Quinn Rafferty is working as a bounty hunter and bail bondsman in St. Louis when a new neighbor catches his eye. He’s tempted by her beauty—but he knows from experience that anyone desperate enough to live in his building is damaged goods. Besides, he has his own soul to mend before he can worry about anyone else.
Sara Davis is on the run, but not for the usual reasons a woman goes on the lam. She’s not an abused wife, and she’s not a criminal. But she does have a plan for her future. And as much as she finds herself attracted to her gruff, tough neighbor, she can’t risk telling him the secrets she’s hiding. There’s just too much at stake.
Driven to desire…
But Quinn must get closer to Sara when she turns out to be the target of his new missing persons case, and he discovers that there is something more complex and dangerous to her than he thought. Now, both Quinn and Sara will have to expose their true feelings—as well as their fragile hearts—if they hope their love will survive…
He opened the door—
And stopped dead in his tracks as somebody all but fell into his arms. Somebody…a woman. And not Theresa. He caught her just above her elbows, automatically steadying her.
“I’m sorry,” she said, her voice soft and low. Then she lifted her face and Quinn found himself gazing into the biggest, brownest eyes he’d ever seen in his life.
Feeling a little dazed, he studied her face while she stammered out another apology. Quinn barely heard it. He was too busy staring at her mouth. A very pretty mouth, a cupid’s bow mouth slicked with deep, vibrant red.
Under his hands, he could feel silken smooth skin and unable to resist, he stroked a thumb along her inner arm. Her skin was soft, soft and warm. He was also pretty sure she had the creamiest, most flawless skin imaginable.
Her shoulder-length hair was a shade caught between blonde and brown, nondescript, but for some reason, he found himself thinking about tangling his fingers in that hair and holding her head still while he kissed that red-slicked mouth.
Well, hello…he could all but feet his libido kicking up as he stared at that mouth. Every last one of his senses tuned in on her— The way she looked…sex and sin. The way she smelled…sex and sin. The way she sounded…sex and sin. The way she felt…the way she might taste.
Sex and sin.
He knew it without a doubt. She’d taste like sex and sin. His mouth was all but watering.
“Ahhh…excuse me,” she said, tugging against his light hold.
“Uh…yeah.” He uncurled his fingers and let go, although he hated every second of it. She immediately backed away, putting a good five feet in between them and eying him nervously.
In that moment, he was acutely aware of the fact that he hadn’t bothered shaving that morning, or the morning before. He was also acutely aware of the wrinkled state of his gray T-shirt and the worn jeans he wore.
He hadn’t gotten into the habit of wearing the unofficial uniform worn by most of the guys who worked for Gearing, but he’d swapped out the black T-shirt that read Bond Enforcement for a plain one.
Wearing those particular shirts outside of work had ended up causing him a headache or two so when he remembered, he changed out of them before leaving the office.
She continued to stare at him, her face expressionless and her eyes measuring. She might have just continued to stare at him indefinitely if Theresa hadn’t come bustling down the hall.
“Quinn?” Tearing his eyes away from the unknown woman, he smiled at his landlord. It no longer seemed so weird to smile at somebody—as in he didn’t worry his face might crack if he wasn’t careful. Still, the smile on his face did feel odd.
“Hey, Theresa. I didn’t know you had company.”
She beamed at him. “This isn’t company. This is your new neighbor. She just moved in to the upstairs apartment. Sara…I’d like you to meet Quinn Rafferty. Quinn, this is Sara Davis.”
Sara. Neighbor. Staring into Sara’s dark brown eyes, his heart sank just a little.
Some people collected books. Some people collected knickknacks. Some people collected coins. Theresa collected lost souls, as evidenced by the fact that he was living in her basement after she’d charmed him into changing her tire outside Dierburg’s a few months earlier.
The last woman to stay in that apartment had ended up being a battered woman hiding out from her ex. Before that, it had been a girl who’d been all of nineteen, with two kids and a third on the way. When that one had left, she’d ended up stealing from Theresa and skipping out on the piddling amount of rent that Theresa had coming.
If Sara Davis was living in Theresa’s upstairs apartment, that made her pretty much off limits. It didn’t matter that his dormant sex drive was all of sudden flaring up on him.
The last thing Quinn needed to be around was another lost soul, not when he still struggled to find his own.