Authors: Aimee Thurlo
SHE FULFILLED A PROPHECY…
For P.I. Paul Grayhorse, there were no secrets—thanks to his special Navajo gift. He knew why U.S. Deputy MarshalKendra Armstrong found him in the canyons of New Mexico. Reopening the case that ended his marshal career and killed his partner did more than haunt Paul; it put him in the crosshairs.
NOW HE FACED A CHALLENGE…
Using Paul to flush out her fugitive was risky, but teaming with him was downright dangerous. In his arms, Kendra felt like a woman, with a woman’s desires. But with his powers, could she hide her biggest secret—that she’d fallen for him? And that for the first time in her career, she was afraid…afraid to live without him if she couldn’t get her man?
“You’re used to getting your way with women, but I’m out of your reach.”
“Not at all,” Paul murmured, the warmth of his breath touching her lips.
Kendra stepped around him. “I came to New Mexico to retrieve a suspect. That and staying alive are my only priorities.”
“Life is short. Enjoying special moments is all we’ve got,” he said. “Don’t pass them up.”
“I’m not your type, Paul. I want a lot more from a guy than a good time in bed.”
“So you’re looking for your forever guy?”
She nodded. “As I see it, the real danger is settling for something less.” She needed to believe that, but Paul had awakened a new yearning inside her. It remained deep inside her heart—a temptation couched in two simple words.
With special thanks to the following gentlemen who were there when I needed their help. You’re all terrific.
Art Lester, Retired Deputy U.S. Marshal
Duffy Spies, Retired Deputy U.S. Marshal
Sergeant Ryan Tafoya, Bernalillo County Sheriffs Department
Secrets of the Lynx
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aimée Thurlo is a nationally known bestselling author. She’s a winner of a Career Achievement Award from
RT Book Reviews,
a New Mexico Book Award in contemporary fiction and a Willa Cather Award in the same category. Her novels have been published in twenty countries worldwide.
She also cowrites the bestselling Ella Clah mainstream mystery series praised in the
New York Times
Aimée was born in Havana, Cuba, and lives with her husband of thirty-nine years in Corrales, New Mexico. Her husband, David, was raised on the Navajo Indian Reservation.
Books by Aimée Thurlo
988—COUNCIL OF FIRE‡
1316—WINTER HAWK’S LEGEND††
1333—POWER OF THE RAVEN††
1394—SECRETS OF THE LYNX††
‡Brotherhood of Warriors
*Long Mountain Heroes
CAST OF CHARACTERS
A sniper’s bullet had killed his partner and ended Paul’s career as a U.S. marshal. Now the shooter was back, planning on finishing the job. Paul’s only hope of putting his demons to rest was by teaming up with a sexy marshal who’d already made her own share of enemies.
Just as she was closing in on a fugitive, she’d been pulled off the operation and reassigned. Was this just a ploy to protect one of their own playing both sides in a gun running operation? Unfortunately, the only man she could trust right now was a dangerous distraction who might just get her killed.
A dedicated professional, he was a tenacious police detective who lived for the job, but Paul was his foster brother, and family always came first.
Thomas was Kendra’s supervisory inspector, a career man well respected in law enforcement. He’d lost faith in her abilities and wanted her on desk duty. If she couldn’t bring in the fugitive trying to kill a former U.S. marshal, he’d come down from Denver and do the job himself.
The former military sniper turned hit man had changed his appearance more than once, so he had an edge. He’d been paid to kill only one marshal, but if somebody else got in the way, he’d take them out for nothing.
A young woman with a criminal record and an ex-con boyfriend, she’d made the short list after setting an officer up to be killed. Yolanda claimed to be innocent. The only problem was, her alibi was on the run from the cops.
He’d escaped the law enforcement net, though his brother was now in prison. With enough money to hire the best wet-work specialist in the country, Garrett stayed in the shadows, waiting for just the right moment to exact his revenge.
She’d fallen on hard times and now worked the streets. She’d do anything to feed her drug habit, even if it meant selling out one of the few men who still treated her with respect.
To Amy Bennett because her cupcakes and cake decorating skills always make people smile.
