Floodgates Read Online Mary Calmes

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Crime, M-M Romance, Suspense Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 96
Estimated words: 95080 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 475(@200wpm)___ 380(@250wpm)___ 317(@300wpm)

Tracy Brandt considers himself a lucky man. He has a wonderful family, good friends, and a dependable job. His love life, however, features a cheating ex who, though out of the house, is not yet out of the picture—an ex with a past that might get Tracy killed.

Homicide inspector Cord Nolan wants nothing more than to show his best friend’s little brother that he’s a reliable man, but to do that he’ll have to get Tracy to look past the player he used to be. It’ll be a tough sell. Reputation is everything, and Cord’s is tarnished by his past indiscretions.

Tracy and Cord have spent five years trying to smother their fiery attraction under a blanket of grudging antagonism. When Tracy finds himself with a target on his back, Cord rides to the rescue, and he finally has the chance to break through the dam of Tracy’s reserve. But Cord had better be if he’s opening the floodgates to wash away the past, he’s going to have to hold tight to Tracy to make sure they’re still standing when the tumult recedes. 2nd edition, previously published March 2014.

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The shot went off over my head, exploding the horrible framed picture of dogs playing poker. I had always hated it, had complained that it didn’t belong in our upscale office close to Jackson Square, but shot into a million pieces was a fate I had never imagined for it.

Luckily, I’d heard the intruders busting into our offices, and I’d managed to dive under my desk and crouch there just as a bullet whizzed past. I heard men going from room to room, yelling that there was no one there. It was only a three-person office normally, the bulk of our staff working at the docks and the rest delivering goods. Whoever was still in my office with me kept quiet, but I knew they were waiting, hesitating, unsure if I had a gun or not. If they’d known where they were, the answer would have been self-explanatory. But if they had checked, they would have never been there to begin with.

They were in the wrong place on an early Wednesday morning in October because someone hadn’t done their homework. They didn’t know yet that they’d made a mistake. They would, and there would be hell to pay on their end. There was some consolation in that for me, but it didn’t help at the moment. I was still about to be dead at thirty-three because someone had, again, confused one brother for another.

Weighing my options, I considered whether I should attempt going out the window, which was the closest exit point, or try to make it out the back, assuming I could get out of my office and to the stairs leading to the parking lot. I had seconds to decide. The window would be faster, but it had ancient, thick glass, and since the building was a historical one, chances were good that it was sturdier than it appeared. There was no guarantee it would give under my weight if I didn’t hit it perfectly. Plus, I didn’t have much space to build up momentum. Also, for all I knew, the shooter could be right beside it. The back door was safer all around, but again, only if I could get past my new nemesis without getting shot.

The if was kind of funny, since when we moved to this office from the old one close to the Embarcadero, and I had brought up his infamous brother to him, Dimah Mashir—my partner—had assured me that, honest to God, nothing exciting was ever going to happen. His brother, Kirill, was the one involved in nefarious pursuits; he, Dimah, was the legitimate one.

I chanced a peek, and seeing the shooter was on the other side of the room, I made a run for it. With a lamp exploding beside me, papers blowing off my desk, chunks of bookcase whizzing through the air, the whole room blasting apart, my only thought was that if I lived through the attempt on my life, I was going to rip my partner a new one.

Flying into the hall, I hit the wall hard, bounced off, and saw a guy running in with a semiautomatic pistol in his hand. I wheeled around and took off in the opposite direction. My only advantage was that I knew where I was going and they didn’t.

I skidded around the corner, went right, then left, through the small staff kitchen/breakroom, into the conference area, out the other side, and down the stairs to the door with the panic bar. What didn’t help was that the door had an alarm—it was a fire exit—so the bells went off the second I hurled it open, pinpointing my location. At least I had a little head start.

Up and over the chain-link fence, and then I came down on the hood of a car on the other side. I lost my footing and banged down hard, bounced, then slid off into gravel. Normally, I was a bit more coordinated, but as I’d been in the process of making coffee when all this started—and since the cup I’d had on the way in wasn’t nearly enough—I was not at the top of my game.

Hearing sirens in the distance, I covered my head with my arms as I ran, completely missing the ankle-high chain sectioning off the parking lot. I tripped and fell onto the hood of a parked black Mercedes Benz. Another lucky break, as the bullet aimed my way hit my left bicep and not the back of my head. Sometimes it just didn’t feel like luck until the end.

The cops came, and the second I gave my name—“Tracy Brandt”—the question came.

“Brandt?” And then, “Any relation to Inspector Alexander Brandt, now Agent Brandt?”

What was I going to do, lie? “Yes,” I groaned, “he’s my brother.”

They wouldn’t have known—no one knew every Drug Enforcement Agency agent off the top of their head—but Alex had started out as a cop here in San Francisco, so a lot of guys knew of or remembered him.