Read Delly's Last Night (Go Get 'Em Women) Online

Authors: Tracy Cooper-Posey

Tags: #Romance

Delly's Last Night (Go Get 'Em Women) (7 page)

BOOK: Delly's Last Night (Go Get 'Em Women)
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As her climax clenched her, she felt tears roll from the corners of her eyes.

He wiped them away without comment.

* * * * *

 

Miami: June 28, 4.03 a.m.

Hunger that could not be appeased drove them into the kitchen around four in the morning, to build cold cut sandwiches.
 
Delly sat on the counter with Neal’s bathrobe wrapped around her almost twice, the sleeves rolled back and wolfed down her sandwich.
 
Neal leaned against the wall oven with one shoulder, watching her with a small smile on his face.

“What?” she asked, between mouthfuls.

“Nothing.” He shook his head.

He wore old sweatpants that hung low on his hips, and nothing else. His cock pushed against the worn jersey, making it rise in an agreeable way that kept Delly’s eyes wandering back to take in and appreciate the flat abs, the band of muscle running in a vee down into the sweats, and the mound beneath.

“Which senator?” he said, between mouthfuls. “Which one put the bite on you?”

“Doesn’t matter. He’s dead, now. He died about six weeks after the trials ended.”

“How?”

“Heart attack, they say. It barely hit the papers. Damien showed me a story on about page four of the
LA Times
.”

Neal frowned. “That’s curious.”

“Remember what curious gets you.”

“The truth, if you push hard enough,” he answered with a growl. “Tell me about some of your other jobs for Damien. Did he tell you who you were ripping off?”

“Not always.”

“Cities, then,” Neal insisted.

“God,
everywhere
.”

“Name some.”

Delly rolled her eyes and rattled off the names of a dozen of the larger US cities. “Then there was Paraguay, Costa Rica, and a job in Geneva that rated a ten for degree of difficulty.”

“The Costa Rica one,” Neal said slowly. “Was that four years ago? About February?”

“About then. Why?”

Neal put his sandwich back on the plate, looking into the distance with his far-away eyes. “Chicago. That would have been 1999, in the summer.”

“Now you’re scaring me.”

“I’m scaring myself.” He rubbed his forehead. “New York, the first one, 1997. Second one, 2003.”

She swallowed, her throat dry.
 
“What do you know about this that I don’t?”

He leaned against the counter next to her thigh, his head low. “I know that major figures in industry or in politics—people with a lot of power and influence—died on those dates. The Costa Rica one tipped me off. There’s not all that many world movers and shakers there, but the President’s brother-in-law, who was rumoured to be the real power behind the throne, died of what everyone thought was a heart attack, four years ago in February.”

“Are you saying that everyone I stole from I somehow killed?”

He shook his head. “The Senator, Delly. Five weeks after you hooked up with Damien, he died. Was that around the time of your first job for him?”

“Yes.” It came out as a croak.

“It wasn’t you, Delly. It was
Damien
. I’ve always known him to be crooked, but he’s a step beyond that. He’s a contract killer. And he gets you to go in before each hit and clean out the victim’s property. Who’s going to know they’ve been ripped off after they’re dead? Who’s even going to
care
? So Damien cleans up twice. He gets the fat fee for the contract and whatever profits you bring to him. For which he gives you a shitty ten percent.”

Delly felt a cold chill spread through her. She grabbed Neal’s arm. “We have to leave. Now. At once.” She jumped off the counter and tried to pull him through to the bedroom, but it was like trying to move a bulldozer. She rounded on him. “Don’t you get it? If Damien sets me up to go in just before each hit, then you’re the next hit!”

He straightened up. “I thought you broke in here to get back at me for whatever it is you think I did to you back in Colorado...”

“No! Neal, Damien set this job up. He let slip it was your place because he thought I’d get an extra dollop of satisfaction out of it. He’s always known how much I hated you for what you did to me in Colorado. And he used it to aim me at you like a gun.” She tugged at his arm. “You’ll have to give me some clothes. Anything will do. Hurry.”

He allowed himself to be pulled out of the kitchen, towards the bedroom. “What did I do to you?” he asked. “What would make you hate me so much?”

“Oh, for god’s sake, Neal! That was ten years ago and you have to get out of the country tonight, before the sun rises. You’ve got until six a.m. That’s when Damien warned me to be out of the house by. That’s when he’s going to make the hit. You have to be gone, then, too.”

“But
why
would he want to hit me?”

“Who gives a fuck?” she cried, tugging at his arm. “He’s a contract killer. He’ll hit whoever the paymaster tells him to hit.”

“I don’t have enemies.”

“Yeah, right. Tell me a drug lord who doesn’t! The shit you deal in doesn’t get people hot under the collar the way heroin does, but illegal is illegal.”

He had been taking slow steps towards the bedroom, coaxed by her constant hard tugging. But now he yanked his arm out of her grip and squared his shoulders, his clear eyes radiating fury. “You think I’m some sort of
drug dealer
?”

The pure outrage in his voice halted her, too. She turned to face him. “But...they said....”


Who said
?”

“The men in the suits. The Senator! They had proof. That’s why you were in Colorado, they said. Performance enhancing drugs. Steroids and all the chemical soups they concoct these days.“

“You
believed them
?” If anything, the rage in his voice was hotter.

A chill swept through her. “They had proof,” she said. “They showed me pictures of you being chummy with half a dozen athletes. He was a goddam senator, Neal! What else was I supposed to think? You were hanging around Golden with no visible means of support. And you told me you were a graphic designer!”

“I am...sort of.” He rubbed his hand through his hair on the back of his neck. It look both awkward and weary. “
That’s
why photos of us together were enough to blackmail you. Damien would have reinforced it over the years, to keep you in line. That’s why you hate me.”

