AEGIS: an elite team of ex-military men working under the radar of most governments. If you have a problem no one else can handle, they can help.
A former SEAL and Black Ops specialist who left the CIA, Nick Donovan gave up a life on the edge to work in the private sector. But that didn't stop his enemies from coming after him—or his family. In a case of mistaken identity, a drug cartel kidnaps his sister-in-law's best friend … a woman from Nick's past.
One minute Jennifer Grayson is housesitting and the next she's abducted to a foreign brothel. Jennifer is planning her escape when her first "customer" arrives. Nick, the man who broke her heart years ago, has come to her rescue. Now, as they race for their lives, passion for each other reignites and old secrets resurface. Can Nick keep the woman he loves safe against an enemy with a personal vendetta?
Nick took Jennifer’s hand firmly in his as they walked in silence along the road up to the entrance of the hotel.
She was happy not to talk, particularly as anger still radiated off Nick like the heat rising off the black asphalt. No one was out front, save one security guard smoking a cigarette. Nick nodded to him as they walked inside.
The sliding glass doors led them to an air-conditioned oasis that looked very different from what Jennifer had seen on the dusty street outside. Cool white marble floors, crystal chandeliers, an indoor fountain, and leather couches decorated the lobby. A crowd of businessmen speaking multiple languages stood in line at the front desk.
Nick kept hold of her hand and bypassed them all, walking through more sliding doors and past a massive swimming pool, then down a series of steps leading to the hotel grounds beside the river. His eyes were flat and emotionless. His long strides ate up the path before them. Once beyond the pool he picked up his pace and moved so fast she was out of breath, but he didn’t seem to notice or care.
The hotel grounds were massive and spotted with bungalows that spread out from the main building along a paving stone path that wound steadily closer to the water. Jennifer thought it would have been a lovely place to sit and gaze over the landscaping, but Nick didn’t appear the least bit interested in the view as he led her to the cottage furthest from the pool and closest to the river. He still wasn’t speaking when they climbed the steps onto the porch that ran perpendicular to the water. The bungalow itself was situated sideways beside the river. Without a word, he opened the door and steered her inside.
The living room was small with a leather sofa, a massive window facing the water, and a kitchenette tucked in the corner. Doors on either side of the main living area led to what she assumed were two bedrooms and baths. Nick took her into the room on the right and didn’t let go of her hand until he’d shut the door and flipped the thumb latch.
Mosquito netting hung from the ceiling but was drawn back to the headboard of a king-size bed. A fan mounted on the wall lazily stirred the air. He slung her backpack and handbag off his shoulder, setting them on the long dresser with a decided thwack.
His not talking was starting to make her a little nervous, but even more than that was his lack of eye contact. She stood in the center of the room trying to catch her breath. Bryan had said he wouldn’t be back for a while. It was shaping up to be a long, uncomfortable evening.
Nick turned his back to her after unloading her bags. He didn’t appear to be ready to talk yet. She should be relieved, right?
This was crazy. She had to say something. It was past time for one of them to be speaking. But where to start?
Thank him for saving her? Apologize for running away? As much as she hated to admit it, running away was exactly what she’d done in Dallas. Apologizing was the obvious place to start.
She took a breath, and the words came out in a rush. “Nick, I’m sorry. I know I shouldn’t have left without talking to you. Thank you for what you did today. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t—”
She broke off as he turned to her. His gaze held her captive, even though his eyes were no longer filled with smoldering fire. Instead, his expression was awash in misery.
“Dammit, Jenny. Do you have any idea how much you scared me?”
Copyright © 2014 by Kay Thomas. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.
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Kay Thomas didn't grow up burning to be a writer. She wasn't even much of a reader until fourth grade. That's when her sister read The Black Stallion aloud to her. For hours Kay was enthralled—shipwrecked and riding an untamed horse across desert sand. Then tragedy struck. Her sister lost her voice. But Kay couldn't wait to hear what happened in the story—so she picked up that book, finished reading it herself, and went in search of more adventures at the local library.
Today Kay lives in Dallas with her husband, two children, and a shockingly spoiled Boston terrier. Her award-winning novels have been published internationally.
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