© Julie Harrington. Cover Design by StormCloud.

A darkness more than night. A man in search of vengeance.

By night he is Fury, a solitary figure protecting the streets of Chicago. Defender of victims who fall between the cracks of Justice and Law, he was spawned by violence–forged by gunfire, blood, and tragedy.

By day he is Hunter Grayson, widower and ex-cop. With no room in his life for compassion or distraction, Hunter has one goal: Find the men responsible for his wife’s murder and bring them to justice.

His mission leads him to Grace Locke.

Unlike the hundreds of other faceless victims he’s rescued, Hunter finds himself drawn to her. The attraction is equally unsettling for Grace, who doesn’t understand how she can share a bond with the vigilante in black leather, yet knows the electricity between them is undeniable.

To ignore it is impossible. To accept it is lunacy.

As Grace is seduced deeper into Hunter’s world of night and shadows, the secrets of the past– secrets someone would kill to protect– are resurrected. As the danger moves closer, Grace must place her life and her heart in the hands of a man whose face she’s never seen… or die.


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Breathing hard and fast, they stared at each other in the dark alley. His lips were wet. Hers too. They felt slick and warm and she rubbed them together. His eyes followed the small action and the primal flare in them amazed her.

Every breath he took matched hers, brought their chests together in sizzling contact. Each time it did, the muscles low in Grace’s belly contracted. An eternity passed in only a few seconds.

Her hands, still imprisoned by his, squeezed into fists as she searched his eyes. That desire, the one that flared to life between them when they first met, nourished that night on the fire escape, wanted more.

Want to Hear the Songs that Inspired My During the Writing of this Book? Check out the playlist on YouTube!


~* Chapter One *~


Grace Locke didn’t know what Fate had against her. To conspire with Time was bad enough, but to toss Mother Nature into the fray was just plain cruel.
Her college textbooks clutched to her chest, her chin tucked into the protection of her parka, she plodded across the dark parking lot. Her lone blue Honda, covered in a thick blanket of snow, sat under a darkened light.

Squinting against the ice pellets that sprayed down from the night sky, she hoisted her backpack to a more comfortable position. Funny, when she parked earlier that evening, it hadn’t seemed that far away. Now it was like crossing an ocean.

Tough road conditions and a last minute letter at work kept her from going home to change and still make it to her class on time. Now nature was punishing her again by forcing her to clean off her car in her knee length blue skirt, nylons and heels.

Grace shifted her books and searched for her keys at the bottom of her bag. A college degree couldn’t be worth all the stress and sleepless nights, plus she could think of a thousand different ways to blow the money she was pumping into the school. A new car. A bigger apartment. A steak every once in awhile instead of chicken. Live it up. Go out. Maybe even date.

Dating. She didn’t want to think about the last time she looked at something other than her computer. Between her job and studies she operated on five hours of sleep. Dating would have to be penciled in after organizing the office’s annual Christmas party and hell freezing over.

Besides, it wasn’t like she needed the degree. Her job with Royce Incorporated provided her with a decent living. So what if the company offered almost full tuition reimbursement. So what if Edmund Royce thought the business degree would make her more valuable in the eyes of their clients and open more doors for advancement. Did she really need the extra money the degree might earn her? Was it really worth the trouble?

She lifted her chin and quickly tucked it back down when the wind bit it. Hell, yes it was worth it. Including every insomnia producing moment. She may not be the smart one—that was her sister. She may not be the pretty one; again, that was her sister. She might not be married to a doctor, have three kids, a full-time job, and still manage to make meals from scratch without the aid of a housekeeper… Again, her sister. But at twenty-eight, Grace would do what no woman in her family had ever done before. She’d graduate from college.

Eyes glowing with renewed determination, she slung her backpack on the hood of her car and plopped her books on it. Nothing was going to stop her now. She’d planned and saved and scrimped. She’d made it this far without any help and she’d make it to the finish line. Alone. Just like always.

Grace jammed the key into the lock, frowned when it wouldn’t turn, and tried the latch. The door didn’t budge and she shifted in the snow, first lifting one foot, then the other from the drift.

“Oh, no.” She gave the handle another jerk. Ice and metal creaked but the car didn’t open. “Tell me this is not happening. Not again!”

