When the Colby Agency and the Equalizers merged, their agents were expected to work together. But the moment Ted Tallant met hotshot investigator Nora Friedman, there were sparks--and not the good kind. Nora was a risk taker, while Ted was a by-the-book kind of guy.When they were sent to Vegas on a case, those sparks turned into something hotter. They were good together--really good. But when an enemy from Nora's past twisted their assignment into something deadly, all hell broke loose. And suddenly skill and attraction weren't enough. They would have to trust each other...or everyone would die.
Inside the Colby Agency Monday, 9:05 a.m.Ted Tallant waited in Victoria Colby-Camp''s office as requested. This morning''s briefing had been a little wild and a lot freaky. The merger talks between the agency and the Equalizers had been going on for months. Contracts and benefits and legal technicalities had been resolved. A number of orientation and training sessions had been conducted between those in charge here at the Colby Agency and the staff members of the former Equalizers.The deal was done and all involved would have to get used to the changes. Today the four from the Equalizers shop who had opted to make the transition had been officially introduced as new agency staff members. Ben Steele, Leland Rockford, Evonne Cassidy and the infamous Nora Friedman.Irritation tightened Ted''s jaw even as her name filtered through his brain.Nora.The woman was a looker; he couldn''t deny that. Tall and willowy, with sleek black hair and dark, dark eyes. Her presence in a room set him on edge.She specialized in deception.Ted rolled his eyes. Yeah.Deception.The whole idea rankled the hell out of him. But it was an Equalizer thing. Jim Colby, Victoria''s son, had started the Equalizers five years ago, and he''d made it a point to hire the very best at going around and through the law.Five months had passed since Victoria and her son had made the decision to move forward with the merger. Tension had been running high since. Nothing about the plan had been easy. Jim had acquiesced to Victoria''s operating rules and code of conduct for the most part, but keeping the members of his former staff in line had proven a pain in the butt.Not that a single one of his former Equalizer team was anything other than highly skilled and admittedly brilliant. But they had their way of doing things and change wasn''t coming easy.What ticked Ted off the most about Nora was the fact that she not only understood she was brilliant, but she also reveled in the idea.Ted was just a regular guy. Born and raised in the heartland of Idaho. He''d spent a few years working as a skip tracer back home. After earning a criminal justice degree at Boise State University, he''d quickly learned that law enforcement--at least as a cop-- wasn''t for him. Too much red tape, too often the victims were the victims on both sides of the law. So he''d committed to freelancing for a couple of P.I. firms.Six years of experience had landed him an opportunity with the Colby Agency--the very best in the business of private investigations.And Nora Friedman wasn''t going to make him miserable no matter if she questioned or challenged every word he said. She had, apparently, selected him to be her verbal punching bag. Maybe she was still frustrated with the change in rules dictated by the merger. After all, following rules, period, didn''t appear to be her preferred professional model.The door behind him opened and Ted kicked Nora Friedman right out of his head. He stood and turned to greet his boss as she strode into the room. "Morning, Victoria.""Good morning, Ted." She beamed a smile that only Victoria Colby-Camp could produce. The woman was amazing. Nothing stopped her. And the bad guys tried. Oh, did they try. January''s siege was a prime example of just how unstoppable the lady had proved time and time again. One of the aspects of working at this agency that pleased Ted the most was a boss who never expected anything out of her investigators she wasn''t prepared to do herself.When she''d rounded her desk, her gaze locked with his. "I''m sorry to keep you waiting, Ted." Victoria gestured to the chair he''d vacated. "Let''s sit. This may take some time.""Yes, ma''am." Ted dropped back into his seat while Victoria settled into the big, lush leather one behind her desk. Sounded like he had a new assignment. He would be only too happy to get away from the office while the dust settled on the merger. Nora Know-It-All Friedman was making him crazy.The boss took a moment to organize what appeared to be notes sh
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June 30, 2010
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