Betrayal of the Dove - By Capri Montgomery

Chapter One

“Retired Navy SEAL; special ops, security and weapons expert.” Alyssa looked over Shane Maxwell’s curriculum vitae. “Are you sure you’re in the right place?” This man should have been applying at companies like Lockheed Martin or something like it. The man was amazing—on paper anyway. “Look, you’re…wow…you should be applying for work at some government sponsored company or something. You’re,” she hesitated. “I hated when people would say this to me, but…my God man you’re over qualified.”

He smiled at her and shifted into a more relaxed version of an at ease position. Alyssa had seen her brothers use the same stance enough to know the position. He was getting comfortable, but he was still all business. “When it comes to security there’s no such thing as overqualified,” he said evenly. The deep tone of his voice vibrated through her. “For instance I’ve been in here less than five minutes and I can already tell you that you need to update your camera, it covers the door and about seventy percent of the store, but anything that happens out of that range and there’s nothing to back you up. Your locks are substandard, which isn’t smart for a woman who lives above her store.”

“How did you know I live above my store?” It’s not like she advertised the flat upstairs as being her place to call home. She had even had the windows upstairs fitted with custom blinds and curtains so that she could have privacy. There was a plus to living above the store, but there was also a disadvantage. Her store was on the Row, a very busy, very upscale district in Scottsdale. During the night it calmed down because most things closed by nine, but that didn’t mean she ever really felt as if she had the luxury of privacy. It wasn’t a horrible setup, it just wasn’t ideal. She wanted a house with a really high brick wall fence, and a backyard where she could have a garden, maybe a gazebo with a swing…well, maybe not the gazebo, but a yard would be nice. Privacy would be nice. Unfortunately she worked with what she had and economically speaking this was all she could do for now.

“You’re a one woman show here. You bill all of your jewelry as your own creation, yet the only space you have that’s not attached to the store here is that little room back there. I’m guessing it’s probably about a ten by ten,” he averaged the size because she had the door closed, but he was right. It wasn’t much bigger than that. “You’re not using it for storage; there’s no serious lock on it,” he said. She imagined he must have known she was about to ask how he knew that too. “So I’m guessing it’s where that little camera hooks up to a standard black and white monitor.”

She nodded. Why was this man so deadly accurate? “Go on.” She wanted to know more about what he had figured out within just a few minutes of being in her store, or maybe she just wanted to hear that sexy southwestern drawl he seemed to have.

“So if you’re telling the truth about your jewelry—and I believe you are, then you have to have some place to do the work. Your car is too small, guessing that little bug out there is your car,” she nodded once again. Right now the man was so spot-on accurate that she was speechless.

“It’s too small to cart a store full of supplies so I’d guess since there’s no room down here you work upstairs. You’ve mentioned several times since I’ve been standing here that money is tight, it’s an issue, there’s not a lot of it,” he restated her words. “So I’m guessing you can’t afford payments on two different places, this store and your home. I gather you’re either renting this or you’re buying it; either way, this is all you have.”

She hadn’t realized she had stressed her lack of financial affluence as much as she had, but when she saw his resume she needed him to know that she wasn’t hiring him, not because of his lack of skill in retail security, but because she couldn’t afford him. The man was perfect. He was just what she needed for her store. His security, even though it wasn’t providing basic store security, was amazing and she knew she and her store would be safe with a man like that on the job.

Honestly, when he