|Cover Art by BitterGrace|
Book 1 - Guarding Morgan
Book 2 - The Only Easy Day
Book 3 - Face Value
Book 4 - Still Waters
Book 5 - Full Circle
Book 6 - The Journal Of Sanctuary One
Book 7 - Worlds Collide
Adam is given an assignment - to work with a man he hates. The same man that didn't trust him two years before and destroyed their relationship in a single day.
Lee is adamant that he needs to understand why Adam betrayed the Bureau and the Bullen case is the perfect cover to get back in his ex lover's life.
Against the backdrop of Sanctuary and the Bullen case can they both realise not everything they saw was real ...
"....The emotional roller coaster that surrounds Adam and Lee spring from the pages and would not allow me to put the book down. Ms. Scott had me sitting on the edge of my seat cheering for the men in their professional roles but more importantly wanting their personal lives to be reignited in passion, lust and love. This reviewer was not disappointed and I anxiously look forward to reading Manny’s story in the next book....."
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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words - 4.25/5 - "....I love this part of the Sanctuary series. Just as you think Sanctuary and its agents have the case solved and the witnesses protected, another murder, another double agent or double cross pops up and all bets are off...."
MM Good Book Reviews - 4.5/5 - R.J. Scott has provided us with a wonderful story of lovers torn apart by betrayal, a bit of action, a bit of danger, some passionate sex, twists and a really well written storyline that flows smoothly. So, really I have to recommend that you give it a read.
Mrs Condit & Friends Read Books - 4/5 - Still Waters is a great blend of a criminal investigation with a super, sexy love story!
Dark Divas Reviews - 5/5 - ".....The emotional roller coaster that surrounds Adam and Lee spring from the pages and would not allow me to put the book down. Ms. Scott had me sitting on the edge of my seat cheering for the men in their professional roles but more importantly wanting their personal lives to be reignited in passion, lust and love. This reviewer was not disappointed and I anxiously look forward to reading Manny’s story in the next book...."
"Have you ever wondered how much Jake is worth? Or how much it costs every day to run this Foundation?" Nik Valentinov asked as he sat down opposite Adam Brooke.
Adam was looking around at the luxurious décor of Sanctuary Imports and Exports. He concentrated on what Nik had said, not entirely sure if the other agent was asking a rhetorical question. If other operatives were like him then he'd bet Nik had contemplated their boss's fortune at one time or another.
"Probably one hell of a lot," Adam finally offered. Leaning back in the leather chair and resting his feet on the small coffee table he closed his eyes. He wasn't being rude intentionally but his body was winding down and he really needed sleep. He should probably be considering downtime but getting caught up in the problems on the Bullen case had his juices flowing.
His last real case—the Canada safe house gig—had been a bad one. Even Sanctuary had to help hide the bad guys sometimes but not a single one of the hundred or so men and women that worked for Jake were impressed when it was their turn. Low-level drug dealer or not, the guy had been caught at a school peddling his wares to kids not much older than twelve. The 'get 'em hooked young' policy was one the scumbag clearly subscribed to. Unfortunately for Adam, his charge had been the lynchpin in a much bigger case and that was what had been deemed important. The FBI didn't have the capacity to look after the guy. Sanctuary stepped in. Adam hated it when Sanctuary stepped in to mop up FBI shit.
Three weeks with a guy who gave slimy a bad name and Adam was way past over it with the whole drug thing. He really hoped this new assignment, whatever it involved, was something he could get his teeth into. Action, cars, guns, and maybe a good beat down would rid his body of the itch of isolation with someone who thought Jerry Springer re-runs were high art.
"Did your guy get sent down?" Nik began conversationally.
Adam opened his eyes and quirked a smile. This he could handle talking about. "Yep. Heard he got max what they could give even with the deal on handing over his suppliers."
Nik grinned at this and crossed his arms over his chest. "Did you hear from Doc at all? Did the direct hit break any of his ribs?" Nik was referring to Doctor Kayden Summers getting shot in the chest at the bank vault where he and the Bullen kid were retrieving evidence. Adam had been there to spirit Beckett away before he became the subject of the late news.
"Yeah. He has access to good meds," Adam smirked. "How's Morgan?"
Nik's expression changed immediately. Adam saw pride and affection and it was a nice thing to see in another person. Nik had spent at least five minutes with his cell stuck to his ear talking to Morgan. Adam had to wonder at what they found to talk about for so long when they were together so much of the time.
Nik and Morgan had the cliché bodyguard-victim relationship that appeared to be stronger than two-by-fours joined together with a nail gun.
"He's good. He's still doing well with his art and he's not really under Sanctuary anymore." Unspoken was the 'but I look out for him anyway'. That was given. Adam hadn't actually met Morgan but he knew all the details of the case. Three weeks alone, avoiding the idiot he was guarding, gave him a lot of time for reading.
"Do you know where we're being assigned?" Adam was curious.
Nik shrugged his wide shoulders.
"Is this a double team assignment?" It was a valid question. Sanctuary operatives generally worked alone unless the case was so diverse or volatile that two were needed. The last time Adam had doubled up had been with Jennifer out of LA and it had been kind of nice to have intellectual company. Not that he was saying some of his charges weren't clever. Jeez, he'd been the one tasked with that physicist job last fall. But the last job had frazzled any and all of his remaining brain cells.
Normally, unless operatives were working together on a case, briefings were kept separate. So he assumed they were being assigned together. Despite having crossed paths with Nik at the FBI he had never worked with Nik before at Sanctuary so it should be interesting. Although he'd probably find Morgan hiding in Nik's suitcase.
"Come in guys," Jake called from around his office door and Adam pushed himself to stand. Stretching tall he followed Nik into the large corner office overlooking downtown Albany.
"Coffee?" Jake was busying himself with the huge chrome contraption that wouldn't have looked out of place in a science fiction movie but under Jake's skilled touch it made the best coffee Adam had ever tasted. He nodded yes, as did Nik, and finally all three men sat on sofas.
Jake didn't waste any time and cut right to the chase. "As you are both very aware Sanctuary, for obvious reasons, is way in over its head with this Bullen case. Not only did we add Morgan but we now have Beckett Jamieson under our care. To complicate it further you're probably also aware I have an FBI liaison at the moment auditing our procedures and writing up channels of communication between us."
Adam searched Jake's expression for a clue as to how the guy felt about this shadow but, ever the professional, Jake's expression was impassive.
"He is not party to all information concerning our actions on the Bullen case but on each occasion, after we got involved, the FBI have wanted first Morgan, then Beckett, back under their auspices."
Nik had moved forward in his seat at this; there was nothing that could pry Morgan away from him.
Jake held up a hand. "I won't allow that. We have enough leverage with the Feds that I can have my say at the moment. In a strange way it helps us that the FBI has this leak. I don't think the FBI liaison trusts his teams."
He stopped and drank a healthy amount of caffeine and then, placing the coffee back on the table, he sighed.
"Nik, you and Morgan are working on our 'in' with the senator. I agree you are best placed to pull this together but I need your promise that you keep Morgan out of this and in the periphery."
"Beckett obtained some useful information and Manny is currently sifting through it. Work with Manny. We're looking for an in on the senator; some kind of financial information that ties him to his brothers and the family business. Is that okay?" Nik nodded his agreement. "You can't tell me that the senator doesn't have some financial gain from the family itself, so that is the trail we are following. Why was his aide killed by his brothers? Beckett said Elisabeth Costain told him she was close to finding information. What was that information?"
"Manny already sent over some files to the analyst team. I'm going down there after this," Nik confirmed. Manny had a huge area set aside for him and his team on the floor above this one alongside the conference rooms. Analysts, programmers, and Manny the wonder boy himself.
"Adam," Jake began.
Adam switched his attention from what Nik was saying to whatever Jake was giving him to do. Evidently, he wasn't part of Nik's assignment so it was odd they were in the same briefing.
