Echo (Pierce Securities Book 9)

By: Anne Conley

Acknowledgements


So many people have been with me through this journey with the Pierce boys and I want to thank each one of them individually, but I’m positive I’ll forget some. Forgive me and know that I’m super flakey on a good day.

Tiffany and Deena Rae: You guys have been with me from the get-go with this series, listening to me whine, yanking me off ledges, and trying to outdrink me when the going got tough. I appreciate both of you and feel like you guys are a part of my family, whether you like it or not. We have many more adventures ahead of us, and I’m looking forward to them.

Lj: You’re my girl, and I’m so glad. Thank you for letting me ask you all the piddly shit, and for doing all the major shit.

Devon Ryan and Carlos Salazar: You both helped me firm up the vision I had for these covers, and even though I supplemented your photos with David Wills (Eric Battershell) and Stanley Fields (Jeffrey Todd), it was the initial images you two came up with that gave the “flavor” of the covers for this series, and I really appreciate it.

Mom: Yeah, I know you still haven’t read any of these books, but whatever. You’re still the main reason I did this writing gig in the first place. You fostered my imagination, didn’t make fun of me and all my imaginary friends, bought me journals, and instilled a love of the written word in my tiny little brain. For that alone, I owe you tons, but the fact you gave me life is everything. Thank you!

Hubmeister and Spawns: Y’all … I can’t even with you. You talk me up in the most inappropriate places, complain about me living on my laptop, and deal with Ramen noodles and frozen pizza during releases without too much complaining. I love you guys hard.

The Conley Corner: Y’all make me laugh every day, and there is no way you know how much I appreciate you.

My Launch Team is amazing. They help me get the word out about these books during release week, and for some reason, they love it all.

My beta readers help me get the book in shape, make sure my characters have depth, my plot doesn’t have holes, and give me great ideas for these endings.

My loyal readers and fans: Without you guys reading my books, I wouldn’t have a purpose for publishing them. You’ve fallen in love with my Pierce boys and nagged me about Simon for almost two years. HERE HE IS!!

And finally, to all the crew at The Pint: I know you probably think I’m an alcoholic, and maybe I am, but it’s because you guys have been (and continue to be) so supportive of me, each in your own unique ways, I can’t stay away. I love you all (especially Dawn and Allison). Thank you.





Dedication


To Boyspawn ~ Here’s your big rig chase scene—complete with bombs and explosions. It’s all yours..





Chapter One


“Ugh.” Lacie threw the dead daisies in the trash. The card was made out to “Yoga Girl”, so she knew it was from them, and it was more than creepy that they had shown up at work.

Staring at them, she felt nothing short of a foreboding at the image. It was still happening, and now it had invaded her school. Her guts twisted at the brownish flowers in the plastic liner of the can. Lacie sighed. She could ignore this all she wanted, but it wouldn’t stop.

The flash of a life lived in constant fear had her clutching her stomach just as she shoved the image to the back of her mind.

Her dad, or here, her boss, was ever vigilant. “Everything all right?” He poked his head out of the principal’s office with a questioning look on his already lined face.

She didn’t want to concern him with her own dramas. Lord knew he’d had enough of his own in his lifetime. She was grown and could take care of herself; she totally didn’t need to drag Dad into this.

“Um, yeah. Just a mistake with the florist, I guess. Who delivers dead flowers?” She laughed, trying to make a joke about it, but the truth was, it freaked her out.

Her kitchen was decorated with daisies. The live kind. The painted kind. The kind on her dishes and cup towels. The delivery, on top of the other two attacks in her home, was freaking her out a little.

Her dad mumbled something to Mr. Slovac and came into the office where she was signing out. “I’ll walk you to your car.”

“You don’t have to. I’m fine.”