Jason Banes is a thief, a fact he freely admits. What he isn’t, is a murderer. Unfortunately, when a job goes horribly wrong, he’s arrested and on trial for robbery—and the murder of six innocent hostages. At first, he’s reluctant to admit he had an accomplice, but eventually he tells the judge he was a victim as well. The perpetrator is a cold-hearted woman known only as Orchid. When the victims’ families stand up for him, Jason is released into the custody of Special Agent in Charge Taylor Driscole, who heads up a team of FBI agents. Their job? To protect Jason and help him find Orchid before she strikes again.
Below is an excerpt from It Takes a Thief, a romantic suspense novel.
“How the hell did you get all that? When?” She grabbed her lipgloss possessively.
“Moments ago. Don’t worry, I’d never keep it.” He blew her a kiss. “Not my color.”
She swatted him, laughing.
“Handy tricks,” Tim said. “What else can you do?”
“This stuff’s easy,” Jason said. “You should see me play cards.” He winked. “Never, ever play a serious game of poker with me. I’ll wipe you all out. I play for fun and to see what I can get away with. I’ll show you what to look for.”
They practiced another hour or so, but didn’t make nearly the progress Jason wanted with his left hand.
“I’ll get you back here with Lloyd,” Tim said. “He’s left handed and can give you some pointers. We’ll set something up for later this week. Meanwhile, let’s police the area. Leave it like we found it!”
They set up fresh targets, put away the safety gear and stowed everything where it had come from.
Greg took out the garbage and the rest of them cleaned up inside until the facility was as perfect as it had been before they used it.
“Thank you,” Jason said, shaking Tim’s hand. “I feel much better. Won’t feel perfect until we catch Orchid, but at least I feel less of a target. Can I leave a note for your brother?”
“Sure.” He found paper and a pen for Jason.
The was far longer than Tim anticipated. Glancing at it over Jason’s shoulder, he laughed. The writing was tiny, precise and perfectly lined, although it was typing paper.
“What’s all this?”
“He’s got some security issues. I made a few suggestions. His safe for one. I could get through it with a pair of nail clippers and a set of tweezers.”
Tim laughed, shaking his head. “You’re kidding!”
“Serious. I’d open it, but that’d be bad manners.”
“I’m not sure how much he’ll appreciate this,” Tim said glumly.
“He’ll appreciate it. Might piss him off a bit, but I’ll bet he fixes it up. Leave it in the cash register.” He thumped it with his fist and the drawer popped open. “That’s number two after the safe.” He winked, strutting after Greg to the SUV. He hopped in the back and Alex slid in after him
“Cocky, English bastard,” Tim said, laughing. He put the note to his brother in the cash register and closed the drawer. “Wonder if I should warn him that it’s there?” He asked Taylor
“It will make more impact if he sees it on his own,” she replied.
“Yeah. That’s what I’m afraid of.”
They talked about their day as they drove back to Jason’s house by a different route. It took longer than Jason anticipated, but he figured Tim was mixing it up some in case they were being followed.
There were more vehicles in his driveway and several people moved around looking important. They were armed technicians, checking his house. Instead of staying around in their way, he and the team went upstairs. There too, they found a great deal of activity.
“Fancy a game of bowling?” Jason asked casually. “Gets us out of the way. Or perhaps some poker?”
“I want to learn how to lift Taylor’s lipgloss,” Greg said with a chuckle.
“Got to find it first,” she said with a smirk. “I moved it.”
“Yeah?” Jason said. “Nice spot. Easy.” He held it up again.
Taylor snatched at it, face flushing as she tried not to laugh. “Oh, you bad man! How did you know?”
“Women have a tendency to use purses, pockets or bras. You’re not carrying a purse, it wasn’t in your pocket….” He smirked, handing it back to her. “I prefer that hiding place,” he said, eyeing her chest. “More of a challenge.”
“I should beat you for that,” she snarled. However, she couldn’t hide her smile.
“You could do. But I might enjoy it.”
“Enough!” Greg said loudly. “Forget I said anything.”
He was angry, jealous and the exchange had made him realize once more how attracted he still was to Taylor himself. He’d been that close to her breasts once or twice, but not lately.
“Sorry, mate. I forget there’s other blokes as hard up as me.” He winked at Greg.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
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