hacking, but she wasn’t good enough to break into the FBI’s banking system, and money was her only leverage with the kidnappers.
“What’s going on in there?” Cole said, tapping a finger on her temple.
She’d been so caught up in her own thoughts she hadn’t heard him come up behind her. Not good. She needed to stay sharp and focused, even around Cole. The authorities outside of Pennsylvania didn’t know he’d escaped. As long as it stayed that way she probably had nothing to worry about. But there was no point taking chances.
“All we have to do is keep our heads down and do what needs to be done,” she said, “and this will all be over.”
Cole smiled grimly. “That’s what worries me.”
HOT WATER SHOULD BE ONE OF THE SEVEN WONDERS of the world , Harmony thought, even in a mediocre shower. She stood under the hot spray and imagined the dirt and exhaustion of the last thirty-six hours washing down the drain. The stress stayed with her. What she’d gone through already was nothing compared to what she’d face in the days to come. She couldn’t put that out of her mind, and if she didn’t put it out of her mind, she wouldn’t sleep, and if she didn’t sleep there’d come a moment when she needed to make a split-second life-or-death decision, and she wouldn’t be up to the challenge.
She needed a stress reliever. She needed to go out and run. Physical exertion was always good at calming her nerves. Running would be her first choice, but she didn’t trust Cole enough to leave him by himself. Which meant she needed to do something else, maybe yoga or just dance around like a maniac until she was exhausted. Or sex. Yoga or dancing in front of Cole would make her feel stupid, but sex would involve him, and he’d made it clear he was willing, so it would be the perfect solution. Except she couldn’t have sex with Cole. They had a working relationship, nothing more, and since she was the one who’d drawn that line she couldn’t cross it now. All her credibility would be gone—not to mention he’d rub it in every chance he got. So, definitely not having sex.
There was just one problem. Sex was all she could think about now. She soaped up a washcloth and started scrubbing a little too hard. Her skin tingled, but her thoughts were still racing, back to Cole on top of her, behind her, his large body hard and hot against hers. He was contrary and pushy and ungrateful, she tried to remind herself, but then she remembered him at the jail, his shirt off, and his pants off, and somewhere along the line the remembering turned into fantasizing, and the scrubbing turned softer as she imagined him easing into the shower, his hands wet and soapy, sliding over her skin under the hot spray, over her aching breasts and down, across her belly, easing between her legs—
And then the hotel room door closed, the sound muffled by the running water, but the change in air pressure and the slight tremor she felt in her feet were unmistakable.
“Cole?” she yelled, but she was already ducking her head under the spray, taking precious seconds to rinse because she’d be no good to herself with shampoo running in her eyes.
She grabbed a towel and raced out of the bathroom, already knowing Cole was gone—along with the small roll of cash she’d had in her backpack.
“Damn,” she yelled. “Damn, damn, damn.” Grabbing the first T-shirt she found and fighting it over her wet head and damp skin, no bra, she stepped into panties and reached for her jeans, berating herself the whole time. “Idiot,” she said, “stupid, trusting moron who had to take a shower because she can’t handle a little discomfort,” and then she heard the doorknob rattle.
She froze just for a split-second, jeans halfway up one leg, still covering her foot, before she let go of the waistband and grabbed her gun, running across the room as silently as she could with a denim shackle. There was no time to look through the window or the