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An Ill Wind (Security Specialists International #5)

By:Monette Michaels

gely murdered mother and her unborn baby.

Wearily, Fee glanced at the clock. 11:00 p.m. Damn. She was only four hours into her twelve-hour-shift at the two-bed emergency room located in the Stanley Parker Health Center. Time had raced by as she'd tried to save Trina from bleeding out. The baby'd had no chance at all.

At the moment, all Fee wanted to do was crawl into a hole, pull it in after her, and cry for the unnecessary loss of life. But that would have to wait; she needed to be there for the next injured person who required care.

Arching her neck, she sighed. On nights like these, she thought maybe she should've gone into dermatology as her family had urged.

That's the depression talking. You love the adrenaline ride and the challenge of emergency medicine.

Yeah, she did. While battling injury and death in the ER, she felt strong, capable, and more fully alive in a way she could never manage to achieve in her personal life.

That's not true. Trey Maddox makes you feel alive.

Yes, he did and does … but not in control, and Fee had always been a person who needed a sense of control.

Trey was so masculine-and very dominant. When she first met him, she'd been in shock and pain after being stalked and raped by Dr. Adam-fucking-Stall and hadn't been ready to trust another male, especially a large one. She'd also learned how ephemeral control could be and that knowledge had scared her. So, she'd run from her instant attraction to Trey.

Running had done no good. She'd finally acknowledged that fact last month when Trey had surprised her with a candlelight dinner in the ER break room during her shift. Her heart still fluttered when she recalled how he'd gently and thoroughly returned her kiss of thanks.

After that last visit, she'd missed Trey terribly. So she finally decided to take the next step in their relationship and go out on a date with him. The decision had been hers and hers alone; Trey had made that very clear from the beginning of his long-distance pursuit. She also knew there'd be no back-pedaling after she finally moved off the dime.

Nine months ago she wouldn't have been okay with this next step. But somehow Trey Maddox had evolved into a man she trusted completely. Where this new path might lead, she wasn't a hundred percent sure, but knew she wanted to explore it.

As Trina's death proved, life could be stolen away in an instant; so Fee needed to begin to live each day as if it were her last.

"Here," a can of Diet Pepsi was thrust in front of her, "you look like you need some caffeine."

"Thanks." Fee turned and attempted to smile at Pia.

"You okay?" Pia leaned a small but shapely hip against the computer station. Her pretty face was couched in lines of concern. Her dark eyes looked as tired as Fee felt.

"Nope," Fee said. "How about you?"

"Been better." Pia looked down the short hallway toward the cubicle where Trina lay, covered by a sheet.

Fee swivelled her chair so her back was to the computer monitor and the horrific story of violence and sudden death now detailed in black and white on Trina's chart. "It never gets any easier … especially when we knew she was in danger. We should've-"

"¡Basta! Don't even go there." Pia reached over to rub Fee's arm. "We did everything we legally could. We counseled her, gave her referrals to the shelter … "

None of which had done a shit load of good and had been like putting a band aid on an arterial bleed. The State of New Mexico had basically tied the medical staff's hands.

" … and without Trina's cooperation … " Pia trailed off and sighed. "When will someone come to take our statements and transport her to the coroner?"

Fee's lips thinned. "Any time. Sheriff Gray Wolf is taking control of this death investigation personally."

Eyes flashing dark fire, Pia hissed and muttered, "Maldición, Levi! Cielo sálvame." Which Fee who'd picked up a lot of Spanish in her months in New Mexico loosely translated as "Damn, Levi! Heaven save me."

Fee narrowed her eyes. "What is your problem with the sheriff?"

"Nada." Pia's response came out sounding like the snarl of the bobcat Fee frequently caught rooting through her garbage can.

"I call bullshit." Fee took a sip of her soda and allowed Pia's issues with the sheriff to push the two deaths out of her mind for the moment. "That man has the hots for you, and you don't give him the time of day." She pointed her can at Pia. "Levi Gray Wolf is one fine male specimen. Unlike most of the single male population in the area, he has a job. He's also a decent human being who doesn't abuse women, children, or animals, which is also a rarity around here. You should be all over that. And shall I mention again lest you've failed to notice?-he is f-i-i-ne."

Pia bristled. Fee could almost see the hairs standing up on the nurse's body.

"Look who's talking," Pia shot back. "You have sex-on-a-stick, tall-dark-and-handsome visiting you from up north almost every month-and you won't even eat a meal-in public-with him."

"Not true," Fee said. "I've had meals in public with him."

"But only when your brother's with you," Pia pointed out with a smirk. "Or when Trey brings food into the clinic as he did on his last visit."

"I know you had a hand in that, getting your mama to fix the meals for Trey outside of her diner's hours," Fee said. Pia smirked, but remained silent. "Anyway, after Trey's last visit, I missed him. A lot. So, I've decided to go out on a real date with him-just the two of us and in public-the next time he visits."

"Really?" Pia straightened and shot her such a look of disbelief that Fee laughed.

"Really." Missing Trey had made her heart hurt, and if that wasn't telling, then nothing was. She'd also had very hot dreams of him kissing her all over. "I'm manning up … so what are you gonna do about Levi?"

"Nada." Pia looked away. "My father w