Authors: Cleo Peitsche
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary, #New Adult & College, #Romantic Suspense, #Mystery & Suspense, #Suspense
TRAPPED BY A DANGEROUS MAN
Copyright, Legal Notice and Disclaimer:
TRAPPED BY A DANGEROUS MAN
© 2014 by Cleo Peitsche. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means without permission in writing from the author. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, events, locations and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This book is for entertainment purposes only.
This book contains mature content and is solely for adults.
Cover Photo ©2014 by Pouch Pictures
Thank you for purchasing this ebook. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and I look forward to sharing more of my stories with you.
After Forever/Bisexual Billionaire Trilogy (Threesome Romance)
Office Toy Series (BDSM Gang Bang Romance)
By a Dangerous Man (BDSM Erotic Romantic Suspense)
Take Me Hard Series (BDSM Romance)
Fantasy Playland Series (BDSM)
Mistress Moi Series (Femdom)
Bad Boyfriend Series (Femdom Romance)
I flipped through the sticky dessert menu even though it hadn’t changed in years. Apple pie, chocolate cake, a banana split that looked nothing like what the kitchen sent out.
“Every dessert served with a smile!”
was printed under each photo. On the last page, someone had drawn a stick figure dangling from a noose.
“Still waitin’?” the waitress asked as she shoved a pen behind her ear. She wore a blank name tag, and her tight, short-sleeved uniform bravely tried to cover her enormous breasts. As her eyebrow skeptically crept up, I knew what she was thinking:
shouldn’t plain girls like you be familiar with the signs of being stood up?
Rather than protest that I did quite fine when I put my boobs on display, I said, “I’ll take more water when you get a chance.”
Outside the glass window, the sleet was giving way to the kind of heavy snow that made driving treacherous. I was going to kill Rob. Don’t get me wrong—I don’t mind quality time with myself, but something about sitting alone in a diner, picking at a plate of cold french fries and grilled cheese, waiting for Rob because he had
misjudged how long it would take him to drive from our office—
“I’m here.” Rob slid into the booth across from me. Water dripped off his wire-rimmed glasses, and his reddish hair was so wet that it almost looked as dark as mine.
“Forty minutes late on top of the fifteen minutes you always keep me waiting. Remind me… were you out sick the month they covered clocks in first grade? And why haven’t you been answering your phone?”
“But I’m here!” He flashed a dimpled smile and jabbed a finger on the table. “It’s snowing out there, and I’m here.” More smiling and jabbing. “See, you need to focus on the important part—”
I slapped down the printout of the top fifteen wanted criminals, cutting Rob off. The one with the largest bounty was circled.
Rob looked it over with a low whistle. “Two million dollars for Corbin Lagos? That’s a lot of money.” He frowned. “Never heard of the guy. What’d he do? ‘Various crimes’ is pretty vague.”
“If you hadn’t been so late, I’d be slapping handcuffs on him right now.”
He snorted. “I get it. You’re mad so you’re teaching me a lesson with this bullshit about going after the big bounties again.” He reached into his jacket pocket and produced a damp piece of paper of his own. “The printer was out of toner. I looked everywhere for more but no joy. So I’ve only got one copy. It’s faint—”
“I’m going after Lagos.”
“You’re…” He shook his head. “Audrey, even if you knew where he is—which you don’t, by the way—a guy like that would kill you before you get within fifteen miles of him.” He grabbed a handful of french fries. “Now, we’ve got three deadbeat daddies here. Two of them are up near Pawnee, but the other is way past Brighton. I figure it’s the same amount of work since Pawnee is closer, so you can pick which you want. Kat is back in the office on Monday, so she’ll help whoever takes Pawnee.”
I smiled. “I want Lagos.”
Rob tilted his head, studying me. “What did you hear? Did you run into him in a gas station or something?”
Actually, that wasn’t far from the truth, but I sure wasn’t going to tell Rob that. “You have your ways of finding deadbeats, and I have my ways of tracking down the big game.”
“You’re serious.” His expression made me think he was going to follow up with
“Cross your heart and hope to die, stick a needle in your eye?”
Excitement got the best of me, and I decided to be mad at him later. “It’ll be like we always dreamed. Can you imagine? Two million! Even Dad never got one that big.”
Rob sighed. “Ok.” He held up his hands, which were covered in grease. “I’ll need a day to get everything together and to do some research on this guy so we know what we’re walking into, which is perfect because I don’t know if you heard the latest, but the worst of that snowstorm is headed right at us.” He pushed the paper back to me, smearing ketchup on one corner.
I dabbed the stain with a napkin. “You’re a slob, you know that?”
The waitress stood over me with the check. Rob looked up, an appreciative smile spreading across his face.
“You want something, hon?” she asked Rob, her voice syrupy.
“What do you recommend?” he asked.
I sighed. “He’s fine. And don’t trouble yourself over my glass of water.” I held out my hand.
She dropped the check onto my palm with a little huff, and Rob snatched the untouched half of my grilled cheese. I shoved the plate over to him and stood, grabbing my coat.
“Where’re you going?” he asked around the mouthful of food.
are going to your place for supplies, then to apprehend Lagos. It has to be now.”
“Because he’s leaving town tomorrow, and I don’t want to stake out his hideaway for three years hoping that he eventually comes back.”
