Eye of the Storm
111 pages
English

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111 pages
English

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Description

Five years after his imprisonment for treason, Marine Corps Major Michael Stormwalker gets a chance to prove his innocence. The one person qualified to help him uncover the truth, however, has other plans. Convinced he murdered her fiance, Alexandra McLaren means to see that Stormwalker goes straight back to Leavenworth. Sparks fly in the clash between a seemingly immovable object and an equally irresistable force. The sexual sizzle ignites Stormwalker's love for the auburn-haired beauty, who becomes as vital to his happiness as the restoration of his honor, the pride of his people and his career.

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Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 05 mars 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781773623238
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0032€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Eye of the Storm
 
By Renee Simons
 
 
DIGITAL ISBNS
WEB: 978-1-77362-321-4
MOBI: 978-1-77362-322-1
EPUB: 978-1-77362-323-8
 
PRINT: 978-1-77362-320-7
 
 

 
 
Copyright 2012 by Renee Simons
Cover art by Michelle Lee
 
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rightsunder copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may bereproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, ortransmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior writtenpermission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher ofthis book.
 
Chapter 1
 
 
The man sitting on the corral fence hadkilled her fiancé. He belonged in prison. And two months from now,she would send him there.
Reigning in her fury, she walked towardformer Marine Major Michael Stormwalker, who was watching a mareand her filly nuzzle beneath a brilliant South Dakota sun. Prettyas it might have been, the scene left her cold.
Stormwalker also seemed at odds with theidyllic setting. Every aspect of his posture radiated the edgypower of a man alert to any sign of threat. Beneath a black leathervest, his broad shoulders hunched as if waiting to spring intoaction. Long, powerful legs tapered to ragged boot heels restinglightly on the bottom rail. Smoke from his cigarette streamed pasta rugged profile nearly hidden by the satiny black hair fallingacross his cheek. Massive and brooding, he personified danger. Hewas exactly what she expected of a stone-cold killer.
Until he faced her. His startling sea-greeneyes warmed with appreciation and the ghost of a smile turned upone corner of his mouth. Expecting curiosity, even a hostilityechoing her own, she found his undisguised interest bothdisconcerting and infuriating; his admiration an unwelcomeintrusion. Her hands curled into fists and she shoved them into thepockets of her linen jacket. She would not allow herself the luxuryof anger when all her energies must be directed at bringing thisman to justice.
As if reading her thoughts, he let his gazeturn cool and detached. "You're Zan McLaren."
"Alexandra McLaren," she said. Her steadyvoice pleased her.
"Sorry. Your brother always calls youthat."
"My brother can."
The smile returned. Some women might haveconsidered it a sexy smile. She, of course, did not.
"You have your brother’s concise way withwords,” he said. “Do you also share his objectivity?"
"Is that a family trait?"
"If it isn't, I can't trust you'll do theright thing."
"And that is. . . ?"
"To get at the truth even if you don't likewhat you find."
"What if you don't like what I find?" sheasked.
"An informant tipped your brother that I’dbeen set up by a mole buried deep in his beloved Federal SecurityAgency. That new information allowed him to negotiate my release. Imay be outside a cell, but unless I can restore my career andreputation I might as well be back there."
He braced his shoulders. The movement toldher that being "back there" had no place in his plans.
We’ll see, she thought. "Who restores Dar'slife?" she asked.
"I wasn't responsible for his death. Not eventhe Navy Tribunal could make that charge stick." His eyes narrowed."Look, you'd have to be a saint to help someone you believecommitted treason and killed the man you loved. So if you can't,I'll understand. I'll find another way."
"As far as I'm concerned, you're guilty onboth counts." She took a slow breath to calm her poundingheartbeat. "But I'll search until I find the truth. Is thatobjective enough?"
He seemed to be evaluating her response. Andwell he should, she thought. Only a fool would accept her at facevalue. He was no fool.
"Why did you come here if you think I'mguilty?"
Someone had to pay for Dar s death. Shestraightened to her full height and met him eye to eye. "I want tobe the one who sends you back."
One eyebrow raised. "You're honest."
"I try."
