Photo journalist, Paige Sommers, is out to get digital proof to put longtime arms dealer, Jason Tate, away for good. After losing her fiancé, Brogan Johnson, during an undercover operation with the same dealer six months ago, she's finally ready to rejoin the world, and put an end to Jason’s rule. But when her zoom lens brings a familiar face into view, she's not sure what to believe.
Special Agent Brogan Johnson is just a night away from bringing down the largest weapon's dealer on the west coast. Having given up all connections from his previous life to go deep undercover, he's willing to do anything to see Jason Tate brought to justice... that is until his ex-fiancé enters the picture, literally. With photographic evidence of the deal, she's just placed her name at the top of Jason’s hit list. If Brogan can get just her to trust him one last time, they may have a chance at their elusive happily ever after.
Paige killed the engine and glided into a driveway a few houses down from hers. She’d taken every back street home but still wasn’t convinced Tate hadn’t somehow had her followed. She should have gone straight to a hotel, but she needed to grab her laptop.
Tears mixed with anger as she swung her leg off her Honda and parked it beside the garage. Of all the stupid ass stunts to pull…
She cursed her impetuous nature as she darted through yards, hiding behind bushes and plants. She’d been set—had all the evidence she needed to hand Tate over on the proverbial silver platter, but apparently, that hadn’t been enough. She’d spent what had felt like forever staring at the image she’d taken with the camera, trying to decide if it really was Brogan. Then she’d caught up with their car and had all but kicked the door in to get the guy to lower the window. The resemblance was uncanny, though the cropped hair and haunting look in the guy’s eyes had made her think twice. But just the possibility that it could actually be him had pushed her over the edge. How she’d missed hitting that truck as she’d plowed through the intersection was a mystery.
Paige set her jaw and hopped the last fence, keeping her body cloaked in the shadows. The house looked deserted, but that didn’t mean anything. She crept toward the set of French doors on the left side. She’d left her computer on her desk. All she had to do was sneak in, grab it and leave.
She shook her head. She wouldn’t have to worry if she hadn’t been so damn determined to look into his eyes without the camera lens between them.
Pain flared again, but she pushed it away. She could break down at the hotel. Right now, she needed to stay focused. She sprinted across the grass and pressed her back against the wall as she inched her way toward the doors. She fumbled with her keys, cringing at the way they jingled in the still air, before slipping one into the lock, sighing when the bolt disengaged. Paige slowly rotated the handle, praying the door wouldn’t creak, and slipped inside. She groped her way across the floor, finally reaching the oak desk. A noise sounded from somewhere in the house, making her jump.
More sounds echoed through the silent room as she moved her hands along the top of the desk, breathing a sigh of relief when the laptop’s smooth surface grazed her fingertips. She wrapped her fingers around the edge and dragged it back when a rough hand snaked around her mouth.
A scream caught in her throat but vanished with her breath when she slammed into her attacker’s hard body. White dots flitted across her vision as his other hand wrapped around her waist, his lips caressing her ear.
“If you want to live, you’ll grab that computer, keep your mouth shut and follow me.”
The voice was darker and deeper than Brogan’s, with a slight Irish accent she’d never heard before. Her stomach dropped when the hopes that she’d actually seen him vanished, replaced by the ever-present emptiness. Paige nodded, praying she’d have one moment when she could kick this guy in the crotch and make a run for it.
A gravelly chuckle sounded in her ear. “I know what you’re thinking, but anything you try will only slow me down, and I’m already angry enough to paddle your ass ‘til it glows red.” He blew a heated breath across her earlobe coiling a knot in her belly. “Now do as I say and let’s move. Tate’s men are already in the house.”
Paige thought about resisting until a boot scuffed on the hardwood floor outside the office. She grabbed the computer, shoved it in the backpack lying beside the desk and headed for the doors, her mystery man hot on her heels. She wanted to see his face, but when she twisted around, he plastered his chest to her back, holding her tight.
“Soon. Now go.”
The urgent quality in his voice had her darting out the door and across the lawn. She vaulted over the fence, the pack slung across her back and ran to the motorcycle, skidding to a halt when she found him already seated on it, helmet on, engine idling.
“Get on!” he said, tossing her another helmet.
Paige caught it and glanced back across her shoulder in the direction of the house, indecision weighing heavy in her chest. Her instincts told her she could trust the guy, but the situation screamed for her just to run. She looked over at him, wishing she could see through the dark visor, before slipping on the helmet and jumping on the bike behind him. The scent of wood and leather filtered through the air, stealing her breath. She reached behind her to grab the small bar when he revved the machine and took off, hurtling through the night air.
Paige muffled a scream and wrapped her arms around his waist, plastering her body against his. She thought she heard him moan, but the sound mixed with the howling of the wind.
“What the hell have I just done?” She squeezed tighter when he banked the Honda into a hard turn, nearly touching their knees to the pavement.
The guy was large, more muscular than Brogan had been, and another pang moved through her.
“Hold on. It’s going to get bumpy.”
His voice sounded irritated, and she couldn’t help but wonder why he’d bothered to help her when the prospect obviously angered him. She shifted back, determined to loosen her grip when he left the pavement behind and steered them onto an old gravel road. The cycle bounced around on the uneven ground and Paige had to squeeze his chest for balance. He made another groaning noise, but all she could do was close her eyes and hold on tight.