Authors: Susan Hayes
Paladin Protection Agency 1
Saved by Sin
Security consultant Sinjin Heath is on leave while recovering from a mission that went tragically wrong. The physical scars may have healed, but he still doubts his ability to protect anyone, ever again.
Michelle Jamieson is starting over. She’s finally escaped from her abusive ex-boyfriend, Robert. The only problem is that her ex isn’t ready to let her go. When he realizes she’s truly out of his reach, his obsession drives Robert to kill himself so he can return as a malevolent ghost.
Haunted and terrified, Michelle goes on the run and winds up at her family’s cabin. Things seem to be improving when she meets her sexy neighbor, Sinjin. The sparks between them fly fast and hot, but before they can begin to face their growing feelings for each other, Robert’s ghost comes for Michelle. Ready or not, Sinjin finds himself back in the protection business. And if he fails this time, he’ll lose the woman he loves.
Paladin Protection Agency 1
Siren Publishing, Inc.
ABOUT THE E-BOOK YOU HAVE PURCHASED:
Your non-refundable purchase of this e-book allows you to only ONE LEGAL copy for your own personal reading on your own personal computer or device.
You do not have resell or distribution rights without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner of this book.
This book cannot be copied in any format, sold, or otherwise transferred from your computer to another through upload to a file sharing peer to peer program, for free or for a fee, or as a prize in any contest. Such action is illegal and in violation of the U.S. Copyright Law. Distribution of this e-book, in whole or in part, online, offline, in print or in any way or any other method currently known or yet to be invented, is forbidden. If you do not want this book anymore, you must delete it from your computer.
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
If you find a Siren-BookStrand e-book being sold or shared illegally, please let us know at
IMPRINT: Erotic Romance
SAVED BY SIN
Copyright © 2013 by Susan Hayes
E-book ISBN: 978-1-62242-173-2
First E-book Publication: January 2013
Cover design by Christine Kirchoff
All cover art and logo copyright © 2013 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Siren Publishing, Inc.
Letter to Readers
If you have purchased this copy of
Saved by Sin
by Susan Hayes from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.
Regarding E-book Piracy
This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.
The author and the publisher work very hard to bring our paying readers high-quality reading entertainment.
This is Susan Hayes’s livelihood. It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Hayes’s right to earn a living from her work.
Amanda Hilton, Publisher
For my parents, for more reasons than I can ever count.
And for Karen, for being my best friend, my sounding board, and an eternally patient listener.
SAVED BY SIN
Paladin Protection Agency 1
Copyright © 2013
She hadn’t gone to the funeral. Funerals were for the ones who would mourn, not the ones who felt nothing but guilt-ridden relief that the deceased was well and truly gone. Michelle definitely fell into the second category. There had been a time when she’d loved Robert Tanner more than anything else in the world, but that felt like a long time ago. That was before the threats and the jealous rages, before he’d started hurting her.
She ran a little faster, hoping endorphins and hard breathing could quiet her memories and the accusing voice in the back of her mind. It was the voice that whispered that it was her fault that he was dead. “It isn’t my fault,” she reminded herself firmly and upped her pace once more. “He hit me again, I left, and he couldn’t handle it. That’s it, end of story.” Only it wasn’t. He’d left that damned note and made sure that even after he was gone she would be the one who felt guilty.
She yearned for the peace and freedom that running used to bring her. But it didn’t seem today would bring her that sense of calm. Sweat stung her eyes, and she wiped her brow as she ran, flipping her blonde hair back off her face for what felt like the hundredth time. It always slipped out of her sensible ponytail no matter how tightly she wound the elastic. She slowed down as she turned the last corner and her apartment complex appeared at the far end of the street. She walked the last bit, cooling down as much as she could in the sweltering August heat. She fished out her keys and let herself into the cool shadows of the lobby. She stopped to check the mail, sorting through the various envelopes. “Bill, bill, you could already be a winner—hello, what’s this?” She stopped sorting to look carefully at the envelope in her hand. The typed address was correct, but she realized there was no stamp and no return address, front or back.
Michelle headed for the elevator and carefully tore open the envelope. She unfolded the letter with an uncomfortable mix of curiosity and trepidation.
I should be in the ground by now. I wonder, did you go to my funeral? I forgive you, Chelle. I know you didn’t mean to do this to me. You could never be so deliberately cruel. I will be watching you from the other side, waiting for us to have another chance together.
