HERE TOMORROW 7 PM PST TAMRA BAUMANN AUTHOR OF: CROSSING DOUBLE
7 PM PST
Brent Keiser, a certified genius, and forensic accountant works for the FBI mostly because of their awesome retirement plan. Growing up homeless with a ditzy mother can make a guy be a little obsessive in the saving for the future department. But just once, he'd like to get out in the field, maybe actually fire a gun or chase after a bad guy like the other agents. Although, solving crimes with his calculator is statistically much safer, and he'd live to enjoy that house on the beach he saves for each payday.
Sara Chapman used to be a card-carrying member of the Hollywood rich kid pack, but after serving community service, she said goodbye to her spoiled friends. Seeing the plight of the homeless up close and personal gave her new direction. But that doesn’t deter the annoying paparazzi. Her parents were the famous ones, not her. Sara’s only recent claim to fame was for having the most embarrassing public break up in the history of the entire world. Unfortunately, they don’t give Oscars for those, so she is trying to keep her head down and to stay as far away from single men as possible.
But then Sara becomes unknowingly tangled up in Brent’s money laundering case against her father. When it becomes hard to tell the good guys from the bad, she turns to Brent for help. While on the run for their lives, the built, nerdy accountant with magnificent abs, transforms into her personal superhero. Opposites in almost every way, will Brent see her as his Kryptonite or his Lois Lane?
While Sara poked buttons on the navigation console, he spotted a big discount department store ahead. “Maybe they have maps.”
Sara looked up from her task. “Even if they don’t, could we use our money to splurge on one thing?”
He pulled into the parking lot and found a space away from the building and hopefully any cameras. “If you’re going to ask for makeup, princess, you can forget it.”
Sara rolled her eyes. “We don’t have toothbrushes. Or toothpaste. I have a thing about clean teeth.”
So, did he. “Yeah. I’ll grab that. Anything else?”
“Yes. Could you please buy yourself a better attitude while you’re in there?”
Ignoring her smart comment because they needed to hurry, he got out and headed for the big sliding doors. Tooth stuff and an atlas then they could get back on the road. But not before he called Rick to get an update. He took out his phone and dialed the number, but it went directly to voicemail. He left a message, quickly updating his friend on what they were going to need, asked him to look into camping to stay off the road during the day and off the grid, and then hung up.
As he headed for the music and book section, Sara’s words about his attitude echoed in his brain. And poked at his conscience. Sara hadn’t complained once while he’d dyed and cut her long pretty hair or when she’d had to walk barefoot. Or even when she had to eat fast food for dinner.
Her fiancé had just run off with her best friend, and now her father’s criminal business partners were trying to kill them. And she’d even subjected herself to a search to satisfy his mistrust.
He’d been too quick to judge her. She wasn’t the spoiled princess he’d assumed she was based on social media searches. She’d kept her cool under pressure and was being braver than most would in their situation.
Maybe he would get himself a better attitude about Sara. But he’d not allow his attraction to cloud the fact that he might have to arrest both her parents. As much as he was starting to like and respect Sara, she’d hate him at the end of the mission. Better to keep emotional distance for both their sakes. But they needed to operate as a team if they were going to succeed.
He’d google Sara and see if she’d ever mentioned what her favorite candy bar was in one of her many interviews. She’d never know he’d done that, and it might win him some much-needed team points with her.
Archaeologist Gabby Knight has been living under an assumed identity to steer clear of her mobster father’s enemies. But when she suspects her father of plotting to steal a priceless statue buried in New Mexico, she risks everything and sets out for the desert to beat him to it—and to save him from making a grave mistake. Breaking into a secluded cabin to wait out a blizzard, she’s not worried about visitors. It’s not like anyone would be traveling in this kind of weather…right?
Wrong. Detective Jake Morris has been ordered to take an overdue vacation, so he’s looking for some quiet time in the isolated retreat. But getting clobbered over the head by an auburn-haired firecracker wielding a cast-iron pan wasn’t the relaxing start he had in mind. Using a lot of charm and a little help from his prophetic ex-wife, Dani, he soon discovers who the sexy intruder really is.
