Curious for a peek at my newest release? Well, you're in luck. Here's an excerpt!
Archer Brant slipped his key in the lock of his front door still surly over the forced convalescence dictated by the Bureau doc but the three hour drive from San Francisco had at least leached most of his anger so that he didn’t feel the need to punch something any longer. He gritted his teeth against the pulsing ache in his busted-up shoulder from sitting in the car too long and thoughts of a beer with a Vicodin chaser crossed his mind but the moment he stepped over the threshold of his cabin, the hairs on the back of his neck stiffened with a sense that something wasn’t right.
Quietly pocketing his keys, he moved to the scarred oak cabinet where he kept his spare Glock and retrieved it slowly from the drawer. Once the comforting weight of the gun was in his hand, he moved through the bottom floor in a security sweep. Finding nothing, he made his way up the stairs.
His ears pricked at an odd, unfamiliar sound coming from his bedroom.
Creeping along the wall, he pushed open the door to his bedroom and crossed inside. Someone was in his bathroom. The air still held the balmy, damp moisture left over from a hot shower. He caught the sound of soft singing, slightly off-tune and he wondered what kind of idiot broke into a stranger’s house that was hidden in the middle of the Sierra National Forest to make use of the soap and shampoo like it was a friggen Holiday Inn yet bypassed the valuables like the flat-screen plasma television mounted on the wall or the accompanying high-end Boise stereo system. He curled his lip. Whoever was in there was murdering a classic Journey song and that was near enough to a crime in his book to warrant shooting first and asking questions later but he was supposed to be convalescing so he ignored his itchy trigger finger and his protesting ear drums and just prepared to oust his uninvited house guest with a little force.
He moved into position along the sidewall, gaining an excellent vantage point and his disposition brightened at the thought of scaring the life out the trespasser but as a figure moved into view from the mirror, Archer blinked and frowned with surprise. He’d been expecting a punk, pimply-faced kid or a perhaps a homeless man but he was damn sure not expecting to see dark hair cascading down a petite backside that was nearly engulfed in his white terry cloth robe that had been hanging on the hook beside the shower. Strong, slim legs, rounded calves and pretty ankles met his gaze as he assessed his trespasser. A woman. A shapely woman, he noted with faint appreciation for the rounded swell of hips hidden beneath the robe and even as his hormones pumped a healthy dose of turned-on man juice into his veins, he looked for evidence of a partner. A beautiful woman provided great distraction for the thug that’s about to cave in your cranium from the back while you’re panting over a fine piece of ass and that’s not how he was going to clock out of this world.
But his quick check revealed nothing, not even a bag of belongings. Then, he saw, on the bed, something that narrowed his stare and made him swear under his breath.
A baby bottle. Leaking something wet and pale onto his $500 duvet. “This just ain’t my day,” he muttered, tucking his gun into his waistband. Of all the places this wayward chick could’ve stopped, why’d it have to be his? He wasn’t in the mood to play host no matter what her hard luck story was. He pinched his brow ridge and exhaled a short breath before stepping into view, ready to get this over with. “You picked the wrong house to freeload in,” he announced, grim satisfaction in the woman’s startled jump as she spun around to face him.
But holy hell, his gut clenched. The air in his lungs evaporated. His heart squeezed to a stuttering stop. He knew this woman. A shaft of white-hot misery speared his insides and his voice cracked with surprise as he managed to murmur her name, though in truth it was a miracle his voice worked at all, his shock was so great. As he stared at the face that haunted his dreams and took center stage in his most private thoughts, he couldn’t help but drink in her appearance, even if he’d never admit to anyone — least of all her — that losing her had been as painful as tearing off a limb and tossing it down the garbage grinder. And just as permanent.
“Marissa.” He recovered, ashamed at his gut reaction and the sudden leap in his heartbeat, to demand, “What the hell are you doing here?”
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