Sweet Anger(9)

By: Sandra Brown



Pinkie didn’t know the reason for her rejuvenation, but he was grateful for it. The zombie role she had played right after Thomas’s death had scared the hell out of him. She had withdrawn into a private world of misery, and he had been afraid she would never come out of it. Thank God she had.

“Who called? Or are we gonna play Twenty Questions?” he asked crossly, as he swung his feet down from his desk. He was no longer so careful in his manner toward her. They had returned to their old comfortable relationship and were continually engaged in conversational skirmishes.

His affected annoyance didn’t put her off for a moment. “Hunter McKee, our acting D.A.”

Pinkie had worked on a metropolitan newspaper’s city desk before transferring to television journalism. He’d been in that environment for over fifteen years. Little shocked him. He boasted that in his career he had seen and heard it all, from heads of state being assassinated to quintuplets being born in taxicabs. Nothing surprised him. He came close to being surprised now. The talk he heard from downtown was that McKee was no pantywaist, but someone to reckon with. “Oh, yeah? What’d he want? To talk over your last movie critique?”

Her smooth brow wrinkled into a puzzled frown. “That’s just it. He didn’t say. He only asked if I would come to his office tomorrow.”

“Curiouser and curiouser. Could be he thinks you’ve still got the city hall beat. Maybe he has a story for you.”

She was shaking her head. “I don’t think so. I didn’t gather that from the way he sounded. He didn’t live in Denver when I had that beat. I’m sure that if he knows me from television at all it’s as the entertainment reporter.”

“You’ve never met him? Seems likely that in the circles you and Thomas ran in, you would have.”

She had no recollection of ever having met Hunter McKee. “No. Not that I remember. What do you know about him?”

“Only what I read and what I’ve heard. He’s a hotshot. Smart as a whip. Ambitious. Shrewd. Capable. Old Silas Barnes spoke highly of him and he was no easy man to please. He’s always been a prosecutor, never a defense lawyer. He wants to be the D.A. of Denver County and probably will win the election when it rolls around.”

“What about a personal life?” Her reporter’s instincts were twitching. “Is there a Mrs. McKee?”

“Not that I know of. I think he’s the all-work-and-no-play type. Maybe that’s why you’ve never run into him at a cocktail party.” Pinkie ground out his cigarette. “What time are you meeting him?”

“Ten o’clock tomorrow morning.”

“Fill me in afterward.”

She smiled as she spun around and headed back toward her desk. “Well, don’t hold your breath in expectation. It couldn’t be anything important.”


Shirt-sleeves or coat? Shirt-sleeves might make her feel more relaxed and at ease. The first impression she would have of him would be that of a trusted friend. But such casualness might offend her, too.

Damn it! What difference did it make? She was going to be offended anyway. So he would wear the coat of his three-piece suit and look official.

After pulling on the coat, he sat down behind his desk and fingered the manila file folder lying on its polished surface. Glancing over a few of the documents it contained, he cursed again and muttered an obscene epitaph for Thomas Wynne. What had the bastard been thinking? He’d had it all, public admiration, money, position … her. Why had he risked it all? Or had that been the allure? The thrill of the risk. Certainly the money was pocket change to someone with his bankroll. Why would he—

The buzzer on his intercom interrupted his thoughts. “Ms. Stewart is here.”

“Send her in.”

His palms were damp. He wiped them down his pants legs as he stood up. He, Hunter McKee, who had been described as having nerves of steel, who was the scourge of criminals, felt like one hundred and eighty-eight pounds of Jell-O.

What was wrong with him? He had faced vicious murderers screaming threats of what they were going to do to him if they ever got out of the prison he had helped to send them to. He had remained unmoved. In a moment’s time, he would be facing one dainty woman, who looked no more threatening than a fragile butterfly, and his insides were churning. What was he afraid of?

She walked through the tall door. The sunlight streaming through the windows fell on her hair, on her skin, on the soft blue dress that draped over and clung to her perfect figure.

His loins knotted painfully.

One mystery was solved. Her eyes were green. Pale green surrounded by a forest of dark lashes.

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