Reputable fine art broker Sophie Graystone has a knack for acquiring one-of-a-kind artifacts. A seasoned professional, she marches to the beat of her own drum and takes direction from no one.
Lt. Dagan “Rebel” Caldwell, ex-Army Ranger and investigator for Alpha Four, is driven by an iron will to succeed and is talented in the ability to convince others to conform. He soon learns that he has met his match in one certain female.
Assigned to investigate several attempted thefts of Sophie’s paintings, Rebel’s skill and talent are sorely tested when Sophie challenges him at every turn, aggravating and arousing him in the process. Desperate to get his man, Rebel uses her rebellion as a secret weapon, hoping to win her heart in the process.
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At the sound of the voice behind her, Sophie gasped and spun around, her free fist raised and ready to put up a fight, even more shocked at the sight of Rebel standing directly in her line of vision. In the heat of the moment, she wasn’t sure if it was paranoia or extreme fear – not that it mattered which one – but one or the other amped up her adrenaline and pretty much dictated her response. Without warning, her fist connected with his brick wall of a chest.
Not one word left his lips and he stood stoic, obviously not bothered in the least by her attack. Probably because her fist bounced off like a rubber ball. His lips curved into a smirk.
“Easy there, tiger.”
Ignoring his smooth, rich response and thigh-tightening smirk, she stood on her tiptoes, wrapped both hands around his equally-muscled shoulders, and shook him. Never mind that she couldn’t move the mountain in front of her.
“You scared me to death!”
With little effort, he peeled her fingers from his muscle, placed a hand to the small of her back and then led her to an annoying familiar vehicle parked at the curb; so much for avoiding a bodyguard. As if he’d done it a thousand times before, he opened the passenger door and then gestured at the seat.
Although still somewhat shocked by the whole ordeal, she managed to find a tiny bit of resistance. She planted her feet on the curb and raised an eyebrow.
For a few seconds, they both stood stoic, engaged in a silent battle of wills. She had no idea just how stubborn he could be, but she knew her own stamina and had no intention of giving in.
“Get in the car, Sophie.”
Still, she stood immobile, her eyes narrowed, determined to wait him out. For several seconds, they simply stared at each other, gazes locked, each issuing a silent dare. Sophie didn’t care if her eyes caught fire, she would win this showdown. Finally, he released a hard breath.
She gave him what she intended to be a cheeky smile and entered the vehicle. He shook his head, closed the door, and then entered the driver’s side several seconds later.
“Are you always this difficult?”
He chuckled as he drove away from the curb and into traffic. “Where were you headed?”
“To my studio.”
“Normally, the tail needs that information.”
She shrugged. “Normally.”
“Good thing I was up early.”
“You wish. I knew you wouldn’t follow instructions.”
“Really? What gave you that impression?”
“Your father didn’t tell you much about me, did he?”
“If the Senator had told you even half of what he knows about me, you wouldn’t have gotten in the truck.”
She swallowed hard – not out of fear like she probably should have, but to keep the twenty or so questions from escaping out of sheer intrigue. Apparently this man had deep dark secrets – ones she wanted very much for him to expose.
“That still doesn’t explain how you claim to have known I wouldn’t follow instructions.”
He moved his head toward the rearview mirror and then turned it to the front windshield. “I was an Army Ranger, a tracker to be exact. I’m trained to read people.” He turned and grinned. “I knew what you planned before you did.”
“Is that so?”
He simply nodded without hesitation, confidence oozing from every pore in his body. Oddly, the arrogance didn’t offend her. Instead, her mouth watered and her breasts tightened to the extent that she was sure her nipples might poke a hole in her blouse. She dabbed the corners of her mouth with her tongue. No sense letting him see her slobber all over him like a rabid dog.
“Okay then, O wise one, what do you suppose I’ll do next?”
He released another of those knee-weakening smirks and suddenly she wanted to kiss it off his face. Press her lips against his and nibble her way all around them until she literally swallowed him whole. As strong as she knew this man to be, there was absolutely no doubt in her mind that his kisses would be hard and dominating. In an attempt at self-control, she folded her arms across her chest and attempted to appear smug.
In what she dubbed an I’m-so-smooth manner, he changed lanes and then parked the vehicle next to a curb. “Now you’ll go inside your studio and explain to your assistant – Robert, if I remember correctly – why Mrs. Vanderbuilt’s painting wasn’t returned to your studio last night as planned.”
She turned and glanced out the passenger window at the scripted lettering on the building there. Treasure Me. Okay so he was exactly right.
She turned and raised an eyebrow. “Aren’t you coming along?”
“I was under the impression you didn’t want a bodyguard.”
“I don’t.” She reached for the door handle and pulled, annoyed when the door wouldn’t budge.
When she lifted her gaze to his and frowned, he snickered and then the click of the locks sounded in the silence.
“Five minutes,” he said.
She opened the door, stepped out and then glanced back at him. “Ten,” she said as she slammed the door on any further response.
About The Author
I write contemporary romance novels with sexy, alpha males and females with attitude to boot. I live in a zoo,hold down a full time job, and am trying to coax my creative muse from her cage. So BEWARE, the madness may rub off on you! ~ Facebook
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