Entangled with the Thief: a Shifter Paranormal Romance by Kate Rudolph by Kate Rudolph - Read Online
Entangled with the Thief
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About

Summary

It was supposed to be a simple job.

Get in, steal the gem, get out. But when everything goes to hell, Mel is out her payment and in the sights of an angry alpha lion.

No gem? Big problem.

Luke's sister is in trouble, the Scarlet Emerald is gone, and Mel is back, ready to face off with him again.

But to heal his sister, Luke will do the unthinkable. As the attraction bubbles between the alpha and the thief, their lives are more entangled than they ever dreamed of. A threat from Luke's past drives them even deeper into danger and soon not only is Cassie's life in danger, but Mel and Luke are on the edge of total destruction too.

Stealing the Alpha is a three-part series featuring Mel, wereleopard burglar extraordinaire, and Luke Torres, werelion alpha. Join them while they pull off heists, battle vampires, encounter witches, learn to trust, and fall in love.

Part one, The Alpha Heist and part three In the Alpha's Bed are available now.

Published: Kate Rudolph on
ISBN: 9781519926692
List price: $3.99
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Entangled with the Thief - Kate Rudolph

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Page 1 of 1

2015

Chapter One

Crystal Lake Savings and Loan sat a little off the main road in a nice office park in Crystal Lake, Wisconsin. At noon on a Wednesday, traffic into and out of the bank was fairly constant. Workers on lunch came to cash and deposit checks, and the part-time employees switched out shifts. Mel watched it all through the rear view mirror in a car parked half a block away.

Mel straightened the collar of her shirt and checked the clock. Kathy Pierson was her target and she needed to be inside before 12:30 or everything was fucked. On the bright side, this job didn’t exactly stretch her skills. This was a small town bank protecting small town goods. But it meant that no one would look for Tina’s safe deposit box here. Especially since Mel suspected that it was a temporary arrangement. The scry crystal was the only item of Tina’s that would be found in this bank, probably in this state. But Mel didn’t need anything else from that witch, not anymore. Once she had the crystal she would be well on her way to taking on the one person who had no place living anymore.

Mel was playing the role of Helen Undine, a mediocre lawyer from Milwaukee looking for a taste of the simple life. Her hair was pulled back into a tight bun, no flyaways allowed. Her suit was two shades darker than beige and particularly unflattering, though expensive. She wore a small strand of pearls and a gaudy engagement ring. Helen was a... complicated woman. And exactly what Mel needed at the moment.

She wore flats, even though Helen would normally wear heels. But some things needed to be sacrificed for convenience, and running in a skirt suit would be difficult enough, she had no desire to trip over unnecessary inches.

The inside of the bank did not give her the best impression of its security. A salesman’s desk sat unoccupied in the lobby, and whoever sat there had left the computer logged in to the bank’s network. The security guard greeted her with a smile and only carried a Taser, not a gun. Three women sat at teller’s stations, though only one dealt with a customer. The other two were chatting and paying no attention to the entrance.

She smiled when she saw Kathy Pierson walk across the room.

The woman did a final check on the teller’s twenty minutes before the end of her shift, and had been doing so each day that Mel cased the bank. Mel stepped forward quickly, clutching the briefcase and bumped into the bank manager.

Oh! Excuse me, I’m so sorry, said Kathy. She gave Mel a quick once over, noting the jewelry and the fine leather of her case. I didn’t see you there. Is there anything I can help you with today?

Perfect. Mel put just enough frustration into her stance and tilted up her nose before speaking. Yes, she pursed her lips and kept her words clipped. I need to access my safe deposit box. Are you someone who can handle that? Condescension dripped from the tone.

Kathy’s neck tightened in frustration. Mel knew that, at this time of day, she was the only person authorized to take customers to the vault, and she was minutes away from going home. But she smiled and didn’t even sound put out. Of course. Do you have your key with you? And I’ll need to log your admission.

She grabbed a clipboard from one of the tellers and handed it to Mel. Helen Undine had a beautiful, precise signature that matched her identification.

Kathy led her to the back of the building and through a barred gate. The security guard entered the vault with them. Mel had opened the account three days before and through some quick talking had been able to get the box adjacent to the one that she needed. The guard and Mel each put their keys in the lock and turned simultaneously. The guard pulled out the box and handed it to her. Mel gave a tight smile in thanks.

She was led to a small chamber inside the vault where she would be given privacy to review the contents of the box and make any necessary deposits. Both Kathy and the guard waited behind a red curtain while she got down to business. Mel checked her watch. She’d been in the bank less than ten minutes, and it was almost time to get to work.

A scream rent the air. Right on time.

Mel jerked from her chair and looked at Kathy and the guard. Is everything alright? she asked.

Kathy straightened, assessing the situation. She was the only manager on duty at the moment. I should go check. Will the two of you be alright while I’m gone?

By all means, said Mel. Obviously there are more important issues.

Kathy didn’t know how to take that, but she hurried off, leaving Mel and the guard alone. Mel started counting down from 120, which was when the next distraction would go off. She idly sorted through the contents of the box. There were papers and some cheap jewelry, nothing of any real value. But it looked like there was enough that it would take time to find what she needed. That was the important thing.

Right on time, a blast rocked the air, followed by the hollow pop of fire crackers. Mel jerked, knocking over a few of her papers and gasping for effect. She stormed out from behind the curtain, bumping into the guard before she could stop herself. What was that? She demanded, a hint of panic creeping into her voice.

The security guard’s hand flew to his Taser, and he looked toward the front of the bank. It’s alright, ma’am. You’ll be safe here. He took off towards the commotion without further prompting.

Great.

Mel gave it a few seconds before opening her briefcase and pulling out the lock picks. The guard had closed the inner door behind him, which gave her privacy and the freedom to work without looking over her shoulder.

She went to box 109 and placed the guard’s key in one of the key slots. She’d lifted it from him when they bumped into each other after the blast. Picking the other lock was easier than it should have been, and Mel had the safe deposit box containing her payment for the Scarlet Emerald job in her hands in under a minute.

She opened the box and froze, not quite understanding what she saw. She closed the box and opened it once more, hoping that her eyes were deceiving her.

There was no payment in the box.

There was only a business card.

In crisp letters the business card said LUCIO TORRES and listed a phone number and an email address. No business name, no physical address. But Mel knew exactly where he lived. After all, he was the one she stole the Scarlet Emerald from.

A month earlier, a witch named Tina Anders approached Mel about boosting the gem. It was a difficult job, one that only three people, including Mel, were capable of pulling off. But Tina and Mel had a long history, and Tina offered Mel a payment she couldn’t refuse to pull off the job in a