His jaw clenched and that fierce protectiveness she recognized too well flared in his pale gaze. “My friend is going to watch you and I’m going to work with Lizzy to see about tracking this woman down. Olson might have fallen off the grid but she’s staying somewhere and she’s not smart enough to stay off security feeds.”
“Because most people would never think of that.” Jordan certainly wouldn’t.
“Exactly. And most people don’t have the kinds of friends I do. We’re going to find her.”
“Why can’t you just give all this information to the police?” She didn’t want Vincent getting any more involved in this than he already was. She’d already lost years with him, she wasn’t losing him again.
“I obtained all of this illegally. Very illegally. And what I’m planning to ask my friend to do again is also illegal. Besides, even if I did go to the police with what we’ve got, they don’t have the resources to dedicate every waking moment to finding this woman. I do.”
“Okay, say I’m okay with you locating Celia Olson. When you find her, will you involve the police then?” Even though Jordan knew Vincent would have no problem taking care of the woman any way he deemed fit, Jordan wasn’t okay with that. Not because she cared about some monster who’d tried to kill her twice but because she didn’t want Vincent to ever be in a position to go to jail. Not because of her. Not ever.
“Maybe.” There was a bit of truth in his voice, which somewhat soothed her.
“Who is this friend coming to help you out?” Or watch her, like she needed a babysitter.
He shrugged. “A guy I work with.”
“Could you be more vague?”
A slight grin tugged at his lips. “Probably.”
He had that wicked smile that drove her crazy. No doubt he knew what he was doing because he wanted to deflect the subject. “You’re maddening… How long until your friend gets here?”
“He’s coming from Miami so three, three and a half hours. Depending on traffic. And I can think of a lot we can do in that time.”
His words took her completely off guard. “You don’t need to call Lizzy?”
“I do.” His heated gaze narrowed on Jordan’s lips.
“Damn it, Vincent. We need to think about this more. You can’t just—”
Reaching out, he tugged her so that she was straddling him. Her dress pushed up against her thighs as she slid right over his hard length. The clothes between them might as well have been nonexistent. Lord, he must have gone from zero to ready-to-go in seconds. There was no way they were doing anything until they talked more though. She braced her hands on his shoulders to hold herself away. “If this woman is truly after me, she has to have been following us. Obviously, or she wouldn’t have known which car was mine or where I was staying. What if she tracked us to your family’s place or—”
“Tracked us,” he muttered. The lust that had been simmering in his gaze dimmed as he reached around her and grabbed her phone from the coffee table.
She tried to slide off him but he held her firm, one hand wrapping possessively around her hip, his fingers digging into her.
“I like the feel of you on top of me,” he said as he popped open the back of her phone.
With what had happened with his sister earlier and how raw she’d been feeling, that simple statement soothed her in a way she hadn’t realized she’d needed. She watched as he first pulled her battery out, then a small black plastic chip that looked similar to her SIM card. But it wasn’t the card because that was still in her phone. And that piece was white and pink.
“Son of a bitch.” He held it in his palm in between them.
“What is it?” she whispered, though she wasn’t sure why.
“This is a tracker. It’s how she followed you. Which means she had to get close enough to you to take your phone and put it inside.”
At that realization, Jordan could feel all the blood drain from her face. The woman who’d thrown a firebomb and actually blown up her car had somehow taken her phone off her person. The woman would have been very close to do it. She normally kept her cell in her purse and she almost always had a purse with her.
“Baby, I’m sorry,” Vincent murmured before setting the plastic piece down and wrapping his arms around her waist.
She swallowed back the tremor of fear as she returned his embrace, loosely setting her hands on his shoulders. “It’s better we know now. Do you know what kind it is? Can she hear us?”
He shook his head and relief punched through her. “No, I’ve seen this kind before. It emits a signal to whoever is tracking it and uses your phone battery to stay charged. It’s mid-grade. Definitely not the cheap stuff, but she could have bought this online or any number of shops. These aren’t that common, but finding her through this purchase would be next to impossible.”
“So this doesn’t help us?” Great. The woman definitely knew where they were and they couldn’t use the one piece of evidence they’d found to prove that someone had been following her.
