Book four in the Deadly Intent series
Special Agent Brooks Allen is pissed as hell when he learns one of his friends' in-laws is suspected of drug-trafficking. Big time. She's been selling merchandise filled with illegal narcotics.
A free-spirit with a zest for life, Natasha Simpson loves her new beginning in the small town of Bisbee, Arizona. Things couldn't get any better. Natasha runs into Brooks, and enjoys the company of the man who works with her cousin's husband. But when Natasha accidentally makes the discovery that her products contain cocaine, not only is her life threatened, but every person she loves is in danger.
Brooks grows certain Natasha is innocent, then discovers the tangled web she's caught in. Along the way, he loses his heart to her—now he just needs to make sure he doesn't lose her...permanently.
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Copyright © Cheyenne McCray 2017. All Rights Reserved, Totally Entwined Group Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.
If Natasha Simpson was guilty of smuggling cocaine, Brooks would nail her to the wall. So far, things were not looking good for Christie’s cousin.
Natasha had been selling large quantities of western statuettes at tradeshows across the country. The statuettes matched a pair ICE agents had found stuffed with cocaine, and Natasha’s fingerprints had been the only ones on the coke-filled resin art pieces.
A special agent with DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Brooks Allen found himself in a position he would never have imagined. It was his job as an ICE agent to assist in taking down a friend’s closest family member.
He clenched his teeth, his body tense, as he held back words that didn’t come close to expressing how he felt at that moment.
Brooks pushed up the brim of his Stetson as he tore his gaze from the iPad displaying Natasha’s electronic file and met his Resident Agent in Charge’s intense dark eyes. “Natasha’s prints were in the database?”
Sofia Aguilar, the RAC of the Department of Homeland Securities’ ICE office in Douglas, gave a single nod. “She worked as a dispatcher for her local police department for a few years in Indiana, before she inherited a chunk of money and bought a craft store.”
Brooks Allen’s jaw tightened. He returned his gaze to the tablet with the file his RAC had transferred to his device. He swiped the screen, briefly scanning a few documents. He paused to study a surveillance photo of Natasha with a suspected drug supplier, Mark Okle, who ICE believed worked for the Jimenez Cartel based in Mexico. Okle allegedly trafficked cocaine and marijuana across the U.S., under the guise of a legitimate art dealership in southeastern Arizona.
They had countless surveillance photos and video of Okle dealing with individuals who were known associates of the Jimenez Cartel.
Then there was Natasha.
The one time Brooks had met Natasha had been when he’d been best man at Trace and Christie’s wedding almost ten months ago. Natasha had been a bridesmaid. Thanks to a car accident on the way to the reception at Bisbee’s Copper Queen Hotel, Natasha hadn’t made the event, so Brooks had never had the chance to get to know her.
In the short time since she’d moved from Indiana to Arizona, he had yet to run into her. Considering Bisbee was fairly spread out, with a population of over five thousand, it didn’t surprise him. Still, he’d thought he might see her at Christie and Trace’s home, but it had never worked out that way.
He studied the surveillance photo, cataloguing any unfamiliar details. She was a beautiful woman who her cousin described as a free spirit with a mischievous side. Even though he had barely met Natasha, he remembered the sparkle in the brunette’s stunning blue eyes so like Christie’s. Hell, the women could have been twins if Natasha had been a redhead like Christie.
He had felt an immediate attraction to Natasha when she’d walked up the aisle during the wedding, but that interest had gone nowhere thanks to her accident and subsequent return to Indiana.
How the hell did a woman like Natasha get involved in drug trafficking? He mentally shook his head. Sometimes the criminals who possessed the greatest air of innocence were the worst of them all.
“Is this going to be a problem for you?” Sofia’s voice drew his attention from the photo. “Out of any agent in the office, you have the best opportunity to get close to Natasha.”
He held back a scowl. “I don’t like keeping Trace in the dark.”
Sofia leaned forward, bracing her arms on the tidy surface of her desk. She pulled her dark hair back so tightly it stretched the skin on the sides of her face. “You know good and well he’s too close. I’m sure we both have a good idea how he’d react to learning his cousin-in-law is a suspected drug trafficker.”
Brooks let out a harsh breath. “This is one fucked-up mess.”
For the briefest moment, Brooks thought Sofia looked concerned for Trace and his wife. It vanished as fast as it came and her expression went rock hard. He wondered if he’d imagined the concern.
“You’ve been undercover for the majority of the time you’ve worked at this office.” The tightness in Sofia’s expression indicated her anger over the situation. “We’re certain no one in the cartel knows you’re with ICE. With that and your ties to Natasha’s family, you’re the perfect agent for the job. Not to mention the bullet you took for Christie. That alone should be good enough.”
Brooks’ shoulder ached at the thought of the bullet, but he nearly growled beneath his breath. Christie had been through hell and back and he had no desire to exploit what had happened at the Tucson airport when he’d been shot. Christie’s ex-husband, who had laundered money for the cartel, had put a bounty on her head from his jail cell.
Instead of snapping at his RAC, he asked, “What’s the plan?”