Read Hitman's Hookup: A Bad Boy Romance Online

Authors: Vesper Vaughn

Tags: #hitman romance murder assassin mafia bad boy

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BOOK: Hitman's Hookup: A Bad Boy Romance
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Flea nodded and reached under the desktop. It didn’t look like anything was under there but a moment later the sound of ripping Velcro echoed through the room. He emerged with a black iPhone. “Untraceable burner,” he explained. “I haven’t used this one yet.” He turned it on and spoke to the room. “Samantha, I need the number for Western Methodist.”

A moment later, the calm feminine voice answered. “Certainly, master.”

Flea cleared his throat in embarrassment, a flush creeping up his pale face.

I held my hands up. “Hey, no judgment here. It must get lonely being here with only an operating system to wank to.” On that note, I walked out of the room.

I really, really didn’t want to hear the guy’s name.

It was all about keeping my distance emotionally. That’s how I did my job. It was better that way for everyone. I’d only ever known the name of one of my targets. It had been unavoidable. I didn’t want to do that again.

I made myself comfortable on the white leather sectional in the living room, staring at the fish swimming in the water. There must have been over half a million dollars’ worth of rare and exotic fish in that tank. I’d had an assignment once where the guy I was tracing had a saltwater tank installed in his house. I couldn’t believe the prices.

I tapped my fingers on my leg impatiently and checked my watch. Thirty-nine hours left. I leaned back and closed my eyes even though I wasn’t tired. I was still running on pure adrenaline.

The people I worked for wouldn’t just withhold payment if I didn’t get this guy.

They would murder me.

And I already knew who they would send to do it. The knife wound in my arm burned.
Her
.

“Got it,” Flea said, walking back into the room. “He’s still alive.”

I nearly jumped a foot at the sound of his voice. “Great,” I replied, not meaning the word at all.

Flea handed me a printout. “Read it here, then I’ll burn it,” he said. He bounced up and down on the balls of his feet, his hands shoved in his jean pockets. “Damn, this is some cool spy shit.”

“Mm,” I murmured, leafing through the pages. “So he already went home?”

“Yep,” Flea replied. “Apparently has the resources to be cared for at home. The nurse said he’d make a full recovery.”

I didn’t bother asking them how he’d obtained the information. I’d been through enough on my own to know how easy it was to persuade most honest people to give me what I wanted.

“There’s his weekly schedule in the back,” Flea said. “I hacked into his assistant’s computer. He’s still scheduled to attend a fundraising dinner tomorrow for some politician.”

I nodded, flipping through the target’s history. Flea had redacted his name for me; thin black rectangles obscured text every few hundred words. But something wasn’t adding up. “It says here he’s had a fundraising dinner every Tuesday night for the last six months. Does that make sense to you?” It wasn’t really a question. I was just thinking out loud.

Flea responded anyway. “I don’t know, campaign season seems to be twenty-four-seven-three-sixty-five nowadays, right?”

I ignored him. This discrepancy was a red flag. I made a note that the target had a Sprinter van pick him up every Tuesday night at the exact same time. I memorized the address with a single glance.

I had a plan now.

I shoved the papers back at Flea and walked toward the front door.

“You’re welcome, Cruz,” he said pointedly.

I had my hand on the door handle when I thought of something else. My gut pricked with a combination of guilt, dread, and curiosity. I knew I’d been given my answer when the ambulance had pulled up to the hospital earlier that night. It was too much of a coincidence: the same hospital and Lily a doctor who had been put on a leave of absence for a reason she didn’t want to discuss.

It had to be because of me.

I needed to know for sure. “Can you look up
anyone
with that system of yours?”

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

LILY

My phone rang the next day while I was working my way through baking seven different pies. I was still amped up from the night before and had energy to burn. A well-timed episode of a baking competition had popped up four hours ago. Once I’d had the idea, I couldn’t stop it from playing out. I was up to my elbows in white flour and pastry when my phone rang.

“Hang on, hang on,” I said to my cell phone. I ran warm water and soaped up my hands as fast as I could. I had them rinsed and mostly dried when I answered. “This is Lily,” I said, as the oven timer dinged. The third pie of the day, a pumpkin spice, was ready. I held my phone against my shoulder as I grabbed oven mitts to retrieve it. “Hello?” I repeated.

