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Authors: Heather Huffman

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Suddenly a Spy

BOOK: Suddenly a Spy
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Suddenly a Spy

by: Heather Huffman

 

Smashwords Edition

 

Copyright © 2010 Heather Bodendieck

Cover Image Copyright © 2010 Emily Stoltz

 

All rights reserved. Without limiting the
rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication
may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system,
or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the
prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above
publisher of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters,
places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the
author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author
acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various
products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used
without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not
authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark
owners.

Smashwords Edition, License Notes: This ebook
is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be
re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share
this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy
for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase
it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return
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respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

To Christine Tatum Brake: Your strength and
beauty amaze me. Your kindness humbles me. You bless all you meet,
and I am forever grateful to call you friend.

 

Words seem so feeble, yet they’re all I have
to give, so these words are yours. Thank you for who you are, and
may God’s blessings shine down on you and your family.

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 

Suddenly a Spy

by

Heather Huffman

 

 

Chapter One

 

If life had taught Veronica Talbot one thing,
it was that the perfect moments are the ones to be the most wary
of. So when all was exactly as Veronica wanted it, from her Vera
Wang wedding dress to the sprays of gerbera daisies that would
adorn the tables at the reception, she should have known trouble
loomed on her horizon. With one hand resting lightly on her
father’s arm and her eyes fixed on the man at the other end of the
aisle, she remained oblivious of what was to come.

Her hands were in his now. They were smiling
at each other. She tried to read his gray-green eyes. Was there
something else there besides devotion? Just a shadow maybe… he
winked at her playfully and she flushed. The vows were a blur.
Suddenly they were being introduced to the crowd. She was Mrs.
Richard Sinclair.

Together, the newlyweds greeted the droves of
friends and family that had shown up to wish them well. It was all
such a blur—the endless stream of well-wishers, the photographs,
the bridesmaids forever fussing over her blond curls and the lay of
her gown.

“Come on,” her perfect groom stood and held
his hand out to her. “Dance with me, Mrs. Sinclair.”

“Aren’t they supposed to tell us when to
dance?” Veronica hesitated.

“I don’t know who ‘they’ are, but it is our
wedding,” Rick countered, still waiting for her to take his
hand.

“You have a point,” she conceded, sliding her
hand in his.

He motioned to the orchestra conductor, who
gave a barely perceptible nod.

Veronica was only vaguely aware of the first
dance being announced or the eyes on her. Rick was pulling her into
his embrace. They twirled around the dance floor in a waltz.

“I know that look,” he dipped his head to
whisper against her cheek.

Veronica merely raised an eyebrow in
response.

“Don’t make this reception feel any longer
than it does already, Ronnie,” his words didn’t stop him from
pulling her even closer or from grazing her lips with a feathery
kiss.

Being in Rick’s arms always left her stomach
feeling like warm butter. Veronica was glad there was a short break
before she was expected to dance with her father. She would have
liked the distraction of her brother’s gentle teasing to take her
mind off Rick and the way his breath tantalized her skin when he
was so near, but Jeff was nowhere to be found.

If Veronica had to guess, he was surrounded
by bridesmaids somewhere. Who could blame them? Her brother was
good looking, charming, and an FBI agent. He was the kind of man
who made women daydream about being the one to tame him.

Jeff’s antics with women might be eye-roll
inducing to someone like Veronica, but she adored him anyway. Since
childhood, he’d been her tormenter and her protector. She didn’t
think that would ever change.

Of course, vying for the role of Veronica’s
protector was her father. When Jeff had joined the FBI, he was
merely following in their father’s footsteps. As a little girl,
Veronica had been ridiculously proud of her Daddy and his decorated
career. As a teen, she bemoaned being the daughter of a man so well
known for his expertise with a gun.

Maybe that’s why she’d fallen so hard for
Rick. He treated her like a grown woman fully capable of taking
care of herself.

“Are you sure he’s good enough for you,
Ronnie?” Sean Talbot asked the moment the father/daughter dance
began. “You can always get this annulled.”

“Daddy,” Veronica rolled her eyes. “Stop it.
You know I’m crazy about him.”

Sean tried not to frown too deeply but
couldn’t keep the worry from his bright blue eyes. “I don’t think
he’s good enough for you.”

“Is anyone?” she teased.

“Not really,” his face softened as he looked
at his little girl. “I’m so proud of you, Ronnie. Just remember, if
it doesn’t work out with this joker and you need a change of
scenery, I can always get you transferred to one of the field
offices.”

“Daddy, stop talking about my marriage
breaking up. At least wait until after the wedding. And I’m a
writer, not a field agent.”

“I just want you to know the offer is out
there.”

“Duly noted,” Veronica sighed. “Now stop
harassing me and go dance with Mom.”

Veronica looked for her brother again, but he
was surrounded by a group of women. No surprise there. She gave up
hope of seeing Jeff anytime soon, and Rick was quick to reclaim his
bride for another dance.

Veronica loosened up a little in his arms.
The night was nearing an end; she and Rick could begin their
happily ever after soon. It would all start to seem more real once
this night was over.

They performed the rituals of the wedding
ceremony. The cake was cut—they both adhered to the previously
agreed-upon pact to not smash it into the other’s face. Although
Rick cheated and dabbed just a little frosting on her nose.

