Seize (St. Martin Family Saga: Emergency Responders) Book 2: Erotic Romance

BOOK: Seize (St. Martin Family Saga: Emergency Responders) Book 2: Erotic Romance
11.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

Seize

St. Martin Family Saga
Emergency Responders Series

Gina Watson

 

Copyright © 2014 by Gina Watson

 

Seize

 

All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the author, except where permitted by law.

 

Whiskey Cove Publishing

Chapter 1

Augustine Charles Roy
had been tailing Eve’s sister, Mia, for a few hours. She’d fueled up her car, picked up a bicycle from the shop, gone to the post office, and done her grocery shopping. Now she seemed to be heading back home. That worked out well for him because he’d be able to introduce himself to her and then they could drive to Toronto where he would deal with Nicolas Renaud, her sister’s abusive husband.

He followed her out of town. From the file Augie’d compiled, he knew she lived with her mother outside the tiny Ontario town of Elora, a town so small one artery was all it took to lead a driver in and out.

It wouldn’t do to be spotted, so to put space between them, he stopped at a convenience store to pick up a pack of smokes. Walking out to his car, he felt the wind pick up. He lit a match and cupped it to light the fresh cigarette between his lips.

He’d memorized the directions to her country home. He made the turn and felt the earth shift beneath the car. The ground wasn’t completely dry, and the soft terrain made the steering loose. Her car was parked in front of a modest log cabin. First thing Augie noticed were two sets of tire tracks, the second set leading off to the side and possibly around the back of the house.

He parked his car in a bank of trees and stealthily approached the log home. He was alone, with no backup and no one to call. Recon was a necessity, and the extra time now might save both of their asses later. He skirted the side of the home, stopping at the back edge. He peeked around his corner and was able to confirm an additional vehicle on the scene. And not just any vehicle, but a buffed and shined Chevrolet Tahoe with illegal-grade tint and wireless amplifiers with cellphone signal boosters sprouting from the roof. Plates were Illinois.

Before he’d left Baton Rouge, Augie had compiled a file on Nicolas Renaud. He was into some heavy and illegal shit and had been connected to members deep within the National Crime Syndicate, an organized crime organization with connections all across the globe. Several of Nicolas’s connections operated out of Chicago. The man was crooked through and through. So crooked, his picture was on America’s top one hundred most wanted criminals list.

Augie inched his way to a high window and peered in. Immediately his skin pricked and his mouth went dry. One man leaned against the kitchen counter, casually cleaning under his nails with a wicked-looking knife. A second man had Mia’s arms locked behind her in a tight grip. One meaty hand was around her throat.

Shit, he’d have to act quickly to get her out of there alive.

“Stop it you idiot. Renaud wants her alive.” The man against the counter said.

He heard Mia wheeze and gasp for breath.

With his back hugging the house, he organized his thoughts. If he took out the guy at the counter first, the fat guy could hurt her, kill her even. He’d have to go for the one with his hands on her. The element of surprise would have Thug Two moving slowly. Augie had no weapons but himself, so surprise would need to work.

Without further thought, he used his foot to bust through the door. Pudgy hands groped at her breasts and between her legs. She’d scratched her attacker’s hands bloody, but that had provoked him to squeeze tighter. His hands were on her neck again. Her eyes met Augie’s, and she sputtered something inarticulate before passing out. Her attacker dropped her to the floor. The guy behind Augie began to move, so he lunged at the large man in front of him, knocking him to his back. He pelted his face with blow after blow, intending to take care of Thug Two first. He felt the give of the man’s jaw and watched blood spatter on the floor. The pain pounding at his knuckles suddenly connected with an excruciating snap radiating from his skull; slivers of wood rained down around him. He fell to the side but kept moving, and rolled until he was on his feet. The guy on the floor choked and coughed up blood, but the other guy was in better shape and had a knife.

Blood trickled into Augie’s eyes, blurring his vision. Thug One lunged at him, but Augie ducked and, using his own weight, he bent the knife-wielding arm at the elbow, dislocating it. An agonized scream arced through the air, and the attacker backed away. The fat man was up, swaying.

