Dangerous Connections by Terry Odell
Still too shadowy to make out details, there was no mistaking the curvaceous figure of the voice’s owner. Or the gun clutched in front of her chest.
“Hey, take it easy.” Jinx kept one hand on the towel as he raised the other above his head. “I’m unarmed.”
“You could have a weapon strapped to the inside of your leg under that towel,” she said.
He wondered if she was going to check. Or if he’d mind. In the light, her features went well with her body. Her hair, shiny and brown, was braided into a plait hanging over a shoulder. Diamond stud earrings caught the light.
Tanned skin, high cheekbones, deep brown eyes, and wide, full lips glistening with peach-colored lipstick.
She wore a see-through, white blouse unbuttoned low enough to reveal what he assumed was a blue bathing suit top, not her bra. Under other circumstances, he’d be glad to confirm it.
White slacks hugged her legs—and he’d bet she had a great ass, but again, circumstances didn’t warrant wasting time thinking about it. She wore low-heeled sandals, and her toes were painted a coral that matched her lips, and—his eyes returning to the gun she held—matched her fingernails as well.
There was a vague familiarity about her, but nothing he could place. One of the poolside women, he decided. One of the smiley, flirty ones, although she wasn’t smiling now.
“I assure you, I’m weaponless,” he said.
Her gaze ducked to the towel, and she smiled. “You’re right.”
Elle Sheridan studied the man in front of her, wondering if she’d been wasting her time. It was his eyes. Deep blue, thick lashes. Compelling, but all wrong. Cautious, guarded. Maybe a little fearful. Not cop eyes. Not investigator eyes. Soft. Everything about him seemed soft. Untested. He seemed uncomfortable in his own skin. Not what she’d expected.
Had her source been mistaken? Was this the wrong man? When she’d gone through his things, nothing indicated he was anything but a man on vacation. The clothes were all new, but it wasn’t totally out of the realm of possibility for a man visiting a different climate. And if he was a Blackthorne investigator, he’d have made sure his cover was perfect. She hadn’t risked opening his laptop—she wasn’t a computer techie, and without someone from the geek squad with her, she didn’t think she’d be able to get anything out of it.
After a week in this resort, she’d made no progress in locating Trish. If there was the slightest possibility this man could help her find her sister, she’d give it a shot.
“Sit down, Mr. Brand,” she said. “I assume you know what you’re doing. I’m willing to go along with your charade.”
He sat, then took another bite of his apple. “Charade? I already told you—more than once—I’m trying to get a little distance from a lousy situation at work. How about telling me how you got into my room.”
Although she wasn’t used to being on the receiving end of an interrogation, she opted to let him ask his questions. “I’ve got connections with housekeeping.”
And thank goodness for that. Her leave of absence from the force would be over in a matter of days, and her funds had already plunged into the red. If not for the kind hearts in the housekeeping department, she wouldn’t have lasted this long. But the resort was full now, and the room they’d let her crash in was no longer available.
“The maid let you in?” he asked.
She shrugged. “I told her I was surprising my fiancé.”
He stopped, eyes wide, the apple halfway to his mouth. He shook his head. “You got half of that right,” he said. “The surprise half, in case you’re wondering.”