Deputy US Marshals Miro Jones and Ian Doyle are now partners on and off the job: Miro"s calm professionalism provides an ideal balance to Ian"s passion and quick temper. In a job where one misstep can be the difference between life and death, trust means everything. But every relationship has growing pains, and sometimes Miro stews about where he stands with his fiery lover. Could the heartstrings that so recently tied them together be in danger of unraveling"
Those new bonds are constantly challenged by family intrusions, well-intentioned friends, their personal insecurities, and their dangerous careers"including a trial by fire when an old case of Miro"s comes back to haunt them. It might just be enough to make Ian rethink his decision to let himself be tied down, and Miro can only hope the links they’ve forged will be strong enough to hold.Books in Series:Marshals Series by Mary CalmesBooks by Author:Mary Calmes Books
I COULDN"T control the whimper of delight. Since we were out in Elmwood, where we never were, I"d begged and pleaded with Ian to stop at Johnnie"s Beef and buy me a sandwich before we got to the house we were sitting on. I hated stakeouts; they were so boring, and I tended to use them as an excuse to eat good instead of the alternative. It could be argued that an Italian beef sandwich with sweet peppers was not, in fact, a gourmet meal, but anyone who said that had obviously never had one. Just opening it up, with the smell that came wafting out" I was salivating.
"This better be worth the long drive outta the way," Ian groused.
No amount of grumbling was going to get in the way of my happiness. And besides, he owed me. The day before, on our way to the same stakeout, I"d stopped and gotten him hot dogs at Budacki"s"Polish with the works, just how he liked it. I"d even broken up a fight over ketchup between a native and an out-of-towner while I was there and still managed to deliver the goods. So swinging by the beef place was the least he could do.
"You wanna screw the sandwich"" he asked snidely as he started on his pepper and egg one.
I lifted my gaze to his, slowly and purposely seductive, and I got the catch of breath I was hoping for. "No. Not the sandwich."
He had opened his mouth to say something when we heard the shots.
"Maybe it was a car backfiring," I offered hopefully, having peeled back the wrapper, ready to take a bite. On this quiet tree-lined suburban street, the kind with white picket fences and people walking their dogs and little A-frame houses with picture windows, it could definitely be something other than a gunshot.
His grimace said no.
Seconds later, a man came flying across the street and down the sidewalk past our car that was sitting quietly on the storybook street at a little after one on a Tuesday afternoon.
"Motherfucker," I groaned, placing the sandwich gingerly on the dash of the Ford Taurus, out the passenger-side door seconds later.
The guy was fast"I was faster, and I was gaining on him until he pointed a gun over his shoulder and fired.
It would have been a miracle if he"d hit me"he was moving, I was moving"but still, I had to make him stop. Stray bullets were bad, as we"d learned in our last tactical seminar, and more importantly, we were in a small, quaint residential neighborhood where at this time of day, women could be jogging with strollers, followed by beagles or labradoodles. I would make sure reckless discharge of a firearm was tacked on to the charges as soon as I had the guy in custody.
He shot at me a second time, missed me by a mile again, but it was enough of a threat to make me alter my course, cross into a heavily foliaged yard, and cut through two others"one with a swing set, the other with wildflowers"to catch him at the corner. Arm out, using the classic clotheslining move I knew from my days of fighting in foster homes, I had him off his feet and on the pavement in seconds.
"Oh shit, what happened"" Ian asked as he came bounding up beside me. He put his boot down on the guy"s wrist, pinning it painfully to the sidewalk as he bent to retrieve the .38 Special. I"d been the one stepped on before, so I knew the pressure hurt like a sonofabitch. "Look at this. I haven"t seen one of these in years."
I nodded, admiring my FIORENTINI + BAKER suede boots on him, not even caring if he messed them up, loving more that what was mine, he considered his.
"This is a nice gun that you tried to shoot my partner with," he said menacingly, his voice icy.
"I"m fine," I reminded him. "Look at me."
But he didn"t; instead he lifted the gun and bumped it against the stranger"s cheek.
"Fuck," the man swore, his eyes wild as they rabbited over to me, pleading.
"How "bout I make you eat this," Ian snarled, much more pissed than I"d realized as he hauled the runner up off the sidewalk and yanked him close. "What if you"d hit him""
The man was either smarter than he appeared or his survival instinct was exceptionally well honed. He correctly surmised that talking back to Ian at that moment, getting lippy, was a bad choice. He kept his mouth shut.
"Everything"s fine," I soothed Ian as police cars surrounded us.
"Freeze!" the first officer out of the car yelled.
Instead of complying, I unzipped Ian"s olive green field jacket, which I was wearing, and showed them my badge on the chain. "US Marshals, Jones and Doyle."
Instantly they lowered their weapons before surging around us. Ian handed off both the prisoner and the gun, and told the officers to add reckless discharge of a firearm to whatever else they were charging the guy with.