The Ghost (Professionals Book 2)(7)

By: Jessica Gadziala


The only problem with that was, that wasn’t my dream. My dream, my ultimate dream, was the life I had built for myself back in the city. With my job, my people, the apartment I had filled with things that made me feel happy and proud of myself.

I loved my life.

I had put all of myself into it.

It meant everything to me.

But now it was gone.

It was gone.

And I had to become someone new.

Someone that bearded brute downstairs would tell me to be. Which was likely the scariest part of this all. Not the men after me with guns and knives. Not never being able to do what I loved again.

Putting myself fully in that man’s wide, scarred, tattooed hands.

Of all people.

To be perfectly honest, when I had met Quinton Baird, I had breathed a sigh of relief. He was calm, collected, professional, in charge. I respected that. Sure, he tended to emphasize things with more colorful language than I cared for, but I could see a bit of myself in him. I knew he would at least find me a new life where I could maybe still work in a similar industry. Live in a place that I didn’t have to worry about.

Then he told me that he wasn’t in charge of my particular kind of case.

Oh, no.

That belonged to someone they called The Ghost.

Because he, I don’t know, was one or something.

And that that Ghost was named Gunner.

In my experience, I hadn’t met a lot of men in professional positions with names like street fighters.

I had maybe built up an idea of him in my head while we waited for him to show.

For the most part, he’d lived up to the image too.

Except, well, better looking.

Much better looking.

I could never claim to go for his type. The rough-around-the-edges type. The kind of man who looked like he could change the oil on his car and mowed his own lawn. The kind who had beers with buddies on the weekend. Who maybe hiked or jumped out of planes for fun.

Polished had always been my type.

Suits, clean shaves, cologne, statement watches, good taste in wine, ambition, and maybe spent their free time reading books about finance or business.

But even if he wasn’t my type, I could appreciate the appeal there. He was six-foot-three or four, towering, even over me in my heels. He had the width to go with it as well - shoulders like a linebacker, solid and firm down the center. His arms, though covered in tattoos, looked, well, bulging. Like a bodybuilder. Like a man who spent a lot of time cultivating them. I’d bet the rest of his body matched.

His hair was between blond and brown, dirty, I guess the shade would be called. Dirty blond. And his beard matched. He kept it full but groomed, and it somehow perfectly matched his rugged features.

The green eyes were surprising.

It was a silly thing to think, but I always figured tough guys had dark eyes. Maybe that was how I had always seen it in films.

But he didn’t have dark eyes.

He had light green ones.

Gorgeous, really.

Even if the brows over them were prone to snarky raises and lowers.

His voice when he spoke was rough, a little surly. Alright, a lot surly.

For whatever reason, he seemed to dislike me on sight too. Why? I had no idea. I couldn’t claim to be anyone’s Miss Congeniality, but I had never had someone seem to dislike me entirely before even speaking to me.

Then again, maybe he was just one of those people. The ones who don’t like anyone. The ones who didn’t really see you as a person, just thought of you as a job, a responsibility, body parts he had to make sure didn’t get severed or shot.

Maybe it wasn’t personal.

That duchess remark, though, that had seemed somewhat pointed.

Then again, men were prone to those little terms, weren’t they?

Baby, doll, angel.

Maybe that was just his chosen one.

Duchess.

Hell, it was a compliment of sorts, wasn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to be a duchess?

Tea parties, charity events, lavish engagements.

A huge step up from the hellhole I was raised in.

Yep, that was another thing that needed to stay tightly tucked in its little box in its specific compartment. To be dealt with never.

Somehow not understanding that now was not the time for things like basic human needs, my stomach that had been painfully empty since, well, before my shower last night, I guess, let out a loud objection. My hand moved down instinctively, pressing in.

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