The Teplo Trilogy #3
by Ayden K. Morgen
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Four months ago, DEA agent Tristan Riley nearly lost his life and the disabled ballerina who stole his heart. Now his relationship with Lillian Maddox is stronger than ever, and he wants nothing more than to put Teplo and the Vetrov case behind him. But when Elijah Noel and the deadly Vetrov drug appear in Los Angeles, Tristan is thrust right back into the middle of his worst nightmare.
In order to stop a vicious gang war and keep the drug out of Pedro Francisco’s hands, the DEA agent finds himself wading into unfamiliar gang territory. The stakes are high, and the body count is even higher. Los Angeles is nothing like Seattle…and Francisco’s people are a whole new level of terrifying.
When the DEA jeopardizes Lillian’s safety and loses their one shot at finding the Vetrov drug, Tristan walks away from his job to save her life. With a rogue ATF agent and Michael Kincaid at his side, he will stop at nothing to bring her home safely.
Outnumbered, outgunned, and with his back against the wall, Tristan will find his resolve tested in ways he never could have imagine. Making a deal with the devil was never in his plans, but he’ll do whatever it takes to save his ballerina one last time…even if he has to catapult the entire West Coast into a drug war unlike they’ve ever seen.
Roman strolled across the barren waiting room, headed for the desk separated from the rest of the room by bullet-proof glass. Tristan followed behind him, glancing around. Like most jails, this one wasn’t anything to write home about. The chairs were bolted to the floor. A few grimy magazines were littered around, most torn and illegible from heavy use. Large signs were posted throughout the room, warning visitors of the strict rules and the consequences of violating them. Cameras were positioned high up on the cinderblock walls, capturing every angle of the room.
“Roman Gregory, ATF. And Tristan Riley, DEA. We’re here to see Jesus de Silva. They should be expecting us.” Using one finger, Roman lifted the chain around his neck for the visitation clerk to inspect his badge.
Her bored gaze flickered over his shield before she lifted her expectant gaze to Tristan. He held his badge up for the same disinterested inspection.
“Are you taking anything in with you?”
“Just the case file and my car key.” Roman tapped the file on the desk and then presented the key in question.
The clerk barely glanced at it before sliding a sign-in sheet across the desk toward him. “Sign in here. They’re taking him to interview room three. Go through the sally port, take a left, and it’ll be the third room on the right.”
Roman scrawled their names and the time across the visitation log before sliding it back to the woman. “Thanks, Jessie.”
They walked in silence through the waiting room and then to their third set of metal detectors for the day, dropping their badges, the case file, and Roman’s car key into a plastic bin. Tristan sighed loudly when the metal pins in his arm set the damn thing off and he had to explain, yet again, why the wand kept triggering on his arm.
The guard examined the surgical scar carefully, like he expected Tristan to rip it open and pull out a gun or drugs. Eventually, the man grunted wordlessly and waved him through.
“Son of a bitch,” he muttered, yanking the sleeve of his shirt back down.
“Makes you wonder exactly how many ways they’ve seen shit brought inside, doesn’t it?” Roman asked, waiting for the guard to buzz them into the sally port.
“I don’t even want to know.” Prisoners were nothing if not creative when it came to smuggling contraband into jails. It wouldn’t surprise him if one or two had tried to pull some shit like that at some point.
Once they were through the sally port and into the jail proper, the smell hit Tristan right in the gut. He’d never understand how jails could smell like industrial strength cleaner and stale urine at the same time, but somehow, they always managed to do exactly that. The combination was worse than the noxious cloud of perfume, body odor, and stale smoke that had permeated Teplo every night.
“Fair warning, de Silva doesn’t like me much,” Roman muttered as they made their way down the hall to the interview room.
“I dislocated his dick, and broke his jaw and both of his legs a few months ago.” Roman shrugged, his expression completely stoic. “He’s still bitter.”
“Not very sporting of him,” Tristan said. He’d already known that Roman and his former partner, Brady Kaplan, had kicked the shit out of de Silva and a handful of his buddies after Guerrero targeted Mila. From what Jason had told him, Roman was suspended for a while and Brady resigned after everything went down. For whatever reason, de Silva didn’t pursue charges. The dick thing was new info though.
“He had it coming.”
“I didn’t even know you could dislocate a dick,” Tristan muttered. The thought of de Silva’s dick being out of commission for a while made him happy. He hoped the fucker never worked properly again.
“I didn’t either at the time.”
Tristan laughed loudly at the hint of quiet surprise in Roman’s voice.
“Agent Gregory?” A rotund man popped his head out of the doorway, his gray eyes bouncing from Roman to Tristan and then back again. With a few strands of hair badly combed over his balding head and sweat staining his button down, he looked squirrely as fuck.
“That’d be me.” Roman held up his shield.
“Tristan Riley,” Tristan muttered to the man, not bothering to add the whole “agent” part. Over the years, he’d been called a lot of things, but nothing pissed him off more than someone calling him Agent Riley. It grated on his nerves for reasons he couldn’t even explain to himself…perhaps because he’d never felt particularly worthy of the Riley name to begin with. Oddly, that wasn’t the case any longer.
For once in his life, he actually thought his parents would have been proud of the man he’d become. That, he knew, was Lillian’s doing. She made him see himself clearly…and he wasn’t as bad as he’d always believed.
He still hated being called Agent Riley though.