Rob stuffed the rest of the sandwich into his mouth. I paid, and we went outside together. Rob was older by six minutes, and he had six inches on my 5’4” height, a coincidence that amused him to no end. Like me, he was attractive enough, provided you took a good look. I had green eyes and his were brown. I had dark curly hair; his was poker straight and reddish. No one ever guessed we were related, let alone twins.
He had parked his new AWD sports wagon next to my exhausted coupe, halfway across the parking lot. I snorted. No wonder he’d been soaked when he walked in.
“What?” he asked.
“Sometimes I think there’s a gentleman deep inside you, fighting to get out.”
“That what that is?” he said thoughtfully. “I assumed it was heartburn.”
I wrinkled my nose. “In that case, better keep it inside. Just to be safe.”
Rob’s house was in the valley, on the other side of the city. It might as well have been four states away. Traffic was horrendous; everyone in the metro area seemed to be going somewhere, probably trying to hoard non-perishables and hunker down before the worst of the snowstorm hit.
I hadn’t heard an update in a few hours, but the forecasters had probably settled on their upper estimates. Ten to fourteen inches would be fourteen. Not a big deal. Probably wouldn’t even be the biggest storm that winter, although winter hadn’t even started yet.
Visibility was already low, and the wind blew snow mixed with frozen rain into my windshield. The wipers dutifully smeared the mess back and forth, and I tapped my fingers along with the rhythm. Needed a new radio, too, and the heater blew cool air. Really, I needed a new car, but unlike Rob, I was above taking a loan from our father, whose grinch-like raises were the reason everything I owned was shabby and falling apart. He’d offered me a loan, interest-free. It was a trap, I knew, a test. Rob was tough, of course, because he was a boy—never mind that he had less ambition than a stoned sloth. I was a girl and therefore weak. I had to try ten times as hard, and my successes were always somehow due to chance. Ask Dad for help? The mere thought made my stomach roil.
Traffic had been completely stopped for almost a minute. I stretched across the dashboard until the reason came into view; the traffic light before the freeway entrance was dead, and long lines of vehicles snaked out in every direction.
Time was slipping away, so I punched on my hazards—had to hit them twice to get them to work—and stepped into the storm. A gust of wind slammed my door shut and whipped stinging icy snow into my cheeks. I pulled my wool hat lower around my ears before jogging carefully to the passenger side of Rob’s car and knocking on the window.
He unlocked the door, and I gratefully slid in. The heat in Rob’s car was working, and I held my frozen fingers up to the vent. “Going to need your gun.”
“What? Why?” He stared at me, incredulous.
“Because I don’t have time to go with you to your place, and I don’t think pepper spray is going to cut it. You don’t understand. Lagos will be gone. He might already… it might be too late, but I have to try.”
“You… want to go after Lagos… alone?” He laughed. “Ok, this is all a joke. You got me. I fell for it.” He pointed at me. “You’re good.” He shook his head.
joking,” I growled. “Give me your gun.”
“You hate guns! Half the time you lie about going to the shooting range. Yeah, I know about that.”
“Give it to me.”
He stopped laughing, then started again, then sobered up for good. “Fuck. Audrey, this isn’t a good idea.”
“Then I’m coming with you.”
“You can’t. Unless you’ve got a second gun?”
“Fuck.” He slammed his palms on the steering wheel, and the horn blared, making us both jump. “Fine,” he growled. “
go. Tell me where he is.”
“No. I found him. He’s mine.”
“Then you don’t get my gun.”
“I’m not telling you where he is.”
“I’m not giving you my gun.”
We locked gazes. In front of us, traffic started to inch forward, but I didn’t budge. “Seriously?” I said. “You’re going to be like that?”
“You’re my twin, Audrey. If something happens to you, I’ve got nothing. I’m not letting you tackle a dangerous criminal on your own.”
That was my cue to compromise, but I didn’t have an inch to yield. I couldn’t allow Rob to risk his life, and he wasn’t going to let me risk mine. So I did the only thing I could. I smiled and punched his upper arm.
“Gotcha!” I wiggled my eyebrows.
He stared at me a moment, trying to figure out which was the truth. Then his face split into a grin. “I
it. You’re such a bitch.”
“Takes one to know one. And that’s what you get for being so damned late,” I said as I opened the door. Cars cautiously passed us. I leaned back down, savoring the car’s heat. “By the way, I’ve got a date, so can we reschedule the business stuff?”
He nodded. “You’d probably get snowed in at my place anyway. Sorry I was late.”
I smiled. “Hey, you know… it’s the only thing that keeps you from being perfect.”
I looked at the Most Wanted list, then shoved it into the glovebox and let a few SUVs get in between my car and Rob’s. The moment my brother was safely out of sight, I steered onto the road’s shoulder and headed toward the freeway; I needed to get north, and fast.
A little voice wondered if this was wise, but I’d recently had my tires checked. With the lack of heat and radio, it wouldn’t be a comfortable drive, but barring any nasty surprises, I would make it. Just had to hope that Lagos would in fact be there.
Up until an hour earlier, it had been another Friday night. In a twist of fate, Rob was the reason I’d run into Lagos; if I hadn’t been 100% certain that Rob would be late, I wouldn’t have lingered in the greeting card store.