Below is an excerpt of Vicki working in the fish building when she is accosted by someone working on "the other side" of her CIA mission:
In a flash, he was upon her, his muscled arms grabbing her and slamming her backward. The fish tank teetered, the water sloshing over the side, as the angelfish parents scattered in fright. The slate with hundreds of baby wigglers crashed to the floor of the tank as she tried to draw the man away from it. A step away, his arms reached out to either side of her like a set of bars imprisoning her, slamming her against the far wall.
His face was contorted, his lip curling downward.
“Take your hands off me,” Vicki said.
“What do you think you’re going to do if I don’t?” he snarled. “You’re no match for me.”
“I have no quarrel with you,” she said.
“Oh, yes, you do.”
“Then take your hands off me and we’ll talk about it. I’m sure we can work something out—”
“Oh, we can work something out, alright. You say what I tell you to say. And if you don’t, you’ll be MIA.” His lower lip was contorted. His breath smelled like stale onions and she turned her head.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Stay out of the tunnel.”
He pushed against her with his entire body, pinning her flat against the wall. “Stay out of the tunnel.” He venomously enunciated each word, spraying spittle on her as he spoke. He pushed against her again, and she realized he was silently threatening her with rape—or worse—if she didn’t comply.
She felt a chill creeping across her skin, leaving it tingling as though the circulation had been cut. His whole body felt like iron and he clearly intended on keeping her pinned to the wall until she complied with his demands. As he continued to exert pressure against her, her lungs began to feel weighted and she struggled to catch her breath. Even if she’d intended on agreeing to his demands, she was unable to speak.
He shoved against her once more, pushing the remaining air out of her lungs. She was suffocating, she thought with rising panic.
Then two tanned hands landed on both his shoulders, pulling him off her so abruptly that she nearly fell to her knees. As she gasped for air, she caught sight of him being pulled backward through the fish house, through the doorway and into the yard.
Her knees shaking, she rushed after Dylan as he slammed the man against the trunk of an ancient oak tree.
“This isn’t your fight,” the assailant said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.Dylan slammed his fist into his abdomen, causing him to drop to his knees and double over with pain. “I’m makin’ it my fight.”
Dylan Maguire may have come to her rescue but Vicki soon learns that all is not what it seems to be at Laurel Maguire's rambling old home...
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