Riley is one of the best hackers around. She’s always kept her online identity separate from her real life…mostly because she doesn’t have much of a real life. But someone is stalking her through the network. Someone who knows about the big job she just pulled off and won’t stop ’til he finds out who she is. Two years ago, CJ was a hacker at the top of his game, until he got caught. Now the prisoner of a ruthless corporation, he is forced to hunt down his former friends and colleagues. He finds himself irresistibly drawn to the woman he knows only by her alias, Samantha, as he traces her from virtual nightclubs to the dark streets of the Manhattan sprawl. But when Riley and CJ’s relationship crosses over into real life, things get dangerous.
Riley pulled away, searching his face. His eyes were strange and distant. He paused, biting down on his lower lip as his hands gripped the bottom of her tank top. It was almost as if he was at war with himself over whether to yank it up and bury his face in her breasts, or….
And then she recognized the look on his face: longing. For what? Why? It didn’t make sense. She was right here; he could—
Words and numbers began to spill down the side of her vision.
Riley’s awareness snapped back. Oh no…. No way. He was tracing her address. Her real-life location.
His gleaming black eyes fixed on hers, and his lip curled up. “Gotcha,” she heard his smug voice say as the room dissolved in a haze of tiny colored spots.
She was in her room, clutching the edge of the table, panting. “Shit!” She ripped the cord from her interface jack, her body trembling with adrenaline and confused arousal.
How much time did she have? Five minutes? Ten?
She pushed the floor-length window up with both hands and vaulted over the safety railing onto the ancient fire escape. It creaked under her feet, slanting alarmingly. She grabbed the central pole and hung on. For a long moment, it seemed like the world spun and tilted around her.
She was up. High up. She closed her eyes, her pulse fluttering in her temples. Her hands were clammy and drops of sweat pricked her neck. She sucked in a long breath. The cold air, a shock to her lungs, knocked her back into rational thought.
The fire escape, it seemed, had decided not to collapse under its own age and weight, after all. Riley opened her eyes.
She had no more than ten minutes, and only one way to go.