Mine To Protect (Mine #6)
room. He locked the door behind him and stared down at Zoe’s still form.
    In sleep, her expression was peaceful. So relaxed. Almost innocent. Zoe had been hurt and betrayed so many times in her life. And now, she was starting to open up to him. She was giving herself so fully to him and he…
    I am such an asshole.
    He was supposed to destroy her.
    “How exactly did you get access to a private jet?” Zoe leaned back in the leather seat, feeling all kinds of comfortable in her new jeans, sweater, and awesome boots. And all of that gear had been waiting for her…
on the freaking jet.
New clothes for her and new clothes for Victor. “Not that I’m complaining. I just didn’t realize the FBI was quite this cash plush.”
    He sat across from her, and a half-smile hitched up his lips. “This flight isn’t courtesy of the FBI.”
    “It’s from a…friend who owed me a favor or two.”
    “Nice friend.” Though the way he’d hesitated and pretty much tripped all over the word
told her that a whole lot more was going on with that particular acquaintance.
    Victor glanced out of the window. “You heard of Drake Archer?”
    She’d just lifted a glass of wine to her lips—seriously, there had been
on the plane—and at that name, she nearly choked. “Of course! Who in Vegas doesn’t know him?” The guy owned a huge portion of Sin City. “I danced for him.”
    Victor’s head snapped back toward her. His eyes had gone all glittery.
    “Um, Victor?”
    “I didn’t realize the two of you were so well acquainted.”
    She laughed. “I was a showgirl. Dancing was my thing. And trust me, I was pretty spectacular.” She’d loved being on stage. Most people didn’t realize just how much work went into those performances. She’d practiced endlessly. Each morning, she’d woken early, gone to her dance classes—she’d loved ballet and jazz so much. Then she’d headed for the actual rehearsals for her show. She’d pounded across that stage, tapping out her number again and again and again.
    “I bet you were something to see.”
    Her gaze jumped to his face. She smiled at him. “When I was on stage, I became someone else. And not just because of the elaborate costumes…” Zoe laughed. “Though I confess, I liked those, too. I can rock some feathers.”
    “No doubt,” he murmured.
    “But it was different. The lights. The music. Out there, I was someone new.”
    “Not Luther’s daughter.”
    Her gaze slid toward the window. She took another sip of the wine. “No, not his daughter. Luther was always East Coast. That was his area. I thought…in Vegas, I’d be safer. Out of his reach” She exhaled slowly. “But sometimes, it doesn’t matter how far you go, does it?”
    “Tell me more about the shows.”
    She let the memories sweep over her. Happy memories. When she’d been a showgirl, those had been some of the best days of her life. “It starts with boot camp.”
    “Boot camp?”
    “Showgirl style. Doesn’t matter how much dance you’ve had before, nothing else is quite like being a showgirl. So you start each show with at least a month of training. After all—you’re not just dancing. You’re dancing on heels, usually carrying twenty or thirty extra pounds just with your costume, and you have to walk up and down about a thousand steps…” Her heart kicked up as she remembered those days. “You go home exhausted, sure that you won’t be able to move again, but the next morning…you wake, up, so ready to hear the applause from the crowd. It’s addictive.”
    “And you…worked for Drake.” A faint furrow appeared between his brows. “He didn’t mention that to me.”
    “Not like he knew me personally.” She waved that bit away. “Drake Archer has
I was hired by one of them. I worked the show and was one of the best damn Bluebells there.”
    He blinked.
    Her fingers tapped against her wine glass. “You have no idea what a Bluebell is, do you?”

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