The Men with the Golden Cuffs(5)

By: Lexi Blake

She walked out of the room without looking back. The door closed with a quiet click.

“What the fuck was that about?” Adam turned on his partner.

Jake’s face shut down. “It’s about putting the horse way before the cart here. I just talked to Brighton. Everyone at the DPD thinks this is a marital squabble. Her ex-husband recently decided to sue her for a portion of her income. This could really help her case.”

“She told us it couldn’t be him.” Adam could already see Jake’s brain turning. Jake had been hurt before—on a fundamental level. The scars on Jake’s soul ran deep, and no one had been able to make a dent in them yet.

“And yet she gave the cops clues that led them straight to her ex’s door. This is an angry woman, Adam. I get that she’s beautiful, but we need to take a look at this before we get involved. I can already see that you’re in way too deep. Even if we decide to take her case, I think it would be best if we passed it off to Liam or Alex or someone who isn’t going to get emotional.”

Maybe he’d read Jake wrong. For the last ten years, he’d shared everything with Jacob Dean, including women. Jake was the brother he wished he’d had and the friend he couldn’t imagine living without. He couldn’t believe that Jake wasn’t attracted to the woman who had just walked out the door.

“I want to see those reports. And even then I don’t think I can turn her away. She was scared. If you can’t see that then you weren’t looking at her and you’re not who I thought you were.”

Jake shook his head. “Look at that. She’s already causing problems. I knew that woman was trouble the minute Grace walked her into the room. I knew you would react this way. And this is precisely why we’re not taking this case. I left the file with Grace. You can review it. We present to the group in the morning.”

Adam felt his fists clench. “And if this asshole kills her before then?”

“You know the likelihood of that happening is next to none.” Jake leaned in. “Buddy, you have to learn to protect yourself.”

“And you have to learn that not every woman is Jennifer.” There. He’d said it. The name dropped like a lodestone between them. Adam could practically feel the room’s temperature drop.

Jake turned on his heels. “I’m heading out. I’m going to the club tonight. Are you coming with me?”

He didn’t wait for an answer, simply left Adam standing there wondering if Jennifer Kelly was going to haunt them forever.

Chapter Two

Serena forced herself not to run out of the office. Tears blurred her eyes as she rushed past the pregnant receptionist. The woman had been very kind. There was something about Grace Taggart that made Serena want to confide in her.

Unfortunately, Grace wasn’t an investigator, and the men of the company didn’t want to have anything to do with her case. Maybe she needed to find a female private investigator. She would feel more comfortable. And she probably wouldn’t make an idiot of herself by drooling over a female PI.

She should never have come. It had been a stupid idea.

“What happened? We expected you to take a little longer.” Chris stood in the middle of the elegantly decorated hallway with a cup of coffee in his hand.

“They were assholes, weren’t they?” Bridget asked. She had a diet soda. She was almost never without a diet soda. She pointed a finger at Chris. “I told you. No one takes this shit seriously. I’m buying a gun.”

Chris’s light blue eyes went wide. “Oh, no you’re not, sweetness. You would have one hormonal day and the lives of anyone who annoyed you would be over. As a person who annoys you on a regular basis, I claim the right to live.”

Serena ignored her best friends’ banter and strode to the elevator. She pressed the button, praying it would get here soon and she could put this whole thing behind her.

She had no illusions that they would actually take her case. She’d seen it in Jake Dean’s dark eyes. He didn’t believe her any more than the police had. The police had actually asked if she was making it up as a publicity stunt. At least the investigators at McKay-Taggart had been more polite.