Trusting Danger (Danger, #2)

Trusting Danger (Danger, #2)

Caila Jaynes & Allyson Simonian


“We’re going the wrong way!”

The town car’s driver glanced at Claire in the rearview mirror but didn’t respond as he took the exit to a park, then pulled the car to a stop on the shoulder in a grassy area surrounded by trees and not much else.

She whipped her head back and forth, seeing no reason for the driver to have detoured from their route. “Is something wrong with the car? Why did you pull over here?”

Gravel crunched as a dark SUV pulled up and parked in front of them, setting off alarm bells inside her head. Her heart pounding, Claire jerked off her seat belt and reached for the handle to shove open her door, preparing to run.

“Wait, Miss Parker.” The driver turned in his seat and caught her eye before pointing out the windshield. “He’s a government agent, and so am I.”

The adrenaline shooting through Claire’s system lessened only slightly as her gaze zeroed in on the tall, well-built man who stepped out of the SUV and approached the town car.

“What’s going on?” she asked, keeping a death grip on the door handle.

Before the driver could respond, the other man arrived at Claire’s window and tapped on it. With trembling fingers, she reached for the window button and pressed it, her heart hammering as the tinted glass slid down slowly.

“Miss Parker, I’m Grayson Matthews.”

Claire’s breath caught as she stared up into his handsome face, his upper lip and jaw dusted with a shadow of scruff. The man’s dark brows lowered over his sharp green gaze, freezing her in place as he pulled out a leather wallet and extended a silver badge, holding it for her perusal before returning it to his pocket. The driver pulled out his credentials as well and held them over the seat back for her to scan them.

“I’m a federal agent with the Phoenix Task Force.” Agent Matthews gestured toward his colleague still in the driver’s seat. “And that’s Agent Cox.”

Confused, she gaped up at him, his military bearing and impressive physique both intimidating and extremely attractive. The unexpected warmth zinging through Claire’s body dissipated as her thoughts spun, reeling until one slipped into place with a click. Her panic returned with renewed force and she gasped.

“My parents, are they all right?”

Agent Matthews frowned down at her. “You’re the one who’s in danger. Someone is trying to abduct you.”

“Wait . . . what?”

Why would anyone want to abduct her? Her father could be a potential target since he was a senator, but she wasn’t anyone important.

Squinting up at the agent in confusion, she said, “I don’t understand.”

“We’re going to tell you everything we can, but first, we need you to come with us.”

Her heart pounding, Claire stared at him, trying to decide what to do.

Apparently sensing her distress, Agent Matthews softened his expression and leaned closer, his voice gentle as he said, “Trust me.”

Chapter One

Three Days Earlier

When his cell phone rang, awareness jolted Grayson awake. Early morning light filtered through the bedroom window as he sat up abruptly, shoving off the bedcovers. He picked up his ringing phone from the nightstand, and his stomach clenched at the name on the caller ID.

“Aunt Mary?” He croaked out her name, willing his racing heart to slow down. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s your mother, Gray.” His aunt’s voice sounded worried, which didn’t help his heart rate. “She’s in the ER at Regional.”

“What happened?”

“She fell on her way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The hospital called me when the ambulance brought her in.”

Grayson pulled in a ragged breath. Even though his mother had been feeling lousy for months, the leukemia diagnosis had only come recently. He was still trying to wrap his head around it. “Did she break anything?”

“No, just lots of bruising, which Eleanor’s getting used to, but she has a fever of 103 and her red-blood-cell count is really low.” Mary’s voice tightened as she continued. “Lower than last week, so they’re running more tests. Hopefully, they’ll be able to get her fever down so they won’t have to admit her. I’ll be on the next flight and should be in Scranton by this afternoon. When do you think you can leave?”

“I’m not sure.”

The silence that hung over the line was a silent rebuke, one he was well used to from her. Still holding the phone to his ear, he dropped his head into his other hand.

“It’s what, Thursday, right?” he said, trying to gather his thoughts and quickly assess his schedule. “I’ll talk to my boss. Maybe I can be there by tonight.”

His aunt muttered a disappointed “all right” before hanging up.

Grayson scrubbed a hand over his face, then placed a call to his boss.

“You’re up early,” Eli Sesay said, his voice as chipper as if it were noon rather than the crack of dawn. “Have you been able to meet with Rex Gibson yet?”

Guilt ate at Grayson, along with the frustration of being pulled in what felt like twenty different directions. As an undercover agent with the Phoenix Task Force in Washington, DC, he’d worked for weeks trying to help his team pin down who was heading a drug ring operating throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The ring had been expanding recently, not only growing its territory but also branching out into other criminal activities, which was why Phoenix was involved in an investigation that normally fell solely under the DEA’s purview.

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