Charley Thomas is in danger of losing the job she loves as a motorcycle cop. The stress of having suffered a brutal assault makes her a risk to herself and her fellow officers. If only she could remember more details of the assault, she could round up the creeps and make them pay.
When the sexy German motorcycle mysteriously shows up in her driveway, she can't resist a ride. Little does she suspect that the bike is also a man who will help her to track down the rapists and feel whole again.
Warning: One scene contains some female/female action.
Praise for Driven to Justice (Mannhof 3)
Five Hearts! "The plot is tense, the dialogue tight and the characters are heart winning. Ms. Gaines has again written a winning story that is creative and different."
-- Valerie, Love Romances and More
"Driven to Justice is a novel approach on the shapeshifter theme and is original, sexy and entertaining.... The characters are well-rounded and appealing, the plot is quick with lots of action and the romance is patient, steamy and sensual."
-- Sandi Potterton, Romance Junkies
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Driven to Justice (Mannhof 3)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Alice Gaines
Charley held the phone to her ear, her fingers curled around it in a death grip. "Sarge, I'm ready to come back to work. Give me another chance."
"Have you seen the shrink, Thomas?" Henderson's voice asked.
"I don't need a shrink." No one in her family had ever seen one of those quacks, and she sure as hell wasn't going to be the first. Her dad didn't raise any sissies, and she wouldn't give her brothers the satisfaction of razzing her at family gatherings. They'd all become firefighters. A dangerous job, but she'd outmacho-ed them by getting a job as a motorcycle cop. Just like Dad.
Only, now the department had put her on suspension and wouldn't let her go back to work.
"One stupid incident shouldn't keep me off the streets," she said. "You know you need good officers."
"It's only because you are a good officer that we haven't fired you," Henderson answered.
"What the fuck? Fire me? For going off on a low-life punk?"
"He was seventeen. He wasn't armed. And, his uncle is on the city council."
Well, shit. "You told me the kid's going to be okay."
"After a day in the hospital. What the hell did you do to him?"
No more than the asshole deserved. He'd smacked his girlfriend a couple of times, and she didn't have to stand by and twiddle her thumbs when she witnessed that kind of bullshit. It figured the little airhead would turn on Charley instead of thanking her. She should have kicked the crap out of both of them.
"Because of you, I'm up to my ass in Internal Affairs and the media," Henderson said. "You're not coming back to work until your head's screwed on straight."
"What if I kiss up to the councilman and promise to be a good girl?"
There was a long silence at the other end. Finally, the sarge sighed. "Charley, you haven't been right since the assault. You have to deal with it, or you won't get right."
Acid churned in her gut. "I am dealing with it."
"What you're doing isn't working. Let me get a few detectives working on the case. We can catch the perps, and you can put it behind you."
"I appreciate your help, Sarge." If it hadn't been for Henderson, she would never have considered doing the right thing -- having samples taken at the hospital that would nail the creeps' asses when she caught them. The doctors had to report a rape to the police. Sarge qualified, and after a desperate phone call, he'd agreed to take the report and keep it quiet. If only he'd let her go back to work now.
"You'd better appreciate it," Sarge said. "I'm sitting on a major crime that you won't let me do anything about."
"I know that." Damn, but it hurt that she'd had to ask her boss for help with something like this. His sympathy made things worse. She didn't need pity. She needed to be knocking bad guys' heads. "Keep it quiet a little while longer."
A pause followed that. "How long?"
"Until I can catch them and bring them in." After she'd kicked the shit out of them.
"All alone?" Sarge said. "Face it, Thomas, you're slipping."
Her heart sank. She'd never had anything but the best performance reviews. "What does that mean?"
"Steele said you froze on him the other night."
"He told you about that?"
"He had to," Henderson said. "Damn it, I need to know this stuff."
"That only lasted a second."
"That's long enough to get one of you killed. You got lucky this time."
Shit, didn't Henderson think she knew that? Any kind of hesitation gave the bad guys an advantage. But, any officer must have that problem at least once in her career.
"This all started after the assault," Henderson said. "You need to see the shrink."
Her vision dimmed, the darkness closing around the edges. Shit, not now. She needed to convince Henderson she was fine. She couldn't have him hear her flip out.
She fought it, shutting her eyes tightly and opening them again. She did her best to take even breaths, but her heart hammered in her chest, and she couldn't get enough air into her lungs. Suddenly, she found herself staring at dust floating in the light from filthy windows. Hands on her body. The sounds of a man's grunts just before he came.
Damn it. Damn it all to hell. This could not be happening.
"Thomas?" The sarge's voice. "What the hell's going on?"
She crashed back to reality. Her living room. Her bare feet on the bricks by the fireplace. Home. Not that other place.
"Charley?" Henderson's voice at the other end of the line. "Are you okay?"
She dug her fingers into her hair. "I'm fine."
"You didn't sound fine. You sounded as if you couldn't breathe."
"I'm getting a cold."
"That didn't sound like any cold I ever heard," Henderson said. "Maybe if you tell me what's going on in your head, I can help you."
"All right, have it your way." He humphed. If he got any more frustrated, she'd be able to hear his teeth grinding over the phone. "But, you're not going back on duty until you see the shrink."
"Thanks for nothing," she said.
"Yeah, I love you too."
The line went dead. He'd hung up on her. She turned off her cell phone and hurled it at the couch. Shit, piss, fuck.