Meet Me at Midnight [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Jessica Andersen
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Secret Service agent Ty Jones had only one lead left to the madman who'd plunged Boston into a blackout, ambushed his teammates and kidnapped the vice president: Gabriella Solaro--the woman who'd hacked into the kidnapper's web site. The woman he'd kept tabs on with a fake online romance. He was convinced she was the key--till he met her. Gabby was blind. But when the madman upped the ante, vowing to detonate a bomb at dawn, Ty needed her. She knew the city, the trail he had to follow. Drawn to her, he promised to keep her safe. But when the time came, would he follow his heart--or his duty? He had only six hours to find out....
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Intrigue
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2007
13 Reader Ratings:
I've never used a service like Webmatch.com before, so I apologize in advance if I mess up. I saw your picture and read your profile, and I think we have some things in common. My name is Ty, I'm thirty-five, divorced and relatively free of baggage. Like you, I enjoy classic cars and driving fast. I work as a bodyguard because I also like traveling and staying on the move. It's not as exciting as it might sound, though. I work for a corporate type, so it's mostly standing outside boring meetings. Which, I suppose, is better than actually attending the meetings. Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. I've posted my picture and profile (click here). If you're interested, shoot me a note and we can chat. [Sent by TyJ; March 17, 1:03:13 a.m.]
9:58 p.m., August 2
7 Hours and 40 Minutes to Dawn
Ty Jones paused in the shadows beyond a small, cobbled courtyard in Boston's North End, breathing past the tension of battle readiness.
The light from a kerosene lantern broke the absolute darkness, casting warm shadows on the woman who waited for him in the hot, humid summer night. The lamplight should have been almost painfully romantic.
Instead, it was a necessity.
Boston had been in the grips of a widespread blackout for twenty-five hours now. Most of the city's inhabitants thought there had been a massive failure at Boston Power & Light, but Ty and his teammates knew the blackout had been no accident. It had been a cover. Under the cloak of darkness, a man they'd once trusted had kidnapped Grant Davis, Vice President of the United States.
Now, twenty-five hours later, with Davis's life hanging in the balance and his captor hinting that a bomb had been planted somewhere in the city, Ty and the others were out of time and options.
Which had brought him here, to a clandestine rendezvous with Internet bombshell Gabriella Solaro.
Ty's watch chimed softly. It was ten o'clock. Time to meet the one connection he had left, the one woman who could possibly lead them to Liam Shea, the man behind the blackout.
Taking a deep breath, Ty stepped out of concealment and swung open the ornate wrought iron gate that separated the North End courtyard from the narrow street. Pitching his voice low, he called, "Gabriella?"
The woman was facing away from him. At the sound of her name, she turned and lifted the lantern. "Ty?"
Her voice was soft and feminine, just as he'd imagined it during their online conversations, first in a chat room at Webmatch.com, then one-on-one via e-mail and instant messenger. But oddly, she looked nothing like he'd expected.
Her dark eyes complemented full, red-painted lips, and her features were sharp and exotic, but in the lantern light, her hair seemed darker than the fiery chestnut she'd mentioned, and her simple sundress made her figure seem more angular than her self-described curvy-bordering-on-plump.
She was lovely, but she wasn't anything like the picture in her profile. Then again, why should that surprise him? It was all too easy to bend the truth and become someone else on the Internet.
He should know.
Stepping forward into the circle of lantern light, Ty hesitated, wondering what she'd expect. Should he hug her? Kiss her? They'd met through an online dating service, which carried a certain expectation, and they'd e-chatted long into many nights, forming the illusion of intimacy. But none of it had been real, had it?
More important, their last few exchanges had been increasingly tense, as he'd pressed for a meeting and she'd resisted, which had solidified his suspicions even before Liam had made his move.
Now, though, Ty had a part to play. He leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. "It's nice to finally meet you in person."
If he hadn't been watching her face as he eased back, he would've missed the moment her eyes slid beyond him to a deeply shadowed corner where two brick-walled houses converged.
Instinct tightened the back of Ty's neck.
Someone was watching.
He forced himself not to react, instead smiling easily. "I'm surprised you agreed to meet me in the middle of this godawful blackout, especially with the curfew and all. Heck, I wasn't even sure my e-mail would get through, or that you'd have enough juice to read it."
With Liam's three accomplices, his sons Finn, Aidan and Colin, all out of action—one dead, one comatose, one not talking—Ty had known Gabby was perhaps their last hope for finding the mastermind. He'd broken into a stranger's car, plugged his handheld into the cigarette lighter and stolen enough charge to send the message. Then he'd waited in the darkness, listening to the sounds of growing violence nearby as the looting continued and the National Guard moved in to enforce the mayor's new curfew. The mob had almost reached him by the time she'd e-mailed back, arranging the meet.
As Ty had locked the car and slipped away for a quick radio convo with his boss, part of him had hoped she'd agreed to meet him out of curiosity, that the woman he'd gotten to know online was the real deal.
Now, as she glanced into the shadows a second time, conflicting emotions stirred within him—vicious satisfaction that he'd come to the right place and disappointment that she hadn't been the real deal, after all.
"I got your message on my Blackberry," she answered. "I was surprised you wanted to meet face-to-face, especially after that last e-mail I sent you, but I was…curious, I guess." She glanced at him, eyes dark and a little cool with an emotion that was either nerves or calculation. "You didn't have any problems getting here? Nobody stopped you?"
Copyright © 2007 by Harlequin Books S.A.