She’s a famous jewel thief.
What's that saying? Keep your friends close...and your husband closer.
Being a retired jewel thief certainly has its perks.
1. Oh, wait.
2. No it doesn’t.
Without the thrill of the chase, life’s been pretty dull. Penelope gardens, drives her gorgeous husband up the wall, and watches as her old world slowly slips away. But what’s that old saying? When one thief closes the door…a copycat jimmies open a window.
And now all fingers at the FBI are pointed at her.
Set up to take the fall for thefts worth millions, Penelope have no choice but to strap on her heels and help her FBI agent husband track the thief. Grant might not think he needs a partner, but this is one case only a true professional can solve. Besides, she’s got to know who’s been taking her bad name in vain.
Let's just hope curiosity doesn't kill the cat burglar.
Penelope, tell me what you know about the Peep-Toe Prowler.”
“I know she operates the same way my team and I used to,” I say, meeting his gaze dead-on. He might have me at a disadvantage, but I’m not one to give in easily. “She only chooses wealthy targets, people who can afford to lose a few million without feeling the pinch. She gets in and out of the crime scene undetected— most likely through an open window or air vent. She only takes one item of jewelry at a time, and it’s a show piece, something big and worth the risk.”
Grant nods at each fact, adding to my feeling of sinking into quicksand.
“I also know that you think I’m her.” There. It’s out now. “And that you gave me these stupid shoes to try and trap me into confessing.”
His response is a groan, which isn’t helpful. Emotional outpourings like this aren’t exactly easy. “You accused me of not being honest with you, but that goes both ways,” I say. “I thought we were on the same team now. No more tricks, no more lies. Remember?”
His groan deepens. “I remember. I only wish you had, too.”
I glance up, surprised. He still looks as if he might enjoy hoisting me over his shoulder and hauling me out of the office caveman-style, but the lines around his eyes are the good kind. The crinkly kind.
“What are you talking about?” I ask.
“We are on the same team, Pen. Of course I don’t think you’re the Peep-Toe Prowler.”
I blink. “You don’t?”
“Okay, I will admit there were a few hours when it seemed like a possibility. And yes, I did have your friends tailed for a week to make sure. But even if I thought you were behind all this, I wouldn’t have started investigating you again.”
He lifts his hand to cup my cheek, a tender gesture that has always managed to break my defenses. This time is no exception. “I would have just asked you, Penelope Blue.”
“But…” My head swirls from the combination of his touch and the relief of hearing that rhyme back on his lips. “That doesn’t make any sense. You’ve been treating me like a suspect for months.”
“What are you talking about? I’ve been treating you the same as I always have. I mean, I’ve been working a lot of overtime, yes, but that’s not anything new.”
I stare at him, incredulous. Is he seriously going to pretend this is all in my head?
“Besides, everything else seems to be in working order.” His voice drops to a sexy rumble over that everything else. “Just the other night, we did that thing…”
I know the thing he’s referring to, and I’m not about to let him elaborate. We are, after all, in a professional setting.
“Exactly,” I say.
“You always get demanding and sexy when you think I’m stealing things. It’s how you assert your dominance.”
An enticing gleam sparks in his eye, and I can tell he wants to assert his dominance here, now, with his full dedication. Despite the thrill of desire that works through me at the thought of us tossing his desktop knickknacks to the floor and enjoying a full reconciliation, I’m determined to hold my ground.
“Sex has never been the issue, and you know it,” I say sternly. The soft upturn of his lips indicates his agreement. Whatever else, we’ve always been great at that. “But you’ve been a walking, talking stranger for the past two months. You refuse to let me come to the office or even call in to say hello. The only time I see you is when you come home to sleep and shower and give me shoes…”
I trail off and let the footwear say the rest. Unfortunately, they aren’t adept at communication, because he touches one with a puzzled furrow in his brow.
“What’s wrong with them? You look sexy as hell when you have them on. I distinctly remember you wearing them when we did that thing—”
“Grant, if you so much as mention that thing one more time, we will never do it again.”
“Not in a million years.”
“A million years is an awfully long time.” He caresses the shoe, his fingers trailing over the curves of the red patent leather in obscene and titillating ways. “And you seemed to enjoy yourself at the time. I know I did.”