Imprisoned Match [Ménage.com 4] (Siren Publishing Ménage Everlasting) (5 page)

BOOK: Imprisoned Match [Ménage.com 4] (Siren Publishing Ménage Everlasting)
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Anna jumped, almost knocking her laptop off of her legs. She grabbed ahold of her computer with her free hand before it landed on the ground. Untangling herself, Anna snapped the lid shut and placed it on the coffee table. Snatching up her cell phone, which had somehow fallen in between the cushions of her brown plush sofa, Anna connected the call.

“Hello?” Anna hoped like hell she didn’t sound breathless.

“It’s me. I’ve got things set in motion. You’ll be the new waitress at the diner in town.”

“What?” Anna stood up, retying her sweatpants as a thousand scenarios ran through her mind—all of which were not good. “I can’t. You’ll have to figure out another way for me to get close to my target. Being in that public of a setting, where everyone in town eats, is not an option.”

“Why? This is the best I can do.”

“Well, do better!” Anna exclaimed. Needing to burn off some energy, Anna started to pace around her small living room. What she really needed was an orgasm. “There are a few people who might recognize me from that night.”

“You mean from the night you shot Sonny Jones?”

“Yes,” Anna snapped back, “but I did what I had to do to make sure that woman didn’t die.”

“Fine, I’ll take care of it.”

“What does that mean?” Anna asked wearily.

“That’s a hell of a question to ask me, considering you were the one to ask for my help.” There was a pause on the other end of the line, making Anna wonder what he was doing. “Only three people came in contact with Anna Cruz, is that right? Cooper Jackson, Brody Jackson, and Cyn Sherwood-Hightower.”

“Yes.” Anna didn’t feel the need to share with this man that Mitch and Elliott Braxton knew her for who she really was. In the end, it really didn’t matter. If either one asked why she didn’t return their message, she would just say she wasn’t interested in ménages. “How are you going to
take care of it
?”

“Remember, Ms. Valdez, you contacted me wanting to make a deal. You are no longer calling the shots, so how I handle my end is my business. Show up at the diner tomorrow and don’t worry if you run into the people who recognize you as Anna Cruz. They won’t say a word.”

“Don’t pressure me,” Anna warned. She stopped her pacing in front of the mirror hanging beside the door to her apartment. “Yes, I called you for help. But it would be best for you to remember I have the information you want. I needed your help and you needed mine. What’s the saying? I scratch your back, you scratch mine?”

“Do what we agreed upon, and I’ll do my best to make sure you don’t end up six feet under.”

Agent Monroe disconnected the call. Turning state’s evidence over to the ATF hadn’t been in her plans, but it was the only route she had left. With all the criminals she’d dealt with in regards to illegal weapons, Anna had a list of names that she knew the ATF would negotiate on. She was well aware that she would have to testify to comply with such a deal, but it was worth it if she could bring the Contractor to justice. The Contractor not only dealt on that side of the business, he was also wanted by the DEA for smuggling drugs. Agent Monroe was working on involving an agent from that agency but agreed Anna was the most likely candidate to get inside information. It didn’t hurt that she had only handed over half the names he needed, with a guarantee that he would get the other half once the Contractor was behind bars.

Anna was still staring at her reflection in the mirror, astonished that she could transform from Anna Valdez to Anna Cruz in a blink of an eye. She’d never really considered that she was two distinct, separate people. Having been on this crusade for a little over ten years, Anna couldn’t help that a part of herself had become the one thing she loathed—a dishonest woman who only cared about her own agenda. She turned away from the mirror in disgust. Mitch and Elliott Braxton would never want a woman like her.

Chapter Five

 

Their eyes connected the minute he walked into the diner. Ten minutes ago, Elliott couldn’t believe that the woman who had taken up residence in his thoughts, twenty-four seven, was getting out of her car. He figured she had somehow gotten underneath Mitch’s skin as well, because his brother was surlier than he normally was. Considering he had gotten that way after his run-in with Anna on Wednesday, Elliott chalked it up to it being Anna’s fault. Now, he was standing close enough to touch her. It seemed surreal.

“Why didn’t you respond to my message?”