There was only breathing on the end of the line.

“Seriously, creeper, who the fuck is this? Speak up, I’m baking right now.” I kicked the oven door shut with a loud
clang
and set the pie down on a cooling rack.

“Lily,” said the deep, sexy voice.

I nearly dropped my phone. I threw the mitts on the counter and moved it closer to my mouth, sitting on the edge of my sofa. “Phillip?”

“Yeah,” he said.

“How did you get my number?” I asked him.

“Not really relevant,” he replied gruffly. “I need a favor.”

I almost laughed. “A favor, huh? Really.” The space between my thighs was burning with the memory of him touching me. Last night I’d tried to satisfy myself but it turned out, for the first time, that merely the
idea
of
him
was so great it was better than what I could accomplish on my own. That never happened.

“Yeah, a favor,” he said again. “I know I was an asshole last night. And I’m sorry. But I really want to see you again. I keep…I can’t stop thinking about you.”

The sincerity in his voice was undeniable. It was more vulnerable than he had been at any point the night before. “Okay,” I said finally, feeling shaky with excitement, nerves, and raw attraction.

“Okay? Okay as in…you accept my apology and you’ll help me out tonight?”

I sighed impatiently. “Yes. To both. Is this about your ex-girlfriend again?”

Phillip didn’t answer for several moments. “Yeah,” he finally said. “Something like that. There’s a fundraising banquet tonight. She’s going to be there.”

“So you thought that one way to my heart is for me to continue to be used as a prop?” I retorted. I liked challenging him.

“It’s like ten percent of it. I figured it was better to be honest about that than to lie.” He paused again. “The other ninety percent is me really, really,
really
wanting to fucking see you again.”

I bit my lip. This was so intensely unlike me to do this. I never let a guy who had disappointed me come crawling back. But there was something about him; there was an electric connection between us. I couldn’t stop thinking about him, either. “What time?” I asked.

“Uh…seven?” he asked. “Can I pick you up at your place?”

“That’s great,” I said. “So I’m guessing I’ll need to wear a nice dress again?”

Phillip lowered his voice. The huskiness came through. “Make it sexier. I want to see your legs tonight. Text me your address.”

Then he hung up the phone. 

***

Several hours later my apartment smelled like buttery crust and sugar. I’d managed to clean everything up, take a long bath, shave, put on lotion, makeup, and a short, bright red dress that hugged my curves. It was my favorite: silky red, with a triangular cutout that showed off my stomach. The bottom of the dress only made it to the middle of my thighs.

I was finishing up with the coconut oil I was applying to my skin, trying not to be distracted by the thought of Phillip’s lips touching all the places I was making soft for him, when there was a knock on my door. “Just a second!” I yelled.

I took one final look in the mirror. I’d twisted my braids up on onto my head in a thick bun. I puckered my lips one final time in the mirror. I looked fucking amazing.

Phillip was standing in a tuxedo with his hands in his pockets. He ran his tongue along his bottom lip when he saw me. “Lily.” He nearly purred my name. “You look fucking gorgeous.”

I smiled at him. “You look alright,” I replied. “Let me grab my keys.”

A few minutes later we were stepping into a black SUV with dark-tinted windows and pulling away into the packed streets of New York. I tried not to tap my leg on the floorboard, but I couldn’t stop it.

Phillip shifted the gears of the vehicle with ease. I wondered how his hands would feel controlling my body like that. He glanced over at me. “You really are like a little ball of glowing energy, aren’t you?” His eyes twinkled.

I stopped bouncing my leg. “Sorry,” I said. “It drives everyone I know absolutely to distraction.”

Phillip changed lanes in the crawling NYC traffic. “I actually think it’s kind of fucking adorable,” he said, his face unchanged.

I didn’t know how to respond to that. So I shifted in my seat and starting jiggling my other leg.

“Struck speechless, finally?” he retorted as he pulled up in front of a brownstone on a quiet side street. He killed the engine and the lights.

I twisted my body to look around. There were a few people walking home with grocery bags in their hands. “Is this where the fundraiser is? Someone’s house?”

Phillip was tracing his mouth with his long fingertips. “We’re just waiting for someone,” he replied.

