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When Jayne Mason went to work for Cypher it seemed like a dream job, but the companyâ€™s luxurious tropical headquarters hid a deadly conspiracy. Now she must place her trust in her colleague, Adam Nix, for only together can they escape Cypherâ€™s dark paradise of lies, treachery and murderâ€¦
They looked at each other for a long while. Jayneâ€™s emerald eyes searched his, and his hazel ones met hers unflinchingly and openly. Finally she nodded as if answering her own question and said quietly, "Adam I want to share a secret with you.â€
His face brightened as she reached up and undid the top button of her sundress, sliding her hand inside to her breast. It reappeared with a folded scrap of paper.
She pressed the note into his palm, and whispered, "This was hidden in my cottage. Read it.â€
He stared at it. "Itâ€™s in Spanish. No comprehendo.â€
"Try the other side,â€ she said impatiently.
It only took him a moment to finish it. Leaning close to him, she could sense his body tighten. "Cypher has our apartments bugged,â€ she whispered. "I saw a transcript of your visit with Spock, today when Monique left her desk for a moment.â€
He stood silent and still, rereading the message before slipping it into his pocket. "How can you be sure this is real? It could be just something left behind by a disgruntled employee to stir up trouble. As for the bugs, theyâ€™re disturbing, but it doesnâ€™t mean Cypher has us hostage.â€
"Is that what you really believe, Adam?â€ He became backlit, as the last rays of the sun drowned in the darkening ocean. There was a long pause, and Jayne held her breath. Only now, in that moment, did she realize how important it was to her that he believe her. How much she wanted, perhaps even needed, his strength and confidence to play this eerie game of cat-and-mouse.
When he spoke, his gaze shifted to the water. "Youâ€™re right. Since before I even got off the plane Iâ€™ve had my suspicions about this place. Things here are just--just too good to be true.â€ His words trailed off almost regretfully. He gave her a wan smile and took her hand lightly, rubbing his thumb across her knuckles. "Youâ€™re right. Weâ€™ll have to learn to keep secrets.â€
She released her captured breath, relieved that he accepted her fears. But then his words replayed in her mind. "In the limousine ride to the airport, you asked all those questions. You were suspicious then, werenâ€™t you?â€
He shrugged, letting her hand go. "I wondered why they seemed to be so intent on making sure I had no family, few friends, no ties. They were looking for people they could cut off from the world. Isolation isnâ€™t normal--for most people anyway.â€
She looked up at his kind but haunted expression, and understood. "Youâ€™re alone. Arenâ€™t you, Adam?â€ She was tempted to slip her arms around him and hold him tight, but he deflected her concern with a wave of his hand. He turned warily to the jungle that bordered the beach.
"So, do you have a plan?â€
"Yes. Iâ€™ve contacted someone on the outside, someone that can help us. I can keep communicating with him too, but we have to gather as much information as we can about where we are and what Cypher is up to.â€
"How in the world did you manage that?â€ Guiding her by the elbow he led her closer to the water where the surf might drown out their conversation should anyone be listening. He knew it was ridiculous to think that the company had bugged every square foot of the island, but wasnâ€™t about to assume their privacy either.
"Before I left I arranged a code with my grandfather. Thatâ€™s why I needed the picture this morning--to let him know I was in trouble.â€
"But how do you know the email was delivered?â€
S.M. Stelmack is a pseudonym. Serge and Moira Stelmack, a husband-and-wife team got into writing romantic suspense novels when they realized that it was the one thing that they enjoyed doing together. Well, among other things. They are the parents of two busy preschoolers, and caregivers to one miniature dachshund, who gets his daily fix of suspense from dodging tiny grasping hands and wondering if the grownups will remember to fill his dog bowl. The family lives in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, which is just about the best place in Canada to be. The sand, the sun, the snowâ€¦
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 242
Paper Weight (lb): 10.4
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