FBI Special Agent Donavan Steel sat at the end of the bar, covertly surveying the scene; waiting for all hell to break loose. All around him the party raged. Dom’s, Subs, Wannabes, and the unsuspecting mingled in the bar before going to the private rooms below. It was utterly frustrating that he was no closer to catching the UNSUB who’d attacked women outside the club in the week he’d been working undercover posing as the club’s owner. He felt like he was playing catch-up seeing the other agents had been in place for the past month. He’d only been brought in at the last minute because he was a dead ringer for the club’s owner.
Little wonder seeing that they were distant cousins. It put this case on a very personal basis for him. His second cousin Barry was now in protective custody with his submissive who’d been the UNSUB dubbed the Scarlet A Killer’s latest victim. The fact that Misty Roswell had actually survived the attack had been carefully covered up. Now he posed at the owner waiting to nab the slimy bastard and nothing was happening.
His lack of results had been a tool his detractors, like rival agent Brad London who’d been pulled off the case. Assigned to the same turf they had an unfriendly past that’d been topped off by Donavan finding his ex-fiancé Celia in bed with the ambitious pretty boy last year. He’d never figured out exactly why London hated him and he really didn’t much care but now the bastard didn’t know when to quit. He was still sniffing around, trying to get Donavan bounces, intimating that he was a burned out, hard case who should be tossed out of the agency.
Shit, he didn’t even really care what the brass thought of him, he wanted to get justice for the victims, and he was going to get it one way or another. The only problem was that he sensed that his time to solve the case was running out and all he’d seen for the past week was a lot of consensual BDSM preliminaries. For a man who’d been celibate since Celia had cheated on him it was frustrating as hell.
He was just about to call it a night when scornful female laughter coming from across the room snagged his attention. He turned to see an over-made-up blond standing at the other end of the bar in conversation with one of the frat boys who’d been drinking with his buddies at the bar, hoping to score. Although her back was turned to him there was something about her that drew Donavan’s attention.
His fascinated gaze ghosted over her shapely body from the rear, taking in her stiletto clad feet, long-long legs he could picture wrapped around some lucky bastard, and a sweetly curved ass. Then she turned and damned near dropped him to the floor as he took in her hauntingly beautiful face. Not classically beautiful but he knew that he’d never forget her.
Her mocking laughter obviously hurt the frat boy’s rep with his friends because he leaned in toward her his voice deepening.
“On your knees before me sweet thing,” he bellowed.
She just smirked at him and swept an intrigued glance over the two submissive women in the room who were doing just that for their Dom’s.
“Dream on asshole,” she said, adding firmly, “And while you’re at it, get lost.”
Donavan watched her feisty reaction amused and satisfied that she could handle her twenty something lothario. The stupid kid didn’t even have a clue about the Dom/sub culture, and he could never handle a woman like the woman in red. Everything inside him tightened waiting for the trouble he’d undoubtedly have to put out. Shit she ought to wear a sign reading TROUBLE. How had she sashayed past him unnoticed?
She laughed again drawing the attention of every red blooded male in the vicinity and Donavan tensed in reaction. Her provocative behavior was bait for the sharks that trolled these waters… Dom’s or wannabe’s who didn’t have the finesse or the experience to treat a submissive right, like the kid who was now glaring at her. Although why he should care if it was good for her he didn’t know.
Trouble like her he didn’t need. He’d already had to run off a pesky tabloid reporter and his assistant and she could create an incident that would bring them back. The newspapers were already clamoring for headlines, “A monster stalks Chicago’s private sex clubs. Where will he strike next?” The tabloids were even worse, making up whatever the hell they wanted, if you believed them aliens had beamed down to do it. His jaw tightened. Hell, complications like the sassy blond beauty at the end of the bar he didn't need. Donavan set down his glass and prepared to go save her reckless ass.
Vince, one of the task force members acting as the bartender stepped up to him at that moment to top off his glass of mineral water. “I see you’ve noticed the new talent.”
Donavan gazed at the man warily noting the twinkle the other agents chocolate brown eyes. Vince Crawford a tall, brawny, African American was a good friend and a hell of an Agent. He and the jokester had worked together often enough for him to know that Vince was about to give him some shit. “It’d be hard to miss her.” He tried to keep his tone noncommittal and not let on that he was more than professionally interested in the provocative blond bombshell. He turned back to look at her warily. Did she have any idea what kind of game she was playing? “Who is she?”
