Authors: Stephen W. Frey
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Text copyright ©2012 by Stephen Frey
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.
Published by Thomas & Mercer
P.O. Box 400818
Las Vegas, NV 89140
For Lilly: I’ve always loved you…and I always will.
was a daredevil. He always had been. It seemed as if nothing of this earth could stop him.
“You want me to go in there?” he asked in flawless Spanish. He was fluent in Russian and several Chinese dialects as well. He pointed tentatively at the fence, doing his best to convince the two older men he was scared. It was more fun that way. “Through that gate?”
The grizzled Mexicans exchanged crazy smiles.
“Sí,” one of them answered, trying to hide his guilty, nearly toothless grin. He was worried the young American might see it and then see the light. He gestured excitedly at the gate to distract Troy. “Sí, sí. Vámonos.”
“Take you with this thing,” the other man offered in broken English, doing a better job of masking his own dentally challenged grin than his brother as he held out a rusty, bloodstained
sword. This man still had most of his teeth, but they were crooked and yellow. “You will need it.”
Troy took the sword just as a beautiful, dark-haired young woman trotted up and handed him a bouquet of flowers. “Gracias, señorita.”
“You’re welcome,” she answered shyly. “Buena suerte.”
“I don’t need luck,” Troy answered confidently, lifting the sweet-smelling bouquet to his face as he stared over it into the Spanish angel’s dark eyes. “But I will need a kiss when this is done.”
“Sí,” she murmured. “I will give you.” She glanced warily at the huge animal that was pacing around and snorting on the other side of the fence. “If you live.”
“No,” Troy said softly but firmly as he gave her that penetrating gaze they all seemed to love. “I want a kiss even if I die.” He hesitated. “Maybe your touch would bring me back,” he whispered. “Please, señorita.”
He saw her imagining the fantasy. Then he saw her desire burning behind the fantasy. He loved being able to tempt her that way. He couldn’t deny it.
Nature had blessed him with rugged good looks, a bravado women adored, and the ability to touch their hearts and souls quickly and deeply with his soft words and that haunting gaze. He used those blessings whenever he could.
The young woman tried to hide a guilty smile of her own from the two older men. “I will kiss you no matter what happens.”
Troy nodded. “What is your name?”
He gave her another one of those gazes just for good measure. “I love it.”