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Authors: K C Blake

Pandora's Box

BOOK: Pandora's Box
12.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


by K. C. Blake

Pandora’s Box

Copyright ©2012 by K. C. Blake




I want to thank everyone who has helped me from my former editor at Harlequin to the fans of my romantic suspense novels.
Although I am the author of young adult paranormal books now, I will continue to publish romantic suspense on occasion.
Hope everyone enjoys this book.
You can find my other books on Amazon as ebooks and in print.
Soon I will be releasing Married to a Stranger and His Borrowed Identity.
If you enjoy the paranormal, check out Vampires Rule, Werewolves Rule, Crushed, and Witch Hunt (coming soon).


Chapter One

Madison Grey hissed between clenched teeth as the president’s motorcade rolled into view.
This was it, the moment of truth.
Her heartbeat quickened, seeing the small American flag on the first car’s hood.
She watched from the opposite side of a chain link fence.
The second car appeared.
Her fingers looped through the holes and squeezed the metal links in frustration.
It should be her in the car with the president, sitting next to him, protecting him from the latest threat.

glanced over her shoulder at the crowd of homeless people who resided on the docks, living in tents and boxes, whatever they could find.
They didn’t seem to notice or care the president was within spitting distance.
After spending several weeks with them, living as one of them, she’d come to the conclusion the CIA had been wrong on this one.
She’d bet her career there wasn’t a criminal mastermind hiding among the down-trodden masses.
She turned back to the motorcade as the third car slid into view.
A few more minutes and mission over.

And whose bright idea was it for the motorcade to travel this road anyway?
It didn’t make sense to her.
Shouldn’t they have taken a more direct route to the airport?

Her peripheral vision caught a dark blur.
turned and her eyes widened in disbelief.
A homeless woman known only as Nancy-girl wobbled to the center of the street, blocking the motorcade.
The woman took her time, seemingly ignorant of the escalating situation.
The bulky black coat she wore made her look twice as big as usual.

Wait a minute!
stopped breathing.
Where in the world would Nancy-girl get a brand new coat?
There wasn’t a patch or a rip on it.
She didn’t have any family left in the world and spent most of her time talking to herself.
People gave her a wide berth.
No one was likely to get close enough to give her a coat like that.

Six car doors simultaneously burst open and several Secret Service agents piled out.
They approached Nancy-girl with caution.
A few of them fingered the butts of their holstered guns while the others ordered her to move aside.

leaped onto the chain link fence and scaled it at top speed, knowing every second counted.
She flipped over the top, head first, somersaulting in the air and dropped on the other side, landing on her feet like a dismounting gymnast.
The hard impact sent shockwaves up her legs.
Her red hair, secured in its usual ponytail, bounced as she ran.

She went to the president’s car, waving her identification and praying some trigger-happy agent that she didn’t know wouldn’t shoot first and ask questions later.

A truck parked behind the motorcade, blocking them in.
It was a trap!
She didn’t have time to figure out what the bad guys were up to.
Guns or missiles, anything was possible.
Didn’t matter.
She had to get the president out of harm’s way.

What did the Secret Service think they were doing?
They’d abandoned the president.
Even the driver had walked away from the car to watch the others handle Nancy-girl.
It was like a training mission gone horribly wrong.
The driver’s side door remained open, an invitation to a third partner.
jumped into the driver’s seat.
She gunned the engine and wrenched the steering wheel sharply to the right.
Outside the car, chaos reigned.

The man in the truck opened fire on the Secret Service and they promptly returned it.
Bullets hit the president’s car.
They bounced off the protective surface.
concentrated on removing the president from the dangerous situation.
She planned to steer around the cars in front and proceed to the airport.

Nancy-girl opened her coat.

The woman had something tightly wrapped around her middle.
only got a brief glimpse before Nancy-girl turned to show the other agents.
There was a flash of wires, blocks or tubes, and metal.
A bomb.
Nancy-girl had strapped a bomb to herself and was going to blow everyone up in an attempt to kill the president.

saw the woman’s eyes.

The crazy bitch is going to do it!

“Hold on, Mr. President,”
shouted over her shoulder.

