Remembering You (Pushing the Boundaries)

By: Audra North

He’s in hot pursuit…and she’s determined not to become a casualty of love.

A Pushing the Boundaries Prequel

SWAT officer Ben Crewes has never forgotten the mystery woman whose voice comforted him in the night after he was shot in the line of duty. A voice he never managed to connect with a face.

Years later, a chance encounter with reporter Nina Lang feels strangely familiar, and although he regards bloodsucking newshounds with the same contempt as perps, he feels something he hasn’t felt since that sexy voice soothed him in the darkness.

Long ago, Nina learned the risks involved with men in dangerous professions. But by the time she realizes he belongs to the voice from that long-ago night, the connection sizzling between them is too hot to stamp out without leaving a mark on her soul.

The smart move would be to walk away. Before she gives in to the kind of heat that forges futures—the kind that could simply end in another painful memory.

Warning: An officer who’s cool under pressure, a woman who blows that cool all to hell, and a fender bender that leads to an exchange of more than just insurance cards.


For A.B.

Chapter One

“I apologize again, Officer Crewes. All the post-op rooms are full at the moment. We’re working on several discharges, though, so this will only be for an hour or two at the most.”

The nurse walking beside the gurney—Ben thought she’d told him earlier her name was Rhonda—stopped along the brightly lit corridor. He watched her step into the shadowed room just off the hallway, her light blue scrubs appearing as a faint blur in the darkness beyond. He heard the squeak of a curtain being pulled along a rod, and then footsteps as she came out again, nodding to the orderly standing behind Ben’s head.

The orderly gave a gentle push and Rhonda steered, maneuvering Ben slowly into the room where he would be spending the next few hours, recovering from surgery.

He hadn’t expected to share a room with another patient, but after he’d passed his neurological tests in the recovery room, Rhonda had explained to him that between the hostage crisis that had landed Ben in the emergency room with a surgeon digging three bullets out of his upper body and a bad accident on the freeway, they were surprisingly busy tonight.

“It’s the full moon,” she’d declared authoritatively as she’d checked his reflexes in the recovery room.

Maybe. Arrests certainly went up on nights when the moon shone brighter. But whatever the reason, the stranger in the bed on the other side of the curtain was about to get a temporary roommate. Not that he minded. He was a SWAT officer. Sharing a room with another post-op patient wasn’t exactly a grueling physical challenge.

He felt sorry for the other guy, though, because he had a feeling this room would be a madhouse once the press came in and the rest of the team got off duty and came to visit.

Rhonda and the orderly positioned and locked Ben’s bed, then elevated his upper body using the buttons on the side of the gurney, assuring him he would sleep a bit better if he were more upright. The nurse gave him two ibuprofen, checked a few things off of a list hanging from a clip at the bottom of the bed and, before she headed out the door, told him to ring if he needed anything.

Ben appreciated the military precision with which she worked. It made him feel comfortable in an otherwise chaotic situation. And when she left—the first moment he’d experienced any kind of quiet since the shooting—he couldn’t keep the effects of the adrenaline at bay.

Tonight was the first time he’d been shot in the line of duty.

Hell, it was the first time he’d been shot, period.

Until the last minute of the standoff, he hadn’t even been sure the asshole who was holding six civilians at gunpoint inside the Greenbriar Savings and Loan even knew how to work the Ruger he’d held. Sure, the semiautomatic rifle slung from a strap over the hostage-taker’s shoulder had been loaded, and Ben knew it was a seriously dangerous weapon, but the way the fucker had constantly been shifting it around, as though it felt awkward and new, had made him question whether it would really come down to a shootout.

And so he had watched everything through the windows of the bank—the hostage-taker kept pacing back and forth like a caged animal—and waited for the intermittent calls relaying the criminal piece of shit’s latest demands and negotiating the release of the hostages.

He’d let them go one by one. Fucking slow as molasses, they had trickled out, until only two remained and Ben was out of options.

One of the remaining hostages had apparently lost it—whether angry because he hadn’t been one of the ones let go or simply fed up with the whole stressful ordeal. The guy had rushed the gunman, earning himself a bullet in the leg and causing every SWAT team member across two counties combined—thirty armored cops in total—to storm the bank and take the scumbag down.

Ben had been the first one in, and he’d taken the brunt of it. Three shots in the right shoulder and arm. At least he’d fired back before he’d gone down—those two shots to the perp ended up being fatal.

Luckily, only one other officer—Derek Brewer—had been wounded when a bullet had grazed his thigh. Knowing Brewer, Ben expected his friend would make a full recovery within a day, and probably be damned surly about it too.

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