“I need you to go to Catasaga, Nick. Indefinitely. Isabelle is getting threatening notes. She could be in grave danger.”
Special Agent in Charge Nick Marino stared over at the President of the United States, trying to hide his shock. The Oval Office felt hot all of a sudden, though the cool rain dribbled down outside the open window facing the Rose Garden. “Seriously?”
From behind the big oak desk, the President gave a small smile.
Nick’s reaction was inappropriate. He shook off the emotion. “Excuse me, sir, but I’m surprised. Of course, I’ll do this willingly.”
Tall and built like a football player, James Monroe Manwaring snickered. “You’re probably furious as hell with me. But there are a couple of perks to the assignment. I’m sending Agent Dwyer in with you.”
“Ah.” He’d never worked with his cousin Whitney, who’d become a legend of her own in the service. Manwaring would know her presence in upstate New York sweetened the pot.
“And in a year, when your time on the presidential detail is up, I’ll see what I can do for you. I hear one of the deputies to the director might be leaving then.”
Nick would move heaven and earth to get in line for the agency’s head job, and the President knew it. Since Nick had joined the Secret Service eighteen years ago, his sole aspiration was to fill the position. Every single career move he’d made had been calculated with that in mind.
“But there’s more to why I chose you.” The President frowned. “The agency has had too many screwups lately. I need someone I can trust up there.”
In recent years, several incidents had blighted the reputation of the service big-time. Agents had allowed the White House to be breached. They’d been drunk and disorderly on the grounds. And most reprehensible, they’d behaved abominably on advance travel visits. His own brother had been a victim of one of these events, though there were extenuating circumstances.
“I understand, Mr. President. And I apologize for my initial reaction.”
“I appreciate your cooperation, Nick.”
“Do we have any leads on who’s threatening her?”
“No, we don’t. My gut says that it’s me they’re after, through Isabelle. I’ve alienated people, even before I became President.”
He had. As attorney general, he’d busted up a ring of dirty cops, been responsible for a myriad of drug arrests and even taken on two corrupt senators and one judge. Because of all that, when he was elected POTUS, he’d been given the code name Pit Bull.
Sighing, Nick tried to accept that he was going to be a babysitter for several weeks. The very thought of it frustrated him. Because there was nothing more that Nick Marino wanted than to be in the kill zone.
A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Kathryn Shay has been a lifelong writer and teacher.
She has written dozens of self-published original romance titles, including print books with the Berkley Publishing
Group and Harlequin Enterprises, and mainstream women’s fiction with Bold Strokes Books. She has won five
RT Book Reviews awards, four Golden Quills, four Holt Medallions, the Bookseller’s Best Award, Foreword
Magazine’s Book of the Year, and several “Starred Reviews.” Her novels have been serialized in Cosmopolitan
Magazine and featured in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and People magazine.
There are over five million copies of her books in print, along with hundreds of thousands
downloaded online. Reviewers have called her work “emotional and heart-wrenching.”