In the back of Augie’s mind a phrase kept repeating:
the girl isn’t moving
.

He picked up the knife as well as a butcher knife he grabbed out of the block on the counter. He faced off with the assailants, but they ran out the back door and into the SUV. He chased after them, but his head was talking to him again:
Go help the girl.

In the kitchen, he rolled her to her back and positioned his hands on her chest. He pumped thirty times and then administered a breath. He resumed pumping, and she gasped violently, throwing herself into a sitting position and pushing at him. Her hands went to her throat and she coughed, spit flying from her mouth. She wheezed in a deep breath and her eyes watered. Augie sat on his knees next to her. Her gaze darted frantically around the room.

“They’re gone,” Augie said.

She started backing away in a crab walk. When she was halfway across the kitchen she jumped up, turned, and began to run. He followed after her, pulling her arm to stop her. She screamed, but her voice was raspy and ineffective. She whacked him in the head.

“Fuck!” He released her to cradle his aching skull.

She ran out the front door and toward her car. He hated to use force after what she’d been through, but she left him no choice. She was in shock and nothing he could say would have her trusting him. He held her wrists with one hand and with his other hand at the small of her back, he guided her from the car, but not before he plucked her purse from the front seat; she’d need ID to cross the border.

He put her in the back seat of his vehicle and activated the child locks so she couldn’t jump out. About halfway down the driveway, she bashed him in the head again.

“Goddammit! Will you please stop doing that. Can’t you see the blood trickling down the side of my head? That fucking hurts. Next time you do it I’ll have to restrain you.”

“Let me out of the car.” She furiously jiggled the handle.

“I’m not going to hurt you. Your sister sent me to help you.”

Her head shot up and her eyes met his in the rearview mirror—tormented and worried eyes.

“Eve is safe and so are you now. You can stop hitting me.”

Without answering, she lay on the back seat and kicked the glass on the rear door repeatedly. Augie pulled the car over, and she sat up immediately. His backpack was on the floor, and he reached down, feeling around until he found the rope inside the pack. Then he climbed over the seat and into the back. Her eyes went wide and then glassy, and her breathing sped up. She was frantic and he felt shitty for what he had to do, but he couldn’t risk her fleeing or hurting herself trying to run away. He buckled her tightly into the seat and then tied her wrists together in front of her body. When he had her secured, he tilted her head up and looked into her furious eyes.

“Mia, I promise I won’t hurt you. I’m sorry for restraining you, but it’s only to keep you safe. Eve
did
send me to help you.” She didn’t respond.

As he put the miles behind them, his mind kept recalling the color of her eyes. They weren’t gray. Were they purple? No, lavender? A cross between gray and lavender. The color was mesmerizing. Her eyes were definitely her greatest asset. In comparison, the rest of her was plain and thin, what was referred to as the girl next door. Nothing special. Her hair was a mousy light brown. Her skin was beautiful, like her sister’s, but Eve had won the gene-pool lottery in that family with her abundant curves. Instead, Mia was a little slip of a thing. She was bony and spindly. He’d felt her thinness when he’d manhandled her to the car. He frowned at the memory.

He drove for two and a half hours before they entered Toronto. She stirred in the back seat.

She coughed. “I need to use the restroom.” Her voice was still raspy from the fucker’s rough treatment.

“We’ll stop and get a room for the night in Toronto. You can tend to your needs at that time.”

She looked out the window and mumbled, “Are you going to escort me
hogtied
through the hotel lobby?”

He couldn’t stop the laugh that broke free. Her head shot up and her eyes simmered at him.

“There’s nothing at all funny about any of this. First chance I get, I’m going to have you arrested.”

“That wouldn’t be wise. As I said before, I’m here to help you.”

“I don’t need your help.”

“Really? Because it does seem that you were passed out from strangulation when I found you. When I
rescued
you.” He grinned into the rearview mirror. “When I sent two armed assailants running.”

Her knotted hands instinctively went to her throat before she frowned at the rope and knot and lowered them.

He exited the highway and then drove to a fast food seafood restaurant. He drew a hat from his pack and jammed it on his head. Then he turned and untied her wrists. She rubbed them, and he offered an apology.

