The 5th book in the Plain Jane Series. 

Chapter One


There’s someone in the house! 

 The sharp awareness sliced into Bailey seconds before the lights winked out. Standing in the middle of the bathroom, hair dripping, body wet, she’d just grabbed a heated towel to wrap around her hair when everything went dark. 

She clawed the panic back, allowing rational thoughts to prevail. Has the entire neighborhood lost power? She wrapped her hair and grabbed a second towel to quickly scrub her skin dry as she crossed to the frosted glass octagon between the tub and shower. She opened the window, allowing a warm August wind to circle the bathroom, also allowing her to see the soft yellow glow from the streetlights. Along with the lights in the house next door. 

 Her rational mind continued to triumph and kicked in with, “Maybe it’s nothing.” But she quickly shoved the notion away. 

 If there was one thing she’d learned in the past six months, it was to trust her newly honed instincts, always. Even when the customary doubt gnawed her bones and reared its head. 

Listening for the telltale creak of the second stair or the sound of footsteps in the uncarpeted hallway, she bypassed the slinky lace and silk lingerie draped across the vanity and dashed to the hamper. 

 She grabbed the first thing her fingers touched—his sweatshirt with his musky, after workout scent still clinging to it—and yanked it on. It hit mid-thigh. Good enough, even though she was technically still half-naked. She needed functional, not sexy. 

 Crouching, she scooted to the open bathroom door and peered into the bedroom. Thanks to the blackout curtains, not even a stray moonbeam illuminated the room. Good thing she didn’t need light to maneuver. She knew where everything lay and darted to the safe hidden inside the night table. 

 Her thumbprint on the biometric sensor and, with a soft snick, the lid retracted. All her senses reverted to pre-training and screamed at her to run, hide, cry. Do not reach forward and take the weapon in hand. 

 Too late. Her fingers closed around the butt of the Heckler & Koch. Cold, stark comfort. 

 Safety… Safety on? Off? Fuck… Off. Indecision had no place in this moment. 

 She eased to the door and peered into the hallway. The house was silent. Dead silent. Unnaturally silent. She could be wrong. Her imagination combined with the blood pounding in her ears, deafening her to all sounds, could be at play. There could be a viable reason her lights were off, and someone wasn’t in her home, stalking her. 

Don’t fall for the easy out. Don’t assume. Never assume. 

His words rang in her head. Instead of rushing for the nearest exit, she calmed, refocused, and—a whisper came from her right. Someone was on the rear staircase. She headed for the front staircase, aware the eighth step squeaked. Loudly. 

Quick and quiet, she raced down, skipping the squeaky stair, and made it to the library in the middle of the house. 

At the open archway, she paused. Gun in her hand, she glanced left and right, then crossed to the formal dining room. Tiramisu, strawberries, white wine, and flowers. An hour ago, the four items had balanced in Bailey’s arms as she waited for the garage door to slide closed. Plans. She had plans, detailed plans involving food, liquor, and Emmet. 

Warm fuzzies surfed her bloodstream at the thought of his icy blue eyes and wicked smile. Both did something to her, made her joints loose and her core slick. 

She’d stripped for a quick shampoo and shower and had planned on letting her dark shoulder-length hair air dry while she rubbed oil into her skin, her hands gliding over her breasts and mons. Areas he would’ve soon sucked and fucked. Her body would have been primed, eager, wet, achy, and ready. So ready. 

Smoky eyeliner, a hint of red lipstick, a spritz of perfume—all his favorites would’ve been next. The lingerie and her six-inch fuck-me heels would’ve been the final steps. 

Instead, she was in a stinky sweatshirt playing hide-and-seek with an assailant in her home. Her senses went haywire. Between the dining room and kitchen, she froze, listening, but not hearing anything because her eardrums mimicked her racing heart. For all intents and purposes, she was deaf. 

Fight your instinct to panic. Don’t let fear rule you because it will win every time. His voice screamed in her head. 

 Easier said than done when you were being hunted, and all your senses had abandoned you. When you could hear your pounding heart, raspy breath, and nothing else. 

 She didn’t need to hear to see the infrared dot appear center mass on her chest. She fell backward. A shot fired—just a puff of air—and a bullet lodged in the wall over her right shoulder. 

 She returned fire. Two shots to back the bastard off until she got her bearings. 

 This is real! This shit is real! 

 She scrambled away, making too much noise entering the kitchen. But that could be used to her advantage. A wounded animal draws predators. 

 “Ow.” She gasped and fumbled around, knocking the canisters together on the counter. She raced to open the door leading to the outdoor kitchen, the screened in pool and backyard. It would be easy to leave, to run and keep running. 

 But running meant someone chasing her, always. There were times to run and times to stand. This was her home, and no one would chase her from it. 

