Jay sat with his size fourteen shoes on the desk, occasionally glancing at the bank of cameras and cleaning his fingernails with his penknife. Lord he hated this gig, but in his line of work you didn’t get to choose. Sighing, he picked up his coffee and took a sip before seeing movement at the back of the property. Zooming in, he checked out the figure and determined it was the kid.
She didn’t concern him. He’d seen her come and go like this a hundred times and if it turned her on to think she was pulling something over on her old man, so be it. He knew better. He knew there were men stationed outside the perimeter who would follow her without her ever noticing.
Leaning back, he took another sip and watched her; then his eyes narrowed. There was something different about her gait, about the way the jeans hugged her ass. The nervous way she stopped and looked around every few yards didn’t seem right. It set his senses on high alert. Peering closer, he noticed the hair peeking out from under her cap. Crap, it was dark and he knew if it should fall off the hair would spill down her back in a cascade of waves. It wasn’t the kid, it was the woman and she was walking right into a trap.
What the hell!
“Travis, I need you to cover for me,” he said calmly into his radio. “Nature calls.”
“Sure thing, I’ll be there in a minute,” his partner responded.
He knew Travis would be running. ‘Nature calls’ was their signal that something was up, something that couldn’t wait. As soon as the other man entered the room, Jay was out the door, no questions asked.
He hit the pavement in less than thirty seconds, hopped over the side of his ’65 Mustang convertible and gunned it as soon as the powerful engine roared to life. Travis was on cue, hitting the button that unlocked the gate giving him mere inches to spare as he sailed through it. The uniformed guard was probably on the phone before he raced down the street.
“Get in,” he yelled when he pulled up beside her.
She ignored him, still pretending to listen to her earbuds.
“NOW!” he roared.
Joy froze, looking at him. It was obvious she recognized him, clear she was going to run and right this minute he didn’t have time to chase her. He had no idea where the others were. They could be ahead of him, behind him or taking aim right now. He pulled his gun and pointed it at her.
“Get in the fucking car, now,” he growled. Thank God she moved, diving in the seat without opening the door. He hit the gas and spun out, leaving streaks of rubber on the pavement. Smoke filled the air, giving them precious seconds. He heard the squeal of brakes behind them and knew he’d bought them some time, not much. Jay buried the speedometer while Joy struggled to get in the seat properly.
“Seat belt,” he barked out over the sound of the throbbing mufflers. About half a mile down the road he threw the shifter into neutral and flipped the key, killing the engine. Coasting he pulled into a break in the trees, thankful that it was still daylight and his ‘stang was dark green. He never touched the brakes.
The car finally rolled to a stop and he looked at her. Tears were running down her cheeks and she was still struggling to buckle the belt. Reaching over, he brushed her trembling hands away and snapped it into place.
Big blue eyes looked up at him. Her lip quivered.
“Please don’t take me back,” she whispered.
“Where were you going?” he asked roughly. He couldn’t lose sight of his objective here, no matter how her tears affected him.
“I don’t know,” she replied, staring at her hands. “Somewhere… anywhere away from here.”
Joy reached up and pulled the neck of her baggy sweatshirt down. Jay felt the blood rush to his head. He studied each fingerprint around her neck and slammed his fist on the steering wheel. He’d seen worse, but for some reason he couldn’t remember when. Bile rose in his throat and he swallowed it back down. Instinct pushed him to return to the house and beat the shit out of the man who’d done this to her. Not all the bruises were new. Some were green, indicating this was not a one-time incident. It made everything so much worse.
“Who are you?” she asked, watching his face.
“J.R. Everly,” he replied.
“You work for him,” she said sadly. “I do his books. I sign your paychecks.”
“Yup,” he admitted.
“Then why did you grab me? Why not just let the others drag me back?” she asked suspiciously.
“Let’s just say he’s not the only one I work for and leave it at that,” Jay answered, pulling a cigarette from a pack on the dashboard and lighting it.
“Then you’re a plant of some kind,” she sneered. “Must be nice collecting two paychecks.”
“It would be, if I could keep both of them,” he said with a sharp laugh.
“Why can’t you?” she demanded, fiddling with the buckle.
“Don’t,” he snapped, pleased when her hands fell away.
“What are you going to do with me?” she asked. “Are you going to hurt me?”
