Book 6 – Beachcomber Investigations Romantic Detective Series
What price will legendary Dane Blaise have to pay to be the legend?
“This book grabs you from the beginning to the very end. I felt every emotion one can feel…and even cried. How do you top this ? Knowing this author, she will find a way. You can never go wrong reading a Stephanie Queen book…she has written characters who speak to the reader…” —Barbara E. Wasserman
from USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen
Special ops legend Dane Blaise made a lot of enemies in his violent career, but none more dangerous than his first; the enemy he made before he’d been a legend, the one he made at the age of sixteen.
Local juvenile delinquent, Dagmar Hunt had the bad luck of running into Dane at the wrong time and wrong place. Dane knew he couldn’t let Dag get away with what he’d done. Dane was only a kid, but he’d been determined to make Dag pay. He went after Dag and succeeded in getting the notorious badass thrown in jail for a violent crime.
Dag never forgot his need for revenge against Dane. Over the years, while Dag was in and out of jail, he’d held his grudge. As he became more powerful and notorious, Dag made the ultimate threat to get his retribution.
Dane’s past is finally about to catch up with him and now he needs to protect the ones he loves most from paying the price.
“What’s your problem?” Shana said as she brushed past him where he leaned against the kitchen sink. She reached for the freezer door handle. Pulling it open, she grabbed the bottle of tequila by the neck.
“I’ll have a shot of that.”
“No kidding.” She rolled her eyes.
He’d need Shana to help him.
“Want to do me a favor?”
“You mean besides pouring you a shot?” She went to the upper cabinet and removed two short glasses.
“I mean professionally.”
She stopped what she was doing and took a closer look at him. He could hold up under Shana’s scrutiny. There was only one person who could rattle him with a look. And she was on her way.
“What do you need?”
“I need you to sit second chair protecting my mother.”
“Someone threaten her?”
“Not lately.” A bolt of pain shot through his shoulder blades. He’d have to tell Shana about the threat. Even with all the hell he’d been through since he left home for West Point after high school, there was no memory that struck more fear in his heart than the threat against his mother.
His mouth was clenched shut as he shut the memory out of his head.
She waited, leaned against the opposite counter with her arms folded across her chest, not hiding her ample breasts because that would have been impossible, but pushing them up, making them more prominent. The glint in her eye told him she was teasing, trying to distract him.
His man-parts told him it was working.
Shana should have been used to Dane having secrets, but she still hated it.
“What haven’t you told me?”
Worry edged into her chest, taking up space where air should be. She’d invited Dane’s mother for the visit. It had seemed the right thing to do. Her own mother was visiting. Why shouldn’t Dane’s mother come, too?
She should have known better—that there’d be a reason Dane’s mother had never been here, that he’d barely seen her over the years, from what he’d told her. Nothing was simple or easy with her partner Dane Blaise. But she knew he loved his mother.
If Dane had kept some deadly secret about a threat to his mother, then it was on him.
Unconvinced by her own logic, she watched his blank face. He was his usual sphinxlike self.
“Spill it, Dane. Professionally, I need to know.” She needed to know personally even more, but this wouldn’t be a wise time to go there.
It was a skill she’d developed out of a need for survival, speaking as if nothing was amiss, as if all was perfectly normal, as if she was calm. All while her gut twisted into knots fueled by her imagining the worst.
“Maybe I shouldn’t be concerned,” he said. She knew it was a lie.
Again, she managed to sound cool while anxiety flared through her veins. Then when her imagination got around to the worst possible thing, the horrible thing that had happened to him and that baby, her insides felt like she’d downed dry ice, like her insides were so cold she would turn to vapor.
“Is it Dag?”
His eyes flared and sharpened.
“What do you know, girlie?”
He hadn’t called her girlie in a long while. She’d kind of missed it, if the blip in her pulse was a clue. Then she realized she was right about Dagmar Hunt and her blood went from frozen cold to pumping wildly in near panic.
“I know he’s your worst nightmare. He’s your only enemy connected to your past and your mother.” She heard the bump in her otherwise calm voice.
She eyed the kitchen drawer where she kept her Glock and itched to hold it, to feel it in her hand. She needed something to grip. Sweat formed on her upper lip as her cool deserted her. Dane’s sharp eyes spotted it.
Or he could have just been staring at her mouth like he sometimes did. Wishful thinking.
He picked up his glass and knocked back the Patron. The damn man’s eyes didn’t even glisten with the sting. Still no sign that he was bothered. Except she knew he was bothered, more than bothered. He was afraid. That would be the only reason for him to go into shut-down mode now. With her.
“Tell me what’s going on.”
He turned and walked to the back door, pushed it open and stepped outside into the cool twilight. She thought he was going to ignore her, avoid or put off telling her, but he waved his arm, motioning for her to follow.