Collision Course

These days, PI Logan Burke does a lot of grunt work by choice. So when he’s offered a surveillance case tied to industrial espionage, he’s not too sure… until he sees the zeroes on the check. All he has to do to earn it is watch Hannah Evans and find out how she’s leaking valuable research secrets.

Simple enough… or is it?

Hannah’s in trouble. She knows someone’s following her. She doesn’t know who, but she’s pretty sure she knows why. She needs help and turns to one of the only people she knows she can trust. Now to take his advice and lay out her worries to a highly recommended private investigator… one Logan Burke.

“Mystery, love, hate, distrust… it has it all. Everything you would hope to find in a really entertaining novel. I couldn’t put it down.” — Amazon reviewer

Fifteen minutes later, she left her room dressed in Logan’s “Surfers Ride the Ocean’s Motion” T-shirt and the matching fish-trimmed shorts. Working through a sense of déjà vu, she went to find him. And she did, sprawled in a lounger on the deck. Only this time he was fast asleep.

She stared for a minute, her gaze wandering the length of his body. He wore no shirt and his low-slung jeans had crept even lower as he slept. The near-blond dusting of chest hair gilded his skin, the effect more masculine than a heavy pelt, especially as it arrowed down in an eye-drawing line to vanish beneath his threadbare waistband.

A pencil-thin scar followed the curve of one rib down his side. Another shorter scar branched off to disappear under his arm. Her gaze inched back to his face. His hair bore the signs of nervous fingers, like blades of grass crushed under incredible weight. The laugh lines around his eyes appeared more defined as he slept.

She frowned, thinking he should look at ease, not like a tiger poised on the edge of attack. He wasn’t relaxed at all, but stiff. The hand laying against his thigh jerked, a spastic tic in his fingers twisted his arm. The dream again.

Even here, safe in his own space, in the light of morning, he wasn’t free. She ached to offer comfort, to hell with his demons and her resolve not to get involved. She was involved and, if she were to be totally honest with herself, had been since she’d turned around in his office and seen his big bad boy persona covering up that little boy hurt.

“Oh Logan, what have you done to me?” She pressed her fingers against her lips.

The next second he cried out, a painful, strangling sound, and lunged upright in the chair. Hannah crossed the deck and dropped to her knees between his legs. He looked at her, his eyes wild and unfocused, then shook his head and tried again, this time driving punishing fingers through his hair, making fists in the length at back.

Hannah reached up and circled his wrist, rubbing her thumb over his, urging him to let go. His eyes, still glazed and cloudy, met hers for a brief second before he closed them, shutting her out. At last he untangled his fingers from his hair and allowed her to draw both his hands away.

She could only guess what sort of nightmares had the power to bring him to this state of near panic, to reduce him to inflicting pain upon himself. Did the physical anguish ease the mental? she wondered, holding his fingers in hers, stroking the backs of his hands.

“How long has this been going on?” she whispered as much to herself as to him.

His eyes shifted behind closed lids. He smiled a crooked smile, enough of one to let her known he wasn’t about to give her a serious answer.

“About a minute or so but you’re welcome to keep it up as long as you want,” he said in a voice gruff with sleep and hurt. He cocked one eye open, then the other, and frowning, made a quick visual sweep of her body.

“I hope you don’t mind,” she began, “but it was either wear this, the prom dress, or the centerfold get-up.”

“I vote for centerfold,” he said flexing his fingers into the material covering her legs.