“Not like that,” he replied harshly, “never like that. If you’re a good girl and do exactly what I tell you, you might just come out of this unscathed, otherwise…”
Joy Bradley was a bit disappointed when she ended up taking a job as a Junior Accountant after finishing her degree in Forensic Accounting. It seems like a step down the ladder instead of up, but she had rent to pay and debts to meet. One of the things that made it slightly more bearable was John Barrows, the gorgeous owner of the company who was said to be worth billions. Not that she ever expected to catch the eligible bachelor’s notice, but a girl could still dream, couldn’t she?
Joy focused on doing the best job she could, despite how boring it was. However, it wasn’t long before Joy began to notice a number of discrepancies and strangely coded deposits into foreign accounts. Unable to help herself she begins to investigate, falling headlong into a secret world of money laundering, racketeering and murder.
J.R. Everly has been working the Barrows case for months and the last thing he needs getting in his way is a young and ambitious woman like Joy. When she presents her findings to the owner she inadvertently puts herself in a very dangerous position.
Barrows instantly lays claim to Joy, bringing her into his home to ‘keep her safe’ until he can conclude his own investigation. Jay knows far too well the kind of man Barrows is. Can he protect Joy and still not blow his cover?
This excerpt is part of The Arms I Run To, my novella contained in Hero Undercover.
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Authors include: Annabel Joseph, Addison Cain, Renee Rose, Maggie Ryan, Maddie Taylor, Emily Tilton, Trent Evans, Jennifer Bene, Sophie Kisker, Megan Michaels, Katherine Deane, Maggie Carpenter, Jane Henry, Maisy Archer, Alyssa Bailey, Claire Conrad, Stevie MacFarlane, Piper Stone, Anya Summers, Lucy Wild, BJ Wane, A.C. Rose, April Hill, Amelia Smarts, Meredith O’Reilly
A Taste for Red by Piper Stone
When Private Investigator Shanna Jacobs and Cowboy Detective Cody Walker are forced to work on a wine fraud case, sparks fly in both directions. As the case moves into dangerous territory, the key players aren’t what they seem, but if they solve the case, will they learn to accept their intense attraction?
Justice, Roughly by Amelia Smarts
An undercover deputy must decide where his loyalties lie—with the law or with the beautiful criminal who rescues him.
The Strategy of Love by Alyssa Bailey
Part time photographic Journalist and benevolent worker Kayla Rhea was not haunted by the memory of her kidnappers but of her rescuer and his admonition. Ex-Army Major Hunter Barrett, settled in his civilian life, is now on a mission to claim the woman of his dreams or purge her from his life forever.
The Arms I Run To by Stevie MacFarlane
Can a woman be too smart for her own good? Apparently, for when Joy Bradley takes a position she’s overqualified for, she soon finds herself up to her neck in trouble.
Uncharted Waters by Maisy Archer
An undercover protection detail aboard a luxury cruise ship seems like just the kind of easy, straightforward assignment Lucas needs … Until he learns that the client he’s tasked with protecting is the one beautiful, headstrong, infuriating woman he’s never been able to get out of his mind.
The Ranger’s Shotgun Bride by Maddie Taylor
Having fallen hard for her father's hired man, Amelia is crushed when she learns he's behind a string of stagecoach robberies. When she takes matters into her own hands, and goes after the bandits herself, she learns things aren't always what they seem.
Revenge Served Hot by Sophie Kisker
My name is Livvi, and for the next thirteen months I’ll be on my knees, paying off my father's debts, owned by a man who seeks to destroy me. My life looks painfully short, until a man with a dark past offers to rescue me - but only at a price I'm terrified to pay.
The Mercenary’s Girl by Emily Tilton
CIA operative Jack Regensburg would have had enough trouble taking down mercenary kingpin Sir Jeffrey Young even if he hadn't fallen helplessly in love with one of Sir Jeffrey's captive girls, the lovely young Tess Roberts. When Sir Jeffrey decides that Jack, undercover as a bodyguard, must punish Tess in a new and extremely humiliating way, Jack must act, but will he be able to save Tess from Sir Jeffrey's fury without putting his cover, and the crucial operation, at grave risk?
