WIP Wednesday: Cozen ~ #HeistRomance #ComingSoon
I wasn't going to share a snippet from my WIP this week only because it's still fairly new. Really new, and my process usually means I don't actually share anything before I get about 10,000 words written onto it. See, that's my okay-ish line. That's where I get in any project, and know I am not going to scrap what came before.
Sometimes it just works that way.
But ... I decided to share this because regardless, it will stay. It is the first scene, it opens the book, and you get a look at this new world.
A whole new world.
Where there is no Marcellos, no Chicago Outfit, no Guzzis, second generation, DeLucas, Donatis, or otherwise ...
This is brand new.
New people. New families. New business.
The first business, family, and person you get to meet from the world is Cozen. A world-class thief ready for her next job. Or ... she's as close to ready as she's ever going to get.
If all goes well, Cozen will release in May, right after Loyalty and Disgrace.
*Unedited and copyright to Bethany-Kris 2018. All Rights Reserved.
January 8th, 2013
“What is it, do you think, that keeps you coming back for more?”
Cozen Taylor shifted on her perch at the end of the reclining lounger, and passed her companion a look. “What, are you shrinking my head now, Ace?”
Zander “Ace” Everston laughed hard and loud. “No, but I’m always curious about thieves like you, Zen. Frankly, I’m curious about anyone in our world, and what keeps them going from one job to the next.”
“I get that.”
“So do tell, then. What keeps you coming back for more? The last one was the last one, right? That’s what you told me when I came to offer you the deal on this job. Yet, here you are taking it.”
Fair is fair.
“The last one was the last one.”
“And as I said, here you sit at South Beach waiting for the next call.”
Cozen smiled out at the tide starting to rush up the edges of the beach. The smell of the tropics hung sweetly in the air, and despite it being January, Miami was still warm enough that all she needed to wear was a thin shawl over her black, body-con dress.
Sand touched her toes when she dug her ruby red stilettos further into the beach. Even the sand still had a warm quality to it, and the beige color matched some of the streaks lighting up the sky. Miami was a beautiful place to visit, or relax. She tended to stick to the other side of Florida, though. More tourists, she supposed. It was easier to blend in with the crowd.
“Does that mean you’re not going to answer me?” Ace asked.
“Are you ever going to tell me how you earned your nickname?”
Ace flashed her a grin.
For a second, it made her stomach twist. Not in a good way, necessarily, but it wasn’t bad, either. A long time ago, she and Ace might have been something when she was riding out a rough patch as a nineteen year old idiot.
Someone else came along …
And she was no longer nineteen—twenty-five years on earth had brought with it a sense of understanding, and difficult life lessons for Cozen. Smiles from this man did little for her. Smiles from anyone did little for her.
“Well?” Cozen asked. “Your nickname?”
“Nope,” Ace said.
That was that.
“It was supposed to be the last time, though,” Cozen said quietly as she peered back over the water. Outside the café overlooking part of South Beach, she should have been enjoying the cold margarita in her hand, and letting the stress fall from her shoulders. Instead, she was going over all the reasons she had decided to come here when Ace sought her out for another job. “At least,” she added, shooting Ace a look, “it should have been the last time on this continent for a while.”
Ace grinned like he understood, but quickly sobered as he looked into his glass of whiskey. “This job was by special request.”
“It’s always special when the Astors call someone in to do a job.”
At the mention of the family who had asked for Ace—a broker, of sorts, in their underground world of criminal kings, thieves, and far more—to bring in a thief worth their weight when it came to a heist, the two quieted.
“My last heist was in California,” Cozen said. “Three years ago.”
“Mmm. A Van Gogh, right?”
“The owner sold it during a rough patch.”
Ace shot her a look.
Cozen shrugged. “Basically, the bastard sold it to keep it out of his wife’s hands during a nasty divorce.”
“Ah. And what, he couldn’t get it back afterward?”
“No.” Cozen smiled, sly and slow. “The wife wanted it back. A gift from her father, apparently. Three million for a successful heist on a painting the size of my head, Ace. I was done after that one. I should have stayed done.”
“Then why aren’t you? I could have offered the job to someone else had you refused. I am the broker, Zen. I know other thieves who could have figured this out, and successfully got the job done.”
Tension curled around her shoulders.
Unease settled in her gut.
Longing burrowed into her heart.
“Maybe it’s me,” she murmured.
“I like the chase. I get a high from the thrill. I should say no, and be satisfied with the security I have in my life, but I can’t. I need the next challenge.”