Something About You Page 60

Of course, he’d taken precautions to know if she did.

They were so stupid. Pallas, the cops, all of them. It was right under their noses, and they didn’t even realize it.

If he’d known it was this much fun getting away with murder, he’d have done it years ago.

Twenty

SHE AND JACK would be living together.

The practical realities of the situation struck Cameron during the car ride to Jack’s South Loop apartment. He had asked Wilkins to drop them off so he could pick up his car and “a few things.” As they pulled away from the FBI building, he leaned over the seat and asked if she had any questions about how the protective custody was going to work.

She nonchalantly answered that there were none she could think of off the top of her head.

This was not true.

She had lots of questions. For starters, where exactly did Jack plan to sleep? Could she still go to work during the day? Did he expect her to cook meals while he stayed at her house? (Certainly the surest way to kill them both.) Would they do normal, everyday things together, like watch television at night? (Which reminded her—she really needed to delete those episodes of The Bachelor from her TiVo playlist.) And where, exactly, did he plan to sleep? (This particular question consumed such a vastly greater percentage of her musings, it bore repeating.) Was he allowed to leave her alone at all, like when he took a shower? Or, purely from a safety perspective, would it be better for her to join him in such undertakings . . .

“This will only take a few minutes,” Jack said as they rode the elevator to his fourth-floor loft. He looked her over. “Are you okay? You looked like you zoned out for a moment there.”

“I’m still processing everything that happened today,” Cameron said, hoping she didn’t spontaneously combust right there in the elevator at the thought of him naked in her shower.

When they arrived at the fourth floor, Jack led her to the apartment at the end of the hallway. He unlocked and opened the door, inviting her inside.

She didn’t know what she expected Casa Pallas to look like, perhaps something stark and Spartan with minimal furnishings and lots of gray, but that was not what she found when she walked through the doorway. The walls were exposed brick and the ceiling was vaulted. In keeping with the loft style, the main level had an open floor plan, with the living room running into the modern kitchen and what appeared to be a powder room and a small office down the hall to her right. There was a second floor; a floating staircase led to a small balcony. Beyond that were open double doors made of frosted glass through which she could see the master bedroom.

To say the least, the place was warmer and far more welcoming than she had expected. But that wasn’t what surprised her most. What really caught her attention were all the books.

An entire wall of Jack’s living room was filled with books—hundreds of them—organized neatly on dark mahogany shelves. More books rested on the lower shelf of his coffee table.

“Wow,” Cameron said, making her way over to the shelves. “You have some collection here.” It looked like a mixture of everything, fiction and nonfiction, hardcover and paperback. “You must be quite a reader.”

Jack shrugged. “It fills my spare time.”

Cameron would have loved to own such a collection of books—one of her plans for her house was to convert part of the third floor into a library. Not that she got a chance to read as much as she would’ve liked; a lot of her free time was sucked up by Collin and Amy. Which made her wonder whether Jack had a Collin or Amy in his life. Or anyone, for that matter. He seemed awfully . . . solitary.

He pointed upstairs. “I’m going to grab my things. Do you want anything to drink?”

“No, I’m fine. Thank you.”

As soon as he went upstairs, Cameron checked out the living room more thoroughly, looking for anything that would give her some insight into the mystery that was Jack Pallas. He had an impressive flat-screen television on the wall opposite the sable couch—of course he had a big TV; he may have been a mystery but he was still a guy—and from what she could tell from the books underneath the coffee table, he had an interest in black-and-white photography.

A couple of picture frames on the end table next to the couch caught her eye. Curious, Cameron headed over. One of the photos had been taken several years ago—Jack and three other guys at their graduation from West Point, all formally dressed in their uniforms of gray coats, gloves, white pants, and caps.

Cameron picked up the frame. In the photo, Jack wore a cocky, wide grin and had his arms slung over the shoulders of the guys next to him. It was his smile that struck her—so brash and open. Seemingly so different from the man she knew now.

She turned to the next picture frame. It held a black-and-white photograph of a woman in her late twenties who laughed as she pushed a little boy on a swing. The woman had dark eyes and straight, chin-length hair pulled back with a headband. She bore a striking resemblance to Jack.

“My sister and nephew,” came his voice from behind her.

Cameron started and turned around. He stood before her with a duffel bag on the floor near his feet. No clue how long he’d been there.

She tried not to reveal how curious she was as she set the picture frame back down. “Do you see your sister and nephew a lot?”

“Not that much when I was in Nebraska. But hopefully more now.” He swung the large duffel bag over his shoulder with one hand. “Ready?”

Cameron couldn’t help herself as her eyes drifted over him, remembering the night at Manor House. The strong shoulders and arms that had braced her against the door, the lean hips and muscled thighs that had pressed heatedly against hers, the firm chest and stomach that she’d just begun to explore with her hands. And the intense look of desire in his eyes.

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