Excerpt 1: Desert Heat

Set up: Someone messes with Bethany. How does Detective Santiago react? And meet another Santiago…. Diego his younger brother. =)

Glancing back at the door before addressing his brother’s comments, Damian was instantly on his feet. Diego turned as if on instinct to see what Damian was glaring at.

“Yo, Jake!” Diego said, holding up his hand at Damian as if to calm him.

“I got this, man.”

The guy holding his tatted arm against the doorway, preventing Bethany from getting by him and saying something way too close to her face, turned to Diego with a smirk. Diego waved a flat hand just under his chin, letting him know he’d better cut the shit, and shook his head. “Not happening, man. Unless you want your ass kicked, let ’er by.”

The guy pinched his brows but didn’t move his arm, so Damian took a step forward. Diego placed his hand on Damian’s chest, then turned to him with a very surprised expression.

He jabbed Damian’s hard and now very tense pec jokingly. “Dude! You’re like a brick wall.” Turning back to Jake and Bethany again, he was even louder. “I’d move that arm right now, Jake, before my brother goes over there and rips it off.”

Finally getting it, the idiot lifted his hand and let her by.

Damian met her halfway. “You okay?”

“I’m fine,” she said as she reached him and slipped her hand in his. They started back to the bar. “He said he was sorry.”

Damian stopped and looked back at the guy. “For what?” he asked, trying not to get too worked up. “What did he do?”

“Nothing.” She tugged at his hand. “He said he didn’t know I was here with anyone. I hadn’t had a chance to tell him when Diego called out to him. He was just flirting, that’s
all,” she assured him.

Feeling the tension that had crept into his entire body ease up just a tiny bit, he gave in to her second tug and followed her back to the bar.

Diego laughed as they reached him. “Damn, Damian.” He glanced around. “No one’s gonna even think about messing with her now.”

Damian glanced around casually; he hadn’t even noticed they’d gotten everyone’s attention. “Good,” was all he said before reaching for his drink.