Serving justice is in Jake’s blood, so he can’t help but join Gabby on her quest to protect the statue and catch a thief. To properly do his job, Jake knows he can flirt but better not fall. After all, what kind of future could a cop and a mobster’s daughter hope to have?
Jake tried to open his eyes, to defend himself against the next blow, but couldn’t find the strength. Flowery perfume filled his senses as something cold and lumpy landed on the aching side of his head. Like frozen veggies? What the hell had just hit him and why?
A voice whispered, “Please don’t die. Please don’t die. I’m so sorry I hit you. Please don’t die.” She lifted his head and then laid it back down on something soft. He opened his mouth, to ask who she was. “Whaaaa?” But it came out garbled.
“Oh, good. You’re waking up. But you can’t tell my father you found me. I can’t let you do that. So, I’m sorry I have to use this duct tape on your hands. And for smashing your phone.”
Your father? Duct tape? What the hell? Is it Shelly from the store? No, she’d never have been able to get to the cabin first. And what about my phone?
God, my head hurts.
His hands were lifted and then wrapped together in duct tape at his wrists. He really needed to snap out of it and put an end to things. But instead, everything went black again.
The next time he heard her voice, she was whispering, “Oh God. Please wake up. Please don’t have brain damage.” Then tapping sounded. “Hurry, WebMD, tell me what to do for this poor man I hurt.” She huffed out an exasperated breath. “Here it is. Pupils enlarged. Slurred words. Fuzzy vision. Needs ER. Got it.” Soft fingers lightly brushed his forehead. “I’m so sorry I hit you. What can I ever do to make it up to you? I was just trying to hide from some bad people, not become one. But you’ll probably never believe me when you wake up.”
The woman was hiding from bad people? Pressure on his left eye and then a blinding light brought him fully back to his senses. He blinked both eyes open. Focus wasn’t the best, but he could see well enough to make out a pretty redhead, with her hair in a thick French braid, kneeling by his side, shining her cell phone light at him. She wore a thin, white tank top without a bra. Was he in heaven? He’d always had a thing for built redheads, and, boy, this one was just his type.
She leaned closer and whispered, “Hi. Are you okay?”
“Urgh” was all he could manage.
“Oh jeez. You do have brain damage. And it’s all my fault. I thought you were someone else, and then when I calmed down, I realized you had bags of groceries. Who’d bring bags of groceries to capture me? No one, that’s who. You probably live here, and now I’ve gone and damaged your brain. I’m so sorry.”
He might’ve laughed if his head didn’t feel like it’d been run over by a garbage truck. He cleared his throat and tried again. “I’m okay,” he managed to croak out. He tried to sit up, but with his hands bound in front of him, he gave up and lay back down on the pillow under his head. A pillow? She couldn’t be too sinister if she’d placed a pillow under his head.
“Thank God.” She slipped her long arms underneath him and tugged him up and into a sitting position. She was amazingly strong. “Let me help you to the couch. You can’t be comfortable on that hard floor.”
He cringed at the thought of her touching him, but he needed her help to sit up. Then his brain took a spin around his skull. “Hang on. Give me a second here.” He closed his eyes and waited for the cabin to stop spinning. “What’s your name, Pippi?”
She sighed. “I know. Red hair. And I’m tall and gangly like Pippi Longstocking, too. It’s why I never leave the house with a braid. But it makes it easier to comb my hair out in the mornings. Oh, and I’m Gabby. What’s your name?”
“It’s not morning.” He opened his eyes again to be sure. Luckily, things had stopped spinning. “And it’s Jake.”
“Well, it’s good you know the time of day, Jake. Maybe you don’t have brain damage after all. Ready now?” She insisted on helping him stand, but his head hurt too much to argue.
When they were both fully erect, he was surprised they stood eye to eye. She was just about six feet tall, and he loved that. He’d always had a thing for tall women. “Why is your father after you?”
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