Today’s Snippet is about the best female friend. Which gives me an opportunity to re-introduce you to Sandy whom you first met in Personal Protection. Sandy is Sam’s and Chad’s assistant — and as one of the few women working for Hauberk, she and Rosie, Sam’s heroine, have a lot in common — they’re both women who know how to handle these strong-willed men and keep them in line. In this scene, Sandy is trying to look out for Rosie though it has unintended consequences …

You’ll be learning a lot more about Sandy in the next year. 😉

Personal Protection

Copyright © 2009 Leah Braemel
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Even though she knew who was on the other side, Rosie checked the flat screen monitoring the camera they’d mounted outside. Their visitor’s identity confirmed, she opened the door.

“Hi, Sandy, what brings you here at this hour?”

Sandy stepped into the foyer and gestured to Kris who trailed behind her carrying two bankers boxes. “Chad asked me to bring over the files of clients we’ve had for the past two years—he figures there might be something in them about Sam’s stalker.”

“Where do you want ’em?” Kris asked.

Rosie jumped when Sam spoke from directly behind her. “Why don’t you take one box back to your apartment? Rosie and I can start going through the other box here.”

How did such a large man move so quietly?

Sam relieved Kris of the top box, but before he could disappear down the hall to his study, Sandy stopped him. “Oh and, Sam? Chad wants you to give me your Blackberry—he wants to give you a new number. John is loading some program on my computer to catch anyone going into my address book.”

“Hang on a sec, I’ll get it for you.”

Sam headed to his office while Kris ambled back to what Rosie now thought of as their temporary headquarters, leaving her alone with Sandy. Rosie made small talk, but noticed that Sandy kept shuffling her feet and not meeting her gaze. “Sandy? Is something wrong?”

“It’s just… I’m surprised you’re…” Sandy glanced down the hall, her bottom lip caught between her teeth. “Forget I said anything.”

“Something’s bugging you, Sandy, I can tell. So spill.”

“I just didn’t expect to see you at Sam’s place, that’s all. I figured you’d be monitoring the cameras and Kris or Andy would be here.” Sandy shrugged and shuffled closer to the door. “You know it’s nothing. Really. I shouldn’t have said anything.”

“Sandy?” Rosie fixed her with a glare. “You knew I was heading the team, so why are you surprised I’m here.”

Sandy’s gaze darted toward the hallway again to make sure Sam wasn’t nearby before she leaned in and lowered her voice to a whisper. “When Sam and Chad were discussing who to assign to the team and Chad said he wanted to assign you as lead op, Sam said he didn’t want you guarding him.”

Rosie stiffened as her pride in being named head of his team evaporated in a red haze. How had she forgotten the look on his face, or how he’d snarled at Chad when he’d realized she was in on the meeting? That feeling she’d had in the elevator hadn’t been an illusion. “Was it me personally he objected to, or any operative?”

Sandy’s gaze dropped briefly, darted back to the door. “Sam said…” She took a deep breath. “Sam said he didn’t want you guarding him. He was fine with Andy and Kris.”

He’d lied to her. Outright lied.

Oblivious of the flames about to erupt from Rosie’s ears, Sandy kept talking. “Sam didn’t want to have any bodyguards at all—you should have heard them arguing, I’ve never seen Chad get so riled up. But he was definitely against having you on his team.”

“Here you are, Sandy.” Sam walked into the foyer and handed Sandy his Blackberry. “Thanks for runnin’ those files over. Make sure you expense your mileage. And don’t let Chad make you work too late tonight, you hear? There’s nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow.”

“It’s no problem at all, Sam.” As Sandy gave Rosie a hug good-bye, she whispered, “Don’t make a big deal about it, okay? He’s a guy and you know how guys are.”

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