Mine To Protect
He agreed to protect her…not love her.
Victor Monroe left behind a brutal past when he decided to become an FBI Agent. He knows that other agents think he’s too cold, that he has ice in his veins, but he doesn’t care what folks say about him. He gets the job done–always. No matter the cost.
Then he’s blackmailed into guarding…her.
Zoe Peters, ex-showgirl, daughter of a mob boss and drug dealer, a witness who wants to vanish. Zoe is wild, beautiful, and on far too many hit lists. It’s now Victor’s job to keep her safe–a job that Zoe makes damn difficult. But keeping her alive is his mission. It’s supposed to be strictly professional between them. Just another case. Only…
He never counted on falling for her.
Zoe is not the woman he expected. She isn’t cold or hard. She lights up the room when she walks into it, and despite the hell surrounding her, Zoe is good. Probably too good for Victor because Zoe doesn’t know about the secret deal that Victor worked out with her father. Zoe doesn’t know that Victor intended to use her for information and then turn her over to waiting operatives.
Desire wasn’t supposed to enter the equation. The white-hot lust he feels for Zoe should have never threatened Victor’s legendary self-control. But she’s under his skin…melting his ice…getting to him… Soon Victor doesn’t care about the law or about the lines he has to cross for Zoe. She is his priority. Victor will not rest until every threat to her has been eliminated. And then…
Zoe will be his.
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Cynthia Eden continues her sexy “Mine” romantic suspense series with…MINE TO PROTECT.
UNEDITED EXCERPT OF MINE TO PROTECT
She’d escaped again. Sonofabitch. FBI Special Agent Victor Monroe was getting real tired of chasing his prey all around the country. When he put the woman in a safe house, she was supposed to stay…in the freaking safe house. She wasn’t supposed to vanish and give the agents assigned to guard her a heart attack.
But he’d learned that Zoe Peters rarely did what she was supposed to do. The woman made his life far too difficult. As if he didn’t already have enough trouble to deal with each day.
Sighing, Victor stared at the bus station. It was nearing midnight and this little town in Kansas…it was not where he wanted to be. A chill brushed over his cheeks. Winter was definitely in the air, and instead of being curled up somewhere, relaxing…
He’d been called after her. Again.
Only this time, things are changing. I don’t have the luxury of waiting any longer. I have to act…so I hope Zoe is ready.
He headed into the station, stomping his boots. He wasn’t wearing his customary suit. Instead, Victor was clad in old jeans, a sweatshirt, and a coat. As soon as he stepped inside that station, he was aware of the silence. Thick, total.
Most of the folks in there appeared to have fallen asleep as they waited for the next bus to arrive, a bus that he knew was scheduled to appear at 12:30 a.m. Zoe thought she’d be on that bus. She was wrong.
She isn’t getting away from me.
His gaze scanned the terminals. He was looking for Zoe’s dark hair. Sometimes, she wore wigs to disguise herself. As if a different hair color would make her blend into the background any place. Zoe was the kind of woman who always stood out from the crowd.
His attention shifted a bit to the right and to the long bench that waited in the corner. Someone was on that bench—a figure wearing a dark kit cap and one big, majorly oversized coat. That coat completely hid the person’s body.
His eyes narrowed as he strode toward that bench. And as he got closer—
A pair of unforgettable green eyes peeked up—met his for just an instant—then hurriedly glanced away.
Oh, Zoe, I have so got you.
He almost smiled.
She seemed to curl in on herself a bit more as he approached, and Victor wondered just what tactic she was going to try using this time.
He sat down on the bench next to her. Before he spoke, he looked around the station once more. He truly wasn’t in the mood for a scene—hopefully, she wouldn’t create one. There were about ten guys in that place, maybe five women. All of varying ages. He’d prefer to slip out without anyone getting to good of a glimpse of Zoe.
So I’ll need to distract folks. Give them something else to remember—something other than her face.
“Sweetheart…” Victor murmured as he turned to face her. “What were you doing?” He kept his voice as low as possible.
Zoe’s head tipped up a bit. The cap was pulled down so low that it nearly touched her dark brows. Her green eyes studied him with both anger and fear. Hell, he hated Zoe’s fear. Didn’t she get that by now? Her lips were wide, full, unpainted, and so sexy that he thought about them far too often.
That was Zoe, though. Walking temptation. Probably the reason she’d been such a hit as a Vegas showgirl. The woman’s face was a work of art, at least, as far as he was concerned, it was. Wide eyes, delicate nose, curving chin, high cheekbones—and those sexy lips.
She had long legs. Victor was sure those legs could high kick up a storm. And she was curved in all of the right places—places that were currently hidden by her massive coat.
“Do not sweetheart me,” she whispered back to him. “Leave me alone. Just walk out of here and let me go.”
Victor sighed again and stretched his right arm out along the bench, letting his fingers toy with the edge of her coat. “You know I can’t do that.”
She growled. The woman would probably freak if she knew he found that sound sexy.
“I am not staying locked up any longer!” Zoe said. “You can’t make me, Agent Monroe.”
He heard the rumble of a bus, coming around the station for pickup. It looked as if he’d arrived just in the nick of time. Getting her out of the station would be much easier than hauling her sweet ass off a bus. And it would be less memorable, too.
“Easy or hard?” Victor asked her.
She shot to her feet.
Okay, he figured that meant she’d decided to go with the hard option. Fair enough.