Miami, mistletoe & murde.., p.11
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       Miami, Mistletoe & Murder, p.11

         Part #4 of Red Stone Security series by Katie Reus
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Page 11


  She snorted and he was aware of her following closely behind him. Even though it was probably just some kids vandalizing the neighborhood, he still pulled out the weapon he always kept strapped to his ankle, in case it was something worse. The cops might have taken his other weapon, but he had a permit and he didn’t go anywhere without a gun. It was like a limb and pretty much everyone who worked for Red Stone carried one. Considering the danger they saw every day on the job, it was stupid not to.

  Carefully, he opened the front door and saw a big, burly man running away from his truck. That wasn’t a teenager. “Hey!” he shouted, but the guy didn’t stop, just sprinted faster.

  Travis looked back at Noel whose eyes were wide. “Call the cops. ”

  For a moment, he contemplated running after the guy, but there was nothing valuable in his truck and he didn’t want to leave Noel alone. Hurrying outside, he glanced at his truck as he passed it. The passenger side window was smashed to bits and his glove box was open. Racing to the road, he saw the taillights of a vehicle disappear around the corner. He slid his weapon back into its sheath, his hands clenching into fists. Why the hell would someone target his vehicle here of all places? It was a quiet, fairly safe neighborhood. Not liking the dark foreboding sensation that weighed on his chest, he strode back to Noel’s house. The open glove box bothered him. He didn’t have anything valuable in there. Just his registration that had his home address and other personal information.

  A couple hours later, after the uniformed officers had taken a standard report and he had a copy to send to his insurance agency, he was beat and he could see how tired Noel was. They’d had a long day—and not with the ending he’d hoped for—but he was glad it was his truck that had been vandalized and not her car. And he was glad he’d been here. If she’d gone outside by herself and that guy had decided not to run away… No, Travis couldn’t even think like that. The only thing still bugging him was that his registration had been taken. His condo was secure—with one of the best security systems out there thanks to Red Stone—but he didn’t like anyone knowing his home address. Sighing, he shoved that thought away. He’d talk to his boss later this week and see if maybe there was something going on at work that he should know about.

  Noel shut and locked the door behind the officer and sagged against it. “I’ve never had to file a police report or even talk to cops then all of a sudden these past few days…” She shook her head and rubbed a hand over her face, looking as if she was ready to fall over on her feet.

  He pulled her into his arms, tugging her flush against his body. She melted into him, laying her head against his chest. Travis savored the feel of her molded around him. He knew nothing else would be happening tonight and that was fine with him. The moment was over and Noel was too damn tired. He just wanted to hold her. “I’m not trying to invite myself over, but would you care if I stayed in the guestroom tonight?” After the break-in he didn’t like the thought of leaving her alone and yeah, he wanted to stay just because he couldn’t stand the thought of being separated from her.

  She shook her head and her hair tickled his nose. “I was going to ask anyway. ”

  He wasn’t sure how long they stood there holding each other, but he eventually got out the words he’d wanted to say for a while. Considering they’d only been on one technical date, he told himself to hold off, but he just couldn’t. Some primitive, possessive part of him just wouldn’t shut the hell up. “I don’t know how to say this without sounding…” He cleared his throat and barreled on. “I don’t want to date anyone else, Noel. I know it’s soon, but I want us to be exclusive. ” Did that sound as lame as he felt? God, he sounded like some asshole high school kid.

  When she looked up, her eyes bright with something he couldn’t quite define, he knew he hadn’t screwed up. “Good because I feel the same way. ”

  Her words wrapped around him, settling over him like a blanket, making him feel peaceful in a way he hadn’t experienced in years. Part of him wondered when the hell everything was going to go wrong and when she’d be taken from him, but he shoved the negative thoughts aside and pulled her tighter. He already knew how precious life was. He wasn’t going to waste a moment of his time with her.

  Chapter 9

  Reggie tucked his gun into the front waistband of his jeans before pulling his thick jacket down over it. He’d turned off the engine to his truck and without any heat he was starting to get edgier. His body alternated between cold and hot and he knew that had little to do with the weather. Adrenaline pumped through him at rapid speeds as he tried to get control of his emotions. It was damn near impossible, though. Christmas was only two days away and no one gave a shit that his brother had been murdered, or that Reggie was grieving. Dwight was dead and that asshole who’d killed him was just living his life without a care in the world.

