Authors: Jenna Kernan
Only the warrior from her past could save her nowâ¦
Tribal police chief Gabe Cosen would do anything to protect his people and their reservation. This sheer dedication to the law had even cost him his fiancÃ©e. Selena Dosela had never forgiven him for sending her father to prison. But with trouble back on her doorstep, Gabe vowed to keep her safe.
Only extreme fear for her family would allow Selena to accept Gabe's help. Despite all they had been through, Selena knew she could trust him with the lives of those she loved. The lawman would never break his wordâ¦but if she wasn't careful, he might break her heart again.
“I want you here,” Gabe said.
“You never look like you need help and you never ask me for it.”
“Well, I've never had to stand over the grave of one of my officers before, either. I hope I never have to do that again.”
She took his hand and held it to her cheek. “It's a terrible loss. I hope you find the killer.”
He hoped that her father wasn't tied up in all this but it wasn't looking good. He realized that his arresting him had broken their engagement. If and when he made that second arrest and sent him back to federal prison, maybe for many, many years, would she ever forgive him?
This might be their first and last night together.
has penned over two dozen novels and has received two RITAÂ® Award nominations. Jenna is every bit as adventurous as her heroines. Her hobbies include recreational gold prospecting, scuba diving and gem hunting. Jenna grew up in the Catskills and currently lives in the Hudson Valley of New York State with her husband. Follow Jenna on Twitter,
, on Facebook or at
Books by Jenna Kernan
A Family for the Rancher
The Vampire's Wolf
The Shifter's Choice
Visit the Author Profile page at
for more titles.
Get rewarded every time you buy a Harlequin ebook!
Click here to Join Harlequin My Rewards
CAST OF CHARACTERS
As chief of police for the Black Mountain Apache Tribe, Gabe has handled some tough cases, but none as challenging as keeping his former fiancÃ©e and her parolee father out of trouble.
Five years ago Selena broke her engagement to Gabe after he arrested her father for drug trafficking. Since then she's run the family freight business on the up and up. But now her father is back, and all bets are off.
Selena's father is on house arrest. But is he a changed man, or back to his old tricks?
Frasco's parole officer is Salt River Apache and free to come and go on the reservation to do his business. But what exactly is his business?
This representative of the Department of Corrections is overseeing Frasco Dosela's case. He's an outsider, so he needs an escort to enter the reservation. But is he working for the Department of Corrections, or the drug cartels?
This detective for the tribal police is Gabe's second in command. But does his right-hand man really have his back?
This gang leader is working with at least one Mexican cartel. Getting him to turn over his associates might be as hard as proving he's involved.
An FBI field agent and an outsider. She's got secrets of her own, and one in particular will rock the entire community.
Selena Dosela's heart beat so hard in her chest she started gasping.
“For the love of God,” said her father from the passenger seat. “Where's your Apache poker face?”
She pressed a hand to her forehead and blew out a breath but still felt dizzy.
“Better.” Her father, who was supposed to be home under house arrest, had crouched out of sight when they passed Gabe's police car, but there was nowhere to hide in the small cab of her box truck.
Gabe hit his lights.
“Pull over,” said her dad.
She did, gliding on snow and ice to a stop on the shoulder. Gabe's white SUV pulled in behind her.
Gabe Cosen, the chief of police for the Black Mountain Apache Tribe, would spot her father the instant he reached her door, which was in about fifteen seconds.
“Tell me when he's next to the rear tire.”
Selena's heart began galloping again.
She glanced in her side mirror. Gabe exited his unit, tugged down his thigh-length sheepskin jacket and put on the gray Stetson that he always wore. Now her heart pounded for a different reason. Even from a distance this man could raise her heart rate and her internal temperature.
As chief, he didn't wear a uniform anymore except for special occasions. But he still wore that hat, as if he were a cowboy instead of an Indian. He tipped the brim down and then marched toward Selena's driver's side. On any other day she might have appreciated the sight because Gabe Cosen looked good coming or going. Right now she wished it was going.
“What should we do?” she asked.
Her father cast her a look of disappointment. “What do you think? Hide. I'll be outside on the running board.”
Why had she thought he meant to harm Gabe? Did her father even carry a gun? She hoped not; he would be in enough trouble if Gabe caught him and, come to think of it, so would she.
Her attention returned to her side mirror. “Okay, he's beside the truck.”
The passenger door eased open and her father hopped out. The door clicked shut. Her attention slipped back to the empty seat and she caught movement through the window beyond. The large rectangular side mirror showed a view of her father crouching on the runner. She gave a little shout. He straightened just enough to peer back inside and she pointed frantically at the mirror. He disappeared like a prairie dog ducking into its burrow, hopping off the running boards and moving out of sight.
“Selena?” Gabe's voice was muffled by the glass.
