Authors: Jane Jamison
Men for Hire 1
Maria Franklin’s stalker is in hot pursuit. After contacting Men For Hire, three gorgeous cowboys arrive, promising to keep her safe. They’re ready to give their life for hers, but she has to wonder if they’ll save her life, but take her heart.
Brad, Jack, and Mike Granger, members of an organization committed to protecting women in danger, are sent to protect Maria. They vow to put their lives on the line for her. Yet, once they meet her, it’s their hearts that take the fall.
When the stalker abducts Maria, they go after her. Can they save her from the obsessed stalker before he makes her his own? Will they have to prove their love with the ultimate sacrifice? And if they save her, will she stay with them on the ranch or return to the life she had before?
Note: There is no sexual relationship or touching for titillation between or among siblings.
Contemporary, Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Western/Cowboys
Men for Hire 1
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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IMPRINT: Ménage Everlasting
First E-book Publication: April 2013
Cover design by Harris Channing
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We’ve all dreamed of the dashing hero (or more than one) who comes to our rescue. Men for Hire is my way of putting my dreams down on paper. Dream on, everyone!
A special thanks goes to my brother Bob, a modern-day cowboy, rancher, and artist, for lending his expertise to
Men for Hire 1
Copyright © 2013
“What do you mean, there’s nothing you can do?”
Maria Franklin stared at the police officer as if looking at him more intensely would make him laugh and tell her he was joking. When that didn’t work, she scanned the room filled with policemen and women, some hurrying about, a few with prisoners they were escorting to either jail or court. The rest sat at desks like the one she was seated in front of.
“Miss, I’m sorry. But we don’t handle disputes on Friends Place pages. Why don’t you call them?”
The cop was somewhere in his midforties and probably didn’t even understand what a Friends Place page was, much less that someone had stolen photos of her off her page and concocted a phony identity on another page. Her pictures were now associated with the name Torrie Winters. That would’ve been bad enough, but the people who’d been corresponding with the fictitious Torrie had somehow gotten her e-mail and were contacting her. One in particular had become too personal, too fast.
“Have you tried complaining to them?” Judging from the expression on his face, she’d been right. He’d heard about Friends Place on television and was aware that it was an Internet thing, but that was the extent of his knowledge. She checked around her, hoping that maybe one of the younger officers could jump in and explain it. But they were all occupied.
She cringed at her image on his computer. That was her photo, but not her name or profile. Even after showing him the fake identity, he still wasn’t giving it any real consideration.
“Look. I took down your report. If anything really happens—”
“‘Really happens’? So someone using my face for a fraudulent identity isn’t really happening? I’m just imagining it? Or blowing it out of proportion?”
“I explained that. Unless they’ve done something criminal like stealing money or opening credit in your name, my hands are tied. Like I said, you should contact the folks that run the site.”
Maria couldn’t believe it. “This is Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Pete’s sake. I could understand a small town’s police force not getting this, but you should. Surely, they’ve broken a law somehow or another. It’s identity theft.”
“Not really. They took your photo. They’re not claiming to
She’d tried going to what counted as the authorities in her hometown of Destiny, but Sheriff Tribek had laughed her off. Probably to cover his own ignorance of both Friends Place as well as his lack of knowledge about any law that might help her.
“That’s right. This is Tulsa and not some small town. Maybe this kind of thing is a big deal out in Destiny, but we’ve got real crimes to solve. Like bank robberies and home invasions. Acts where real people get physically hurt.”
His patience had worn off a long time ago, and she was pushing his last nerve, but she didn’t care. “So you’re saying that
not worth your time? Is that it?”
He let out an irritated breath and leaned back in his chair. “Think of it as a lesson learned. Maybe you’ll think twice from now on before you post photos for the entire world to see.”
“So now it’s my fault?” Could the situation get any worse?
“Naw, I didn’t say that. But until something real happens…” He shrugged, giving up on trying to get through to her and giving up on giving a damn.
“Yeah, I know. Like my getting raped or stabbed in the throat. I’m assuming those would be considered as something real happening.”
“Well, frankly, yes.”
“You’re kidding me. But what about the fact that he’s got my home e-mail? He had to do something illegal to get it, don’t you think? I don’t understand why anyone would set up a fake identity, then after perverts start sending messages, she or they or whoever did this gives those guys my real contact information. Who does that, anyway?”
“It sounds to me like you’ve got an argument going with friend. Maybe an ex-boyfriend did it to get back at you.” He leaned forward. “Is that it? Did you cheat on your boyfriend and now he’s giving you payback?”
She detested his nasty expression. Did he think she’d confess her dirty secrets to him? Was he hoping to hear sexy details that would spice up his sex life?
But she didn’t have any secrets to disclose. Other than the one time she’d shoplifted jewelry from Walmart back in high school, her life was pretty straight and narrow. Not that she’d give him the pleasure even if she did have any juicy bits to spill.
“That’s not it. Wouldn’t you consider this harassment? Isn’t there a law protecting people from this kind of thing?”
“Maybe. But you’re only talking about a few e-mails, right?” He adopted what had to be his
listen to dear old dad
expression. “Why not just change your e-mail? See? Problem solved without going through a lot of hassle.”
“So because some jerk set up a fake page, I have to change my e-mail? All the parents of my kids have that e-mail.”
She could change it without too much trouble, but explaining that, and possibly the why of it, to the parents of her first-grade classroom could get messy. Even if she made up some lame excuse, the mothers would sniff out the lie then hound her until they found out the truth. No way did she want that piece of gossip running rampant around the school. Small-town gossip, especially if it turned out to be true, could result in major damage, hurting both her teaching career and her personal reputation.
“Miss, I tell you what I’ll do. I’ll bring this up during tomorrow morning’s meeting and see if anyone else has an idea. But don’t hold your breath.”
“But what about the e-mails? Isn’t that evidence?” She held up a few that she’d printed out.
At first, she hadn’t thought much about them. They were even flattering with a few men telling her how beautiful she was. But unlike the others, one man, the guy who’d figured out that the identity of Torrie Winters wasn’t connected to the photo of her, had continued to contact her. He’d asked her out, again telling her how lovely she was, and she’d politely refused. But his e-mails had kept coming.
“Were they threatening at all?”
“Well, no. Not really.” He had, in fact, showered her with flattery and told her how much he loved her, even if she hadn’t been the one who had responded to his earlier messages and nurtured a growing online relationship. And even though e-mail didn’t have a voice, the tone of his e-mails sent chills down her spine. He could make the printed word
“That’s what I thought. It’s probably just some bored husband who likes talking to a good-looking woman. Stop answering him and he’ll find another pretty face to get all hot and bothered over.”