Excerpt from Savage Betrayal


     Nickie stood in the bedroom door of the empty apartment. Unmade bed, clothes strewn on the floor. A few live shells and a magazine clip were tossed on the only dresser in the room. The clip was full. She could see the neatly lined bullets inside from where she stood.
     The search felt like betrayal. Maybe because it was. This was her partner, her friend, her ex-lover. And possibly the department mole who had been stabbing her in the back for weeks, months, possibly even years.
     Like a search beam had been flipped on, light poured from the hallway behind her. Without turning to look, she took one large step and pressed herself against the wall just inside the bedroom door.
     No. It was probably the wind opening the front door wider. Then, why weren't her feet moving? Because she was executing a search without back up. Because there was nothing standing between her and the front door other than a short apartment hallway. She leaned her ear closer toward the hallway, stopping at the trim around the door. She wasn't just searching for a department mole, she was searching for a person who may very well be involved with a murder. Or else, she was wrong about the whole damned thing.
     Sliding her Smith and Wesson out of her holster, she took it off safety and aimed at the opening of the doorway. This was stupid. There were no footsteps. No moving shadows. She leaned over to take a look. The hallway was clear. It did little to soothe her tension. With gun drawn, arms extended, and elbows locked, she twirled around and faced the hallway head on. If there were at least some wind, she would feel better about why the door had swung open. She took a single step, keeping her knees bent, then another.
     She would cut around through the opening to the walk-through kitchen, then around the living room to check on the front door. Except, she no more than made another single step when an arm swung around the opening from the kitchen knocking Nickie's gun from her hand.
     The force from the blow was male. She ignored the rush of adrenaline and the prickling on the back of her neck. She was too damn pissed off. She grabbed the wrist before he had a chance to retract it. Yanking on the arm, she forced the man into the hallway. Simultaneously, she dropped her shoulder and dug in, toppling them both to the floor.
     Hey, she knew that scent. Male soap. The slightest hint of the kind of cologne that made her feel something between dizzy and a secure sense of home.
     "Duncan?" She squirmed out of the awkward position they had landed in and sat up, straddling him. He lay there rubbing the spot on his collarbone she had shoulder shoved him. "You're in LA!" she added honestly confused.
     He lifted his brows to her as if the fact that he was lying in an apartment in upstate New York—not L.A.—made her dense.
     "How did you know I was here? Who told you I was here? Why are you here?"
     "Where is your car?"
     "I got a ride with the locksmith."
     "How were you going to get home?"
     "I know people."

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