With one case firmly under her belt, PJ Sugar is ready to
dive into her career as a private investigator. Or at least
a PI's assistant until she can prove herself to
Jeremy Kane, her new boss. Suddenly PJ's seeing crime
everywhere. Everyone's a suspect. But is it just in her
head, or can she trust her instincts.
When she takes on her first official case--house sitting for
a witness in protective custody--Jeremy assures her there's
no danger involved. But it soon becomes clear that there is
someone after the witness... and now PJ. Can she find the
suspect and prove she's ready for that promotion? Or will
she give in to Boone's please to quite and accept his proposal?
PJ Sugar had been born to sneak up on people. She clearly
possessed the instincts of a panther, with the ability to
find her prey and slink up to them in the shadows, pouncing
only when they least suspected.
Suspected adulterer Rudy Bagwell didn’t have a prayer of
escaping. “I’m telling you, Jeremy, we’re going to nail him
this time.” She wasn’t sure why she felt the need to keep
her voice to just a hoarse whisper into the cell phone or
even to slink down into the bucket seat of her VW Bug—it
wasn’t like Rudy or his cohort in crime, Geri Fitz, would
PJ glanced at the digital clock on the dash. It glared 2:14
a.m., a resounding gavel bang to Rudy’s guilt.
After all, who would be sneaking around after midnight?
Without, er, a good reason. Like a stakeout. “I followed him
to the Windy Oaks Motel off Highway 12,” she continued. She
glanced at the soot-dark picture window next to the peeling
door of the ancient one-story motel. A brass number eight,
slanted at a corrupt angle, glared against the parking lot
lights as if spotlighting the sin behind the closed doors.
If she were picking a location to have a tryst with her old
highschool sweetheart, she might have aimed higher than a
graying yellow motel edged with weeds, a broken swing-set, a
muddy sandbox, and a Dumpster stuffed with a ripped
prison-striped mattress. Oh, the romance.
Just sitting in the greasy parking lot made her itch, as if
she might be the one engaging in the skullduggery. Now that
she was a PI in training, she got to use words like that.
She had even highlighted this one in the Basics of Private
Investigation manual Jeremy had assigned her to read as part
of her apprenticeship. She had read the “Stakeout” chapter
three times. And, if she did say so herself, had the
“Tailing Your Suspect” techniques down to a science.
Nope, Rudy wasn’t getting away with cheating on his wife.
Not with PJ Sugar on the job.
“Are you sure it’s him?” Jeremy spoke through the gravel in
his voice, obviously dredged from a deep sleep. She heard a
faint siren on the other end of the line and did the math.
“Are you sleeping at the office again?”
“I worked late. Are you sure it’s Rudy?”
“Of course it’s Rudy. He’s exactly the same dirt bag he was
in high school—pock-marked face, a permanent scowl. He was
even wearing his leather jacket, which seems suspicious
given that it’s August and about seventy degrees out—” “PJ—”
She heard him sigh, could imagine Jeremy running his wide
hand over his face, through the dark grizzle of his late
night shadow, over his curly, thinning hair. “I’m not sure
that I’m up to your PI prowess tonight. Have I ever told you
that you’re hard to handle?” “Every day. Now, get out of bed
and bring your camera equipment. Oh, Cynthie is going to be
thrilled—I promised her we were going to take down her
And Cynthie wasn’t the only one to whom she’d promised
results. She’d also made a plethora of private promises to
herself. A brand new job, a brand new life—this time, she
wasn’t going to quit, or take the fastest route out of town.
She was getting this done, no matter what the cost.
“See, this is your problem, PJ. You make promises you can’t
keep. Two weeks, and Rudy hasn’t been seen doing anything
more notorious than ordering extra whip on his macchiato.
I’m thinking Cynthie is dreaming his affair—and speaking of
dreaming, that’s what I should be doing. And you, too. Get
home. Go to bed.”
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