The only thing six months of undercover work have gotten FBI Agent Tony Driscoll is a chronic case of the hots for Blythe Smithers—an itch he definitely decides needs scratching.
Blythe’s been waiting for Mr. Right, but what harm is there in a little fling with the sexy massage therapist while biding her time?
A tryst turns into teamwork as Tony and Blythe search for smuggled diamonds—a fortune someone is willing to kill to possess. As love nudges lust aside, can Tony and Blythe live long enough to enjoy it?
NOTES: Re-release, previously titled Undercover Lover, re-edited and better than ever!
Tony left the building as he’d arrived—through alleys, side streets, and many blocks between
it and where he’d parked. Massage clients waited.
He passed the morning working absentmindedly, longing for the day when he could
put this undercover assignment behind him. Most of his clientele were rich,
pasty white, and overweight. The only bright spot in this whole business had
been Blythe, and she had been from the start. His problem now was how to hang
on to her once his work here was done.
More guilt tweaked him. He was using her now to get to the Cambridges, and he
sure didn’t feel good about that. Plus, once the Cambridges were behind bars,
she’d be out of a job. He didn’t feel good about that either and knew he
definitely wouldn’t be one of her favorite people after that happened. Hell,
she didn’t even know his real name. Somehow he had to find a way to tell her
what was going on. Trent would have a fit, thinking he’d compromised the
investigation. But Tony’s instincts told him he could trust Blythe. With her
close connection to the Cambridges, she might be able to help. That also meant
putting her at risk, so she had the right to be fully informed.
Tony kneaded a roll of fat on the middle-aged woman before him. She grunted
like a pig. With every day that passed, he hated this work more and more. Trent
wasn’t the only one who was impatient for results. Right now, the only woman he
wanted to lay hands on in any manner was Blythe.
“Okay, Mrs. Powell, all done for today.” He wiped his hands on a length of
toweling while he gave her wide berth.
She tucked the sheet around her. “So soon? Feels like you just started.”
Felt like hours to him. Tony forced a smile he didn’t feel. “I know what you
mean. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
He couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
A little before noon.
Just enough time to get to Stephanie’s office building before Blythe left. If
he hurried. He reached the place with no time to spare. Watching from the far
side of the parking lot, his breath caught when Blythe walked out. A raging
hard-on shot to life seconds later. Blythe was dressed in hot pink capri pants
with a matching floral camp shirt. White sandals graced her slender feet.
Sunglasses covered her eyes.
He shifted in his seat as he palmed his erection, trying to find a more
comfortable position that simply didn’t exist. Blythe always had that effect on
him. In the months before, he’d been able to handle it. But now that he’d had
her? Misery. It was all he could do to stay in the truck and not rush her.
The image of him dragging her to the truck, throwing her in the backseat, and
fucking her until the struts cracked under the pressure was sweet. Something to
put on their to-do list—when it was dark and not in a public place. Although
forbidden sex and the danger of being caught would certainly make things
hotter. He bet he wouldn’t have to do much talking to convince Blythe.
He pulled his wandering thoughts to a screeching halt and tried to focus on the
After a quick look in both directions, she crossed the street. Now all he had
to do was get past the security guard, who was what had made entering at night
impossible. Blythe’s presence during the day had hindered Tony’s chance to
search Stephanie’s office.
He waited until he saw Blythe’s cherry-red Sentra turn the corner, then strode
into the building like he did every weekday—ready to give Stephanie her daily
massage. The guard never challenged him, and building security didn’t require
anyone to sign in. It was almost as if the guard was there for show, a visual
deterrent to anyone coming in who shouldn’t. Tony nodded a greeting the man’s
way and continued on.
So far, so good.
The hallway was deserted. Like all the other times he’d been here. In less time
than it took to think about it, he had the lock picked and was in.
Tony stowed his table and bag near the door. Where in the hell should he start?
He had one hour to hit pay dirt. A sign on Blythe’s desk invited customers to
ring the bell because she was in back.
He glanced that way. Light from an open closet door caught his eye. He edged
toward it, scanning piles of papers, files, and samples as he went. Nothing
He pushed the door open wider and smiled. It wasn’t a closet after all. It was
a huge workroom cluttered with furniture in various stages of upholstery.
Rolling steel doors covered the delivery entrance. It wasn’t the safest place
to hide diamonds, but Stephanie sure didn’t lack for niches to do so.
Tony aimed for the workbench against the wall. His foot hit something hard in
his haste. Metal skittered across the tile—a tack hammer. He glanced around and
saw a black Naugahyde sofa. Each seam was edged in sparkling gems.
It’s too simple. Too obvious. And perfect. No one would ever guess they
were diamonds. The smuggled gems were supposed to be rough. There was nothing
to say they hadn’t been polished. Stephanie did have acquaintances in the
jewelry business. Someone could be convinced to do her a favor, for the right amount
He retrieved a jeweler’s loupe from his duffel bag of tricks, then hurried back
for a closer look. Damn. Rhinestones, every single one of them. Even the ones
in the bowl holding the supply.
Back to square one, and time was running out.
* * *
Blythe pushed her lettuce around her plate. She’d been unable to concentrate
for most of the morning. At least at the office she could mindlessly do finish
work on the Caplin sofa while every other thought focused on Tony.
She missed him, couldn’t wait to see him again, craved him more than the
richest chocolate. Silly, when they’d only been involved less than a day. After
watching him all these months, trying to avoid him now was useless. He was
every fantasy come true and then some.
Fling, my ass. She was already stuck on the guy. For all she knew, she
had been all along.
Blythe cursed herself a thousand times over. He wasn’t what she wanted. Yet the
idea of ending it tore her in two. She didn’t know what the hell to do.
