From the Book
"Hey, Cavanaugh, lady here to see you."
Amid the buzz of conversations, phones ringing and the faint sound of keyboards that served as background noise at the offices of Trent Associates, Donovan Cavanaugh saved the document he was working on—the final report on the case he'd just wrapped up.
A real doozy. He'd provided protection for a manager turned whistleblower of a pharmaceutical company. The guy's conscience hadn't allowed him to ignore the release of a drug with adverse side effects, regardless of the company bigwigs wanting to make all the money they could without informing the public of the hazards.
He pushed his chair away from the desk. "Name?"
"Gorgeous. At least that's what I'd name her," Kyle Martin said from the doorway of the "war room," the place where each Trent employee had his or her own space—desk, phone, laptop and file cabinet—within the brownstone of Boston's Back Bay neighborhood that housed the protection specialists agency. Kyle grinned, his too-handsome face beaming, making him look younger than twenty-nine.
Okay, the laid-back attitude helped make the perennial surfer dude seem young, too. But Don knew better than to underestimate his colleague, no matter how young he looked. Kyle was good at what he did. He'd been a SEAL before James Trent brought him on board. Those guys were as tough as they were smart.
Dubbed the best in the business of protection, Trent Associates employed ten operatives, all highly trained with either a background in military like Don or in law enforcement.
"Did Gorgeous say what she wanted?"
Kyle wiggled his eyebrows. "You, dude. She wants you:"
A low whistle came from Don's right. Ex-paratrooper and definite ladies' man Trevor Jordan smirked. "Sounds interesting. Something we should know about?"
Ignoring Trevor's and the other curious glances aimed his way, Don strode to the door. "Where's Lisa?" The young woman who usually manned the agency's front desk would have been more discreet in announcing a potential client.
"On lunch break." Kyle dogged his steps down the hall. "I'm covering the front desk."
A smart retort froze on Don's tongue the second his gaze landed on the petite brunette dwarfed by the ten-foot-tall Christmas tree in the "client" room just off the entryway. She had her back to him, but he didn't need to see her face to recognize the pretty woman who'd once captured his attention.
She inspected an ornament. A gold, sparkly star. Her small, delicate hands trembled.
As the name "Gorgeous" echoed with unerring accuracy inside his head, he forced out her real name.
She turned around. Her big amber-colored eyes were wide, the pupils dilated. A square white bandage, in stark contrast to her olive skin, covered half her forehead. Not that anything could mar her looks. She was still as beautiful as he remembered.
He hated the vulnerability he saw on her pretty face. Concern and something distinctly protective hammered at him. "What's going on?"
Tears shimmered in her eyes. "Don, I need to hire you. Someone's trying to kill me."
Absorbing the announcement with surprise, Don was at her side in two strides.
"Come, sit down." He took her by the arm and led her to one of the cushy sofas. "Tell me what's happened so we can figure out what to do next."
"I—" She took a shuddering breath. "When I got home from work yesterday, my apartment door had been wired with explosives. The police are investigating."
Don sucked in a sharp breath of shock. A bomb. His right hand flexed, stretching...