Don't Trust A Killer(2)

By: Cynthia Eden

Kace lifted a hand, rubbing it over the faint stubble that covered his jaw. The guy’s face could have made him a model, if he had been into the whole not-being-a-criminal thing. High cheekbones, long blade of a nose. Sensual lips.

“When did you arrive in New Orleans?”

She was prepared for the question. “Three days ago.” Truth.

“And in that three days…” His head tilted as he studied her. “What sort of…stories …have you already heard?”

Bree bit her lip.

His gaze dipped to her mouth. No warmth appeared in his eyes. Slowly his stare drifted up once more. “Ms. Harlow?”

“The lady at the bed and breakfast where I’m staying…Ms. Queen knew I was looking for a job. She told me about this club, but said I had to be careful.”

“And why is that?”

“Because you’re a criminal.” There. Bree waited for his reaction.

There was none. No laughter at the crazy claim. No denial.

Just those blue eyes staring hard at her. Trying to see through her.

“And you want to work for a would-be criminal?”

Sound desperate or you’ll lose him. “I just want to work. I’m down to my last hundred, and I need this job.”

“A job working for a criminal?”

Her heart pounded harder in her chest. “Are you a criminal?”

“I don’t know…are you a waitress?”

What in the hell was that supposed to mean? Her lips parted.

But Kace laughed again. “There are lots of stories in this town. Some people say I’m a criminal, some say I’m a savior. It’s really all in who you ask.” A pause. He leaned toward her. “I wonder, what will I be to you?”

His gaze had finally lit with something other than ice. She would have needed to be blind in order to miss the sudden interest in his stare. Lust. Her heart jerked. She was in so much trouble.

“Let’s find out, shall we?” His hand lifted up, and he tucked a lock of her hair behind Bree’s ear. “You’re hired.”

A smile curved her lips. “Thank you.”

Kace frowned at her. “You have a dimple in your cheek.”

Her smile dimmed.

His fingers slid to her cheek. “It’s cute.”

His touch was making her nervous. His fingers were warm and slightly callused, and… “I think there is a miscommunication here.” Abruptly, she rose. So did he.

Their bodies brushed. He was taller than she was. Bree wore tennis shoes and stood at five-foot-five without heels, so she had to tip back her head to stare up at him.

“Miscommunication?” Kace repeated. He didn’t back up. He didn’t give her space.

“I’m not here for sex.”

He laughed. The sound rolled right over her.

She didn’t laugh back. “I’m looking for a waitressing job. Nothing more. If the job is contingent on me playing nice with you—”

More laughter. The guy looked as if he was truly amused. “Oh, sweetheart, I never play nice. That’s just not who I am.”

Right. Crime lord. Charmer. Killer? The stories said he was all of those things and so much more.

But he’d stopped touching her. That was something, wasn’t it?

“Sleeping with me isn’t part of the job, don’t worry about that.”

Her cheeks went red.

He blinked, as if surprised. Then his hand rose again—

Her fingers grabbed his wrist. “Stop.”

“I didn’t expect the blush. You surprised me.”

The fact that his hand seemed to burn her—that surprised Bree. She felt an electric spark run the length of her hand, and she immediately let him go. “I’m a good waitress. I’ll always show up on time, and I’ll stay as late as needed. I won’t cause trouble, and I’ll get the job done.”

“No trouble? Really?” Now he walked around her, letting his gaze slide up and down her body. She couldn’t help but tense. “I find that hard to believe.”

Her gaze slanted to the left. Locked on him.

“You look like trouble to me, Ms. Harlow.”

No, she didn’t. She’d dressed in deliberately casual clothes. Jeans and a white t-shirt. She’d wanted to appear unthreatening. A little desperate. Even though the truth was that she was a lot desperate. This job was absolutely necessary to her.