When Twilight Comes - By B. J. Daniels

Chapter One

Seattle, Washington

Jenna Dante ran her fingers down the cold steel barrel of the gun in her jacket pocket as she parked in the darkest part of the estate.

Through the trees, she stared at the second floor bedroom window, willing the light to go out.

It took everything in her to wait another twenty minutes after it finally did so. Then she picked up the crowbar from the seat next to her and, making sure the dome light was turned off, slipped from the car.

Because she would be carrying a heavy load when she left, she’d taken the service road, parking at the back entry closest to the house.

The hired help had gone home hours ago. Lorenzo didn’t like anyone staying on the estate at night. That was because he didn’t want any witnesses.

The gun weighed down her pocket as she moved stealthily through the trees and darkness toward the servants’ entry. She’d worn all black, and had picked this entrance because it was the farthest from the main part of the house.

At the door she pulled out the ring of keys, thinking she would have to use the crowbar. But the key she chose fit in the back door lock and turned. She stared down at it, surprised that she could still be shocked by Lorenzo’s arrogance. He’d been so sure she would never use her keys that he hadn’t even bothered to have the locks changed?

Or was he expecting her?

She froze, her pulse drumming in her ears.

With the crowbar in one hand, she turned the knob and pushed open the door. He hadn’t reset the security system when he’d come home, either.

She felt a chill race up her spine as she stood in the rear entryway, fighting to calm her nerves. Desperation had brought her here. Desperation and anger. She drew on the anger now, reminding herself of everything Lorenzo Dante had done to her. He had taken her dignity, her innocence, her confidence. He’d hurt her every way possible. But this time he’d gone too far. This time he’d taken the one thing she couldn’t let him get away with, no matter what happened here tonight.

She stood listening for a moment, then slowly closed the door and put down the crowbar. The arrogance that had kept him from changing the locks and turning on the security system would be his downfall, she told herself. Better to believe that than consider he didn’t even see her as a threat.

The thought brought a fresh surge of anger. She needed it desperately if she hoped to succeed. Fear was a weakness, one she couldn’t afford. Not tonight. But anyone who didn’t fear Lorenzo Dante was a fool, and Jenna was no longer a fool.

Cautiously she crept up the stairs to the second floor. The carpet was soft and deep, her footsteps silent. She stopped near the top. She could hear music playing in the living room. Classical music. Lorenzo must be in one of his moods. He tried to forget his humble beginnings by pretending he was a man of breeding.

But during their marriage, Jenna had noticed that he played classical music when he was trying to convince himself he was somebody, that he wasn’t just some thug who’d made a lot of money illegally, that he didn’t have enemies who were more powerful than he was.

Tonight he must be feeling vulnerable.

The thought surprised and scared her. He was more dangerous when he was like this. She wondered why he was in this mood. He should have been on top of the world. After all, he’d struck another blow against her, one that he knew would destroy her.

Something was going on, she realized. Something to do with the business? Or her?

At the top of the stairs she looked down the long hallway. The door to the room she was most interested in was closed. Her fingers itched to open it and slip inside.

But first she had to know where Lorenzo was.

She pulled the gun from her pocket and crept down the hall, noticing that the door to the master bedroom was open.

Another piece of music came on. Over it, she heard the rattle of ice cubes in fine crystal. She felt another jolt of concern. Lorenzo was making himself a drink? Something was definitely going on.

Moving silently along the thick carpet, she crept to the landing at the top of the stairs that overlooked the living room. She gripped the gun tighter in her hand as she held her breath and peeked