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Fire and Hail (Carlisle Cops #5)

By:Andrew Grey

Fire and Hail (Carlisle Cops #5)
Author: Andrew Grey

Chapter One

TRAFFIC DUTY. Of course they assigned him traffic enforcement. Brock Ferguson was the newbie in the department in every way.

Hell, he wasn't going to complain-he knew he was the luckiest guy on earth to have this job at all. When he'd applied, he was told there weren't any openings and they'd put his résumé in the file in case something came up. He hadn't had much hope, but then he'd been called for an interview just ten days later because one of the officers decided to move back South. He'd worked hard to make a good impression and seemed to have pulled it off. Of course, that meant he now got to sit in a patrol car watching vehicles as they passed by, their speeds registering on the radar system installed in the dashboard.

Vehicles of every description passed in front of him, everything from tiny Smart cars to huge semitrailers. He checked the speed of each one and yawned. Hours of sitting with the engine running, and even then the air-conditioning barely kept up with the heat from the sun pouring through the windows. It was like being in a tin can roasting in an oven, with no place to go. Brock hadn't moved in forever. It seemed the word was out about where he'd been stationed. Everyone was slowing down, driving sedately past him, and probably speeding up as soon as they were out of sight. Still, he knew the purpose of him being there was to act more as a deterrent and get people to slow down in the first place.

A red sports car with the convertible top down passed, going fast enough that the radar peeped. Brock put the car in gear, flipped on his lights, and pulled out, joining the flow of traffic and keeping the offender in sight. As he drove, he called in to report the stop and gave the license plate to the dispatcher to make sure the car hadn't been reported stolen. The other cars got out of the way, and when Brock stayed behind the offender, the driver pulled to the side. Now he needed to be careful. Traffic stops, while routine, could also be dangerous. He got out of his car and walked up to the other vehicle, where a head of thick black hair poked up above the seat.

"Could I see your license and registration, please?" Brock asked as he looked over the inside of the car, checking for any sort of weapon. "Do you know how fast you were going?"

The driver turned to him, and Brock stared into a very familiar set of eyes.

"Vinny," Brock said, relaxing a little. "I see you still drive like a bat out of hell." He waited for him to hand over his license. "I guess some things never change."

"I prefer Vincent now," he said.

Brock ignored the comment and went back to his car to run the information. Not that he needed the driver's license. He knew everything there was to know about Vincent Geraldini. He'd learned enough while the two of them dated years earlier. Granted, it hadn't been for very long, but just as Brock thought they might be getting serious, Vinny-Vincent-had backed away.

Vinny's record came back clean, and Brock sat in his car a little longer than was necessary, thinking about what he was going to do. At the speed Vinny had been going, writing a citation was discretionary, so Brock was still debating. Maybe he could write him one for being a dickweed. Brock opened the door, got out of his car again, and returned to Vinny.

"Are you going to give me a ticket?" Vinny asked. He was always the kind of guy who tackled things head-on. It had been one of the things Brock had first liked about him. There was no backing down in Vinny. He always asked what he wanted to know and stared people down until he got an answer.

"I'm still deciding." Brock opened his pad and began writing. Usually he'd do that in the car, but he wanted Vinny to squirm a little and wonder exactly what he was doing. Not getting the answers he wanted was one of the things Brock knew would get under Vinny's skin, and he wanted that at the moment. Sometimes it was easy to do, such as moments like this when Vinny was not the one in control. "Are you visiting?" Brock asked, having noticed that the address on Vinny's license read Shippensburg.

"No. I moved back to Carlisle recently and I still have to get the address on my license changed." Vinny gave him his new address, and Brock added that to the information on the sheet.

Brock had to force himself to keep writing when Vinny turned his way once again, tilting his head upward just enough that Brock got a good look into his intense brown eyes with their flecks of gold. For a split second, he flashed on a memory of just how those eyes shone in the afternoon sun, his olive-colored skin contrasted against the blanket, covered with a light sheen of sweat as Brock leaned over him … . Brock took a deep breath, released it, and hoped like hell that Vinny hadn't seen anything in his expression. What had happened between them had no bearing on today and how he was going to react.

"I'm going to give you a warning. But … ." Brock leaned over the side of the car, his gaze zeroing in on Vinny, and he suppressed a smile when he saw him shudder a little. "This will stay in your file here, and if you get stopped again, this will turn into a citation, along with the one the officer is sure to give you then. So slow down and drive safely."

"Of course, Brock." The momentary heat in Vinny's eyes dissipated as he took the slip of paper. "I'll be careful."

Brock glared for a split second. He wasn't buying that act. Vinny had never been one of those guys who played it safe. Not at least as far as Brock knew.

He patted the door of the car twice and stepped back. "Have a good day." He turned to walk back to his patrol car.

"Is that all?" Vinny asked.

Brock continued walking and got inside, watching as Vinny pulled out into traffic and guided his car up to the next intersection. Brock turned off his