This week, I’m going to give you a small teaser from my upcoming novella, Watching You.
“Are you seriously kidding me with this luck right now?” Teena Mason kicked the front tire of her government issue SUV only to swear once more as pain radiated through her foot and on to her leg. The steam rising from the hood did little to improve her mood. “Figures. The one time I step up and be nice to my coworker, I get stranded.” She threw her arms up. “In Texas. On some hot ass day that I’m sure means Satan is renting out his home, to take a vacation somewhere nice and cool.”
She winced from her dramatic behavior. “Shouldn’t have done that,” she muttered. She still bore battle scars from her latest assignment, injured ribs. “My fault. Should have known better.”
Teena dug her cell phone out of her suit coat pocket and wished she wore a skimpy camisole and short shorts instead. This pantsuit was hell.
“See that, Satan. I’m apparently now in your armpit. I want to leave. I have places to be.” Namely, her place in New Orleans, Louisiana. “Of course, no bars.” She moved back to the open passenger door. It may be Texas and it may be out in the middle of nowhere but she hadn’t lost the good sense God gave her to be hanging out on the side closest to the road. The interior was its own personal circle of hell as she sat on the seat, trying to activate her GPS service to call for assistance.
Nothing happened when she turned the key. At all. She rubbed the back of her neck and groaned. Not even any juice to call for help. Hopping down, she trekked to the back and opened the rear door. Reaching in, she drew out a bottle of water and uncapped it before indulging. There was an entire case in there. A habit she’d been ingrained with many years ago. With two more in hand, she returned to the front passenger seat.
Not even a breeze could be mustered up to blow and help alleviate the heat. She kept checking her phone, hoping a signal would decide to miraculously appear. No such luck. She also didn’t leave the safety of the truck, that would have also been an insane move. Here she had shelter, water, and the chance of being passed by a truck, car…hell, even a tractor.
She chuckled. “I’d take a ride on a tractor if it got me to a phone that worked.”
When the sun had begun lowering in the sky, she wanted nothing more than a shower and a bed. “Christ, I’m going to be sleeping in this damn vehicle. You owe me big, Jason.”
She leaned back in the seat and used a damp paper towel to dab the sweat off her face and neck. The whoop, whoop behind her, had her cranking her head around to peer out the window.
A large, older SUV with a cherry bar on top had pulled up and stopped, lights flashing.
“Thank God.” She settled back in her seat.
How does one sound so damn chipper in this heat? Even Satan would be in a mood. But this man—at least his voice—sounded in a good mood.
“Hi,” she said angling her body toward the man in uniform.
“You having car trouble?”
She bit back her sarcastic remark. No sense in picking a fight with the local LEOs. “Yes, sir. It up and died on me. Was steaming but now, won’t even turn over a tiny bit. Is there a town nearby I could get some help from? I don’t have any signal here for my phone.”
He crossed his arms over a barrel like chest. “Lot of dead spots along this here road.”
“Figures, there would be in hell,” she muttered. She sat forward and reached for her purse.
“Hands on the dash, nice and easy.” The good mood had slipped away leaving with it the serious business tone of a cop.
Teena followed his demand, moving slow so he didn’t spook. “Teena Mason, US Marshal.” She placed her hands on the hot dashboard, biting back her moan of discomfort from both ribs and palms.
“Left inside pocket of my suit coat.” She ground her teeth, pissed at herself for not identifying herself when he first arrived.
“Two fingers, right hand. Then transfer to your left and give it to me.”
He snatched it from her.
She watched from the corner of her eye, having replaced her hand on the dash once it had been passed over.
“Don’t move,” he ordered.
“Wouldn’t dream of it.” I’ll never hear the end of this now, when it gets back to them. The people she worked with would have a field day with this.
“Sorry about that,” he said, the deep Texas twang rolling off his tongue.
“I understand. You’re just doing your job.” Teena put her badge back. “You saw a gun and reacted. No harm, no foul.”