She moved to the pantry. The door opened silently, as did all doors in the house, except for the master bedroom. You were never as vulnerable as when you’re sleeping. 

She slipped inside the pantry and closed it, twisting the knob so it didn’t click. Her pulse pounded in her ears and throat in sync with her heart banging against her ribs. All she could do was hold her breath and… wait. 

She didn’t hear him but felt death stalk into the room and pass the pantry on the way to the wet room and backyard. He paused before entering and walking into a trap. This was her chance. Her only chance. 

 Palms sweating, hands trembling ever so slightly, she opened the pantry door and pressed the gun to the back of his head. 

 “Bang. You’re dead.” 

 Between blinks, he spun, grabbed her wrist, and twisted until the gun dropped from her numb fingers. She aimed for his throat. He blocked and flung her away. She latched on to his jacket and took him with her. Together they slammed into the center island. Pain laced up her side, stealing her breath as she hissed. He grabbed her head. All he needed was to smash her head into the island’s marble countertop, and it would be over. Dead and gone. She had one chance, one last chance to get away. 

She brought a knee up between them and wedged it into his stomach. At the same time, she swept her hands between his and… stopped. He was an open target. Eyes, nose, jaw, throat. All vulnerable. But instead of striking, she smoothed her hands up the sides of his face and threaded her fingers through the short strands of his dark hair.

Everything halted. She couldn’t see his face, not in the dark kitchen with barely enough moonlight filtering through the blinds. But she knew—One second, she was standing firmly on the ground, the next she was in the air. She scrabbled to grip his shirt but couldn’t before her back met the cold kitchen tiles with a solid thud. 

The thrust of his tongue to the back of her throat cut off her groan. His taste, she knew that smoky, scotch laced taste like she knew her own. Their tongues dueled, sliding against each other in a fight for dominance. She lost, as she did whenever she pitted herself against him, willingly, or unwillingly, per the last tense ten minutes. 

He pulled away, allowing her to breathe. Rattled, she focused on the face hovering above her. Still shrouded in darkness, he could be anyone. Yet, he wasn’t anyone. The size, the height and weight, the feel and taste, the smell. 

He was Emmet, the love of her life. 

“You did good.” His gravelly voice warmed her. 

 “You won.” She pointed out the obvious. 

“Because you hesitated.” 

She caught the hint of annoyance. “Would you rather I blow your brains onto the porch?”  

“I like my brains exactly where they are.” He licked into her mouth and kissed her again. And again. 

 She broke away because there were more questions interrupting the kindling exploding into an inferno in her blood. “You knew I was in the pantry, didn’t you?” 

 “Yes.” No hesitation. No coddling. It wasn’t his way. 

 Knowing she was there with a loaded gun, he’d let her press it to the back of his head. “Why?” she asked, not needing to add more to the question. 

 “I wanted to know if you could do it. Not run. Not hide. Stand your ground and fight.” 

Annoyed, she huffed, “That wasn’t the first time I used a weapon, Emmet. On Julius’ yacht—” 

“Different scenario. There was a group of us. Tonight, it was all on you to protect yourself. And you did.” 

No, he let her win. Big difference, but she held her tongue. 

He played with her hair. It was too long. She wanted it cut, but hesitated when he loved the length. “When did you realize it was me hunting you?” 

 She had to think. “The staircase. It didn’t squeak. Only someone who’d been in the house would know that. No one has been here except us.” She remembered the bullet holes and slapped his chest. “You shot at me and left holes in the wainscot!” 

His thumb and forefinger gripped her chin as his gaze searched her face. “Live-action training.” His voice was serious. “I didn’t hurt you. I would never hurt you. You know that.” It was a statement yet posed as a question. 

“Of course, I know that, Emmet. I trust you. But I’m still pissed at the holes in my brand-new house.” She lightened the mood. To the depths of her soul, she knew he would never hurt her. She stroked the hand holding her chin and traveled from his fingers to his broad shoulder to his nape. With a slight tug, their lips met, and their tongues twined. 

His hands dropped from her chin and hair to slide under the sweatshirt. He cupped her breasts and rolled her nipples between his strong fingers. Desire curled low, centered between her thighs. She needed him, needed him now. 

Gripping his shoulders, she hauled him closer to bury her face in his neck. She drew his testosterone-laced musk mixed with his cologne into her lungs. A shudder raced down her spine. God, she loved his scent. It was a damn narcotic. A shot to her bloodstream. Her personal crack, heroin, and meth combined. 

Moaning, she arched into the rough caress of his fingers. He swallowed the next moan, his mouth claiming hers possessively. She lost herself as their tongues slowly wrestled. It was messy and raw and beautiful. 

