“You married that. You get it de facto with the name and the bank balance.”

I sat up. “I want it because I’ve earned it, Cary. Geoffrey Cross left behind a lot of people who want some payback from his son. And Gideon’s made his own enemies, like the Lucases.”


“The who?”

I wrinkled my nose. “The bat-shit Anne Lucas and her equally insane husband.” Then it hit me. “Oh my God, Cary! I didn’t tell you. About the redhead you messed around with at that dinner a few weeks back. That was Anne Lucas.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Remember when I asked you to run a search on Dr. Terrence Lucas? Anne is his wife.”

Cary’s confusion was obvious.

I couldn’t go into how Terry Lucas had examined Gideon as a child and lied about finding signs of sexual trauma. He’d done so in order to shield his brother-in-law, Hugh, from prosecution. I would never understand how he could do that, no matter how much he loved his wife. As for Anne, Gideon had slept with her to get back at her husband, but her physical resemblance to her brother had led to sexual depravity that haunted Gideon. He’d punished Anne for the sins of her brother, leaving both himself and her mentally warped in the process.

That left Gideon and me with two very vicious enemies to contend with.

I explained as much as I could. “The Lucases have this whole twisted history thing with Gideon that I can’t get into, but it’s no coincidence that you two ended up together that night. She planned it that way.”


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“Because she’s nuts and she knows it’ll fuck with my head.”

“Why the hell would you care who I tangle with?”

“Cary … I always care.” I heard my mobile phone start ringing. The “Hanging by a Moment” ring tone told me it was my husband calling. I stood. “But in this case, it’s the calculation behind it. You weren’t just some random hot fling. She targeted you specifically because you’re my best friend.”

“I’m not seeing how that accomplishes anything.”

“It’s flipping the bird at Gideon. Getting his attention is what she wants more than anything.”

Cary arched a brow. “The whole thing sounds loopy, but whatever. I ran into her again not too long ago.”

“What? When?”

“Last week, maybe.” He shrugged. “I’d just wrapped up a shoot and my Uber was waiting outside the studio. She was stepping out of a café with a girlfriend at the same time. It was totally out of the blue.”

I shook my head. My phone stopped ringing. “No way. Did she say anything to you?”

“Sure. She kinda flirted a little, which isn’t surprising considering the last time we saw each other. I shut her down, told her I was working on a relationship. She was cool about it. Wished me luck, said thanks again for a fun time. She took off down the street. End of story.”

My phone started ringing again. “If you ever see her, walk the other way and call me. Okay?”

“O-kay, but you’re not telling me enough for this to make any sense.”

“Let me talk with Gideon.” I hurried toward my phone and answered it. “Hey.”

“Were you in the shower?” Gideon purred. “Are you naked and wet, angel?”

“Oh, God. Hang on a minute.” I dropped the phone to my shoulder and walked back to Cary. “Was she wearing a wig when you saw her?”

Cary’s brows shot up. “How the hell would I know?”

“Was it long like when you first met her?”

“Yeah. Same.”

I nodded grimly. Anne wore her hair cropped and I’d never seen a picture of her otherwise. She’d worn a wig when she pursued Cary at the dinner, which had thrown me off and hidden her from Gideon.

Maybe it was a new style for her.

Or maybe it was another indication that she had special plans when it came to Cary.

I put the phone to my ear. “I need you to come back over, Gideon. And bring Angus up with you.”

Something in my tone must have relayed my concern, because Gideon showed up with both Angus and Raúl. I opened the door and found the three men filling the hallway, my husband front and center, with both bodyguards flanking him. To call the sight of them intense would be an understatement.

Gideon had loosened his tie and unbuttoned his collar and vest but was otherwise dressed as he’d been when we parted earlier. The slight dishevelment was sexy as hell, sending an instant tingle of arousal through my blood. It was a temptation, an enticement for me to finish taking off those expensive, elegant layers and reveal the powerful, primal male underneath. As smoking hot as Gideon was with clothes on, there was nothing like the sight of him purely nude.

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