No Escape From War (Trouble for Hire #1) - Cynthia Eden Page 0,1

way overzealous on her cases—


War laughed and shoved Dylan away. “Good one.” He spun back toward the bar. “You’ve got five seconds to get out before I stop being nice.”

“Rose said you were never nice.”

A shrug. When they’d been dating, he didn’t remember Rose complaining about that particular trait. He figured she’d liked him a bit bad. Some women had a thing for danger. Rose was one of those women.

“Don’t you care at all?” Dylan demanded. “She’s being hunted. They will throw her in jail!”

A smile tugged at his lips as he imagined that sight. Beautiful, pampered, and spoiled Rose locked away…

He could almost hear the cell door swinging shut.

“I am authorized to pay you twenty grand.”

His ears perked up, and War swung back around. “Bullshit.”

“No, I am truly authorized to pay you that. I can transfer the money to your account right now.” Dylan smoothed a hand over his short, brown hair.

War shook his head. “I was calling bullshit on Rose committing murder. She’s many things, but the woman isn’t a killer.”

Dylan glanced around, as if he expected someone to lunge from the shadows. He didn’t need to worry. They were alone. “There’s…a lot of evidence,” he whispered.

“Speak up,” War ordered. “Can’t hear you.” Yes, he could. He just didn’t like this SOB. Personal reasons.

Louder, Dylan said, “We have to find her before the cops do. She’s probably scared and desperate.”

A desperate Rose. Interesting idea.

“You can find her before the authorities do. Then you and I can convince her to turn herself in. We can make sure she handles this the right way.”

He shouldn’t. War knew he shouldn’t, but this opportunity…it was just sounding too good to pass up. “Let me make sure I’ve got all of this straight.”

Dylan swallowed. He looked as if he might pass out.

“You are going to pay me twenty grand—right now—to track down my ex. When I find her, I get to have her ass locked up in jail?” That visual was so beautifully sweet.

“Yes, yes, that’s the basic plan…”

A slow smile curved War’s lips. “Then you just hired yourself a PI.”

Chapter One

Things could be worse.

Rose Shadow understood that she was in a bad situation. Definitely not ideal. But things could be worse.

Sure…she was suspected of murder. Multiple murders. Being a suspect had not been part of her original plan. And she was on the run. Again, not part of the big master plan. But…

She wasn’t in jail…yet. Wasn’t even in police custody. As long as she had her freedom, she still had a chance. This was the story of an absolute lifetime. She knew it. From the very beginning, her instincts had been screaming at her. Rose was not one to ignore screaming instincts. Well, generally, she didn’t ignore them.

The last time she had ignored her instincts, things had gone poorly. That experience had involved a devilishly handsome, ex special ops, alpha asshole named War. War. Seriously, as soon as she learned his nickname, she should have run.

She hadn’t. She’d…kinda hopped into bed with him. Mostly because she had a weakness for bad boys with muscles for days, deep rumbling voices…and smiles that had the tendency to make her panties melt.

She’d known War would be bad for her, but she’d still been pulled to him. They’d burned bright and hot…right up until the very, very bitter end.

If he didn’t currently hate her, she could certainly have used his sneaky skills to help her get out of her unfortunate situation. But the odds of War helping her—yeah, not so good. The man could hold a grudge. Then again, so could she.

She motioned toward the waitress for another round. At the waitress’s nod, Rose went back to studying the small restaurant. As far as she could tell, no one was giving her a second glance. She’d picked the shadowy corner deliberately. Her back was against the wall, so she could see everyone who entered the place, but the dim lightning meant that most folks there couldn’t see her. She had a meeting with one of her informants, and that meeting should have occurred thirty minutes ago.

Billy was late. Only Billy was never late. Her stomach tightened. He was one of the few people she trusted in the area. He’d promised to help her find some temporary housing while she worked the case. But with him being a no-show…

Clink. “Anything else?” The waitress had set the beer bottle down on the table.

Rose slid a twenty toward her. “Yeah. Is there a back way out of this