eBook Details

In the Dead of the Night

By: Terry Spear | Other books by Terry Spear
Published By: Terry Spear
Published: May 07, 2011
ISBN # 9781458035486
Word Count: 79,596
Heat Index   
Eligible Price: $4.99

Available in: Mobipocket (.mobi), Epub, Adobe Acrobat

Categories: Romance>Contemporary Romance>Suspense/Mystery/Thriller

Description

In the Dead of the Night by Terry Spear - Romance>Contemporary

Allan Thompson arrives in Waco, Texas for a mission of utmost importance--protect a terrorist's mistress from being the next victim on his hit list. But when the mission goes down wrong, Jenny Brant is nearly killed and Allan begins a new mission--protect her at all costs--as her faux husband until she can regain her memories.

Everything about the mission seems wrong--all starting with one Jenny Brant who doesn't fit the profile of the kind of woman Wilson usually hooks up with. Allan and his team must protect her, but at what cost to his own sanity or his heart?

Jenny Brant begins to regain her memories, but when she learns she has a huge inheritance that Wilson wants by marrying her, and the agent Allan Thompson will marry her instead to secret her money away with the Agency's protection, she still can't remember why she would have been a killer's main squeeze. When Wilson's thugs try to return her to him, she becomes less sure of who the good guys are and who she truly is.

The only thing she knows for certain--if someone doesn't take down Wilson, her life is forfeit.
 
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Excerpt:
Chapter 1

“Are you sure the bastard is staying here?” Allan Thompson whispered to fellow A.T.A. agent, Dale Smith.

They hid in the shadows of the thirty square foot storage building, a good three hundred feet from the suspect’s house. Terrorism was the new game in town. The newly formed U.N. sanctioned Anti-terrorism Agency had agents tracking down terrorist cells all over the world.

But tonight, four special agents watched for signs of Thurman Wilson at the Texas redbrick, ranch-style home outside of Waco. When it came to extorting money for Columbian-based terrorist activities, he acted as a financier extraordinaire.

Dale stroked his red beard. “One of our agents sighted Wilson with the woman earlier today in town. Then she came directly back here. Our agent lost track of him though.”

Allan fought the urge to break into Jenny Brant’s house to ensure she remained safe. His black t-shirt dripped with sweat, not only from the eighty-five degree heat and humidity that hung heavily in the air, but from the anxiety that plagued him concerning the welfare of Wilson’s latest conquest. Then the woman appeared at the dining room window, her long blond curls cascading down her shoulders over a pale blue satin robe. She peered into the night as he and Dale stared at her in silence.

The cicadas and crickets sang their raucous chorus as an owl hooted from a nearby tree. The stiff breeze swished through fields of corn across the street and nearer by, the sound of cows moving about in the darkness added to the country melody in the dead of the night.

But the woman garnished all of Allan’s attention for the moment. What kind of a woman would succumb to the charms of such a man? All of Wilson’s lovers ended up dead. For the first time, Allan and his team saw one of his women alive before Wilson’s thugs finished her off.

Allan had an overwhelming desire to keep her safe. Not because of how pretty she was, but because he couldn’t stand the idea they might be too late to save her, if Wilson decided tonight she would be history.
Yet, Allan couldn’t jeopardize the case. If Wilson showed up, it would be the closest they’d ever gotten to apprehending the sick bastard.

Jenny reached her hand up to the side of the window and tugged at something. A white shade drew down, lower and lower, until all he could make out was the shadow of her petite figure against the fabric. Then she moved away from the window and stood at another. Each time, she gazed into the dark. Was she looking for Wilson’s return? Or was he in the house already? They couldn’t be certain. By the time they located the place and scoped out the area, it had been too late to slip in a few bugs.

Allan’s gut clenched with concern. Nothing felt right about the woman, or the situation. Was it because they’d found one of his lovers alive for the first time?

After she shut the remaining shades, the lights in the house turned off, first in the kitchen, then the living area. The light in the bedroom flipped on after a few seconds.

Agent Cameron Polansky moved toward them in the shadows, holding a thermos of coffee and a stack of Styrofoam cups. Ruggedly built, with a cleft in his chin the size of the Grand Canyon, the man exhibited a pillar of calm under any circumstance. “See anything?”

