Wes Lucas and Ian Gray are determined to keep her safe. But there’s tension is in the air, and it’s not just sexual. Secrets are being kept. Lives are on the line, and trust is put to the test. As desire rips through each of them, heartbreaking truths will be revealed and lies will be exposed.
Are the three running away from danger, or are they headed straight for it? In Wes and Ian’s quest to keep Carli safe, will she end up surrendering her heart as well?
The detective who’d pulled her out of the street earlier waltzed in as if he didn’t have a care in the world. Wes Lucas. Yeah, that was his name. In a snug black t-shirt that hugged his broad chest, well-worn jeans and dark shit-kicker boots, he sure had the menacing look down pat. Throw in the packed shoulder holster and she knew she was supposed to be downright scared.
She so wasn’t.
It’d take a hell of a lot more than a hulking body and a steely glare to get her to quake in her boots anymore.
“Ms. Jacobs.” He drew out her name with the slightest hint of a southern drawl that did more to her insides than it should. He sauntered farther into the room, and the man who’d apologized earlier when she sat in the squad car followed after him.
The two couldn’t appear more different if they tried. While the one who saved her from the street had a mysterious, ominous quality about him that only complemented his dark hair and olive skin, the other had a fairer complexion, with blond hair and light eyes. Both of them, however, were as powerful as armored trucks.
Detective Lucas brooded in the chair across from her while the other man leaned against the wall with his ankles crossed, casual as could be. He reached behind her and shut the door with a thick muscled arm.
“Why am I being held?” she snapped. Far be it from her to try and control her resentment at this point.
“We’re not holding you. We’d just like to ask a few questions.”
“Uh-huh. I’ve been locked in here for over an hour, Detective. I consider that being held.”
He glanced at his partner with a slight grin at the edge of his lips.
“Why is that funny?” Their private little joke stoked her ire even further.
His gaze returned to hers, more serious now. “It’s not. I apologize. It seems the young officer was somewhat overzealous when he executed Detective Gray’s earlier instructions.”
The man against the wall, obviously Detective Gray, spoke. “I told him to keep an eye on you, to make you comfortable. Not for him to put you in a holding room. Sorry about that.”
His sincerity was completely lost on her. She pushed an unruly lock of hair out of her eyes and searched the men’s stoic expressions in turn.
Nothing good could come from this much testosterone crowded into such a small space. The buzz they both gave off made her pulse rocket into an erratic rhythm. Yep, it was way past time for her to get the hell out of here. What she needed was a clear mind and a little space to consider all her options. No way would she get that with these two around. “Can I leave?”
Lucas shrugged a massive shoulder. “Sure you can.” Arms even thicker than Detective Gray’s splayed across the tiny table before he closed in and speared her with an icy stare. “As soon as we have some answers. And assuming, of course, that those answers satisfy us.”
She held her own and kept—she hoped—an impassive expression on her face.
The detective leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers under his chin. “You were witness tonight to a gangland-style shooting spree. But, aside from that, what I’d really like to know is why you were in the middle of it all in the first place. What were you doing running away from the same building that housed Romero DeSilva?”
The mention of that abhorrent name sent a mixture of fury and pain through her, along with a sudden sense of impending doom.
Another rush of weariness dragged her further down. For months now she’d been playing the part, acting out in a world she didn’t belong, all in the name of vengeance. Settling the score. It was the only thing she thought about anymore, the lone force that drove her.
But in addition to the deceit that playing the part forced her to create and all those repugnant secrets she’d been keeping for the last three months, could she add lying to the police to her repertoire of distasteful acts, too?
The answer, aided by her exhaustion, came easily enough.
God, she didn’t want to keep up this deception any longer. Could this be her chance to spill her guts and end it all? Okay, moment-of-truth time. Should I tell them everything or not?
She struggled with the decision, but only for a second. All she’d done—everything she’d lost—came down to what she would say right now. It didn’t matter anymore how much trouble she could possibly get into. The important thing now was to tell the truth, to turn over the evidence and get DeSilva off the streets for good. Then it would only be a matter of excising herself from the hate and corruption of the last three months and moving forward into a brand new, easier life, one that didn’t have Romero DeSilva or death involved in it.
Oh yeah, piece of frigging cake.
Carli sagged against the worn vinyl of her chair with her hand in her pocket and the flash drive held tight within her fist. She stared deep into the detective’s ocean-blue eyes as the façade she’d kept in place for so long began to crumble around her. “What exactly is it you want to know?”