"Even though Alastair is forensically linked to blood on the necklace from the box, there is no body. We couldn't get anything to stick when the party line he is spouting is that it belonged to an ex-girlfriend who liked it rough." Jake shook his head and then worried his lip with his teeth.
Adam watched with growing concern. What the hell was he going to be asked to do?
"We need something on him that will stick and this is where you come in, Adam. Doesn't matter what information we have, unless we can get someone to roll on Alastair we have nothing. Our first port of call is Gareth Headley."
"He's kept it zipped so far." Nik summarized the fact that the cop was staying silent about who paid him to kill Elisabeth, and why, in that single small sentence.
"Dale reported that when he and Joseph Kinnon retrieved Robert Bullen, aka Beckett Jamieson, Greg actually admitted he and Alastair had Elisabeth killed and used Headley as the gunman. It's all hearsay—we don't have a grain in a barn's evidence to go to the DA with."
"Manny couldn't pull anything worthwhile from the files?" Nik asked.
"It isn't officially our job to prove or disprove cases." Jake raised a hand to forestall whatever Nik and Adam were going to say in protestation. "Okay, as much as we get involved, we are here to provide a safe place for people. Although over eighty percent of Sanctuary operatives are ex-law enforcement, that doesn't mean we can provide a chain of evidence. We're unofficial and unless I give in and get Sanctuary pulled under the Fed umbrella that is the way it stays." He paused briefly. "I need you both out there working on this in full cooperation with the Feds."
Jake wouldn't look him in the eye and Adam frowned. What the hell was going on here? Adam bristled. He couldn't help his instant and visceral reaction. He'd been an FBI agent for five years and look where he'd ended up. Branded dirty and with his freaking heart stomped into a million fragments. The last thing he wanted was to get anywhere close to that agency again.
"We can still work on our own and pass results up the line when we have a chain of evidence situation," Adam said firmly. Jake still wouldn't look him directly in the eye. He was starting to get a very bad feeling about this.
"Liaison won't go for that. They're willing to work with us but only until their own internal leak is plugged. So we need to get this moving. The Feds have a team in place looking into the internal leak." Jake checked his notes. "The Office of Professional Responsibility?" he looked to Adam for confirmation but all Adam could do was nod yes, that is what the department was called. Actually opening his mouth and forming words to vocalize the flood of memories the title bought back was going to be impossible. Freaking FBI internal affairs had destroyed him and his career.
The Office of Professional Responsibly. And Lee Myers.
Jake continued, "Alastair has been released without charge. He says, and I quote, 'it's ridiculous that a woman who is probably alive and partying in the Caribbean is being linked to me as someone I murdered'. Problem is, he's not far off. We don't actually have anything conclusive. Forensics isn't irrefutable and there is apparently other familial DNA on the necklace. We have unsanctioned and limited surveillance in the senator's office that the Alphabets don't know about. But it's been quiet there. Adam, every little thing we have is in the briefing notes I'll give you. Your partner is FBI."
It was no secret Adam was ex-FBI, nor that his time with the security force was cut short when he resigned before charges of bribery or evidence tampering could be thrown at him. No one at Sanctuary ever gave him reason to think they believed he was crooked; hell, Jake wouldn't have hired him if he had thought for one minute Adam was a criminal in Fed clothing.
"You need to stay calm and try and handle this as best you can."
The words trickled into his understanding. If Jake was warning him to relax, then there must be some real shit about to rain down on Adam Brooke's world. It couldn't be Lee. Jake wouldn't do that to him. He was the one person who knew about Lee Myers and what he had done. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of FBI operatives out there. And Lee was seconded to internal affairs. They wouldn't send him out to some third-party shit fest.
Everyone knew Adam had left the FBI under a cloud of suspicion. But not everyone knew that the person who had signed the reports indicating Adam's guilt was the very guy who Adam had called best friend and lover. Nik looked confused. Adam didn't blame him—he was probably picking up on the sparks of temper snapping from Adam.
"Who, Jake?" Adam could hear the frustration and heat in his voice.
"You know who it is Adam—"
"Look Adam, I don't have a choice, I'm between a rock and a hard place. I've been given an ultimatum. The Feds want in on this case at our level or they take over entirely. It's you working with Lee Myers or we hand Morgan and Beckett over."
Adam stood in a flurry of movement. Playing the Morgan card while Nik was in the room was below the belt but it explained the joint briefing."You heard me. No. I'm not working with the FBI. We don't need them anywhere near this. Not internal affairs. Or Lee freaking Myers." The words snapped from him quickly and with instant heat.
Nik looked confused and Jake's expression hardened from appearing supportive to that of implacability. Clearly this was a point that Jake was going to call as the owner. Seemed like the boss had already agreed things above and beyond Adam's head.
"We have no choice—"
"So get Dale in, or Manny, or hell, Jennifer, Michaela? Anyone else except me to figure him out."
"They asked for you and given I have Feds on my ass every day I'm doing all I can to keep them sweet and happy."
"Fuck Jake, they didn't ask for me. They wouldn't. There's nothing worse to serving FBI than an ex-FBI agent who left covered in crap. If Lee requested this, then there has to be an ulterior motive. What the fuck do they want?" Adam crossed to the window looking down at the city below and the anger and hurt and hate that built inside him was crippling. He never lost his cool like this. But seeing the blond agent back at the bank when he extracted Beckett Jamieson had started to lift the bandage on some very old wounds and Adam was pissed. Why would Lee request to work with him? Adam was everything Lee hated, one of the bad guys, one of the chosen who had fallen.
Instant dislike and his own temper pushed him to remembering. Back there to his last day with Lee handing him papers and surveillance showing Adam compromising his role with the FBI. Back to Lee looking at him like his world had ended. Hell, it wasn't Lee whose world had ended. He heard the door close and glanced up to see Nik had left the room. Well, that was one pressure point gone. Jake moved quietly to stand at his side.
"I wish there was another way, Adam." Jake sounded regretful. "When I started Sanctuary I wanted so badly for this to be a place where we didn't have to deal with all this shit. I hate this as much as you do but when Nik pulled in Morgan it started a chain of falling dominos that I could never have foreseen."
Adam looked at his boss, at the man who had offered him a role at Sanctuary based on Nik's recommendation. Jake had been nothing but fair to him and had trusted him from day one.
"Lee Myers is the lead on this case for the Feds, Adam. He's not with the internal affairs department any more or so I am led to believe. I'm sorry. I don't know what kind of games the Feds in general, or Lee in particular, are playing, but I had no choice in this. I hate it as much as you do."
"I doubt that," Adam snapped. He immediately regretted opening his mouth. He wasn't the loose cannon with no respect for the guy who had given him a safe place to be. He was the stable mass that kept things together, the strong, dependable, and quiet one.
"You're probably right," Jake admitted. "Maybe I don't fully understand any of this Fed crap. At the end of the day I'm just doing what is best for Sanctuary and for the people we protect— people like Morgan and Beckett."
"You don't have to mention them or involve Nik," Adam said wearily. "Bringing Nik into the meeting to make sure I played ball or throwing down the Morgan and Beckett card is unnecessary. You know I would do anything for Sanctuary and I know I owe you—"
Jake's head reared up and he interrupted what Adam was going to say. "You don't owe me shit. From the day Nik told me what had happened to you I knew you were what I wanted for my team. He said he knew you and trusted you. That was good enough for me. You're one of my best operatives and if anything, I owe you. The people you protect owe you. Simply for being the best at what you do and for putting everything to one side to get the job done." Jake placed a hand on his arm and Adam winced at the contact. He couldn't handle emotions as strong as the ones Jake was laying on him. "You do this and we will have your back. The minute you feel like it's all part of some Fed agenda and they are screwing with you, and I mean the absolute minute, you contact Ops and you pull out."
Adam waited a second before answering. Jake giving him an out away from the asshole who had framed him and caused him to leave the FBI was something he didn't need. He was a grown man and he was over the destruction Lee Myers had wrought in his life.
So over it.