Paul Grayhorse stepped back into the shadows as a jagged flash of lightning sliced across the darkened New Mexico sky. He had a bad feeling about tonight, and it had nothing to do with the storm raging around him.
Ignoring the pain coming from deep inside his right shoulder, he remained focused. The bullet wound had healed, but the nagging ache that remained was a reminder that even the briefest lapse in attention could have devastating results. In less than three seconds, a sniper had taken the life of his partner, Deputy U.S. Marshal Judy Whitacre. Her death, and the high caliber bullet that had torn through his own shoulder that day, had changed his life forever.
He shook off the bitter memory as he continued to keep watch. It was a typically cold, rainless New Mexico storm, one of hundreds he’d seen while growing up in the Four Corners. There was the usual blend of wind and stinging dust, but no rain or sleet to ease the parched desert.
Given a choice, most people would have stayed inside on an October night like this one. That’s where he should have been, too, sitting in his armchair, beer in hand, watching the football game next to a bowl of corn tortilla chips and hot salsa.
Yet here he was, standing on the lawn beside an old brick office building in downtown Hartley waiting for an arranged meeting with a mysterious, prospective client.
The skies rumbled again and the ground shook, rattling windows all the way down the block. Tense and ever alert, he kept his gaze on the darkened street. He’d considered staying in his parked truck, but this wasn’t a stakeout, and his visibility and mobility would be restricted inside the cab of his pickup.
Tonight was a first. Since leaving the U.S. Marshals Service he’d worked several cases that had involved teaming up with his brothers, but this time he was going solo, and he liked it.
The woman who’d called his agency asking for help had captured his interest right from the get-go. Yolanda—at least that was the name she’d used—had dialed his office late last night. She’d spoken in a harsh whisper, her words coming out in a rush. Certain that her abusive, soon-to-be ex-boyfriend, an officer in the Hartley P.D., would be at his own home tonight watching the game, she’d insisted on meeting in this tiny downtown park after hours. It was near her workplace, she’d said, and on her way home.
All things considered, Yolanda, or whoever she was, had come to the right P.I. He’d never had much patience with bullies, particularly those who preyed on women.
As the minutes stretched by and the temperature continued to drop, he reached into his pocket for his cell phone and dialed his foster brother, Preston.
Like it was with all his foster brothers, Preston and he had come from completely different backgrounds. Yet, once they’d been taken in by
Silver, the traditionalist Navajo medicine man who’d become their foster father, they’d grown as close, or closer, than blood brothers.
Preston Bowman, now a Hartley Police detective, lived for his job. Even though it was getting close to seven, Paul knew his brother would still be clocked in.
Preston picked up on the first ring and barked his name.
“It’s me,” Paul said.
“What’s up?” Preston asked.
“I’m supposed to meet a client—Yolanda—no last name. She contacted me last night claiming she’d been trying to break up with her boyfriend, a Hartley cop. He’s apparently started using her as a punching bag, so she’s asked for my protection.”
“Hook her up with the chief’s office or Internal Affairs. We have ways of dealing with this kind of thing,” Preston answered immediately.
“I suggested that, but she doesn’t trust the police. She thinks they’ll cover for one of their own.”
“No way. We try to keep things in-house, sure, but we make sure the situation gets handled. We take a dim view of domestic abuse,” he said. “Give her my number and tell her to come see me.”
“I’ll pass that on when she shows up, but if she says no, I’m taking her case.”
“You’re waiting for her right now?”
“Yeah. She’s late. She said six-thirty.”
“You thinking maybe her boyfriend found out she was looking for help?”
“The thought occurred to me, yeah,” Paul said.
“She wouldn’t give you a last name?”
“Nope. She was whispering when she called, so wherever she was, she was worried about being overheard. All I got was a description so I could spot her,” Paul said.
“Blonde, five foot seven, average build. She said she’d be driving a green Ford SUV, wearing a denim jacket and jeans, and carrying a red handbag. She sound familiar?”
“You mean do I know an officer with a girlfriend named Yolanda who fits that bill?”
“Sorry, doesn’t ring a bell. Give me her number and I’ll run it through the system.”
Paul gave him the number straight from his caller ID, then waited.