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Authors: Melissa Schroeder

A Little Harmless Fantasy

BOOK: A Little Harmless Fantasy
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A Little Harmless
Fantasy

Melissa Schroeder

Dedication

To
Liz McChesney- Much luck on your move to Hawaii and wishing you only
the best as you start your new life in the land of Harmless.

Acknowledgements

Here
we are again and I once again have a ton of people to thank. This
book took longer than any other Harmless book, and I hope that you
love it as much as I do. It would not have happened without the
people behind the scenes who helped me in so many ways. Big thanks to
Kendra Egert for redoing the cover to make it even more beautiful
than before. Also, thanks to Noel Varner for jumping in and editing.
A big hug to Gina Bauman DeWitt for reading over the first few
chapters and another one to Heather Long for the formatting. Thanks
to the three people I live with, Les and my girls, for reminding me
that it is sometimes good to step away from the computer and be just
Mel. Also, gratitude and love to the ADDICTS for supporting me
always. And last but DEFINITELY not least, to Brandy Walker who keeps
me on schedule and keeps me sane. Your love of the ridiculous is only
outshined by mine.

eBooks are
not
transferable. They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an
infringement on the copyright of this work.

This
book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and
incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been
used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any
resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or
organizations is entirely coincidental.

A
Little Harmless Fantasy

Copyright
© 2013 by Melissa Schroeder
Edited by Noel Varner

Cover
by Kendra Egert
Formatting by Heather Long

ISBN:
9780985447151

ARe
Edition

All
Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced
in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the
case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

First
electronic publication: January, 2013

This
ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may
not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to
share this book with another person, please purchase an additional
copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did
not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then
please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you
for respecting the hard work of this author.

Chapter One

For
the fourth time in less than ten minutes, Maura Dillon found her mind
wandering. She looked out over the late afternoon Miami traffic and
tried to concentrate on her brother’s voice in her ear, and
just spaced out. A second later, she realized that her brother had
stopped talking.

“What
did you just say?” She asked, leaning back in her desk chair
closing her eyes. She felt herself drifting again, as if she were
floating in the Pacific, enjoying the warm sun on her skin. She could
almost smell the salt of the ocean and feel the breeze shift over
her. It did nothing to help the pounding in her head. She felt as if
she hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in three weeks.
Probably because she hadn’t.

“You sound distracted,” Conner said.

Inwardly,
she sighed. Her brother could always sniff out her mood, even five
thousand miles away. It was one of his most irritating traits—and
he had a lot of them.

“I’m
not distracted. I’m just a little tired.”

There
was a beat of silence. With most men, it didn’t mean anything.
With Conner, it was a lethal situation. She turned her chair back so
she faced her desk waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“No,
this is distracted, not tired. When you’re tired, you’re
bitchy.”

She
ignored that comment, mostly because it was true. “I got the
preliminary report on that group you want us to work with.”

“You’re
going to ignore my question then?” her brother asked.

“Yes.
When did you get all loving and want to talk feelings?”

“I
didn’t say it was about feelings. You just did. So you
are
distracted.”

She
was, but how did she tell her brother she was testy because she
needed sex. She didn’t. She shared a lot with her brother, much
to his irritation, but this, she could not. It was hard enough
dealing with the dream team of Zeke O’Brian and Rory
McAllister.

“I’m
distracted by this job. It doesn’t help that I’m now a
blonde.” She shoved her hand through her now chin length hair.
It had been a whim a few days ago and she had loved it. But, now she
wasn’t so sure.

Another
beat of silence. “You only mess with your hair color when
you’re depressed.”

She
held the phone out from her ear and looked at it, then put it back.
“This is Conner Dillon, right? Or has Jillian been giving you
inside information?”

“Jillian
hasn’t and I know you better than you think I do.”

That
was probably true. Conner was devious that way. He seemed like the
ultimate Alpha in any group, but one thing that had made him an
excellent FBI agent was his observation skills. It was the bane of
her existence when she was growing up—especially when he was
left to raise her on his own. Nothing like having a criminal profiler
watching your every move. Not that her teenage years had been that
exciting.

“How
do you know about the hair color thing, then?” she asked.

Maura
recognized the aggravated sigh. She had first heard it when she was
fifteen and asked her brother about lubricant. “The first
boyfriend breakup you dyed it that disturbing bright red shade.”

Of
course he would bring up her breakup with Tommy Foster—otherwise
known as the Scumbag from Boca Raton. “There was nothing
disturbing about it.”

“It
glowed in the dark.”

She
remembered the look on Conner’s face when she stepped out of
the bathroom and chuckled. “Okay, I will give you that. It was
pretty bad.”

“If
you aren’t going to tell me, talk to Jillian when you get over
here.”

