Carrie Wentworth never expected to be at the center of a high-stakes art theft. She’s perfectly happy to run her prestigious art gallery in a small mountain community and ogle the super hot janitor, Ellis “Jax” Jackson.
But Jax is more than tall, dark, and bulging muscles. He has an art heist to complete no matter what the cost. When Carrie catches him in the act, he can’t bring himself to kill the pretty blonde. So instead, he takes her captive. But he will have to figure out what’s more important—money or his feelings for Carrie.
With a schwing, Jax pulled out a knife. It wasn’t a huge knife, but it looked very sharp and very pointy.
Carrie felt that prickle of fear again at the back of her neck. “What are you going to do with that?”
Jax rested the point of the knife against the hollow spot at the base of her throat and bent his head until his face was mere centimeters from her own. Carrie drew her tongue across her lips, and she could have sworn Jax’s eyes darkened as he let out a little groan.
He trailed the point of the knife lightly along the side of her neck and down her throat, lower between her breasts. She knew she should be afraid, and deep down, there was a part of her that was, but anxiety seemed to dissipate into an emanating heat at the center of her very being, as something told her he wouldn’t hurt her. She didn’t know why, didn’t know what it was, but she knew he wouldn’t hurt her.
She focused on his full lips, loving how they parted slightly. The heat from his body seared her, and he wasn’t even touching her. And his scent … warm, musky, and deliciously male. Searching his face, she locked eyes with him and held his gaze for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only mere seconds.
“Hold still, love,” he finally said. Trailing the knife down her legs, he kept his eyes on hers. She shivered at the sensation of the cool metal … or was she shivering because of his nearness? When he reached her ankles, he sliced through the tape in one quick jerk of the knife.
He ripped the remnants of tape off, and Carrie breathed a sigh of relief since she was able to separate her ankles. With the tape off, she could keep her balance so much easier. When Jax stood up, she asked, “Aren’t you going to do my wrists?”
With a quick headshake, Jax slid the knife back into his ankle holster and stood up. “Not quite yet. We need to talk first.”
He looked so somber, but then again, this was a serious situation. Carrie watched him stalk over to one of the two leather chairs across from the oak desk. Even though they looked heavy, Jax lifted one as if it were light as a feather and flipped it around to face her. He sat in it and crossed one ankle over his knee.
“Okay.” She took a shaky breath. “Talk. Tell me what’s going on. How did you end up with a two-hundred-million-dollar painting? What was it doing in my gallery? Whose house is this? And what … what are you going to do with me? Are you going to uh…” she gave a tug at the tape on her wrists. “Are you going to kill me?”
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