She couldn’t stop it. The words tumbled out. “
Hated
you. Past tense, Neal.”

His expression softened and a smile tugged at his lips.

She grabbed his arm again. “Will you get your ass moving?!”

This time he allowed her to draw him into the bedroom. She went to the bureau. He’d pulled the sweats he wore from the bottom drawer. Chances were, she’d find something else wearable in there. She dug out a pair of running shorts and a faded tee-shirt. They’d do until she got home.

When she turned around, Neal was standing on the bed, his arm deep inside the wall safe. As she watched he pulled out a big handful of bundled currency and thrust it inside the backpack in his other hand. He scooped out another handful, emptying the safe and zipped up the backpack.

He jumped off the bed and strode over to her. “Here.” He thrust the pack at her.

Fright tore through her. “What, are you
fucking kidding me
? No, Neal! No! You have to take that money. You’re going to need it.”

“Just shut up and take it. You’re right, we don’t have time to argue.”

“Don’t you get it? You’re going to have to run for your life! You’re going to have to use that money to get away. Damien knows how to float across borders. He’s been doing it for years. You’re going to have to get another identity at the very least.”

“Don’t worry about me. You need this money. Take it.” He forced her hand out flat and slipped the strap over it. The backpack was heavy.

“Come with me,” she said. “I’m meeting Cassandra’s agent. You can arrange your own kit.” She hefted the bag. “You can pay him on the spot, and I can vouch for you.”

He pushed the hand holding the pack back down to her side and took her face in his hands. “I can’t,” he said simply. “I have things to tie up here and no-one can instantly generate the authentic type of documents I’ll need. It’ll take time and in that time I have to stay lose and free and dodge like crazy. I won’t jeopardize your escape, Delly. Not this time.”

His kiss was gentle.

Tears blurred her eyes. “Then this is it.”

“Yes, Delly. This is it.”

Chapter Six

 

Leòn, Northern Spain: February 22, 10.14 a.m.

“It’s Libby, isn’t it?
 
Libby Concord?”

Her new name and English spoken with an American accent, made Delly lift her head from the morning paper with a jerk, to blink in the sun just peeping over the top of the mountains. She shaded her eyes to better see the man standing before her.

It was Neal Cadogan.

She scrambled to her feet, spilling coffee and sending the big broadsheet scattering over the cobbles, while patrons of the quaint little coffee shop stared at her. She was still the strange foreigner to those who could count generations of ancestors who had lived here before them. Because of her newness, they tended to watch her every move. She was a novelty in the depths of winter when the tourists had gone home.

 
But she could not pull her gaze from Neal’s piercing silver eyes. Her heart leapt and hurt as it pounded against her chest. Her mouth opened, but she couldn’t think of a single thing to say. It was so impossible that he would be standing here before her.

He held out his hand. “Duncan Isaacs. We met in Colorado a number of years ago. I nearly didn’t recognize you with that red hair, but those green eyes of yours I’d never forget.”

She brought her fingers to her eyes, suddenly conscious of the lack of disguising contacts, as Neal took her other hand and politely shook it. He was staring hard at her, and she forced herself to play out the scene.

“Yes, I remember. It has been a while. And what on earth are you doing here?”

“Well, that’s a long story.” His gaze would not let her go. He leaned forward a little. “Ask me to sit down, before you fall down.”

“Please, sit down,” she said stiffly.

He picked up her newspaper and folded it, then moved the metal chair closer to hers and sat in it. The other patrons politely turned back to their own affairs.

Neal picked up her hand again.

She pressed her lips together to hide their trembling, as he kissed her knuckles. “How did you find me?” It was the question that loomed largest of the dozens she had. “No one should have been able to find me anywhere.”

“There’s one person who knew your new identity,” he said softly.

“Cassandra? She wouldn’t sell me out.”

He smiled a little. “You’ve never met Cassandra, have you?”

“Of course not! That’s not the way these things work.”

His grip on her hand tightened. “I am Cassandra.”

The dozens of questions were scattered by her shock. “You?” she said, stunned.

“I did say I was a graphic artist of sorts.” He gave a sheepish grin.


That’s
why you didn’t need the money to buy yourself a full kit. You could just make it yourself.”

“And that’s why Damien tried to take me out. You were careful, Delly—I mean, Libby. But not careful enough. He must have learned what you had planned. He couldn’t take you out—not his money machine. But if he got rid of me, then you would be stranded and vulnerable again. It must have given him an ironic chuckle to send you in to clean out my safe.”

“Why didn’t you tell me? That night?”

“I wanted you safe. I knew my documents were good enough to get you out of the country and I knew where you were heading. If I’d told you the truth you would have insisted on staying. You would have wanted your revenge on Damien.”

“Damn right.”

“Well, I got even for you. I hope you don’t mind?”

“Why? What did you do to him?”

“I got you out of his spider web. That was for me. And for you, I stole those security camera tapes from the Senator’s condo in Colorado. I screwed with them a bit, then gave them to an FBI buddy of mine, who found the images of Damien Lacey watching his cohort run out into a hail of bullets interesting enough to start a nationwide investigation into Damien’s affairs. Damien, of course, will try to skip the country. He’ll realize around then how much he screwed himself by trying to get rid of me, his favourite passport forger.”

Laughter bubbled up from deep inside her.

“Oh, and I have something for you.” He dug into his coat pocket and dropped onto the table in front of her an old Polaroid. It was a picture of her and Neal together, the Colorado mountains reaching up into the sky behind them. Tears gathered in her eyes and she blinked them away.

Neal glanced over his shoulder at the peaks towering over the town. “Fond memories?” he asked.

“Yes,” she confessed. “But what about you? Your life?

BOOK: Delly's Last Night (Go Get 'Em Women)
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