Touched by a Thief(43)

By: Jana Mercy

His hands pushed up the khaki skirt, bunching the material at her hips and guiding her onto him, letting her control the depth, the movement of their bodies.

After she’d collapsed, lying in his arms next to him on the hospital bed, Monty sighed in contentment. “I do love you, Ian, but I’m going to have to leave now.”

Because her freedom was in jeopardy. She’d given the Degassi to Ian’s colleague not to the man who’d sent her to Gerard. She had to disappear. For good.


“I can’t go back to jail.” She’d rather die. She would die. She knew she’d never make it back behind bars. One way or the other she’d die. Probably from a hired hand from Gerard because she didn’t fool herself that he wouldn’t have access to her even behind bars. He had too much power, too many contacts.

Ian laced his fingers with hers, lifted her hand to his lips and pressed a kiss to her fingertips. “Join me, Monty.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, join my organization. I’ve talked to Robert and he agrees you’d make an excellent operative. The pay sucks compared to what you currently take in a year, but it’s mostly legal and the benefits are killer.”

“The benefits?”

“A constant adrenaline rush. Me.”

But her charity… “I can’t.”

He regarded her for a few moments, then nodded slowly as if he understood, but she could see he didn’t. That’s when she told him about the children she’d encountered during one of her military stints, about the orphanage she’d helped established and solely funded.

“Money is why you said you couldn’t?”

Was it? Could she give up her extracurricular activities? Looking into Ian’s dark eyes she knew she could. Being with him was a constant adrenaline rush.

“You understand why I can’t.”

“Money isn’t an issue, Monty.”

Of course money was an issue. Although she’d invested well to fund the trust for the charity, it wasn’t self-sustaining. Not yet. Maybe if she made a few big takes she could pull back, be with Ian without letting those counting on her down. Her time in jail had hurt her plans.

He leaned forward, whispered in her ear, causing her eyes to widen. “You think that would be enough for you to ‘retire’?”

“You have that much? You never told me you had money.”

“I never told you a lot of things. Like what my real name is.”

“True.” She waited expectantly.

“Padric Van Coeur.”

“Van Coeur? As in…?”

He nodded. “Yes, that Van Coeur. Money really isn’t an issue, Monty. I want you with me. Always.”

She wrapped her arms around his neck, kissed him, but she’d remember something she’d forgotten. The bag of jewels Gerard had given her. “I won’t take your money, Ian.” At the tension lines that knotted his brow, she ran her finger of his forehead. “But I would like to hear more about this job offer and you wanting me always.” She cupped his face, stared into his eyes. “I’d like to hear a lot more, because that sounds like an offer this girl can’t resist.”