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Sinful Empire (Mount Trilogy #3)
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1943796076 (ISBN13: 9781943796076)
The Mount Trilogy concludes with Sinful Empire!
What’s mine, I keep, and that includes Keira Kilgore.
Sinful Empire is the third and final book in the Mount Trilogy.
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Twenty-eight years earlier
“You piece of shit! Get back here! I’ll have your ass in jail for this.”
I plowed through the crowd, slamming into tourists and spinning around to lose the man charging after me. It was a total waste, because I didn’t even get to use the distraction to lift more of their fat wallets or nice watches.
All because I’d wanted a goddamned Snickers bar to shut up my growling stomach for a couple hours, and didn’t feel like parting with my hard-earned cash for it. Being a street kid in New Orleans wasn’t for no weak-ass punks. The dark side of this town would chew you up and spit you out faster than you could spell body bag.
Don’t make friends; make allies. But don’t dare trust them further than you can see them.
“I see you, kid! Cops are coming! This time, you’re done!”
Ernie, a douchebag convenience-store owner with the easiest candy to lift in the Quarter, was determined to get me sent up the river for good. But he had to catch me first.
Three years on the streets, and no one knew them better than me.
I slipped through the crowd, bolted down an alley, and squeezed between two bent rails in a wrought-iron fence. Ernie’s fat ass would never be able to fit. I sprinted down a brick walkway and ran into a metal gate. Locked. Not a fucking problem for me.
I climbed it like a monkey and landed on my feet on the complete opposite side of the block. That asshole would never find me. I shoved my hands in my pockets and yanked out the wallets I’d picked before I hit Ernie’s. I had to ditch them in case I got pinched.
I scanned the street, up and down, before I turned my back and flipped one open. I yanked out the two twenties inside. Not bad. I’d eat for a few weeks on that. I glanced at the ID it contained for a second before I tossed the wallet down the sewer drain.
Rocky Mount. Sounded like an asshole. Who would name their kid that?
As soon as the thought hit, I shut it down. At least they bothered to give their kid a name.
I flipped the second wallet open and found a crisp hundred. Nice. I’d be set for at least a couple months if I were careful, or if I wanted to risk it, I might be able to double my money.
I glanced at the second ID. Lachlan Thorpe. Better than Rocky Mount. A little, anyway.
I tossed the second wallet down the drain and unwrapped the Snickers, then shoved the entire thing in my mouth to get rid of the rest of the evidence, chewing hard even as it stuck to my teeth. My stomach gnawed at my spine like it was eager for what was coming. I tried not to go more than a day or two without eating, but sometimes I didn’t have a choice.
“I see you, punk!”
I swiveled my head in the direction of Ernie’s voice.
His bulk came hauling around the corner, two cops behind him, and I bolted in the opposite direction.
I was faster. Smarter. At least, that was what I told myself as I beat feet down the cracked pavement.
Footsteps pounded behind me, and I looked back as I hit the intersection instead of keeping my eyes forward.
A black Mercedes blew through the stop sign and clipped me.
Shit, that hurts.
My body tensed at the impact but I tucked and rolled right up the hood. My elbows smashed into the windshield as the car slammed to a halt, throwing me forward again. Something jabbed into my side before I flipped off the metal and ate concrete.
Goddammit, that fucking hurts. I held in a groan as I planted my palms on the pavement and pushed off the ground.
Ernie and the cops, all yelling like idiots, closed in.
Unsteady, I shoved to my feet. I had to get out of here or I’d be done.
My ankle burned and gave out as I put weight on it, making me fall forward again, and I gripped the car to try to hold myself up. My ribs screamed in stabbing pain, but I clenched my teeth. Wasn’t the first time I’d broken them, so I knew from experience how much this was gonna suck. I just had to get away. Find a place to pass out before the pain took me down right here. Because if I went down, I was really fucked.
The car doors opened—the driver’s and one in the back—as I clung to the bent hood ornament to stay standing instead of hitting my knees again.
Damn rich people in their nice-ass cars with these fancy hood ornaments.
“Don’t you fucking move, kid! You’re going to jail this—”
Ernie’s words cut off, and black spots dotted my vision as I tried to focus. Both the store owner and the two cops behind him stood stock-still in the middle of the street.