Enjoying the Chase Read online

  Chapter One

  As a subtle vibrating started against my leg, I looked up at my captain, wondering what he would do to me if I pulled out my cell phone and checked my incoming message. No doubt he would be seriously pissed if I got caught not listening to his briefing about the raid tomorrow.

  Unable to resist peeking to see if it was from Sarah, or Sasha, or whatever the girl’s name was I was supposed to be taking out tonight, I pulled my phone out and took a sneaky look beneath the desk. I already knew that even if I got caught I wouldn’t be taken off point for the operation tomorrow. I was the best sharp shooter he had, so that afforded me a little leniency.

  But instead of seeing a message from my date for the night, there were two picture messages from my best friend, Ashton Taylor. As I opened the first one, I was greeted by a cute little scrunched-up and messy-looking baby. My eyes widened as my breath caught in my throat. A moronic grin slipped onto my face as I scrolled to the next message. I saw Ashton’s wife, Anna, holding the baby and smiling proudly. The message underneath read:

  ‘Anna and baby Cameron both doing great’

  “Oh, shit yeah!” I shouted excitedly, forgetting where I was as I leapt from my seat and pumped the air with one fist in celebration.

  “Nate Peters, what the hell do you think you’re doing interrupting my briefing?” Captain Elder snapped as all eyes in the room turned to me.

  I swallowed, shifting on my feet. “Ashton and Anna had their baby,” I announced, holding the phone up proudly, showing the rest of the team the photo as evidence.

  “Yeah? What did they have?” Captain Elder asked, his face softening. He had always liked Ashton, and of course, the whole world was waiting with baited breath on the birth announcement. To say that Anna’s father was an important man would be the understatement of the century. Her father, Tom Spencer, was currently serving his second term in office as President of the United States. Anna, as first daughter, was a celebrity in her own right because of that. The press hung on every word that she and Ashton said and it seemed as though the whole world was gripped with ‘Annaton’ fever, and had been for the last five years since they were first photographed together.

  “Little boy,” I answered.

  “Well, that’s awesome; I take it everything’s fine? How is Annabelle holding up?” Captain Elder checked.

  I nodded in confirmation. “Apparently she’s doing good.”

  “That’s great. Now can you sit the fuck down so I can finish my briefing?”

  “Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.” I slumped down in my seat, trying to look chastised but, to be honest, I wouldn’t have pulled it off. I couldn’t help but smile proudly. Ashton deserved this; I’d never seen him as happy as his wife made him. Anna was an incredible person, and I couldn’t help but be a little jealous that Ashton had met her first. She was beautiful, smart and funny – everything I hoped I’d find in a girl one day.

  I could barely concentrate on the rest of the briefing. All I wanted to do was go to the hospital and meet the newest member of the Taylor family. When we were finally dismissed, I headed into the middle of the team in a bid to get out of the room before Captain Elder spotted me and kicked my ass down to the filing room as punishment for the interruption. Luckily for me, I made it without being called back.

  As I walked out of the building, I called the hospital to find out what time visiting hours began in the maternity ward. I was told it wasn’t until seven thirty, so I had a couple of hours to wait. That would give me just enough time to buy a gift for the baby.

  As soon as I walked through the door, I knew I was out of my depth. My twenty-five years of life had not prepared me for walking into a baby store. There were all sorts of baby clothes surrounding me: sleep suits, body suits, normal-looking outfits, bibs, blankets… I had no idea what to buy. After looking around hopelessly for ten minutes, I spotted a young, pretty blonde saleswoman standing at the counter.

  My game smile slipped onto my face as I headed over to her, leaning on the counter.

  “Excuse me, ma’am, do you think you could offer me a little help? In return, I’d love to take you out to dinner.” I smirked as a subtle blush covered her face and a little giggle escaped her lips.

  “Sure, Officer, what were you looking for?” she replied, leaning in closer and twirling a lock of her hair around her finger. I wouldn’t even need to buy this girl dinner to get her into bed.

  Staying on track and remembering what I was here for, I stood back up and gestured around the store helplessly.

  “My best friend just had a little baby boy, so I wanted to get a present or something. Is there anything in particular that I’m supposed to buy?”

  She smiled and pushed herself out from behind the counter, swaying her hips as she walked. I couldn’t help but let my eyes slide down to her ass. “How about this?” she suggested, grabbing a little blue and white outfit from the rail, barely even looking at it. “Or we have a bigger selection out back.” She raised one eyebrow suggestively.

  I grinned at that. Sure, she was easy, but I wasn’t going to turn down a little backroom action if it was on offer. I knew what this was about – it was the uniform. Chicks dug my S.W.A.T uniform. It probably helped my cause that I was a good-looking guy, even if I did say so myself. I kept myself in shape because of my job; my blonde hair was always styled, my blue eyes stood out and a lot of girls complimented me on them.

  “I’d love to see what you have out back,” I replied.

  When we were finished fooling around, I made my excuses and headed out of the store without even buying anything for the baby. The girl – Carly she had said her name was – was getting all clingy and kept asking when she was going to see me again. I’d ducked out of there as fast as I could.

  A loud groan escaped my lips when I looked at my watch to see that it was already a quarter to seven. I didn’t have time to go anywhere else now so I’d just have to show up without a gift today.

  On the way to the hospital, I pulled up and jumped out at the corner store, buying Ashton the biggest, fattest cigar they had. I chuckled as I shoved it in my pocket. He hated even the smell of them, but I was confident I could get him to smoke it if I told him it was tradition.

  When I finally arrived at the hospital, I was directed to the maternity ward on the fifth floor. My insides were churning with excitement as I pressed the buzzer on the outer door and waited for the ward sister to let me in. After explaining who I was, and watching her check my name on her ‘approved visitors’ list, she motioned down the hall. As I looked down that way, I spotted Anna’s secret service bodyguard, Rick, sitting on a chair outside room three.

  “Hey, man, how you doing?” I greeted, plopping into the seat next to him.

  “Yeah good, Nate. You?” He smiled, running a hand through his hair.

  “Awesome. You seen him?” I asked, nodding at the door to Anna’s room.

  “Yeah, I saw him a couple of hours ago. He’s cute.”

  “Did the birth take long?” I asked, genuinely curious.

  He winced and sucked in a breath through his teeth. “Yeah, I was in there with her for a little while, while we were waiting for Ashton. Damn, I don’t ever want to see that kind of thing again. It looked fucking painful. The screams… damn.” He shook his head as if trying to shake the memories of it. “She went into labour this morning at about eight o’clock and we came to the hospital at about two. She looked like she really felt it, if you know what I mean.”

  I frowned at his answer. Anna has been in labour all day? Ouch! Mental note: don’t make fun of Anna today. “Wow, that’s a long time. I guess I’d better head in and see what all the fuss is about,” I joked.

  I pushed open the door to her room. I was so excited to see th