Event planner Joanna McNamee is scrambling to ensure her father’s company Christmas party goes smoothly, but one disaster after another has her convinced someone is trying to sabotage her career. With the help of a man from her past who she’s still not sure she can trust, she puts the pieces together and realizes her business is the least of her problems—a cold-blooded killer is out to destroy her father and take her as his prized possession.
The last thing Deputy Ryker Kane expects is for a simple truck hijacking to throw him back into the middle of the Black Widow case he’d been forced to abandon, not to mention right into the arms of the sweet woman he’d let walk away ten years earlier. When he finds Jo Jo kidnapped and drugged, he has to use all his wits and skills honed from years as a detective to save them both. Despite the secrets between them, Ryker’s bound and determined to give them a second chance at love.
His wrists bound, Ryker lay in the back of the van beneath bags of laundry, planning his next move. They’d stopped briefly, and the driver got out, the man who’d pretended to be the hotel clerk taking his place behind the wheel. No words were exchanged, and Ryker went over his options. Not only had these lowlifes relieved him of his weapon, but his cell phone and radio as well.
Minutes later the van pulled to a stop in a darkened area, and the clerk put the vehicle in park. “I’ll be back to deal with you later, asshole.” The man snickered as he exited the vehicle, closing the door behind him. The idiot had no idea Ryker had managed to free one of his hands. Now he just needed to wait. Figure out their next move. If it involved Jo Jo, he needed to play it safe.
Due to the low light streaming in the front windows and the cement walls, they’d probably pulled into a parking garage, but that could be any number of places in downtown Houston.
He waited for the man’s footsteps to fade before he sat straight up, pushing the heavy, smelly bags off his body. With one move, he freed his other hand, tossing the rope to the far end of the van. Then he rolled his shoulder. It hurt like shit but wasn’t dislocated. A point in his favor.
He glanced out the front window. Sure enough, they were in a garage. Several black Lincolns lined one wall with The Ashton Grande marque scrawled across the side. Well, son of a bitch. The hotel Jo Jo's friend Sam called from. Maneuvering to his knees, he searched the area for signs of either of the men who'd ambushed him and bashed his head in.
An elevator chimed off to the right of the vehicle, and he caught a glimpse of the hotel clerk just as he stepped inside, pushing a laundry cart in front of him. Where the hell did that come from? They must have stashed it prior to their arrival. Hurriedly, he exited the van and made his way over to the bank of elevators, watching the numbers at the top of the doors as it ascended.
The number five lit up, and the progression stopped.
Fifth floor. But Sam had said room 618? Shit…what the hell did that mean?
He had a decision to make: wait for them to return or head up after them and try and catch them off guard. He searched the parking area for a phone. Damn. Nothing. He needed backup.
The light hovered for several minutes on the floor then started its way down again. Fourth floor, third floor, second floor. Looks like his decision was made for him.
Slipping behind a concrete column, he waited for the doors to open.
Sweat beaded on his forehead as the seconds ticked off on his watch.
Finally, the elevator chimed, signaling its arrival.
He stiffened. Readied to attack.
A man’s voice drifted out of the doors before they fully opened, and Ryker recognized it immediately as the driver’s. Wait for it. Wait for—
“You’ll see. Everything is going to be just fine, sweetheart.”
Ryker blinked back the confusion as a woman exited first, a weird getup on her head. He leaned in closer for a better look.
Jo Jo? What the hell?
About the Author
Melissa loves to write suspense in all genres. She is an active member of RWA and has served as Website/Publicity/Library committee chair for the Northwest Houston chapter. Born and raised in Texas, she tends to dream big and believes good conquers all. Her husband and three kids mean the world to her. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with the family, camping, snow skiing, photography, painting and just goofing off around the house. You can learn more about her writing at www.melissaohnoutka.com.