Trouble was her middle name...
Of the four Lockharts, Amber was the wild child, a part-time student and full-time groupie who gave her older sisters sleepless nights. But even Amber was surprised when her pre-Christmas getaway turned nasty, causing her to flee from danger--right into the six-pack abs of Paul Gutierrez.
His was danger...
Going home was not an option when Amber became the target of a man desperate to keep a secret. So Paul's L.A. home became her safe house, his strong arms her armor. After long nights with her macho protector, Amber was in danger, all right--from a hot, sexy Latin lover!
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October 01, 2007
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Excerpt from His Holiday Bride by Elaine Overton
"I'm not really sure what you expect me to do, Luther. I mean...how old is this girl?" Paul Gutierrez spoke into the wireless headset even while continuing to type away on the laptop braced against the steering wheel, and monitoring the activity of those leaving the back entrance of the posh
L.A. nightclub across the street. "Twenty-one." His friend, and former Navy SEAL commander, Luther Biggens, practically groaned on the other end of the phone line, already sensing defeat.
"Twenty-one? She's a legal adult. If she wants to be with this basketball player there is nothing you can do about it."
"Try explaining that to her sisters."
"Listen, man, I really wish I could help you--" Paul suddenly snapped to attention when the person he'd been looking for peeked his head around the door.
Paul sat completely still while he watched a member of his personal protection team, Barnett Roberts, look up and down the alleyway before stepping out.
Like most of the members of his personal security force Barney was a large, muscular man. His smoothly shaven head and creamy chocolate skin made his age indeterminable at a glance. He was a former Army Special Forces soldier, and had been with G-Force Security for almost two years, which was why Paul had resisted believing the signs that led him to the most obvious conclusion.
Luther continued to plead his case. "All I'm asking is that you check out the situation. This guy is no good. If anything happens to this girl..."
"I understand." Paul watched the scene unfolding across the street with narrowed eyes. Barney was now signaling to someone at the other end of the alley. "Tell you what, I'll find her and make sure she's okay. Beyond that, there's not a lot I can do if she doesn't want to leave."
"Thanks, man. I really appreciate this."
"No thanks necessary. We're brothers." Paul spoke of the emotional bond between men-in-arms, not the genetic one, but he knew Luther would understand. There was a time he would've thought Barney understood, but not anymore.
As a van began to slowly pull toward Barney, Paul sat up in the bucket seat of the nondescript vehicle he often used for surveillance and gently placed his laptop on the passenger seat. "Luther, I gotta go." He never took his eyes off his employee.
"All right. Just give me a call as soon as you find her."
"I will." Paul pressed the end button on his cell phone, unlocked the car door and slowly began to get out. The van came to a stop several feet from the back door of the club, and a small-framed, young white male stepped out. He exchanged a few words to Barney before reaching into the side of the van.
For all the high-tech, million-dollar equipment he used in his line of work as a security consultant, Paul felt few things served him better than the fleet of Motor City subcom-pact cars his company routinely used. So common and ordinary, no one ever noticed people getting in and out of them. It was this blandness that allowed him to cross the alley in plain sight of both men without drawing their attention.
It wasn't until he'd almost reached them that they spotted him. He watched Barney's eyes widen in surprise as the other man turned from the van holding a small video camera.
"B-boss, what are you doing here?" Barney managed to stutter out. The sweat was already beginning to form on his forehead.
"I could ask you the same thing." Paul's deep baritone voice was intimidating under usual circumstances, but with the hint of menace lacing each word there was no mistaking the hidden threat. "Aren't you supposed to be inside watching Lacy Hill?"
The man with the camera looked from his informant to Paul and correctly surmised the situation.
He extended his hand with a bright smile. "You must be Paul Gutierrez, the mastermind behind G-Force Security Systems. Tom Stringer, National Examiner. What an honor to meet you, sir."
Paul had also taken inventory and fully understood the situation. He'd come here tonight based on a suspicion that had just been proven true. He glanced at the extended hand before turning his complete attention back to his employee. "What are you doing out here in the alley with a reporter when you're supposed to be inside looking after our client?" "Um, I can explain everything." Barney's eyes darted in every direction like a cornered animal.