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Authors: Nese Ellyson

Darke Heat

BOOK: Darke Heat
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Darke Heat

 

Nese Ellyson

Darke Heat

 

An
MKSP
eBook/ 2014

 

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Published by Master Koda Select Publishing, LLC

www.masterkodaselectpublishing.com

 

Text copyright © 2014 Denise Frazier

 

All rights reserved

 

The right of Denise Frazier to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

 

Cover Art

Stylish Fashion Young Man – Photographer:  Zurijeta:
http://www.pond5.com/artist/Zurijeta

Cover design © Jacqueline Cross

 

Master Koda Select Publishing, LLC functions only as the book publisher and as such, the ultimate design, content, editorial accuracy, and views expressed or implied in this work are those of the author.

 

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any way by any means without the prior permission of the copyright holder, except as provided by USA copyright law.

Chapter One

 

 

“Where’s my dog!” yelled the auburn-haired Valkyrie as she ran toward Bryce. She pushed him hard. Even being prepared, it made him stumble. The added pressure on his wounded leg was more than it could take. She was in full fury, not waiting for him to answer, and pounding on his chest in pure female rage. He knew he deserved it too. When she seemed to have spent her anger, she stepped back and tried to regain her poise.

“Where’s my dog, Bryce? Where is Sheba?” She was still for a moment, her gaze looking everywhere, then frantically searching his eyes for a clue. He could see tears welling up in her eyes. He knew she was thinking the worst.

“Sheba is fine.” Bryce wanted to pull her into his arms and comfort her, but he knew that wasn’t a good idea. He had many more blows to deal her, and it was safer for him if he wasn’t holding her when he dealt them.

“Sheba is fine, Paige.”

“If she’s fine, then where is she?”

He watched her visibly try to rein in her emotions. She was really close to losing it. There was one thing he was hard-pressed to deal with, and it was a crying woman, especially when he was the cause.

“She’s at my place in Michigan.”

“Why didn’t you bring her with you?”

“Well, see my neighbor had to watch her while I was in the hospital.” He could see that news shook her. She looked him over intently.

“You’re okay?”

“I’m fine and all, and so is Sheba, but she went into heat and the neighbor has a Rottweiler, and well, he jumped the fence and they mated before the neighbor could stop them, and well, Sheba is pregnant.” He finished in a rush, just wanting to get the telling over with.

In seconds, the color rushed into her face as pure fury blazed in her eyes.

“You let my dog be covered by a Rottweiler? She was supposed to be bred to Samson. You low down, dirty, stinking...” She didn’t finish. She swung at him. He ducked just in time, but she wasn’t done. She was still trying to hit him when he grabbed both of her hands to protect himself. Then she started trying to knee him. With his wounded leg, he couldn’t allow that. But she sure was beautiful in full snit.

“Cut it out. I’m sorry. It wasn’t supposed to happen. I meant to have her back here the same week I borrowed her, but when I got shot, I was laid up in the hospital for a couple of days and the doctor wouldn’t let me drive for weeks. So I came as soon as I knew you were back from Fort Bragg.”

“No text? No call?” she accused. “I would have come up to get her. Even knowing I might run into your sorry butt. What’s your address? I’m going to get my dog,” Paige demanded.

“No, I’ll take you there in the morning.”

“I’m not getting in the car with you. Just tell me where you live, and I’ll go get my dog.”

“Paige, I’m tired, and I’m going to the farm. I will take you to Sheba in the morning.” He was using his command tone. There was no way he was letting her go get the dog by herself. He needed her to let him have Samson for an upcoming operation. She was working herself up to a full head of steam, but he was staring at her mouth, thinking of all the wicked things he wanted to do with it. She must have noticed where his thoughts were headed.

“Oh, no you don’t,” she said.

“Oh, I think I should.”

“I will deck you,” she promised.

“How are you going to do that when I’m holding your hands?”

He let his thumb slide across her wrist, felt her pulse racing as fast as his. He started to think of what he’d rather be doing with Paige than fighting on her front lawn.

“Get your mind out of your pants.”

“It’s not in
my
pants,” he replied.
It’s in yours, but I’m not going to say it.

“Let go of me,” she said, trying to pull her hands free.

He held tight. “Promise no more hitting or kicking.”

“For now,” she said.

Her mutinous look said she was storing up a lot of angst. His legendary charm was failing him right now. “I’ll be back at eight tomorrow morning to take you up to my place.” Now wasn’t the time to let her know he needed another favor. She yanked her hands out of his grip as he loosened his hold and stomped off.

When she reached the door, she turned.

“Don’t think you can run off and disappear. I will hunt you down like the rat you are and take great pleasure in your comeuppance.” With those final words, she opened the door and slammed it shut behind her.

“Well, that went well,”
he thought in dark humor. He limped back to his car, his leg feeling the strain of standing too long, and headed out to the farm. He’d rest it while he checked in with the local sheriff to see if there was any new information on the drug activity in the area. Things were heating up, and he didn’t want Paige and her dogs in the middle of it.

