Don't Look Downby Suzanne Enoch
The heat is on in Palm Beach-and Rick and Samantha are sizzling.
Samantha Jellicoe is no ordinary thief. At least, not anymore. She promised her significant other, British billionaire Rick Addison, that she'd retire from her life of crime. So no more midnight break-ins . . . no more scaling estate walls . . . no more dangling from the ceiling. From/p>/em>… See more details below
The heat is on in Palm Beach-and Rick and Samantha are sizzling.
Samantha Jellicoe is no ordinary thief. At least, not anymore. She promised her significant other, British billionaire Rick Addison, that she'd retire from her life of crime. So no more midnight break-ins . . . no more scaling estate walls . . . no more dangling from the ceiling. From here on in, it's intimate dinners with Rick in posh Palm Beach followed by rock-your-world sex.
Who'd have thought that doing the right thing would turn out to be more deadly than her former life of crime? When the first client of her new security business is murdered, Sam is determined to find the killer. Now if only she can manage to stay out of jail, resist her former "associate's" lucrative job offers, and keep Rick from sticking his nose into her business, she might just manage to stay alive. Because trouble isn't just walking—it's running—to catch up with her.
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Don't Look Down
By Suzanne Enoch
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2005 Suzanne Enoch
All right reserved.
Wednesday, 1:51 a.m.
Headlights blazing, a car slowed at the turn-off to the main house, hesitated, then accelerated down the road and into the dark again.
"Tourists," Samantha Jellicoe muttered, straightening from her crouch and watching the headlights disappear around the bend. The passersby, both native British and general fame-hunters on vacation, concentrated so much attention on the tall, ornate gates behind her and the barely visible estate house beyond that she could probably stand on her head and juggle and they still wouldn't notice her there in the shrubbery.
Tempting as scaring the shit out of some amateur paparazzi might be, not being seen was kind of the point at the moment. With another glance along the dark roadway, Samantha backed up into the middle of it and took a run at the wall, shoving her toes into a chink in the mortar halfway up and using that for leverage to clamber to the narrow and nicely finished top of the stone.
When she did a burglary, she actually preferred disconnecting the gate alarms and simply going in from the ground, but she happened to know that these gates had embedded wires running through buried pipelines out to the guard house on the north side of the Devonshire property. To deactivate the gates she would have to cut the power to the entire house, which would set off the battery-backed perimeter alarms.
With a slight grin she dropped to the lawn inside. "Not bad," she murmured to herself. Next she had to navigate past motion detectors and digital video recorders, plus the half-dozen security guards who patrolled the area around the house. Fortunately tonight was breezy, so the motion detectors would be overloaded and the guards tired of monitoring and resetting them. It was always better to go into a property on a windy night, though January in central England meant the windchill took the temperature down to somewhere around freezing.
Pulling a pair of pruners -- which doubled as wire cutters -- from her pocket, she lopped off a large leafy elm branch. Hefting it, she made her way along the wall to the nearest of the cameras mounted at regular intervals along the perimeter. Maybe her solution to the problem of the digital cameras was simplistic, but hell, she knew from experience that sometimes low-tech was the best way to beat the most complex of systems. Besides, she could see the headline: CHICK WITH STICK BEATS COUNTRY'S MOST SOPHISTICATED ALARM SYSTEM. Neaner, neaner.
Swinging the branch, she thudded it across the side and front of the camera, waited a few seconds, then did it again. Matching her pummeling to the rhythm of the wind, she smacked the side and the lens a few more times, then hauled back and slammed the casing hard with the thicker part of the branch. The camera jolted sideways, giving whoever was monitoring it a great view of a west wing chimney. After a few more swings, she flung the branch over the outside wall and made her way toward the house.
Somebody would probably be out in a few minutes to reset the camera, but by then she'd be inside. Hauling ass out was a lot easier than sneaking into a place. Samantha drew a breath and headed east along the base of the house until she reached the slightly offset wall that designated the kitchen. Kudos to whichever aristocrat five hundred years ago had decided that the kitchen was too dangerous to be set fully into the main house.
The window frames on the ground floor were wired to the alarm system, and the glass was pressure sensitive. No punching through to get in, unless she wanted to wake up everybody in residence. Of course, no one was in residence, except for staff and security, but they could phone the police as easily as anybody else.
Making sure the pruners were secure in her pocket, she set a foot onto the narrow window ledge and boosted herself up. A few more careful footholds and she stood on top of the kitchen roof. Fifteen feet up and over, the library balcony beckoned to her.
Unslinging the rope she carried from over her shoulder, she pulled the pruners free and tied one side of the handle tight. On her first toss, it landed on the balcony, and she tugged on the rope to make certain the pruners were wedged tightly between the stone balustrades.
Her heart hammering with a welcome rush of adrenaline, Samantha wrapped her hands into the rope, then stepped off the kitchen roof. For a moment she hung there, swinging slowly back and forth in midair. Once she was certain the rope wouldn't give, she twined her legs into it and shimmied up to the balcony. God, that had been simple. Frequently, though, nerves were the only thing that divided the shirtless and smoking thieves who appeared on Cops from the ones nobody ever caught. Nerves and a well-made piece of gardening equipment. Totally worth the eighteen pounds she'd paid for it at the local nursery.
Hauling herself over the railing, she detached the pruners from the rope, tucking both back where they belonged. The full-length glass doors leading into the library were closed and locked, but they didn't worry her. They were wired, of course, but not pressure sensitive. Up this high, they would catch the evening easterly breezes and set off the alarms every five minutes. Nobody wanted to deal with that, even at the expense of inferior security.
She unwound the length of copper wire that braceleted her left wrist, tore off two pieces of duct tape from the miniroll in her pocket, and carefully inserted one end under each door to intercept and bypass the electrical circuit. That done, it was simple to pick the lock and shove open the doors in near total silence. "Piece of cake," she murmured, hopping down the shallow step and into the room.
Excerpted from Don't Look Down by Suzanne Enoch Copyright © 2005 by Suzanne Enoch. Excerpted by permission.
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