Hearts on Fire 2: Michaela

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer


Prologue




“You think I won’t kill her? You think I can’t? I’ll fucking do it!” the guy who’d just grabbed Michaela yelled toward the deputies. His grip was tight around her midsection.

She cried out as he grabbed her and not one of the other women nearby. Like maybe the snappy secretary who kept batting her eyes at the officers walking in and out of the main area.

No, instead he chose Michaela. This was a damn police department. How the hell could something like this be happening here?

Michaela Smitt was amongst the civilians, not a cop, not working undercover. She was just trying to get the legal documentation to have an abandoned vehicle removed from the small house she’d just brought. There was no title, the owner was deceased and didn’t leave the car to anyone, but the tow truck company wouldn’t take the vehicle without clearance from the owner, or a title. She was told that the police could help, and she showed up by their request to sign some papers.

She’d only moved here a week ago. New Jersey by the shore was supposed to be peaceful. She was also trying to stay under the radar, which right now, Alonso, her good friend and detective working her case back in New York, would not be too happy with the situation.

Well shit, neither am I.

At least one good thing happened so far today. She interviewed for a job as a bartender for a local place in town that did a lot of business called The Station. The owner, Burt McCurran, hired her on the spot. He was a burly older man with an Irish brogue and a great sense of humor. He took a liking to her immediately. She should have stayed there and enjoyed an 11:00 a.m. drink with some of the patrons.

She didn’t need the job, but she needed to work to keep her mind off of New York, and the fact that she nearly died. Now here she was being held by gunpoint as she waited for the damn sheriff to arrive because the snotty secretary said he had updated information on the owner of the vehicle. It was another problem that would hold her up from getting the hunk of junk out of her driveway.

With the barrel of a gun pointed at her, for the second time in six months, Michaela was feeling like surviving was just temporary, and now she would meet her maker.

“You don’t want to do that, Leonard,” someone stated, and when Leonard turned her to the right, she locked gazes with a drop-dead, halt-in-your-tracks gorgeous man in uniform. He was tall, over six feet that would put her five feet five inches to shame. He had brown hair, some blonde streaks and a wide chest and shoulders that had him stepping through the doorway sideways. He even had to duck a little and perhaps her initial estimate of his height was short a few inches. He looked pissed off, and he was the only one not holding a gun. But his uniform was different than the other officers’. She stared at his gun, and it remained in the holster on his hip where his hands sat as if he casually planned on negotiating with the jerk holding her.

“I’m not going to jail, Sheriff,” the man said, and she could smell the alcohol on his breath. She cringed from the smell. He didn’t look like he was fully with it. She had noticed him standing next to a deputy the moment she was asked to sit and wait for the sheriff. The deputy had just uncuffed him as the man spoke with someone by another desk who was smiling and laughing. He obviously was pretending to cooperate.

“Let her go, Leonard, and we can go into my office and talk this through. There’s no reason to hurt anyone. You’ll regret it,” the sheriff said.

“They lie. They all lie. I didn’t do a thing wrong. I don’t belong here. I wasn’t bothering anyone.” Leonard had become agitated quickly. His grip on Michaela tightened, his hand moved higher and an inch more and he would be cupping her breast. As it was now, he was awfully close.

The sheriff must have read her thoughts as he squinted his eyes and appeared as if he were losing patience. “Release the woman and we’ll talk.”

“Fuck you!” Leonard yelled, pulling her backward and toward another room. Her low-heeled sandals scraped across the flooring as she gripped his forearm to stop from falling. She damned the stupid blouse and camisole she wore as it spread wider, by the man’s hold, giving a good view to all officers watching. She was not small up top by far, and could practically feel the cool air from the air-conditioned room hit the cleavage of her breasts. The skirt she wore fell just above her knees, but by the way he held her, she had to be showing off more thigh than she was comfortable with.

She swallowed hard as he hit the wall behind him and she nearly lost her footing. The sheriff and the deputies inched their way closer, but still kept a distance.

“Where are you gonna go, Leonard? There’s nowhere to go. Let’s talk about this.”

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