A   Rare Chance

A Rare Chance by Carla Neggers

Book: A Rare Chance by Carla Neggers Read Free Book Online
Authors: Carla Neggers
long and confident. She didn’t want Pete Darrow getting the idea he could say anything that would scare her, that she had a guilty conscience.
    â€œWhy would I want to pull a fast one on you?” she asked.
    â€œIt’s in your nature.”
    Hearing the arrogance, the certainty in his voice, she slowed her pace. He knew about Friday night. He had to. He knew she’d rescued Cam Yeager and hadn’t told anyone about it.
    He went a few steps ahead of her before coming to a languid stop and turning around, giving her a half-quizzical, half-amused look. She swallowed, wishing away her tension. “I don’t have to tell you anything.”
    â€œThat’s true, you don’t. And you know why, sweet cheeks? Because I already know everything.” Moving slowly, confidently, he took two steps back toward her. “Joshua Reading asked me to check out your personal security, make sure you weren’t putting yourself at any unnecessary risk. He doesn’t want you pulled off the road and kidnapped.”
    â€œWhy should I believe you?”
    â€œBecause you’re a smart lady. You know when someone’s bullshitting you. Joshua figured you’re a prominent personality at TJR Associates, you could be a target for the goons who tried to make off with him. He wanted to make sure you weren’t exposing yourself unduly to danger. With me on the case, the attackers can’t get to him or his brother. So they might try you.”
    â€œThat’s ridiculous.”
    But her voice was raspy, shaking; she’d gone rigid trying to keep her body from trembling. Was he telling the truth? What about Cam? Hadn’t he guessed Darrow might be following her for this very reason?
    Did he know that was why Pete Darrow was following her and just hadn’t told her?
    What if he were a part of the kidnapping attempt on Joshua Reading?
    She shut her eyes a moment. She was getting way too far ahead of the facts.
    â€œI have no money to pay off kidnappers,” she said. “Most of what I’ve earned has gone into my apartment and my two years working with my father.”
    Pete Darrow grinned. “Working with your father. I like that. A couple nuts scrounging the world for orchids.”
    â€œMr. Darrow—”
    â€œYou can call me Pete, you know. Consider me a colleague. Listen, Ms. Gabriella, I know you think you’re a tough cookie, and maybe when it comes to orchids you are, but you don’t want to cross me, okay?”
    She made no reply.
    â€œCommon sense, right? I only want to keep you and your bosses from getting hurt.”
    She swallowed. “Why should I believe you?”
    He leaned back on his heels, assessing her, his dark eyes reduced to narrow slits. “You might be hell unleashed at the negotiating table, sweet cheeks, but we’re not negotiating. I’m giving you advice.”
    She nodded, neutral, but said nothing.
    Darrow patted her on the cheek. “So next time you rescue Cam Yeager and have him up to your roof and introduce him to your daddy, maybe you’ll tell me, huh?”
    He didn’t wait for her answer, just whipped gracefully around and sauntered across Government Center, back toward Fanueil Hall.
    When she finally got her breath back, could finally move, Gabriella dashed from Government Center across Cambridge Street, then up behind huge One Beacon, and out to the steep, narrow, eighteenth-century streets of Beacon Hill. She was acting on impulse. She knew she was. But even if she’d sat down and thought it all out, she expected she’d have made the same decision.
    Cam Yeager lived on Pinckney Street. She had his address memorized.
    It was time she found out who was who and what was what.
    After a brief, painful run along the river, Cam was on the couch in his basement apartment, in a sweatshirt and sweatpants, debating whether the legs in front of his window belonged to Gabriella Starr. He could see them

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