His Secretive Lover

Elizabeth Lennox - The Thorpe Brothers #3 - His Secretive Lover

His Secretive Lover (The Thorpe Brothers #3)
Elizabeth Lennox

romance

Chapter 1

The dark figure stopped in her tracks, listening carefully, not even allowing herself to breathe. The silence was thick, but something was wrong. The carpeting had suppressed her steps, but she knew that, in the night, every sound, every moment was louder than during the daytime hours.

She closed her eyes and relaxed her mind, letting all the sounds become louder and the movements almost a physical vibration. Relaxing helped her focus all her other senses, her mind working hard to grasp if there was a real threat or if she’d just imagined something. She’d been trained from childhood and knew what to do, how to react and had contingency plans in place. Her training had been thorough.

Total silence. She kept her eyes closed, her body still. Listening.

There it was, she thought with a cheeky, secret smile, her body still frozen in place. The shuffling sound was barely there, but someone was trying to creep up on her.

She would have laughed with delight, but she knew that would give her presence as well as her location away. Silence was the most important aspect of this night. Without silence, she would be caught.

With stealth built up over years of practice, she grabbed the last object in the middle of the desk, then climbed the rope right back up into the ceiling. She suppressed an inner giggle and watched through the air conditioning vent as the large, awkward figure moved into the office. Overhead lights were turned on and the dark head moved to the right and left. As much as she’d like to watch, she knew better than to remain still at this point in the mission. She slowly turned, her body slithering down through the vents. She didn’t wait around to see if the inept, power-hungry security guard would spot her through the metal slats.

Gliding lithely through the air system, she made her way back to her starting point. At the last moment, she hesitated, feeling the hairs on the back of her neck rise up. Those little hairs had saved her neck on more than one occasion so she’d learned to listen to their silent warning.

Pausing, she lifted herself higher, using all her upper body strength to pull up another three inches. With that, she knew she was basically invisible to the cameras that she’d already put on a loop. But her position also meant she was invisible to anyone coming out the door directly beneath her. If she hadn’t done all those workouts recently, she never would have made it to this point before the guard burst through the door for his nightly, if off schedule and unsanctioned, cigarette and whiskey break.

In that moment, her heart rate accelerated to triple time and she felt a renewed shot of adrenaline spike through her body. She bit her lip and looked around, trying to determine if her back-up escape plan was still viable. She saw the door and the window above it and knew she could do it.

With grim determination, she lifted herself higher up, swung her leg over the ledge and looked down. It was higher than she was used to, but a glance behind her showed that she couldn’t go back the other way. With a grin, she sprang forward and caught the opposite ledge just in time. Her gloved hands gripped the edge with just enough strength to pull herself forward once again. With a grunt, she swung her body left, then right, then left again, gaining enough momentum and, at the last moment, swung her whole body over the ledge. With that, she was home free. She got to her feet, maintaining a crouch as she sprinted across the rooftop. The ladder was in sight and she scanned the area. Sure enough, the guards were still focused on the opposite side of the building.

She pulled the harness over her head, then strapped it around her waist and thighs. This was the good part, she thought with relish. Hmmm…maybe the theft part was the best. Or perhaps it was the planning. She really loved planning things out, figuring out all the details. Or maybe, the best part was when she slipped by the guards without them even knowing something had happened.

She smiled in remembrance of the job and the incomparable excitement. It was all good, she thought as she snapped the last of the hooks into place and tightened the harness.