He hadn’t meant for those words to come out, but it was too late to take them back. Finally coming face-to-face with her, he saw that her picture held nothing over the beauty that she really was. There was no doubt she knew who he was, for her blue eyes were like an open book. Unfortunately, she slammed it shut the minute their gazes met, and now he couldn’t tell what she was thinking.

“I’m sure we can talk about that another time,” Anna said, giving him a tight smile. “I’m here for an interview.”

“Interview? I didn’t know Sam had already put an ad in the paper. He’s been needing the extra help for a while now.”

“I had stopped in around a week ago and noticed a sign in the window,” Anna explained. “It seemed like fate.”

“I thought you worked for a data entry company specializing in medical transcriptions,” Elliott said, recalling her profile.

“You know how it goes, with the economy and all,” Anna said, with a wave of her hand in dismissal. “And living in the city is so expensive, it seemed to make more sense for me to move to a smaller area.”

“Anna, Sam’s waiting in the back for you,” Willow said, tying her apron in the back. “I see you two finally found each other. It’s always good when old friends reconnect, and now that you’ll probably be working here, you two can catch up on old times. Don’t let Sam scare you off, though. He’s kind of grumpy today, because it’s payday. He always gets like that when he has to dish out money, but he knows we need the help around here.”

Elliott looked at Willow quizzically. What was she talking about, old friends? Before he could ask, the door signaled the first customer of the day, pulling Willow away from them. Anna still stood in front of him, her red hair pulled into a clip, hiding the gorgeous strands of color he knew to be entwined.

“Don’t give it a second thought.” Anna answered his unspoken question. “Apparently, you were looking for me the other day and she assumed we were old friends. I didn’t correct her.”

“I saw you sitting in here last week and stopped in to talk to you, but you’d already left. I’m sorry about your job, but if you want to know the truth, I’m not at all sorry that it brought you here.”

“Elliott, my friend pulled a fast one on me. I’ve got too much going on in my life to date right now. Trust me, you’d be better off with someone else.”

“We don’t want anyone else. Have dinner with us,” Elliott said. Anna was shaking her head, already turning away from him. Elliott placed his hand on her arm, preventing her from walking toward the back of the diner. Elliott gave her a smile, wanting her to feel comfortable around him. “Why not? And don’t give me the lame pretext of not having time to date. We both know that’s an excuse. Besides, why pass up a free meal?”

“I don’t think that type of lifestyle is for me,” Anna answered, but Elliott sensed that she wasn’t telling the truth.

“How do you know if you don’t try it? All we’re asking for is a dinner. Nothing more, nothing less. Come on—you know you want to,” Elliott replied with a wink, keeping the banter as lighthearted as he could.

Elliott released her arm, knowing that he couldn’t stop her if she truly wanted to walk away from him. He wasn’t sure what it was about her, but he felt this magnifying pull toward her. It had started with her picture, but now seeing her in person—well, he could only hope she felt the same. He glanced down at her lips, where her tongue came out to moisten the pink skin. She had a natural sensuality that most women would kill for, and she didn’t even know it. The peppering of freckles on her nose was cute, although he didn’t think she’d appreciate that adjective. Something urged him on, giving him a warning that if he didn’t push for a date, he and Mitch would miss out on something monumental. If Mitch’s attitude for the last couple of days was any indication, he felt the same way. Elliott hoped that she would give them a chance to find out if it was the type of attraction that could last. Although, if she was wary of him, wait until she got a load of Mitch. Maybe Elliott could get him drunk before seeing her.

“You know what? You’re right. Dinner tonight, here, at seven o’clock.”

Anna’s quick turnaround had given him pause, and before he could recover, Elliott found that she had left to have her interview with Sam. She could give a man whiplash. Elliott felt a smile start to grow on his face, not caring a lick about why she had changed her mind—just grateful she had. Now, he had to go talk his brother into dinner with a beautiful woman tonight. Somehow, Elliott didn’t think that was going to be too hard.

