Thursday, November 10, 2022

Dylan: Brotherhood Protectors World by Regan Black

$3.99 or FREE for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers


When hope is lost, truth is blurred, and your life is on the line, it’s time to call in the
Guardian Agency...

Jana Clayton’s father is dead. She is the only person in the world who is convinced it was
murder rather than suicide. No one will listen to her concerns that the scene was staged or that
there must be more to the dreadful situation. Grieving and frustrated, she’s increasingly worried
that she’s being followed, but she’s not sure she can trust her instincts anymore. Desperate for
help, she reaches out to a private investigations group known as the Guardian Agency.

Dylan Parker, the sexy cowboy who answers her call, isn’t anything like the investigator
Jana expected. Though he’s a complete professional, it’s clear he’s reluctant to believe her
theory. Worse, he stirs up desire and longing she doesn’t have time to indulge. She’s ready to
send him packing… until the bullets start flying. There’s no way she can dodge the danger long
enough to unravel the situation alone. Trusting her Guardian Agent is her only chance to survive,
no matter the risk to her heart.

Author note: Previously published as Against the Wall, this novel has been updated and
revised for your enjoyment.


Two miles into his five mile route, Dylan Parker kept running when his cell phone chimed with a new alert. He’d anticipated at least a week of downtime after his previous assignment. Maybe this was a follow-up.

No such luck he realized as read the brief text message on his screen: Protect

It was the one-word signal that he was back on the clock. Two additional messages would arrive any second with a picture followed by the address and preliminary background file of the person whose life was now his responsibility.

He kept running, his shoes slapping against the ribbon of asphalt winding through the park, while he waited. When he saw the subject’s address he calculated the travel time and took the next turn, cutting his run down to three miles.

Every minute counted for a client in danger.

Chapter One

Austin, Texas

Wednesday, November 14, 3:55 p.m.

Jana Clayton turned onto North Congress Street, willing her wobbling knees to function properly as she walked into her father’s favorite coffee shop. Given a choice, her appointment would’ve been held anywhere but here, on any day but today. Tucking her sunglasses into the buckle of her purse strap, she joined the line and hoped her waterproof mascara would hold up.

During the brief drive from home she’d blotted away fresh tears with each stoplight that gave her a clear view of the Texas capitol building. For the first time in her life, she cursed the city planners for their thoughtful and precise attention to that detail.

When she’d received confirmation of this meeting she had known maintaining her composure here would be one more personal challenge. Nearing the counter, she reminded herself that normal people didn’t break down sobbing at the mention of a caramel macchiato or a shot of espresso.

Since her father had been found dead in his study almost two weeks ago she felt as far removed from normal as a person could get. In a heavy emotional fog, she’d slogged through countless ‘final’ decisions, and accepted a torrent of sympathy during the public and private memorial services. Instead of healing or easing the sting of grief, she felt worse with each passing day. It wasn’t just the shock of losing the man who’d been her anchor and inspiration, it was the oppressive loneliness, the suffocating realization that the one person who understood her dreams and her heart would never see those dreams fulfilled.

Yes, it was all of that compounded by the letter from her father she’d mysteriously received just after the funeral. His last message to her scrawled by hand across the official Texas Senate stationery kept her in this perpetual state of turmoil. Today’s meeting could change that, turn things around. She had to hang on to that hope.

Sniffling, she reached into the pocket of her short, forest green trench coat for a tissue to dab at her nose. She absolutely refused to take this meeting, one that could mean the difference between an honorable or a tarnished legacy for her father, with a nose Santa Claus could use on a cloudy night.

Reaching the counter, she straightened her spine and placed her order in a calm, steady voice.

The barista reached out and patted Jana’s hand. “We’re all so sorry about your dad, sweetie.”

“Thank you.” Jana managed a small smile.

“I nearly bawled my eyes out when I caught Sally Ann making the Senator’s standing order this morning.”

For years, this shop had provided coffee and pastries for the Wednesday staff meetings. Such happy routines had been irrevocably erased from Jana’s weekly schedule. Forever. She nodded, feeling her polite smile slipping as she struggled for the right words. Her mascara didn’t stand a chance if this kept up. It was important to listen, to let others share memories and express their grief, but every outpouring of sympathy felt like an emotional sucker punch, leaving her gasping for air. She was starting to believe her stepmother, Camille, had the right idea with her current tactic of hiding in a haze of valium behind the closed curtains and locked gates of the Clayton family ranch.

Oh, they all meant well, but with no one to help her carry the load, Jana felt herself cracking under the burden. Someone had to keep tabs on her father’s political issues and business details. Someone had to be the public face of Senator Clayton’s legacy of service. Based on the unpleasant and false rumors of depression revealed in this morning’s paper, that someone was also going to have to put out a few fires along the way. Her personal agony could wait, it wasn’t going anywhere, but she couldn’t allow the press to steamroll her father’s upstanding reputation.

“It will take us all some time to adjust,” Jana said at last, taking her coffee. “He meant the world to so many people.” Hopefully those people wouldn’t believe the trashy gossip and speculation.

She stepped back from the counter, swiftly crossing to an open table near the wide front window. Her father had improved life for countless Texans. Despite his accomplishments during his thirty-year span as a senator, someone had killed him. Disguising it as suicide hadn’t fooled her. She’d known it from the first phone call. As if hearing her father was dead hadn’t been enough of a shock, bad had quickly turned worse when authorities labeled the death as suicide.

In that moment, her first thought, her first word, had been ‘impossible’. Her view hadn’t changed in the weeks since. Evidence of gunshot residue on his hand, his fingerprints on the bullets and gun, and an unpleasant news article on his desk about the upcoming legislative session hadn’t fooled her. Contrary to how the police interpreted the scene, she knew there was a more sinister explanation. There had to be.

Unfortunately no one agreed with her.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...