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Dangerous Justice

Written by Terri Reed

Chapter Two

"The roses are from a guy I dated."

She was seeing someone? The hot flush of jealousy caught Chris off-guard. Whoa, dude. He quickly rose, needing some distance.

Fiona was his co-worker, his friend. He had no business feeling anything but…protective? Okay.

Possessive? No.

Concerned? Yes.

Anything else would be inappropriate. Then her words registered. "Dated? As in past tense?"

She nodded, her gaze everywhere but on him.

"Fiona."

With a sigh, she met his gaze. "I met him online. We went on two dates. I told him I wasn't interested." She waved a dismissive hand. "He's harmless."

Understanding sent Chris's blood boiling. "I take it he's having trouble accepting no."

Her shoulder lifted in a half shrug.

"You have a stalker?"

She cringed. "Noooo." A sighed escaped from between her lips. "Maybe?"

He ran a hand through his hair. "Why didn't you tell me?"

She blinked. Her mouth opened then snapped shut.

"You're part of our team, Fiona." He grabbed his patience by a thread. "You shouldn't have to deal with this alone."

A mulish look entered her gaze. "I didn't want to bother anyone. I'm handling it."

"I need his name," he said through gritted teeth.

"Why?"

His fingers curled into tight fists. Dutch nudged him, sensing his agitation. "No one hurts one of ours and gets away with it."

# # #

Though Captain Gavin McCord and his German shepherd partner Glory weren't able to track Fiona's attacker, D.C. Police successfully brought in Roy Roberson, the man stalking Fiona. He sat in an interrogation room at the Capitol K-9 Unit's headquarters waiting to be questioned by the captain.

And Chris, Fiona guessed, if he had his way.

As Fiona rode up the elevator, sandwiched between Chris, Dutch, their captain and Glory, she wasn't sure what to make of Chris's He-Man attitude back in her apartment.

Why didn't you tell me?

Like she could have answered that question without admitting to Chris she had a crush on him. Not happening.

Sure, they were friends. Colleagues. Though she had hinted she'd be open to more on numerous occasions only to have him flash her one of his dazzling smiles and laugh off her flirtations.

Could she blame him for being amused? He dated tall, model types. Lots of them. Not geeky, petite women with a penchant for the absurd.

He'd act protective with anyone on the team, she told herself. She wasn't special. Letting herself hope his feelings ran deeper would only set her up for disappointment. Like every other time she'd let her heart hope for more.

They filed into the small viewing room adjacent to the interrogation room. A two-way mirror revealed Roy's thin frame hunched over the metal table. Fiona quickly dismissed him as her attacker once again. The man who'd grabbed her had been tall and muscled.

"He shows no signs of being sprayed with pepper and doesn't have scratches on his arm," Gavin stated.

Chris grunted.

Fiona shot him a glance, noticing the muscle ticking in his jaw. "Couldn't the attack have been random? A crime of opportunity?"

"Maybe," Chris ground out. "I want a word with him."

"Be my guest," Gavin offered.

Not a good idea, but Chris stormed out of the observation room before she could stop him. With trepidation swamping her, she watched Chris enter the interrogation room. He planted his palms on the table, leaned in and whispered something to Rob. Rob blanched and nodded.

Chris straightened and walked out.

Fiona hurried to follow Chris down the hall. "Hey, what did you say to him?"

Chris stopped outside her office door. "That you weren't interested. And if he didn't leave you alone, he'd answer to me."

She couldn't decide if she was thrilled or furious at him. She decided it was safest to be mad. "I don't need you to fight my battles."

He tucked his chin and stared her down. "Noted."

Shaking her head, she entered her office and halted as her gaze swept over the room. A cold vice gripped her chest. "Chris!"

# # #

At Fiona's urgent cry, Chris's pulse shot up. Dutch went into alert mode, his body tense, his ears lifted. They stepped inside her office. "Yes?"

"My office has been searched." She spun toward him and met his gaze, her green eyes wide and confused.

Chris looked around the neat and tidy space. "How can you tell? Everything looks fine."

Fiona pointed to the desk. "Everything has been moved around. Nothing is as I'd left it. Those files were on the right side corner. And the computer monitor has been pushed back."

He pressed his lips together to keep from smiling. She took organized to a whole new level.

She rounded the desk and groaned. "My computer has been smashed."

He sobered as concern arced through him. "Don't touch anything." The K-9 headquarters had been breached. He waved her out of the office. "We need to let the captain know."

They found Gavin in his office.

"No one has access to this floor who isn't supposed to be here." Anger darkened Gavin's deep blue eyes.

"The perpetrator could have gained access by posing as part of the maintenance crew," Chris said.

"That's true." Gavin rose.

"We can't be sure the two events are related, right?" Fiona asked.

Seeing the hopefulness in her expression tore at Chris. "And we can't be sure theyaren't related."

Gavin nodded his agreement. "First the attack now this? Not random. What are you working on that someone would go to such lengths to stop?"

She fingered the chain around the slender column of her neck. "General Meyer asked me to work on a special project for her."

General Margaret Meyer was the White House Special In-House Security Chief and the one who'd put the Capitol K-9 Unit together. It wasn't unusual for her to assign the team projects. But judging by the surprise on Gavin's face, Chris guessed the general hadn't informed him.

Fiona tugged on the chain, pulling an attached purple thumb drive from beneath the collar of her sweater. "The general asked me to decode this. It has a very intricate security matrix."

Dread gripped Chris by the throat. This had to be the reason Fiona was attacked.

"What does Meyer hope to find on it?" Gavin asked.

Fiona shrugged. "She isn't sure. The general received the drive from a reporter who died in a car accident the same day she mailed it."

All sorts of alarm bells went off in Chris's head. Fiona wasn't safe with the thumb drive hanging around her neck.

"I'll look into the reporter's death," Gavin stated. "Chris, you're going to be Fiona's shadow until we figure out what's on the thumb drive and who doesn't want Fiona to decode it."

Chris nearly choked. He didn't do one-on-one protecting. Too easy to become emotionally involved. And that was something he had to guard against. After being jilted by his ex-fiancée, Chris kept all of his relationships superficial and temporary.

Now his captain wanted him to stick close to Fiona. No way. "Wouldn't it be better to have Brooke guard Fiona?"

The female K-9 officer and her partner, a golden retriever named Mercy, would be better suited for this detail.

There was a moment's pause before Gavin responded. "Brooke is busy on an assignment. So you're it."

Chris shot Fiona a glance.

Hurt flooded her green eyes.

Remorse crimped his chest. But he had to be careful. As it was he struggled with his attraction to Fiona. No way would he want to mess with the delicate balance between work relationship and friendship.

Not only would he have to guard Fiona, but himself, and his heart, as well.

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About the author

At an early age I discovered the wonderful world of fiction and declar...

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Terri Reed

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