  Reggie had been trying to get close to Travis Sanchez for two damn days. He’d gotten Sanchez’s home address from stealing the guy’s truck registration from his glove box. Should have been easy enough to get to him after that, but the condominium where he lived had decent enough security that he didn’t plan to break in there. And he had a feeling the guy’s place also had a security system. It made sense from what little he knew of him.

  He’d attempted to get close to the guy a couple times and he’d seen the outline of a weapon under Sanchez’s jacket once. The guy clearly carried a weapon even after shooting his brother, and while Reggie didn’t think he was in law enforcement, he had to have a tie to them or something. Reggie hadn’t been able to get any more information on the guy or about the night of the shooting.

  Since Alisa was still in the hospital, getting to her during visiting hours had been impossible. There was always someone in her room and while he didn’t want to hurt her, he didn’t mind intimidating her as long as she was alone.

  Rolling his shoulders once, he stepped out into the cool air. A couple holding hands and carrying to-go cups with steam coming off the tops strolled past him talking about how great the cold weather was and some other bullshit about presents. Shit he didn’t care about. Revenge was the only thing that mattered right now.

  Having a gun was a complete parole violation, but what he was about to do was a bigger one. While he hated involving anyone else in this situation, the Sanchez guy had given him no choice. Reggie was going to have to use his girlfriend or whoever that chick was against him. He’d been with the woman every second for the past couple days. They hadn’t been separated until this morning. She’d gone to her coffee shop then he’d taken off on foot wearing a fucking suit. Reggie had tried to follow him, but when the guy had eyed him curiously he’d crossed the street and headed in another direction, acting as if that was his intention to begin with. He’d kept a safe distance the first couple of days, only watching the guy from his vehicle. He’d been so damn close only just this morning. But with too many witnesses on the street he never could have killed the guy and gotten away clean.

  Keeping his pace unhurried as he strolled down the sidewalk, he pretended to tie his shoe when he saw the owner of the coffee shop talking to one of her female employees as she locked up. Reggie had learned she was the owner when he’d gotten coffee from the place earlier that morning. He’d also heard that she’d taken off the past couple days to spend with her new boyfriend. A boyfriend who wasn’t going to be around much longer.

  When the owner slipped mittens on and headed in the opposite direction, Reggie stood and resumed walking. He didn’t plan to hurt her unless she forced him into it. The only thing he needed her for was bait.

  * * * * *

  Noel tucked her deposit bag into her purse and rounded the corner of her building. Normally she had someone walk with her to her car, but she’d closed up early and her employee, Rita, had been running late for her daughter’s Christmas recital. She glanced over her shoulder, but there was no one around. And there was no one in her small parking lot

  Before she could change her mind, she fished her cell phone out and dialed Travis. They’d spent pretty much every second of the last two days together. She’d even taken off work and had a mini-vacation in town. He was on a mandatory vacation and she owned her own company so she figured why not? Why not find out what was really between them? She almost never took time off. Her employees had been surprised, but they were all capable.

  And oh my, she couldn’t get enough of Travis. They hadn’t had sex—yet. But she was pretty sure they would tonight. Things had been building so hot between them… but first, she needed to work up the courage to ask him one simple question. They literally talked about everything under the sun but she’d been a freaking coward about asking him what his plans for Christmas were. Since it was now two days away, she realized she needed to suck it up. Part of her was afraid that everything between them was too good to be true. She’d been burned in the past and while Travis was nothing like her sleezeball ex, she couldn’t let go of certain fears. That if she wanted something too much or admitted it out loud, it would be taken from her.

  He answered on the first ring, silencing all her fears for the moment. “Hey, honey. ”

  She loved the way he said that. Of course she loved the way he groaned her name when she got him off with her mouth or hand even more. Tonight she planned to hear him shout it as he pushed deep inside her. She’d had enough of the buildup. Now she wanted the real thing. The thought of his cock piercing had freaked her out a little at first but after some interesting reading online, she’d found that it should be very pleasurable. “Hey, yourself. ”

  “Where are you right now?” His deep voice sent pleasurable shivers skittering over her entire body.

  “About to get in my car. ” She pressed the keyfob as she neared her hybrid.

  “Do you mind waiting in your shop? I’ll be there in a minute. ”

  He’d parked a block away today and met her as she opened up the store. She’d told him he could park in her lot, but he hadn’t wanted to take away a spot from a customer. He was so thoughtful about everything, it amazed her. “Uh, sure. Is everything okay?” Relocking her vehicle, she started to turn back around when a man wearing a jacket and hood over his face rushed her.
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