This time, the op was different. This time, they had her son…
When Raeanne Springfield’s son is kidnapped by Dmitryi Petrov, a ruthless enemy from the past, Raeanne finds herself thrown back into the dark world of covert operations she thought she left behind. But when Alex Dante, her former superior at the Counterintelligence Defense Agency, shows up to take her into protective custody, Raeanne’s backed into a corner. Should she obey orders from an agency that already betrayed her once, or slip back into the covert life and do whatever it takes to bring her boy home safely?
Harder still—how can she tell Alex Dante that Ryan’s his son?
Between Petrov’s demands, the agency’s evasiveness, and Alex’s whirlwind reentry into her life, Raeanne can trust no one but herself, and only after she gets Ryan back will she worry about fixing past mistakes. If she lives long enough to fix anything…
A chill skittered across her skin despite the thick heat nudged around by the groaning ceiling fan. She shoved back the memory of those pale green eyes and focused on the reassuring press of the Glock .40 against her side, invisible beneath the baggy plaid shirt that hung open over her black tank top. She almost took a sip of the tepid beer, but caught herself. People came to the Blind Shark for a lot of reasons, but great beer wasn't one of them.
And rekindling the past wasn't one of them either, as far as Raeanne was concerned. Seven years ago, she'd been dumped by both the Counterintelligence Defense Agency and her partner, Alex Dante. Partner, lover, supposed best friend. Whatever.
She’d moved on.
He had five more minutes, then she was gone.
She scanned the room again. All four exits were still clear. The place was doing a brisk business for three in the afternoon, but none of the patrons looked in any way suspicious. Just your standard, garden-variety drunks—laughing, shooting pool, dropping change into the slot machines hoping for something better. She studied her beer a moment and wondered if the brown crust on the bottom of the mug was on the inside or the outside.
She snapped her gaze up to Alex Dante’s light green eyes, bold within their rim of dark lashes and beneath the ledge of his dark brows. Jaguar eyes, she'd always thought. Predatory.
“You’ve gotten careless, Raven,” he said. “I could have shot you dead a hundred times in the last ten minutes and you’d have never seen it coming.”
Apprehension and desire coursed through her at the sound of her old code name dripping off his tongue. And that voice of his, deep and rich, like sex and chocolate and cognac all together.
“I saw you,” she lied.
His smirk told her he wasn’t buying it. She held her gaze firmly on his, keeping her expression neutral. Trying not to let herself look at his body.
She couldn’t help it.
He hadn’t changed a bit, damn him. Darker tan, maybe, but other than that, he was just the same. Six feet of lean muscle under a shock of close-cropped dark hair, which despite her prayers, hadn’t thinned a bit. His faded Levi’s hugged the same strong thighs and rode the same low arc across his hips. Damn, but the man knew how to fill a pair of jeans. Behind the blue T-shirt, his hard, tight abdominals hadn’t grown the least bit soft. She remembered those abs, how they felt under her hands and against her cheek, with the patch of crisp dark hair trailing down to…
“Aren’t you going to ask me to join you?”
She jerked her gaze back up to his face. “Suit yourself.”
The sleeves of his T-shirt stretched taut over his hard, round biceps and showed off the strong cords of muscle ridging his forearms. He carried a black denim jacket draped over his left arm and hand—that was nothing new—and he left it that way as he slid in beside her, rather than across the booth from her.
“You should have taken the table next to us,” he said, surveying the room. “That bank of slot machines is partially blocking the doorway to the restrooms.”
She glanced at it again. “I can see the doorway fine.”
“Then explain how I made it all the way to your table without being seen.”
He was sitting too close. She inched toward the wall. “Guess I didn’t expect you to swim up through the sewer pipes. Although evidently I should have.”
The heat of his gaze seared a path down her body then burned its way back up to her paint-splotched Red Sox cap, the one that used to be his. She knew he recognized it even though he said nothing. The desire to look away was almost irresistible, but she did, in fact, resist.
“Interesting outfit,” he finally said.
“Just trying to blend in.”
“Still packing the Glock?”
“Still got the expert rating to go with it, too.” She nodded at the casual fall of denim over his left forearm. “Still hiding your weapon under your jacket, I see. God knows you can’t conceal anything with a T-shirt that tight.”
He smiled slightly, but it held no joy. “I like things where I can keep a hand on them. Prevent them from wandering off.”
She gave him a sniff of annoyance. “How ‘bout you tell me what’s going on? Senator Helmsan’s expecting me back soon.”
“I told you, the senator’s covered. The agency’s taking no chances with her life.”
Raeanne’s eyes narrowed. “So that’s what this is about? Who’s trying to kill the senator?”
“Don’t ‘Now Raeanne’ me. You just said the agency was taking no chances with her life. That means you have reason to believe her life is in danger. And I want to know what that reason is. Now.”
He gave her a long look with that intense, green gaze of his. She refused to look away, and she refused to acknowledge the heat pooling in her groin. Keep it professional. “Agency business,” remember?
“The senator’s fine, Raeanne. It’s you who’s in danger.”