 

* * * *

 

Anna had worked side by side with Willow for her first shift. Not used to being on her feet all day, Anna gave a weary sigh as the afternoon waitress came on to relieve them. Apparently, another coworker would join her to run the evening shift. Willow explained they only had one waitress on for a few hours in the afternoon because the customers thinned out during that time.

Anna kept thinking about this morning, when Elliott had stopped in the diner before her interview. It was bad enough that he was the cause of her not sleeping last night, but to come face-to-face with him before having to put her best foot forward was not the way she wanted to start the day. Every time she would drift off to sleep the night before, his face would appear and she’d swear she could physically feel him touch her. Her clit had been engorged since she’d tried to masturbate to his and Mitch’s picture, causing her panties to be damp for her entire shift. Unfortunately, no matter how long she had tried, she hadn’t been able to reach that pinnacle. Anna couldn’t afford this distraction when she should be concentrating on the dangerous mission she’d undertaken to bring down her target. She also needed to make sure that Cooper and Brody Jackson didn’t do anything to interfere with her plans.

Agent Monroe must have come through on his end, because Anna didn’t see or hear from Cooper or Brody Jackson all day. Cyn had stopped in around ten o’clock this morning, having coffee with a pretty blonde named Elise. Willow explained how the two gals met up every day at the same time to talk about their books and dating website. Apparently, they were authors of ménage books. It made sense to her now why they’d created their website.

Cyn never looked twice at her, though, besides the one time to ask how she was feeling after the fender bender last week. Anna replied back politely that she was fine, and that had been the end of the conversation. The women went about their breakfast and she continued learning how to waitress.

Mentally taking note of everyone who walked into the diner that day, Anna had quickly become aware of how close knit the town of Triple really was. Through chatter that came from the booths and tables, Anna had found out numerous things. One, Willow didn’t need to work in the diner because someone had paid off her student loan. Everyone assumed that the deputy in town had paid it off, due to the crush he had on Willow, although he was adamant that he had nothing to do with it.

The sheriff’s daughter was contemplating signing up for the dating website. According to Mrs. Wheelock, that would send Emma Whittington’s father into an early grave. Apparently, she’d given up hope that the two men she’d loved since she was a teenager would ever come to their senses. Emma was taking her life into her own hands and she wouldn’t allow Russ and Cameron Davidson to ruin it for her.

The one thing that had caught Anna’s attention was the Contractor. She’d only seen him once today, which, if she was going to run a recon on him, wasn’t enough. Hopefully, once she integrated herself with the town a bit, she’d learn more of his habits.

The Braxton brothers were her main concern. They were a distraction she didn’t need. Anna found herself looking out the diner window toward the garage more than once. There were times that she would catch Mitch leaning against the open doorway, wiping his hands on a rag. His gaze remained steady on the diner, but Anna wasn’t sure he could actually see in. She was hoping the sun was glaring off the window, preventing him from witnessing her interest. There was something about him that unnerved her, along with Elliott.

“You did good today,” Willow said, taking off her apron and tucking it behind the counter. Anna did the same, smiling her thanks at the compliment. “Tomorrow, we’ll let you have your own station and see how you do. I’ll be here, so don’t worry if something goes wrong.”

“Thank you, Willow,” Anna replied, exchanging her apron for her purse. “I appreciate all your help today.”

“No problem. Any friend of Elliott’s is a friend of mine. We all grew up together. He and Mitch are good guys.” Willow smiled and wiggled her eyebrows. “Speaking of which, I noticed that Mitch kept looking over this way. I’m surprised, since he normally keeps to himself after getting out. Maybe you guys have more than a friendship in common?”

Anna forced a laugh, not knowing how to continue on with the lie of being an old friend of theirs when Willow was bound to find out that wasn’t the truth. “What do you mean?”

“Well, after being released from prison a year ago, the entire town was worried that he wouldn’t fit back in here, you know? He was in for a long time, close to ten years.” Willow leaned against the counter, keeping her voice low. “Not everyone believes that he was guilty, but he really doesn’t talk about what happened back then. I’m just saying it’s good to see that he’s interested in something other than fixing cars.”

BOOK: Imprisoned Match [Ménage.com 4] (Siren Publishing Ménage Everlasting)
5.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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