Tuesday Teaser: Bulletproof Princess
Here is a teaser excerpt from Book 2 in my Marshals series, Bulletproof Princess.
Get your copy here!
Nothing about this situation had sat right with Mack since the urgent call at dinner. The
Vegas Marshals would have handled it since it was their turf, and they never go into a situation
without a plan or at least a little bit of foreknowledge. It was dangerous enough without not
knowing who they should guard against. That was the problem with having a pencil-pusher as a
chief, no practical understanding of the job and how it’s done. That was going to stop today,
Grambling had a collection of goons in blue Marshal jackets stationed around the house like
they were keeping a federal prisoner and not a pop princess. There weren’t guys Mack knew or
recognized by face, but their presence solidified his thinking that this threat was much greater
than what he’d been led to believe.
One look at Ange and she nodded. “Cass, do you wanna go lie down and go back to sleep?
Have a snack? A glass of water?” It was good to have a partner who knew and understood him,
who shared in his desire to keep their witness away from any bloodshed, no matter how
The young woman nodded, and the bright recessed lights in the ceiling made the shadows
under her eyes stand out starkly against her skin. “Yeah, a snack might be good.” They headed in
the direction he presumed would be the kitchen, accompanied by one of Grambling’s troops,
leaving Mack and Grambling more or less alone, not counting the one or two who stood
watching dutifully out the back window.
“What’s with the Bulletheads?” Mack asked, dispensing with the niceties outright. One who
had been dutifully stationed by the window looked over at him with the raised eyebrow, but he
was in just bad enough of a mood to chance it. He hadn’t even had a chance to change clothes
from dinner, having passed out in the recliner in the living room after checking the locks and
alarm. He was feeling grungy, mean, and most of all—lied to. Maybe not quite that far, but
definitely kept in the dark, and sins of omission were still sins in his mind.
Grambling sniffed and wandered into the kitchen, returning with two steaming mugs of
coffee. He set one down on the wooden side table next to where Mack paced and took a sip of
his own brew.
“We’ve run into a few snags, and I didn’t want those to compromise Miss Whitfield’s safety
while we sort them out.”
Mack watched the man perch delicately on the edge of an armchair that, with the couch and
end tables, formed a sort of blockade around the coffee table. “Sort it out, like it’s a mix up on a
His boss shrugged and sipped, as carefree as a sorority girl on vacation. “Just a small snafu,
The breezy way the younger man dismissed his sarcasm immediately had Mack’s back up.
“How about you let me judge the severity. What did you do, Austin?”
The use of his first name had Grambling’s eyes narrowing. “We ran into an issue with
putting Miss Whitfield into the program.” His pause and shifting in his seat told Mack the DOJ
had the same misgivings about her entry to the program as he did, and Grambling got to hear all
about it. In lurid and painful detail.
“So, I take it your plan to advance your career on her back flamed out spectacularly. That
about right?” It was three in the morning, and Mack’s ability to be deferential had long been in
bed asleep. “What does that mean for her exactly?”
“That is a specious accusation! I was concerned about her welfare and safety!”
The look of feigned indignance and shock made Mack want to vault the back of the couch
and pound his superior’s face in, obviously a Career Limiting Move. Still, he thought about it.
“Can you even spell ‘specious’?” he asked slowly, actively fighting to rein in his temper. “You
still haven’t answered my question. Since she’s not allowed to be in the program, what do we do
Grambling set his mug on the table—on a ceramic coaster naturally—and turned to face him
primly in his chair. “Well, we have to return her to Vegas. I’ve already cleared it though her
“I’m sorry?” Mack’s shock spoke before he’d fully collected his thoughts. “She was
determined to be in so much danger in Vegas that you had her spirited away several hundred
miles, and then, when your funding fell through, we’re just going to throw her back to the
wolves?” He didn’t like the way his voice was rising as he spoke, but his temper was rapidly
approaching critical mass. Grambling’s trained monkeys apparently heard him and moved a little
further out of the way, just in case.
His boss stood and brushed the wrinkles from his pants in a fluid, practiced motion before
raising his hands in a gesture Mack assumed to be placating. “She will have extra security
twenty-four-seven, she will be accompanied at all times—”
“You made a promise,” Mack growled, stalling the chief’s clearly-prepared speech. “You
made a promise and conscripted me and my partner into said promise. Now you’re just going to
walk away because she’s no longer useful to you. That is un-fucking-acceptable!”
The other man took a step back at the vehemence in his tone, stumbling into the chair behind
him and taking an unceremonious seat. His hands were still up. “Now, Mackenzie, I know—”
“You know nothing,” he spat, turning on his heel. Ange came out of the kitchen in a way
that indicated she was ready to rumble if he was. “All that vacation time you’ve been on me to
take? I’m gone, effective immediately. Ange is coming with me.”
“I...don’t understand.” The look on Grambling’s face would have been comical in any other
situation, now it was just infuriating.
“What’s to understand?” He looked to Ange, who nodded in comprehension, and could see
Cassie peeking over her shoulder from the kitchen. To her, he inclined his head toward the door
through which they’d entered. “We’re leaving.”
Grambling was up with wild eyes and scrambling around the couch. “You...you can’t! I
When the younger man reached for him, Mack could feel all his muscles tightening for a
fight. “It’s no longer your choice. You made a promise on my behalf without my permission. A
promise I intend to keep, regardless of your feelings about it. Since she’s officially not in
WITSEC, she’s free to do as she pleases, and she will be coming with me.” His slow grin dared
his superior to disagree with him.
Ange was already hustling Cassie toward the door when one of the Bulletheads stepped in
front of them. “I don’t want to go through you, but I will.” Her silky voice in combination with
her slight step back into a defensive position was all the warning the man was going to get before
she used his teeth to open a fresh can of WhoopAss. He’d seen bigger men try her and fail,
usually ending in humiliated and bloodied heaps at the toes of her expensive shoes.