Trouble in a Tight Dress(2)

By: Lori Sjoberg

“Did you bring your equipment?” he asked.

She shot him an “are you kidding me?” look as she lifted her left hand to reveal a small black clutch.

“That’s it?”

“That’s all I need.”

A small, petty part of him hoped she’d forgotten something, just so he could see that smug expression wiped off her face. But the job was too important—Wade was too important—to hope for something like that to happen.

More than two years had passed, and Wade still bore the harsh physical and mental scars from the ordeal. Even now, he refused to talk about what happened—not to Austin, his brothers, Larissa, or the therapist assigned by the DEA. And with each passing day, he withdrew deeper and deeper into his shell. If he didn’t get some kind of closure soon, Austin feared he might do something drastic.

Austin’s gaze darted to Ryan, who was still chatting with the couple, and his brother gave a discreet nod. Time to get started. He gave Nina a look, and the smile left her face as she set her nearly-full glass on the tray of a passing waiter. After making sure no one was paying attention, he took her hand and led her up the stairs and down a long hallway to where Trask’s home office was supposed to be located. As expected, the door was locked, so he retrieved the small set of picks from the pocket of his jacket and made fast work of the bolt.

Once inside, he closed the door behind them and flipped on the lights. The room was large and smelled faintly of cigar smoke. Shelves of leather-bound books covered two walls from floor to ceiling. Another wall was decorated with plaques and certificates, while a large window provided a view of the pool in back of the house. Nina crossed to the huge mahogany desk on the opposite side of the room.

“Need any help?” Austin asked.

“No, I’m good.” She grabbed the tablet on the corner of the desk and removed it from the protective case. In less than a minute, she’d pried it apart with a few small tools from her clutch and unhooked the wire that connected the display screen to the rest of the tablet.

Honestly, he had no idea what she was doing. He wasn’t a tech kind of guy. As the president of Six Points Tactical and Security, his job was to keep the business moving forward, though every so often he gave in to the urge to get his hands dirty in the field. All he knew was that Nina and Larissa had built some kind of device that would allow them to remotely access the tablet at any time without the owner being aware of the intrusion. It was kind of scary, the things they came up with, but he was thankful to have that kind of resource available when it came to jobs like this.

Nina was in the process of putting the tablet back together when Austin’s phone vibrated in his pocket. Checking the screen, he saw a text from Ryan: Company coming your way.

Shit. He stuffed his phone back into his pocket. “How much longer?” he asked Nina.

She didn’t look away from her work. “Couple—three minutes.”

“You’ve got one.” There was no way to know whether the people headed in their direction were coming to this particular room, but knowing his luck, they were. To buy more time, he locked the door, but that was only a temporary solution.

He scanned the room, searching for a place for them to hide. There was no closet, no connecting door to another room. Hell, there weren’t even any curtains for them to hide behind. And with the office being located on the second floor, going out the window wasn’t an option. Actually, he’d be okay with the jump, but he didn’t think Nina would fare well in her dress and heels, and he wasn’t about to leave her to fend for herself.

At the desk, Nina placed the back onto the tablet and returned it to its protective case. She scooped up the tiny tools and dropped them into her clutch.

The doorknob rattled. A man’s voice in the hall said something, but it was too muffled to make out the words.

They were trapped, and it was only a matter of time before the door opened. If they didn’t have a good reason for being in the room, they’d probably end up in jail.

Or worse.

Nina’s eyes widened at the sound of a key going into the lock. As the doorknob twisted, Austin’s adrenaline spiked. If they couldn’t escape, then they needed a plausible excuse to justify their presence, and he could think of only one. Without time to explain, he pulled Nina close and kissed her.

OF ALL THE things she’d anticipated happening tonight, Austin Flint kissing her wasn’t anywhere on the list. Nina’s brain short-circuited at the feel of his mouth on hers. Honestly, she didn’t know how to react. Yeah, there was shock, and a healthy dose of outrage, but mostly, the little voice inside her head was screaming, “Hot damn, about time!”

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