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An Ill Wind (Security Specialists International #5)

By:Monette Michaels

as killed while running drugs for the Sinaloa cartel. Now my brother's doing the same damn thing. The sheriff can do much better than dating the sister of criminals."

"So that's why you ignore me as if I had rabies or something?" Levi Gray Wolf came around the corner of the counter and entered the small computer area situated to the side of the ER triage desk.

While Fee was attracted to Trey's particular brand of tall, dark, and ruggedly handsome, she wasn't completely immune to the picture Levi made. He was six-foot-four-inches of muscular alpha-male with distinct teddy bear tendencies when it came to women. She'd once seen him carefully carry a laboring woman into the emergency room, crooning to her in his deep, soothing voice and then remaining by her side until her husband had arrived.

Right now, with his long, straight, dark hair tied back and his dark amber eyes flashing with sparks, he looked fierce, ready to take on whatever demons plagued Pia.

A muscle in Levi's sculpted jaw twitched as he ground out, "I could fucking care less about your father and Ernesto's cartel connections. I'd be dating you … not your family."

"But your job … what would the county commissioners say?" Pia stared at him. Emotions chased across her face-fear, wariness, and longing.

Damn, her friend had it bad, almost as bad as Levi from the expression on the warrior's face.

"They could fire you-" Pia faltered. "After what happened in Columbus … with the mayor and the police department … "

Pia had a valid point. Right before Fee had arrived in town, the Columbus police chief, the majority of his staff, and the mayor had been convicted of running guns across the border for the cartel. The county commissioners had cleaned house and dissolved the police department altogether and appointed a temporary mayor. The Luna County Sheriff's office had taken over policing the town. Levi had to keep his office clean and above reproach after the scandal and its aftermath, which had brought intense scrutiny to the area from the state and the Federal government.

"Pia," Levi crooned, his tone that of a man trying to lure a frightened animal to come to him … to trust him. "I don't care about this job. There are other jobs. I want you."

Pia shook her head, either in denial or disbelief.

It was a toss up in Fee's mind which emotion her friend felt. Fee wasn't even certain Pia knew, either.

"Um, I need to ch-check on some-something," Pia stammered, tears welled in her eyes, her gaze fixed on Fee and nowhere near Levi.

Then the nurse hurried off, brushing by Levi who'd refused to move out of her way. He growled under his breath. "Goddammit, Pia."

"Levi-" Fee drew his attention when it looked as if he'd chase after Pia. She wanted to give her friend a chance to regain her composure. "Have you arrested the murdering dickhead?"

After one last, longing look at Pia's retreating figure, Levi turned. His face was dark with his repressed feelings for Pia … and anger.

Fee's gut clenched. She didn't do well with angry males.

But when Levi spoke, his tone was cool and all business. "Benito Rivera is on the run. I put out a BOLO on him. We'll find him. He's a stupid motherfucker." He moved toward her. She stiffened, but didn't retreat. Levi's emotions were under control-he was like Trey in that respect.

Levi's gaze traveled over her face. "You okay?"

Fee appreciated his concern. She'd dealt with Levi a lot since she'd started work at the clinic, because of the local drug and cartel violence that had been frequent and bloody. She considered him a friend.

"Yes … no." Her lips twisted into a wry smile. "You'd think with all the blood and gore I've seen in my time here and back in Detroit, I'd get used to the horrors man can perpetrate on his fellow human beings, but … but what happened to Trina-" She shrugged. "It hit me-and Pia-hard."

Harder than she'd admit to Levi. Abuse toward women hit far too close to home.

No matter her emotional status, she'd deal. She still had duties toward Trina and her unborn child.

Levi's face grew even darker. "What specifically caused the deaths? You were light on the details over the phone."

"It's all here." Fee put the can of soda down, picked up the report she'd typed and printed out, then added it to a copy of Trina's medical file she'd made for Levi.

"The fetus died from a lack of oxygen as a result of Trina's loss of blood from multiple stab wounds. The bastard severed Trina's splenic artery"-more like hacked it up-"and the internal bleeding was catastrophic. Trina had no blood pressure by the time she was brought to the clinic. I … I did everything I could, but … "

Fee choked on the anger and grief lodged in her throat. She coughed, then continued, "She had no fricking chance. Not even getting her to a major trauma unit would've saved her."

She shoved the medical file at him. "My official report of fetal abuse and death is in the file. It is also my personal and medical opinion that the murdering asshole was the reason for Trina's previous emergency visits … every blessed one of them. His repeated abuse led to Trina's death. I've given you all my medical notes and observations. At this point, Trina's medical privacy is moot and my hands are no longer tied."

While New Mexico law required Fee to report the death of a fetus brought about by abuse, it fucking well hadn't allowed her to report the ongoing domestic abuse toward Trina since such a report violated Trina's privacy.

Levi frowned at the thick file in his hands and then flipped through it. "Jesus Christ, there's almost a hundred pages here. How many times had she been seen?" He reached the back of the file and inhaled sharply. When he looked up, his expression was that of inchoate rage. He'd obviously reached the part of the file where Fee had photographically documented Trina's damage from her boyfr