Authors: Tiffany Snow
Also by Tiffany Snow
No Turning Back,
The Kathleen Turner Series
Turn to Me,
The Kathleen Turner Series
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Text copyright © 2013 Tiffany Snow
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.
Published by Amazon Publishing
P.O. Box 400818 Las Vegas, NV 89140
I couldn’t have done this without you.
Thank you for letting these characters become as real to you as they are to me.
omeone was following me.
The streets of downtown Indianapolis were busy this Friday night. Even though it was the second week of February, after two months of nothing but cold, snow, and ice, a spell of unseasonably warm weather had brought the residents of Indy and the surrounding suburbs out in droves.
Laughter and gaiety surrounded me as I hurried through the crowds oozing down Capitol Avenue. My pulse beat quicker and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I chanced a quick glance behind me, but saw no one paying the least bit of attention to me.
I knew he was back there. Just because I couldn’t see him didn’t mean he couldn’t see me.
He’d been following me for several blocks, always staying just out of sight when I turned around, and I’d caught only glimpses of an arm, a shoulder. But he was getting closer. I could feel it.
A group of men were strolling in front of me. An idea struck and I eased my way in front of them. My height—or lack thereof—had its advantages, I thought, as I slipped past them into an alley. Hopefully, they’d concealed my movements long enough to lose the man following me.
Unable to withstand the temptation, I stopped and peered behind me. When no figure stepped into the alley, I slumped against the brick wall at my back, releasing a pent-up breath.
“Nice move, princess. You almost lost me.”
I gasped, jerking around.
“Damn it, Kade! You scared me to death!”
Kade Dennon, former FBI agent and current gun-for-hire, was completely unfazed by my outburst, the smirk I knew all too well curving his lips.
“It was a good thought.” He crossed his arms and leisurely leaned one shoulder against the wall. “Use your weaknesses to your advantage. Being short doesn’t have to be a detriment.”
“I’m not short,” I groused. “I’m”—I searched for a more palatable word—“petite.”
“Whatever,” he said with a snort. “Let’s try again. I’ll give you a sixty-second head start. Go.” He looked down at his watch, timing me.
“Wait.” I held up my hand. “It’s getting late and I have a date with Blane tonight. Can we call it good for now?”
Blue eyes framed in lush, dark lashes and topped by wickedly arched brows peered at me. It didn’t matter how often I saw him, Kade’s dark beauty never failed to take my breath away. His square jaw, roughened with a day or two’s growth of stubble, tightened. Black hair—which I knew from experience was soft to the touch—fell over his brow. I likened him to a fallen angel, and the description had never been more apt, clad as he was in his customary dark jeans, black shirt, and black leather jacket. I also knew a gun was
holstered at his hip, and somewhere on his person was concealed another, as well as a wickedly sharp knife.
“Fine,” he finally said, the word clipped. “But your wake-up call tomorrow is six a.m.”
“On a Saturday?” I protested.
“And no coffee beforehand,” he ordered. “I don’t want you puking on me.”
I didn’t have a chance to reply before he was gone. With an ease I envied, he’d slipped into the crowd and disappeared.
I sighed in defeat as I trudged to my car parked a few blocks away, wondering if this was ever going to work.
Kade had shown up at my door a couple of weeks ago, declaring that if I was going to be of any worth as an investigator, I needed to be trained.
Well, that’s putting it more delicately. His exact words had been, “You need to be trained before you really fuck something up, end up dead, or both.”
How could I say no?
In truth, I’d been excited and nervous about my new job as investigator for the law firm of Kirk and Trent. I’d worked there as a runner, delivering documents, until Kade had given me an abrupt promotion right before Christmas. I guess you could call him a silent partner in the firm.
So far, the training had included time at the firing range with my new gun (courtesy of Kade), daily early morning runs (also courtesy of Kade), self-defense classes with a Marine, and these impromptu lessons that had no name. I ached all over from hitting the mat too many times in the self-defense lessons, dreaded the morning runs like a condemned man awaiting execution, and had only done so-so on what I privately thought of as the
“cloak-and-dagger” training. The only place I’d held my own was the firing range.
Not for the first time I wondered if this was a job I could actually do.
I unlocked the door and climbed inside my black Lexus SUV, a company car paid for by the firm. Twenty minutes later, I was back at my apartment.
