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Excerpt from


Lora had just finished questioning the suspects when Zhiruto returned. He held out a paper cup.

“The humans in the tent are all drinking this,” he said. “I thought you might like some.” The dark, rich scent of hot coffee wafted from its open top.

“God, yes, thank you.” she said, taking a grateful sip. He’d even managed to douse it with the right amount of cream and sugar. She was used to pulling late shifts as a cop, but not without coffee. She closed her eyes with pleasure as the caffeine burned down her throat.

Zhiruto made a small noise that sounded almost like a growl, and her eyes popped back open to find him staring at her with a hungry expression.

Her throat tightened. “Do you, uh, want a taste?”

“More than you know.”

She instantly knew he wasn’t talking about the coffee, and desire flushed through her, centering deep in her core. She almost couldn’t breathe with its intensity.

Focus on the job, you dingbat, she told herself. She had guys come onto her all the time, and brushing them off was second nature. But then, very few of them were built like Zhiruto. Swallowing, she set the coffee aside and turned her eyes to the list of attendees on the iPad the NSA had given her. “Let’s stick to business. We have a lot more people to process, so we’d better keep moving.”

Zhiruto pulled a chair over from a nearby table and sat. “Please continue. I appreciate your help.”

Lora's Redbone Coonhound, Pepper, put her head on Zhiruto’s lap and he patted the top of her skull uncertainly. Pepper whined louder.

“Pepper, stop bothering him and go lay down.”

“The quadruped isn’t bothering me, Loragriffin. She will lie down in a moment.”

More tingly feelings raced through Lora as she watched his big hand smooth over Pepper’s sleek red fur. Damn, she was a sucker for a guy with a dog.

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