Shift

By: Sidney Bristol

KNIGHT IN SHINING CAR

Before Tori could think through the stupidity of her actions, she kissed him. She set her lips against his, a thrill shooting through her at the touch of his mouth, even if he wasn’t actively kissing her back. His body jolted, going rigid, but he didn’t pull away. He remained still. She wasn’t even sure if he breathed.

Kissing him might not have been her best plan, but at least she got to scratch that off her want-to list. Heat rose to her cheeks and what she wouldn’t have given to be able to crawl under the Tesla and hide.

A part of her withered, dying at the evidence that he just didn’t feel the same about her. That had always been a big risk. They were different people, with nothing in common, and it wasn’t like they knew much about each other. Still, she wanted him with an unreasonable desire—and he didn’t return it.

She pulled back and pushed at Emery’s chest. He shifted away from her, but she hooked her leg between his, tripping him as he put more space between them. His eyes widened in shock the instant before he rolled backward, into a controlled fall. He was much more of a fighter than she’d ever realized. The brawls Aiden and Emery had must be something to watch.

The part of her that wanted to win the fight said to jump on the opportunity to pin him. The rest of her said to run away, fast, before he called her to task on her dirty move.

“Careful, twinkle toes. Even tough guys can get distracted.” It wasn’t a dignified retreat. It wasn’t even a smooth exit, but it was her way out. Mortification gave her speed. She wanted a phone, she wanted to call her sister, but she couldn’t.

She’d kissed Emery. And she wanted to do it again.




To Nicole & Peter

You make dreams come true





Chapter One

Some operations he could see unfold before the first move ever happened.

Emery Martin watched the little drama go down across the street where two Iranian jewel thieves were no doubt pissing their pants, surrounded by six federal agents. Emery sipped his martini, but he couldn’t enjoy the taste. He hadn’t been able to think about anything since his last conversation with the frightened thieves.

The Russians are sending someone to Miami for a hit. It’s not us. Word is it’s because of some old grudge, but we don’t want to be anywhere nearby when that goes down. You can get us out of here, right? They said you were the man to talk to if we could pay the price.

There were only two people in Miami the Russian mob might want to take out badly enough to send a hit team after them instead of hiring some local dime-bag thug.

The Chazov twins.

Tori.

Emery fired off a quick text to the arresting agent. He’d struck a deal when the case agent came to him with a gig outside of Emery’s current operation. Emery would work his regular, high-end document-forgery angle, keeping the thieves stateside long enough to get a warrant, and the Feds would allow Emery first crack at them. Undercover, he could only ask so many questions before the thieves got suspicious. It was time for the suit to live up to his part of the bargain and for Emery to get answers.

Though Emery was employed by the FBI as an agent and field tech, his role was much more elaborate. Deep cover. He leveraged his ruined reputation and embellished criminal past to create a persona that fit the FBI’s needs, while he got to work for the good guys and pull in a paycheck that didn’t leave him hating the air he breathed. It was a deal that worked.

His phone buzzed with an incoming text.





Alley.





It wasn’t an ideal location, but he needed to know for sure why an assassin team was coming to Miami.

Emery kept his head down, slipping out the back door of the club and into the alley. No one would comment about him making a clandestine exit. After all, everyone knew Emery was a money launderer and go-to guy when the needs were high tech. Too bad the majority of his customers wound up in jail or passing on merchandise that was bugged by Uncle Sam.

An unmarked van idled at the end of the alleyway. He kept close to the brick wall, eyeing the van. A man stepped out of it, closing the door quickly behind him. The yellow FBI letters were emblazoned across the back of his bulletproof vest.

“Seriously? Are you trying to make me?” Emery glanced from the vest to the arresting agent. The last thing he needed was for someone to link him to the FBI.

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