Deadly Pursuit - Chapter 1

Serena Wells put the finishing touches on a memo that detailed cyber security upgrades needed for one of West Security and Investigations’ clients. She glanced at the clock on her computer screen. It was after eight in the evening. Well past quitting time, but Serena didn’t like leaving work undone. As a technology specialist for West, her job often fell more on the security side than the investigation side of the PI firm’s business.

The door to the tech pen—the large, shared office where the members of the technology team worked—opened and a tall, dark-skinned man strode through. Tyre Marion. He stopped just inside of the doorway and scanned the empty room in the way she’d seen lots of West operatives do whenever they entered a room. Watchful for danger. Finally, Tyre’s gaze came to rest on her.

Her heart fluttered. He flashed a smile and headed her way, sending her into a mild panic.

She, like half of the female employees at West, had been harboring a low-grade crush on Tyre since she’d started working at the firm. He was smart, funny and kind. Oh, and hot. Unequivocally, pulse-poundingly hot.

Tyre stopped in front of her desk and kicked his sixty-watt smile up to one hundred. “Serena. Hey.”

“Hey.” She pushed her wire rims up her nose.

“I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for all your hard work on the Mercer Pharmaceuticals case.”

She and Tyre were assigned to the corporate espionage case, although they hadn’t exactly worked together.

“No problem.” She pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose again. It was a nervous tic, but she couldn’t help herself. Tyre standing this close to her, talking directly to her. That was something to be nervous about. “So was Layne our guy?”

“No, actually.” Tyre folded his arms across his chest, making his biceps swell along with the heat in her body. “It was the other guy. Maxwell. Admitted everything in less than an hour.”

“Congratulations.” She gave him a tepid smile.

She’d always been shy when it came to guys, although as a computer nerd since elementary school, she’d gotten used to being in rooms in which she was the only woman. She loved all things computers and technology, but she’d always been attracted to men with more rugged looks and personalities than the guys she’d met in the CompSci department at school. Too bad they weren’t nearly as interested in her as she was in them.

Sometimes she wished she was bolder. Then maybe she’d have the courage to flirt with Tyre or even ask him out. It was 2023. It wasn’t like a woman had to wait for the man to make a move these days. It would be perfectly acceptable for two colleagues to go out for a drink to celebrate the successful completion of a project. All she had to do was form the words, Would you like to have a drink with me? But her mouth felt like it was full of cotton. It shouldn’t be so hard. She’d used each of those words individually millions of times. All she needed to do now was put them together to form the sentence.

“…make sure Ryan knows how valuable you are to this team.”

Serena jerked herself out of her daydreams in time to catch the last part of Tyre’s statement as he backed away from her desk.

“Thanks.” She waved awkwardly and watched Tyre disappear through the tech pen doors.

So much for being bold.