It’s Tuesday! And I started this blog feature back in February(?) of 2011 (Yeah bitches! We started Teaser Tuesday on teh interwebz right here at ALBTALBS!) So anyway, it’s been this way for three years+ years. Maybe we’ll change it, maybe we won’t. But today we have the fabulous HelenKay Dimon sharing an excerpt with us from her upcoming book Running Hot. Whee!
Camped out at a resort bar in Fiji, CIA operative Ward Bennett may look like he’s on vacation but he’s really deep undercover, hunting a dictator on the run. Ward may be on the job, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for the sexy female bartender. That is, until she drugs him.
When Tasha Gregory discovers the hottie on the barstool isn’t who he pretends to be, her MI6 training kicks into gear, and she has no choice but to take him out. Problem is, Ward’s not an easy man to put down for long. More than once, his interference almost blows her surveillance operation—and her ability to keep her heart to herself.
As the situation heats up, these two must decide whether they can trust one another—and quick. Working together might just make everyone safer, but getting close enough for comfort … might just get them killed.
“I can come up with six without even thinking about it very hard.” Without so much as breaking a sweat, Ward covered every footstep. Removed any sign humans once waited there.
Impressive work but not good enough. The stakes were too high. She knew it and now she had to make him understand it. “We can’t leave them alive.”
He nodded but didn’t take out his gun or do anything to suggest he agreed. “We need to watch the area from a distance so we can track movements in and out, count guards. Those sorts of things.”
She highlighted one of the “to do” items on the list. “We have to relocate.”
“You mean move?”
She wasn’t in the mood for a word debate. “I have a car. We need to pick it up on the way out.”
“Car as in the truck?” He shook his head. “If so, it sounds like they found it, which means they know what it looks like, and wherever we take it we’ll be tracked. Hell, with the number of people on this island, they could already know it’s yours.”
He assumed she would be dumb enough to use her own vehicle on this job. Typical. The guy needed a little work on his how-to-play-nice-with-others skills. “Wrong. Tasha the bartender hasn’t done anything wrong and doesn’t drive an SUV.”
“So, there’s nothing in that vehicle that will get your ass arrested or shot?” He leaned in closer. “If you’re as competent as I think you are, you’ve got weapons stored in there.”
That show of faith in her skills sounded better. Not great, but better than some of the men she got paired with. “My bum is fine.”
He frowned. “What?”
The man got thrown off by simple words. Lethal and stumbling for a British dictionary. For some reason, that combination when mixed with the lean body and escape skills snagged her interest. “The weapons are locked down.”
“They will take a blowtorch to the truck, and you know it.” Ward pointed to the lifeless bodies next to her feet. “These two are trained mercenaries. They were the scouting party. Can you imagine the skills on the experienced men in the group?”
Not a bad argument. “So, what’s the plan?”
After a quick check of the direction from which the two armed men came, Ward stood in front of her again. “Secure and hide the bodies as fast as we can, double back to take a look at the truck from an elevated, safe distance, and then once we know who is where and how many we have to shoot through, we hunt down Tigana.”
He’d clearly given the afternoon agenda some thought. She appreciated his planning. “Sounds like you’ve done this before.”
“Since the last part of the plan is to run like hell if they see us, you can assume that I’m a professional. Unless you think that’s an amateur move—then forget I said it.”
Oh my God, that smile. He aimed it at her, and her control puddled at her feet. She didn’t lose sight of her job, but she did entertain the idea of running her hands all over him if they ever finished this assignment and got to a safe place. “We have to move in on Tigana.”
“We have to live through the next few hours first.”
“You know how to kill the mood.” But those priorities made sense. They also reinforced her belief that they needed a more permanent solution for the men at her feet.
He leveled a serious flat-lipped stare in her direction. “Let’s hope that’s the last time you think that about me.”
“We’re not having sex.” The words shot out before she could stop them.
“Well, not here.” He glanced around the hard ground. “That would be stupid.”
“Not ever.” She tried to signal her brain to shut up, but the words kept dribbling out. Last thing she needed was for him to know she was thinking about sex.
She shifted her weight, and her foot hit against something. Before she could glance down, a hand clamped around her ankle. One hard yank, and her knee buckled. On the way down she reached for the gun Ward gave her, jerking at her clothes to free it and fire.
The shot stopped her. It rang out, echoing through the rough terrain. The grip on her loosened right as Ward grabbed her around the waist. She picked up the telltale metallic smell she’d been trained to detect and saw Ward’s weapon on the way back down to his side.
She leaned into Ward for an extra second, more out of shock from being caught off guard by the gunman than anything else. People rarely got the jump on her.
That would teach her to think about sex on the job.
She stood up straight and tugged on the bottom of her T-shirt. Retucked it into her shorts. “I got the impression you were going for minimal loss of life here,” she said as she stared at the two bodies, one lifeless and the other unmoving.
“No one touches you.” Ward’s eyes burned with a new intensity.
It sounded like a vow, and she took it as one. Too stunned to say anything else, she went with the first lame thing that popped into her head. “Okay.”
When the second guy stirred at her feet, she didn’t hesitate. Gun out and barrel down, she fired. The man’s face fell back to the ground with a thud.
Ward winced but otherwise did not move at her impromptu shot. He looked down at the man with the blood now pooling around his head. “Was that necessary?”
No way was she justifying saving them both from a shootout. Still . . . “We both know he’d have somehow gotten free and blown our cover, and that’s if he didn’t kill you first.”
Ward nodded. “Now he won’t be doing anything.”
A cryptic comment. One she jumped right over. “Right.”
“You’re in charge.” He let out a long breath. “So, lead.”
She almost felt bad about what she was going to say. “I’m happy you remembered that.”
If anything his frown deepened. “Why?”
“You need to start digging.” She skimmed the tip of her boot over the ground and listened to pebbles scrape against the sole. “We need these guys buried, and you should hurry.”
So what’d you guys think? Totally boring, right? :X
Hee! I love the premise of this series! I can’t wait to read it. And you know – there’s that new Bond movie coming out … 😉 You can pre-order a copy here!