The Spy Who Left Me

By: Gina Robinson

For Jeff—you’re always my hero



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS



 

I’m blessed to have an extremely supportive, creative, and talented husband. He travels frequently and widely for business. On one trip to China, he was an honored guest at an outdoor group Chinese wedding. He sat in the front of the crowd at a special table for VIPs as the twenty-eight couples, dressed in Western wedding attire, were married. Jeff’s experience provided the inspiration for the Chinese wedding scene in this book.

I’d like to thank Liu Jiang for translating Chinese phrases for me and sharing information about Chinese culture.

My agent, Kim Lionetti, was terrific, as always. She came up with the idea of branding the series of proposals I sent her as the Agent Ex series. She and fellow agent Jessica Faust brainstormed and conceived the fun titles for the series.

I have a wonderful editor, Holly Blanck. Her revision suggestions have made the book so much better than my original version. Thanks to Holly and all the staff at St. Martin’s Press for the editorial direction, the cover I love so much, the marketing, sales, and everything you do.

And thank you to my readers. I truly appreciate all of you for reading my stories!





CHAPTER ONE



 

There are two things a girl would really rather not experience on her Hawaiian vacation—the monthly curse and a run-in with her soon-to-be ex. For the first time since puberty, Treflee Miller had managed to dodge the first. She was staring at all six-foot-two, well-muscled, lying, spying, ran-out-on-her inches of the second as he hefted her cousin Carrie’s bags up the steps of the Big Auau Sugar Plantation’s lanai.

He’d bleached his brown hair to a sun-streaked blond and grown a goatee, but it was him. The corner of his mouth curled into that sexy half grin of his and his eyes danced with flirtation as he stared at Carrie, not seeing Treflee.

Treflee flushed, feeling an unexpected jolt of jealousy. Whether she wanted him or not, he was still her man. Her mouth fell open into what was surely an unflattering gape. What was he doing here on her vacation? Shouldn’t he be playing spy boy, not bellhop, on something other than U.S. soil?

Damn! She didn’t have the divorce papers on her. Technically, he wasn’t legally her ex-husband. Yet. He’d run off on another top-secret mission without signing the final paperwork. If only she had them with her, she’d make short work of her still-married status.

She snapped her mouth shut and gave him her hard-core “I’m so angry I could kill you” glare. He should have known it well by now. She’d aimed it at him with regularity this past year. When he was around, that is. But he clearly hadn’t noticed her yet as he flirted with Carrie.

In the distance, past the stately trees of the plantation and waving fields of sugarcane, the Pacific Ocean sparkled behind him. The scent of plumeria and ginger wafted toward Treflee, tinged with a hint of his all too familiar, and totally hot, cologne. The man knew how to scent himself, that’s for sure. It was commitment and the thought of family life he had trouble with.

As his gaze lifted from Carrie to Treflee, his eyes went from dancing to clinically cold.

“T—”

He cut her off. “Aloha! Ty Smith. General-purpose vacation instructor and island guide.” He sounded deceptively friendly and charming.

Yeah, he could really put it on. But as he extended his hand and leaned toward her, he flashed her a hard-edged “you blow my cover and there will be hell to pay, nearly ex-wife or not” look. His threatening look was much more convincing than hers.

She backed off, but not before she mouthed the word “bastard” for his eyes only.

“Treflee Miller,” she said, voice dripping with artificial sweetness. “Vacationer.” And hacked-off wife, she could have added, but it wasn’t totally necessary. She thought he pretty much knew how she felt.

“E komo mai! Welcome to Hawaii. And your week of fun and adventure.” Ty’s voice gave away nothing of his displeasure and discomfort at seeing her. His ability to hide his emotions made him a fantastic spy. And a miserable husband.

Treflee didn’t want an adventure. She loathed adventure. She longed for peace and quiet, sunbathing and solitary beach walks at sunrise and sunset. Maybe the occasional tropical drink featuring a heavy dose of pineapple juice and rum.

It had been Carrie’s sadistic idea to drag her beleaguered bridal party to Maui after she dumped her fiancé, Kane, a week before the wedding for cheating on her. Carrie had planned a Hawaiian wedding and honeymoon and she was going to get them. Well, a Hawaiian vacation anyway, with her bridesmaids in tow. Why would the girls complain? They’d already paid for their nonrefundable airfare. She was simply making sure Treflee and company got to benefit from it.

