Deceptions(2)

By: Cynthia Eden

Their bodies collided with a hard impact and before she could send them both hurtling to the floor, Mac’s hands flew up and wrapped around her. He steadied them both, holding her easily. She’d never been so close to him before. Never fully appreciated just how strong the guy was or how good he smelled and—

“He’s getting away.”

Oh, yes, right. She tried to back up.

“A stapler?” Mac muttered. “What the hell?”

She glanced at her left hand and the weapon she’d grabbed moments before. The stapler was pretty solid. It could do some damage if used properly.

But Mac didn’t give her time to reply. He whirled toward the window. Whoever the mystery man had been, he’d shattered the glass as he made his getaway. Mac took a second to punch out more of the glass that jutted out from the window, and then he leaped out into the night. He ran forward, vanishing, and she peered out the window, staring after him as she held that stapler tight. An alarm began to beep. Finally, the library’s alarm had kicked in. It should have sounded as soon as the glass broke.

She leaned even closer to the window, straining to see Mac. It was so dark out there. Was he okay? What if he’d just run straight into an ambush of some kind? The fingers of her right hand brushed aside the glass.

A car’s revving engine vibrated in the night. There was a flash of headlights, and that vibrating engine grew louder as the vehicle raced away.

Someone was in here, calling my name. Someone had been stalking her.

Been waiting... His whisper drifted through her mind once again. She hated the fear that filled her. A fear that reminded her—no matter how far you run, there are some things you can’t escape.

“Mac?” Elizabeth called as the alarm kept beeping. The cops would arrive soon. The alarm company would contact them, but what good would they do? That car—and the man who’d been in the library—were long gone now.

“Mac?” His name was louder this time as she peered into the darkness. Where had he gone? What if that nut in the car had hurt him? Sure, she got that Mac was supposed to be some kind of super tough guy, but even tough guys didn’t win in fights with moving vehicles. What if he’d been hit; what if—

“Elizabeth.”

She whirled and swung the stapler at him.

Sighing, Mac caught her wrist in his hand. The move was incredibly fast. Scary fast. Super reflex fast. Then, keeping his right hand around hers, his left removed the stapler and tossed it aside. “He’s gone.”

And she was about to jump out of her skin. “You scared me to death!” Elizabeth accused him. “What were you thinking?”

His dark brows shot up. “I called your name three times. The alarm is so loud you just didn’t hear me.”

She blinked. “Oh. Right.”

“The system is set up to alert the cops, isn’t it?” He was still holding her hand. She could feel the roughness of calluses on his fingertips.

“It is,” Elizabeth said. She had to look back over her shoulder, peering out that window into the darkness once more.

“They’ll check the scene, but he’s long gone. I didn’t see a tag on the car. Didn’t see much of anything because the joker waited and tried to blind me with his bright lights.”

She remembered the flash of light that had burst into the darkness.

“Are you okay?” Mac asked her.

And...his fingers were sliding lightly against the inside of her wrist. The touch was almost a caress, and it made her nervous. Edgy. But then again, Mac usually made her feel that way.

He’d started coming into the library a few weeks ago. The first time she’d looked up and seen him standing on the opposite side of the checkout counter, her jaw had dropped. Sexy. That was the only word for Mac, with his dark hair, that hard jaw, his sensual lips and—

Sirens.

Sirens were screaming outside. The cops were responding way faster than she’d anticipated.

“Elizabeth,” Mac pushed. “Are you okay?”

She forced herself to smile. “Fine. I’m glad you were here.” That was probably one of the most honest things she’d said in months. If he hadn’t shown up, just what would she have done?