by Lee DuCote
Genre: Romance/ Crime
Age category: Adult
Release Date: February 21, 2016
Lawson never expected anything to come between his dedication with the Border Patrol and his brotherhood with Sweeny until he meets local pharmacy owner, Lia Gonzales. Against her father’s wishes Lia continues to see Lawson not realizing the inevitable consequences.
In this story of protecting others on the border and the heartache of relationships you will find yourself in the lives of those who have sworn to uphold the law, no matter the cost.
“I’ll hold them,” a young female said from the passenger seat.
“Thanks Erika,” Lia answered. Erika Santeljo was not only Lia’s best friend, but helped run the pharmacy. Today Lia had asked Erika to ride with her because their first stop was to a schizophrenia patient who made her nervous.
“I told you he’d be OK. As long as you get his meds to him in time, he’ll act normal,” Erika said, tucking the sack under her feet.
“He still creeps me out.”
Driving back north toward Presidio, Erika turned the radio station to the only country channel they could receive. With Hank Williams blaring from the 6X9 Sony speakers, the girls sang along. Lia turned down the radio. “While we out here, I can drop off Mrs. Jones’ meds,” she said, slamming on the brake.
“Not if you kill us both.”
Lia looked over her shoulder and slammed the Jeep Grand Cherokee in reverse. Spinning the tires, she backed to the street she had just passed. Then turning onto the dirt road, the Jeep fishtailed as she floored the gas, nothing Erika wasn’t used to.
Flying over a hill, they noticed the three Border Patrol trucks off in the distance with one of the trucks’ cabs disappearing just over the ridge. Lia pointed to the trucks. “I have a prescription for one of the Border Patrol guys. Check in the bag and see if Alex Sweeny’s bag is in there,” Lia asked.
Erika dug through the sack. “Yep. What is he taking?” She examined the bottle. “Victoria?” she asked Lia.
“It’s his daughters.”
The Jeep jetted by the road that led to the trucks, “If they’re still there on the way back, we’ll stop.”
“Why take the chance? I could see me some Border Patrol officers,” Erika replied with a devious tone. Lia looked over at her with a smile and slammed on the brakes. “Lia! You’re killing me!”
The Jeep fishtailed the opposite direction as Lia turned down the road and straightened up just in time to cross a cattle gap. As they approached the three trucks, they noticed the farthest truck doors were open. The Jeep crawled to a stop.
“Drugs, please.” Lia held her hand out.
“You’re not going without me.” Erika opened her door and climbed out.
“You don’t think we are going to interrupt them on a bust or whatever they call what they do?” Lia asked.
“Not with their radio blaring country music across the open country.” Erika pointed at the truck.
The two girls walked side by side past the trucks and appeared over the hill on the creek that was nestled below between two small ridges. At first they thought the four agents were looking for something in the water until one of them climbed up a boulder and shouted something. It wasn’t what he shouted—it was the fact that he wasn’t wearing anything.
“Get down!” Erika whispered to Lia and pulled her down out of sight from the men.
“What are you doing?”
“Getting a better look at this,” she smiled. Lia rolled her eyes, but didn’t argue. The two girls bear crawled up to a spot where they could peer down onto the swimming hole. Sweeny had already jumped in, and Lawson was climbing out to accept his challenge for a bigger splash.
“Dang! That one has on his boxer briefs. Take em off, take em off.” Erika chanted.
“Shhh. They’re gonna hear you. I swear, Erika, you are just as childish as they are.”
The girls studied the creek in hopes another would immerge from the muddy water. “Stupid muddy water,” Erika said unbeknownst to Cap, who was still leaning against the boulder just above them. He leaned over and laughed at the two who were stealing a glimpse of the young men, but it was Valentine that sold them out.
“Girl, what are you barking at?” Sweeny said, looking in the direction of Valentine’s stare.
Erika looked over at Lia. “We’ve been spotted.”
“Let’s get out of here,” Lia said.
“OK,” Erika answered with no intentions of leaving. She stood up from their view area. “Which one of you is Alex?” she shouted.
Lia thought she was going to either pee herself or pass out. “Oh, dear God,” she replied.
One of the men waved his arm. “That would be me. Who wants to know?” Sweeny asked.
“Your local friend pharmacy store,” Erika shouted back.
“You girls are delivering out here?” Cap asked, still perched above them and scaring them both.
“How long have you been up there?” Lia was embarrassed to ask him.
“You saw us drive up?”
“And fishtailed the corner before ramping the cattle gap.”
Lia had a hard time swallowing. The girls looked back in time to see Sweeny exiting the water with a straw hat covering his privates and walk toward them.
“Damn, Sweeny, put some clothes on,” Lawson said.
Looking back at Lawson. “They’re kinda like doctors—they’ve seen it all. Right?” Sweeny asked.
“Not exactly,” Lia said.
“It’s fine with me,” Erika replied with a smile that a good coroner couldn’t remove.
Sweeny stood motionless for a brief second with a wide-eyed expression. “Hum, well … I guess I should find some clothes,” he said in a coy tone.
“Don’t trouble yourself on my account,” Erika said. Lia threw an elbow in her side. Sweeny laughed and walked past them to gather his uniform from his truck. Lia was just through turning every shade of red in the rainbow when Lawson walked up with a towel wrapped around him.
“Sorry, we normally don’t have visitors out here,” he said, pulling his pants out of his truck. Lia stood paralyzed and speechless. She couldn’t help but notice his toned chest and ripped abs. “I’m Lawson.” He said, standing on the other side of his truck.
Lia let out a whimper sound; she couldn’t talk. What the hell is wrong with me?
Erika stared at her with a funny look on her face, “What was that?”
“I’m Amalia,” she stuttered and gasped for a breath of air.
Lawson laughed, “It’s nice to meet you. OK boys, swim time is over,” he yelled back at Dale and Terry. Cap was climbing down from his perch and Sweeny was getting dressed.
Lia looked at Erika as they walked back to their Jeep. “I’m going to kill you!”