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Doreen Desalvo - Once a Thief

Doreen Desalvo - Once a Thief

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Published by: darklily21 on Mar 20, 2012
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06/19/2013

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OnceAThiefDoreenDeSalvo
Allrightsreserved.Copyright©2004byDoreenDeSalvo Nopartofthise-bookmaybereproducedorsharedbyanyelectronicormechanicalmeans,including,butnotlimitedto,printing,filesharing,andemail,withoutpriorwritten permissionfromChangelingPressLLC.ISBN1-59596-010-4FormatsAvailable:HTML,AdobePDF,Mobipocket,MicrosoftReader Publisher:ChangelingPressLLCPOBox1561Shepherdstown,WV25443-1561www.ChangelingPress.comEditor:
SheriRossCarucci
CoverArtist:
SaharaKelly
ChapterOne
ThedoortoKatherine'sofficeopenedwithaclick.Shelookedupatatallman—tall,darkandbroad-shouldered,wearingadenimjacketoverawhiteT-shirtandjeans.
 JakeMonroe.
Great.Justwhatsheneeded,areminderofherghettoroots.Areminderofeverythingshe'dworkedsohardtoleavebehind.Hehadthesamecurlyblackhair,cutshort,andthesamejuttinganglestohisface.Agehadaddeddeeplinestohischeeksandbitternesstohisbrowneyes.Andhelookedmuchmoredangerousthansheremembered.Atleasthedidn'tgiveanyhintofrecognizingher.Maybeshecouldkeepitthatway."I'mJohnMonroe."
 
Sheclosedhisfileandputitfacedownonherdesk.Shewouldn'twanttoseeamanlikehimgetangry.Noneedtolethimknowshe'dbeenreadinguponhim—worse,she'd beenlookingathisrapsheet.He'ddonethreeyearsforhisfirstoffense.Armedrobbery.Whenhereachedoverherdesktoshakeherhand,sherosetogreethim."KatherineKern.I'manassistantdistrictattorneyforthecity."Hisbig,callousedhandswallowedhersinafirmgrip."Congratulations,"hesaiddryly,withanironicliftofoneeyebrow.Stillnoglimmerofrecognition,though.Maybeshehadn't beenthatmemorable.Evenleaningacrossherwidedesk,hetoweredoverher.Andhedidn'treleasehehandaftertheperfunctoryhandshake.No,heheldonwhilehisgazerakedherbreasts.Blatantly.Shepulledawayandmotionedtothechairsthatfacedherdesk."Haveaseat."Hedid,leaningbackandsprawlinghislegsinfrontofhimasifhewereloungingonasofawatchingMondaynightfootball.Evenasapunkteenager,he'dbeenmuscular,butnow...He'dreallyfilledout.Broadshoulders,asolidchest,andbulgingthighsthatstrainedthedenimofhisjeans.Maybehe'dspenthistimebehindbarsworkingout.Omaybehe'dfilledoutnaturallyinthetenyearssinceshe'dseenhim.Timehadchangedher,too.Somuchthathedidn'tseemtorecognizeher.Maybeheneverwould.She'dkeptawayfromhiskindinhighschool.Astemptingasthebadboyshad been,she'dknownbetterthantoplaywithfire.Shestillknewbetter.Unfortunately.Nowondershehadn'thadamaninyears.Shesatdownandfoldedherarmsonthedeskinfrontofher."Youknowwhyyou'rehere,John?""Yeah."Hesoundedresentful,likeoneofthekidshewassupposedtohelp.Whyhadhevolunteeredtobeamentorifhedidn'twanttobehere?Maybehehadn'tvolunteered.Maybecommunityservicewasaconditionofhisparole."You'llhavetobeabitmorecommunicativethanthatwhenyoutalktotheboyyou'rementoring.Haveyou preparedanythingtosay?""No."Somuchforcommunication.Afteralongmomentofstudyinghishands,hespoke."Icanad-libjustfine.Iwanttosoundnatural.Naturalandhonest.""Good.Kidscantellwhenyou'relyingtothem."Heshrugged."Idon'thaveanythingtohide."Hestaredstraightintohereyes,asifhewaschallengingher.Defensive—typicalfoanex-con.She'dworkedwithalotofthem.NoreasontotreatJakeMonroeanydifferentlythantheothers,evenifseeinghimagainbroughtbackastupidrushofadolescenthormones.Shegrabbedthefilefolderlabeled
ScottHopkins
andsliditacrossthedesktohim."Here'stheboyyou'llbemeetingtonight."Hestraightenedupandtookit,thenslouchedbackagainandopenedthefile."Tellmeabouthim.""He'snewtotheprogram.Hismomisinandoutofrehaballthetime.Hisolde brothersupposedlytakescareofhimwhenhismotherisn'thome.""Isheinagang?""No.He'saloner."Atleasthewascurious.Maybehe'ddoagoodjobafterall."He's beenconvictedofmultiplemisdemeanors.Ourgoalistopreventhimfromgraduatingtofelonies.""LikeIdid."Shemightaswellbefrank."Exactly."Helookedamusedbyheragreement.Fulllipstiltedupatthecornersinalittle
 
