Blood Money

Blood Money

by Tee O'Fallon

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Overview

He just might be her savior...or her downfall.

NYPD Detective Gray Yates has major trust issues. Protecting a serenely beautiful woman hiding enough secrets to take down an entire city wasn’t something he bargained for. She’s a loving single mother, hot as hell, and protecting her will test every ounce of his resolve.

Alex Romano is being blackmailed by the Pyramid—an elusive international organization of assassins every cop in the world is after. When Alex tries severing ties with them they refuse to let her go. The darkly dangerous detective she’s irresistibly drawn to is her only hope of staying out of jail. He just might be her savior...or her downfall.

Despite efforts to maintain his professionalism, Gray can’t deny the fiery passion Alex ignites in him. In an explosive confrontation, Alex’s lies are revealed and Gray is faced with the most important decision of his life: trust the woman he’s falling in love with, or arrest her.

Each book in the NYPD Blue&Gold series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1: Burnout
Book #2: Blood Money
Book #3: Disavowed

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633758407
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 01/23/2017
Series: NYPD Blue & Gold , #2
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 396
Sales rank: 69,092
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Tee O’Fallon has been a federal agent for twenty-two years, giving her hands-on experience in the eld of law enforcement that she combines with her love of romantic suspense. Tee’s job affords her the unique opportunity to work with the heroic and sexy men in law enforcement on a daily basis. For Tee, research is the easy part!

Besides writing, Tee loves cooking, gardening, chocolate, lychee martinis, and her Belgian sheepdog.

Visit Tee’s website at: www.teeofallon.com.

Read an Excerpt

Blood Money

NYPD Blue & Gold Series


By Tee O'Fallon, Karen Grove

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2017 Tee O'Fallon
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-840-7


CHAPTER 1

Gray paused, inhaling the building's thick, stuffy air. This op bugged the shit out of him to the point where he'd almost called it off.

A bomb-sniffing K-9 named Max had already gone through the building and detected nothing, but Gray's nerves were lit up like a subway station.

Something isn't right.

His gut warned him they were about to fall ass-deep into a trap. For eight months they'd been digging around without success trying to find the safe house used by Ahmed Methopolis, the now-dead Pyramid assassin who'd tried to kill Gray's sister, and two days ago an anonymous call came in on the NYPD Crime Stoppers tip line. As the lead detective in the Intelligence Unit — and lead investigator on the Pyramid case — Gray had first crack in deciding how to proceed.

He pushed the stairwell door open wider and froze.

The hairs on his neck spiked to attention, and a droplet of sweat trickled down his back. Gray's stomach churned away at the rot-gut coffee he'd had an hour ago. Even though Methopolis was long dead, he wasn't taking any chances. Pyramid assassins were infamous for booby-trapping their safe houses.

He felt a tap on his shoulder and turned to see Dom raise his brows, questioning Gray's hesitation. Since some explosive devices could be triggered by radio frequency transmission, no radios were permitted within a hundred yards.

We good? Dom mouthed the words.

Warning signals continued sparking up and down Gray's neck and back, but without a valid reason to articulate why he shut down an op mobilizing nearly fifty department personnel, three fire trucks, and two buses — aka ambulances — from the FDNY, and cleared an entire city block, there was no turning back now. If he did, his captain would either cut off his balls or relegate him back to a uniformed beat in the South Bronx. Maybe both.

He nodded, drew his Glock, and gripped it in both hands. Behind him, Dom and the other detectives did the same. He turned left into the hallway, toward Methopolis's door. Gray's boots barely made a sound on the carpeted floor. Only slight swishes of clothing and tactical gear came to his ears as the rest of his team quietly followed.

Every one of the men on his six was hand-picked by Gray and Dom, all with experience under fire. Yet another one of Gray's unbreakable rules: in a bad spot, take only the best. Particularly when he didn't know what — or who — might be waiting for them on the other side of the door. The only addition to his team was the tagalong FBI agent who he'd had no choice but to include. The moron was wearing a suit, for Christ's sake! Who the hell wears a suit to a high-risk warrant? On top of which, the guy had been late this morning and missed half of the pre-op briefing. Fucking feds.

Outside the apartment door, Gray and the others stepped aside so that TARU could do its thing. The NYPD's Technical Assistance Response Unit began scanning the walls on either side of the door with thermal imaging units to detect any devices attached to the inside of the door. Two bomb squad guys accompanied the team, one of whom was Sgt. Pete Miller. Although Gray hoped to hell Pete's expertise wouldn't be necessary.

Moments later, the lead TARU officer gave Gray a thumbs-up. No devices were detected at the door. Next a thin camera probe was inserted between the bottom of the door and the threshold. A small, portable device on the floor displayed a TV-like image of what the camera saw. The interior of the apartment was devoid of life, with only sparse furniture showing on the display. Another thumbs-up.

Though Gray had a search warrant in his pocket, building management had been strangely unable to locate the spare key to the apartment. Even the best locksmith would take too much time and would easily be heard puttering outside the door. For safety reasons, there would be no knock- and-announce.

Time to blow the door.

Gray signaled the Apprehension Tactical Team officer holding Big Bertha, the battering ram used for tactical entries. Behind Big Bertha was the bunker, the guy holding a shield in one hand and a handgun in the other. Next in line were the remaining A-Team members who would clear and secure the apartment. The rest of the men, including the FBI suit, stacked up behind Gray against the wall. At least the suit had the sense to draw his weapon and point it to the floor, not at the back of the guy in front of him. To the other side of the door, Pete and his partner, Finelli, waited, both wearing heavily padded green Gumby suits.

Gray listened for sound inside the apartment. Nothing. All he heard was heavy breathing from his team and the rapid beat of his own heart.

He held up his fist and counted to three with his fingers. On three, Big Bertha's thirty inches of epoxy steel slammed against the door. The sound of metal on metal reverberated in the hallway. With a loud creak, the door partially gave way. One more swing and Big Bertha tore the heavy door off the top two hinges. The door creaked as it twisted backward on the remaining hinge and crashed to the floor.

The A-Team charged in first, M4s and MP5s raised, heavy boots pounding on the parquet floor. Gray, Dom, and the rest of the detective squad swarmed in behind. Shouts of "clear" echoed in the apartment as the interior rooms were deemed empty of human threats.

Still, Gray's heart hammered.

He and the other detectives separated and began a sector sweep of each room for explosive devices and other evidence, being careful when lifting or opening anything, and not turning on any light switches that might set off a hidden charge.

The main room held basic furniture, no photos, nothing personal, which was no surprise. Pyramid assassins were professionals, and the service they provided to their wealthy clients was completely anonymous. According to INTERPOL, when a Pyramid assassin moved on, his location was cleaned of all evidence, so Gray didn't really expect to locate anything useful. But maybe they'd get lucky. Even the best occasionally slipped up.

"Got a laptop," Dom called from another room.

"You gotta be fucking kidding me," Gray muttered as he hustled into the small bedroom on the south side of the apartment.

Perched on a wooden desk was a closed silver laptop. No power cord, no cables. With the lights still off and the shades down the way they were when they'd made entry, the room was dimly lit at best.

Gray flicked on his tactical flashlight and knelt to shine it under the desk. No wires and no devices. That he could see.

"Pete," he shouted over his shoulder to the bomb squad leader.

"Whatddya got?" Pete and Finelli entered the room. Each carried a black, hard-sided case.

"Sniff the laptop." Gray stepped aside to give Pete and Finelli room to work.

The men laid their cases on the floor beside the desk, and Pete opened the one containing a portable radiation detector. "Shine the light on the thing, would ya?"

Gray did as Pete asked, then with slow, precise movements Pete passed the detector over and around the laptop, then under the desk.

"Negative rad." Pete packed up the rad meter while Finelli removed another device from the other case.

This gadget Gray recognized as a trace detection unit that identified explosives, chemical warfare agents, and toxic and industrial chemicals.

With motions similar to those Pete used with the rad meter, Finelli scanned the laptop and the entire area surrounding the desk. "Nada," Finelli said, and began packing up the device.

Gray trusted Pete's abilities to sniff out explosives as he trusted no other soul. Between his time in the Middle East and with the NYPD, Pete had detected and deactivated more devices than anyone in department history.

"This doesn't make sense." Dom dragged a hand across his stubbled chin.

"No shit," Gray agreed. "No way would they leave a laptop behind. Sniff it again," he said to Pete.

"I got a better idea," Pete said as he left the room, returning a minute later with another hard-sided case. He opened it and hauled out a portable X-ray machine. Next he unstrapped the top portion of his Gumby suit and donned another vest in its place, this one containing protective lead panels. "You guys might want to step out while I grab a shot."

Gray, Dom, and Finelli left the room and watched from the doorway while Pete X-rayed the laptop from several different angles.

"C'mon back," Pete called, then shrugged out of his vest and dropped it onto the floor. He powered up the small laptop embedded in the cover of the X-ray case. Light from the computer's screen lit the room with a dim, eerie glow.

Gray and Dom looked over Pete's shoulder as, one by one, he cued up each image and zoomed in.

Pete nodded to his partner. "Finelli and I still need to check the walls, but this laptop's clean."

From the corner of his eye, Gray noticed the FBI agent now stood at Pete's other side. Gray acknowledged the agent with a nod of his head.

Pete pulled a small flashlight from his belt, turned it on, then stuck it between his lips. He angled his head to illuminate the keyboard and began a 3-D scan.

"I got this," the FBI agent said.

Got what?

The words didn't register with Gray until the agent reached for the window blinds.

"No!" Pete shouted as both he and Gray rushed the FBI agent. "Don't open the —"

"Shit," Dom uttered, a step behind Gray.

The agent turned, but his arm was still in motion.

An explosion rocked the room.

The blast hurled Gray into the air. He slammed to the floor, using his hands to shield his face from flying debris.

Something sharp lodged in the back of his head. Excruciating pain seared his skull, his eardrums throbbing. Darkness closed in on his vision, and he nearly blacked out. From somewhere far away, he heard shouting. Footsteps pounding.

"Medics! Somebody get a goddamn medic!"

Smoke filled Gray's nose, along with the pitchy, tar odor often associated with C4 explosives. But something else permeated the air, coating his mouth, his tongue, and his lungs. A distinctly familiar chemical, plastic-like smell.

"Sonofabitch," Pete moaned.

Beside Pete, Finelli struggled to get to his feet. The Gumby suit had protected him from most of the flying debris, and he appeared unharmed aside from a few scratches on his face.

Gray tried hauling his ass off the floor, but something held him in place.

"Stay down," Dom ordered in an eerily calm tone, his hand pressing firmly on Gray's shoulder. "All that pretty hair of yours is covered in blood. Let the medics have a look before you go ballroom dancing tonight."

"Fuck you," Gray said, thankful his partner was alive and seemingly uninjured.

"Not a chance." Dom chuckled. "You're too good-looking for my taste."

Gray hazarded a glance to where the FBI agent lay sprawled on his back on the far side of the room. The agent's chest was covered with blood, his suit jacket and shirt torn to shreds. A piece of metal stuck out of the man's forehead. His eyes were open, unseeing. Gray had seen it too many times before.

The agent had been killed instantly.

Gray exhaled slowly, trying to clear his head.

Medics who'd been on standby outside the building poured into the room. One put her hand to the agent's carotid then shook her head. She and the other medic began checking on Pete, whose face was contorted with pain.

Gray struggled to get to his feet.

"Sit your ass down." Dom increased the pressure on Gray's shoulder.

"No way." Gray shoved Dom's hand away. He struggled to his feet and was nearly overcome with dizziness and nausea.

Gray leaned heavily on Dom's arm while he regained his bearings. With Dom's aid, he staggered to the gurney where Pete now lay and clasped the other man's hand.

The FBI agent's body lay on the floor beside the gurney. Even though the dumb shit had triggered the blast, Gray felt a deep sense of loss.

Ironically, the agent's body had probably taken the brunt of the blast, shielding the rest of them from most of the shrapnel.