I lived on the top floor of a two-story apartment building near downtown, in a neighborhood where people didn’t walk their dogs after dark, at least not alone. When I’d first moved to Indianapolis almost a year ago, this had been the best I could afford. Even then I’d had to work two jobs just to make rent and pay the bills—I was a runner for the law firm during the day and bartender at night at The Drop. Luckily, my new promotion meant an increase in salary and I’d been able to quit the bartending gig.
I hurriedly showered, pinning my long strawberry blonde hair up so it wouldn’t get wet. There wasn’t enough time for me to blow it dry before Blane arrived.
My heart beat a little faster as I thought of Blane, anticipation making my stomach flutter. Blane Kirk: high-powered lawyer, former Navy SEAL, rich playboy, my ex-boyfriend. One of those labels didn’t seem to fit with the others. Our introduction had been less than what romance novels were made of, consisting as it had of my tripping and falling face-first into his lap during a client meeting. I still cringed when I thought about it.
We’d broken up before Christmas, after I’d found him in a clutch with his former girlfriend, Kandi-with-an-i. What I hadn’t known then—what Blane didn’t tell me until later—was that he’d suspected her of being the leak behind
repeated attempts on my life. He’d thought that by breaking up with me and dating her, he’d be able to keep me safe. That hadn’t worked out so well.
Since then, Blane had been “courting” me, for lack of a better word, in an attempt to win me back. I’d been leery of jumping back into a relationship, even though I knew I was in love with him. His list of ex-girlfriends was as long as my arm—both my arms, actually—and I had no interest in having my heart broken a second time.
Yet those reservations hadn’t stopped me from going out with him, spending time with him, kissing him. It seemed no matter my resolve, I was helpless when it came to Blane.
My phone rang just as I was checking the clock; Blane was a few minutes late, which was unlike him.
“Kat, it’s me,” Blane said.
Kat. That’s me. At least, that’s what Blane calls me. My full name is Kathleen Turner and, yes, I was named that on purpose. My father, Ted Turner, and my grandmother, Tina Turner, were only too happy to pass on the family tradition of naming a kid after a famous Turner. Since I had no brothers, it was up to my only cousin to carry on the dubious honor. Not that I knew if he would, since I hadn’t heard from him in years.
“Hey,” I said, sinking down onto my leather couch. If he was calling rather than knocking at my door, it couldn’t be good news.
“I’m sorry, Kat, but I’m going to have to cancel our date.”
I held in a sigh. “That’s okay,” I replied, keeping my tone light. No need for him to know how disappointed I was.
“I have to leave town for a few days. Something’s come up.”
A slight stiffness to his words made me frown, a hint of worry creeping in.
“Is everything all right?”
“Absolutely,” he said easily. “I’ll call you, okay?”
“Yeah, sure,” I said, wondering if I had imagined something that wasn’t there.
A few moments later, we’d disconnected, and I was left thinking about what would make Blane leave town on a Friday night. I’d been too taken aback to ask where he was going, and now I mentally kicked myself.
I changed into an old T-shirt, baked a frozen cheese pizza, and ate it while watching the latest episode I’d recorded of
Dancing with the Stars.
Not exactly the evening I’d planned.
Finding some rocky road ice cream buried in the back of my freezer, I scraped the carton clean, absentmindedly licking the spoon as I thought about Blane. I’d moved out of his house and back into my apartment two weeks after Christmas. My excuse for temporarily living with him—the fact that I’d been shot in the leg by a psychopath—was no longer viable. The physical and emotional wounds had healed well enough by then.
But I hadn’t wanted to leave.
It was nice, living with Blane. I loved that he was the first and last person I saw every day. He was true to his word, giving me space and not pressuring me, though he had no compunction against using the explosive chemistry between us to tease and torture me. Each night he would kiss me before leaving me alone in my bedroom, and his kisses weren’t chaste and sweet. They were hot, skilled, and
demanding—always leaving me wanting more—which, of course, was his intention.
It was during one of these heated encounters that I had abruptly decided I needed to go back home. I couldn’t think around Blane. Everything I wanted and felt was confused when his arms were around me, when he was touching me, kissing me. What did it mean, this pseudo-relationship and my living with him?
“Wait… stop,” I’d said breathlessly, wrenching my lips from his.
That didn’t deter him. His mouth trailed a scorching path across my jaw and down my neck.
Blane kissed his name from my lips. I became lost in his touch again for who knows how long.