smile...almostasmirk."Ifyouaren'tgoingtotakethisseriously,youmightaswellleaverightnow.There'snopointinestablishingarelationshipwithScottifyou'regoingtoflakeonhim."Hefrownedatthat."I'mnotgoingtoflake.""Youclearlydon'twanttobehere.""HowdoyouknowwhatIwant?"Hegaveheranotherlonglook,asifassessinghesuit."Howdidyougetstuckwiththisgig?""Ivolunteered.Thesekidsneedallthehelptheycanget.""Isn'tityourjobtoprosecutecriminals,nottohelpthem?"Hesoundedlikehethoughtshehadthemostimmoraljobintheworld."I'dpreferitifthecrimewasnevercommittedinthefirstplace."Hiseyebrowslifted."Thenyou'dbeoutofajob."Shedidn'thavetotakethis."Wehavefiveminutesbeforethesessionbegins.Ifyoucan'tbecivil,youcanwaitinthehallway."
 Andtakethosebroadshoulderswithyou.
"Don'tgetpissedoff,Kate.""It'sKatherine."Waitaminute.Shehadn'tgonebyKateinyears.Hiseyesgleamed.Nowhislipsworeabonafidesmirk.Asifherecognizedherfothescared,uptightgirlshe'dbeenallthoseyearsago."Soyoudorememberme."Hissmiledidn'tfade."Andyourememberme.""Whydidn'tyousaysomethingearlier?""Whydidn'tyou?"Shehadnoanswertothat.Heleanedforwardandgaveheranotheronce-over.Aheatedonce-over,hisgazelingeringonherbreasts.Sheclenchedherhandsunderthedesktostopherselffromfoldingherarmsoverherchest,butthewarmthinherfacetoldhershewasblushing.Hisgrinwaswicked."Yousurehavechanged.Ilikethebuttoned-downexecutivelook."Wasthathisideaofacompliment?"Idon'tcarewhatyoulike."
 Liar.
Heleanedcloser,restinghisarmsonthedesk.Couldjustalookmakehernippleshard?Yes.Damnhim.Shewouldn'tmoveaway,nomatterhowmuchhecrowdedher.Nomatterhowrapidlyherheartbeatfromhavinghimthisclose."Youneverdid,"hesaid.Shefrowned,totallyconfused."What?""YouneverdidcarewhatIliked."Hesmiled.Slow,confident,andGodhelpher,sexy."ButIlikedyou,Kate."Subtletyobviouslywasn'toneofhisstrongsuits.Helookedlikehewantedtothrowheroverhisshoulderandcarryheroff.God,theimagewastempting.Foronce,justonce,shecouldhaveawild,dangerousman.Amanshecouldn'tcontrol. No.No,shecouldn'ttaketherisk."Forgetit."Heraisedhiseyebrowsinmocksurprise."Hey,it'sonlynaturaltowonderhowmuchyou'vechanged.It'sbeenwhat,eightyears?"Moreliketen.Sincegraduationfromhighschool.She'dgonetocollegeandtriedto puttheprojectsbehindher."Giveitup,Jake."Heshookhishead."You'reharsh.What'swrongwithalittlereminiscing?""Wehavenothingtoreminisceabout,andyouknowit.""Surewedo.We'refromthesamehood.Butyouprobablydon'tliveintheGardensanymore."TheGardens.She'dalmostforgottenthenicknamethey'dgiventheprojects."It'snone

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