Sneak Preview — An Ill Wind, Security Specialists International #5
For those who have been waiting on Trey Maddox and Dr. Fiona Teague’s story, the wait is almost over. Book is in final line edits and then it will go to formatting. After that, I will upload and begin posting links as the book is published at the various retailers. Please enjoy this sneak peek.– Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my fans — Monette Michaels
A damaged woman fleeing her past.
After being stalked then attacked by a colleague, Dr. Fiona Teague flees to a New Mexico border town. Working in a clinic, Fee endeavors to overcome the horror of that night. To her dismay, Trey Maddox, her brother’s friend, refuses to be deterred from pursuing a relationship with her. If only she weren’t so broken … Trey’s everything a woman could want—honorable, strong, heroic, but he deserves better than a damaged woman.
A strong, capable protector determined to lure her into the shelter of his arms.
During an Idaho blizzard, SSI operative Trey Maddox met Fee over the barrel of a rifle as she protected his pregnant sister-in-law. The gutsy little doc then ignored her own physical injuries to deliver his nephew. How could Trey not fall for her? Before he could persuade her to stay in Idaho, she’d cut and run to New Mexico. Undeterred by the distance, he pursues her, eroding her resistance with patience and tenacious good humor. And, finally, she agrees to an actual “date.”
But the ill wind that had destroyed her once before now sweeps through Fee’s life again. She’s kidnapped by a drug cartel. Trey arrives to find her house a bloody crime scene. The cartel has no idea of the ruthless hunter they’ve unleashed. Trey will storm hell itself in order to rescue Fee and make her his, once and for all.
Copyright, 2016, Monette Michaels.
All rights reserved.
11 pm, February 20th
Stanley Parker Health Center
Columbus, New Mexico
Dr. Fiona Teague’s stomach growled. Six-year-old Maria Cortez giggled, the first sound that wasn’t a whimper or a mewl of pain since the child’s arrival at the emergency room. Fee swept a lock of black silky hair off Maria’s face. The girl had an ugly bruise on her forehead. Maria’s brother had shoved the little girl and she’d fallen off her front porch and—head met sidewalk.
“Are you feeling better, chica?”
The x-rays hadn’t shown any fracture, thank goodness. Fee had cleaned the bloody scrape, administered a prescription-strength dose of Tylenol, and applied ice to get the swelling down. There really wasn’t anything else she could do.
Maria shrugged her shoulders, her big brown eyes still moist from earlier tears.
Fee looked at Maria’s mother. “Señora, just keep an eye on Maria. Wake her up every hour just to make sure she can. If you can’t rouse her, or if she throws up or complains of severe headaches, bring her back in right away. I’m going to have Nurse Pia schedule a follow-up visit for Maria at the clinic on Monday.”
“Gracias, Dr. Teague.” Señora Cortez picked up Maria who clung like a monkey to her mother. The woman left the exam area. The now-chastised older brother fell into step with his mother. The father was missing in action. Pia Lopez had told her the man was a drug runner for the Sinaloa cartel.
It was don’t ask, don’t tell—business as usual in this ER in a U.S.-Mexico border community.
Pia walked up to Fee. “Well, that was different.” The petite nurse was a Mexican-American who’d lived in Columbus, New Mexico, her whole life except for the time she’d left to attend nursing school in Austin, Texas. She was one of the best nurses Fee had ever worked with anywhere.
“Well, it definitely was a break from treating addicts who’ve decided to mix heroin and crystal meth.” Drug overdoses or, in the case of speedballing, drug stupidity was a lot of what Fee dealt with during her shifts, day or night. The rest of her cases tended to be knifings and gun shot wounds which arose out of the running and selling of drugs.
Fee’s stomach growled again. “I need to eat. Want to grab a bite with me? I brought a couple of sandwiches and am happy to share.”
Pia shook her head, a sly smile on her face. “I’ve eaten, thanks. Besides someone is here and has brought you some of my mama’s chicken enchiladas you like so well.”
Carmela Lopez owned and was the chief cook for a local diner called Mamacitas. Fee ate or carried out a lot of her meals from there.
Fee smiled. “Your mother is so sweet to think of me. What did she bring you?”
“Not my mama.” Pia shoved her in the direction of the small break room. “Go see.”
Her surprise meal guest had to be Price. Her brother had mentioned something about visiting this week. It would be just like him to get Pia’s mother to make Fee’s favorite Mexican meal.
Would Trey Maddox be with him? Fee’s pulse raced and a tingle of excitement traveled over her skin. She would never admit it out loud, but when Trey hadn’t come the last time Price visited, she’d missed him. Missed him a lot—more than a lot—and that had shocked her. She still wasn’t sure she was ready for the type of relationship Trey wanted with her. A relationship he’d patiently pursued for months, making the trip from Idaho frequently, most often in the company of her brother.
Fee entered the break room and stopped just inside the door.
Her heart stuttered as she took in all that was Trey Maddox. The man was six-foot, four inches of alpha-male with thick, dark hair and green eyes. Those eyes now gleamed as he approached her in a panther-like glide. “Hey, little doc.”
Only Trey called her that. She’d grown to like his pet name for her, mostly because of the affectionate tone in his voice when he said it. No one before him had ever cared enough to use an endearment when speaking to her.
“You look beautiful.” His languid perusal burned over every inch of her. His expression grew more sensual.
