After witnessing something so terrible in a nightclub that it causes her to lose her memory of it, Kendall St. John finds herself the target of ruthless killers. Her father hires a bodyguard, Logan Steele, to protect her, but everywhere they turn, the killers continue to find them. As Kendall and Logan struggle with their feelings for each other, Logan struggles to protect her from the killers…and from himself.
Kendall St. John tossed her light blond hair back in a way that she knew would attract the attention of every man in the club. She had learned at an early age what moves were provocative, and she took advantage of every opportunity to flaunt her beauty. She had just walked into the place amidst the pounding music and the press of hot, sweaty bodies gyrating to the sound. She looked around, trying to spot that night’s conquest. Not that she was going to take him home or sleep with him; she just had to prove that she could have any man she wanted.
She spotted him at the bar. He had longish, dark brown hair and an aloof look about him. She estimated his age at about thirty. Perfect! She didn’t want it to be too easy. She walked up to him and gave him a look that she knew would make most men’s hearts race and cause their palms to sweat.
“Is this seat taken?” she asked, gesturing to the stool next to his.
“Not that I know of,” he replied, not really looking at her.
“I’ve never seen you here before. I’m sure I wouldn’t have missed you if you had been here.”
“No, I haven’t been here before.”
Frustrated at his indifference, she tried another tactic. She touched his forearm lightly with the tips of her fingers and smiled up at him. She felt his arm stiffen at her touch.
She asked him, “Would you like to dance? I love to dance, and this song is perfect.”
He finally focused on her face and said, “No offense, sweetheart, but I’m working tonight. I don’t need any distractions.”
She frowned. “Working? What kind of job do you have? Are you a private investigator trying to find some dirt on some unfaithful spouse? I would be the perfect cover. It would look like you’re just in here having fun like everyone else.”
“I really don’t want to be rude, but I would appreciate it if you would just be on your way. I don’t have time for this.”
She ran her hand up his arm. “Wow, your muscles are rock hard! What is it you really do for a living? Come on, you can tell me.”
He turned cold, gray eyes on her and said, “Leave, now. I mean it.”
Her eyes narrowed and she gave him her most withering look. “You could have had a good time tonight. Your loss.”
She flounced off into the crowd, pretending that she couldn’t care less. But his rejection stung. She wasn’t used to being rejected. She didn’t know why she felt like she had to constantly prove to herself that she was desirable. One look in the mirror could tell her that. Ever since she was a little girl, she had always felt like she had to prove something. At twenty-two, what she felt like she had to prove was that all men wanted her and longed to be around her. Not once had she taken a man home with her, but she realized that it was probably just a matter of time.
All the fun had gone out of the night with the man’s rebuff, so she was at a loss as to what to do. She walked down the hallway to the ladies’ room to check her makeup. Maybe she didn’t look her best tonight. That had to be it; otherwise, why hadn’t the man wanted to be with her? She checked herself out and found nothing lacking, so she sighed and walked back out. Curiosity made her stop and turn around and look in the opposite direction of the way back into the main club area. There was a door at the end of the hall that said “Absolutely No Admittance”. She had noticed the door before, but had never given it much thought. But now that she felt as if the night was a total loss as far as men were concerned, she needed something to distract her. She had always had a curious streak and she needed the diversion.
Kendall turned the knob of the forbidden door slowly, hoping that whoever might be on the other side wouldn’t see or hear her. She opened the door wide enough to slip through, and closed it behind her. This was a large room furnished with a desk, a conference table, and several chairs. It was very quiet and it was obvious no one was occupying this room. She saw a couple of other doors and tiptoed silently to the first one she came to. Stepping through that door revealed a sophisticated surveillance set up. She could see everything that was going on in the club from several different angles. The man she had been talking to earlier was no longer at the bar. Good riddance!
When she grew bored with checking everything out, she exited the room and walked over to the other door. She quietly opened the door and peeked through. The sight she saw sent a wave of fear over her that she had never felt before. In terror, she backed up, still staring at something she couldn’t wrap her mind around. Then he looked up and locked eyes with her for what seemed like an eternity. Suddenly, she broke away from his gaze, turned around, and fled from the room as fast as her feet could take her. She moved through the mass of bodies as fast as she could, feeling as if the exit door was miles away. When she finally made it outside, she took some deep, gulping breaths, and then she collapsed on the sidewalk.
When she awoke, she was surrounded by unfamiliar faces. At first, she wasn’t sure where she was, but then she remembered that something had scared her. But, for the life of her, she couldn’t remember what. She frowned, trying to make the memories came to her, but it was to no avail. People started helping her up, and though she was a little wobbly, she managed to stand. She thanked the people who encircled her and assured them she would be fine. She waved off their offers to help and walked on shaky legs to her car. Kendall finally took off the absurdly high heels she was wearing, and that helped a bit.
When she got to her bright red BMW Z-4 convertible, there was a man leaning against the passenger’s door. She was shocked to see it was the man who had given her the cold shoulder earlier.
“What are you doing leaning against my car?” she asked him.
Ignoring her question, he asked, “What did you see?”
“What are you talking about?”
“What did you see that scared you so badly?”
She lifted her chin up defiantly and said, “None of your business. Now get away from my car.”
He slowly brought himself up to his full height. He was a couple of inches over six feet and all lean, hard muscle. Looking down at her, he said, “I’ll find out sooner or later.”
“What’s it to you anyway?” she asked.
“That’s personal. I’ll be around if you decide you want to tell me.”
He turned around and walked off. She watched him for a few seconds and then yelled after him, “Hey, what’s your name?”
He turned to her and said, “Logan Steele”. And then he was gone.
Logan got into his SUV and drove toward his apartment just a few streets over from the club. His frustration with Kendall St. John caused him to clinch his jaw tightly. What had she seen in the club that had frightened her so? And why wouldn’t she tell him? There had been some disappearances that had some possible links to the nightclub, and he had been hired to look into it, but he couldn’t get close to the club’s owners or anyone officially connected to the club. The Association who had hired him was sure the owners were involved, but so far, hadn’t been able to prove anything. If something wasn’t done soon, it could jeopardize the Association and Logan’s way of life.
As Logan let himself into the apartment, his mind went back to his initial encounter with Kendall. It hadn’t been easy to pretend she hadn’t affected him at all when she had tried to pick him up. Even though she appeared to be worldly, she had the smell of innocence about her. And it was partly her scent that had driven him crazy, although he had lots of practice controlling his emotions and his facial expressions, so there was no way she could know. He remembered her touch on his arm and the almost desperate look in her eyes, and he felt heat course through his body. What he recalled most about her, though, was the large artery in her neck, throbbing as it pumped blood through her body. His hunger was a burning, physical need that couldn’t be satiated.
Logan sighed as he opened up the refrigerator, got out his dinner, and put it in the microwave. When he heard the ding telling him it was warm, he got out the bottle, uncapped it, and let the warm, coppery-tasting liquid slide down his throat.