Touched by a Thief(2)

By: Jana Mercy

But thoughts of cutting off Ian’s nuts and force-feeding them to him for breakfast appealed enough to make her second guess herself. She wanted him to pay for his betrayal and to pay in a big way, so much so her blood boiled in her veins.

Enough thoughts of Ian.

“I hear you just fine,” she told the newcomer, not pausing in her work-out and determined not to let the thoughts of Ian cause her to lose her cool with Mr. Thousand Dollar Suit. She’d discovered long ago that giving people what they wanted rarely got you anywhere. By not giving what they wanted you ended up with all sorts of prizes because people wanted what they couldn’t have, or perceived they couldn’t have.

Was that why Ian plagued her? Because she’d bent all her own rules and in the end she’d been the one left wanting something she couldn’t have?

“I’ve come to offer freedom,” the staunch voice announced with the aplomb of an elephant tromping through a flower garden, calling her back to the present.

She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Freedom. Something she’d taken for granted the first thirty years of her life. For the past four months, a day hadn’t passed that she didn’t crave fresh air, adventure, a long hot bath.

One-hundred-and-seven. “I’m listening.”

“Gerard Kincaid.”

Gerard? She looked up, met her visitor’s dull gray-green gaze for the first time. “What about him?”

“He took something we want back.”

Gerard had something of this man’s? Interesting. Gerard dealt with guns and weapons of war. Had he stolen some secret weapon? Not lined someone’s pockets he should have?

She pushed off the floor, flipping with the agility of a seasoned gymnast to stand face-to-face with the too smooth man who jumped back at her sudden movement. A guard rushed forward, rifle ready, but the fancy suit held up his hand, staying him.

Ignoring the guard, Monty regarded the suit. “Who is we?”

His expensive shoes shifted weight, but he didn’t back away. “I’m not at liberty to discuss that.”

She shrugged and started to drop to the floor to resume her exercise. They sure weren’t allowing her to do anything else within this God-forsaken place—if you discounted being privy to watching the warden’s sexual escapades. Pushing herself physically helped her sanity. Her sleep. Her sexual frustration.

“Wait.” He grabbed her bare arm.

Her gaze lowered to where he held her and his hand fell away. Interesting. What had they told him?

“Technically, you’ll be working for the United States. However, if you get caught, no one will claim any knowledge of your existence.”

No one claimed knowledge of her existence anyway. She’d been a rogue for years. Until freaking Ian. The bastard.

Monty brushed the back of her hand across her forehead to keep sweat from dribbling into her eyes and watched the suit closely. “Why me?”

“With your military background, you have the necessary training.” His eyes locked with hers. “With your criminal record, you have the necessary know-how. You met Kincaid at a party. Our sources say he was smitten.”

She remained impassive. She hadn’t met Gerard at a party, but she wasn’t telling this asshole a thing.

“He’s made inquiries, let it be known to the powers that be that he’d be grateful for your release.”

Gerard was a man used to getting what he wanted. She’d slept with him exactly once, but that once blazed through her memory with the force of a tornado. A hard slapping of his body into hers that had left her purring with deep satisfaction. He’d offered to make her his mistress, to lavish her with her heart’s every desire, but she’d loved the thrill of the steal too much to be tied down.

Then came Ian.

For the first time in her life she’d known exactly what her heart’s desire was, had taken on a partner, had taken the fall he’d set her up to take while he moved on to the next steal.

Fool. She’d have been better off falling for Gerard than back-stabbing Ian. With Gerard she’d known up front to never trust. With Ian, well, everything she’d known just hadn’t seemed to matter as much as the deep strumming of Ian through her jaded veins. And damn it, those few weeks, she’d been happy, happier than she’d ever thought she could be.