“Oh god, that sick bastard,” she sobbed and crumpled up the letter, crushing it into a tiny ball as she stormed off the elevator and down the hall to her apartment. The one she’d moved into after she’d left him. He’d never been here. He shouldn’t have known the address, but somehow he’d managed to track her down, again. She locked the door behind her, slamming home the deadbolt and the extra security chain she’d had installed the day she’d moved in.
She hurled the wadded letter onto the table and headed to the shower, her stomach in knots and her head whirling. As she stripped out of her running gear, she caught sight of herself in the mirror. She’d gained back a little of the weight Robert had insisted she lose while they were together, and she knew she looked better for it. He’d completely taken over her entire life when they’d been together, right down to controlling her weight and her wardrobe. He’d forbidden her to wear anything he thought showed too much skin or any shoe that made her taller than he was. Now he was dead and he was still trying to run her life.
She uttered a muttered curse and turned on the shower. She left the water running at barely a lukewarm temperature, knowing she needed to cool off both physically and mentally. The letter’s arrival had set off an emotional firestorm, and she wished like hell she hadn’t checked the mail today.
The water was cool enough it was a shock when she first stepped under the stream, and she fought the urge to turn up the heat until her body adjusted. Sweat and road-dust were swept away by the soothing stream, and she tried to keep her mind blank. Just being, not thinking of anything. Not about his cruelty or his petty mind games. Damn it, she was doing it again
Michelle grabbed the shampoo bottle and squirted a fragrant measure of the liquid into her hand. It was her favorite brand, and she’d bought a bottle of it the day she’d left Robert. He’d never liked the fruity scent and had instructed her not to use it. Haunted by thoughts of her bullying ex-boyfriend, she started to wash her hair. She abandoned the impossible task of seeking calm on today of all days. It just wasn’t going to happen. She had barely gotten the shampoo rinsed out of her hair when she heard her phone ring twice, indicating she had a visitor at the door.
“Now what?” she asked aloud as she grabbed a towel and dripped her way over to the phone. “Hello.”
“Michelle? Michelle this is Nancy Tanner. I need to speak to you.”
Michelle’s blood turned to ice water as she heard Robert’s mother speaking on the other end of the line. She suppressed the urge to scream and managed to answer politely, “Mrs. Tanner, now isn’t a very good time. Perhaps tomorrow?”
“I insist, Michelle. I’ve just come from poor Bobby’s funeral and I must speak to you. Let me in please.”
She stuck her tongue out at the phone in her hand and rolled her eyes.
Just what I need
. “All right Mrs. Tanner, come on up.” She hit the number pad and heard the telltale buzz of the front door being unlocked downstairs.
“Clothes, I need clothes!” She dashed off to the bedroom in a panic and grabbed the first things she could find, a pair of well worn jeans and an old, faded blue T-shirt she usually reserved for wearing on laundry day. Her hair was still dripping wet and she toweled it dry as best she could before scraping it all back into a quick bun just as Nancy knocked.
She took a deep breath and opened the door, trying to ignore the rivulets of water trickling down the back of her neck from her wet hair. “Hello, Mrs. Tanner, come on in.”
Nancy Tanner was the epitome of elegance, even in mourning. From her black Louis Vuitton shoes to the perfectly matched black pearls at her throat, her image was one of carefully crafted style. Her gray eyes took in Michelle’s appearance and a faint frown of disapproval creased her brow. “You certainly have let yourself go since you abandoned my son.”
Oh, this is going to be fun.
Michelle bit back an angry retort and gestured for Nancy to follow her to the living room. “I was just showering after a run, Mrs. Tanner. I wasn’t expecting guests. What is it I can do for you?”
“As if you didn’t know,” Nancy sniffed as she perched on the edge of a chair, her eyes full of malice. “You took my son away from me, and as if that weren’t enough, you’re taking everything of his. I have nothing to remember him by, nothing! What did you do to my sweet Bobby to make him do this to me?”
“What?” Michelle could feel her jaw sag open, and she closed it with an audible click of her teeth. “I don’t understand what you’re talking about, Mrs. Tanner. Robert and I broke up a month ago. His choices were none of my doing, and the only things I took when I moved out were the few things I had when I moved in.”