Survive the Fire
24 Hours - Final Countdown Series Book 3
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? It’s explosive!
Two years ago, a mind-blowing one-night stand left SWAT bomb squad tech Liam O’Rourke searching high and low for the woman he’d known as Just Kate. The only woman who’d ever lit his heart’s fuse.
Now fate, with its warped sense of humor, hurls them back together … when a stalker armed with an arsenal of bombs thrusts injured artist-turned-photographer Kate Chabeau into Liam’s custody.
Unfortunately, Liam’s partner, K-9 Murphy, is Kate’s worst nightmare. Liam and Murph have just twenty-four hours to defuse Kate’s mistrust, capture the bomber, and win her heart.
Or lose her forever.
Just 24 hours can change your life.
“I saw that you were perfect and I loved you. Then I saw that you were not perfect and loved you even more.” ~ Angelita Lim
Las Vegas, Nevada
August 30, High Noon
Kate Chabeau stared down at the sweaty blond man working feverishly between her thighs and waited to die.
The man of the moment raised his head and attempted what she assumed was supposed to be a reassuring expression. “I know it’s tough, but don’t squirm.”
She clenched her teeth. “Does it usually take this long?”
“Depends on how she’s wired.”
Slowly, carefully, she eased aside a strand of long brown hair that’d escaped her tight chignon. “Exactly how good are you?”
“Plenty.” His voice grew more strained by the moment. “But this is … beyond me. Damn, it’s frigid. Iced.” He eased out from between her legs. “I’m calling in backup.”
“They said you had the best hands in Vegas.” Perspiration trickled down Kate’s spine as he slowly straightened.
Leaving her sitting immobile in her black convertible, he jogged toward the other members of the bomb disposal squad convened a safe distance away.
If the best hands in Vegas couldn’t disarm the explosive under her seat, then who would save her? She bit back the silent scream echoing inside her head.
Wait! Come back! Don’t leave me to die alone!
The sun beat down on her head and burned through her sleeveless black dress, stinging tender skin. Heat shimmered off the asphalt, a wavery curtain isolating her from heavily armored police officers surrounding the perimeter. They’d evacuated the parking lot and adjacent buildings. Other than what seemed like hundreds of police vehicles in the distance, hers was the only car in sight. Except for five vans swarming with reporters.
She scowled. If the vultures got lucky, she might die in time to boost six o’clock ratings.
How many minutes did she have left? Fighting riptides of fear, she glanced at the wilted calla lily lying on the passenger seat beside her camera. Stark white petals were brown and curling in the heat. Another “gift” from her stalker. The head-case had previously left her lilies and creepy notes … but this was the first bomb.
Her nightmare might finally end here, her body violently ripped to pieces.
The engine idled a little faster. Kate’s pulse sped into matching BPMs. Could a change in engine tempo trigger a bomb? The young bomb tech had told her she was fortunate her cell call to 911 hadn’t detonated it. She’d been fussing with a mocha frappuccino lid malfunction and had started the car before spotting the threatening note tucked into the console.
The satellite radio station, tuned to “all eighties, all the time,” segued into Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight.”
Fate, you sarcastic bitch.
A little over two years ago, the same song had been playing before the first time she’d died.