Betrayed by a Kiss
by Kris Rafferty
Publication Date: August 29, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Former detective Dane MacLain has spent the last year gathering intel against Whitman Enterprises, the company he believes responsible for his wife’s death. When a beautiful and intense woman shows up with information, Dane is willing to accept all she has to offer, especially when the help comes in such a sexy package. Caught in a deadly cat and mouse chase, Dane must do everything he can to protect Marnie as they run for their lives.
Damn. This was his room. She knew it. It smelled of him. She pressed her ear to the door, wondering if he’d follow her upstairs. She heard nothing.
Throwing herself on the bed, she pulled quilts that smelled of MacLain to her face and rolled to her side. Thoughts of his hands on her, his kisses—it was all she could think about, all she wanted to think about. She was shaking in reaction, and then suddenly she was afraid.
Reality, the bitch that she was, would not be denied. There was nothing more dangerous than wanting something you couldn’t have. What was she doing? She’d been down this road before. She knew better.
Marnie threw her feet over the edge of the bed, patted the quilt a few times, and then forced herself to do what was necessary. She walked to the bedroom door and locked it for her own good. MacLain’s, too. Then she lay back in bed. She told herself she wasn’t waiting to see if he would follow her. She wasn’t waiting to see if he wanted to continue that crazy, passionate embrace they’d started in the kitchen. She wasn’t. Because then she’d have to care if he didn’t come to the door. She’d have to mourn her fantasies, two months in the making, and set them free despite knowing she and MacLain would be attached at the hip for the foreseeable future. She wasn’t sure which was worse, him not coming, or her sending him away.
Who was she kidding? If he didn’t come, she’d die.
It took five minutes. He tried the knob, found it was locked, and then he knocked. She wanted to open the door. She wanted a lot in life, but there were some things she’d learned weren’t for people like Marnie. Reach for it, and you got burned. Dane MacLain was one of those things. She’d rather burn for him now than be burned by him later.
He didn’t knock again. But once was enough for her. That once would keep her warm, would fuel her dreams and be consolation for things that couldn’t be. She gathered the quilt to her chest and curled up into a ball, wondering how she’d gotten herself in this mess.
Our shelf life going into this heist is short. And I have to protect myself. Do you understand?”
No, he hadn’t a clue. She might as well have been speaking Greek, but she was looking at his lips as if she were remembering their kiss, and he understood that. He made as if to stand, teetering on the brink of leaving to prevent a fuckup, then sat back down. This whole thing was getting ridiculous. It was just a kiss. “I get it. You’re afraid you’ll fall in love with me.”
She laughed from the belly, leaned back with all her weight onto her palm, which rested on a file that slipped out from under her. She fell onto her back, prompting her to laugh louder. She lay laughing on files that represented a year and a half of painstaking, single-minded, obsessive hunting for Alice’s killer.
He enjoyed the hell out of her. It was the first time he’d smiled in this room of misery. Gratitude and hope hit him hard. She made him feel like anything was possible, that she was on the level, that maybe he had found someone who would help him rather than hurt his family.
When she calmed, wiped the worst of the tears from her cheeks, she lay there smiling. He lowered himself onto his elbow next to her. “I’ll take that as a no.”
She chuckled again. “Oh, I could fall in love with you, MacLain. Easily. That’s not what I’m afraid of.”
“Then what?” The moment was surreal. They were just two people, trying to connect. He couldn’t remember the last time that happened. Maybe in high school. No. It was all about sex then. College, maybe, though sex had a lot to do with that, too.
“You don’t know me,” she said. “You don’t want to, really, because then you’ll have to deal with how I fit into what happened to you.” She sobered, and so did he, because she was right. He hadn’t pointed that fact out, but it rode him hard. She came from the company that had ruined him. Killed Alice.
ABOUT KRIS RAFFERTY
Kris Rafferty was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After earning a Bachelor’s in Arts from the University of Massachusetts/ Boston, she married her college sweetheart, traveled the country and wrote books. Three children and a Pomeranian/Shih Tzu mutt later, she spends her days devoting her life to her family and her craft.