Bodyguard Reese Moretti had been involved in missions all over the globe, so tracking down an international criminal should have come naturally. But partnering up with a woman as frustratingly closed-off and downright sexy as Samantha Hanley made it the most challenging job he'd ever taken on. To make matters worse, they were instructed to act like a couple and ferret out the truth behind an ingenious--and deadly--plot. Reese had made a promise to the FBI and completing his assignment was all that mattered. But touching Sam day in, day out and pretending it meant nothing, was never part of the dossier.
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August 06, 2007
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Excerpt from My Bodyguard by Dana Marton
Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island, three months later
"I don't think it's a good idea," Sam Hanley said, standing by her desk in the middle of Savall, Ltd.'s office on Grand Cayman Island with David, Anita, Gina and Carly around her. "I don't mind going alone."
Going undercover at a week-long beach party at the closely guarded compound of a known criminal sounded scary, sure, but she was forever falling over her own feet near David Moretti and his mile-wide charisma. If she slipped at Cavanaugh's, she could mess up everything. It would be better to go alone and be able to focus.
"Let's keep in mind that David is an attorney and has no training for a situation like this," Brant Law said over the speaker. "Cavanaugh is the only link to Tsernyakov that we've been able to turn up. There is no margin for error."
He was patched in via phone, along with Nick Tarasov. Now that they were getting close to their target, the men had stepped back and were careful not to show themselves in the company of the four women. No sense arousing any suspicions and risk blowing their cover.
"David's not the rough-and-tough type," Nick said. "No offense."
"None taken. I'm smooth. That's what I do." David smiled, clearly at ease with who he was and wasn't, a trait Sam envied.
"Since Cavanaugh thinks David is your boyfriend, you two better be convincing." Gina gave Sam an amused glance.
Hey, it could happen. In an alternate universe. Sam flashed back a defensive look, knowing David was miles out of her league.
Though Cavanaugh wasn't supposed to meet David at all, they had run into him the day before and introductions had been unavoidable. So they'd been nervous, acting frazzled, and the man had thought they'd been coming from a lunchtime tryst, assuming they were romantically linked. And they hadn't corrected him, because they had no better explanation handy.
Dark hair, sharp gray eyes, great smile--David had style, big-time, and he carried himself like a movie star, plenty of sex appeal rounding out the picture. He wore a dark suit despite the heat, some light wonder of silk. A man like him wouldn't have given her the time of day under normal circumstances. Not that it mattered much. David was off-limits anyway. He had some supermodel wife and not the brainless kind, either, one of the betterknown ones, co-owner of some posh NYC restaurant--a depressing piece of information she'd overheard from Brant Law.
You shouldn't ever feel inferior, not to anyone. Sam drew herself tall. Anita had told her that. Maybe someday she would start to believe it.
Sick as it sounded, David's inaccessibility was probably part of her attraction. She could safely have a crush on the man without having to fear that it would ever come to anything. She didn't, at heart, want a relationship--wasn't ready, wasn't sure she ever would be. But it was a nice fantasy to think that she was capable.
"I think Cavanaugh likes you. I've seen him staring at you before. And he always asks about you when I call," Anita said.
"Yeah, right." Sam rolled her eyes as she shrugged off the suggestion.
"So we may assume that Cavanaugh invited Sam because he has a special interest in her?" David looked at Sam more carefully.
Her heart fluttered. "He sure didn't invite the rest of us," Gina bit back.
"Because you weren't there." Sam gave her the duh look. David had been bringing legal papers to the island for Anita to sign, since her name had been cleared. He ran into Sam in the lobby and they came up together, bumped into Cavanaugh, who was coming from a meeting with Anita. The suave Frenchman was one of Tsernyakov's righthand men, their biggest break in the case so far. They chatted for a few minutes, and the next thing she knew, they were both invited to the man's beach party.
"I still cannot comprehend why I was asked to participate along with Samantha." David glanced around.