Trouble in a Tight Dress

By: Lori Sjoberg

A Six Points Security Novel

Chapter One

THERE WAS A very fine line between justice and revenge. A line that easily blurred. Years had passed, and not a day went by that Austin Flint didn’t wish he could rewrite history. But that wasn’t an option, so he’d settle for cold, hard vengeance.

Trying not to look obvious, he glanced down at his watch and frowned. Nina was late. Again.

He should have known better than to trust his computer tech to arrive at the fundraiser on time. The woman was late for everything. Hell, she’d probably be late to her own funeral.

Absently, he gave a polite nod to the old man beside him who was rambling on and on about voter demographics and redistricting. Normally, he would have asked his sister, Larissa, to join him at the function, but she was off cruising the Caribbean with her husband and daughter, leaving him no other choice but to recruit her protégé to fill in.

And damn it, this was important. He’d pulled all kinds of strings to score an invitation to the political event held at Senator Benjamin Trask’s enormous mansion just outside the Orlando city limits. The place was packed with celebrities and power brokers rubbing elbows and raising money. But Austin wasn’t here to support the senator who’d been in office for almost twenty years. On the contrary: his goal was to determine whether Trask was secretly taking bribes from Roberto Aranza, a Mexican drug lord.

He and his siblings had been searching for Aranza ever since the asshole had nearly killed their brother, Wade, while he worked for the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Using all of the tools at their security company’s disposal, they’d come close once or twice, but the slippery bastard had recently flown off the radar and they hadn’t been able to locate which rock he was hiding under. Perhaps, if the rumors were right and they could connect him to the senator, they could use the information to not only take down a dirty politician, but to also bring Aranza to justice and give Wade the closure he desperately needed.

And for that, he required Nina’s skill set. She was a whiz with technology, almost as good as his sister, and if anyone could install the device that would grant them access to the senator’s electronic files, it was her.

He flicked a glance across the room to his brother Ryan, who was making conversation with a well-dressed middle-aged couple while he nursed some kind of highball. Ryan arched a brow, the question clear in his eyes, and Austin gave a slight shrug in response.

Frustration mounting, Austin checked the time again. Okay, that did it. His patience was officially exhausted. But just as he pulled his phone from his pocket, the ballroom’s double doors swung open and a small group of people entered: an elderly couple, a woman in her fifties, and a young man talking to Nina as though she was the absolute center of his universe.

It was the first time Austin had ever seen her in anything other than low-slung jeans and T-shirts, and despite his irritation, the sight hit him like a punch to the solar plexus. Tonight she wore a clingy black dress that flaunted her curves and a pair of matching high heels that made her legs seem even longer than usual. Her short blonde hair was styled to frame her face, and she’d done something to her whiskey eyes to make them look all dark and smoky.

He could tell the exact moment she saw him, because a smile stretched across her ruby-red lips and jacked his blood pressure straight through the roof.

After excusing himself, he strode across the room to where Nina now stood by the bar. He forced a smile as he approached, though it must not have been very convincing because the guy with Nina visibly tensed.

“Sweetheart, you made it.” It took everything he had to keep his voice sounding cordial. Ignoring the other guy, he placed his hand at the small of her back. “Come with me; I want to introduce you to someone.”

As he led her away, he leaned in close so no one could overhear him. “You’re late.”

“Ten minutes. Get over it. Besides, I was being fashionable. Only dorks show up on time.”

Austin bit back an instinctual growl. It was a damn good thing she was so adept at her job. Otherwise, he would have fired her months ago. She was nothing but trouble, with a chip on her shoulder, a smartass mouth.

And a body that just didn’t quit.

Not that he’d noticed or anything.

Okay, that was a lie. He was a guy, and Nina was beyond perfect. She was smoking hot, tall, and curvy, with great breasts, long legs, and an ass that could stop traffic. Even now, he wanted to run his hands through her hair and smear the lipstick right off her mouth.

But she was also his employee, and that kind of entanglement had disaster written all over it. If he got involved with Nina and things went south, his sister would tear him a new one. Besides, he wasn’t in the market for a relationship, not after what happened with his ex-wife, Taylor.