I'd thought that he was mine, the dark, arresting man who commanded not only my body but my heart. Dante had swept into my life, and I'd succumbed to the burn of passion in his arms.I'd believed we had a love that would last forever, but he'd shattered my dreams and broken me into pieces when he'd walked away, taking a piece of my soul with him. Now he has come back seeking my help, and though I try to keep my distance and protect my heart, I cannot deny that the fire between us burns hotter than ever. And I cannot help but fear that this time our passion will reduce us both to ashes.
Dante formally introduces me, we do the meet and greet thing, and I follow the men into a conference room. Honestly, it's like being in a pressure cooker of hotness laced with a helping of testosterone.
“Dante explained what we need?” Mal asks.
“The brooch,” I say. “Though I have no idea why there's so much urgency.”
“I'm afraid that's harder to explain,” Liam says. “And you'll forgive me if I don't try. It's not actually necessary for what we're hiring you to do.”
I lean back in my chair, not bothering to correct him. I'm not really being hired. I was well-fucked, and this is now a freebie. Frankly, that's not something I feel the need to share. “Why me? Why don't one of you call him? Make him an offer he can't refuse.”
“We tried that already, Ms. Hart,” Raine says. “Got shot down.”
“Really?” I frown. My experience with Michael is that he's very interested in his bottom line. “Did he say why?”
“He said that he's a collector of cursed artifacts,” Liam said, “and that this isn't about the money.”
Beside me, Dante shifts. “When did he say that? The report I read simply indicated that he wasn't interested in parting with the piece.”
“You read the e-mail report. The secure communication came about half an hour later. Cursed,” Liam repeated, as if that word holds special import. And from the way Dante leans forward, his forehead creased into a frown, I guess that it does.
“I do a lot of research on every item I try to acquire,” I say. “I assure you, this one has no history of a curse.” I glance at each of them in turn. “So what is that code for?”
Mal glances at Dante and smiles. I have the oddest feeling that it's a smile of approval.
“We need you to gain access to Mr. Folsom's house.”
About Julie Kenner
Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres. Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures. Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries. J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.