She jumped in her seat, then rolled down the window to face the chief of the tribal police. The truck was old, refurbished and didn't have power anything. In fact, it even had a cassette player on the console. But she'd chosen this truck because she'd been able to pay cash for the whole thing. Unfortunately she'd had to use it and her sister's box truck as collateral against the 18-wheeler.
“Hey there,” he said. His breath came in a puff of condensation that disappeared almost instantly. “Everything okay?”
Her ears were buzzing. Did that mean she was going to faint?
You absolutely are not going to faint. You can't.
“Was I doing something wrong, Chief?” Her attempt to keep her voice level failed and Gabe pushed back the brim of his hat, giving her a closer look. How did he manage to get more handsome every single year? she wondered as she stared at his ruggedly attractive face.
“You're flushed,” he said.
“Hot in here. Heater is wonky.” That lie came so easily.
“I see. What's up?”
“What do you mean?” she asked, keeping her sweating hands on the wheel.
“Your route is finished and you're heading out. Usually you take the car on errands.”
He had watched her that closely? She had no idea. Now she didn't know if she should be flattered, furious or frightened.
Should she go with indignation or civility? The indignation won, hands down.
“I don't think that's any business of yours.”
Gabe's brows shot up as he stared steadily back at her. His long nose and flared nostrils reminded her of a wolf on the hunt. The air of authority did not come solely from his position. She felt it even now, the need to do whatever he said merely because he said it. And that mouth, oh, she had memories of that mouth on her body.
Gabe looked Apacheâhis brown skin, his broad forehead and his full, sensual mouth all spoke of his strength and lineage. But his hair did not. Unlike the rest of his brothers, he wore it clipped short. Perhaps to annoy his older brother, Clyne, the tribal councilman and family traditionalist. If possible, Gabe's thick black hair and stylish cut only made him more attractive. Gabe had once been approached by the tribe's casino promotion team, who wanted to use him in their ad campaigns. His brothers never let him live that one down. But they didn't want Gabe because he was boyish, like his kid brother Kino, or handsome like Clay or distinguished like his older brother, Clyne. They chose him because he made women want to take him to bed.
And she was no better than any of the rest of them because she still wanted that, too.
He narrowed his eyes. “You sure you're all right?”
She swallowed, released the wheel and gave him her stone face. The one her father said she didn't have. The one all Apache girls practiced before their Sunrise Ceremony.
“Can I go now?” she asked summoning a tone of flat annoyance and thinking her voice still sounded like the whine of a mosquito.
Gabe stepped back but kept a hand on the open window. She kept hers on the crank.
“I'm sorry I didn't bring him home,” he said. “I should have been the one there today.”
An apology? Selena's mouth dropped open. Gabe Cosen was the most unapologetic man she knew, except for perhaps her father. Somehow his words had the opposite effect of what he had likely intended. Now Selena was not frightened. She was pissed.
“Well, you were there when he left, so that's something.”
“If you need anything,” he said.
“I need to get going.” She lifted her brows to show her impatience and gave the crank a tug for good measure. It met the resistance of his gloved hand, but he released her door. He stood there studying her. She glared back. Why wouldn't he leave? Her father couldn't get back inside with him standing there and if he tried, Gabe would see him.
“Are we finished?” she asked. But she already knew the answer. They'd been finished for nearly five years and since then all their conversations had been brief, awkward and tense. But maybe not this tense.
He inclined his chin.
“Then get back to your car. It's freezing out here.”
His brow lifted to show his surprise and she knew why. No one ever told Gabe Cosen what to do. No, this man gave orders. He didn't take them.
“Please call me if you need me,” he said, using that infuriating, polite, professional tone.
She needed him every night. But she'd be damned if she'd call.
Gabe hesitated, waiting perhaps for her to reply or say farewell. She cranked up the window and placed her hands on the wheel, staring straight ahead. Finally, he withdrew, melting back and away from her.
She leaned across the seat but before she could open the door her father had it open and swept back into the cab.
“Go,” he said. “But not too fast.” Her father ducked down below the door so as not to be visible in the wide rectangular mirrors that flanked each side of the cab, the ones that gave her a clear view of Gabe returning to his police car.
She set them in motion, then glanced to the road and then back to Gabe. Then to the road. They had gotten away with it. She grabbed a breath of icy air.
“You missed our turn when he stopped us. Turn around. And get us out of here before he stops you again.”
Selena swung them around and caught a blur as Gabe flashed by her driver's side window. Then he was behind her, hands on hips as he watched her taillights.
Just keep going.
“Uh-oh,” said her father, peeking at the side mirror.
Selena looked back to see Gabe had returned to the place where she had parked. He was studying the ground.
“He's spotted my tracks,” said her father. “Drive faster.”