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THE FIFTH KINGDOM Romantic Suspense

THE FIFTH KINGDOM Romantic Suspense

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Published by Caridad Pineiro
Dr. Deanna Vasquez hasn’t spoken to her mother in years, not since the renowned archaeologist abandoned her family in her quest to find the lost tomb of Montezuma. When CIA agent Bill Santana shows up in her classroom with the news that her mother has been abducted by terrorists, Deanna has to help in any way she can.

Bill needs Deanna’s expertise to determine the location of her mother’s latest find, before her kidnappers do. He fears whatever mysteries the tomb holds could be deadly in the wrong hands. In an effort to make contact with the terrorist cell, Bill accompanies Deanna to Mexico posing as her fiancé—a ruse made doubly dangerous because of the very real heat between them…
Dr. Deanna Vasquez hasn’t spoken to her mother in years, not since the renowned archaeologist abandoned her family in her quest to find the lost tomb of Montezuma. When CIA agent Bill Santana shows up in her classroom with the news that her mother has been abducted by terrorists, Deanna has to help in any way she can.

Bill needs Deanna’s expertise to determine the location of her mother’s latest find, before her kidnappers do. He fears whatever mysteries the tomb holds could be deadly in the wrong hands. In an effort to make contact with the terrorist cell, Bill accompanies Deanna to Mexico posing as her fiancé—a ruse made doubly dangerous because of the very real heat between them…

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Published by: Caridad Pineiro on Aug 31, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/04/2011

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THEFIFTHKINGDOMCopyright2011CaridadPineiroAvailableJuly2011CarinaPressChapterOne
Amaninblackatyourdoor
was
never
a
goodthing,
DeannaVasquezthoughtasshewatchedherstudentsshufflepastthebrawnymanwiththenearlyblackbuzz-cuthairstationedattheentrancetoherclassroom.Hehadonehandclaspedoverhiswristandrestingonaleanmidsectioninaclassicpose.Whencoupledwiththemidnight-coloredsuit,itscreamedlawenforcement.Handsomeinadeadlyanddangerouskindofway,shesupposed,assheexaminedhimfromthecornerofhereye.Hisfacewasallsharplineschiseledintogranite.Hiscreamyskinshowedtracesofaheavybeardandhiseyeswerethecoloroftheoceanduringatempest.Thatstormygazenevershiftedfromherastheteensfiledbyandshothimacombinationofamusedanduneasylooks.Shewascertainherownfeaturesreflectedherdiscomfortwhenshefinallygavehimherfullattention."MayIhelpyou?"shecalledout."MayIcomein?"heasked,hisvoiceamelodiousbaritonethatmighthavebeenpleasantinsomeothersituation.Sheignoredthewaythelowtimbreofitstrummedalivesomethingwithinher."WoulditmakeadifferenceifIsaid'No'?"sheaskedandarchedherbrowinemphasis."No,"hesaidwitharuefulshakeofhishead.Hewalkedintotheroom,hisstridespurposeful.Whenhereachedtheedgeofherdesk,heonceagainstoodthere,handsheldbeforehim,everythingabouthimoutwardlycalmandyetshimmeringwithominousenergybelowthesurface.Hewaslethallylarge,withthickmusclesthroughhisshouldersandchest,andbigpowerfulthighs.Thesuithidmostofhismidsection,butsheimagineditwouldbeassolidasatreetrunkgiventherestofhim.Shewasusedtoslighter,morescholarly,sortsandhissizeintimidated,butshesuspectedthat'swhathewanted.Itwasprobablywhatheneededtodealwithmostofthepeoplehemetinhislineofbusiness.Shepulledherattentionawayfromthebulkinessofhimandconcentratedonfillingherbriefcasewiththeend-of-yearessaysherpupilshadturnedinatthebeginningoftheclass."Dr.Vasquez,Ipresume,"hesaidandfinallyheldouthishand.Big,blunt-
 
THEFIFTHKINGDOMCopyright2011CaridadPineiroAvailableJuly2011CarinaPressfingeredandpowerful.Alargecrescent-shapedscarmarredtheskinononeknuckle.Swingingthenowbulgingbriefcasefromherdesk,shestareddownathishandforalongmoment,butdidn'tshakeit.Notafanofauthorityfigures,shehadnodesiretomakehisacquaintanceinanyway,shapeorform.Hefinallydroppeditandonceagainassumedhismilitarilypreciseposture.Handssteady.Legsbracedslightlyapart.Backramrodstraight.Hisposturecommunicatingthathehadnointentionofgoinganywhereuntilhewasgoodandready.Liftinghergazetomeethissincehewasagoodsixinchestallerthanhermiddlingheight,sheasked,"Whoareyouandwhatdoyouwant?""Areyoualwayssodistrustful?"hestatedblandly,althoughhismouthquirkedwithahintofdissatisfaction.Shetriedtobrushpasthim,butheliftedarockhardarmthewayabarriermightsnapdownatatollplaza.Followingthelineofhisarmupalongthecleandarkfabricofhissuit,sherealizedthatmuchlikethetoll,herfreedomwouldrequiresomekindofpayment."HowcanIhelpyou,Mr...?"Shepaused,waitingforhimtoidentifyhimself."SpecialAgentSantana,"hesaid,droppedhisarm,reachedintohissuitjacketandpulledoutabadgewhichheflashedinfrontofherface.Shepeeredattheshinybadge,notingtheemblemwiththeeagleandmultifacetedstaralongwiththewordsCentralIntelligenceAgency.OntheothersideofthebadgewalletwasalaminatedIDwithhisname.GuillermoSantana."CIA?"Heshutthewalletwithaloudsnapandtuckeditbackintoaninsidejacketpocket,revealingthedullblackhandleofagunsecuredinawell-wornleatherholster."WhatcanIdoforyou,SpecialAgentSantana?"sheasked,returninghergazetohisface.Ahardface,sheacknowledged,althoughthereweresomefeatureswhichsofteneditsharshness.Longthicklashesframedinquisitivegrayeyesfleckedwithblue.Hismouth,whichhadappearedjudgmentalearlier,wasfull-lippedandsheimaginedhemighthavedimplesshouldheeversmile.Shedidn'timaginethathesmiledverymuch,whichwasevidencedby

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