“I’m William Black, Mr. de Silva’s lawyer.” The man held out his hand, only to lower it again when he realized neither Tristan nor Roman intended to shake it. He pursed his lips, his expression souring. “You understand he’s here of his own volition to speak with you?”
“I’m sure the plea deal the D.A. offered him on the drug trafficking and weapons charges has nothing to do with his willingness to speak to us today,” Roman shot right back at him.
Black’s lips compressed into an even tighter line, his face going red.
“Frankly, I don’t give a fuck if he’s here because God told him to be here,” Roman muttered, glaring down at the man. “We have questions. He has answers. Let’s get this shit over with.”
Black huffed and then stepped aside, allowing Roman to duck into the interview room. Tristan followed behind him, keeping as much distance between himself and Black as possible. The man smelled like piss and stale sweat.
The nondescript interview room didn’t hold much. Paint peeled from the walls and an inch of dirt and grime was visible in the corners. The four chairs in the small space were bolted to the floor. So was the table in the center of the room. Two guards stood at the door on the opposite side of the room, pretending to look everywhere except at them.
The man handcuffed and shackled to the table had shaggy black hair and gang tattoos all over his face and hands. Unless Tristan missed his guess, Jesus de Silva was in his late twenties or early thirties. One of his front teeth was missing in action. The permanent sneer on his face and those hard brown eyes made him appear sullen. Intelligence shone in his eyes though, making it clear he wasn’t just another gangbanger. He was smart enough to have made it damn near to the top of one of the most violent gangs in Los Angeles, and that counted for something.
“Puto,” he muttered, his lips twisting into a sneer as he glared at Roman.
“Miss me, de Silva?” Roman asked, slapping the case file down onto the table.
“Fuck you, homie.”
“We both know I’m not your type, de Silva. You prefer innocent teenagers, remember?” Hatred rolled through Roman’s expression as he stared at the gangbanger. “You sick fuck.”
“If that’s how you’re going to speak to my client–”
“Settle down, Black. I know his fucking rights.” Roman rolled his eyes and dropped down into the chair across from de Silva. “Riley, this is Jesus. Jesus, this is Riley. He likes you about as well as my last partner did. You remember Brady, right?”
The gangbanger ignored him, his hard gaze flickering across Tristan’s face. He schooled his expression quickly, but not quickly enough to hide the flare of recognition, followed by annoyance that flashed across his face.
When Black made his way around the table to take the seat beside his client, Roman caught Tristan’s eye and arched a brow. Tristan nodded back before sliding into an empty chair, letting the ATF agent know he’d noticed it too.
Somehow, de Silva knew who he was and wasn’t thrilled to see him here.
Wasn’t that just fucking lovely?
The Teplo Trilogy #2
After Anton Vetrov brutally murders a young girl as a warning to Tristan Riley, the broken DEA agent believes the best thing for Lillian Maddox to do would be to stay far, far away from him. But Lillian knows a thing or two about fear, and she’s not willing to let the man she loves push her away that easily. If he won’t fight for them, she will… even if that means risking her life to prove she’s strong enough to live in his world.
Her plan ends in disaster when she’s dragged out of Teplo at gunpoint, forcing Tristan onto a collision course with the Vetrov family and Pedro Francisco. With nothing left to lose except the only woman who has ever mattered to him, he will do whatever it takes to stop Vetrov and Francisco from ever hurting her again.
But he doesn’t know they’ve been waiting for him to make his move. When he does, all hell breaks loose, and his life is on the line. It’s up to Lillian and the DEA to save him, and she’s terrified they won’t make it in time.
Thrust headlong into a violent, bloody confrontation with the Vetrov family, Lillian comes face to the face with the heartbreaking realization that maybe she doesn’t belong in Tristan’s world, after all. When the smoke clears, will he be able to convince his ballerina that she’s the best thing for him, or will he lose her and the chance at a real future once and for all?
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The Teplo Trilogy #1
When Tristan Riley drags Lillian Maddox onto the dance floor at Teplo, he intends only to protect his cover… at least that’s what he tells himself. But the lovely Lillian would tempt a saint, and Tristan is far from a gentleman. Beneath the bright lights of the Vetrov family’s dangerous club, the weary DEA agent finds himself captivated by the ballerina, coaxing them both into a reckless, erotic encounter.
But Tristan isn’t prepared for the intense connection between him and Lillian, or for the fallout of their tryst. In a matter of days, their lives careen wildly off course, catapulting them both into a deadly game of hide and seek with the Vetrov family and one of Mexico’s deadliest drug cartels.
Trying to keep his hands to himself while working alongside Lillian to stop Anton Vetrov’s deadly new drug proves almost impossible for Tristan, but what choice does he have when being with her might get her killed? He should know: his entire family was murdered by people just like Anton.
When the stakes are raised and innocent lives are lost, will Tristan be able to let go of the guilt, or will he destroy his chance at happiness with Lillian before it ever truly begins?
**Only .99 cents!!**
Ayden K. Morgen is the Amazon Bestselling author of the Ragnarök Prophesies series. She lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood sweetheart/husband of fifteen years, and their furry minions. When not writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief, and building a Spork army.
She graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in CJ and Law.
She puts her education to use as a 911 Dispatch Supervisor, where she’s responsible for leading a team of dispatchers as they watch over police, EMS, and firefighters for her county. Her books feature law enforcement officers, the women who love them, and the difficult cases that drive them.