The more she wanted out, the more they dragged her back in.
Daughter to murdered CIA officers, niece to a deputy director, Jaime Walsh has never known life outside the world of espionage. Until a high-action case in Buenos Aires leaves her gutted. Physically, emotionally…and professionally.
She’d planned for her long-overdue vacation to be a time to rest and reassess. With her longtime partner Stephen not far behind, it’s a tropical paradise away from work. A paradise where boundaries will be tested.
From their training days, Stephen Reid has watched Jaime kick ass while performing what has become his second job—watching her back. But now his feelings have grown.
As best friends look at each other in a new light, they like what they see. And Jaime dreams of a new life outside “the company”.
Except someone from their past won’t be satisfied until Jaime and the man she loves are hunted to the brink of death. Now Jaime must find the strength to trust her heart and let go of her fear. Before she loses everything…
With a Vengeance
|Genre: Romantic Suspense|
|Cover Artist: Angela Waters|
|Publisher: Samhain Publishing|
|Publication Date: 04-01-2014|
Purchase from SAMHAIN PUBLISHING | AMAZON
Jaime, Collin and Stephen splashed through the drainage pipe, heading into the belly of the city, long since immune to the stench around them. The pipe narrowed two more feet, forcing them to hunch over. In the dark, they felt their way along the wall, knowing sooner or later they were going to find a manhole or drain from the street or something big enough to let them crawl out of this hellhole.
“Hawaii,” Jaime said, breaking a long silence.
“What about it?” Stephen asked, directly behind her. He kept one hand in hers, the other on the wall.
“I think I’m going to go to Hawaii.”
Collin chuckled from in front of her. Always the heroes, they had stuck her in the middle. Again. “When is that taking place?”
“As soon as I get out of here. I need a vacation.”
Now Stephen laughed. “You wouldn’t know how.”
She stopped to stretch. The roof was too low for her to stand, so she leaned over, stretching her back and arms. “I might surprise you.”
God, I’m tired. Jaime couldn’t even remember the last time she had taken a holiday.
Keeping to the left, they traveled through the maze.
The tunnels led to a ladder. A manhole. The street above. Two cars were parked directly beside them, blocking their ascent to the real world from anyone who might happen by.
When they crawled onto the street, they didn’t have a clue how far they were from where they entered the drains.
Collin replaced the cover and put his arm over Jaime’s shoulder. They walked off, Stephen two steps behind. The buildings they walked by advertised rooms for rent by the hour.
Collin detoured into a late-night market while Jaime and Stephen leaned against the outside wall.
Collin was back within three minutes, stuffing a small package into his jacket pocket.
They kept moving.
Walking past a dilapidated building whose neon window sign proclaimed the establishment simply as “Hotel”, they exchanged looks, walked over the threshold and got themselves a room.
The clerk’s eyebrows arched when he looked up from his newspaper. His chapped lips spread into a crooked smile over his short, dirty beard when they requested one room for the three of them.
“Si.” He leered. “Si, si.”
If they hadn’t been so tired, if they had cared one iota what this moron thought, they might have defended themselves. But they were and they didn’t, so they let him think his perverted thoughts, grabbed their key and took the stairs to the second floor.
Room 2A. Top of the stairs and to the right.
Stephen entered first, turning on the lights.
Collin shut the door behind them, snapping the lock.
“Bathroom. Now,” Stephen ordered Jaime.
She grunted as Collin pulled out the brown paper bag and tossed it to Stephen. Stephen caught it overhand.
Jaime sat down on the edge of the stained tub.
The three-by-five bathroom reeked of things living where they shouldn’t be living. Stephen sat on closed toilet seat and used the back as a table. Opening the bag, he pulled out the peroxide, aspirin, gauze and first-aid tape. Stretching his leg out, he reached into his jeans pocket and got out his Swiss Army knife.
She saw him in the mirror on the back of the door as he worked, the concentration etched on his chiseled features, his blue eyes watching his own fingers move.
“This could really use some stitches,” Stephen said.
“And?” she said, wincing when he dabbed at the wound with a cloth soaked in peroxide.
She could see her blood on his fingers and on his watch. A droplet was even running down the back of his hand, but he ignored it.
“FYI,” he said, tossing the cloth into the sink. “You scared me,” he added, looking her straight in the eye before cutting a couple of butterfly bandages.
“You should learn to drive better.”
He smiled. Jaime always loved his smile. It made even the worst times seem okay.
“You do need to get another hobby besides babysitting me, you know,” she told him. He smiled again, only this time there was a mischievous edge to it and she knew she would pay.
He pushed harder on the cut, making her yelp.
“Bastard,” she said.
“Whiner,” he shot back.
Collin appeared in the doorway. “There’s no phone so we can’t check in,” he said.
Jaime winced as Stephen pulled the edges of the cut together with the tape.
“We’ll sleep here and call first thing in the morning,” Stephen said.
“There’s only two double beds,” Collin said. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a coin, positioning it on his bent thumb. “Head’s gets the single. Tail’s gets her.”
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