Stork Alert [Secure]
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by Delores Fossen
Description: When Kelly Manning learned that her child might have been involved in a baby swap, she confronted the problem head-on. Rich, powerful and dangerously attractive, Nick Lattimer was the only hope she had of finding out the truth. But he had the power to claim both the baby boy she'd raised and the biological son she'd never known. Someone wanted them dead ... someone who'd stop at nothing to make sure the babies' cries were silenced forever. There was only one way for Kelly to keep the boys safe. She'd have to join forces with the last man she should trust--and the only person who loved the children as much as she did.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Intrigue,
eBookwise Release Date: August 2007
9 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [290 KB]
GEOGRAPHIC RESTRICTIONS: Available to customers in: US, NZ, SG, TW, ER, GQ, LS, MG, MW, SD, SN, HM, MN, GD, JM, LT, SI, BY, FO, TR, PS, BM, AS, IO, SB, FK, SR, AF, FJ, CA, ES, PR, PH, BF, EG, KE, NG, RE, BV, TF, GE, KP, MV, PK, TL, BQ, HT, KN, CZ, CH, GI, IS, RS, SJ, BH, MH, NU, BO, AD, AL, AE, GF, MX, FR, IT, BE, CF, DZ, EH, GN, MA, MZ, SO, TD, TG, BT, KG, NP, VN, IM, AW, BB, CW, EE, LU, VA, IQ, QA, KI, PF, TK, AR, PE, AM, NI, KR, VI, UM, KM, MR, NA, NE, TN, TZ, KH, TJ, GG, LC, CY, FI, GR, HR, MD, JO, KW, OM, SY, YE, CC, FM, GT, MY, CD, CG, GA, ZA, ZM, ZW, MM, DM, GP, TT, VG, DK, HU, IE, LV, PT, SE, MC, ME, NO, IL, LB, GL, CK, GU, NR, PG, CL, GY, BL, BZ, DE, CN, BJ, CM, CV, GM, SH, UG, HK, UZ, GS, PN, SX, AT, AX, BG, MT, RO, BA, LI, MK, RU, PM, CX, PW, VU, CO, SV, UY, AU, BR, JP, BI, BW, CI, SL, BD, BN, ID, IN, LA, MO, TH, TM, MS, BS, CU, DO, MQ, TC, VC, PL, SM, UA, SA, TO, WF, HN, PY, NL, DJ, ET, GH, GW, LY, ML, MU, RW, ST, SZ, AZ, KZ, KY, MF, SK, JE, IR, MP, NC, NF, TV, WS, CR, EC, PA, VE, LK, AG, AI What's this
Bexar County, Texas
Kelly Manning checked to make sure no one was following her. No one was. She was alone in the dimly lit hallway.
So far, so good.
Too bad her pounding heart and racing breath didn't quite grasp that she was close to succeeding. A minute, maybe less, and she'd have what she needed and would be away from Nick Lattimer's ranch.
Of course, this could be just the beginning. Not exactly a comforting thought, but she would cross that bridge if she came to it. However, it was impossible to push aside the thought that the next few minutes could change her life forever.
She eased open the door to the nursery and ducked inside. The nanny was in the kitchen indulging in a late-night snack, so other than the baby, the suite would be empty. Timing was indeed everything. If any of the half-dozen or so "security guards" and household staff caught her, they would no doubt alert their boss.
Definitely not good.
Kelly hurried across the room to the crib. The baby was there. Sleeping. He was tucked beneath a blue satin-rimmed blanket. All she could see of him was the mop of blondish-brown hair, but with just that bit of visual info, she had to fight to hold on to her breath. Now wasn't the time to let her emotions get in the way of what she had to do.
With her hands trembling, she reached for the small vial she'd hidden in her bra. But reaching for it was as far as she got.
"Mind telling me what you're doing here?" she heard someone ask.
The sound shot through her entire body, and Kelly gasped. She didn't recognize the voice, but she had no doubt that it belonged to Nick Lattimer, the lord of the massive Texas ranch she was trespassing on. And he was the last person on earth she wanted to come face-to-face with tonight.
Heaven help her.
Dreading what she would see, Kelly angled her eyes in the direction of his voice. He was in the shadows, his shoulder resting against the doorjamb of the adjoining room. His head was slightly tilted to the side. Studying her. He wore a tux and a formidable take-no-prisoners expression.
"I was looking for the ladies'room," she managed to say. She'd practiced it enough that thankfully her voice didn't crack.
He pushed away from the doorjamb, a slick effortless move, and he started toward her. A pair of delicate angel night-lights illuminated his way. Ironic, since there was nothing angelic or delicate about him.
His midnight-black hair fell long and fashionably untamed against his neck. Dark, brooding eyes. Chiseled jaw. High cheekbones that hinted of Native American blood. He was handsome by anyone's standards.
Including hers, much to her disgust.
But his looks didn't make him less dangerous. From all accounts, he was an ends-justifies-the-means sort of man. Any means.
"The caterer and party staff were instructed to use the downstairs facilities," he informed her.
Kelly nodded. "I'm sorry, sir. I didn't know that." She turned to walk away.
Nick Lattimer shifted to the side and blocked her exit. He didn't stop there. He blocked her a second time when she tried to go around him. Then he circled her. Slowly. Like a hungry jungle cat stalking his prey.
Outside the window, lightning stabbed across the sky, quickly followed by thunder. The November storm only added to the menacing energy simmering around him.
"I wasn't joking about having to go to the ladies' room." Kelly tried to keep her tone light. She failed. Her heart was beating so hard and fast that she thought her ribs might crack.
He was behind her when she heard the whisper-soft sound. She might not have even known what it was. But she was a cop's widow.
It was a gun.
It'd been a serious mistake coming here, but it was too late to turn back.
She got a good look at the weapon as he finished circling her and came to a standstill directly in front of her. Yes, it was definitely a gun. An expensive, high-powered Glock. Not an amateur's weapon of choice. It was too much to hope that he didn't know how to use it.
Her stomach tightened into a cold, hard knot.
Kelly forced herself not to panic. The stakes were too high for her to lose it. "Listen, I've obviously upset you by being here. It won't happen again."
"I don't doubt that. Only a handful of people have ever managed to upset me more than once." His narrowed gaze slid over her. "Who sent you?"
She'd anticipated a lot of questions. But not that one. Kelly shook her head. "What do you mean?"
"I mean…Who. Sent. You?"
Okay. It was clear from his sarcastic tone that he had his own issues and wouldn't let her just walk out. It was time to show a little backbone.
She hiked up her chin. "I understood what you said, but I thought the answer was obvious. I work for the caterer you hired for your dinner party." She pointed to her clothes. "You didn't think I was wearing this tacky polyester uniform to make a fashion statement, did you?"
"No. But it did occur to me that you were wearing it so you could gain access to my home. And to this particular room."
Without taking his lethal gaze off her, he reached out, snagged her by the shoulder and pushed her against the wall. Her right cheek landed next to a cheery cherub mural.
Copyright © 2007 by Delores Fossen.