 

 

Paige slammed the door shut and rested back against it. All the fight had gone out of her. Why did every encounter with that man have to end badly? She couldn’t believe the unmitigated gall of Bryce. He was the most insufferable man. Her infatuation with him would have to go. When would she learn that he was only using her? And not for herself
but for her dogs
! It was just too humiliating.

She walked through the house, and went out back to check on her canine friends. She’d brought them into the air-conditioned kennels earlier. Normally they would be outside enjoying the fresh air, but the heat these past few days, even at night, was too hot. She needed the dogs fresh for training.

She’d need to have Jamie, her assistant, take over in the morning while she went to get Sheba. What was she going to do with German Shepherd-Rottweiler mixed puppies? She had clients waiting for her purebred German Shepherds. She’d check with the animal shelter in the next county to see if they knew of any German Shepherd puppies she could buy. Thinking of the dogs kept her mind off Bryce, but only for so long.

She’d had a crush on him for a long time. They’d shared one fateful night together, which had been a big mistake. It ranked up there as an epic fail. He took her heart and her dog. In all probability, he wanted the dog more. Where she’d considered it the single most important event of her life, to him it was just a one-night stand: a means to an end. When she’d awoken the following morning, he was gone and so was Sheba.

There was no way she was getting in a car with him tomorrow. Her anger was the only thing that exceeded her shame at having spent the night with him. She just wasn’t the kind of woman who could have a one-night stand and feel good about herself afterward. She mentally flogged herself over it, while it seemed that he hadn’t given it, or her, a second thought.

The dogs were settled in for the night, so she went back inside and locked up the house. Patches followed her. He was such a faithful companion. Dogs were so much better than humans. She stripped and crawled into bed. Patches whined wanting to join her. Even though he was big, he was really just a puppy.

“All right boy, come on up,” she said. Patches barked his approval and jumped onto the bed, lying down on the spot where she’d patted. She scratched him behind the ears. “Good boy.”

The alarm going off brought her to full wakefulness a few hours later. She’d been having dreams of Bryce—erotic dreams—and they’d left her feeling hot and uncomfortable. She quickly took a shower to wash away the remnants of the dream, and dressed for her outing with him. After breakfast, she went out to check on the dogs. Jamie was already there.

“Hey, Jamie, can you put the dogs through their paces today. I’ve got to run up to Michigan to pick up Sheba.”

“Sure, Paige,” he said, already putting Dexter through his morning routine.

“Thanks. I should be back by this evening.”

“Okay. I’ll make sure to feed them before I go home.”

“Great, thanks. I’ll be taking Samson with me for a test run, so that’s one less you’ll have to worry about. See you tomorrow.”

She grabbed a leash for Samson and gathered his favorite toys for the trip. He needed to learn to sit during long drives and conserve his energy for when he was needed. So this trip would be good training. If Samson mastered this, then she’d be better able to find the perfect partner to pair him up with.

 

 

Jamie was thankful that Paige would be gone for the day. He kept remembering his conversation with his brother, Ramon, that morning. “You don’t want anything to happen to Mama now, do you? I’m taking over the Dragon’s drug operation, starting with getting rid of Levi first and foremost. Since the little snitch sent me up to the Pen, I figure I’m going to smoke him like a box of Cools and take over. He should have never ratted me out. Now he has to pay, bro. So don’t you go getting all hero on me, ‘cause I’ll squash you like a bug. Then who would be there to protect Ma?”

He slapped Jamie on the back almost knocking him down. Jamie glanced at the man, every inch as scary as his brother, standing next to Ramon. Was he the grim reaper? There was no life in his eyes, as if he were already dead.

“So you go to work and have a good day, while the man and I go about a little business,” Ramon said.

Jamie tasted the bile in the back of his throat. He was terrified for his mother and for himself. Something was wrong with Ramon. He was like the ole man that way. They weren’t right in the head. Mama knew it, and Jamie had experienced their uncontrolled violence at times. He didn’t know who he could turn to. Whoever helped him would be killed, and his ma as well. He’d just pretend everything was okay and pray for a miracle.

When he reached Paige’s place, she was nowhere in sight, until he observed her outside talking to Bryce Prescott. He remembered him from when Bryce lived there before. He’d moved away shortly after he and Ma moved to Darke County. He worked for the police, but he wasn’t sure what he did. Hopefully, Ramon wouldn’t think he’d asked the man to come here.

Jamie was glad that Paige let him know she was going up to Michigan to get Sheba. Maybe he could figure out what he should do while his boss was gone.

 

 

Bryce pulled up in his SUV as she was getting the van ready for the trip.

“Morning, Paige.”

She didn’t feel like answering him. She was still angry and embarrassed. She continued to prep the van.

“I told you I’d drive,” he said from directly behind her.

She jumped, startled, and bumped her head on the doorframe. “And I told you I’d drive myself.”
Great! Now I really have a headache.

“Not if I don’t tell you where we’re going.”

She straightened up and glanced his way. His smile was telling her he had the upper hand, and he was prepared to use it. Little did he know…oh, heck. She may as well go with him, get this over with.

BOOK: Darke Heat
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