“Ms. Brant pulled all the shades shut, then turned out the lights,” Dale said. “No sign of anyone else in the house. Though we can’t be absolutely certain he’s not in there. One of the agents thinks Wilson sighted him in town earlier today and may have spooked him.”

“What’s her involvement in all this?” Cameron asked.
Dale poked his boot into the grass. “Probably a pawn like the last one and all the others. Wilson likes a steady diet of young women, only they normally don’t live long enough to tell any tales.”

The light from the bedroom turned off.

Agent Samuel Stevens joined the group and nodded in greeting. “The house is quiet. The woman must have gone to bed.”

Allan and the others watched for any sign of movement on the roughly ten-acre sized lots, the land split between each home in long narrow rectangles, making for acre-sized front yards and nine-acre long backyards. Live oak and native mesquite dotted the land, breaking up the level terrain. Next door a handful of cattle stood sleeping. The occupants of the brick home there also slept. At two in the morning, it was to be expected. Allan glanced over at the wood framed house on the other side of hers. No lights on inside there either.

What was she doing up so late at night? Was she an insomniac? Or was she worried because Wilson hadn’t returned home? The notion sickened Allan. How could the beast worm his way into these women’s lives, then destroy them in an instant? If they knew how his henchmen would use a few expeditious carvings of a knife to remove their identities afterward...

Bastard.

Allan shifted his attention to the surrounding area again, trying to get his anger under control. Stark security lights hung from twenty-foot high poles, stretched faint fingers of illumination into the countryside estates. But farther out where the A.T.A. agents stood, the area remained pitch black.

Wrought iron lights on the front and backsides of Jenny’s house provided additional security. But for the agents tonight, the lights gave them a pretty good view of any movement at the front and back of the house. From the blueprints they’d obtained, the garage on the east side of the house had no windows, but on the other, two windows gave access to the master bedroom, both cloaked in darkness.
Still, they watched the area for any movement with night vision goggles.

Allan shifted his weight. “What do we know about her?”
Cameron studied the house. “Tax accountant, twenty-four, blond, green eyes, a real looker. You know, the way he likes them.”

“Only after he’s done with them, they’re not much to look at.” Dale shook his head. “Sicko. We’ve got to get him this time.”

Allan frowned. “I’ve seen the photo of her.” Catlike green eyes and a smile that wouldn’t quit. Heart-shaped face with creamy skin and dimples to boot. Great figure, and silky, honey blond curls that rested on her shoulders. A heart breaker. He knew what she looked like, and she was way out of his league. The type of woman who had a string of boyfriends, had to have. What he wanted to know was what else did they know about her?

“Personal habits? Friends?”

Cameron poured steaming hot coffee into a Styrofoam cup and handed one to Dale. “Best friend, Roxie Adams, works with her in the tax office. Known each other since they were in kindergarten. Both graduates of Baylor University, both have master’s degrees in accounting. She and her friend volunteer at the animal shelter, soliciting support for homeless pets and adoptions for them.”

Allan frowned. The whole scenario didn’t seem right. None of the other women Wilson had been involved with had been that well educated. They didn’t own their own homes, or have decent jobs. They were young, pretty, and unattached like her, but Jenny didn’t fit the rest of the profile at all.

Cameron passed a cup to Samuel. “Jenny’s parents are retired Army, live in Florida. She’d been engaged to a man for a year, and they broke up. He’d been seeing someone else on the sly. As far as we know, she’s been seeing this clown for three weeks.”

“That’s a record. Are you sure there’s not something more to his interest in her?” Allan accepted the cup of coffee Cameron offered him. “I’ve never heard of him sticking with a woman that long. Chances of his getting caught are increased tenfold.”

“Yeah, well, maybe he’s really got a thing for this one.” Cameron shrugged a shoulder. Tall and rock-solid, he was Allan’s six-foot height and a crack shooter with any kind of a gun he got his hands on.

“Right,” Samuel said, sarcasm dripping from his voice. “The man can’t have a long-term commitment with any woman.”

“Oh, and the lady’s got a permit to carry a concealed weapon,” Cameron added.

“Why?” Allan asked.

“For self protection, I suppose, living alone in the country.”
Samuel shook his head. “It won’t do her any good against Wilson and his thugs. Why don’t folks leave it to us trained professionals to handle?”

A four-legged critter moved on the property to the east, and the men all turned to face it.

“Damned cows,” Samuel said. The blond-haired, chunkier built, ex-marine, born and raised in Sacramento, California, didn’t care for country stakeouts.