“Waiting for...” Then it struck me. He was waiting for her to walk out of her place so he could follow her. “Ah, so you know
what
your girlfriend is doing tonight, just not
where
she’s doing it?” I leaned back in the chair. “This is weird as fuck, Phillip.”

He shrugged. A black Sprinter van with darker window tints than Phillip’s rental SUV pulled away from its parallel parking spot. Phillip waited five seconds and then pulled into the road.

“What the hell is going on?” I asked him. I had clearly been wrong.

This wasn’t about a girlfriend. What woman took a Sprinter van to
anywhere?

Phillip was gripping the steering wheel so tightly his knuckles were turning white. I saw how he kept his distance precisely where he wanted it from the van we were now clearly following. He had done this before. This was professional. “Oh Jesus,” I said under my breath. My stomach dropped through my feet. “You’re a private investigator, aren’t you?”

Phillip had his mouth set in a firm line. “The less you know, the better.”

“This was the favor? I’m your cover, aren’t I? Why did you lie and tell me that you were a corporate mergers guy? What was all that shit last night about ‘the greatest good’ and all of that? How can you lie that easily?” I said all of these things in one great rush of breath.

Phillip glanced over at me. “I need you to trust me,” he said.

“Trust a guy who had no issue nearly letting an elderly man die in front of him?
You don’t get to play God, Phillip
,” I hissed. “Was he the one you were spying on last night? Was that woman his girlfriend?”

Phillip cleared his throat. “I told you, the less you know, the better.”

“Is he even alive? Because you know, right?” I’d tried calling the hospital but no one would tell me anything. In all likelihood Dr. Wilson had told them to freeze me out.

“He’s alive,” Phillip said. “Entirely thanks to you, obviously.”

There was a bitter edge in his voice. I laughed darkly. “So you clearly hate the guy. You wish him dead because he’s cheating on his wife with some young bimbo?”

Phillip shook his head. “You can’t possibly know the things this guy has done. And you
shouldn’t
know, okay? Like I said, the less you know the better.”

We sat in silence as Phillip drove. We made it to downtown Manhattan and the Sprinter van pulled into a parking garage. Phillip slowed down to push the button for the ticket. It spat out a white, crisp receipt that he tucked into the pull-down visor. He eased the SUV up five, six, seven stories. We made it to the top level just as the Sprinter van parked near the elevator.

A man hopped out of the driver’s side door and pushed a button. The passenger door slid open, and a wheelchair ramp came out. A moment later, the man from last night, pallid and grey, was lifted onto the ground in an electric wheelchair. I turned to Phillip. “Who the fuck has a heart attack and then hits the town the next day?”

Phillip didn’t answer. He unbuckled his seat belt and exited the SUV. I rolled my eyes and followed suit. “You sure know how to make an exit,” I said, trotting after him. The man and his escort had filed into the elevator.

“We’re taking the stairs,” Phillip said.

He looked down at my heels. They were six inches tonight; red-soled Louboutins that I’d purchased with my first intern paycheck post-medical school. I put my hand on my hip and stared at him indignantly. “What? You think I would purchase shoes I can’t walk in?” I shoved him aside and trotted down the stairs easily.

His laugh echoed down the stairs. “You’re fucking adorable,” he said.

My heart was beating from three things: the adrenaline, the fear, and the compliment.

We tracked the man for a good three blocks after we left the parking garage. Then he stopped at the entrance of a black-painted building. The door was ornate and glossy black.  A tall, alabaster-skinned man with a bald pate so shiny it reflected the streetlights was standing guarding the door. He nodded at the man in the wheelchair and opened the door for him and his companion.

Phillip pulled me into an alleyway. “We wait,” he said. “We can’t know what’s behind that door. They probably won’t let us in.” He fished his phone out of his pocket.

“What’s his name?” I asked.

Phillip was tapping on his screen. “Whose name?”

“The guy. The man you were paid to follow. The one you nearly killed last night by failing to render aid.”

He looked like he wanted to roll his eyes at me but managed to restrain himself. “I don’t know,” he said simply.

“You don’t
know
?”

He nodded his head. “Simpler that way.”

BOOK: Hitman's Hookup: A Bad Boy Romance
13.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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