Stalked - By Allison Brennan


Present Day—New York City Dark cosmic humor was the only explanation as to why FBI Special Agent Suzanne Madeaux was investigating a murder at Citi Field instead of sitting on the first-base line with a beer. Proof that life wasn’t fair.

Suzanne stuffed her thick dark blond hair under her Mets cap and left her cool air-conditioned sedan for the early dawn New York summer. The weather didn’t bother her—she was born and raised in Louisiana, and New York had nothing on the South for humidity—but the noise from nearby LaGuardia grated on her nerves.

She looked up at the Citi Field stadium and sighed. She’d had a ticket to last night’s game and had to give it away because of work. Late to bed, early to rise, no time for her one vice—baseball and beer. Two vices. Now her team was on the road for nearly two weeks and she’d only be able to watch them on television. Sometimes, she hated her job.

She flashed her badge and was let under the crime scene tape. In addition to dragging her out of bed for a case outside of her jurisdiction, her boss had given her no information about why she had to get her ass out to a Queens homicide after working until two a.m. Murder didn’t usually fall under the purview of the FBI, and she had no active serial killer cases.

She’d thought taking the position of liaison with NYPD for multi-jurisdiction violent crimes would be a career boost, but the nominal pay increase didn’t come close to making up for her longer hours or the shit she had to deal with from some of the cops who didn’t like feds. She had the authority to take jurisdiction, run a case jointly, or keep it local. Considering she had tickets to the first Mets game when they returned—against the Red Sox—she definitely planned to let NYPD keep this case.

“Mad Dog!” a male voice called out.

Suzanne cringed at her nickname. She’d earned it years ago when she had a verbal battle with the media over a brutal murder, but she hated when cops used it. She turned to find the jerk in the crowd and give him the evil eye. She’d learned it from her Cajun grandmother and it worked wonders.

Instead, she said, “Shit.”

“Good to see you, Suzi.”

Detective Joe DeLucca. She should have known. Most of the cops didn’t dare call her Mad Dog anymore, but DeLucca was one of the few she couldn’t intimidate. Probably because not only did he know he was sexy, but also he was one of the best detectives on the force. If she was a mad dog, he was a hunting dog—never gave up the trail until he caught the bad guy.

She stared at him. “You can call me Agent Madeaux, or you can call me Suzanne, but if you call me Suzi again, I’ll break your thumb.”

He grinned, all Italian, all cop. “Promise?” A lesser woman would have swooned. Suzanne kept the swooning in check. No use stroking his inflated ego.

DeLucca—one of her ex-boyfriends. Damn, her exes were adding up. Why was she surprised? Was she ever going to learn not to date cops?

Probably not. Cops were some of the few who understood her schedule, her drive, and, well, her. She never had to explain why she was late, never had to talk about her cases unless she wanted to, and never had to curb her language.

But there were certainly problems dating within her profession. Like running into ex-boyfriends at crime scenes.

“Did you call me out here to apologize for being an asshole or because you need the big guns?”

He winked. “Maybe I just wanted to see you again.”


“Hold up. Damn, you’re touchy today.”

“It’s seven in the morning and I haven’t had enough coffee. I’m at Citi Field, but not watching a game. And I was paged in bed, so I didn’t even get to run. No run, not enough coffee, makes me bitchy.”

Thing was, she still liked Joe DeLucca. But he was divorced with a psycho ex-wife and a son his ex used to keep Joe close to the nest. Suzanne couldn’t blame Joe for picking his kid over his girlfriend. She’d do the same thing, if she had a kid. Which as she was single, thirty-five, and had had no long-term relationship in years was fast becoming unlikely.

An airplane from LaGuardia took off, drowning out whatever Joe was saying. He waited, then repeated, “Tell me how your business card found its way into