The Perfect Hostage ONLY
A Super Agent series by USA Today Bestselling author Misty Evans
Lucie Morgan has finally found a man who doesn’t care she’s the daughter of a famous billionaire. All she needs is one weekend to convince him the crush she’s had since he rescued her from a terrorist has grown into much more.
Sergeant John Quick has seen the worst in life, both personally and professionally. He long ago decided loving someone comes at too high a price. But when the woman of his dreams “kidnaps” him for a weekend affair with no strings attached, he can’t resist.
The smoking-hot weekend turns deadly when John and Lucie are trapped during a blizzard and discover they’re not alone. Someone from their past has come hunting for revenge. Now John must become the perfect hostage in order to save Lucie’s life.
Title: The Perfect Hostage (Super Agent Series)
Author: Misty Evans
Length: 100 pages
Release Date: April 2014
The Perfect Hostage
by Misty Evans
Copyright © 2014 by Misty Evans. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
In the past two months, CIA operative John Quick had ridden a camel through the rough terrain of Afghanistan, set off a bomb under the Kremlin in Moscow, and spent time undercover inside a Mexican prison.
Standing in front of the Morgan family retreat in upstate New York, none of those special ops missions compared to the personal nightmare on which he was about to embark.
His finger hovered over the doorbell.The Morgan family home—one of six owned by the billionaire financier, Charles Morgan—was more than your average vacation house. From the intel John had gathered—and he never went into enemy territory without knowing the layout—the multi- story log and glass home situated on Otsego Lake boasted five bedrooms, an equal amount of bathrooms, a theater, a wine cellar, and a complete spa. The six acres surrounding it contained a boat dock, tennis courts, a pool, and a zip line in the woods behind the house.The type of home Lucie Morgan—the woman of his dreams—belonged in. Not his simple, unadorned one- bedroom apartment in D.C.
From inside, he heard conversation and laughter. Soft music, the clink of glasses and silverware. The sounds of family and friends.
What the hell was he doing here?
You’re on vacation.
Vacation. Normal people liked vacation. They looked forward to it. Sleeping in, hitting the beach, spending time away from their jobs.
Normal people left town and went to fucking Disneyland.
While he wasn’t actually a spook for the CIA, he wasn’t exactly your average Joe, either. Had never set foot inside Disneyland. An ex–military operative with the highly trained and efficient Team Pegasus, he hunted down lost spies and brought them home, rescued those trapped in foreign prisons, and acted as a bodyguard in third-world countries when certain covert deals were going down. Like all the men in Pegasus, he was on call 24/7.
Vacation or not, he didn’t belong here. He was adding fuel to the fire of his relationship with Lucie. His non-relationship with Lucie. Rehabbing an old house into a dance studio and spending a few nights together here and there when he was in the States was not a relationship, though Lucie wanted it to be. He’d squashed that crazy idea any time it came up, but here he was, because he just couldn’t stay away from her.
He lowered his finger from the doorbell and cast a glance over his shoulder. On the sweeping driveway, his four- wheel-drive truck, rusty and ugly in the midst of BMWs and
Mercedes, stood positioned for a quick getaway. It wasn’t too late to turn around. Not too late to text Lucie and claim he’d been called away on a job—
His phone rang.
Maybe it won’t be a lie.
Caller ID showed Lawson.
He hit the button. “Hey, man. I was just going to text you. Flynn’s worried about one of his spies stuck in Syria. I’m heading back to D.C. in case Pegasus needs to perform an extraction. The team and I—”
“Aren’t going anywhere,” the Pegasus team leader said. “Get your ass in here with that six-pack, Johnnie boy, or I’m coming out to get you. That’s an order.”
John instinctively looked up. Lawson stood in front of a floor-to-ceiling window on the second floor. Inside enemy territory.
Lawson, Lucie’s soon-to-be brother-in-law, waved.
John waved back with his middle finger. “I can’t do this.” “You can handle a simple party.”
“A party with a bunch of strangers who mean nothing
to me? Nothing I love better.” He’d slapped a red bow on a six-pack of Bud as a gift to the expecting parents. They were going to need a whole case when the kid was born. “A party with Lucie’s highfalutin’ family? Send me back to Afghanistan, man. Shit, even another goddamn Mexican prison would be a fucking picnic compared to this.”