Cold, wet, and standing in the dark with snow up to her bare calves, Grace cursed her ten-year-old car before she stomped around to the passenger side. Something hidden beneath the snow sent her stumbling and, once she regained her balance, she bent to brush the snow away from a rock the size of her fist.

Even as she questioned where it came from, she looked at the lamppost. A city girl, her parents taught her at a young age to always park under a light. Always. Her gray eyes narrowed as took in the jagged glass of the bulb above her. It didn’t burn out in the cold. Someone deliberately broke it.

College prank? Or…

Her hand trembled as she tried the passenger door lock again. This time her tug was a bit more frantic. It still didn’t budge and she looked at the school. She didn’t relish the idea of the long, frigid trek to the building but she didn’t see any other choice. Maybe campus security, if she could wake the sixty-four year old man from his nap, could call her a cab.

Bag and books in her arms again, Grace turned. Wind pushed her hair back to bit at the tips of her ears, turning them cherry red and making them burn.

“Hey. Lady.”

A man oozed out of the darkness. Another one stood a few feet away. Both were young, tall and lanky, and dressed to ward off the freezing temperature. Without the light, it was impossible for her to see anything beyond their dark clothes and ski-caps.

The man closest to her edged nearer and Grace retreated.

“You got a match?” he asked.

“I…” She stole a quick peek at the other man and tensed as he too moved closer.

He didn’t look at her, kept glancing around and shifting. Her heart thundered in her chest and her breath quickened to produce tiny puffs of white in the air. Oh God. This was so not her day.

Grace ran the tip of her tongue over her lips. They were dry and cracked. “No, I-I don’t smoke.”

“Oh.” He considered that for a moment, shrugged. “That’s okay. Hand over your bag and we’ll go buy our own.”

Reflex made her tighten her grip on her pack. She didn’t care about the money; they could have it. What she did care about was her mid-term and the disks that contained her research.

“Look,” her voice wavered and she swallowed. “You can have the bag. Take it. But I need something out of it. Really.” She shifted her books so she could clutch the backpack to her chest. Her shaking hands and numb fingertips made it impossible to open the zipper. A bubble of frustration built in her throat and her next breath sounded like a gasp. “I-It’s only papers.”

“Christ, let’s get this over with,” the second man hissed.

The first man, the one with the dark green stocking cap, shook his head as he drew his hands from his jacket pockets. A deft flick of his wrist flipped open a lethal looking blade.

“Give me the damn bag you stupid bitch,” he spat, “or I’ll cut you.”

Bag and books forgotten, Grace dropped them as she turned to flee. She made it two steps before her feet shot out from under her on the icy pavement. With a startled scream, she pitched forward. The ground rushed up to meet her.

Her knees sank through the snow seconds before her hands. The pavement, hard and unforgiving, grated against her shins, tearing through her nylons with ease to eat into her kneecaps. Her palms ground into the asphalt and her skin stretched, tore, as fire lanced across them.

Unable to control her fall, Grace collapsed onto her stomach with an unladylike grunt. Snow stung her face as her cheek scraped the ground. The cold froze its way into her skull and eye sockets like a razor, stinging and numbing at the same time.

Swearing, Grace pushed herself up as moisture sank through her jacket and suit and pain radiated deeper into her face.
The second man had her bag. Paper and files from the office spilled across the ground as he pawed through it. The first man, the one with the knife, looked down at her as she peered up at him. Their eyes locked.

Close enough to see him clearly this time, Grace couldn’t keep herself from staring. Smooth features. Almost too pretty to be called handsome. A narrow nose. Thin lips. Eyes as cold as marble. His black hair, matted flat against his forehead by the cap, was a stark contrast against his light skin.

She’d remember that face for the rest of her life.

He must have known because he shook his head and shifted the switchblade to his other hand as he closed the distance between them.

Feet on either side of her legs, he bent and closed a gloved hand around the front of her jacket. He jerked her upward, lifting her torso from the ground and toward him as he raised the knife. Murder flashed through his eyes.

“You shoulda listened,” he told her, “when you had the chance.”



© Julie Harrington and Krysia’s Web Books