Lana Madison is a twenty-three-year-old, unconventional private investigator, who is searching for the men who abducted her identical twin. Lana and Dania are complete opposites, but their bond from birth allows them to share emotions. These brief moments of connection prove to Lana that her twin is still very much alive.
Lana suffers flashbacks of past events, which she believes are her sister’s memories, and realizes there are gaps in her own timeline from the day of her sister’s disappearance. She has given up on believing that the police will ever find Dania and is determined to find her sister on her own. But as she gets closer to finding her twin, the barriers that protect Lana’s façade steadily melt away, and now her own life—as well as her sanity—is on the line…
She had made some bad decisions in her life, but this one might take the cake…
The yellow Camaro peeled out of the complex doing forty-five and sped up to seventy before hitting the tollway. The boys hooted with laughter while chanting for her to “punch it.”
“Top it out Lana, let’s see what this baby’s got!” EJ whooped.
Lana smiled as she down-shifted, accelerating to ninety. The tollway had a limit of eighty, so she wasn’t risking too much. Few traveled on the roadway because it was new to Austin, and tolls added up. This time of day wouldn’t warrant paying to avoid traffic, so the highway was wide open.
After a few more jeers, she reached one-hundred-ten and then let her right foot ease down on the brake. A glance in the rearview window revealed bubble gums twirling in the distance, and she knew the party was over.
Lana eased the car to the side of the road, parked, and flipped on the hazards. “Hey, hand me my bag.”
EJ, who had called “shotgun,” pinched the satchel handles between two fingers and passed it, his mouth twisted in a rictus of disgust. Lana flipped on the inside light and snatched it from him. “Geez, EJ. You aren’t gonna turn into a girl because you touched a purse.”
She rummaged through it until she found her wallet, then pulled out her license and insurance. She watched the rearview mirror, and, despite being almost blinded by the headlights, she saw the police car door open. Lana sighed and lowered her window. The night air cooled her heated cheeks.
Both Kit and James unfastened their seatbelts and turned to stare at the cop. Kit scratched his head.
"Hey, that isn’t even a cop car. It just has some of those emergency LED lights on the windshield. No wonder I didn’t recognize it when we passed.”
“You sure it’s a cop? I heard guys will set up their car like a real cop car and pull people over, then rob and rape them,” James gasped.
“Trust me, James. Nobody’s gonna rape you,” EJ said, thus earning a punch in the arm.
Lana took off her seatbelt and turned to face them. “Guys, please. Just be quiet. Maybe we can get out of this with a warning.” And pigs will fly.
“Whoa, girl. You were the one driving. Leave us outta this,” James complained.
“Yeah, and who, exactly, kept urging me to ‘top it out’? I get a ticket, and you guys are damn sure pitching in to pay,” Lana warned. “Here.”
She planted her bag on EJ’s lap as the officer reached the door.
“I need to see your license and proof of insurance, ma’am.” The purse gaped open. Curiosity won out over disgust. EJ sifted through the items in the bag then fished out her pink pepper spray gun.
“What’s this?” he asked. When a warm breath heated her neck, Lana realized the cop could see inside the car.
He yelled, “Drop the weapon, NOW!”
“Dude, it’s pink—and kinda looks like a dildo.” EJ squinted at the writing on the handle.
“EJ, you idiot. Drop that now,” Lana gritted out and put on her best hard-ass expression. He had no idea how close he was to getting shot.
EJ dropped the spray back inside the purse.
“Hands up where I can see them.”
Lana watched all three of the guys place their hands on top of their heads with slow intent. She put her hands on the steering wheel and turned.
“You!” Lana and Detective Norris cried out in unison.
Ticket, meet Lana. Lana, meet ticket.
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About the Authors
Writers extraordinaire, domestic goddesses, lovers of all furry things...
Zari Reede is a writing team consisting of Zoe Tasia and Minette Lauren. Both have an addiction to collaborative writing that rivals Oreo Double Stuffed cookies with fine champagne. Writing solo for years, they decided to engage in a writing exercise to strengthen their skills and enlighten their creative minds. It turned out to be a great venture and is still going strong today.
Zoe lives in Houston, has two cats, two boys, and a priceless husband, who supports all her rebel dreams. Minette Lauren also enjoys living in Texas, has five dogs, one god-dog, three turtles, three parrots and a wonderful husband that thinks all the things she writes are golden...even if it is horse hockey. They are lucky in life, enjoying every day they can write and dream.
You can reach them at their website: