With Maggie gone, Michael’s just running rogue.
At the end of RESISTING RISK, the first book of the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy, high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and his associate (and recent lover) Maggie Flynn have gone their separate ways.
Left to their own devices, they’re each making questionable decisions, both professionally and personally. Michael has burned every bridge he ever crossed. Then he gets news that brings him to his knees.
Out of desperation, he turns to the only one who really understands him. Maggie is the one person still willing to give him the time of day, even after he worked her over like he’s done everyone else in his life. If only there was some way of giving back to her, maybe he could find…redemption.
Here’s a teaser from RUNNING ROGUE, Book 2 of Rannigan’s Redemption.
Maggie seemed nervous. Bobby wondered if going along with Michael’s plan had been a good idea. It seemed wrong to trick Maggie into having dinner with him. He recognized the skittishness in her soul, probably because he had the same in his own.
Somewhere along the way, someone hurt you, cher. He could see it in her eyes. And he knew that since the day he’d cleaned and bandaged her knee, he wanted, no he needed, to take care of Maggie.
He watched her settle on the huge leather couch and he sat beside her as they sipped their wine. The only sound filling the huge room was the light jazz that played quietly. Maggie fidgeted absently with the hem of her silver sequin skirt.
“That’s a great skirt,” Bobby said. “You look very pretty tonight.” And she did. But closer to the truth was that the skirt was maddenly short and combined with the clingy grey sweater that did nothing to camouflage her tight perky nipples, she was more than pretty. She was sexy as hell.
She blushed furiously. “I wasn’t sure what to wear. I mean, Michael said…” She stopped abruptly and looked up at him, eyes wide. “Oh, I owe you such a huge apology!”
Bobby frowned at the unexpected turn in conversation. “What do you mean?”
Maggie placed her wine on the coffee table and turned to face him. “Yesterday at the hospital I said some amazingly stupid, ignorant things, and I want to apologize.”
Bobby grinned as he recalled the conversation. “I had no idea. When we got back here last night, the first thing Michael did was turn on the television and there you were. He told me that before you came to New York you played professional ball.”
Maggie rolled her eyes. “When I think of the stupid things I said… Bobby, I am so sorry.”
He chuckled heartily. “That was my favorite part of yesterday. You don’t need to apologize for a thing. You said exactly what you thought.”
“Yes, but I never would have said all those things if I’d known,” she gushed. “You aren’t at all like the athletes I was talking about, by the way. Maybe I’ve just had bad experiences.”
Bobby nodded, his blue eyes sparkling. “That would be my guess,” he said quietly.
They chatted over the shrimp appetizers, making polite small talk. While Maggie took the chicken out of the warmer and brought it to the table in the solarium, Bobby removed his jacket, placing it over the back of the couch, and refilled their wine.
Out in the solarium he and Maggie sat across from each other at the elegantly set table, the candles and twinkling lights from the terrace bathing the room in a soft romantic glow. They ate in silence for a few minutes appreciating the delicious dinner.
Bobby was enjoying the dinner but nothing compared to simply watching Maggie. She was so pretty in a completely unaffected way, almost as if she was unaware of her beauty. He took in her petite frame with her delicious curves and wondered how she’d feel in his arms. His gaze drifted to her pale pink lips and he ached to taste them.
Maggie glanced up to see Bobby smiling at her and her heart skipped a beat. She felt herself flush and to cover for it she said, “I’m so sorry I didn’t know who you were. I feel like a complete dumbass.”
Bobby used his napkin to dab at his mouth and he leaned back in his chair. “I found it very refreshing, cher. I come across a lot of women who meet me on purpose. They’re interested in the famous ‘Beau’ Beaulieu.” He made air quotes with his fingers.
Maggie frowned slightly. “You told me your name is Bobby.”
“People started calling me Beau in high school. It stuck through college and into the pros. Only people who don’t know me call me that. My family and close friends call me Bobby.”
She smiled at that revelation, happy to be in the minority. He smiled back at her. Maggie sipped her wine shyly.
“Hell, even my ex-wife calls me Beau. When she’s not calling me something less civilized. Of course, we met at the stadium. I should have known better,” he grinned sadly.
“You were married, then,” Maggie said.
Bobby nodded. “Yep, I was for a few years.” He sipped his wine. “A marriage can’t really survive infidelity, at least in my experience.”
“Wow,” she said thoughtfully. “I suppose that being on the road weeks at a time, tons of women throwing themselves at you… That must present a lot of temptation.”
Amusement twinkled in his eyes. “Is that what you think? That I cheated on her?” He laughed lightly. “I came home off the road to find her in bed with the rookie we’d just drafted.” He nodded at Maggie’s amazed look. “Yep, she traded me in on a newer model.”
Maggie flushed deep red. “Once again, I open my mouth and jump right in with both feet. I am so terribly sorry for being such a sexist, for assuming…” She shook her head. “Please forgive me.”
“Your mouth is very endearing, cher,” he laughed. “There’s no need to apologize, it was a natural assumption. To be sure, in my younger days I took advantage of the chick buffet we found everywhere we went,” he smiled ruefully.
“Chick buffet?” Maggie laughed.
“Ah, yes, the veritable smorgasbord of warm and willing women who are attracted to guys who get in the papers every once in a while. But when I married Deanna it was for keeps as far as I was concerned.” He smiled sadly. “She was in it until the next thing came along.” Bobby sighed.
“I’m so sorry, Bobby,” Maggie said quietly. “That must have been rough.”
“Yeah, my confidence took a real hit. I don’t regret it though, being married. My daughter is the light of my life.”
“Your daughter?” Maggie’s eyes widened. Bobby has a kid?
Bobby watched her carefully. “Is it a bad thing that I’m a dad?”
“No, of course not, it’s great. It’s just…I never even thought about it,” Maggie shrugged.
“Would you like to see a picture?”
“Yes, please,” she nodded.
Bobby took out his phone and scrolled for a moment. “This is me and Savannah right before I left Arlington. We went to the zoo.” He passed the phone to Maggie and she saw Bobby with a smiling little girl with blonde hair and huge blue eyes.
She smiled too. “She’s adorable. Savannah?” Bobby nodded. “A beautiful name. How old is she?”
He smiled proudly. “Just turned five. She’s a hot mess, is what she is. That was a good day.”
Maggie passed back the phone. “She has your eyes,” she observed quietly.
“How about you?” he asked. “Any kids or former spouses?”
“None that I know of,” she quipped, laughing. “Kids? Not even close. I was engaged briefly.” Bobby watched a frown flit across her face.
“What happened?” he asked.
Maggie sighed. “I realized I didn’t love him,” she said, glancing up at Bobby suddenly. “It sounds bad, I know. But I never did love him.” She stalled, sipping her wine. Bobby waited quietly for her to continue. “He was…not very nice, actually.”
Bobby’s eyes narrowed. “Did he hurt you, cher?” He could feel his protective nature kicking into overdrive.
She shook her head. “God, no, he never put a hand on me or anything. He just…” she looked out into the night, “he said things that made me doubt myself.” She looked at him, gauging whether to say more. Bobby returned her gaze, his clear blue eyes filled with compassion. “He said…not nice things,” her voice almost a whisper.
“Son of a bitch,” Bobby muttered under his breath.
“So you met his mother,” Maggie said to lighten the mood, and they both quietly laughed.RUNNING ROGUE by Pandora Spocks