By day, Lynn Broadmore leads a boring life as a mild-mannered bookkeeper, enduring one blind date after another. But by night, she’s “Hush,” webmistress extraordinaire, writing naughty stories for her adoring legion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan fiction minions.
Now that there’s a new guy working in the next cubicle, though, real life is getting interesting. All Jack has to do is smile, and her insides turn to goo. To her complete surprise, she might even stand a chance against the office bimbo.
Undercover FBI agent Jack Edwards is on the hunt for a serial killer who trolls the Internet for victims. The trail has led to Lynn’s virtual doorstep, and he’s ready to do whatever is necessary to bring the killer down-including using two secret identities to gain her trust.
Things get complicated, however, as the goofy fan fiction writer gets under his skin and starts staining his brain-and his heart.
Distractions are something he can’t afford right now.not if he’s going to keep her from getting hurt in what she thinks is a safe, on-line hideaway.
Because between the pixels lurks a murderer. And he’s chosen Hush, his fantasy girl, as his next target.
Jack and I headed out of the cubicle, and toward the elevators. As we walked, I heard the telltale clacks of high heels on the floor, and I prayed for the elevator doors to open.
No such luck though.
Tina Smith caught us.
“Jack,” she said in a singsong voice. “There you are.” Tina glided up next to him, with little to no regard for me, already standing at his side.
“I was just looking for you,” Tina said. “A bunch of us are going over to Hero’s for Happy Hour, and I just knew you’d be ready for a drink after those files I sent over to you.”
Excuse me? Since when was Tina sending Jack work?
“A drink does sound good,” Jack said.
I almost elbowed him in the side, but I stopped myself, I wasn’t going to act like I knew what was coming.
“Great, so you’ll come?” Tina said, still ignoring me.
Jack glanced at me. “Doesn’t it?” he asked, his eyes gleaming with mischief.
I nodded my head. “Sure does. I could really use something with an umbrella in it.”
Jack smiled. “Good, because I think they have those at Kobe’s don’t they?” he asked me.
I nodded. “I think so,” I replied.
Jack faced Tina. “I already have plans,” he said. The elevator dinged and the door slid open. Jack ushered me inside. He held the door. “Going down?” he asked Tina.
Tina only stood there, staring. I had never really seen anybody shoot steam out of the top of their head, and to be honest, I didn’t actually see any steam coming out of Tina’s head, but I knew if I touched her head, my hand would have burned.
Jack even added icing to the cake, slipping an arm around my waist as the door shut.
It took every single bit of my strength not to burst out laughing as the elevator doors closed. I wrapped my arms around Jack’s neck and hugged him tight, the laughter pouring out of me as soon as the elevator shut fully.
“That was wonderful!” I said, my excitement overwhelming me for a second. “Thank you for that.” I said and I placed a kiss on his cheek.
Jack held me tight up against him. “No problem,” he said, his eyes twinkling in mirth.
I stared at him, realizing I still had my arms around his neck, and I let go, ready to regain my composure.
Jack, however, wasn’t having any of it.
His blue eyes darkened, and he stared at me with such intensity, I thought I would melt.
“Okay,” I said, “You can let go now.” I tried to pull away from him a bit, but Jack kept his grip around my waist.
“No, I think I like you right here,” he said, pulling me flush against his body. I could feel every inch of him against me, including that rather warm spot on the lower front of his body.
I gulped. “Uh…”
He leaned a bit closer to my mouth. “I have reduced you to muttering,” Jack said. “I think I like that.”
“Really, Jack, I don’t think Tina has spies in the elevator,” I said, pulling away from him, even though every girly part of me screamed to let him continue to hold me.
The joke was good and over on Tina.
Jack let go, although quite a bit reluctantly, running his fingers through his hair. He reached over to the elevator control panel and slapped the emergency stop button.
The elevator groaned, skidding and shuddering to a stop.
Oh my God. I grabbed the rail, and held on for dear life. This elevator was probably older than I was. Hitting the emergency break might be enough to…to…I didn’t know what, but I knew it had to involve me and Jack in the bottom of the elevator shaft. And not in a good way.
I felt his closeness as though I’d been slapped by “Essence of Jack”. I wanted to grab onto him, holding on for dear life as the elevator shook.
My head screamed at me to start berating him for scaring the living shit out of me, until I looked at his face.
His gaze narrowed on me, and his lips were in a tight line. He seemed a mile away from me, anger exuding from his every pore, and he took one step, pinning me against the wall. I felt myself cowering from him, tightening my grip on the rail in some feeble attempt to rip it from the wall if he tried to hurt me.
He placed a hand on either side of me on the rail, effectively trapping me.
“You just assume that I don’t want to touch you?” He narrowed his glare at me, his gaze boring into me, and had it been vampiric, I would have been hypnotized and baring my throat for a drink.
I stared at him. Well, duh, I wouldn’t have thought you would, I mean, you haven’t even kissed me… “Uh…” Once again my mind is much sharper than my tongue.
“You think I don’t see you, hidden under all those T-shirts and jeans?” His breathy, harsh voice hit me, and I shuddered.
“Uh…” My brain locked. Wait a minute. Was that a compliment?
He leaned in a bit closer. I could feel his breath on me, and damn, if it didn’t feel amazing. The heat radiating off of him was bound to set the elevator on fire any minute.
“You think I don’t want to feel you, except to thwart Tina Smith?”
I gazed down at my plain white T-shirt and Old Navy low-rise jeans. I could see the tuft of tummy that protruded out from my abdomen, my huge muscular thighs that should have been put on a guy and not wasted on an un-athletic female like myself, and I shrugged. Why would he?
“You don’t, do you?” He nodded his head in comprehension. “Because nothing has happened yet, you assume that nothing will.” He released the rail and stepped away.
I took in a sharp breath, realizing that I really hadn’t been breathing the whole time. How I didn’t swoon and fall over, I’ll never know. Still, the lack of Jack next to me felt cold and lonely in a way that I’d never known, and I slumped against the wall, feeling chilled, and I ran my hands up and down my arms to get some of the warmth back, even though my own body heat just didn’t quite cut it.
Running his hands through his hair again still didn’t mess up the blond locks, but the way he fisted the ends, I took in a sharp breath.
This was so not going to be pretty. I knew the pre-warning signs of getting my ass chewed. Not that I could quite understand why he was pissed, except maybe because I called his bluff.
And he was right, after all. I didn’t actually expect anything from him. He was a German-built god of beauty and style, his blond hair so pretty and so touchable, his jaw sculpted just so… In the confined space, I could feel the heat that burned through me more when we were in close vicinity. I could smell his cologne, and the cool masculine scent made me wonder if he’d ever sweat in his life, he smelled so good.
I couldn’t handle the heat I felt, and I had to turn away, because I knew it wasn’t reciprocated. Not that the extra two inches made a big difference.
And after all, this was Jack Edwards, the hottest man I knew, and he could have any woman in the building.
Then he looked at me, his eyes still dark, but something else was hidden behind them, something much more intense than the anger I’d seen in his eyes just a few moments ago.
“I’m going to say this once, and then we’re going to move on. I like you a lot, Lynn. You’re very smart, you’re good at your job and you’re very sexy. So whatever man told you you’re ugly, I’d like to hunt him down and beat…”
“No man ever told me I was ugly,” I said, cutting him off. Which was true. They didn’t have to—my dating record was enough to prove that. Considering the last date I went on when the guy was actually interested in me was well over a year ago, and there’d been no prospects since then… Well a girl gets the hint eventually.
Wait a second.
Did he just say I was sexy?