COLLIN EDWARD O'SHEA
adopted at 5 years old
State Police Sniper
former concert cellist
Sneak Peak Excerpt:
Collin watched the glow in Beth's eyes as she talked to members of the orchestra. The delicate lavender color of her formal gown and the diamond clips in the upswept curls of her hair enhanced her physical beauty. However, it was the love of music sparkling in her conversation that really captured Collin's attention.
Why had she neglected music? he wondered. Surely she could carve out time for something she so clearly loved in addition to running a restaurant.
Well, he would make sure their time together included the orchestra she enjoyed so much. And he did intend to spend time with Beth, Collin realized. Though this was their first actual date, it seemed he had known her forever.
Inwardly, Collin took a step back. Such fanciful thoughts for a man whose life was devoted to a job requiring deadly focus and split second decision-making.
The vibration of the cell phone in his pocket clearly reminded Collin of that job. Caller ID showed this interruption was a serious one.
He excused himself and went to the lobby to take the call. His team leader offered few details but to report ASAP.
Collin returned to the table and apologized to Beth. "Something's come up and I need to go."
He paused and frowned, irritated a call-out was pulling him away from the most pleasant evening he had enjoyed in recent memory. "I'm so sorry."
The sparkle in Beth's eyes turned to worry. "Is everything alright?"
If everything was alright, the SWAT team wouldn't be activated. But Collin couldn't say that. He couldn't destroy Beth's innocent concern. "One of the drawbacks of my job is being on call 24/7."
"Oh." Beth rose to her feet.
The scent of her flowery shampoo filled Collin's senses and sizzled through his body. She stood close enough he would only have to take a step forward to fold her in his arms. To protect her from the angry and distraught and plainly malevolent people he met every day on his job.
"Do you mind driving my truck back to Halo after I stop at the station? I won't have time to make the trip."
Doubtful hesitation crinkled across Beth's face. "If you don't mind."
"I mind leaving you without a proper escort home."
Collin drove quickly to the station and pulled into a parking spot. Then he cupped Beth's face between his hands and kissed her gently. As the seconds ticked away, his cell phone vibrated again.
He had to leave. He allowed one more moment of regret, then said goodnight, and strode inside to confront whatever emergency was once again claiming his life.
Irritation swirled through Collin as he entered the station. Beth was the first woman who had captured his attention for a very long time, and he had to cut short their date for a call-out. This had better be good.
A mass of organized chaos greeted Collin.
"About time you showed up, O'Shea." His team leader frowned. "We've got a town blowing up. We're sending all the manpower we can spare."
"What town?" Collin shrugged into his camouflage jacket.
Collin froze as a crystal clear image of Beth lodged in his mind. She was driving straight into a disaster.
Release date: July 2012
copyright Genie Gabriel