Codename: Romeo

Codename: Romeo by Kat Attalla

Book: Codename: Romeo by Kat Attalla Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kat Attalla
It doesn’t suit you.”
    “How would you know what suits me?”
    “I’ve been watching you. Everyone in town knows you and likes you.”
    “Which is why they’ll never buy that I have a fiancé,” she said.
    “Professor Canton already thinks you’ve got a man in your life.”
    She arched her eyebrow in question. How did he know Roger? “You bugged my office too?”
    “Look, I had a job to do. It’s not my fault that greedy courier set you up.”
    “And what you did is any better?”
    He lifted his shoulders in a casual shrug. Typical agency reaction, she thought. Do whatever it takes. No apologies, no excuses.
    “So, darling, are we a couple?”
    “I’m on vacation this week. Maybe it will be over before I have to go back to work.”
    Victoria dearly wanted to wipe the triumphant grin off his face. Sharing her house, pretending to adore him, might prove impossible. She would always know it was an act on his part.
    She finished her dinner, ignoring Erik’s every attempt at conversation. Afterwards, she retired to the living room, where she channel surfed until she found something designed to bore her into a comatose state. Her only chance of ignoring him failed. Steven assigned Erik to protect her, not invade her space with his very presence. She didn’t need him here.
    When she recalled how her house looked a few hours ago, she revised her thoughts. A man out there, more dangerous than Erik, had unfinished business with her. She did need Erik right now, but she sure didn’t want him.
    A few minutes later, he joined her. He placed a tray on the coffee table and took the seat next to her. Any closer and they would be considered married in some cultures.
    “Tea and fortune cookies,” he offered.
    Inhaling slowly, she swallowed a retort. Losing her temper and rattling off sarcasm only proved that he’d hurt her. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. “No thank you.”
    “It’s bad luck not to read your fortune.”
    She gazed at him with an exaggerated expression of hope. “You mean my luck might change from pathetic to merely bad?”
    “You know, Tori….”
    “Never mind, I’ll eat it if you’ll get off my case.” She cracked open a fortune cookie and read the tiny slip of paper.
    There is more strength in forgiveness than in anger.
    The person who wrote that sentimental pearl of wisdom obviously never dealt with the NSB twice in one lifetime.

    Chapter Seven
    The morning sun filtered in through the vertical blinds, casting a striped pattern on the walls. Jail bars, Victoria thought. At least it felt like jail. She thought the long night would never end. Footsteps shuffled in the hall. She checked the clock. Seven a.m., didn’t Erik ever sleep? She tucked the down comforter around her body and closed her eyes. As the door opened, she tried to keep her breathing slow and steady. Seconds later the door closed again. She remained in bed until the water in the shower began to run.
    Throwing back the covers, she jumped from the bed fully dressed. A rush of excitement ran through her. She peeked into the hall and then scurried towards the front door. Her keys. What happened to her keys? She’d left them on the wall peg last night. He must have taken them. Well, she wasn’t quite the fool he took her for. She lost her keys so often she had numerous spare sets.
    From the closet, she grabbed her coat and briefcase before stepping outside into the crisp morning air. Once she got to her car, she shifted into neutral and let the vehicle roll down the driveway before turning over the engine. Free at last. Grinning happily, she took off down the road.
    * * * *
    While Victoria made the great escape, Erik waited at the window until the compact car turned the corner. He stepped outside. A gust of wind swirled the fine powder of snow that still remained on the grass, even though the ice on the roads had melted. He inhaled the fresh air and smiled.
    The battered blue Chevy pulled

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