Carrie was not your typical weepy, depressed ex-bride. A lady cop, she had a take-no-prisoners personality. If she wanted to go to Hawaii with her nearest and dearest, they were going with her. End of story.

So she had salvaged what she could of her wedding budget, sweet-talked the hotel she’d reserved for her wedding into letting her bridal party stay sans wedding, and booked a vacation package for all of them. And here they were, dancing supportive attendance to her as if she were still the happy bride and they were still the dutiful bridesmaids.

Beside Treflee, Carrie’s curvy, amply endowed best friend, Laci, whispered in her ear, “He’s hot. This is going to be fun.”

Yeah, it’s going to be fun all right. If Treflee could keep from murdering Ty. She shrugged noncommittally.

“You don’t like?” Laci asked, nodding toward him, obviously incredulous.

“Not my type.” Treflee could lie pretty well, too, when she wanted to.

There were six in their party, with enough baggage for a dozen. And Treflee wasn’t thinking strictly of luggage. If Ty was planning on carrying it all in for them, they were in for a wait.

Treflee grabbed her bag, not out of any charity toward him, but because she was wilting in the afternoon sun.

The plantation door opened and a heavy, middle-aged Hawaiian woman dressed in a muumuu stepped out, followed by a broad-shouldered blond guy. The woman spread her arms in an all-encompassing gesture of welcome. “Aloha auina la!” She nodded toward the blond guy and he started grabbing bags.

“Meet Greg, my fellow instructor, and Tita,” Ty said. “She’s the big wahine around here.”

Tita’s rich laugh shook her body and brought a smile to Treflee’s face. “Who you calling big, skinny boy?”

“I meant that in the most honorable way, as in you’re the boss lady.” He gave her a deferential nod of his head, but his grin said he was half teasing.

“You mean kahuna, haole. I’m the big kahuna and don’t you forget it.”

“Yes, wahine.”

With a smile and a flip of her hand, she dismissed his lack of respect. “Come, let’s get you all settled in and refreshed before your night on the town.”

Ty handed Carrie’s bag to the blond guy and grabbed Treflee’s. “We need to talk,” he whispered in her ear.

“There’s nothing to talk about,” she said. “I’ll have my lawyer e-mail or fax you the papers here. We’ll never have to talk again.”

He gave her the look again. “No e-mailing. No faxing. We’ll talk.” He turned to Tita, and nodded toward Treflee. “Which room?”

“Makai one.”

“Excellent.” He hauled Treflee’s bag into the building, up the beautiful, coiling wooden stairs, and down a hallway with her trailing after him, trying to take in the sights so she didn’t explode with anger. She only maintained control out of a sense of patriotism. What if blowing Ty’s cover meant vital U.S. secrets got out, security was breached, and we had another Pearl Harbor on our hands? It sounded melodramatic. But you never knew with Ty. You never knew anything.

He walked so fast, they lost the rest of the girls.

Finally, he came to an abrupt stop in front of a red door in the middle of the mellow, sea-foam-green hall. He pulled a universal key from his pocket, let them into the room, and pulled the door closed behind them.

Being led into a bedroom by Ty used to be a totally exhilarating experience. She’d be lying if she didn’t admit to feeling a thrill of the old excitement. She brushed it off, relegating it to a somatic response.

The bedroom was truly spectacular. Just what she would have picked for herself. Large comfy bed covered with tasseled pillows and a linen comforter. Bamboo floors with deep cream throw rugs. A ceiling fan floated lazily above it all. At the far end, a door stood open onto a balcony that faced the ocean. The white curtains surrounding it fluttered in the ocean breeze. Paradise.

Ty broke the spell by speaking. “What are you doing here?”

Ty was his real first name. He hadn’t been terribly creative in his choice of cover. Maybe he was tired of answering to so many different names.

“Why the surprise?” She snorted. “Any spy worth their salt would have looked at the guest log and seen my name.”

“Tita keeps the guest list. I barely glanced at it.” He paused, frowning, looking as if he couldn’t have missed something as obvious as her name, even at a glance. Suddenly, he cursed beneath his breath. “Wait a minute—you’re Betty Miller?”

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