Touched by a Thief(7)

By: Jana Mercy

She would kill any man who tried. “Had I not wanted you, wanted what will happen between us, I would have slipped away during the drive here.”

He nodded slowly, although something in his eyes said he’d have spared no expense finding her. Or attempting to find her. Had she not wanted to be found, no one would have. She’d made it easy for the police because she hadn’t known what Ian had done, hadn’t known she’d been framed. Otherwise, she’d never have been caught. Damn Ian. Damn him to hell!

“A dress is on your bed. Meet me in my dining room in thirty minutes.”

Monty watched his confident strides to the doorway and wasn’t surprised when he turned, found her watching, and flashed his perfect teeth in a predatory smile. “Just so you know, you’re dessert.”

Chapter Three

Monty finished dressing, applying make-up, and styling her hair in twenty minutes, feeling amazingly female for the first time in months. Gerard made it easy by having everything she might desire at her disposal.

He’d set out a blue silk dress that perfectly matched her eyes, intentionally no doubt. For her feet, a pair of black, slinky Italian stilettos that belonged in a porn film had been placed next to the dress, their designer bag beneath them. A barely there scrap of black lace meant to ride up her crack and pretend to cover her privates provided her only piece of underwear. There was no bra. Subtlety wasn’t Gerard’s strong suit.

Always one for details and knowing one’s weakness, Gerard provided jewelry. A sapphire and diamond pendant on a delicate gold chain. A familiar pendant he’d given her following their shared night.

How had he known she’d sold it? Probably the same way he knew she’d gone to prison.

She wore the necklace, along with Gerard’s other gifts, letting the pendant dangle in the valley between her bare breasts.

She left the room and went in search of the dining room. She’d never been to Gerard’s New York penthouse. Their escapade had taken place in Paris following his sister’s design debut in the fashion world and Monty’s theft of a prized ring that had once been worn by Marie Antoinette. Stealing his sister’s jewel and later returning it had been icing on the cake.

Just how many homes did Gerard own and at which one would he store a prized diamond? What if he didn’t have the diamond anymore? What if he’d sold it to the highest bidder already?

If he did have the jewel, she’d find it, steal it.

Taking note of every photo, every custom nook and cranny that might hide a wall safe or a hidden entrance to a secret room, Monty made her way through the apartment and to the dining room.

A table for twenty was set for two. The far side of the room offered nothing but floor to ceiling windows overlooking the New York skyline. Millions of lights beaconed like a blanket of brightly colored jewels. A crackling blaze roared in an eight foot wide fireplace along another wall, casting shadows that danced on the ceiling.

Red wine chilled on the table.

Helping herself, she expertly popped the cork and poured a glass.

For at least the next few days she’d be Gerard’s mistress. He knew how to please a woman in bed and his touch earlier promised that Ian hadn’t ruined her forever.

Excitement curled in her belly at the thought of the pleasure the night would bring. Too long she’d gone without satisfaction.

The prison offered no privacy and she hadn’t been willing to put on a peep show for the all too eager to watch guards. No self release. No sex. Nothing since Ian.

Damn it, she had to stop thinking about him. He didn’t deserve a second thought, yet her heart filled with rage at his betrayal. Her pride demanded revenge. Once she attained her freedom, she’d set Ian up, betray him the way he’d betrayed her. Strip him of that damn arrogance he wore so well.

Noting how tightly she held the crystal goblet, she forcibly relaxed and reminded herself to enjoy being the focus of Gerard’s attention and the freedom that focus provided.

She walked to the window and stared down at the city. So much hustle and bustle, each light representing someone’s life, someone’s world.

It had been too long since she’d experienced the joys of life, of sipping on good wine, dressed in finery, surrounded by every luxury.