“Suck it up.”
How many times had they demanded that of each other in the past five years since John had taken over as Lawson’s operations captain? “This isn’t even a party party. It’s a
freakin’ baby shower.” He was so out of his element here, even his fingernails were sweating. “Family, babies…kill me now. Nothing I did with the Berets prepared me for this. I’m getting hives thinking about it.”
“You want to see Lucie, don’t you?”
Did soldiers love guns? “Awww, hell, Law.” His Texas drawl turned one-syllable words into multi-syllables. “You know I do, but this is—”
“Normal. Family get-togethers and baby showers are normal. You should try it.”
In Lawson’s world, this was normal. In John’s? “Sucks to be you.”
A lie. John envied Lawson’s upcoming nuptials and impending fatherhood, but no way could he see himself in Lawson’s sitch. He’d seen other operatives lose their edge, worrying too much about those they’d left behind. He wasn’t about to second-guess every decision in the field because he didn’t want to leave a wife without a husband or kids without a dad. So even though he’d wanted that elusive something more with Lucie since he’d rescued her from a terrorist the previous year—what a way to meet—it wasn’t going to happen. She unraveled him…screwed with his brain, his emotions, his…everything.
He couldn’t—no, he wouldn’t—settle down. Not for her. Not for anyone. Whatever fantasy she was cooking up about them enjoying a future like Lawson and her sister, Zara, had planned was just that—a fantasy.
No matter how much he wished it could be reality.
“Do it for me.”
Low blow. John turned his back on the door, on Lawson.
Scanned the frozen lake lined with snow-covered trees.
Picture postcard and all that shit. Stalling, he tried to think of something witty to say. “Who knew Flynn would allow one of his super agents like Zara to get pregnant?”
“Believe it or not, Director Flynn cannot control everything.”
Dark gray clouds hung low in the distance. Another Canadian front swinging in. That could work to his advantage. A few minutes of face time at the party where he could drool over Lucie and log some mental pictures for future fantasizing, and then he could use the approaching storm as an excuse to cut and run. In and out in under an hour.
Disneyland was nice this time of year, right? Warm weather, Mickey Mouse, and not a Morgan family baby shower in sight.
Bailing on Lucie, after all she’s been through, would be a shit-ass thing to do.
Not to mention disappointing Lawson, his best friend. Good thing John was an ace at disappointing people. “Is that the best you could find to wear?” Lawson’s voice
held a slight air of exasperation.
Lowering his head, John looked down at the tips of his
worn-out cowboy boots. Snow clung to the edges of his olive drab BDUs. Though he was no longer Army, he still wore the pants with T-shirts and flannels. They were as much a part of him as his social awkwardness around Lucie. Maybe today she’d finally see him the way he really was. He didn’t belong in her world, and he wasn’t about to change in order to fit in with the Morgan family, no way in hell.
“I came straight from Dulles. No time to run home and put on my fancy clothes”—never mind that he only owned a total of one dress shirt and one pair of black slacks—“but,
hey, if I’m not dressed good enough for you and the future in-laws…”
Lawson issued a heavy sigh. “Speaking of in-laws, the sharks are circling in here. Lucie’s sinking fast. She needs you, John.”
The call to duty. She needs you.
Goddammit. Of all the people and relationships he’d walked away from in his life, he couldn’t walk away from someone who needed him.
And Lawson—the damn Yankee—knew it.
Facing the door, John glanced up at his boss. The man he followed into the fire on a regular basis. The man who’d saved his ass more than once.
John owed him. He owed Lucie, too. “You better not be fucking with me, Boy Scout.”
Three fingers rose in the air.
John shook his head, snorted. As if Boy Scout honor meant anything to him. If the Morgans were giving Lucie a hard time, he’d clean the deck with them.
For kicks, he gave Lawson the Klingon hand signal. “De Oppresso Liber, man.” To Free the Oppressed, the Beret motto. “I’m coming in.”
Before he lost his nerve, he pocketed the phone and raised his mental shields—he had issues about his own dysfunctional family he needed to keep suppressed. Up went his impassive poker face, the one he preferred for awkward social events.
He raised his finger to ring the doorbell. Put it back down.
Fuck the doorbell. Guerilla warfare worked best when you took the enemy by surprise.