She yanked hard on the steering wheel and shoved the accelerator to the floor.
The limousine zoomed toward open water just beyond the end of the dock.
barely had time to blink before they hit the water’s surface.
It felt more like hitting a concrete wall.
Her forehead struck the steering wheel, sending a spray of stars before her eyes.

She groaned in pain, hand to head.

The car tipped and slid into the frigid water, front first, sinking a lot faster than
would have liked.
Fighting a wave of nausea accompanied with dizziness, she struggled to turn around in her seat to check on the president.

A startled gasp burst through her numb, parted lips.

She’d known the president her whole life.
She knew the man’s face.
President Law, a handsome man for his age with salt and pepper hair and a hard, chiseled face.

The man in the back seat was definitely not Malcom Law.
Her impostor had a wild mane of dark hair, a bit long for her taste, and his face was a rugged composition of hard angles and smooth lines.
Handsome was too tame a word for him.
Women probably threw themselves at this man’s feet as though he were a rock star.

The thought fueled her anger.

“You aren’t the president!” she shouted.

“And you aren’t a bag lady.”
The man had the audacity to grin at her.
He didn’t appear to be worried about the sinking car.
He asked, “Was this your plan B?”

The most incredible green eyes stared at her, through her, as if he could see into her soul.
His smile faded a bit as he tugged at the tight white collar around his neck, obviously not used to formal wear.
The dark suit came complete with a noose.

His obvious discomfort gave her a tiny thrill.
Well, good, he could strangle for all she cared.
He had no business grinning like an idiot while they were sinking into the ocean.

“Who the hell are you?” she yelled above the sounds of guns firing, shouting, and rushing water.

“I think the time for introductions has passed.”
He pointed at the front windshield.
They were going down fast and the water was darkening around them, blurring out the sky above.
“We need to get out of this metal coffin.”

Taking charge, the impossible man climbed over the seat into the front and pushed the button to roll down the window.
Nothing happened.
Cursing, he reached over her to the driver’s side window.
His arm brushed against her breast, sending a tingle of sexual awareness through her, but the blasted jerk didn’t even seem to notice.
The grim twist of his lips didn’t falter for a second.
He could have been touching a rock and produce the same lack of response.
She didn’t know why it bothered her so much, but it did.

shoved him hard, annoyed with the journey her thoughts had taken.
The last thing she wanted or needed was another arrogant man in her life.

He glared at her for pushing him.
“What’s your problem?”

“The windows aren’t going to work, Einstein.”
They were well beneath the surface now, stuck in the car’s dark interior, and
’s claustrophobia threatened to overtake her.
She clenched her fists, refusing to give in to the black panic clawing at her throat.
She said, “Think of something else.”

“Hey, I’m not the one who thought it would be a good day for a swim.”
He reached quick fingers beneath his dark blue suit jacket and pulled his gun free.
Turning it butt first, he prepared to strike the window.

grabbed his wrist.

“This is the president’s car, remember?”
She jerked her head at the window.
A small crack in her voice betrayed her.
“We’re trapped.”

“You seem to be well informed.”
He glanced down at her hand, fingers still tight on his wrist.

She let go as if he’d scalded her.

Water leaked into the car from somewhere beneath the dashboard.
It had already reached
’s calves.
She shivered, certain her cold lips had turned blue.
She clenched her jaw tight in an attempt to still her chattering teeth.
It didn’t work.

The sexy imposter shrugged off his jacket and pushed it at her.

“Put it on before you freeze to death.
The coat you’re wearing is too thin to protect you.”

’s heart flipped over.
Torn between her need to be strong and in control and the spreading warmth his offer induced, she didn’t know what to do.
In the end her type-A personality won out.
She pushed it back at him.

“Keep it.
I won’t freeze any faster than you will,” she said.
“In fact, females of different species including mankind have always packed on extra weight to keep them warm.”

“You don’t look like you weigh more than a sack of potatoes.”

“Idiot,” she muttered beneath her breath.

jerked on the door handle and placed her feet against the door, pushing with every ounce of strength she possessed.
Getting the idea, the man beside her added his feet to the mix.
They both struggled against the weight of the ocean.
Although the car was filling with water, the pressure hadn’t equalized yet.

BOOK: Pandora's Box
12.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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