“Fish and chips any good here?” He pulled the car into the ordering line. In the rearview mirror, he saw that her neck showed bruising and irritation. Damn, he’d already failed her. A chill spread through him when he considered what would have happened if he’d delayed another second.

“My name’s Augie. As I said before, Eve sent me to get you. It seems Renaud has finally exhausted his options, and so any hopes he has of finding her rest with you. He knew that going after you would lead to Eve.”

“Why do you keep calling her that?”

“When she left she changed her name to Eve.” He moved up in the drive-thru line. “So is it any good?”

She turned her head from where she gazed out the window. “Is what any good?”

“The food.”

“I’ve never eaten here.”

“Maybe we should go somewhere else. What’s good?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you like?”

“I don’t often eat restaurant food.”

At the window, he paid for their meals. As he drove he thought about what she’d said. She was a strange one. “So you don’t have a favorite restaurant?”

“Be hard to say. The last time I ate at one would be family vacation as a child. Seems like we went to a diner; I really liked the waffles.”

“What about McDonald’s?” He rolled down his window and pressed a button to retrieve a receipt allowing him to enter a parking structure.

She shook her head. “Never been.” They walked from the garage to a motel around the corner.

“That’s so weird.” She was definitely the most peculiar woman he’d ever met.

And he’d met more than his share of peculiar folks.

*

Could Mia trust this man who said he knew her sister? She recalled the thick hands that had been on her throat and not being able to breathe, and she placed her own hands at her neck and gasped.

Augie’s hand landed on her arm as he regarded her with wide eyes. “Are you okay? You need some water?” He dug around in his backpack and offered her a bottle. She took it, and then he lightly traced the tender skin at her neck. “I’m sorry.”

After what had happened in her kitchen she didn’t know who to trust. He seemed honest, and in her gut she felt he was truthful, but she didn’t understand what was going on.

He was a nice-looking man, even with the blood dried in his hair and scalp. Tall and muscular. His clothes fit pretty snug and with him standing before her, she could see just how tight his body was. His jeans were faded and he wore cowboy boots. He even had one of those belts with the big buckles. His snug and threadbare light blue T-shirt completed the contemporary cowboy look. His hair was a dusty blond, dark at the scalp and sun lightened on the ends. He wore it messy, a look she liked.

His hands were full, and he handed her an envelope. “Get the door, will you?”

“I’ll need the key.” And the lock. She didn’t see one.

“It’s a keycard.”
Keycard
? She saw the slot in the door and put the pieces together. She dug around in the envelope and removed what seemed to be a credit card. She swiped it in the slot, heard a click, and opened the door.

“Shall we eat?”

“I’m not hungry, I want to shower, and I need …”

“Right.” He tugged her to the bathroom.

“Unlucky for you, there’s a window so I’ll have to monitor your bath.” He pointed at the tub. “Draw a bath.”

“But I take showers.”

“If you want to get clean tonight, it’ll be a bath. Fill the tub first. Once the water is off, you can get into the tub. One more rule: I’ll need you to strip down out here. And no towels. When you’re done, I’ll greet you with a towel.”

Her blood simmered. “I don’t think so.”

“No? Okay, how about an option? You’re very scrappy and I’ve yet to thoroughly search you, so you can strip down in front of me to demonstrate that you aren’t hiding anything that could cause me or yourself harm or”—he raised his palms in the air and wiggled his fingers—“I can thoroughly search you. Mind you, this requires my hands on you.”

So he wasn’t dumb. She’d actually snagged a fork from the lobby and thought of bending the prongs back into a makeshift knife. She turned away from his knowing gaze, plugged the tub, and turned on the water. On second thought, a bath would be calming.

BOOK: Seize (St. Martin Family Saga: Emergency Responders) Book 2: Erotic Romance
11.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Playing by the Rules by Imelda Evans
Just Say Yes by Phillipa Ashley
Mercenary Little Death Bringer by Banks, Catherine
Gator on the Loose! by Sue Stauffacher
An End and a Beginning by James Hanley