**Updated Friday** Winners have been drawn… will be posted shortly. Thanks for all the feedback!
I stole your cat.
I can’t apologize because Oliver is such an appealing cat and Tucker needed a sidekick. (FYI: He has been renamed for the sake of the story. It was all for a very good cause, too, but I can’t share the name yet.)
I didn’t plan on stealing your cat. It’s just…well…the bad guy had a cat. See?
A soft, warm little head butted his ankle and he smiled, knelt down, and scooped up Demeter. The cat snuggled into his arms as he scratched it under the chin. It was odd, how attached he’d gotten to the little thing. He’d originally gotten her for his last fiancée. He’d thought perhaps having a kitten to mother would make her stop her constant blathering about a family. It hadn’t. It had just made her that much more moon-eyed and tiresome.
But…well, he’s a bad guy and bad things happen to bad guys. It’s not the cat’s fault that he had a bad owner. And the cat had the excellent taste to go cuddling up to Tucker.
The cat grew on me…Oliver was just so regal. I had to have him. So I took him. And Tucker, like I said, needed a sidekick. He really needed a sidekick…a friend. He’s a lonely sort, but I can’t really explain just how lonely unless I write his book.
But Tucker and his cat get their start here…in The Reunited. And he’ll take really, really good care of the cat. I promise.
“If you come over here,” Dru said to the woman, although she kept her eyes focused on Joss. “We’ll keep you safe. I’ve got a car. My friend will get you to it. Nobody will hurt you. And if that son of a bitch tries to stop you, I’ll shoot his balls off.”
The woman just smiled.
And that was when Dru realized she wasn’t cuffed.
No cuffs . . .
And where were the guards? They’d lost sight of them as they came through the woods, trying to keep as quiet as possible, but there had been two guards.
“Tucker.” She shifted.
He might not be able to read minds, and maybe she couldn’t read thoughts, but he understood her well enough, turning so that he had his back at an angle to hers.
“If you’re looking for the guards, you can find them in there,” the woman said quietly.
She jabbed a finger to the trunk.
Dru glanced over. Then did a double take as her mind started to process. Two men. Bound. Two guards, men she knew.
They’d taken turns trailing after her more than once. And they stared at the blond woman like they couldn’t stop. It was eerie, the way they watched her. Like they adored her. Needed her. Worshipped her.
Setting her jaw, she swung her gaze back to Joss just as he moved forward.
“Stay back,” Dru warned.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” the woman snapped. She turned to the truck. “This Mexican standoff is all very entertaining, but there isn’t much time. The others will be rushing up here in no time, and I’m sure none of us want Whitmore’s men moving into his cleanup protocol or whatever he calls it.”
Cleanup protocol—something tugged in her mind. A tug . . . then a push. She fortified her shields, even as she eyed Joss.
He’d told her to stay out of his mind, damn it. She didn’t want in his mind, didn’t want him in hers, even though she was starting to suspect there was something more complicated going on.
Still staring at Joss, Dru nudged Tucker with her shoulder. They needed to move. Needed to do . . . something. What should they do? Had to get in there. What was going on, though?
“Here, English. Catch.”
“Cole,” Joss said, his voice hard with warning.
Dru tore her eyes from Joss’s face as something came flying through the night. She snatched it out of the air.
“Stuff it up your ass, Crawford,” the woman said.
Dru tuned them out, eying at the leather ID holder she held. Tucker shifted positions with her, automatically guarding her as she stood there, stunned, slammed by the images crashing into her. Just touching an object usually couldn’t do this to her.
Hadn’t been prepared—
The woman, disguised. Holding a gun on a man.
Another disguise, shoving somebody into a waiting car . . . sirens flashing.
The bottom of her stomach dropped out.
The pressure on her mind increased as she stared at the credentials in front of her. The woman looked different, hair was shorter, darker, but there was no mistaking her eyes, those cheekbones. Or the FBI written in clear, dark letters.
Tucker darted a glance at what she held. Started to swear. “Chapman, you get me in the worst messes. The fucking FBI?”
Once he gets done being mad at Dru, that is. BTW, just so you don’t feel left out, you’re not the only one I took advantage of…I also stole Nalini’s name.
**I didn’t really take their cat. Oliver’s greatness inspired an Oliver-like cat. You’re welcome to read about the cat, Tucker and everybody else in The Reunited. Be warned…it’s romance. But I don’t do picket fences or easy happy ever afters. My characters are usually battered and begging for mercy at the end.
Giveaway: I’m giving away two copies of The Reunited (ebook or print- your choice. If I’m not able to send the ebook due to territory restrictions, I’ll mail a print book internationally). To enter, just leave a comment! I’ll draw and post the winners later these week.