Lindsay Riordan has had it with the rumors and innuendo that dog her professional steps. Being born a blond should not automatically designate her the office bimbo. So when she overhears the sexy new office wunderkind spouting untruths about her, she decides on some payback.
Jared Hunter is a man on a mission, but his mission is proving to be a lot harder to complete than he’d expected. He couldn’t have anticipated that in the course of finding the truth, he’d wake up to find himself tied naked and spread-eagled on his bed, and that the person behind his restraint would be none other than the woman he’s been lusting after since he first saw her. A woman who’s got vengeance on the brain. What’s a guy to do when he’s fit to be tied?
- Release Date: July 16, 2013
- Publisher: No Box Books
- ASIN: B00DYB1IYE
- Length: Novella
After what felt like half an hour had passed with no further movement, Lindsay snuck out of the closet and glanced at the dark monitor. After tonight, she knew she had to return. She needed to download what she’d found and dig deeper into his computer. If he had just plain, ordinary pictures of her, odds were he might have a doctored photo or two as well.
That he had any photos of her at all was, well, just a little too unsettling for her peace of mind.
After checking the hallway, she left the room and walked quickly toward the back exit. Just as she reached the tiled kitchen floor, a battering ram knocked into her back, taking her down.
Grunting, Lindsay rolled instinctively. The lifelong lessons of self-defense drilled into her courtesy of her father and brothers kicked in, and she had her assailant clutching his groin and gagging in seconds.
“Fuck you,” Hunt whispered, groaning as he tried to roll to his feet. He slipped on a loose dishtowel on the floor and fell hard, hitting his head on the cold tile. When he made no more sudden moves, Lindsay carefully reached toward him, her heart pounding so hard it threatened to leap from her chest.
“Holy crap.” Completely unnerved, she watched as Hunt remained motionless. He seemed out of it. No blood that she could see, but then maybe he was bleeding inside his brain. The lack of lighting was a real problem, but even more so was the fact he might really be hurt. Then he groaned, and she grew lightheaded with relief.
Making a snap decision, Lindsay reached down and gently felt his head for possible injury. She was no doctor, but aside from the lump on his head, and his subsequent moans, he seemed to suffer from no further injuries. Pleased when he showed cognizant behavior by reaching for her, she grabbed his hands. “Come on, let’s get you to the bedroom.” She pulling with all her might, glad to see her recent weight training at the gym paying off.
With what little help Jared provided, she dragged him down the hallway into his bedroom.
He mumbled something about the police, and she knew she had to act quickly. Relieved he hadn’t totally lost consciousness, she nevertheless was running out of luck in dealing with her “attacker.”
Urging him to help her, Lindsay managed to get him flat on his back on the bed. She found the secure ties she’d brought with her — just in case — and zipped his wrists and ankles to the head- and footboard, careful not to make them too tight that they’d cut off his circulation. Naked, spread-eagle, and helpless on his bed, Jared Hunt lay vulnerable before her.
Mentally, she added assault to the breaking-and-entering charge sure to come her way.
She needed a minute to think… After this stunt, he’d no doubt up his security. She highly doubted she’d be able to sneak back into his place without the cops waiting for her. Glaring down at him, she realized she couldn’t, in good conscience, leave him here alone. And when he woke up, then what? She’d be toast.
Lindsay scowled, refusing to end up the victim in Hunt’s petty little battle. Despite her hostility, her eyes roved over his delectably naked body with a will of their own. So, he liked looking at her, hmm? Enough to relieve his sexual frustration. Maybe she could use that to her advantage.
I’m over the edge. This is absolutely insane. I should leave before it’s too late.
But the sight of Hunt naked, and thoughts of him besting her again, pushed Lindsay into a choice she had a bad feeling she’d regret later.
Fuming at the mess he’d made of this, she refused to consider civilized rules anymore. Oh, she’d make sure he recovered from his head injury, but after that, he was going to do some apologizing. Lindsay reached for a thick bandana from her backpack and rolled it into a length of blindfold, then stowed the bag next to the bed.
His apology had better be one heck of an “I’m sorry.” Because if she didn’t like it — and she had a feeling she wouldn’t — he was in for a real treat.
* * *
Jared groaned. His head felt like it was splitting in two, and the annoying voice that refused to let him sleep through the night was two seconds away from a fist in the mouth.
“Oh, good, you’re awake.”
He frowned, the voice eluding him. Gruff yet husky, and feminine? The throbbing in his temple made it hard to focus on anything. And there was the fact he couldn’t see. “What the hell is over my eyes?”
He blinked beneath a blindfold of some sort. When he tried to remove it, he found he couldn’t move his hands. Or his feet.
“You’re going to be just fine, Hunt,” the voice taunted, and he swore it sounded…odd. He inhaled, but the subtle fragrance in the air eluded him.
Gritting his teeth, he tugged again at his wrists. Shit. Had Maclearn or Simmons learned something he hadn’t anticipated?
“Now, now, you don’t want to chafe that pretty skin. It’s tight enough that you’re not going to escape without a knife. And the one in your nightstand is right here.”
Jared sucked in his breath when he felt something sharp and cool dragged over his stomach.
“Don’t worry, Hunt. I’m not going to hurt you…much.”
That voice. His head swam, and he unwillingly flinched when a hand lifted his head off his pillow.
He refused to open his mouth and heard a sigh.
“It’s Motrin from your bathroom cabinet. Eight hundred milligrams has been working for you all night. I’m not planning on killing you now, hotshot.”
So he hadn’t imagined someone caring for him for several hours. He began to calm down as his brain processed what he knew. Swallowing the pill and an accompanying mouthful of water, Jared smelled a hint of lemon and lavender soap from the person aiding him. A woman’s voice that sounded too familiar. Add to that the soft, somewhat small hand on his neck that felt so fucking good on his skin…
Lindsay Riordan. It had to be. But what the hell was she doing in his house? And why was he tied to his bed? The last thing he remembered, he’d been drifting to sleep when a feeling of wrongness hit him. Heading to his instincts, he’d found a dark shape prowling in his kitchen and attacked.
Pain, the likes of which he never wanted to experience again, followed by a blow to the head. Then…this.
“Why am I tied up?” he asked, after she slowly set his head back on the pillow. For a woman bent on harming him, she was acting decidedly gentle about it.
“Let’s just say I have a few things on my mind we need to discuss if you want to see the light of day again.”
She kept her voice on the low side, and the blindfold told him she didn’t want to be recognized. Realizing her identity, and not whom he’d at first suspected, Jared allowed himself to fully relax. He’d play her game, for a while, until he found out what he needed to know. He’d always imagined having her the other way around — tied up, naked, and under him — but it intrigued him to see what she would do.
As the silence thickened, a sudden thought hit him.
“I’m naked, aren’t I?”
Copyright © 2013 Marie Harte
All rights reserved — MH Publishing