Bonaparte's Belle (Heroes for Hire #25) by Dale Mayer




Prologue





Bonaparte Gasparde was happy for Zack and Zadie. It’s not what he had expected when they’d started this mission, but, once he’d seen the sparks flying between the two of them, he knew there would be no other way for this to end. Zack looked like he had a whole new lease on life, and Bonaparte was happy for his friend.

Bonaparte had returned to the United States with them and had spent a few weeks lost, until Levi suggested he stay and do a couple jobs, at least until he figured out what he wanted to do, now that he hadn’t upped again in the navy.

Being here was hard in a way. His introspection into his prior relationship was brutal. Yet he’d seen so many beautiful couples at Levi’s place that Bonaparte wondered if he was half inclined to stick around in case some of that pixie dust might fall his way.

Just then Levi walked into the kitchen. “Hey, how are you doing? Everything okay?”

“I’m good,” Bonaparte said.

“So how do you feel about heading outside of Denver to help out a friend?”

“What’s going on there?” he asked.

“Another case gone wrong.” Levi sighed, as he sat beside Bonaparte. “Actually a favor for the sheriff of a small town.”

“What kind of a problem? Need a bodyguard or what?”

“Oh no, nothing like that,” he said. “The sheriff just needs someone to deputize for the short-term, having told the town that new staff was on the way, so they’re expecting somebody, yet nobody is actually coming.”

“What, so I’d be like a relief deputy for what? A week or two?” He shrugged. “I’ve never been in that role before, but how hard can it be? I’m game.”

“Yeah, but you’re walking into a trap,” Levi said. “It was one of reasons for saying backup was coming, but it’s also the reason it hasn’t happened. It’s a dangerous situation, and anybody the sheriff brings in could have their hands full.”

“Great,” Bonaparte said, straightening up with a big grin. “Sounds like my kind of job. Who’s the sheriff?”

“Her name is Angela Zimmerman,” Levi said. “She’s hell on wheels and happens to be an old friend, so do what you can to keep her alive.”

“A female sheriff, sounds like fun.”

“Angela is good people. She comes down on the side of right every time.”

Bonaparte pursed his lips. He had no reason not to go. In fact, it would be better than sitting here and reviewing his failed relationships.

“Listen. Don’t let one poisonous nutcase spoil you for all the beautiful flowers out there.”

Bonaparte laughed at that. “I doubt that Ice would appreciate being called a flower, and I sure don’t see my ex-wife like that.”

“So true,” Levi said, with a grin. “And good on the ex. Now go give Angela a hand.” He stood, and they shook hands. “At the bare minimum, this job should keep you busy, and I know you always love helping the underdog. I can guarantee you that Angela needs help.”

“Well, when you put it that way, how can I refuse?”





Chapter 1





Bonaparte followed Levi’s directions, including picking up a special truck, suitable for the would-be deputy, waiting for him at the airport. Once he left the city limits of Denver, he headed for the small town to meet Sheriff Angela Zimmerman. It was a heck of a name. He wanted to call her Angel or Angie, but Levi had warned him that she wasn’t a nickname kind of person.

On the whole trip, Bonaparte had been wondering if that meant she wasn’t the warm or cuddly type. He didn’t know why the hell he was even thinking along those lines anyway. Deb, his ex, had been very cuddly. She was the kind of small bundle who liked to sit in his lap and just curl up and snuggle. But she hadn’t been all that great at getting up when work was to be done. She had been all about being the little princess, not so much about being a partner. But they had two wonderful kids, and he enjoyed every freaking minute he had with them.

They would be coming in another few weeks for the summer holidays, and that was something he had to figure out too. Having left the navy, he found a house not too far from the compound that he would share with his kids. But, so far, Bonaparte had just been enjoying time with Levi and his crew. And now Bonaparte was heading to this job, where he would be deputized, … whatever the hell that would mean.