Sniper Shots: Excerpt 3

Joshua sighed and went to the kitchen, wondering just how badly he’d screwed up. Never in his life had he slept with someone he was supposed to be guarding. If one of his men were to pull such a stupid stunt and Joshua found out about it, he’d bust them so far below private they’d never see NCO status again.
He tried to figure out how things had gotten so off course while he cleaned the couch with a damp cloth and a couple of sanitizer wipes. “Colby, you’re an idiot,” he muttered. “Completely certifiable.” He’d evidently taken too many shots to the head somewhere along the way. The only good thing to come out of this was the possibility that Amy might feel a little more inclined to go along with the whole engagement thing. Or not.
When she came back out of the bedroom a few minutes later, he had their steaks and vegetables warmed up and back on the table.
“Thanks,” she said, smiling and sitting across from him. She wore her own clothes. Joshua tried not to frown at the small rips and stains still visible. The reminder of her close brush with death sent a chill through him. The driver had to have been Velavich. Chet wanted her alive, not dead, and there wasn’t a third player in this deadly game that he knew of. He would have to keep a far closer eye on her than he’d intended. At least until his men got here. Three were due to arrive tomorrow. He’d already worked out a surveillance schedule designed to keep Amy covered twenty-four-seven. If Adrik Velavich so much as sneezed in her direction, he’d be in a NightHawks’ crosshairs.
The silence between them stretched into something almost companionable while they ate. Joshua was content to watch her devour the food he’d prepared. Plenty of time to get back to their verbal sparring match later.
“You’re a good cook,” she said, finally setting her fork down and picking up another roll. She bit into the bread with obvious relish.
Joshua shifted in his chair with a mental curse. He really shouldn’t be thinking about how good those even white teeth had felt against his skin. “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”
After another long silence, she brushed the crumbs from her fingers and leaned back in her chair. “All right.”
“All right, what?”
“All right, I’ll go along with your preposterous engagement scenario.”
Joshua smiled, feeling an absurd sense of relief. “Considering the rumor has no doubt already spread the length and width of the valley, I think you’ve made a wise decision.”
She snorted softly. “Believe me, I realize how fast news travels here. It’s not the reason I’m going along with your ridiculous plan. If I wanted to, I could deny I ever met you until yesterday.”
“You could, but no one would believe you.”
“Why not?”
“Because everyone knows I never lie.”
She blinked. “You really are delusional, aren’t you?”

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