Since Book 4 in my Hauberk Protection series releases on Tuesday, I figured I’d give you a sneak peek at Sandy Hallquist, the woman keeps the Hauberk men organized (when they’re in the office), and the enigmatic Troy McPherson, head of Hauberk’s international office, and unknown to most at Hauberk, a freelancing government-sanctioned assassin.
Copyright © 2012 Leah Braemel
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
He slowed but didn’t stop until they were beside his SUV in the parking lot. “Damn it, woman, you don’t have the sense of an overbred cocker spaniel, do you know that?” A spaniel with big blue puppy-dog eyes and soft wavy hair, lush curves and plump lips.
…lots of push and pull, sexual desire, and heat. It’s a wild ride readers will relish. ~ Shannon, The Romance Studio
“No.” He crowded her against his SUV, trying to ignore the way her breasts brushed his shirt, or the way her lipstick glistened in the moonlight. Focus, mate. “Have you ever met this Mitch guy before tonight?”
“No, but who I decide to have a drink with is none of your business. I’ll date who I want, when I want.”
“Then you can get together with him another day, but I won’t stand by and let you go off with a guy you don’t know when you’re drunk and not fit to make a decision.”
“I’m not drunk. I was drinking virgin daiquiris, for Pete’s sake.”
“Sure as hell looked like it to me from the way you were stumbling your way out of the bar. Shit, did you take your eyes off your drink? Maybe he slipped you a roofie.” He checked her eyes to see if she might be drugged only to have his hand slapped.
“Oh for heaven’s sake. I’m not drunk and I’m not drugged. Someone must have spilled a drink, my heel slid. That’s all. Besides, have you ever tried walking on four-inch heels? Do you know how hard it is, especially if some asshole is forcing you to keep up while he runs outside?”
He mentally took a step back, wondering if he had misjudged the situation. Then he made the mistake of looking at her again. Sparks of blue fire snapped out at him from those big puppy-dog eyes. Her chest rose and fell as she fought her anger. His body urged him to lower his head, to kiss her and capture her mouth with his, to draw some of that passion into his long-dormant soul.
A breeze whipped around the parking lot. She shivered and her nipples beaded beneath the silk of her blouse. As much as he wanted to be the one to warm her, he stepped back.
“Because you dragged me out here without giving me the time to put my coat on, asshole.”
Unable to argue her point, he took the jacket she clutched in one hand and held it open.
Her anger didn’t disappear precisely but it was joined by questioning bemusement as she slid her arms into the sleeves. “Thank you. I’m still ticked off with you, you know.”
Placing his hands gently on her shoulders, he turned her to face him. “Same goes. You need to be more careful about who you trust. There are some nasty types out there who will gobble a pretty girl like you up for a snack.”
He couldn’t resist playing with her collar as a way to cover his need to touch her hair. To touch her.
Her expression softened. “I know about the nasty types, Troy. I have to file the reports that agents submit, as well as sit in on the initial meetings with clients, which means I know exactly why they require bodyguards. I also volunteer with the Safe and Sound program. I’ve seen what those women have experienced before they made it to the shelter.”
When she shook her head, her hair brushed the back of his hand in a soft caress.
All his protective instincts bristled that she could be put in danger from one of those abusers. “Tell me no one’s been harassing you from there. None of the husbands who think it’s easier to blame you than himself.”
Her eyes closed briefly and a soft huff of exasperation escaped between her lush lips. “I’m fine. And stop trying to distract me about how you interfered back there. I’m still mad at you.”
Smart girl. He caught a strand of hair and rubbed it between his fingers. “He wasn’t your type.”
“And you are?”
Not hardly. “No. I’m the big bad wolf. That’s why you need to trust me that he wasn’t right for you.”