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Hearts on Fire 2: Michaela

By:Dixie Lynn Dwyer



Prologue




“You think I won’t kill her? You think I can’t? I’ll fucking do it!” the guy who’d just grabbed Michaela yelled toward the deputies. His grip was tight around her midsection.

She cried out as he grabbed her and not one of the other women nearby. Like maybe the snappy secretary who kept batting her eyes at the officers walking in and out of the main area.

No, instead he chose Michaela. This was a damn police department. How the hell could something like this be happening here?

Michaela Smitt was amongst the civilians, not a cop, not working undercover. She was just trying to get the legal documentation to have an abandoned vehicle removed from the small house she’d just brought. There was no title, the owner was deceased and didn’t leave the car to anyone, but the tow truck company wouldn’t take the vehicle without clearance from the owner, or a title. She was told that the police could help, and she showed up by their request to sign some papers.

She’d only moved here a week ago. New Jersey by the shore was supposed to be peaceful. She was also trying to stay under the radar, which right now, Alonso, her good friend and detective working her case back in New York, would not be too happy with the situation.

Well shit, neither am I.

At least one good thing happened so far today. She interviewed for a job as a bartender for a local place in town that did a lot of business called The Station. The owner, Burt McCurran, hired her on the spot. He was a burly older man with an Irish brogue and a great sense of humor. He took a liking to her immediately. She should have stayed there and enjoyed an 11:00 a.m. drink with some of the patrons.

She didn’t need the job, but she needed to work to keep her mind off of New York, and the fact that she nearly died. Now here she was being held by gunpoint as she waited for the damn sheriff to arrive because the snotty secretary said he had updated information on the owner of the vehicle. It was another problem that would hold her up from getting the hunk of junk out of her driveway.

With the barrel of a gun pointed at her, for the second time in six months, Michaela was feeling like surviving was just temporary, and now she would meet her maker.

“You don’t want to do that, Leonard,” someone stated, and when Leonard turned her to the right, she locked gazes with a drop-dead, halt-in-your-tracks gorgeous man in uniform. He was tall, over six feet that would put her five feet five inches to shame. He had brown hair, some blonde streaks and a wide chest and shoulders that had him stepping through the doorway sideways. He even had to duck a little and perhaps her initial estimate of his height was short a few inches. He looked pissed off, and he was the only one not holding a gun. But his uniform was different than the other officers’. She stared at his gun, and it remained in the holster on his hip where his hands sat as if he casually planned on negotiating with the jerk holding her.

“I’m not going to jail, Sheriff,” the man said, and she could smell the alcohol on his breath. She cringed from the smell. He didn’t look like he was fully with it. She had noticed him standing next to a deputy the moment she was asked to sit and wait for the sheriff. The deputy had just uncuffed him as the man spoke with someone by another desk who was smiling and laughing. He obviously was pretending to cooperate.

“Let her go, Leonard, and we can go into my office and talk this through. There’s no reason to hurt anyone. You’ll regret it,” the sheriff said.

“They lie. They all lie. I didn’t do a thing wrong. I don’t belong here. I wasn’t bothering anyone.” Leonard had become agitated quickly. His grip on Michaela tightened, his hand moved higher and an inch more and he would be cupping her breast. As it was now, he was awfully close.

The sheriff must have read her thoughts as he squinted his eyes and appeared as if he were losing patience. “Release the woman and we’ll talk.”

“Fuck you!” Leonard yelled, pulling her backward and toward another room. Her low-heeled sandals scraped across the flooring as she gripped his forearm to stop from falling. She damned the stupid blouse and camisole she wore as it spread wider, by the man’s hold, giving a good view to all officers watching. She was not small up top by far, and could practically feel the cool air from the air-conditioned room hit the cleavage of her breasts. The skirt she wore fell just above her knees, but by the way he held her, she had to be showing off more thigh than she was comfortable with.

She swallowed hard as he hit the wall behind him and she nearly lost her footing. The sheriff and the deputies inched their way closer, but still kept a distance.

“Where are you gonna go, Leonard? There’s nowhere to go. Let’s talk about this.”

