Trouble in a Tight Dress(6)

By: Lori Sjoberg

“A little. I’ll bring you up to speed when you come to the office. Any idea when that’ll be?” He couldn’t remember whether she was planning to return to work today or tomorrow, but with everything going on with Trask, he hoped it was today.

There was a pause, followed by muffled voices. “We’re less than an hour from the house. Then we’ve got to unload everything and get Emma settled. Odds are it’ll be around ten before I can make it in. Why, what’s going on? Is it important?”

“You’ll see when you get here.” He hung up before she could try to pry it out of him. Almost immediately, the phone sounded with her ringtone, and he sent it straight to voice mail. “Don’t worry about the targets,” he called out to Ty. “Larissa’s on her way in. I want to get to the office before she does.”

And if he was lucky, he’d have a few moments alone with Nina to apologize for kissing her. He didn’t want her feeling uncomfortable around him, and he sure as hell didn’t want her quitting because of what happened. Competent computer specialists were hard to come by, especially ones who weren’t know-it-all assholes and who also got along well with Larissa. That alone made Nina worth her weight in gold. So even though he didn’t like it, he’d suck it up and shove his feelings aside for the sake of the family business.

FOR THE FIRST time in months, Nina made it to work early, pulling her Honda sedan into a parking spot in the front row of the lot.

No one else was there yet, so she used her key and the retinal scanner to gain access to the building that was home to Six Points Tactical and Security. It felt weird, being the person who turned on the lights, and the sound of her boot heels clicking against the tiles seemed a little unsettling.

Of course, that was probably just her being paranoid. She’d barely left her apartment all weekend, only leaving to check the mail once or twice and to pick up a few things at the grocery store. Mostly, she’d spent her time in front of the computer, checking up on the family she’d turned her back on nearly half a lifetime ago.

There wasn’t much to find, which didn’t surprise her. In their line of work, it was best to stay off the radar. There were a few minor references to her family’s shipping business, and an article about her brother taking the helm after their father died from complications related to colon cancer. Though she hated the bastard, reading about his death still managed to bring tears to her eyes. It was silly, she knew it, but he was still her father, and she couldn’t help but think of better times when he’d treated her as though he actually loved her.

On some sick level, she’d appreciated the distraction, because it kept her from dwelling on Austin. To be honest, she still did, but it would have been worse if it hadn’t been for her screwed-up family. Days later, she could still feel his kiss on her lips—dark, demanding, and seductive. It made her pulse trip and made her yearn for much more, even though she knew it wasn’t going to happen. The only reason he’d kissed her was to give them an excuse for being in the room, and reading more into it wasn’t going to get her anything but frustrated.

And perhaps unemployed.

A shiver went through her. The office was freezing—one of the guys must have cranked down the air conditioning again—and she pulled on the sweater that she left on the back of her chair to ward off the chill. She dumped her purse and keys into her desk drawer and turned on her computer. While it booted, she went to the break room for a cup of coffee and bit back a shriek when she flipped on the lights and discovered she wasn’t alone after all.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” Wade said from his seat at the table, a bottle of water in his hand. It was the most he’d said to her in about a month. He wasn’t a talkative guy.

“It’s okay. I just wasn’t expecting anyone to be in here.” Although now that she thought about it, she shouldn’t have been surprised, considering he lived in the converted storage area above the warehouse portion of the building.

Dressed in black jeans and a black T-shirt, he exuded the air of a man who knew how to take care of himself in a fight. Why he was sitting in the dark, though, she had absolutely no clue.

She crossed to the coffeemaker and grabbed a clean mug, all the while trying hard not to look at the scars on Wade’s otherwise handsome face. One started at the corner of his left eye and trailed all the way down to his chin, while the other went from his nose to his ear, forming a jagged cross. She had no idea how he got them and she wasn’t about to ask. If Wade wanted her to know, he’d tell her. Until that happened, it was none of her business.

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