Holly Campbell is trying to turn her life around. But, to protect her younger brother, she has one last job to complete. All she needs to do is use her unique skills to break into the safe on a yacht—millionaire Jake Lawson’s yacht—a man Holly had a one-night stand with before she knew his true identity.
Jake knows Holly can’t be trusted. He believes she used the one night stand as a decoy to steal from his company and he knows she’s up to something again. Jake’s determined to figure out what and stop her. He won’t let her take anything from him, least of all his heart.
When it was their turn to order, Stan gave Jake a knowing grin and reached out to shake his hand. “It’s about time you brought a hot date to this high-end establishment.” He looked at Holly. “Jake and his buddies held a business seminar years ago offering to help start-up companies.” His eyes twinkled. “I walked in with all my belongings in trash bags and you should have seen the looks some of those people gave me. Not Jake. He acted like he’d personally invited me. When I told him my idea, he helped set it up.”
Jake shifted, uncomfortable with the praise and the way Holly looked at him after hearing that. “I saw a good investment, that’s all.”
Stan snorted. “Yeah, right.” He got to work heating up a thin, flat strip of bread on the grill and glanced at Holly. “Did you meet Jake at one of his fancy galas?”
“Actually,” Holly lowered her voice and said in an impish whisper, “I dressed up as an elf and when he saw me, he begged me to take his clothes off.”
Stan laughed. “Guess you never really know a guy.”
Jake laughed, too and explained, “I got stuck in a Santa suit.”
“Ah, if that’s your story.” Stan loaded the bread with bite size pieces of steak smothered with onions and red peppers, then rolled them up and put them in a paper food boat. He put two waters on the counter, then waved his hand when Jake tried to pay. “You know your money’s no good here. Off you go.” He wagged his eyebrows. “Be sure and tell that housekeeper of yours that I said hello. Bessie’s a fine woman.”
“I’ll do that.” Jake took their order, and led the way to a group of tables beneath a red awning.
“Stan seems like a sweet guy,” Holly said as soon as they sat.
“He is.” Jake took a bite of the food and his eyes watered. “It’s a little spicy.”
“I like it hot,” Holly said.
“Living on the edge.”
“Absolutely. You have the best experiences that way.”
“Such as me,” Jake said.
“And Jake Lawson, in a surprise twist, wins Chicago’s Humblest Man of the Year award.”
He laughed and took a drink of his water, wishing he could cool more than his tongue. “What do you like to do for fun, Holly?”
She chewed thoughtfully for a second. “Like what you saw in my apartment, I do art for fun. All kinds of it. I once worked for a party entertainment company that specialized in business parties and I free-handed temporary tattoos.” She touched the collar of his shirt. “What does the gothic calligraphy one on your chest mean?”
Jake captured her hand and held her fingers still. His gaze locked with hers. “It’s Latin for broken soul.”
“The brother you mentioned earlier today,” she said in a voice filled with conviction as if she understood the desolate places in him.
About the Author
Sonya Weiss is a freelance writer, ghostwriter and author. She's addicted to great books, good movies, and Italian chocolates.
She's passionate about causes that support abused animals and children. Her parents always supported her bringing stray animals home although the Great Dane rescue was a surprise.