Something About You Page 30

“I think I should get it all.”

“Why the hell would I ever agree to that?”

“Because if you don’t, I’m going to Hodges with this tape and telling him this whole thing was your idea,” she said.

“As if he’d ever believe that.”

“Men believe a lot of things they shouldn’t when they’re thinking with their dicks.” Mandy gave the tape a little shake for his benefit. “Besides, he doesn’t have to believe me. I have it all right here. I love how this little clip makes it sound like it’s your idea—like you had to talk me into the whole scheme. And that, of course, will be exactly what I tell Hodges. And the police.”

Grant knew he should’ve been nervous. Panicking, even. But instead, he felt a cold blue flame of anger beginning to burn inside him. And he felt strangely calm.

“I’m not giving up my half,” he said.

Mandy laughed scornfully. “Half. As if you even deserve one-tenth of this money. I set this up. I did all the work. The only thing I’ve ever needed you for is to make sure Hodges doesn’t go to the cops. And that you will still do, unless you want to do twenty years in jail for blackmailing a federal official. Because if I go down in this, trust me—you will, too.” She flashed him a smile. “Sorry, Grant. But like we said, this is a one-shot deal. I have to make the most of it.”

She was so proud of herself right then. So smug and confident.

Too confident.

As Grant stood there, pointing his gun at her, he had one thought on his mind.

He would not be out-smarted by a f**king whore.

Mandy slipped the tape recorder back inside the pocket of her robe and eyed his hands unconcernedly. “You can put the gun away, Grant. We both know you’re not going to shoot me.” She turned her back on him and began heading toward the bathroom.

Grant reached under his blazer and tucked the gun back inside his shoulder harness. “You’re right. I’m not going to shoot you.” Without warning, he lunged for her—pleased she never saw it coming—and grabbed her by the throat and threw her onto the bed. She hit it with enough force to bang the bed loudly against the wall. Before she could scream, Grant was on top of her, and the bed slammed against the wall a second time as he pinned her. He slapped his hand over her mouth.

“You don’t know who you’re messing with. You need to understand who’s in control here, bitch,” he hissed.

Mandy’s eyes widened—his sudden burst of rage finally put some fear and respect into her—and she began to fight back. Grant grabbed one of the pillows next to her head and brought it down over her face. Her arms flailed, her hands clawed for his face, and she kicked out with her legs, trying to buck him off. Probably not the way she was used to being ridden in bed, Grant thought, using his elbows and chest to hold the pillow down while he grabbed for her wrists and pinned them under his knees.

She fought really hard at that.

Grant let it go on for a nice long moment, finding her panic and the power he held over her to be strangely thrilling. Intoxicating. He was about to pull the pillow away, ready to see the submission in her eyes, when it hit him that she was such a dumb-ass scheming bitch that she would never really submit, and he knew then that he never should’ve trusted her in the first place and in that moment, he hated himself for being so naive. He knew that, no matter what she might say, no matter what she might promise right then, he’d never be able to believe anything that came out of her lying mouth. For all their plotting, he wasn’t going to get a f**king dime because of her, and worse, now she had him. Sure, he could take the tape away from her, but he could never, ever trust her to keep her mouth shut, she’d always have this thing she could hold over him, that he’d planned to blackmail the senator. And even if he could convince her to walk away, he’d always be wondering when the day would come when she’d be back, wanting something.

He knew this for certain: he did not want to spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder. He didn’t want her to have that kind of power over him. They were supposed to be partners, but now it seemed to be every man and woman for him or herself. And he didn’t see any other option.

So he kept the pillow right where it was.

It took longer than he expected. Her struggles grew weaker, feeble, but still she persisted, and it wasn’t until a good two minutes or so had gone by without any movement that Grant dared to lift the pillow with his gloved hands.

Her eyes were open and empty. Staring down at her lifeless body, Grant’s first thought was that he was surprised he didn’t feel more. No remorse, just . . . nothing. Though he’d been in the Marines, he’d never actually killed anyone and he’d always assumed it would be kind of a big deal.

Hmm. Apparently not.

Grant sat up and smoothed back a lock of hair that had fallen into his eyes. He climbed off Mandy’s body, thinking he’d better get out of that hotel room. Fast. His mind raced, the adrenaline kicked in, and it took him a second or two to clear his thoughts. He needed a plan and was impressed by how quickly one came to him.

The senator.

Hodges’s fingerprints were all over the room. The escort service would have a record that he was the one who’d been with Mandy that night. And if he left behind the videotape of the senator and Mandy having sex, that would give the authorities enough of a potential motive. A crime of passion, they’d guess. She’d tried to blackmail the senator and when he found out, he’d panicked and killed her.

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