Break For Me…

So… did you meet Tate from BURN FOR ME?

It’s time to meet Dean…and Jensen, Tate’s younger sister.


That attitude of hers shouldn’t be so appealing.

He understood the need for the attitude—he’d learned young to cover his, though. Cover the attitude, cover the teeth, all until he had reason otherwise. Jensen had either never learned to hide that attitude, or she just didn’t see the point and as he came to a stop next to her, she all but snarled at him.


He didn’t even have a chance to figure out what to say—a problem with her, because looking into her eyes had a habit of leaving him temporarily dumbstruck. It only lasted a second or two—his mother had a habit of teasing him that she’d know he was serious about a woman when he found the one that made him shut his mouth for more than two seconds, and that woman, apparently, was Jensen.

But those two seconds were two seconds too long because a man he thoroughly disliked decided to make his presence known.

“You know, if it was me,” Detective Jeb Sims said, edging his way into the knot of people, one hand gripping a cup of coffee while the other rested on the butt of his weapon.  He constantly seemed to be touching it.  “I would have gone for the bigger problem anyway, Bell.  Pruitt is a pimple on society’s ass, but you shoulda known he wasn’t going to do much time.  It wasn’t a big bust or anything.  Don’t go getting your panties in a twist.”

Dean tensed, something ugly building in his throat.

Jensen’s eyes went tight around the corners, something so minute, gone in a blink.  She turned her head, the sleek fall of her hair shielding her face from him as she looked at Sims.

“Well, you see, that’s the difference between you and me, I guess, Jeb,” she drawled, her voice cool and lazy, like she didn’t give a damn about anything Sims had to say.  “You see, I was focusing on the man, the meth lab, the laws . . . and the safety of his family.  I’m a cop, you see.  To serve and protect. The size of the bust wasn’t the issue.  The safety of that kid and his mama were my number one concern.”  She shrugged and looked away. “And don’t get too concerned about my panties, either.  I’ll take care of them.”

“I just think—”

“I think you need to not worry about Bell’s cases,” Sorenson said, his voice mild.  The look in his eyes was anything but.  “Don’t you have some of your own to deal with anyway, detective?”

Jeb’s face went a slow, ugly shade of red, but he pasted a wide smile on his face.  “That, I do.  Sir.”

He ignored Dean completely.

After Sims moved out of the area, Dean tried to catch her eye but she looked directly at the chief.  “I’m done for the day.  You have a nice night.”

“You did good work today,” Sorenson said.

She nodded at him, tried to avoid looking at Dean.

You are not just going to completely ignore me. He moved to intercept her.

Her mouth flattened out.

“If you’ve got a minute, detective?” he asked.

“Actually, I’m afraid I don’t have many of them.  I need to wrap things up for the day.  I’m meeting my family in a bit.” She edged around him, moving to her desk with fast, easy strides.

He doubted he was the only one who noticed the looks the two of them got—not that anybody made any effort to hide them.  Nosy fools.  Ignoring the cops loitering in the area, he waited by her desk as she collected some files, moved them into her bag.

“It won’t take but a minute.  I’ll just walk you to your car.”

Something flashed in her eyes, but she gave him a tight smile and strode past him.

He matched her quick strides easily.  She moved damned fast, he’d give her that.  Five foot two, he’d bet, and she moved like the entire world was an obstacle course she had to conquer and she only had a finite amount of time to do it.  They hit the doors and he paused to see which way she’d go.

They were outside in the brilliant light of the summer sun in a moment and he fell into step beside her as she headed down the street.

“You made a clean arrest.”

A withering look came across her face.

“I’m well aware of that, Mr. West.  But thanks for the seal of approval.  It means the world to me.”

Ouch.  She had a bite to her.  Another thing he found all too appealing about her.

There was very little about her he didn’t find appealing.  That just served to make moments like this harder.

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