The last thing hostage negotiator Ashe MacAvoy expected was to need a rescue herself, but it’s a game-changer when Detective Chase Weber offers his protection—and his bed.
UPPING THE STAKES
Ashe MacAvoy is Wilmington PD’s chief hostage negotiator. Using her infamous grace under fire, and the expertise of Detective Chase Weber, she frees a roomful of innocents from three armed captors. But the guy pulling the strings is still out there, and Ashe’s life is in danger. Chase wants to protect her. Can he also shield her from the broken heart at the end of this adrenaline-filled attraction?
Detective Chase Weber doesn’t mix business with pleasure. Well, not anymore. He’s learned his lesson and is happy with the world back on track. Enter Ashe MacAvoy, whose life he’s saved twice in less than twelve hours. Somehow he’s become her guardian angel—a role that’s giving him a devil of a time. She’s a pain in his ass…and a need in his heart. So maybe having the world upended isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Chase pulled into Ashe’s driveway and slid out of the car. Crouching, he sniffed the air and then he was running to the front door, pounding on it, calling her name. He slammed against the locked door with his shoulder once. It didn’t budge.
He slammed against it again, worrying with every blow that he might hit a spark that would ignite the air, laden down with the sickly smell of the additive they piped into natural gas.
Adrenaline pumping, Chase gave himself a few steps and ran at the door. The wood frame cracked under the onslaught of his mass, and he fell into the house. Afraid to turn on the light, he blindly fumbled through the hall. The first room he came to was the bathroom. The second room was her guest room. He finally found her room at the end of the hall.
He ran to the bed, not wanting to see if he was too late. She was lying tucked up in the bed, covered in a cocoon that hid her from sight. Chase pulled back the blanket and checked her pulse with his two forefingers. It was there—weak but present.
He gathered her up in his arms and took a step toward the door, then stopped. Her bedroom had a pair of sliding glass doors that opened to the backyard. Carrying her, he slid the door open and stumbled into the yard. His own breathing was labored now, his lungs protesting at the strain of the adrenaline and the contaminated air.
Spots started to appear before his eyes as Chase made it back to the street. He forced his legs to go faster, just a few more steps.
The blast of the shockwave lifted him off his feet and flung him and Ashe several yards through the air before crashing them down to the asphalt. The force of the blow knocked him dizzy, but he stayed conscious. He turned to see Ashe’s house in flames. A scream came from her neighbor’s house and then a woman was running toward him, a cell phone in her hand.
“I’m calling the police,” the woman called as she ran. “Don’t worry, I have a phone.”
Chase shook his head, cradling Ashe in his arms. She moaned, groggy, coming around. He tried to collect his thoughts. His own brain was still hazy and he felt like someone had sucker punched him in the back of the neck. Twice.
“What happened?” Ashe’s voice was shaky, the words slurred. “How did I get here?”
She looked up at Chase, her face shadowed. The fire caught highlights in her hair, now and then sparking glints in her gray eyes.
He couldn’t help himself. He clasped her to him, bending his face toward her, kissing her as deep and hard as he could.
Becca A. Miles is Rachel A. Brune’s nom de plume. Rachel started writing as a military journalist for the U.S. Army. She broke into fiction by writing short stories that have been published in a variety of speculative fiction magazines and anthologies. Under the mentorship of Suze Winegardner, Rachel penned her first foray into romantic suspense.
Rachel continues to write, coach, and blog. Follow her on social media, she loves to hear from readers: