Read an Excerpt
"Nice job out there tonight. We made some solid arrests."
Delia rolled her eyes at her temporary partner. "Good thing too. I'd hate to think I dressed like this for nothing. Next time, you get to be the bait."
"In your dreams, Robinson." Roy's laughter drifted over his shoulder as he turned into the squad room to start working on their arrest reports.
Exhaustion dogged her stiletto-clad feet as she headed toward the women's locker room. She couldn't wait to get out of her undercover getup and into a hot shower. Pulling a double shift that involved dressing in skin-baring clothes, a platinum-blond wig and three inches of makeup made for a hellishly long day.
A short time later, cleaned up and back in her street clothes, she sat at her desk in the nearly deserted squad room, staring dejectedly at the pile of papers Roy had left for her.She pushed them away, leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes, shutting out the sounds around her with an ease born of practice. She sighed with relief. Five minutes of downtime. Five minutes to shake off the slime of the street. Five minutes before tackling the mountain of paperwork from today's arrests. Five short minutes. That was all she needed.
One measly minute into her self-imposed time-out, the phone rang. She groaned and reached for the phone. The display read Chief's Office. And when the chief called, you answered. Immediately. "Detective Robinson."
"My office. Now."
Yikes. His growled order didn't sound good. Rather than waiting for the elevator, she tore up the stairs, welcoming the rush of adrenaline. By the time she reached his office, all thoughts of her five-minute respite were gone. She took a deep breath and knocked on his door.
"Come in, Detective."
Her mind raced to figure out what she might have done to warrant a call from her boss. She stood in front of his desk at as relaxed attention as she could manage, her hands clasped tightly behind her back. Warning bells went off in her head as he cleared his throat and narrowed his gaze. "Sir?"
"The State Fire Marshal's office is investigating a serial arson case and asked to borrow you for the assignment. They were impressed with your work on the bombing task force last year and thought you'd make a good temporary addition to their team. I agreed. You'll be on loan to them for the duration. The deputy fire marshal will fill you in on the case."
The State Fire Marshal's office? Oh, no. No, no, no. But a movement by the windows to her left stopped the automatic denial that wanted to spring free from her mouth. She swiveled her head and felt the floor drop out from underneath her. It was proof of her exhaustion that she'd completely missed the man standing there, leaning casually against the window frame. Too bad, because she could've used the time to brace herself.
Deputy Fire Marshal Colin Butler.
Colin's voice was smooth and rich like chocolate, and it set off every nerve ending in her body, as it had the short time they'd been lovers. And damn it, she hated that he still had that effect on her. It had been nearly a year. She should be over him by now.
A long, tense moment passed while she tried to regain her equilibrium. "Colin."
The chief raised an eyebrow and she berated herself for the breathlessness that tinged her voice.