“I swear you haven’t heard a word I’ve said.”
She looked Eileen Cronkite’s way. A frown had pulled her perfectly arched
eyebrows together. Frustration darkened her blue eyes as she flicked back a
wayward strand on her long, black hair. They went to lunch once a month, jabbering
the hour away. Eileen sure got a raw deal this time.
“Something’s on your mind. Give it up.”
They’d known each other since high school and had always shared their darkest
secrets and desires. Why should this be any different?
Blythe set her fork aside. It was different. It felt too private, too special
to share. “All right. I’ve met someone. No. I’ve met the someone. We are
absolutely, positively sexually compatible in every single way. He’s charming,
considerate, funny, great looking.”
God love her, at least Eileen didn’t cheer. “He’s lacking on the career issue.”
They waited while the waiter cleared their plates.
“He sounds like everything you’ve ever wanted.” Eileen’s voice was low, for
Blythe’s ears only.
She nodded. The memory of him set her body thrumming for attention, and not
just for the sex. Their camaraderie over breakfast kept tugging at her heart.
“Is his job so important?” Eileen’s question was softly spoken.
Blythe had been asking herself the same question all morning. She laughed
lightly. “I guess I wanted someone with a little more ambition.”
“What does he do?”
“He’s a masseur. Door-to-door. Like a salesman.”
Eileen shrugged. “Doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any ambition. They can make good
money. His way means little overhead. Maybe it’s what makes him happy. Isn’t a
happy sex god more important than a self-centered, power-hungry maniac?”
She had a point. “I’m afraid, Eileen.”
“Of what? Of falling in love?”
She nodded. “Of being hurt. Of making a mistake. Of having a broken heart. You
“Of living?” Eileen stirred her straw through her iced tea. “You’ve never
mentioned any man before. Obviously, this is someone you’ve just met. Aren’t
you jumping to conclusions?”
“I’ve known him for about six months. I’ve just avoided him.”
“Yeah. I caved. I couldn’t help it. I was like a time bomb ready to explode.
And he…” Blythe couldn’t put it into words.
“Tell me about him.” Eileen flicked her long fingers through the air. “Besides
the sex stuff.”
Blythe had always admired her friend’s hands—smooth, long fingers with perfect
nails. Eileen took care of them too, sometimes to obsession, changing the
polish every day or several times in one day. Even during tax season, when she
worked hellacious hours.
Blythe pulled in a breath as she struggled for the words to explain Tony. How
she wasn’t afraid in his arms. The comfort and warmth she felt curled beside
him at night. How thoughtful he was to have coffee ready. His consideration and
respect in not rushing out, in wanting to date. She was offering free sex, and
he wasn’t biting. Damn it, Tony seemed to want more. But the only thing she
could tell Eileen was, “His kisses make me want to melt.”
Eileen rolled her blue eyes. “Oh boy, you’ve got it bad.”
“I told him I don’t want him to kiss me anymore.”
Eileen laughed so hard heads turned their way. “And you think that’s going to
Blythe covered her eyes with one hand. It sounded ridiculous, even to her ears,
even knowing how one kiss destroyed her senses. “What am I going to do?”
“Why try to analyze it? Why not take what comes? Enjoy the great sex, the
princess treatment I assume he’s offering you, and let nature take care of the
Easier said than done. It wasn’t Eileen’s heart they were talking about here.
“It could also be that you’re so horny, anything will get you going. It’s been
forever since you’ve gotten any.”
Blythe removed her hand and shrugged. “No one’s caught my interest.”
“Well, I’d say you’re plenty caught right now. Take advantage of it before the
next long dry spell. If there is one.”
Sound advice. Maybe she was overanalyzing this. It was just that Tony was so
different from what she’d expected. She’d seriously misjudged the man. Every
bad thing she thought about him was wrong. He was caring, funny, charming,
attentive, and right now, she sorely regretted having blown him off for lunch.
Blythe laughed to herself. There’s an image for you. She should have
“blown him off” for lunch. It sounded much more intriguing than picking apart a
relationship that might or might not exist. This was new, fun, exciting. He was
everything sexual she craved in a man and had never found. And here she was,
missing out on a great nooner to complain to Eileen.
With any luck, she might just be able to catch him before his next client.
Surely Stephanie had his phone number somewhere.
She tossed some bills on the table. “Sorry, Eileen, gotta run.”
“I bet I can guess what you’re about to do.”
She smiled. “I’ll leave that to your imagination.” Luck was with her. Every
light was green on the way back to the office. Excitement pushed the
accelerator just beyond the speed limit. Once she arrived, it was all Blythe
could do to keep from running into the building. She nodded a greeting to the
guard and hurried down the hallway.
Please, let him be available.
She shoved the key into the lock, ducked inside, and froze. His massage table
and bag were propped against the wall.
SHIT. HE WAS caught. He glanced at his watch. She was back way early. He
had to think of something fast.
Tony grabbed a length of drapery tassel. “I’m in the back. Are you alone?”
He looped the ends over brackets in the wall, then twisted his wrists through
the silken cord and waited for her like a sacrifice.
“I am. How did you—”
Blythe stopped short of the door. Her smile was quick as she raked her gaze
over him. “I’m liking this.”
“I stopped by on the off chance you might’ve changed your mind. The door was
“Really? Odd. I’ll be right back. I need to make sure that door is locked this
By the time she returned, Tony’s hard-on pulsed for freedom.
Smiling, she knotted his wrists to the brackets. A flick of her fingers opened
the button on his jeans and sliced his zipper down.
“Now, Mr. Blake, about that blowjob. You are about to have the best one of your