When Day Breaks - Maya Banks

Maya Banks - KGI #9 - When Day Breaks

When Day Breaks (KGI #9)
Maya Banks

CHAPTER 1

BIG Eddie Sinclair sat behind his aged wooden desk in his big empty house—a house that had once been filled with love and laughter—his gnarled, callused hands shaking.

Sweat beaded his forehead and ran in thin rivulets down his temples, tracing a line over grooved, aged, weather-beaten skin. His hands shook so badly that the papers he’d been holding fell, scattering on the desk, some sliding onto the floor.

He stared up, his gaze unconsciously seeking out the mantel over the fireplace his wife had insisted on having installed in his working space. She hadn’t wanted him to ever get cold. The idea that Big Eddie Sinclair’s gentle wife had been concerned that he’d get cold would have gotten him laughed out of the barracks. His badass buddies would never let him hear the end of it.

Eddie was a big man. A killer. Trained by the best. And in turn he had trained the best. But right now he felt as helpless as a newborn babe. Fear, an emotion that until the day his first child was born had been completely alien to him, gripped him by the balls, freezing his insides. He rubbed at his chest in an effort to alleviate the discomfort and closed his eyes, trying to rid himself of the images the threat had invoked.

He’d lived his life knowing that he was invincible. He wasn’t egotistical. Men who served with the men he served with didn’t think they were good. They knew they were good.

And none of that ability had been able to save his precious wife.

He closed his eyes more tightly against the betraying sting of tears. Even years later, thinking of the love of his life had the power to bring him to his knees. A lifetime of regret stored in the years since she’d died, leaving him with three young children to love, protect and raise on his own. And by God, he’d done just that. He’d made certain they were protected above all else.

And now his precious Eden, his only daughter, was a target. All because of him and the life he’d led, the choices he’d made. The mistakes he’d made in the past. All coming back to haunt him. Still fucking haunting him every goddamn night.

She was the image of her mother not only in looks but in all aspects. Gentle. Loving. A heart of gold. Sweet and innocent. Always willing to look for the good in people. Never seeing the bad.

It wasn’t said in so many words, the threat. But he knew. His gaze fell on the blown-up glossy photos of his daughter. Taken in a moment of unguardedness, a rarity for Eden because he’d taught her to never let her guard down. She might have the face of an angel and pose for cameras for a living, but she had the mind of a soldier. Eddie had ensured that.

I’ll take from you what you took from me. I won’t stop until pain is all you see, all you feel, all you know. I’ll take every single thing you love and then you’ll die. Beautiful, isn’t she?

The note, so simple and yet so life changing, stared back at him, ugly, black.

The photos of Eden glimmered in his vision. Taken of her when she thought she was out of the camera’s eye. None of the glamorous clothing or makeup. If he weren’t so terrified, he would have softened at the real Eden. More comfortable in sweats, hair in a ponytail, face devoid of cosmetics. So beautiful it hurt to look