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Allegiance

The Soul Seekers Series

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: SIZZLING
Word Count: 77,450
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Transplanted California girl, Melanie Sullivan, vows to stay in Oregon until she nails the killer of her best friend, Dani. Mel’s ability to search a soul for innocence or guilt is a big plus. Her love for Billy the Kid, former Marine and now a detective with the 3 Peaks police department is also a factor in her decision. She’s not quite sure what’s going on with Billy. Has the PTSD from his Middle East deployments returned?

When a hate crime is committed in 3 Peaks, Mel is recruited by sexy Homeland Security agent, Mick, who requires her soul-reading ability. Mick doesn’t hide his feelings. He’s more than eager to step in if Billy steps out, a complication Mel doesn’t need or want. As she goes undercover, Mel embarks on a dangerous journey, aided by her Uncle Paco and devoted friends.

Along the way, she learns a valuable lesson about the power of forgiveness.

Excerpt

Does his statement mean I don’t normally look hot? But, then again, why do I care? I try to come up with a plausible explanation for my new look and opt for the truth. “Kendra decided I needed to look sexy since we were going after Eddie.”

Billy perks up. “You and Kendra went to the Ponderosa?”

“Yes, and guess what? Eddie did it. He killed Dani. Not that either one of you want to hear it.”

“I assume you know this because you read it in his soul.” There’s a hint of disapproval in Billy’s voice.

“Yes.” I narrow my eyes at him. “I know this because I read his soul.”

Billy slams his mouth shut and gazes at the floor.

Mick says, “You’re absolutely sure?”

“Yes.”

“Let me think about it. I’ll get back to you.”

“Thanks, Mick. I know it’s not the concrete proof needed to arrest Eddie for murder, but it’s nice to be believed.”

Yes, this is my snarky way of getting back at Billy. In my opinion, he deserves it.

Billy heads for the door. “I’ll be in touch.”

I’m thinking, Oh, really? Why?

Billy opens the door, pauses and looks back at Mick. “You coming?”

Mick makes no move to leave. “Quick question.” He waggles his pointer finger back and forth between Billy and me. “Are you two a done deal? For sure?”

I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Is Mick hitting on me? Now?

Billy flushes. A muscle twitches in his jaw. He takes care not to look at me. “We’re taking some time off.”

Suddenly furious, I say, “Is that what you call it? Time off? So after a month or two, or when you get tired of Haley McFadden, it will be time in?”

I’m aware my voice has taken on an unpleasant, screechy tone, but in for a dollar, in for a dime. The words continue to pour out. “Guess again, Billy. This isn’t time off, like you’re on sabbatical before you go back to the hard work of being my boyfriend. So, let’s call it what it is. Over.”

Mick fights a grin but continues to ignore me and directs his comment to Billy. “Guess it’s no secret I’d like to spend time with Mel. Just wanted to make sure it’s okay with you.”

I can’t believe this. Twice in one night. First, Darrell wants to know if I’m up for grabs. Now, Mick is asking Billy if I’m on the auction block.

Billy also acts like I’m invisible. “Are you saying you want to date Mel? I’m not sure how I feel about that. She might not be ready to…”

“Stop!” I yell. “Do you see me? I’m right here. In this room. And the two of you are acting like mongrels fighting over a steak bone. Let’s get one thing crystal clear. I’m nobody’s steak bone. All I want is for both of you to leave so I can heat up a bowl of noodles in the microwave, take a shower, and go to bed in a man-free environment. Got it?”

Since they’re both obtuse, I look around the room for something to throw. Finding no missiles, I settle for the broom propped in the corner of the room. I grab it like a baseball bat and begin swinging it at both men. “Out, get out!”

They both run for the door. Mick is laughing his butt off. Billy keeps looking over his shoulder, saying, “Wait, wait, we need to talk.”

I slam the door and lock it, thankful I’m alone.

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