Betrayed by Blood by L.A. McGinnis

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Caught between shadowy government forces and a detective out for blood, Miranda McHale is running out of time to figure out who wants her dead.

 
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“What are you doing here, Andy?”

Gabriel’s voice, still gravely with sleep and sounding sweetly unguarded, pulled me out of what I was doing. Which was sitting at his desk and rifling through his belongings. I lowered my gaze back to the empty desk, all the better to not ogle his wet, naked body above a hastily wrapped towel.

“I’ve come to get my things before I go.” I whispered quietly. “I know I said I’d help you, but the situation’s changed.”

“Changed how?” He asked, brushing wet, tousled hair out of his face. “Because you promised me three days.” He stalked closer while I gripped the edge of the desk. For somebody who’d sworn off New York and sex, both of them were definitely testing my willpower today.

“I didn’t technically promise you anything. You asked me to stay and I grunted.” I corrected him, not able to take my eyes off that sleekly muscled torso. Damn, when had he gotten so hot?

“Did you?” He rewrapped the towel, and the dark trail of hair on his belly disappeared into the snowy white towel. “I’m pretty sure I remember you nodding at two days?”

“Yes, fine, it was two days, but I’m reneging.” I argued prissily, looking up at him. Fuck it. If I was never going to see him again, then I’d look my fill, damn it.

After a moment, I lowered my gaze. No use pining after something you can never have, was my motto. Better to know your limits, than wish for things to be different.

He reached out and tapped a small device on the desk and the drawer I couldn’t open popped free. Inside lay a neat stack of bills, and beside those, a passport and PI license. “When you accused me yesterday of not keeping my word…I wanted you to know…you were right.”

I couldn’t answer, because suddenly those documents seemed like they led to a prison, instead of freedom.

“There’s everything I owe you, just like I promised.”

“I should go,” I said, picking up my new ID’s, ready to start my brand new life, which was looking lonelier by the second. He paused, then held out a black AMX card. On the front was my brand new identity—’Jessica Edwards’.

“No limit, no payments and no strings.” He explained while I stared at the card blankly. “Go ahead and take it, don’t be an ass. You’ll need capital to set up in a new city and you earned this.”

I shook my head, even though I knew he was right. “I’ll get by.”

Angrily he strode forward and slipped the card into the pocket of my jeans. “Just take the damn thing and stop being a little baby. You always were too stubborn for your own good.”

“And you were always too pushy, you big doofus.” We both laughed softly before stopping quickly, as the silence between us went from comfortable to tense.

“Why are you really leaving?” He asked curiously, setting his towel wrapped ass on the desk right in front of me. Oh Lord, please give me strength. “Yesterday you seemed all in.”

“Yeah, well things have changed since yesterday.” How could I tell him the truth? That Henry and Dawson thought he was too good for me?

They were right, after all. Gabriel had a birds-eye view of the world from his high tower, and here I was, trying to duct tape my life back together with twenty dollars and false documentation.

 
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