Cherry on Top by Katherine Deane
What do you get when you combine a sassy, curvy baker, her overprotective brother, his hot Army best friend, a crazy stalker, sexual chemistry hot enough to bake a chocolate cake, and nuns? The kinky spankings Cherry has always desired, a bit of Daddy talk Jacob loves, and a recipe ending with a Happily Ever After—and a Cherry on Top.
Saving Sarah by BJ Wane
When Sarah Thompson goes husband hunting at a local night club, she attracts the attention of a serial GHB rapist. Police Chief Travis Nolan intends to be the man in Sarah’s bed and won’t let anything stand in his way, including Sarah’s stubborn tenacity.
The Honey Trap by Lucy Wild
Nate - I went undercover to get the place shut down. Not to fall for her…
Kathryn - It was just a job. Until he arrived.
The Scarlet Stiletto by Maggie Carpenter
1940’s Murder Mystery.
A frantic but beautiful woman bursts into the office of a roguishly handsome detective and begs him for help, claiming she found her red stiletto at the scene of her husband’s murder. The sexy seductive siren with kiss-me-now lips is hard to resist, but he quickly discovers there are gaping holes in her story.
The Russian by Renee Rose
Yuri - I don't care if I get whacked by the mob or fired from the FBI. I can’t stay away from her. And there’s no way I’m letting her get hurt. Hell, if any of them touch her, I’ll blow my cover in a second.
A Thief for the Duke by Megan Michaels
Rescuing a thieving beauty from the prospect of prison, the Duke of Norfolk has taken on the role of Headmaster for a School for Wayward Women under the guise of reforming the waif into a lady of society. Will it be she who is reformed, or will it be he who is changed in the process?
Tamara’s Choice by Trent Evans
Assigned to infiltrate the shadowy Dominion Trust, a vice cop on deep cover visits the lurid, penitential installation known as The Farm.
But to rescue one of the beautiful inmates from her sentence of sexual slavery, he must save something else first — himself.
Detective Hercules by A.C. Rose
Detective Hercules Andrews and drive time radio dating expert Lizzy Harper bond over their respective injuries. When she reveals details about the super hot cop on her show, a New York City controversy of epic proportion ensues and he's forced to go undercover – as her boyfriend.
Slave for a Day: an Idan and Svali novella by Jane Henry
When Svali’s sister is taken hostage on a foreign planet, Svali and her fierce warrior husband are eager to undertake the rescue mission. Neither Svali nor Idan anticipated their job would mean masquerading as master and slave…. nor how very erotic the venture could be.
Testimony by Maggie Ryan
Vows—hers to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth—his to protect the witness with his very life. But when both are up against pure evil, what will the ultimate price of justice be?
Her Protector by Annabel Joseph
Rowan Park works in a secret, hyper-secure area of the government, defending the homeland from malicious hacking attacks. When a kidnapping attempt threatens her life, she’s forced to seek shelter—and comfort—in an unexpected protector’s arms.
Monster by Jennifer Bene
Cold, ruthless, vicious… I’m Paulo García’s monster, and I’d swallowed that bitter pill whole, learned to deal with it — until Nicky. I know I should try to help her, protect her, but then who will save her from me?
Her Undercover Doms by Anya Summers
Sherry can't believe her luck, she followed a Dom to the Bahamas only to have him fall for another submissive, and to make matters worse, that same Dom has issued her an ultimatum, either submit to the handsome Doms Patrick and Nick to become a better sub or leave the island. Will the two undercover CIA Agents convince the gorgeous beauty that she is the submissive for them or will their undercover investigation tear them apart?
A Night by my Fire by Addison Cain
The risk River had taken saving a stranger bigger than a linebacker and as grateful as a psychopath put her in a bad position. Someone had left him to die... and good men didn’t get dumped in the cold.
The Officer's Little Girl by Meredith O’Reilly
Adam is assigned to go undercover at 'The Little Resort' and take down the owner who has been selling illegal drugs. He gets partnered to be Chloe's Daddy and ends up falling head over heels in love for his little girl.
Pandora and the Pool Guy by April Hill
Forced to enter the Witness Protection Program, Pandora finds a mutual attraction with the pool guy. But is he really just the handyman next door?
In Too Deep by Claire Conrad
One chance encounter is all it takes for hard-ass undercover agent Jace Montgomery to fall in love. When the woman who stole his heart is taken hostage, he'll destroy anything and everything in his way to save her.
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