Pete took a shallow breath. "Nothing there," he gasped, his breath fogging up the oxygen mask. "It would have pegged ... the meter. Had to be ... epoxy."

"The lab will check it out." Gray gave Pete's hand a squeeze just before the medics rolled him out the door. To Dom, he said, "I'd bet my ass he's right. The bomb was probably encased in epoxy. Undetectable by standard methods."

"Could have been a bad sensor," Dom suggested. "A technical fritz or one of those fuzzy gremlins. Shit happens."

"Not to Pete." Gray let Dom lead him to a sofa in the adjoining room. "Pete Miller doesn't make mistakes. If that agent hadn't pulled the blinds, Pete would have found something. Guaranteed."

"Yeah, copy that." Dom glanced through the doorway to where the agent's body still lay.

Shafts of sunlight poked through the holes in the wall, and clouds of dust hung in the air. Gray and Dom both coughed to rid their lungs of contaminants. With every cough Gray's head pounded as if someone had taken a hammer to his skull.

The female medic set her supply box on the floor at his feet and practically pushed Gray onto the sofa, then began examining the back of his head. He flinched as she jostled whatever piece of shrapnel had lodged itself in his skull.

"Don't be such a baby, detective," she said.

"Smart-ass." He glared first at her then at Dom when his partner chuckled.

"How many fingers am I holding up?" she asked.

"Three," Gray answered.

"Who do you work for?"

"The NYPD," he said, knowing these were standard questions meant to ascertain the severity of his head injury.

"What's your name and rank?"

"Gray Yates. Detective."

"What's this guy's name?" She hooked a finger in Dom's direction.

"Detective Dominick Carew." Gray gritted his teeth, starting to get annoyed. He really wanted to get this examination over with so he could get back to finding out what the hell had happened.

The medic began feeling the sides of his neck for neck and spinal injury. "What year is it?" she asked in a calm voice, totally unfazed and clearly not intimidated by Gray's pissy attitude.

"Look, Little Miss Medic." Gray swatted her hands away. "How about getting that thing out of my skull, slapping on a Band-Aid, and letting me get back to work?"

"The only place you're going," she said in a sharp tone, "is to a hospital on a gurney."

"The hell I am." Gray rose from the sofa and swayed, grateful for Dom's steadying hand. "I'm walking out of here on my own two feet."

"Fine." She held up her hands in defeat. "It's your funeral if you pass out and crack your skull on the pavement. At least sit while I get you that Band-Aid for your boo-boo."

Ignoring the jibe, Gray sat down again, relieved at not having to go another round with the ornery medic who, he was coherent enough to realize, was only doing her job.

She whipped out a shiny set of tweezers from her kit, then dug into the back of his head and yanked out a piece of bloody shrapnel that she held up for his inspection.

"Got you good, buddy." Dom examined what appeared to be a piece of twisted metal about a half inch in length and width.

"Ye —" Gray hissed in a breath as the woman slapped something onto the back of his head that stung like a sonofabitch.

Out in the hallway, Gray's captain let fly a round of curses.

"I want answers, dammit," Captain Kree shouted. "What good is a bomb squad if they can't even detect a fucking bomb? I'm gonna have Miller's ass on a plate."

As the medic applied a Band-Aid, Gray flinched, which only served to make his head throb even worse.

"Make sure he gets that stitched up," the medic said to Dom. A few moments later, she packed up her kit and disappeared through the door.

Over Captain Kree's shouting, Gray heard Dom grunt.

"What?" Gray shifted to see Dom surveying the damage. He knew his partner well enough to know something was up.

"The explosives must have been hidden behind the wall." Dom pointed to the blast hole. "Someone did a kick-ass job of re-taping the new sheetrock."

Gray stood slowly, grabbing the doorjamb for support. Again, Dom reached out to steady him so they could both eyeball the damage.

"The blast blew open a three-foot-wide hole," Dom said, "but most of the exterior wall remained intact. The explosion was directed inward."

Their eyes met. "Anti-personnel bomb," they both said at the same time.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Blood Money by Tee O'Fallon, Karen Grove. Copyright © 2017 Tee O'Fallon. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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