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about her. I was told to watch out for her she’s a gate crasher, third Friday night in a row. She’s Amanda Powel, a reporter in disguise, from the Daily Sun.”
Donavan’s gut tensed at the disclosure. The mention of the seedy tabloid just made his day. Shit hadn’t he just run one of them off? A guy he’d caught lurking in the parking lot taking pictures of the patrons. Maybe the tabloid had sent her in hoping she’d fly under his radar. They were dead wrong. Their Agent-In-Charge Tom Joiner, a by the book hard ass wanted results, and a sexy reporter wouldn’t help Donavan get the job done.
Everyone here was on edge. The club owners Submissive Missy was found assaulted and now the two were whisked away into protective custody. Now the FBI was on the scene and knowing his past Tom Joiner had pulled him off another assignment to take point. It had sometimes occurred to him that he’d been brought on as a scapegoat in case this case went south, which it showed every sign of doing.
He ignored the thought and concentrated on the trouble maker in his midst. “So the bleach blond isn’t hers,” Donavan murmured, unable to take his eyes off her. “Why does Joiner let her stay?”
Vince laughed. “The AIC didn’t want the bad press throwing her out might cause. Anyway, she’s just so damned funny to watch. I’ve started putting together a blooper reel. Anyway, the real Dom’s know she’s poison and, well, the wannabes are expendable.”
Blooper reel huh? His gut tightened even more at that choice tidbit of information. Just what kind of antics was she up to? Her gaze kept darting back to the private rooms, the provocative little snoop. He watched her nibble her lush lower lip and bit back a groan as his stupid dick twitched in response. He could feel her excitement from where he sat, coaxing his cock out of hibernation. Damn, she was probably itching to get an inside scoop, and a stupidly horny part of him ached to give it to her. After all, he did need to neutralize the possible threat she represented, and at the same time glean whatever information he could from her. Yeah, and she’d probably run a mile and a half if you touched her, stupid. His two failed relationships had proved that he wasn’t any good with women.
“Watch,” Vince murmured, with a chuckle motioning to the scene about to take place.
Donavan watched the frat boy lean into her to whisper something he couldn’t hear. In an instant he picked up on the flash of annoyance in her eyes, a heartbeat before she tossed the wannabe over her shoulder with a judo flip. The bar went quite as a tomb as she spun around, and stomped the fallen jerk’s groin with her stiletto. His muffled groan carried through the air like an echo. The wannabe lay there gasping for a frozen moment, and then crab scuttled away from her.
“Call me if you ever get it up again,” she yelled after him, taking in a shaky breath. She looked around her then, hearing snickers, and blushed. Then she sidled to a spot closer to the back passageway.
Donavan watched Vince reach for the phone. “What are you doing?”
“Calling Joiner’s cell, things are getting out of hand.”
“Not so fast,” Donavan said not wanting his by the book boss to muddy the waters when he was fully capable of handling her. Yeah and your itching to talk to her a little voice in his head said. He squelched the thought putting on his game face as he watched Vince pocket his sat phone. “I’ll keep her out of your hair.”
“You’re in charge. I hope you know what you’re doing partner. Want to borrow my athletic cup just in case?” Vince asked with a dry chuckle.
“Since when have I ever needed that to control a woman?” he joked.
“I remember a certain little miss in Lebanon.”
Donavan rolled his eyes at the mention of the terrorist who’d almost killed him. “That’s ancient history pal.”
“Well history has a way of repeating itself.”
“I don’t think the reporter is likely to pull an Uzi on me. More likely she’ll talk me to death.” He pushed away from the bar and cut a harsh look at the frat boys angry buddies. They’d been muttering darkly, gathering around their fallen comrade, and shooting daggers at the feisty reporter. “Beat it. She’s mine,” he growled.
He’d stared down warlords and mercenaries around the globe, these snotty over pampered college kids didn’t stand a chance and they knew it. To a man, they paled, and slunk away. Satisfied, Donavan locked gazes with his new target and watched her take in a startled sudden breath. The snoopy reporter had good instincts; at least she knew when she was being stalked.
Good she was aware of him. Her bright cornflower blue eyes widened with a sexual awareness that he felt down to his twitching cock. Hell. Oh yeah, they’d be simpatico in the sack. Too bad it could never get that far. He felt her fascinated gaze sweep over him like a caress and did his best to harden his resolve to get rid of her.
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