Read an Excerpt
In Bed With The Enemy
By Kathie DeNosky
Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. All right reserved. ISBN: 0-373-76521-5
Chapter One"Haven't I had enough to deal with for one day?" Elise Campbell muttered when she missed the
keyhole for the second time.
Waiting two hours for the judge to sign the court order had been a study in frustration. Then,
having to listen to John Valente, the new head of the Mercado family, call her "doll" all afternoon
made her feel as if she needed a shower. Now she couldn't see over the stack of files in her
arms to fit the key into her door at the Mission Creek Inn. Thank goodness once she finally got
inside, she could relax and be fairly certain that nothing more could go wrong.
Juggling her purse, the heavy stack of accounting records she'd just confiscated from Valente's
office and a small pepperoni pizza, she made another stab at fitting the key into the lock. In
hindsight, she wished she'd made two trips from the rental car to her room, instead of trying to
carry it all at one time. But with the mid-August temperature well over a hundred degrees, all
she'd been able to think about was getting back inside to collapse in the cool comfort of the air- conditioning.
When she finally heard the quiet click of the lock's release, she quickly turned the knob,
stumbled into the room, kicked the door shut behind her and rushed over to dumpeverything on
the desk. Shaking her arms to relieve the quivering in her strained muscles, she crossed the
room to stand in front of the vent. The cool air blowing over her heated skin felt heavenly and
she decided that after the day she'd had, she deserved a relaxing bath, then a glass of wine with
her pizza before she started poring over the computer printouts.
Checking the connecting door between her room and the one next to it, she sighed heavily. The
lock was broken. What else could go wrong?
When she checked in this morning, the innkeeper had given her the choice between the two
rooms, so she knew the one next door was empty. But that didn't mean it would stay that way.
Taking the chair from the desk, she jammed it under the doorknob. At least maybe it would
slow someone down if they tried to enter her room without an invitation.
Twenty minutes later, she sat cross-legged in the middle of the queen-size bed, nibbling on a
piece of pizza crust while she watched the six o'clock news. The weatherman promised that the
rest of the month in south Texas was going to be a carbon copy of the past few days - hot.
She glanced down at the shorts and tank top she'd pulled on after her bath. It was a shame she
couldn't wear clothes like these to do her job, instead of tailored suits and panty hose.
Shrugging, Elise reached for the glass of wine she'd ordered from room service. She froze with
the goblet halfway to her lips when she heard someone enter the room next to hers. Listening
closely, she detected a single set of heavy footsteps crossing the room. Definitely a man. A dull
thump followed by a succinct curse caused her eyes to widen. Either the man had dropped a
large piece of luggage, or a body. By the phrases he was using, she wasn't sure which. But
whoever the guy was on the other side of the wall, he definitely was not a happy camper.
Moving her 9 mm Glock within easy reach, she slid it out of the holster and released the safety.
She wasn't thrilled that the lock on the door connecting their rooms was broken, but there
wasn't anything she could do about that now. She glanced at the chair still propped under the
knob. If the guy in the next room really wanted into her room, a lock wouldn't prevent him from
gaining entry any more than the chair would. Locks only slowed criminals down, they didn't
keep them out.
When she heard the door on his side of the wall open, she gripped the gun in her right hand,
extended her arm, then cupped the butt end with her left hand. She wasn't the least bit surprised
when the door on her side of the wall swung wide, shattering the chair as it crashed against the
corner of the desk.
A very tall, extremely well-built man with short, dark-brown hair and piercing hazel eyes stood
like a tree rooted to the spot. "I want to know what the hell you think you're doing interfering in
my case, Campbell," he demanded, paying absolutely no attention to the gun pointed at the
middle of his black T-shirt.
"And I want to know what you think you're doing barging into my room without so much as
knocking, Yardley," Elise asked calmly, lowering the gun. She engaged the safety, then
holstered the firearm. "Of course, that's the ATF's style, isn't it? Just storm in without the
slightest thought about the consequences."
"No more so than the FBI's style of sending a woman out in the field to do a man's job," he
Grinding her back teeth at the sexist barb, Elise refused to give him the satisfaction of knowing
he'd touched a nerve. She smiled sweetly. "I see you haven't changed since the last time I saw
you. You're still Caveman Cole, the ATF's very own knuckle-dragging Neanderthal."
He shrugged as he reached into the box on the desk to take a piece of pizza. "Some things don't
change. Your tongue's still as sharp as ever." His hazel eyes twinkling, he gave her an amused
grin. "But if you're wanting to know what my opinion is of female agents working in the field -"
"I already know all about them, Yardley," Elise interrupted as she unfolded her legs to sit on the
side of the bed. "And I could care less. The fact that my superiors have confidence in my
abilities is all that matters." Laughing, she added, "Your opinion certainly doesn't."
She watched a muscle jerk along his lean jaw. Her statement had irritated him. Good. She was
pretty darned ticked off herself.
"When the spit hits the fan, the last thing a man needs is to be watching out for a woman," he
said unapologetically. "Somebody could get hurt or killed."
Excerpted from In Bed With The Enemy by Kathie DeNosky
Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.