“No. There’s nothing to talk about. If you come closer, I’ll shoot her. I don’t care anymore.” But now his voice sounded shaky. It seemed to her that the man was out of his mind or even high on something besides alcohol. Not that she was an expert, but she had been shot before, trying to keep a relationship with her estranged sister.

Annette was dead because of some asshole who knew Annette’s boyfriend, Solomon. Solomon owed the asshole money. A lot of money. But she couldn’t think about that now. Instead she thought about the training she took after recovering from the bullet wound to her chest that nearly killed her.

Alonso was a self-defense trainer. He had helped her to try and get over her anxiety and fear of being assaulted again so she could return to her real home in Chicago. But nearly dying changed a person. So she cashed in on her investments, quit her job, sold her apartment and moved out here to New Jersey. It was a place that was supposed to be quiet, peaceful, and relaxing, with the benefits of ocean and beaches. That was when she started to feel angry. She promised herself that she would never be a victim again, and now if she had the opportunity, she would use one of those moves Alonso taught her to save herself. After all, she couldn’t trust anyone, not even this room filled with cops whose job was to protect and serve the public.

His hold suddenly got tighter, and now he was leaning his forehead against the back of her head, and inhaling deeply.

“What are you doing?” she asked in a rather calm tone, considering the intensity of the situation. Leonard, as the sheriff called him, seemed to be losing his composure.

He growled. “I fucking hate cops. I was having fun. I wasn’t bothering anyone. I like to party, do you?” he asked and then began to slowly rotate his hips against her ass. She tried pulling away and he raised the gun as the cops and sheriff yelled for her not to move.

“Don’t. Just remain still, miss. Leonard, you need to put down the gun and stop this. We don’t want anyone to get hurt, and I know you don’t want that either,” the sheriff said. He was a little closer now, and she could see how big and tall he really was. Plus, he had amazing blue eyes. He really was a very attractive man.

“Maybe I do want to make things worse. Maybe I’m pissed off and I want to blow off some steam.” Leonard antagonized the sheriff’s efforts to talk him into giving up the gun.

“I want you to drop the gun, Leonard. You were brought in on drunk driving and disorderly conduct. Now, don’t go turning this into a worse situation for yourself.”

He adjusted his hold on her, pressing his palm over her hip bone. She gasped as a small high pitch sound got caught in her throat. She was trying so hard to not have flashbacks. She even tried remembering Alonso’s instruction during training about keeping calm, and not making a move unless it was completely necessary. How would she know when making a move to get free was necessary? Right now, with him practically massaging her hip bone and pressing his privates against her ass, she felt it was necessary to get the hell away from Leonard.

“What do you think, darling? Do you think I should let you go and listen to the sheriff?” he whispered against her ear. His voice, his stench bothered her, made her think of New York, and of the thug who killed her sister. She could feel his body shaking. He was definitely on something and it seemed to be kicking in full force. He wasn’t thinking clearly, and she feared for her life as the gun he held near her neck shook as hard as his hand was shaking.

He pressed his palm down her thigh making her skirt lift. “Hey!” she yelled out.

He pressed the gun harder against her neck. She tilted her head back against his shoulder, and he maneuvered his hand down the side of her thigh and up the skirt.

“Stop touching her,” the sheriff yelled, and even she sensed his anger, his patience diminishing.

She took a deep breath as he showed off her bare thigh for all to see. Her breasts were definitely showing through the open blouse, and she panicked, afraid of what would happen next.

“I think you should let me go and give yourself up before you get hurt,” she told him.

He lowered the gun slightly so he could use that hand with the gun to push her blouse further open. He was staring at her breasts, licking his lips.

He chuckled. “Get hurt? By whom?” he asked as he slowly moved his other hand up her waist and cupped her breast. The man lost focus and she would use the opportunity.

The sheriff yelled out, the deputies were pointing their guns at him.

“By me.” She made her move.

Michaela maneuvered out of his hold, twisted his wrist around with one hand using a wrist control move Alonso taught her. She kneed him in the spine sending him down to his knees before taking his legs out from underneath him. She had the gun to the back of his head and him pinned to the ground with her straddling his legs, her skirt nearly up to her waist.

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