Series: Malone Brothers #1
Published by: Suspenseful Seduction Publishing
Release Date: June 1, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Military, Romance, Romance/Contemporary, Romance/Military, Romance/Suspense, Suspense
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KC Malone is on a four-week leave from the Navy when he arrives at his uncle’s beach house to find a beautiful woman pointing a gun at his chest. What the hell has he just walked in on?
Moriah Jensen is on the run from dirty cops and ruthless drug dealers. Fleeing Chicago after her family was murdered, she spends the next four months trying to stay alive. Using an alias, she bounces from town to town, state to state, struggling to stay steps ahead of the people chasing her.
As the two become reluctant, temporary housemates, KC offers to train Moriah to defend herself against an alleged abusive ex-boyfriend. But when her past catches up with her, Moriah has to decide between her love for KC and running for safety. To stay would risk both their lives. To run would mean leaving her heart behind.
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Letting his military green duffel drop inside the door with a thud, KC relocked the deadbolt, flipped the light switch on, turned around, and froze. Fuck a damn duck. The last thing he expected when he arrived at his uncle’s place was to be confronted by a slim, auburn-haired woman. She was wearing nothing but a terrified look on her face and a thin white T-shirt, which barely reached her shapely thighs. She was also pointing a black and very deadly, semi-automatic 9mm at his chest.
“Who the hell are you and how’d you get in here?” the woman demanded. The strength of her voice was in total contrast to the fear in her eyes and the unsteadiness in which she held the heavy gun in her outstretched hands.
What the fuck had he just walked in on? Some transient who broke in, looking for a place to sleep? Well, if she was a transient, she was a darn cute one. Damn, he really was tired if he thought an intruder with a gun was cute. He held his arms out, palms open, to show her he wasn’t armed—well, he was, he just wasn’t prepared to let this crazed woman know it, yet. KC kept his voice low and calm. “I could be asking you the same thing.”
“I asked you first.” Her weapon remained pointed at him as she inched her way to the left, putting several pieces of furniture between them.
He kept his demeanor and hands steady. “This is my uncle’s place, and I stay here when I’m in town. Now, why don’t you lower that gun before someone gets hurt?”
The woman narrowed her shockingly, blue eyes. Even at the distance separating them, he could see they were the color of the shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea. Nevertheless, she showed no signs of relinquishing her perceived vantage point. “That someone is going to be you if you move a muscle. I rented this cottage from Dan Malone, and he didn’t mention anything about a nephew.”
“That’s impossible.” KC shook his head slowly in disbelief. “Uncle Dan would never rent this place.”
Her chin tilted up in defiance despite the slight tremor in it. “Well, apparently, he would, and he did. Three days ago. To me. Now leave.”
KC noticed the weight of the gun was starting to take its toll on the woman’s extended arms, as they began to shake and sway. He let out a loud weary sigh. “What can I say or do to convince you to set the gun down, or better yet, put it away?”
“You can leave, that’s what you can do.”
“Sorry, honey, that’s not going to happen.” He noticed her eyes flared in silent fury at the personal endearment. “What else?”
“If you’re Dan Malone’s nephew, prove it.” Her tone told him no matter what he said, it wasn’t going to make a difference to her.
KC scanned the room and realized if his uncle did lease the cottage to this insane woman, he’d kept it fully furnished. Nothing had changed, and all his uncle’s things still decorated the comfortable room. There was no evidence of personal items which might belong to the woman who stood before him. Even though he thought it was strange, he ignored the simple fact for the moment and pointed to the mantle over the red brick fireplace. “The picture on the left is of my uncle, brothers, and me on a fishing trip last year. My hair’s a little longer now, but that’s me on the far right. I’m in most of the photos around the room, but that’s the most recent.”
He stayed perfectly still as the woman made her way over to the fireplace to look at the picture, keeping enough distance between her and KC to ensure he wouldn’t attack her. He knew he could easily overtake her, but she was obviously scared, and there was no point in anyone being hurt unnecessarily. She glanced quickly at the photo and then back at him, but didn’t say a word. Evidently, she was still wary.
“And the football trophy next to it is from my senior year of high school when we won the state championship. It has my name on it. If you let me take my wallet out, I can show you my license.”
The woman thought about it for a moment, then nodded. “OK, but slowly.”
KC eased his leather wallet out of his back pocket and tossed it on the floor at her feet. Keeping the gun trained on him, she cautiously lowered herself to the ground to pick it up. Opening the smooth leather case, she studied his license, and then tossed the brown wallet back to him. He caught it in his right hand and slowly returned it to his rear pocket, keeping his left hand where she could see it.
The tension in her face and shoulders eased a little, but she still kept the weapon pointed at him. “Okay, I’m convinced you are related to Mr. Malone, but it doesn’t explain what you’re doing sneaking in here in the middle of the night, scaring the hell out of me. You have to leave. Now!”
KC let out another frustrated sigh. The situation was getting old and annoying real fast. “Look. I already proved I’m Dan’s nephew. Can you put away the damn gun before you accidentally shoot me?”
Her hand shook. “How do you know it would be an accident and not on purpose?”
Oh, for fuck’s sake. He lowered his arms and bent to retrieve his duffel bag, only a smidgen faster than a snail’s pace so not to alarm her. “Look, lady, I wasn’t sneaking in here. I still don’t know who you are, and right now I’m too fucking exhausted to give a damn. Shoot me or let me go to bed. It’s two o’clock in the morning, and I haven’t had more than a two-hour nap in over fifty-four hours.”
Her jaw dropped as he began to walk toward the hallway which led to the two downstairs bedrooms. “But . . . but you can’t stay here.”
He stopped and glared at her over his shoulder. “Why the hell not? It’s the middle of the night, and I’m about to drop dead of exhaustion. I’m not getting back into my car to find another place to sleep when there’s a comfortable bed just down the hall. I’m also not going to hurt you. Trust me, you’re safer with me than almost anyone else. We’ll work this out in the morning. Right now, I’m going to go to sleep.”
The woman continued to stare at him in shock, mouth agape, gun in hand, as he strode down the hall. He entered the smaller of the two bedrooms, shut the door behind him with a faint resounding click, and turned the lock. He honestly didn’t think she would shoot him, but it was better to be safe than sorry.
What the fuck was Uncle Dan up to now? She had to be someone the older man decided to help—he was always coming to the aid of people down on their luck. And from the look of her, she fit the Dan Malone profile of a person who could use a helping hand. While he wouldn’t deny she had been sexy as sin in her T-shirt, pretending to be a female Rambo, she was a little too skinny. And the dark circles under her eyes appeared to be from more than having her beauty sleep interrupted. It was too late to wake his uncle up, although KC was tempted, so he quickly stripped down to his boxer-briefs and literally fell into bed. The last image in his mind as sleep overtook him was a pair of long legs and a white T-shirt.
Copyright ©2016 Samantha A. Cole
All Rights Reserved.
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