Tyler – Danby Series volume 1-- Available Now
Tyler ~ The last three years, ex-police officer turned PI, Tyler Danby, has focused much of his attention on a charity for fallen police officer’s families. Since losing his partner, Sam, Tyler has become best friends with Sam’s girlfriend, Faith. He finds her bossy, sassy, yet the sweetest person he knows.
Radiologist Faith Whitmore loved Sam, but with Tyler’s help, she’s slowly healed from his death. Tyler’s friendship is essential to her; he’s always there to pick her up when she needs it. When a sudden attraction flares between them, will they risk their friendship to learn if they can share more?
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After a lively couple of knocks, Tyler Danby’s back door opened and Faith Whitmore stepped inside the kitchen. Dressed in pink scrubs, she dropped her keys into her purse, set the bag on his white-tiled countertop, and faced him. With her brunette hair pulled back in a ponytail, she looked like a young school girl. “Wanna have sex?”
Tyler choked on his orange juice, the citrus burning his throat. He coughed, tore a paper towel from the roll, and wiped his mouth. “And a good morning to you too.”
“It can be.” Her brown brows lifted flirtatiously.
What was she up to? He scowled at his best friend. “What good would it do for us to have sex?”
“Release a lot of pent up anxiety we both have.”
“Speak for yourself, Faith. I’m fine.” A lie, they both knew it. He hadn’t dated anyone seriously in three years. Pouring out the little juice left, he rinsed the glass, filled it with cold water, and took a sip to help soothe his burning throat.
She propped her hip on his dinette table and continued as if he hadn’t spoken. “And we’re good friends. Who else can someone be intimate with if not their best friend?”
“It’d be awkward.” If there were some way to make yourself attracted to another person, he’d do it for Faith. Although she gave him a hard time about everything, nagged him endlessly, and bossed him around, she was still the sweetest person he’d ever met. Maybe it was because she’d been his partner’s girlfriend before his death, but Tyler couldn’t find any attraction to her.
“How do you know?” she asked. “We’ve never even kissed. Maybe there’s some undiscovered hotness between us.”
“What’s wrong, Faith?” Then he remembered she’d had a date over the weekend. “Something happen on your date?”
“No. Andy was nice, cute, attentive, except I felt no spark. I don’t get the least excited about dates anymore.” In a rare show of emotion, her eyes filled with tears. “I’m sick of missing Sam.”
Guilt assailed Tyler, making his insides cramp. The same guilt he’d suffered and fought since Sam’s shooting.
“Everyone says it’ll get better with time. And it’s true, I don’t miss him every minute anymore, but…” Her voice cracked. She usually kept herself busy between her job, social life, and family. In fact, he’d never seen her break down. But he—better than anyone—knew sometimes nothing eased the loneliness of loss.
He set down his glass and unhurriedly approached where she stood by his dinette. When he got close enough, he swept her into his arms and pulled her close.
At first surprised, her expression quickly changed to an eager smile.
Before his lips dropped to hers, he whispered, “This is a test.”
Her lips were cool, soft, and accepting—not hot, alluring, and tempting as they should have been. He lifted his head. Their eyes met.
She dropped her gaze to his lips. “Deeper, Tyler, let’s make sure.” Neither had felt a thing and doing it again would render the same results, but she’d nag him until he did it. He deepened the kiss, trying to find some flicker of a flame. A faint taste of mint from her mouth clashed with the orange juice he’d been drinking.
She ran her fingers through his hair, and her body pressed fully to his. He didn’t recoil from her touch, but neither did he ignite into heights of pleasure.
He ended the kiss and made a straight line with his lips.
“Thanks, anyway.” She sounded disappointed.
“My pleasure, honey.”
She stilled, and her light brown eyes rounded like another idea popped into that quick brain of hers. “Maybe we should have sex without kissing.”
At his scowl, she laughed. “Just kidding.” She moseyed farther into the kitchen and poured herself a cup of juice from the carton in the fridge and took a sip. “Ugh, pulp. Why did you buy juice with pulp?”
“Because I like it.”
“You don’t like it, don’t drink it. And for your information, pulp is better for you.”
“Eat an orange. It’s like doing that with all this pulp anyway.”
“Hey, my house, my pulp.” The Roman numerals on his huge kitchen clock read eight o’clock. He needed to be at the office in thirty minutes and her at the hospital in an hour. She usually stopped by two or three mornings a week on her way to work. And since they were key buddies, she always let herself in.
She passed the sink and peeked inside. Her nose scrunched. “Tyler, we need to break you of your caffeine addiction.”
“Here we go. Another lecture.”
“You wake early every morning just to drink coffee. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to stay in bed late?”
With whom? he wanted to ask, but kept his mouth shut. He’d broken up with his last girlfriend shortly after Sam’s death, hadn’t been able to give her everything she needed with his conscience eating a hole through him. “I’m down to two cups a day.”
“Good, now you need to start mixing in caffeine-free.”
“That’s the next step. Mix one-third free with two-thirds laced and the next week, half and half, you get the picture. By the fourth week you’ll be caffeine-free.”
“And walk around like a zombie.”
“Am I a zombie?” The little spitfire tilted her chin up, challenging him.
“You must be the exception to the rule.”
“No, I’m not. I eat tons of sugar to keep me going.”
“Why do you believe caffeine is worse than sugar? Sugar leads to many health prob—”
“Fine, fine, fine.” She held up her hands as if speaking to the ceiling. “Live with a headache the rest of your life if you don’t drink a cup of coffee before the godforsaken hour of six. I’m through nagging you.”
Until the next morning she stopped by and the coffee pot still sat in the sink, they’d more than likely get into a similar discussion, and he’d more than likely lose. “That means I won this one.” He smirked.
“Don’t get smug.”
“I’m sorry, I rarely win with you. I’m thrilled when I do.”
“Don’t get used to it.” She put her glass in the sink. “What are you wearing Friday night?”
“A tux, of course.”
“Is there another color besides black?”
She leaned against the countertop. “I hoped you’d chosen something a bit more stylish. A white coat maybe.”
The only way for her to be pleased with whatever he wore was if she’d gone along and picked his tux out herself. “Black tux, white shirt.”
He pointed to himself with both thumbs. “I’m never boring.”
“Good Lord, yes you are. You go to bed by ten. You’re up by six—”
“I have to go to bed by ten…” He spoke over her. “To wake up by six.”
She stopped talking and appeared to be considering his words, then shrugged. “I guess you have a point. But your life is too predictable, Tyler. You need some excitement.”
“The sex I offered you.”