Niall Jones’s life depended on him blending into the background wherever he was. Moving through the shadows as if he was a shadow himself. And no one was better at it. Others came close, but he was the best. He’d lost track of how many disguises he’d donned. How many aliases he’d used. How many lives he’d led. When he assumed a role, he became the role. Until the next time.
Which was exactly what he was doing now. He watched his target through seemingly sleepy eyes, but he knew every breath she drew. Every rise and fall of slight breasts that wouldn’t normally attract male attention. Her face, too, was unremarkable. Not unattractive, but not the kind of face that would automatically draw a second or a third glance.
And yet…there was something about her mouth. Something that piqued his interest and held his gaze. Sweetly curving lips that smiled more often than not, but also hinted at restrained passion. Lips that made him wonder what they’d taste like, feel like beneath his, if he kissed her.
Not that he had any intention of kissing her…unless it was necessary. Dr. Savannah Whitman was his target, and he couldn’t lose sight of that fact. She might look sweet, innocent and far younger than the thirty-six years he knew her to be—that delicate skin of hers, the lack of makeup and the way she wore her hair might have something to do with it—but she could very well be a cold, calculating traitor. And if there was one thing Niall hated, it was traitors. People who would sell out their country for any reason.
He knew more about her than most of her friends knew. He knew the relevant details about her life, from the day she was born until now.
He knew exactly how much money she had in the bank, that she hadn’t attended her high school senior prom, that she had three patents to her name with a fourth pending. He knew the phobia she’d struggled against for most of her life, and when and why it had first afflicted her. And he knew she’d resigned her top secret job with an international defense contractor the day after her parents’ funeral.
What he didn’t know was what made her tick. What was going on in her head. Why she’d resigned and what she intended to do now with the highly classified data stored in the memory banks of her mind. Data the US government would love to erase…but couldn’t. And most important, if she really was a security risk, as the government feared.
Which was why he was here, shadowing her footsteps as she took this fifteen-day land tour and river cruise through northern China. Which was why he might very well be called upon to romance her, as a way to get close enough to compile evidence that would stand up in court to convict her of espionage. Which was why…as a last resort…he just might have to kill her.
BLACK OPS WARRIOR, Copyright © 2017 by Amelia Autin Lam
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