"You don't mind being on the reservation?" heasked.
"I think this so-called new information is acrock and I intend to prove it. Where I do my work is irrelevant."She matched his penetrating gaze, steeling herself against thewicked gleam in his blue-green eyes. What matters to me is yourspending the next 25 years behind bars.
Breathing a sigh of relief, she turned andstarted up the street toward the newspaper building. She'd managedto get through their first meeting with her composure still intact.Almost.
"Where're you off to?" he called out.
He strode toward her. When his long legsbrought him to her side, she did nothing to hide her annoyance. Heraised one hand palm out.
"I'm not checking up on you," he said. "Ithought if we were headed in the same direction we could walktogether. That's all." He repeated the gesture of a moment before."That's all."
His proximity left her too conscious of hispowerful build, too aware of his quiet but potent masculinity. Shegave herself a mental shake. His smiles and magnetism would neverchange the fact that the man had deprived her of the love of herlife.
"I'm going to see the newspaper editor," shesaid.
"Same here."
She shrugged and they walked north beneath asun-drenched summer sky. The air floated light and dry without anyhint of humidity to give it weight. Their steps raised small puffsof dust that settled on the tips of her boots, dulling their spitand polish shine.
Several people passed, greeting Stormwalkerwarmly and nodding politely in her direction. When a man in hisforties stopped to talk, pleasure softened the major's features.They spoke in Lakota, freeing Zan to look at the houses liningThunder Valley Reservation's main street.
Some were well-kept, the grounds surroundingthem tidy. Others showed signs of the poverty and apathy of theiroccupants. Paint had peeled, brick facing lay strewn on the ground;broken windows had been mended with cardboard or plastic sheeting.Like bizarre and rusting sculptures, remnants of worn-out machineryand vehicles dotted the landscape.
Zan felt something smack softly against hertoe and looked down at a battered soccer ball. A boy watched her.Somewhere off to her right a screen door slammed. A horse whinniedin response, setting a dog to bark. She kicked the ball back to theyoungster. He scooped it up and cradled it under one arm, his faceexpressionless except for the laughter dancing in his dark eyes. Afamiliar yearning tugged at her. She and Dar had wanted a bigfamily.
"Sometimes I think about having one of myown," Stormwalker said.
"A soccer ball?"
"A kid."
"I did, too . . . before. . . ." Before youkilled the dream, she thought.
Anger and sadness washed over her inunbearable waves. She had to distance herself from the man who hadcaused them, or be overwhelmed. She turned, but had taken only astep or two when she felt the gentle pressure of his hand on herarm. Though momentary, his touch lingered on her skin with thewarmth of a soft desert breeze. Why hadn't the bitterness churningin her gut protected her against its effect?
"I'm sorry for what you've lost."
His voice seemed to echo her pain. She staredat him without responding.
"I know you don't want to believe this," hesaid, "but I'm innocent. I didn't compromise either the Agency's orthe nation's security. I didn't trade secrets for money. And I didnot kill Dar O'Neill. By the time you're finished here you'll knowthe truth. I guarantee it."
The sincerity that burned behind his eyes andvibrated in his voice might have given her pause if she didn't knowbetter.
With a calm she didn't quite feel, shecountered, "I'm just as positive that when my two months are up,you'll be on your way back to prison."
All emotion fled behind the mask he assumed.Satisfied that she'd made her point, she walked away. Once again,he matched her steps.
"Why are you still here?" she asked.
"I have a message for you from yourbrother."
"Couldn't you have told me sooner?" Shereally didn't want an answer and held up a hand as he started torespond. "What did he say?"
"He wants you to get in touch with KenBecker."
"From the Agency? What's he doing here?"
"He retired some years back. He's running theprobation department in town and acting as liaison between us andthe Federal Security Agency."
Apparently the mole in her brother'sorganization worried him enough to send him to the outside forhelp. As head of the FSA, the decision was his to make, but shewasn't sure she agreed with the move any more than she'd agreedwith his assigning Dar to the case that had gotten him killed.Reversing direction, she started for her car.
"Change your mind about going to thenewspaper office?" Stormwalker asked.
"For the moment."
With its top down, the MG sped along thehighway. Zan gripped the wheel with a white-knuckled ferocity bornof rage. Her pulse pounded with it; her lips flattened to a thin,tight line. How she hated

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