“Bailey,” he groaned and scooped her off the floor as if she weighed nothing. Into the dining room he carried her and dropped them into the chair at the head of the table. 

The sweatshirt went over her head and was gone. Where, she didn’t care, not when she was naked and perched on his lap with her legs splayed over his thighs. Her fingers went to the buttons on his crisp linen shirt while his fingers traveled between her legs. He parted her slick folds, circled her clit instead of stroking it, teasing when foreplay was the last thing she wanted. A rough fucking, that’s what she needed, demanded. 

Thank you, Jesus! He finally slid two fingers deep into her core. “Shit!” A shudder rolled through her. To hell with the buttons. She gripped each half of the shirt and yanked. Buttons took flight, pinging against the nearest wall and ultimately the hardwood floors. Then it was all warm skin and hard muscles. She licked his flat nipples until they peaked. She bit one, then the other, enjoying his hiss of pain and lust. 

“Oh, I’m gonna make you pay for that.” 

Her chuckle was lost as his thick fingers pumped into her core. Close to bliss, she latched on to his shoulders and rode those wonderful digits, her hips bucking and rolling with perfect timing. She wanted him naked, completely bare, and pinning her to whatever hard surface he chose, but she couldn’t stop riding him. His hand rotated and his thumb stroked her magic button. Hard and fast, the orgasm fried her brain as spasms shot out of her in waves, wrecking her nervous system and leaving her a limp noodle in his lap. 

“Emmet.” She gasped between twitches, her core clamping down on his fingers. 

“Hmm?” He nipped her chin, licked the sting, then fisted her hair and kissed her hard, no mercy, and she loved it, reveled in his possession. “What do you want, Bailey?” he demanded, coming up for air. Together they panted, breathing each other’s air, sipping each other’s aura. Apart yet one person. 

Her hands dropped to his lap. Belt buckle, button, zipper. He plopped her bare ass on the dining table, short of her goal. Before she could protest, her back kissed the cool mahogany and her legs framed his shoulders. Then his tongue snaked into her heat. 

Her eyes rolled back in her head as she gave herself up to the pleasure of his nimble tongue sliding inside and drinking her down. He groaned, gripped her soft inner thighs, and spread her wide to lick her folds and nurse on her clit. 

Her walls fluttered. “Fuck!” she cried. On the brink of unraveling again, he stopped and hauled her up to hover over his straining cock. It was so pretty, all thick and hard, with precum pearled at the tip. 

The breach—exquisite. There was nothing better than being filled by your man… Except being fucked by your man. 

He went deep, his hands on her hips, setting a steady pace. That was how he moved in her. No rush. No hurry. No urgency. Just the ceaseless merging of their bodies. Heat rushed between her legs and over every inch of her skin. She burned for Emmet, and only Emmet. 

Chuckling darkly, his gaze dropped to their joined bodies. “I love seeing my pussy filled with my cock.” He lifted her almost all the way off his steel and yanked her down as he slammed into her. Again and again, he fucked her just the way she loved. 

“Emmet!” Her vision dimmed and went supernova. Pleasure exploded like fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Reality faded away, leaving bliss rolling over her and awareness of him. Emmet. The sweat on his skin, the heat rising from his flesh. The taste of him on her lips. It was perfect, everything and more as she went limp. 

Emmet powered into her quivering body, his control in tatters. She lay there with her legs splayed, her body open, welcoming, urging him on with kisses to the center of his chest and licks to his pebbled nipples. 

He tensed, every muscle taut, ready for his release. Deep within her core, she felt his cock twitch. He roared, “Bailey.” And buried his head against her neck as his hot seed filled her in torrid pulses. Another orgasm seized her, tortured her with pleasure so sharp it hurt. 

And she loved it, loved flying apart because he was with her. His love danced through her body in a full-bodied, aggressive, passionate tango of limbs, kisses, touches, pleas, and promises. It twined around them, forging a bond that could never be broken. 

Damn. She loved this man. 



Bailey Monroe and Emmet Streeter request the pleasure of your company at their wedding.

Bullets, blood, and mayhem may occur.

Attend at your own risk.

He picked the ring. She picked the location. He picked the date. She said yes to the dress.

And then he left.

Bailey knew who and what she planned on marrying. A hitman. A killer. He promised this was his last job. One more hit to protect a friend and he was done. Their life together would begin.

Well, Bailey’s not having it. Emmet trained her not only to take care of herself but to bring the pain. She’ll be damned if she sits on the sidelines while he strolls into danger alone.

She’s no one’s flunky, and if that’s how Emmet thinks their marriage will be…

She’s going to find her man and drag him to the altar, and no one—not his billionaire or mob boss besties, or her sociopath of a father—is going to stop her.

Come hell or high water, she’ll get her happily ever after…or die trying.



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