Superior Collision (Crossing Forces Book Five) from Paper Dragon Publishing!
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Special Agent Taylor Carrigan takes “control freak” to the extreme. Her need for structured rigidity rules her life—and her job at the FBI. She doesn’t do emotion, so when her fiancé is murdered, she doesn’t know how to deal with the internal fallout.
Antioch Police Sergeant Shannon Crowley has been intrigued with the uptight FBI agent for months. When he looks at Taylor, he sees more than the mask she hides behind.
She doesn’t have time for the cop who won’t quit chasing her—she’s got chasing to do of her own. Taylor admits he calms her, but he’s a distraction she can’t afford. She’s playing a dangerous game, riding the line between revenge and justice.
Keeping Shannon close could give Taylor the balance she desperately needs, but it would put something more than her case in jeopardy: her heart. With so much on the line, is she capable of handling it?
Her cellphone rang, vibrating and screaming her ringtone. It danced down the coffee table until she made a grab and swiped her thumb across the touch screen. She hadn’t recognized the number, but it had the local area code.
Even with one word, the familiar male voice washed over Taylor and she shifted on the edge of her brown microfiber couch. “Sergeant Crowley?” She’d written his number down last night, but hadn’t put it in her phone just yet.
Why is Shannon Crowley calling me? Taylor didn’t know what to say.
“Are you there?”
She cleared her throat and adjusted the phone against her ear. “Yes. How can I help you?”
It caught her off guard. She stood rocking on the balls of her feet, and fighting for balance. “What’s funny?” Taylor winced at the snap in her tone.
“You. After last night, you’re so formal with me.”
The knock on her apartment’s door made her jump.
She glanced at her phone then at the door. The sergeant’s voice had echoed, as if he was in a hallway. He couldn’t be—
“Gonna let me in?”
Taylor swallowed. Twice. She glanced down at her clothes. Blue yoga pants and a gray FBI tee from her Quantico days—it was faded, oversized and comfy. Bare feet and her hair down. She wasn’t fit for public consumption.
Ending the call and tossing her cell to the couch, she jogged to the door and wrenched it open, fully intending to tell her uninvited guest to go the hell away.
Words dissolved when they made eye contact.
Sergeant Crowley smiled and held up a brown paper bag. “Thought if I bribed you with sweets, you might invite me in.”
Taylor’s gaze trailed his tall muscular frame and she had to swallow again. He wore a brown leather jacket. He’d had it on last night, too, at Hakka Wu. The jacket was open, and a black, pec-hugging T-shirt peeked out, tucked into tight dark jeans. He sported an etched oval belt buckle and cowboy boots. He was only missing a Stetson, but it didn’t dim his appeal.
He was…gorgeous. Even with his messy, needs-a-trim dark hair.
She scowled. “How did you find out where I live?”
“Lucky guess?” Crowley shrugged. He flashed a mischievous grin that did funny things to her insides.
Taylor tilted her head to one side and ignored the zing of awareness when his eyes raked her body. She fidgeted and wanted to run. Resisted the urge to tug her shirt down. Felt naked. “Tell me who helped you invade my privacy, so I can plan their death.”
He laughed and shook his head. “I have no intention of invading your privacy. I thought—”
“You thought what?” she snapped.
The handsome cop’s expression sobered. “I’m sorry. Had a good time with you last night, is all.”
She cursed the fact she missed his smile already. Its disappearance was her fault. Taylor reached for her irritation, but had trouble holding on tight. She should be nicer to him. “So you show up unannounced at my apartment?” No way was she going to admit that she’d enjoyed dinner with him, too.
“Yeah. I guess when you say it like that, it’s…”
“Stalkery?” Taylor retorted.
He blinked and shook his head. “No, I mean…” He looked forlorn, like she’d shot his puppy.
Guilt bit at her. She cursed under her breath and gestured for him to come in. She really didn’t have a reason to be a bitch.
Surprise lit those beautiful amber eyes but he shut his mouth and slid into her apartment.
The sergeant put the bag on her coffee table and shoved his hands into his jeans pockets.
She shut the door and stayed by it even after she’d clicked her deadbolt in place. Taylor was paralyzed at the sight of the guy in her living room. The space was neither huge, nor tiny, but with him standing by her couch, it seemed smaller, and all the oxygen had dissipated.