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Up in Flames(Rosemary Beach #14)(6) by Abbi Glines

Maybe I should have had a drink or five.

I stood looking at myself in the mirror and decided I looked like I wanted to be fucked. There was no way he’d miss the obvious invitation. I had spent the entire four hours preparing myself for tonight, which might have verged on pathetic.

The knock on the door startled me even though I had been expecting him. My nerves were working overtime. I had to decide what I was going to do. It wasn’t like I’d never had a one-night stand, but this guy was . . . different. He was as terrifying as he was attractive. The fact that I knew so little about him and that he knew a good deal about me—I’d had to talk a lot to fill the silence—put us on an uneven playing field. I wasn’t sure I liked that.

Taking a deep, calming breath, I opened the door and stared up at Gannon. All common sense started to slip at the sight of him, but I grabbed hold of my senses and held on tight. Even though the man could fill out a pair of jeans like nobody’s business.

Jesus, I needed a drink of water. No, I needed vodka. Lots of vodka.

He didn’t move toward me, which helped some. It gave me a moment to figure things out. His spicy smell was messing with my head and making it hard to recall common sense.

“You look beautiful,” he said, and my heart did a little flutter thing. Suddenly, those four hours of preparation were completely justified.

“Thank you,” I replied, stepping back so he could come into the suite.

His gaze swept the room as if he was quickly scoping for danger. Then he studied me for a moment. “You look nervous. We can just have a couple of drinks. Nothing more.” He was reassuring me. That helped. “I’m just not big on the club scene.”

I frowned. He had been in a club last night. Why was he there if he wasn’t into clubs? “Why did you go last night?”

He smirked at me while crossing his arms over his chest. “I was in a mood.”

A mood. I guessed I was in a mood, too.

“If this frightens you, then let’s forget it.”

Gannon Roth must not know the effect he had on women. How was I supposed to forget this? I shook my head. “I’m good.”

“Just drinks, Nan,” he said, as I turned to walk over to the bar.

I needed some courage. No man had ever made me feel this edgy. I was afraid that if he tried to leave, I would run and tackle him. Which would be a little scary for him.

“What would you like?” I asked, reaching for two glasses.

“You got whiskey?”

“Jack or Woodford?”

“Jack is good.”

I grabbed the bottle of Jack Daniel’s and poured him a glass, then poured myself some Grey Goose and cranberry juice.

Gannon made himself comfortable on the white leather sectional at the window that overlooked a view of the Bellagio fountains. I held out his drink. “Here you go.”

“Thanks,” he replied, taking the glass from me. “Nice place.”

It was one of my favorite hotels in Vegas. If it wasn’t available, I stayed at Caesars Palace. “You staying here, too?” I asked, sitting down beside him with enough room between us that it wasn’t awkward.

“Yeah, just not quite as high up or with as much square footage,” he said with a smirk.

I leaned back and crossed my legs. “That’s a shame,” I replied, deciding that if he could be a smart-ass, so could I.

A low chuckle from him sent a wave of pleasure through me. Damn, even his laugh was sexy. “I like sass” was his response, as he took the glass to his lips and drank some of the amber liquid.

“How long are you here on business?” I asked, hoping I would have time to get to know him better.

He shrugged. “Not sure yet. It depends.”

“On what?”

He turned his gaze to me, and the smoldering heat in his eyes made my female parts feel like they might combust. “On you.”

OK. Wow. That was a little bold.

I liked it. I might never leave Vegas.


“You should know better than to think he left anything behind that could be used against him.”

I sighed and turned around to see Captain, a former employee of DeCarlo, standing behind me with an amused grin as I tried to jimmy Cope’s door. “Seriously, Major, when are you going to get that Cope is like Batman, only more badass.”

I was beginning to get annoyed by everyone’s belief that Cope was the end all, be all. He was just a man. A man with no conscience. “Nan’s run off to pout, and I need to see the surveillance to figure out where.”

Captain shook his head. “Too late. I’d say he felt you didn’t do your job properly and took over.”

That wasn’t even possible. He wasn’t Nan’s type. She’d never let him near her. That was why DeCarlo had put me on the job. My looks were an easy in with her. Plus, my hanging around Rosemary Beach made sense. I had family here.

“I doubt that. This is Nan we’re talking about.”

Captain nodded toward the truck he’d pulled up in. “Let’s go have a drink and talk about things.”

I didn’t have time to talk about things. I had to fucking find Nan. She might not be safe. “If he hurts her, I’ll kill him.”

Captain let out a bark of laughter. “If he thought you wanted him dead, your life would be over before you knew what the fuck hit you. Get it through your head. Cope is not your equal. He is your God.”

“Hurting her isn’t what I signed up for.”