Night Sins

Night Sins by Tami Hoag Read Free Book Online

Book: Night Sins by Tami Hoag Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tami Hoag
dinner roll, steam billowed up from the center of it. “Me? No, I'm a transplant. I put in fifteen years on the force in Miami.”
    “No way!” She gripped the edge of the table as if the shock had knocked her loopy. “You moved
? You gave up
to live in this godforsaken tundra?”
    Mitch arched a brow. “Am I to assume you don't like our fair state?”
    “I like summer—all three weeks of it,” she said, her voice crackling with sarcasm. “Fall is pretty, provided it isn't prematurely buried under ten feet of snow. That's as far as my love goes, despite the fact that I'm a native. In my opinion, life is too damn short to have half of it be winter.”
    “Then why do you stay? With your qualifications, you could probably have your pick of jobs in a warmer climate.”
    He recognized the defenses the instant they switched on. They were a mirror image of his own—built to protect, to deflect, to keep outsiders from moving in.
    “Family complications” was all she said, turning her attention to a dinner roll. She picked a chunk out of it and played with the bread between her fingers. Mitch didn't probe, but he wondered. What family? What kind of complications would make her duck his gaze? Another loose thread for him to worry at. Another puzzle piece to define and fit.
    She tossed the conversational ball back in his court. “So what'd you do in Miami?”
    “Homicide. Did a stint on the gang task force. My last two years were on the major case squad. Tourist murders, socialite drug busts—high-profile stuff.”
    “Isn't life around here a little slow for you?”
    “I've had enough excitement to last me.”
    Another answer with a past, Megan thought, glancing at him through her lashes as he took a long pull on his beer. Another reason to steer clear of him in all ways but the professional. She didn't need anyone else's emotional baggage. She had enough of her own to fill a set of Samsonite luggage. Still, the curiosity itched and tickled, the need to solve riddles and uncover secrets. She attributed the need to her cop instincts and denied that it had anything to do with the guarded shadows in his eyes or with some convoluted desire to comfort a man in pain. If she had a brain in her head, she wouldn't think of Mitch Holt as a man.
    Fat chance, O'Malley, she thought as he took another swallow of Moosehead, his eyes narrowed, firm lips glistening with moisture as he set the bottle down. In the subdued light of the booth, his five o'clock shadow seemed darker against the lean planes of his cheeks, the scar on his chin looked silver and wicked.
    “So how did you end up in the frozen North?” She ripped another chunk from her roll.
    Mitch shrugged, as if it had been a random thing of little consequence, when that was about as far from the truth as any lie. “The job was open. My in-laws live here. It was a chance for my daughter to spend time with her grandparents.”
    Their salads arrived, along with a member of the Moose Lodge, who wanted to remind Mitch that he was to speak at their Friday luncheon. Mitch introduced Megan. The Moose man looked at her and chuckled as if to say “great joke, Mitch.” He shook the hand Megan offered him, giving her a patronizing smile.
    “You're Leo's replacement? Well, aren't you cute!”
    Megan bit down on a caustic reply, reminding herself she had asked for this assignment.
    Mr. Moose departed and was quickly replaced by one of the organizers of the Snowdaze torchlight parade, who went over details regarding the barricading of the streets involved. The introduction ritual was a near replay of the one before it.
    “She's Leo's replacement? Easier on the eyes than ol' Leo, eh?”
    Megan gritted her teeth. Mitch diplomatically refrained from comment. The meat loaf arrived and parade man took his leave, winking at Megan as he went.
    She stared down at her plate. “If one more person calls me cute, I'm going to bite them. Is it 1994 or have I fallen through

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