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By Erin McCarthy. You said it was going to be here. He was so close to busting this case wide open. All he needed was a little more evidence, which was supposed to have been dropped in this car by the speaker on the other end of the phone. Derek rubbed his eyes. He fumbled in his pocket for antacids and popped two in his mouth, chewing the chalky tablets rapidly. Movement to the left caught his attention.

He looked up and saw nothing but legs. Female legs. They still beckoned him, toying with him, distracting him from the task at hand. He sent the window down with a soft purr and listened to the sound of her heels hitting the concrete, echoing around the dark garage as her hips rolled and swayed and those legs bent seductively at the knee with each step.

He looked past the legs to the narrow waist, the luscious chest, and to the straight auburn hair flowing across her shoulders. She turned, met his gaze. Her eyes went wide with awareness, her plump lips opened as she clutched her rolling suitcase tighter. In the red Ford Taurus. Derek heard the last words and snapped to attention. Hold it. You said the green Ford Taurus. I said the red one. Derek swore. He had to be the only agent in the history of the bureau to have a color blind whistle-blower.

He could see the car in question. It was across from him. Excuse me, miss, I think you have the wrong car. Derek started to jog over to her, images of his butt hung in an FBI sling by Nordstrom, his less-than-happy boss, flashing through his mind.

She opened the door and turned to enter the car. She frowned as she hastened to get in the car. I have Mace. He stopped and stared in astonishment as her hand popped out holding a spray can in a threatening manner. Christ, she thought he was attacking her. The door slammed shut, the lock clicked, the engine roared, and Derek had to leap back to prevent a broken foot as she backed up with the speed of a N.

What the hell? Not to mention those awe-inspiring legs. With his own burst of speed that made his bad knee scream, he went back to the green Taurus and followed her, on her tail in sixty seconds as she swung around the first floor curve of the garage. After his last case, when he had skirted procedure a time or two, Nordstrom would be more than happy to see him in the basement pushing papers for the rest of his life. Reese Hampton tossed her purse and the Mace on the passenger seat, her eyes trained on the exit sign in front of her.

She was exhausted. A hot shower and room service were the next order of business, and the only things that could redeem a flat-out lousy day. The flight from New York to Chicago had first been delayed.

Then they had encountered a storm front over Pennsylvania, sending half the passengers scrambling for their airsick bags. The man in the seat next to her had snored, and his hand had fallen in her lap three times. Then walking across the garage, struggling to keep her flipping suitcase rolling without toppling over sideways, she had looked up and met the gaze of the most gorgeous guy she had ever seen.

Caramel brown hair. Chocolate eyes. A deep summer tan and shoulders as wide and rock solid as the Grand Canyon. But then the whole fantasy had been shot to hell when he had started towards her, an intense and somehow dangerous look in his eye. A man running towards her in a dark secluded parking garage was a little nerve-racking, no matter how cute.

Ted Bundy had been cute, and look how he had turned out. It was a sad testimonial to her pathetic life that the only man to show interest in her in ages was probably a psychiatric ward escapee. Exiting the garage, she put double chocolate fudge eyes out of her mind and tried to figure out where she was.

Doing a quick U-turn, she hit the control on the car panel that would call Map-Star, the live service that tracked down the car you were in and offered directions.

It was why Reese always used this particular rental car company. For being an investigative reporter, she had an appalling sense of direction. She had estimated that she had called Map-Star at least forty-seven times in the last two years. She was starting to get to know the employees by name. Reese flipped the rearview mirror down as she idled at a red light, checking her lipstick.

Just as she had suspected. They would slap an apron on her and send her to the kitchen with hair like this. She flipped the mirror back up, then frowned. What was that flash of green behind her? Why did that car look familiar? I can do that. She checked the mirror again. The green car was still behind her. And there was something about the driver.

She was terrible at placing faces. Darting her eyes back and forth from the road and the mirror, Reese felt a flicker of annoyance. She knew who that was. It was the guy from the garage.

He was following her. Her hands tightened on the steering wheel as she tried to tell herself it was a coincidence. It was possible that he needed to go in the same direction she did. People did that.

Go in the same direction. Without thought, she jerked the wheel hard to the right and squeezed onto the exit ramp, just missing the guardrail. She went left at the light at the exit, her tires squealing as she took the corner at forty-five miles an hour, her high heel slipping on the gas as she floored it.

There was no question now that he was following her. He was right on her tail, the psycho, and Reese checked the doors to make sure they were all locked. If this were New York, she would know where she was going and could head to the police station to file a stalker report.

Or call a friend to meet her. But here, in Chicago, she had no idea where she was and no one she could call. She weaved in and out of traffic, a certain thrill racing through her. Heh, heh, think you can catch me? Okay, maybe you can catch me. Along with alarm, she felt grudging admiration. Clearly this guy was a professional weirdo, as opposed to your run-of-the-mill weirdo. She jumped and threw her hand over her heart as her pulse leapt in fear. She had forgotten all about the Map-Star call she was still connected to.

I need you to call the police. What, like she was making it up? She knew a lunatic when she saw one. She would be utterly vulnerable, and annoyance was about to turn to fear if this guy persisted. She would call the police herself from her cell phone. Reese slammed on her brakes at a red light and said, Fine.

She clicked the button to disconnect the call, making a mental note to complain to Map-Star. She could have been being carjacked or having a heart attack, for crying out loud. She let out an involuntary scream. It was him, the gorgeous guy, who apparently was certifiably insane as well as movie star good-looking.

She turned right, ignoring the no turn on red sign.


Smart Mouth

We use cookies to ensure the best user experience at FictionDB. By continuing to browse our site you are agreeing to our use of cookies per our User Agreement. Smart Mouth — Erin McCarthy. Published: Mar FBI Agents - 1. But standing in a Chicago hotel room with a cub reporter as obstinate as she is hot, FBI agent Derek Knight knows he has to play it charming.


Haha, great beginning! I've often been very paranoid like the female lead character Reese when by myself in a parking garage. I love how she starts to get into the car chase a little bit and the deli USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy first published in and has since written over sixty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult romance, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Smart Mouth.


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