“It’s a horse,” Allan said, amused at his partner’s mistake.
Dale and Cameron chuckled under their breaths.

“Whatever,” Samuel grumbled.

Cameron motioned to the cornfields across the road. The stalks reached six foot and swayed in the hot breeze as if they danced to some musical beat, the wind whistling with a whoosh through their golden leaves. “Come on, Samuel. Let’s move back into the field so we can watch the front of the house and get away from the cows.”
More chuckles ensued.

The two men moved off in the dark, skirting the homes and the lights and disappeared.

“So what do you think, Allan?” Dale finished his coffee, flattened the cup, and stuck it into his shirt pocket. “I mean, about the woman. Think he wants her for some other purpose?”

Allan had never heard of Wilson taking a woman into his organization to serve as a terrorist member. Love them and dump them...dead, was his practice. “I’m not sure what to think. But it doesn’t sound like his usual M.O.” Uneasiness gripped him, and he was certain it was all due to the fact that she was still alive, and he feared she wouldn’t be for long.

Headlights from the road caught their attention. The tension in Allan’s gut mounted. “Might have company.”

Though they were already hidden in the dark, they crouched down, waiting to pounce like panthers, their muscles tense, their guns drawn, readied for their prey.

The pickup truck drove on past in a westerly direction. Dale cursed under his breath.

Allan sighed deeply, trying to take the edge off his raw nerves. He preferred a firefight to staking out a house any day. But in this instance, he’d rather be inside, guarding Jenny, than watching from a distance. He couldn’t shake the disconcerting notion that one of Wilson’s henchmen might still slip into her house unnoticed and turn her into another statistic. If Wilson was aware the A.T.A. agents were breathing down his neck, he’d place Jenny on the terminal list immediately.

Another fifteen minutes passed and they heard two men whispering to one another as they approached from the west, their footsteps crunching on the graveled circular drive, still cloaked in darkness.
Allan touched Dale’s shoulder and motioned for him to head west. If it wasn’t Wilson, the terrorist was sending a couple of his thugs. If that were the case, Jenny’s life was in danger of being terminated, quickly.

***

Harsh, hushed words woke her from her sleep. Jenny rolled over on her side in the queen-sized bed. She touched the empty place where Thurman Wilson usually slept this time of night. But their relationship had been horribly strained for the last day and a half.

He wanted to marry her at once, but she had to delay it as long as she could, hoping he wouldn’t become suspicious. Before long though, she knew she’d have to act, one way or another.

She glanced at the clock. Nearly half past two. Then she recalled Thurman hadn’t come home. Had she been dreaming that she’d heard voices?

Or was he home now, talking to himself or speaking to someone on his cell phone?

She pulled her covers aside, sat up, and yawned. Thank God tomorrow was Saturday, no work.

The sound like the popping of firecrackers went off outside. She shook her head. Idiot neighbors. Didn’t matter the time of year, they were always shooting off fireworks or shooting dove or something. Though the hour seemed a little odd.

She tucked her hair behind her ears and rose from the bed. The central air conditioner clicked on, humming as it worked, spinning a cool breeze about her head.

Half asleep, she padded barefoot out of the bedroom and down the carpeted hallway. “Thurman?”

By habit, she never turned on lights as she moved around in the dark, not wanting to wake herself up. She knew where everything was, as long as Thurman didn’t move anything. The back outdoor lights provided a nightlight kind of illumination in the living and dining area through the shades on the windows. But when she stepped into the living room, she realized at once something wasn’t right. It was too dark. One light bulb might have gone out, but all three at one time?

Before she could investigate, the doorknob twisted to the French patio doors leading out of the living room and onto the trellis-covered porch. A chill ran down her spine. She stood frozen in the middle of the living room with indecision.

Thurman was the only other who had a key to her place. It had to be him. She relaxed.

Then the door burst open with a bang. She couldn’t see who it was in the dark, but it had to be Thurman. Unless...
She didn’t want to think of any other scenario. He wanted her and badly. He wouldn’t harm her. Not yet.

“Thurman?”

As soon as she spoke, footsteps hurried toward her, but not from the back door, instead from the kitchen. Panic filled her instantly. She turned and dashed for her bedroom, trying to keep her wits about her. If she could reach her gun in the bedside table...

In the Dead of the Night

By: Terry Spear
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