UNDERCOVER-AND TOTALLY EXPOSED . . .
Tall, lithe Selena McCaffrey turns heads on the streets-and hides an assassin's knife beneath her clothes. In another life, Selena would have chosen a peaceful career as a painter. But as a child, fate plunged her into a fight for survival-and a trusted father-figure forced her into a life of crime.
Now the feds want Selena to go undercover. Her assignment: break up the criminal empire once run by her protector and mentor. But playing a double game threatens the first good thing she's ever had with a man-an honest Tulsa cop-and draws Selena into a high-stakes sting filled with deception and shocking violence. Surrounded by danger-and coming closer to uncovering a chilling truth about herself and her past-Selena is about to find out just how much deeper she'll have to go . . . to get out alive.
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November 28, 2005
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Excerpt from Deep Cover by Rachel Butler
Selena McCaffrey had had one hell of a day.
A .45 gripped loosely in both hands, she sighted on a paper silhouette target seventy-five feet away. She'd emptied the previous magazine center mass in the target's chest. This one was going into the head.
She double-tapped the target--fired two shots in rapid succession--then did it again. The ground around her was littered with brass. In the time since the owner of the shooting range had left her alone to relieve her frustration, the sun had set and the flood lamps had come on, but she didn't feel much better.
The day hadn't started badly. She'd gone for a run that morning and then put in a good six hours at the easel. Then she'd opened her door to find Special Agent King of the FBI on her stoop, and everything had gone to hell.
It sounded so reasonable the way the FBI put it. She had a fourteen-year pseudo-father-daughter relationship with Henry Daniels, better known to her as William Davis, head of an extensive drug operation. He had always intended for her to take over the business someday, and now that he was out of commission, the FBI was pressuring her to fulfill his wish--and in the process, help them shut down the operation once and for all. If she cooperated, they would be willing to forget their list of charges against her. If she didn't . . .
Sweat trickling down her spine, she fired the last of the bullets in the magazine, set the pistol on the table beside her, pulled off the ear protectors, and combed her fingers through her hair. Summer nights in Oklahoma weren't much different from back home in Key West--hot and muggy--though she missed the ocean breezes. In Tulsa the best they could offer was the Arkansas River, sluggish and brown, and the scents of the oil refinery on the west bank. But that was all right. She hadn't come for the weather, and she wasn't staying for it, either.
Clenching her jaw against the curses she wanted to shout into the night, she reached for the box of bullets. A puff of dust rose from the concrete only inches from her hand and she stared at it--and the small neat hole left behind--for an instant. The same instant it took another bullet to glance off the cement and ricochet into the night. Instinctively she dove to the ground, taking cover behind the nearest half wall. From her position she could see her gun on the table--and fewer than ten rounds of ammo in the box beside it. She hadn't had a chance to reload, and the shooter probably knew that.
He couldn't have picked a better place for an attack. The neighborhood was largely industrial, and the people who worked nearby were accustomed to gunfire. Even if anyone was around that late, they wouldn't think to call the police.
Another shot splintered the concrete above her head, showering fragments and dust on her skin. She flinched, and the switchblade in her waistband dug into her skin. With the blade and her extensive martial arts training, she'd always felt confident in any situation, but neither was of any use against an attacker secreted in the darkness. He could kill her, then disappear with no one the wiser.
Damned if she was going to die without a fight.
She shimmied on her belly along the length of the cinder-block wall, stirring up dust. When she reached the far end, she drew a deep breath, murmured a prayer, then eased to a crouch. There was no sound--no heavy breathing, no fumbled reloading, no sirens racing to her assistance. Nothing but the thudding of her own heart.
One, two, three, she counted, then launched herself around the corner toward the table where her weapon lay. Bullets followed, biting into the ground, the cement, the wood posts that supported the overhanging roof. She hit the ground with a thud, rolling, reaching up to grab the pistol and the box of bullets. Relief rushed over her when her blind groping found both. She rolled again, came up on her feet in one fluid movement, then dove once more for the cover of the cinder-block wall.