Private investigator Ian Coulter has a knack for finding trouble even when he’s minding his own business. Ian’s in the midst of a routine weekly job for movie star client Saylor Blackwood when the man confides he thinks he has a fan turned stalker. Ian stays close to Saylor to observe the people around him and gets an unwelcome shock when FBI agent Rick Mohr contacts him.
Rick Mohr has a problem. Ian’s name just popped up on an FBI watch list. Rick knows it’s guilt by association where Ian is concerned, but what about Blackwood? Rick won’t allow Ian to get dragged into the mix when he’s not involved. For Ian he’ll break whatever confidentiality rule necessary.
It doesn’t take long for Ian and Rick to join forces to clear Ian’s name and get to the bottom of what’s going on in Amethyst Cove, because on or off the case, together is how they work best.
* * * * *
His gaze slammed into mine, hot with anger that didn’t touch me. “I was a fool to walk away from you. ‘One more try’ he said. What a joke.”
“I’m sorry.” And I was sorry he’d been hurt.
“I knew when I left you standing there on the street, leaning on your car tipping your hat at Frank Bunson, it was a mistake to give Johnavan a last chance.”
He’d seen my little act of defiance at Frankie-boy? Huh.
“Why was it a mistake?”
His mouth dropped open. “Why? Why? Why do you think?”
“I think all sorts of things, Rick. I’d like for you to tell me the truth so I can make sense of some it.”
“It was a mistake because I’d met you.” He sighed heavily. “I didn’t …my heart wasn’t really in giving him another try.”
“And yet you did.”
“I wish I could lie to you, Ian, but I can’t. I’m not that big a bastard. You know what I thought? I thought I’d get him moved back east where he’d be happy and I’d be free to move on.”
I winced inwardly. Rick wasn’t a cold or calculating man in his personal life. “So how’d that work out for you?”
“How do you think?” He scrubbed his palms over his face. “I’m not good doing things to deliberately hurt people. He didn’t find a job right away, so I couldn’t just say ‘bye’ and leave him without rent money, now could I?”
That sounded more like him. “No, you couldn’t. Did he get a job or find someone else?”
Rick looked at me, a mix of emotions on his handsome face. He shook his head and rolled his eyes at the ceiling. “I came home from a day at the office and he was all packed and ready to go. It seems he used me as his ticket back to New York.”
“Oh, jeez. Hoist with your own petard.”
“Yeah, Shakespeare. I was. So I said it was fine and decided to enjoy a couple of weeks of solitude to make sure my head was out of my ass. Then you call me and you’re going out with movie star Saylor Blackwood and I’m an idiot!”
My joints went to jelly as the realization he was jealous I’d tricked Saylor sank into my brain. I grinned at him. “You’re not too stupid. You are here now.”
“And you want to sleep on the couch!”
I echoed his tone. “Well maybe not!”
We stared at each other.