Make Her Pay - Roxanne St. Claire

Roxanne St. Claire - Bullet Catcher #8 - Make Her Pay

Make Her Pay (Bullet Catcher #8)
Roxanne St. Claire



“I DON’T NORMALLY make a habit of hiring thieves as security specialists.” Lucy Sharpe met the cold blue gaze of a man she’d never imagined would return to the Bullet Catchers after she’d discharged him under a cloud of suspicion.

“Habits can be broken.” Constantine Xenakis strode across the library and dropped into an antique chair that most men avoided, but his long, rugged body dominated the dainty seat, completely at ease. “Kind of like rules. And locks.”

“Dan Gallagher mentioned you were as confident as ever.”

“As I recall, that’s a big plus for this job.” A flicker of a smile softened his hardened expression.

“It helps,” Lucy agreed. “First of all, thank you again for your assist on the kidnapping in Miami. Helping to find that piece of evidence was key and helped to save several people’s lives, including Dan’s son. I’m very grateful for that.”

His smile deepened to show the contrast of white teeth against tanned olive skin. “I had to get creative to find a way back into this mansion, Luce.”

“You could have called.” She nodded to the BlackBerry on her desk. “The number hasn’t changed in six years.”

“As if you’d take my call.”

In fact, she might have. “I tried to find you after the truth came out on that diamond drop, Con. You were exonerated and I wanted to tell you that I was wrong.”

“You didn’t try very hard, then-because you can find anyone, anywhere, no matter how deep underground they go.”

“True,” she conceded. “But by then you’d already taken a new career path, and I didn’t like it. I still don’t.”

“Neither do I,” he said quietly. “That’s why I’m here.”

She lifted a brow. “You’ve grown a conscience after half a dozen years of helping yourself to corporate secrets, priceless jewels, and countless works of art?”

He bristled and she knew she’d hit his weak spot. “Let’s get this straight. I didn’t help myself to anything. I have never kept anything I’ve stolen. I have worked as a middleman between collectors with a lot of money, and the people and places who have things they want.”

Lucy chuckled. “I’ve heard euphemisms for stealing before, but that one is in a league of its own.”

“Think what you want, Lucy, but I don’t want the stuff I’ve stolen. I’ve simply used the talents I was born with-skills I unfortunately honed too well as a teenager.”

“You haven’t been a teenager for twenty years.”

“And as you recall,” he continued, his voice low and deliberate, “I found that people assumed that because I had certain abilities, I automatically used them.”

Definitely his weak spot. That would make the assignment, if she chose to offer it, even more challenging. “I assumed you helped yourself to diamonds because they were missing under your watch and you made no effort to dissuade me of that belief.”

For the first time, he shifted his muscular frame in the undersized chair. “You hired me, Luce. Don’t you trust your own judgment? Did I have to come in here and plead my case, or is the client always right?”

“If you wanted to stay a Bullet Catcher badly enough, it would have been a smart move.” Instead he’d tested her, and they’d both lost. “And, no, the client is not always right. And neither am I. I have an open mind and am a reasonable woman, Con. There was no need for you to disappear and become a professional thief. You could have been protecting those things instead of stealing them.”

“I made my choice, Lucy,” he said simply. “And now I am here to unmake it.”

“Dan told me you’re serious about becoming a Bullet Catcher and I trust his judgment,” she said. “And, I admit, the idea intrigues me. But only if I understand why, so that I can believe this sudden change of heart is real.”

“It’s real, and it’s not sudden. The impetus was the case in Miami last month, when I saw one of your men in action.”

“Dan Gallagher is one of the best.”

“For good reason. So, I decided if I was going to steal anything worthwhile…” Humor glinted. “It should be his job.”

She almost laughed at the idea that anyone could replace the man who’d been her right hand for the last five years. The man who she was already wooing to temporarily fill her chair when her baby arrived in six months. “That would be some steal.”

“Let’s put it this way. I don’t do