The first meeting…
Hot women, fast cars, and living on the edge pretty much summed up Blake Walker’s life for the past two years. All of which were simply diversions, ways to distract himself until he had the ultimate prize he sought…revenge. Though at the moment, the leggy brunette who’d just sashayed into Denver’s ‘The Rooftop Lounge’ inside the ritzy hotel his client had booked for him, her hair pinned up, and her sexy curves tucked beneath a prim cream colored skirt and blouse, had his eye.
Blake draped his arm on the back of the booth he was lounging in, devouring her with his eyes, while he nursed a beer he didn’t want. He’d seen enough booze and drugs in his days at the ATF to last a lifetime, enough death along with those things, to last a lifetime. No. Not enough. It would never be enough until the murdering son-of-a-bitch cartel leader, Alvarez, was ten feet under. Then there would be enough death and not a second sooner, and since that attitude didn’t set well with his higher-ups, he’d decided working with his brothers at Walker Security sounded pretty damn good. Of course, his brothers Royce and Luke weren’t keen on murder either but based on how they felt about their new spouses, he’d bet his weight in gold they’d change their mind if it had been their fiancée killed in cold blood.
The woman scanned the dimly lit modern room, taking in the carved out circular booths like the one he was in and the mini-round tables with candles flickering on top, until her eyes found him, and he sensed a hint of trepidation in her. He almost snorted. She was working for a guy named ‘Richter’, a high-up in one of the many corporate shells Alvarez used for money laundering, and she actually seemed to size up his long dark hair and leather jacket with disdain. He knew her type, the ones who justified their work in the world they were living by hiding it beneath righteousness or naivety. In her case, she came with a dose of prickly and prim, no doubt, for effect. Oh yeah, he knew her type all right, and didn’t like them, but as her eyes met his a jolt of awareness rocked him. There was something about this woman. The idea of tearing away the mockery of her properness and forcing her to admit what she was appealed to him in a big way. After all, he needed intel, and what better way to get it than halfway to orgasm with the promise of going all the way. Get fucked or do the fucking. He wasn’t getting fucked anywhere but the bedroom, and by choice, ever again.
She tore her gaze from his and his lips quirked as she scanned the bar yet again. Despite her rather successful attempt to look uneasy, he had the distinct impression she was counting heads, like he had. He did the inventory in his head again with her. A couple in the far right booth. Another in the far left. A middle aged drunk telling his troubles to the bartender and two girlfriends chatting it up at a center table. She wasn’t naive, this one. She knew what she was doing. Finally, her attention slid back to him, her only prospect for the meeting her boss had arranged.
He arched a challenging brow at her. She straightened her spine and marched towards him. He watched her walk and didn’t hide his admiration. He wanted her uncomfortable. He wanted her to slip up and tell him things she wasn’t supposed to tell him.
Blake gave a nod. “That’s right,” he joked, playing on words. “But call me Blake.” He used an alias for his last name but found sticking to his real first name was safer than not. It made little slips of tongue less likely. “And you must be-”
“Tiffany Snow,” she said, but there was something awkward about the way she said her name that made him question it being real. Of course, the fact that it sounded like a porn star didn’t help him keep his mind off undressing her.
“I thought Rachel Merit was coming.”
“She was suddenly tied up so you got me.” She motioned to the seat. “May I?”
“Be my guest.” He lifted his beer. “Drink?”
“No,” she said, slipping her briefcase and purse from her shoulder. “I don’t drink.”
He barked out laughter.
Her brows dipped. “What’s funny about that?”
“More ironic than funny considering who your boss is.”
“I wouldn’t know what that means. I’m new to Newport Industries.”
“And you were sent to meet with me? You must have exceptional skills.”
Her eyes, a milk chocolate brown a shade lighter than his own, held his. “I guess you’ll have to decide that when we complete out business.”
Whoa Mama. There was an invitation if he ever heard one. So Alvarez had sent him a present to fill his fancy hotel room with. Wasn’t that something? “I guess I will.”
Her teeth scraped her coral painted kissable mouth. He could think of a lot of places he’d like that mouth. “I understand you have a file for me?” she inquired.
The file being dirt on a certain businessman her boss wanted to blackmail, a test to see if Blake was worthy of bigger and better things. Blake would have felt guilty about just how thorough his file was if said business man wasn’t a lowlife thief. “And you have money for me?”
“If you’re owed money, I assure you it’s in the package. I’ll just need the file first.”
“It’s in my room.”
Those lush lips parted. “Your room,” she repeated.
He leaned in closer. “Some things are better done in private. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Seconds ticked by, and the air thickened, charged. There was more to this woman than met the eye, and he found himself wanting to discover every inch of that more, and then some. “My boss did stress discretion,” she finally said, her voice just a bit breathless.
“Well then,” he drawled. “Let’s be sure and give it to him.” He tossed money on the table and pushed to his feet, before offering her his hand to help her up.
She stared at his hand a moment, playing the cat and mouse game, oh so well. She wasn’t a mouse though, this one. More like a wildcat, he was willing to bet, and looking forward to finding out.
She retrieved her things before standing up, ignoring his offer of help. “Lead the way, Mr. Wright.”
Oh, he intended to. If she was willing to sell her body and soul to a murdering monster for a paycheck, he wasn’t going to feel guilty about using her for everything she might have to offer.