“I
can talk to Jillian some other time, but there’s nothing to
talk about.” Then she realized what he had just said. “Get
over there? What are you talking about?”

“I
want you to come over to Hawaii for a week.”

Stranger
and stranger.
It was never a good idea to underestimate Conner,
especially when he was scheming. And she definitely defined this as
scheming. He was devious and most people wouldn’t pick up on
it. They would see him as being efficient. She knew better. Conner
was born creating plots.

She
cleared her throat and readied herself for battle. “I wasn’t
planning on coming over anytime soon. I was just there six weeks ago
for your wedding.”

No
matter how much she wanted to run away from the office and her
personal infatuation with Rory and Zeke, she would not use a trip to
Hawaii to get away. Which, even as she thought it, made her crazy.
Insane. Bonkers. Any sane woman would do it without much thought. She
had gone over the edge.

And
that is what those two had done to her. They had pushed her to the
point that she was turning down vacations from her brother.

“I
need someone who is good at being a nerd and it comes to you
naturally.”

Most
people would be upset with that comment, but not Maura. She was a
nerd and proud of it. It was one of the many things Conner had taught
her. On top of it, she knew he was lying.

“First,
you’re lying. Big lying, but I love you for it so okay, I’ll
come see you and Jillian.”

“And
I want Rory and Zeke with you.”

That
made her to pause. Going to Hawaii would be a great escape. She could
forget her problems; spend some time recharging her brain. Bringing
the source of her problem with her wouldn’t give her a break.
Her concentration was already shot and now she had to deal with them
dressed in trunks and all oiled up? She shivered.

“But
who will run the office?” she asked.

“Jennifer
is well trained and former FBI. I’m sending a few of the new
hires from here to be trained in the office with her.”

Which
made sense, but it didn’t explain why she needed to be in
Hawaii. Maura knew she could definitely help with that and keeping
the office running while Jennifer was training. Maura could also help
with part of the training.

“The
Petersen case is going to trial next week. Don’t you think one
of us should be here?”

“No.
The federal prosecutor said he didn’t need you. Which is for
the best.”

She
frowned. She didn’t think so. They did all the legwork and
found out that Petersen had been funneling millions of dollars
through the company he was CFO for. The owner had thought there was
something hinky, so he brought Dillon Securities in to look it over.

They
just didn’t know Petersen had been working for the Columbians.

“Are
you trying to get me out of the country?”

“Hawaii
is part of the country. And when you get here, you would be smart to
remember that.”

She
rolled her eyes. Conner had become more Kama’aina than Jillian
who had lived there for a several years. Heck, he even took off early
every Friday to celebrate Aloha Fridays. That was so not like
Conner—and she was glad for it. Jillian had definitely loosened
her brother up. Before falling for her best friend, Conner had been
uptight—and he still was to a point. But now he had someone to
tell him to take a break when he got too intense.

“Sure,
sure. But, why do Rory and Zeke need to come with me?” she
asked and then cringed at the whiny tone in her voice. It was worse
that she didn’t know what her brother’s motives were.
There were times she knew him better than she knew herself, but
lately, he’d been acting very un-Conner like. If he wanted to
talk about feelings, there was something very wrong. The idea that
she had to spend a week with them in Hawaii didn’t appeal.
Okay, that was a lie. It did. But in the wrong way.

“Because
they are associated with the case too. It would be best if you three
are unreachable.”

“So,
Hawaii isn’t connected to the rest of the world? I think the
Hawaiians would be more pissed about your comments than some stupid
haole tourist made.” she asked.

He
ignored her question. “And, there’s that house I rented
for us during the wedding crap—”

“Oh,
how I love to hear my husband say our wedding was crap,”
Jillian said in the background. The amusement in her voice had Maura
smiling.

“Now
you did it, Conner. And I’m not helping you with Jillian.”

He
grunted and Maura imagined that Jillian had plopped down on his lap.
It was something that she did on a regular basis.

“I don’t need help with Jillian. I can handle her all on
my own.”

The
tone in his voice left little to figure out just what he was talking
about.

“Ugh,
ew. I am going to bleach my brain after that image suggestion.”

He
chuckled. “It’s your fault. You sent me over here.”

“Okay,
moving onto other things, you said you had the house that you
rented?”

“Yes.
I found out someone backed out of the week’s rent for it, and I
jumped on it. Use the jet.”

She
wanted to argue with him, just for the fact that she didn’t
want to be with the two men while they were together. Zeke and she
had mutually decided he could not give her what she needed, so they
had split. It was hard enough working together, but seeing him with
his old lover Rory, knowing the two of them were living together now,
was a little too much to take. Worse, she was attracted to both of
the men. Having them in the same house, day in and day out, might
just be the death of any sanity she had left.

BOOK: A Little Harmless Fantasy
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