The Northstar Security Series, Book 5
When Northstar Security agent Justine Shelby is assigned to protect world-famous author Rosalee Kane, the last thing she wants is help from the author’s nephew, prickly but attractive FBI Special Agent Nelson Kane. Shelby is used to depending on herself and is content to work alone, but Rosalee and Kane make Shelby wish for something more. Of course, he may never forgive her if the assignment isn’t successful, and the threats are escalating.
Kane doesn’t trust Northstar Security, blaming them for his close brush with death. His first encounter with the deceptively innocuous agent doesn’t improve his attitude, but circumstances compel them to join forces. As things turn deadly and their every move is countered, Kane comes to depend on Shelby in a race against the clock to keep Rosalee alive. Shelby and Kane must uncover the deadly betrayal without dying first.
Page Count: 296
Word Count: 71640
Taking the opportunity to inspect her, Kane realized she wasn’t an old lady at all. The full skirt of her black cocktail dress draped over her knees and gave the illusion of being demure. But with her hands pulled behind her back, the outline of small breasts jutted temptingly forward, and the deeply scooped neckline rising from a high waistline revealed an expanse of ivory skin. Toned shoulders peeked through the sheer fluttery sleeves that barely reached her elbows. Her eyes seemed too large in the unlined smoothness of her heart-shaped face. He tried to put her appearance in context with his first impression. The silvery-white hair had thrown him off. There was no way she was the age her hair color proclaimed.
Her mouth formed a tight line as she glared at him.
He leaned closer and gave a red-hot stare of his own. Street-hardened criminals had broken under his interrogation scrutiny. For this barely-hundred-pounds-soaking-wet snowbird, it was only a matter of time before she withered. Seconds ticked by. Even the dog stopped its incessant yapping, riveted by the tension in the room.
“Nelson, that’s enough.” Aunt Rosalee stepped between them. “Shelby was protecting me.”
He turned his fiery gaze on his aunt. “I wasn’t attacking you.”
“Of course not! We just have to keep all visitors out of the office.”
“I’m not a damn visitor. I’m your nephew.”
“How was I supposed to know that?” The woman protested.
Kane glared at her. “By giving me a chance to identify myself before ripping my arm off and choking me to death.” Even though his anger was barely under control, he felt a grudging respect for her abilities. It wasn’t often he’d been on the receiving end of such an immediate and complete takedown.
“Oh, Nelson, don’t exaggerate.” Aunt Rosalee reached for his hand. “You were the one sneaking around up here.”
Kane felt the warmth of his aunt’s touch, and remembered his original intent to look out for her. “I was worried about you.” He looked around for the folder he’d taken off her desk and saw it laying on the carpet next to the cell phone the woman had dropped when he cuffed her. “I came into the office to check out the letter you received today.” Somehow, he knew the folder didn’t contain the letter. “Where is it?”
“It’s on the way to Northstar, to be processed with the other copies.” Rosalee patted his arm. “And as you can see, I’m fine.” She stepped back and pointed to the seated woman. “Now take the handcuffs off Shelby.”
“What?” the woman shouted.
“Why not?” his aunt asked.
“Assaulting an FBI agent is a federal offense. She’s going to jail.”
“You’re not serious!” his aunt exclaimed.
“That’s silly.” Aunt Rosalee tsked. “Isn’t there anything I can do to change your mind?”
Kane snorted. “I suppose you could be a character witness at her trial.”
“You can’t arrest me. I’m here to protect your aunt.” The woman paled as she struggled against the cuffs. “I work for Northstar Security Firm.”