discovers that it’s her heart that is threatened with a mortal blow.
Raina tries to heal from the nightmares of her dark past as the grisly bodies of innocent victims surface when the team gets closer to discovering the identity of the man responsible for the infuriatingly clever and powerful slavery ring. When Raina finally comes face to face with the Ghost, he quickly engulfs her in a twisted game of cat and mouse, delivering a veiled threat as he slips through her fingers. As the ghosts of her past and present ensnare her in their deadly web, Raina realizes the danger has just begun.
About The Author:
Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards and is a nominee for the 2013 RONE Awards.
When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.
The Rain Trilogy is a powerful story of abuse, human trafficking, and beautiful, redeeming love (intended for readers 18+).
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