“I didn’t say that. I’m definitely going to be able to use this against her.” There was a dark edge to his voice.
When he just pursed his lips together as if he didn’t plan to tell her she pinched his nipple. His eyes widened in surprise as he tried to scramble away from her so she twisted the sensitive skin. “What are you planning?”
“Damn woman, let go.” He grabbed her wrist but she refused to release him.
“Tell me. I can tell you’re planning something.”
“Fine, fine, I’ll tell you.” He lightly squeezed her wrist so she released him, but didn’t move off him. “I don’t remember you being so violent,” he muttered as he rubbed a hand against his chest.
“That didn’t hurt. Now tell me or I’ll squeeze something even more sensitive and you won’t like the end result.”
“Is it wrong that this violent streak of yours turns me on?” There was an uneven quality to his voice, the question coming out ragged. He rolled his hips once, letting her feel his hard length.
Having him aroused between her legs made her entire body pulse with need, but nothing would dissuade her from getting her answers. “Vincent,” she said warningly.
His big hands settled on her hips, his expression frustrated. “I don’t have an exact plan, but if this morning is any indication, her violence has escalated which tells me she’ll be coming after you again soon.”
Instinctively Jordan looked over her shoulder out the big front windows. The drapes were still pulled back. Sitting with him she felt safe, but she knew that was an illusion.
He squeezed her hips so she turned back to face him. “Short of her using an RPG, she’s not getting in this house. All the sensor alerts are linked to my phone and the security company so if someone breaches the property, I’ll know and so will the police. As long as you’re under this roof, you’re safe.”
“We can’t stay here forever.” She wouldn’t mind staying cooped up under any roof with Vincent, but the reality was that he had a job and a life and they couldn’t just wait around and hide because some maniac wanted to pick them off.
“I know. I’m going to take care of your problem. It might not work, but I’m going to take that tracker to a remote enough place that she might feel comfortable following. Or, I’ll drive around Key West with your phone and have Blue following me to—”
“My friend who’s coming to help out.”
“His name is Blue?”
“It’s his last name…Listen, I don’t have all the logistics planned out yet. I’m still thinking, but I will be able to use this tracker to our advantage somehow.”
“I’m not letting you go off by yourself.” Hell no. He was out of his mind if he thought that. She might not be as skilled as Vincent in a lot of areas, but she wasn’t helpless. She could defend herself well enough and she knew how to fire a weapon. Not to mention she’d taken down a serial killer with a Taser and even though it had terrified her, she’d testified against him in court and had given up her life to put the man behind bars.
Vincent watched her carefully, his gaze intense as it swept over her face, narrowing on her lips. When he ran his tongue over his bottom lip in a move no doubt meant to be sensuous, her fingers dug into his shoulders. He hadn’t agreed with her yet that he wouldn’t be going off alone and she needed to hear the words.
He seemed to have other plans as he slowly leaned forward, his intent clear.
“Not done…talking,” she whispered before his lips touched hers.
He pulled her bottom lip in between his teeth, nipping and teasing her in sweet little strokes that had her nipples tightening against the soft fabric of her dress. She’d taken off her bathing suit top earlier and had opted not to wear a bra because the dress had one built in. It would be so easy to reach up and— As if he read her mind, Vincent’s hands slid up her hips, waist, and he didn’t stop until he’d reached the tie on her halter dress.
With one pull, the tie fell free and the two straps loosened, falling down to reveal her bare breasts. Vincent groaned. “You drive me crazy, woman.” He’d barely finished the statement before his head dipped to her chest.
She told herself to stop him, that they still needed to figure things out, but as his tongue swiped over one of her already hard buds, she closed her eyes and let her head fall back. He alternated between breasts, driving her crazy as he teased her nipples. Each flick of his tongue or thumb had the ache between her thighs growing.
But his pressure was light. Too light. He was definitely teasing her and no doubt knew it. While she loved the stimulation, she wanted to see all of him and feel her bare breasts rubbing against his chest. She loved the skin on skin, being as close to him as physically possible.