Trey needed his eyes examined. She had on no make-up and a set of green scrubs that had blood and other bodily fluids that would put most people off their food. But the look in his eyes had her believing his words. To him, she was beautiful and that fact both confused her and made her grateful.
“Trey…” Flustered at his all-encompassing gaze, Fee looked around. “…um, where’s my brother?”
“He’s on an op…” he said.
Trey stopped less than a foot away from her. His gaze seemed fixed on her mouth. Her breath caught in her throat and she wondered if he’d kiss her.
Kiss him. You know you want to.
No, she couldn’t. She was a woman who’d had really bad luck with the men in her past.
Trey’s not those other guys, and, for sure, he isn’t the stalker-rapist Adam-fucking-Stall.
Definitely not. She shuddered at the thought of the former colleague who’d raped her, denied he’d done it, and was the reason she’d run from Detroit to this middle of effin’ nowhere border town.
“…so I came in his place and brought you a meal.” Trey held out his hand. “Come and sit down. Let me serve you. Señora Lopez sent enough food for both of us. The smell has had me salivating ever since I picked up the food from her house.”
Fee placed her cold hand in his large, warm one. The innocent touch thrilled her, more so than kisses from any other man. “You didn’t have to come.”
“Yes, I did.” Trey lifted her hand to his lips and kissed the tips of her fingers. “I missed seeing you last month.” He looked into her eyes. “I wasn’t missing this month, too.”
“Okay.” She swallowed hard. His expression … his voice … his words overwhelmed her. He looked at her as if she were as essential to him as oxygen.
Looking away, she focused on the table. Oh my. Happy tears threatened to choke her.
He’d set the cheap plastic table with a bouquet of flowers, candles, china, silver, and cloth napkins.
No one, not even her beloved brother Price, had ever done anything so nice, so special for her. “Y-y-you put my Diet Pepsi in a wine glass.”
Past bad experiences with and insecurities about men were swept away in a groundswell of joy. Fee pulled her hand loose, stood on her tip toes, and brushed a kiss over his lips. “Th-that’s so sweet. Th-thank you.”
“You’re welcome … and you’re the sweet one.” Leaning down, he cupped her face and gave her kiss back to her and then took it up another notch.
Holy hell. The man could kiss.
Trey took his time as he nibbled and licked her lips. There was no aggression in his touch; if there had been, she’d have recoiled. Instead, he was gently insistent, and she opened to his lips and tongue and shyly returned the kiss.
“Fee,” he murmured as he continued to press light kisses on her mouth. “You taste good, and I’d love nothing more than to kiss you for hours, but this probably isn’t the best time or place.”
Damn, one kiss, and a fairly innocent one at that, and Fee’s brain took a short vacation, losing all sense of time and space. No man’s kisses or intimate touch had ever taken her out of herself before.
Shaking off the sensual haze, she nodded. “Yeah. The ER’s quiet right now, but—” Her stomach rumbled loudly.
Trey chuckled. Tucking some of her curls behind her ear, he kissed the tip of her nose. “But it could get busy, and you need fuel so you can handle the rest of your shift. Sit, let me serve you supper.”
He took her arm and led her to the table and then held the wobbly plastic and metal chair for her. She sat and scooted closer to the table and placed the napkin on her lap. Taking a sip of the Diet Pepsi, she watched as he pulled out the food and served her two chicken enchiladas along with some beans and rice.
Fee inhaled the aroma and her mouth watered. “Smells divine. What did Carmela make you?”
“I have the pork enchiladas, but with the same tomatillo sauce she put on yours.” Trey sat and took a long pull from the dewy bottle of Dos Equis by his place setting. “Eat. Catch me up on what’s happened since I was here last.”
Fee took a bite of her food and found it was easy to talk to Trey about her patients—in general terms, of course, she’d never violate their privacy—and about life in the small border town. She even told him how Pia was ignoring Sheriff Levi Gray Wolf’s romantic overtures and how worried both Carmela and Pia were about Pia’s brother Ernesto who ran drugs for the cartel.
Trey’s expression grew darker the more Fee revealed about Pia’s brother. He held up a hand, halting her words. “Are you using the security system Price and I installed at your place?”
“Yes.” She let out an exasperated sigh at the autocratic note in his tone. Both men had lectured her on safety rules several times since she’d moved to New Mexico. “I set the system every night.”
“Fee…” A stern look on his face, Trey reached across the small table and tipped up her chin. “You’re very precious to your brother, to my sister-in-law and her family—and to me. Use the system whenever you’re home, day or night. Cartel asshats can attack during the day just as easily as the night. Okay?”
She captured his hand and squeezed it. “Okay. You know you’re as bossy as my brother.”
Trey pulled his hand from hers and traced her lips with the tip of a finger. “I ain’t your brother, sweetheart.”
God, and didn’t she know it. Her feelings for Trey were intense—had always been strong from the day she met him—but the feelings had grown over the months. He’d burrowed under her skin, slowly but surely.
All too soon, they finished their meal. Drawing out her time with him, she helped him clean up the table and then walked him to the ER exit. “Thanks again for visiting and bringing me a meal.”
“You’re very welcome, little doc.” Trey took her in his arms and kissed her deeply, then let her go. “See you in a month. Maybe I can take you out for a real date next time?”
“Maybe. I’ll think on it.”
“You do that.” He gave her a panty-melting smile, then turned and left.
Fee watched until he got in his rental and drove away. She already missed him.