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A Kitty in the Lion's Den


Chapter One

He was a monster, an animal, and a cold-blooded killer. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. And even though Maverick knew getting wasted would only make those emotions intensify inside of him, he brought the bottle of whiskey up to his mouth and took another long pull from it. The liquor didn’t burn going down his throat any longer, not when he was drunk as fuck, and trying to further numb himself until the oblivion of the void settled inside of him.

He put the bottle between his thighs and leaned back in the chair. The lights were off in his home, but he was a moody bastard and liked the shadows that wrapped around him regardless. The small one bedroom house he had built above the garage he had bought six years back wasn’t anything fancy, and in fact barely had anything in it aside from the essentials. No houseplants, pictures hanging on the walls, and certainly nothing that held sentimental value. But Maverick had nothing that he cared about, and certainly not anything that meant shit to him. The profession he had been involved in for the better part of his life hadn’t been about making friends or keeping lovers, and certainly wasn’t about keeping trinkets that he had to keep close. It was about killing without remorse, fucking to let off the aggression and nervous energy, and not giving a damn about anything.

He took another swig, felt it start to grow lighter since he had downed almost the whole thing, and wished he had been smart enough to buy another bottle of Jack. The need for blood and violence never left a person, not when they lived for the sound of another man screaming in pain, and begging for his life. It was those pleas for mercy, the ones Maverick Storm never gave himself, but had heard enough times at his feet, that he dreamed about. He could admit that he was a sick male, a lion shifter that had enjoyed the hunt and catch, for the thrill alone. At forty-five years old he had seen a lot, but then again being the male most of the scum of the world sought after to handle their “business”, had made Maverick witness a lot of death. And it had always been at his hands. He was a killer because he knew how to take a life with little thought, with no sound if he chose, and before the target had even known he was right behind him. Sometimes he liked the sound of their death, but if his employers wanted a quick, clean hit, then that was what he gave them. But the men he killed weren’t good and wholesome. They were shit on the bottom of his boot, and deserved a hell of a lot more than what they got. He was good at what he did, and sick, too, because of how much pleasure he derived from it. There were no delusion that he wasn’t fucked up, because Maverick would be the first one to admit that he was.

The sound of cars passing by periodically broke up the stillness. Since moving to the quaint little town of Sweet Water six years ago, Maverick had been stupid enough to think he could try to live a normal life. How wrong he had been. Even years later he couldn’t get rid of the images ingrained in his brain. They were ones where he had killed countless men because he had been paid to do it. He could blame his need for violence on the fact he had a shitty childhood, that he had been beaten everyday by his drugged up father, but he wasn’t about to play that card. He was a screwed up lion that had been a hit-man for some very bad people, and although he had tried to get “out of the business” he really hadn’t. No one left that line of work alive, not when he knew too many high-profile people had hired him to kill their enemies. But even faking ones own death could only afford a small amount of peace, especially when the threat of being caught was always a risk. If you weren’t really six feet under the ground, in a shallow grave out in the middle of nowhere, or floating in the bottom of a river, being found was imminent.

The last hit that he had been ordered to carry out had been by a bastard and coldhearted male named Viktor Milokov. But Maverick had left that night without killing the family Viktor had wanted gone. So he had taken the family away, and set them up so they would be safe, and faked his own death before anyone could stop him. He might be an asshole and a monster, but Maverick didn’t kill women and children.

But he was smart, had been in this game a long fucking time, and knew how it worked. So, even pretending to be dead was tricky. He had changed his last name, become someone totally new, in a new town, with a new life. He started working part time at Trace’s bar—the polar bear shifter who had been the first person to befriend his lethal ass—and made the rest of his living running the small garage. Trace’s kid, Liam, worked for him, but no one knew who Maverick really was, and that was just how he liked it. Everything about his was just a façade, because he would never be able to show who he truly was. He was a coldblooded killer, and a fucking monster at that.