Explosive Attraction - By Lena Diaz

Chapter One

The door to Darby’s office flew open and banged against the wall. She froze in her chair, blinking in surprise at the man standing there, his dark eyes narrowed, intent, like a predator on the hunt.

Darby very much feared she was his prey.

“Where’s the letter?” He stalked across the room, his laserlike gaze settling on her.

Trapped, between the desk and the wall. She pressed back against her chair while she mentally cataloged the office supplies around her for their weapon potential. She was reaching for her stapler when it dawned on her what he’d said, something about a letter.

Her young assistant stood in the doorway wringing her hands, glancing from the stranger to Darby. “I’m sorry, Dr. Steele. He refused to wait. He just—”

“The letter,” the man repeated, his deep voice gruff with impatience.

That familiar voice had Darby letting go of the stapler and studying him more carefully. Several days’ growth of stubble darkened his jaw. His shaggy, unkempt hair hung just past his ears. His brows were a fierce slash on a deeply tanned face that would have been handsome if he wasn’t frowning.

She’d been the recipient of that frown too many times not to recognize it.

Some of the tension drained out of her. “It’s okay, Mindy,” she reassured her assistant. “This is Detective Rafe Morgan.”

A look of relief flashed across Mindy’s face. Without waiting to see if Darby needed anything, she eagerly fled the office.

So much for having her boss’s back.

Darby squelched her own desire to flee. Having Rafe Morgan burst into her office was only slightly better than confronting the drug-crazed stranger she’d first believed him to be. Especially since Rafe could barely stand to be in the same room with her.

The feeling was mutual.

Giving him the bland smile she reserved for her most difficult clients, she pushed back from her desk to shake his hand. “Detective, I almost didn’t recognize you.”

When he made no move to take her hand, she let out a deep sigh and dropped her hand to her side. Actually, the slight probably wasn’t intentional. He seemed preoccupied, studying every detail in her office, as if he expected someone to jump out from behind a bookshelf or from behind the couch and chairs she used for her therapy sessions.

“You called the police, said someone sent you a threatening letter,” he reminded her.

He was on duty, seriously? She glanced at the wrinkled shirt he was wearing and the equally wrinkled blazer that did little to conceal the large gun holstered at his waist. Since when had he started wearing jeans to work? Every time she’d ever seen him he was wearing a suit and tie, clean-shaven, with his dark hair cut military short. Then again, she’d only seen him at the courthouse, when they were both testifying—usually on opposite sides of a case. Maybe this was how he dressed when not in court.

He pulled a pair of latex gloves out of his jeans pocket and tugged them on. His gaze flicked down her suit, slowly, insultingly, past her skirt, down her legs to her heels then back up, before his mocking gaze met hers again.

Point taken. He’d noticed her looking at his clothes and was giving it right back to her. She wouldn’t have expected anything less from him.

“I’m in a hurry here, Dr. Steele.”

Her fists clenched at her side. “Of course. I wouldn’t want to keep you here any longer than necessary.”

The corner of his mouth quirked up. “Of course.”

She gritted her teeth and whirled around, marching toward the grouping of furniture on the far side of the room. She reminded herself Rafe had lost his wife a year ago in a horrible tragedy. He deserved her patience and understanding. She drew a deep, bracing breath and stopped beside the couch. “I’m sure the letter isn’t anything serious. I get things like this every once in a while.”

“If you didn’t think it was serious, why did you call the police?”

Patience, patience.

He stopped next to her, and she had to crane her neck back to look at him. In her calmest voice, she explained, “I have clients to think about. I never ignore threats, even if I don’t think there’s any real danger.”

He seemed to consider that for a moment. “You get a lot of threats?” No sarcasm, just what sounded like genuine concern.

Darby let out a pent-up breath and moved past him to the small, decorative table where she kept her mail. “Two or three a year. People pin their hopes and dreams