The single women gathered to catch the
bouquet, which Veronica gave a good toss, hoping it would sail
right over the heads of the overly-eager ones at the front of the
pack. She tried to tell who caught it from everyone’s reaction.

Confusion covered her pretty face when she
turned to find someone she didn’t know holding her bridal bouquet.
The crowd had parted for her and the entire room openly stared at
the woman with the brightly colored daisies in her grasp. How could
they not? She was stunning, in a hardened kind of way.

The brunette moved towards the young couple,
her movements reminiscent of a cougar stalking its prey. Veronica
cast an anxious glance at Rick, wondering if he shared her
confusion. The instant her eyes met his, she knew.

He knew this woman. He knew this woman and
something about her presence here was unnerving him. It didn’t take
Veronica too many guesses to figure out what that might be. Anger
bubbled through her.

“Richard,” the woman practically purred. “I
like the new last name. It suits you.”

“Adrianna,” he nodded curtly but said no
more.

“As much as I’d love to meet your friend, we
should probably toss the garter,” Veronica gave Rick a look that
spoke volumes. “Because everyone is going to keep staring at us
until we do.”

“Right. You’re right,” he turned back to
Adrianna. “Whatever you need will have to wait a few minutes.”

Somehow they both managed to plaster smiles
on their faces as they went through the expected motions. No one
was the wiser that Veronica was very vividly imagining kicking her
groom in the face with her four-inch heels. He played to the crowd,
hamming up the entire thing. If there was something on his mind
other than his wedding night, he kept it well hidden. Attention
finally turned from them, and when it did, Adrianna
materialized.

“Richard, my darling man, you shouldn’t have
disappeared like that,” there was sultry reproach in her voice.

“I’ll handle this,” Rick tried to dismiss
Veronica.

“Like hell you will,” she stubbornly refused
to listen. “I’d like to hear what’s going on.”

“Didn’t you tell her about your past life?”
Adrianna’s deep brown eyes widened with feigned shock. “You really
shouldn’t keep secrets like that.”

“What do you want?” The growl in Rick’s voice
startled Veronica.

“Marko isn’t happy with you.”

“No surprise there.”

“He isn’t happy, and he wants to have a word
with you.”

“Someone should explain the rules to him. He
doesn’t get to make demands.”

“Oh, didn’t you hear? He’s out.”

“Of course,” Rick’s expression seemed to
falter briefly. “I hadn’t heard, but I did expect it sooner or
later.”

“It doesn’t have to be messy,” Adrianna
leaned into Veronica’s groom. “We had fun together. Come back. I’ll
make sure Marko accepts you back into the fold.”

“Adrianna…,” Rick leaned away even as her
hand came to rest on his chest.

Veronica narrowed her eyes and took a step
towards the intruder. “I’m not above a cat-fight on my wedding day.
You might want to step away from my husband.”

“Back off, little girl,” venom dripped from
Adrianna’s voice. “You’re in over your head here.”

“I’ll take my chances.”

“Veronica, your father is watching,” Rick
warned her under his breath.

“I’m not sure I care right now,” she stepped
back despite her words. “I want this… thing… out of here.”

“Do you usually let her order you around?”
Adrianna’s laugh was harsh. “You’ve certainly changed. And in such
a short time, too.”

“Just go,” he closed his eyes, willing the
unwanted guest gone.

“Fine, but consider yourself fairly warned.
And my offer won’t stand for long.”

“And you consider yourself fairly warned,”
Veronica leveled her gaze on Adrianna. “You stepped into the wrong
woman’s life. I will make your existence a living hell from this
moment forward.”

“Careful, princess. You just might bite off
more than you can chew.”

“I think I’ll manage,” Veronica retorted
coolly.

“Adrianna—go,” Rick reiterated.

“Consider me gone,” she held her hands up in
surrender, giving Rick one last meaningful look. “Think about my
offer.”

“Not likely,” Rick promised.

Veronica watched her new nemesis leave,
wanting to punch the cow squarely in her pouty mouth. Everything
about the woman reminded Ronnie of a black widow. Even her walk was
seductive. Adrianna, was it? Tomorrow she’d see what else she could
find out about the woman who’d openly propositioned her husband on
their wedding day. In the meantime, the husband in question had
some serious explaining to do.

“Ronnie…?”

Veronica turned to look at Rick without a
word, one neat eyebrow arched high and her face carved in
stone.

“Right,” his shoulders dropped in dejection.
“Right.”

“Is everything okay over here?” Sean’s eyes
traveled from his daughter to his son-in-law.

“Just fine Daddy,” Veronica smiled a little
too brightly. The last thing she needed was for her father to call
in a few favors to have her groom declared an enemy of the state.
“But I think Rick and I are ready to go. I’ll give you a call
tomorrow.”

“Do,” Sean’s frown deepened.

“Sir,” Rick nodded slightly. Sean gave him a
pointed look that was somewhat reminiscent of the one Veronica had
given him.

Rick caught up easily with his wife and the
two made the rounds, telling loved ones goodnight before making a
break for the limo under the hail of bubbles.

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

Veronica Sinclair stared at her reflection in
the window as the black night slipped by. Wide blue eyes stared
mournfully back at her, their earlier sparkle gone. Rick stayed in
his corner, respecting her need for space and silence. A thousand
thoughts at one raced through her head, resulting in nothing
coherent. Truth was—she didn’t know what to think.

BOOK: Suddenly a Spy
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