Type: Romantic Suspense
She’s on the run . . .
Jane Beaumont currently has in her possession: a cat, a hundred grand in cash, and a pistol. She’s on her way home to Bay City, Oregon-and away from the nightmare of her violent ex-boyfriend. She’ll lay low at Beaumont Body Shop, a car detailer that runs a private investigation agency in the back. The only wrench in her plan is Kage Archer: sexy, strong, and intent on protecting Jane at all costs. She’s wanted Kage forever, but putting him in harm’s way is not a risk she’s willing to take.
He’s not going anywhere
Kage is no stranger to the dark side of life, but he’s always walked on the right side of the law. Yet when Jane expressed her interest in him years ago, he pushed her away for her own good. Now, after learning of all she’s endured, Kage can’t leave her side-or hide his need for her. When a frightening situation turns dire, can Kage convince Jane that the safest place to be is in his arms?
Her gaze lifted. His jaw ticked. She’d done everything wrong from day one. Going to college meant spreading her wings, and she not only flew, she’d gotten far away from who she was and then latched on to the first person who made her feel good about herself.
Kage tensed, letting his protectiveness show. She laid her hands on top of his. “There was nothing you could’ve done.”
“I could’ve saved you,” he muttered.
She smiled sadly. He had no idea how much she wanted to go back and do the right thing, to call him or Garrett the first time she suspected Scott was not a real estate broker but doing something illegal, but it was too late. “Let’s not talk about it anymore.”
“Okay. I’ll leave it alone for now.” Kage paused as the waitress brought two beers and set them on the counter. He watched her leave, then said, “From now on, you’re with me twenty-four/seven.”
“What?” She shook her head. “That’s not necessary. I’m staying at the house, and—”
“I’m not going to argue with you. It’s done.” He picked up his mug. “Garrett’s agreed.”
“Oh, no, you are not staying with me.” She tried to extract herself from between his legs, but he refused to let her go. “I can’t be around you.”
What he was telling her was impossible. Garrett could watch out for her. She worked at night. She’d stayed safe for the past three weeks. Scott hadn’t called or found her. If Kage stayed with them at the house, she’d do something stupid.
“Really, Kage. You need to stay far, far away from me. For your own safety.” She squeezed his hand. “Please.”
His eyes went soft and he flashed a grin. Her stomach fluttered. She couldn’t even sit beside him without melting.
“I’m serious.” She raked her teeth over her bottom lip.
He kept looking at her in amusement, his smile growing bigger. “Me too.”
Damn him. He wasn’t taking her seriously. She was only entertaining him. “You’ll see. I’ll destroy everything.”
“Baby, get this. I’m not telling you no this time. You got it?” he said.
Heat rushed to her cheeks as she remembered the last time he’d denied her. His gaze softened and she swallowed, overcome with the power and acceptance radiating off him. Her sex pulsed and dampened at what he was implying would happen between them if she let it.
“It’ll never happen.”
His gaze intensified. “It’ll happen.”
“I won’t let it.”
He hovered within an inch of her mouth. “It’s already happened. Now you know. Deal with it.”
“Never. Garrett won’t let you stay after I talk to him. He’s my brother. Family trumps best friends.” She held on to the bar, pulled her legs out and over the top of Kage’s, and jumped to the floor.
Moving before he could catch her, she hurried across the room and straight to Garrett. There was no way anyone was going to tell her how to live. She was done with that crap. She hadn’t fought her way out of one situation only to end up in another one she didn’t want or need.
Garrett leaned against the pool table, a pool stick in his hand, lining up a shot to the corner pocket. She grabbed a cue off the rack, pushed her way between her brother and the table, and held the stick in front of her, while she backed Garrett away from his game.
“Hey!” Garrett straightened. “What the hell are you doing, sis?”
Men at the other pool table moved forward. Several catcalls came over the noise from the bar. She ignored them all.
“Tell him.” She pointed the stick across the room. Lance and Tony drew closer, grinning like two fools. She disregarded their amusement and concentrated on her brother. “Tell him he is not staying with us.”
Garrett planted the end of his pool stick on the ground between his feet. “He’s not.”
Relief swept through her. At least her brother still had some common sense left in his head.
She sagged in relief, letting Garrett take the pool cue from her. “Good. I knew you wouldn’t allow him to push—”
“You’re staying at his house,” Garrett said, tossing the stick to Tony.
Her heart skipped a beat and she recoiled. “What?”
Garrett moved around her and lined up his shot. “We decided the safest place for you to be is away from our house. Scott knows where to look for you, and he doesn’t know where Kage lives. You’ll be safer there. He’s the best and he can protect you, sis. You know that.”
“No…” She shook her head, unable to stop her hands from shaking.
Garrett looked up from the table at her. “Do it for Kage, sis. It was either let him take care of you or kill Scott.”
She squeezed her eyes closed and swallowed hard before looking across the room. Kage sat watching her, intense and ready to pounce.
Garrett moved close. “He’s hurting. You should’ve seen him, sis. He went crazy when I told him, and you know he never loses control. Let him take care of you. Let him do what he needs to do to keep you safe.”
“I’ll only hurt him more. I’m no good for him. My association with Scott is going to drag Kage down. You know he’s sworn to stay far away from any kind of trouble, and you’re just asking for Scott to walk right up to his door and knock. We both know if that happens, he will answer,” she whispered, without taking her gaze away from Kage.
“Kage has his reasons.” Garrett lowered his voice. “It’s a done deal. You’ll stay with him until this business with Carson is over, and we know you’re safe.”
She didn’t know how long she stood there, but when Kage lifted his chin and mouthed, “Come here,” and pointed at the food he’d ordered for her, she returned to his side. She’d never let anyone she loved get hurt on account of her. She rubbed her hands over her hips, nervous about staying with him. Around Kage, she became distracted, and she couldn’t lose sight of why she’d couldn’t lose sight of why’d she come home.
*Forever is allowing me to give away a paperback copy to TWO winners! Winners must be in the US or Canada…no PO boxes please. Please leave a way for me to find you and answer this question:
In a romantic suspense, do you want the alpha hero or the surprising buff bookworm, computer hero?
Contest open until July 2nd @ 11:59pm EST and winner announced shortly after*