Balls to the Wall (Birch Police Department #1) by April Canavan



“Leave.” The low timbre of Linc’s voice never wavered in pitch, but danger rolled off him in waves.

If it were anyone, anyone else other than Royal, I’d feel bad for them. But not him. Not after everything he’d done in the last year to make my life a living hell. No. He definitely deserved to feel every ounce of Linc’s aggression pointed at him.

When he grabbed Mallory by the arm and yanked her away, I flinched. Memories flooded my mind of the last time he’d done it to me. Instinctively, I rubbed my arms and grimaced, fighting off the same helpless feeling I’d learned to live with.

Linc stood there, with his back turned away from me, watching Royal and Mallory walk in the opposite direction.

I took the rare opportunity to stare at him. The way he held himself hadn’t changed, at least not enough that anyone else would know. I saw the rigid tension in his shoulders that never existed before. The muscles in his neck twitched as he kept his eyes locked on Royal’s retreating back.

His arms were crossed over his chest, and I watched the way the muscles in his biceps flexed under the edge of his shirt. He shifted, and I got just a glimpse of a black tattoo on the backside of his right bicep before he turned and his eyes locked on mine.

I saw Linc every single day. Every day since he’d come back from the Marine Corps. And every single time I saw him, the fire that lived in my heart for him flared to life, consuming everything in its path.

A fraction of a second passed while we stared at each other, and every year that had passed melted away. The pain, the loss, the years spent without him by my side faded until we were back in that moment. The one when everything felt perfect. When I thought we had forever. When Linc was the first and last man I ever wanted to be with. In that moment, I saw the hunger in his eyes. I saw the passion for life that he used to have. I saw Linc.

He blinked, and the mask of indifference he carried slipped into place. Linc was gone, and in his place a stranger stared back at me.

Tears pooled in my eyes. It wasn’t the first time, and definitely wouldn’t be the last time that I’d cry over Lincoln Hayes.

Before he saw me embarrass myself any further, I scooted out of the booth and ran away. At least at home, I could hide under the blankets and pretend that my life wasn’t a complete wreck.

Maybe once I got there, I wouldn’t feel like dying.





Also by April Canavan





Birch County Blue Series

Kismet

Maelstrom

Inferno

Birch Police Department

Balls to the Wall

Boots on the Ground

Bite the Bullet

Break it Down

Below the Line

Cocky Hero Club

Cocky Corporal

Every Day Heroes

Bent

Surprise Mystery Goddess Series

Rise Like a Goddess

Out Like a Goddess

Down Like a Goddess

High Like a Goddess

Just Like a Goddess

Return Like a Goddess

Shine Like a Goddess

Twist Like a Goddess

Omega Series

Finding Her Dragons

Freeing Her Dragons

Using Her Dragons

Uniting Her Dragons

Caging Her Dragons

Craving Her Dragons

Kissing Her Dragons

Killing Her Dragons

Destruction of Magic Series

Before the Darkness

Path to the Key

Prophecy in Blood

Door in the Garden of Shadows

Light in the Darkness

Standalone Stories

Cupid’s Curse

Wish

Wicked Little Witches





About the Author





USA Today Bestselling author by day and superhero by night, April spends her time split between real and fantasy worlds. While she writes across genres, her heart lives with Contemporary Romance that will tear her readers apart. She lives on the rocky coast of Maine, in the perfect place to visit the ocean but still live surrounded by the woods. Her son inspires her to write, demanding stories that he’s not allowed to read. As long as she has coffee, April can conquer the world… but she hates talking about herself in third person.

Find April on social media or by visiting her website

www.aprilcanavan.com