Friday, June 14, 2013

Bad Traffick (Leine Basso Series) by DV Berkom (Excerpt)

Chapter Two

Leine Basso checked her watch one more time. How long can a lunch take? She'd followed him to the diner and took up position on the other side of the street, out of sight behind a minivan.

Waiting had never been her strong suit. When she was in the business working for Eric, she'd learned to pass the time until the target appeared by memorizing every detail in the immediate vicinity. In fact, many times she'd arrive days early in order to scope out the activity of the area where the hit would take place. Bus schedules, vendor movement, deliveries, residents walking their pets. Nothing escaped her notice. Her attention to every facet of the job turned out to be one of the reasons she was still alive.

But, she was no longer in the business and now her impatience was getting the better of her. Catching a glimpse of him, even if for a moment, would suffice.

What if he sees you?

She shrugged off the thought and shifted from one foot to the other. The day was warm, with one of those deceptively clear skies so prized in Los Angeles. If she didn't know better, she'd think the air was safe to breathe.

Although she hated to admit it, she was getting used to being in L.A. again. Breathtaking pollution aside, the city had a draw she'd always found hard to resist. The residents' laid-back fa├žade masked the frenetic hive-like activity, and everyone who stayed there, rich or poor, had the attitude they were living the dream. Deceptive.

Like her life.

The door to the diner swung open and a young couple stepped onto the sidewalk. Leine checked at her momentary disappointment and took a deep breath. Give it a rest, Leine. He'll come out eventually.

Minutes ticked by before the door opened again. Detective Don Putnam emerged onto the sunlit sidewalk and slid on a pair of sunglasses. Santiago Jensen followed seconds later, jacket slung over his arm, dark hair tousled as if he'd only just rolled out of bed.

Leine's heart rate kicked up a notch as she watched him cross the sidewalk and open the door to the light-colored sedan. The force of her emotions rocked her, unbalancing her equilibrium. She prided herself on iron-fisted control, but when it came to Santiago Jensen the ability to think rationally deserted her without a backward glance. Viewing it as her body's ultimate betrayal, she knew enough to keep her distance. She'd be damned if she was going to add to the current problems in her life.

Or his.

Like an addict trying to kick a habit, she allowed herself the occasional glimpse. Not too close, she reminded herself. She didn't want him to know she was there. She'd done all she could to move the case against her old boss along. Once the murders were solved and Eric was behind bars, the two of them would be free to see where this attraction might take them. Until then, she had to keep her distance or Jensen could lose his detective's rank, or worse, his job.

Jensen tossed his jacket in the backseat and started to get in the car. At the last minute, he hesitated, and his head snapped up. He straightened his shoulders and slowly pivoted, scanning the block. Leine moved to the shadows as he turned toward her, but was a second too late. His eyes locked on hers.

Her heart thudded in her chest. She clenched her fists, nails digging into flesh, fighting the urge to go to him. He remained motionless, his expression like a magnet. They watched each other, neither breaking eye contact. Leine could almost hear the electricity snap between them.

The draw between them was like nothing she'd experienced with Carlos; or any other man, for that matter. It was an addiction and she was at a loss as to how to proceed. The harder she tried to forget, the more the feelings came back with an intensity she could barely endure. She woke up often having dreamt of him.

She needed to bide her time, wait until they could be together. She had to break contact or she might act on impulse and compromise the case. She wouldn't rest until Eric was behind bars. The death penalty would be too good for her scum-sucking ex-boss.

In the end, she didn't have to do anything. Putnam reached across the seat and honked the horn to get Jensen's attention. The spell disintegrated. Jensen turned to say something to Putnam.

Leine disappeared before he turned back.

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Genre – Romantic Suspense

Rating – PG13

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