"You can’t just waltz back into my life and think you can kiss me."

There was that heart-stopping smile again, messing with her concentration. "I don’t waltz," he said. "And I already kissed you. Did you forget? How about I show you what I did?"

He kissed her again. She was ready to push harder this time. She absolutely was, until his mouth settled on top of hers. Then she was all in, her tongue rubbing against his, clinging to him while he robbed her of every thought but one. Lordy, did he know how to kiss! She was so swept away in the moment she didn’t hear the door opening.

Jordan called out to her, "We’ll take two cars. Alec will ride with Noah and me, and you can ride with-" She stopped abruptly when she saw them. "You two seem to be getting along."

Allison could hear the laughter in her voice. Liam finally let go of her.

"You’re blushing," he whispered, loud enough, she thought, for the neighbors to hear.

"You like embarrassing me, don’t you?"

"Yeah, I kinda do."

She stepped away from him. "Jordan, I should drive myself in case I get called in."

"If you get called in, I’ll drive you back," Liam said.

Just then her phone rang, and for the first time since she’d started working for Agent Phillips, she hoped he was on the line. She knew she was acting like a wimp by trying to get out of spending the weekend with Liam, yet her reason made perfect sense to her. She was afraid of being alone with him. She was vulnerable with him, and she hated that feeling because she didn’t know how to protect herself.

The call was from Dan. "Are you going to be available Monday evening around seven?"

"Should I be?" she asked.

"You absolutely should be."

She turned away from Liam and walked to the side of the patio overlooking the garden while she waited for Dan to explain. He’d sounded concerned and almost frazzled, which was totally out of character for him.

"What has you so upset?" she asked when he didn’t immediately tell her what was wrong.

"I’m not upset. I’m angry. Brett is doing a presentation of your program to potential buyers. There’s a group of important company execs coming in, and Brett reserved one of the banquet rooms at the Adams Harbor Hotel. After the way you reacted at Basher’s party, I’m guessing he’s keeping the time and place real hush-hush. He doesn’t want you to find out until it’s too late."

"How did you find out?"

"He came by the house, walked in like he owned the place, and asked if Mark or I had found his iPad. We told him no, and then he said he wanted to catch up. We knew he was up to something," he said, adding, "He’s such an ass. Anyway, he kept bringing the conversation back to you. Twice he asked where you were and what you were doing. Neither one of us answered the first time. Then Brett circled around to you again and said he wanted to talk to you and find out if you knew where his iPad was."

"What did you tell him?"

"I lied and said you were in Seattle visiting your sister and wouldn’t be back for two more weeks. He was out of there lickety-split. Looked relieved, too."

"How did you find out when this presentation is taking place?"

"Like I said, I knew he was up to something, so I called a friend, and he called a friend who put some feelers out, and I finally got the information I was after. It’s on Monday night at seven. Please tell me you’re going to crash the party."

She laughed. "I wouldn’t miss it."

"Be careful. No telling what Brett’s capable of. If he thinks this deal is worth millions, I’ll bet he’ll have a couple of bouncers with your photo standing at the doors. I’d take some heat with you."

"I don’t need an armed guard to crash the party," she protested.

"I don’t know about that. Maybe take the armed FBI agent you’ve been seeing."

"I’ll be fine on my own. Don’t worry about me."

"Brett doesn’t have any money. Someone has to be bankrolling him. The party is open bar with lots of food, and that hotel is expensive. I’ll bet his money backer expects a big profit from the sale, too. Listen, I’m reevaluating. Maybe you shouldn’t go," he added worriedly.

"Oh, I’m going."

"Then how about I go with you?"

"Dan, if he sees you, I won’t be able to sneak in."

"You’re not going to be able to sneak in anyway," he argued. "You’re a knockout. Men are going to notice you."

"I’ll get in," she said, ignoring the comment about her appearance. "And stop worrying. I can take care of myself."