Silent Knight by Becky McGraw
Deep Six Security Christmas
Release Date Nov. 21, 2017
Thomas Griffin never thought he’d be a homeless vet at forty-six years old. But when he was no longer useful to the government he’d spent his life serving, they turned their back on him when he needed them most, costing him everything he ever loved. After that, he really didn’t care. Living his life on the fringe was safe and he didn’t have to worry about anything except his next meal. That safety remains until a beautiful socialite decides to come slumming for Thanksgiving on the wrong side of town and gets herself into trouble.
Over her fifty-five years of life, Lou Ellen Wells had received many blessings. To pay them forward and honor the men in her life who served her country, both living and dead, she cooked Thanksgiving Dinner at the Dallas Veteran’s Services Center every year. It was located in a bad part of town, but she’d never had a problem, until this year when she’s brutally attacked and can’t get to her gun. A bedraggled man with piercing blue eyes jumps to her rescue and saves her with moves out of an action movie. She gives him her card and offers him help, but he tells her doesn’t need saving and takes off like his tail is on fire.
A couple of weeks later, Lou is surprised when the man calls her asking for help of a different kind. A teenage girl he cares about has gone missing in gang territory. He’s afraid she’ll get killed if he doesn’t find her soon. Lou calls in the team to help him, but her price for that help is finding out why her Silent Knight, who is obviously skilled and educated, chooses to be homeless.
But will satisfying her curiosity about Thomas Griffin put her in the crosshairs of a terrorist group even more dangerous than MS-13?
“You look like you’ve been rode hard and put up wet,” Lou Ellen said, as Griff slid into the passenger seat of her car.
“I feel worse than I look,” he replied gruffly, as he shut the door and shivered hard.
She reached for the heat knob on the dash and turned it up to full blast. “I think hell may have frozen over since you decided to call me. If not, it’s forecast to freeze over tonight, so I’m glad you called.”
He looked over at her. “I’m glad I called too. I know this is going to cost me, but if I find Layla, it will be worth it.” Another shiver rocked him and he sighed.
“Who is Layla?” she asked, frowning as her heart dove to her pelvis.
Was that his lover? His wife?
“Layla is a fifteen-year-old runaway, who I promised to protect, but let down.” His eyes glittered in the lot lights, before he dragged them away to stare out the window. “She’s with gangbangers somewhere in this city and I have to find her before it’s too late.”
Gangbangers?!? Good Lord. His worry became her own as she put the car into drive.
“Okay, we’re going to Whataburger and you’re going to eat while you tell me what’s going on,” she said, her voice cracking with emotion.
She didn’t know if that emotion was from relief that Layla wasn’t his lover, thankfulness that he was out of the elements tonight, or worry that a fifteen-year-old might freeze to death tonight, or be holed up with a gang. As large as the knot in her throat was, it was probably all of those reasons.
Lou always thought about the homeless vets who lived in Tent City, worried about those men, but she never considered the lost kids who lived there too. That this man took it upon himself to protect one of those kids did not surprise her, but it upped her determination to help him once they found the girl.
Ten minutes later, she grabbed the bag from the drive-thru attendant’s hand then quickly rolled up her window before setting it on Griff’s lap. She drove across the lot to an empty parking space and parked, but didn’t kill the engine because they needed the heat. Turning in her seat, she stared at him as he pulled the food out of the bag.
“Talk while you eat. I need to know what we’re dealing with so I know who to call for help,” she said, and he glanced at her.
The corner of his mouth kicked up. “You are a pistol aren’t you? I bet those men you work with don’t stand a chance.”
“I don’t take crap from them and demand respect, if that’s what you mean. I suggest you take that as a lesson if you want my help,” She replied, smiling.
He stopped with the burger halfway to his mouth to look at her. Really look at her. Her insides quivered as his bold blue eyes slowly tracked down her face to her mouth and lingered there a moment before sliding down her body to her lap. When his gaze met hers again, she no longer needed the heater to keep her warm. Steam rose from her coat collar to bake the underside of her chin.
“That directness of yours is one of the many things I like about you, so you won’t be getting any of that from me either,” he said, the corner of his mouth kicking up.
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Becky McGraw writes happily-ever-afters with heat, heart and humor. A Jill of many trades, Becky knows just enough about a variety of subjects to make her contemporary cowboy and romantic suspense novels diverse and entertaining. She resides in Florida with her husband of thirty-plus years and is the mother of three and grandmother of one. Becky is a member of the RWA, Sisters in Crime and Novelists, Inc.