Ashley scanned the room, glanced toward the thick glass windows overlooking the dense forest. She looked to her bags, mind racing as she tried to think what she could use as a weapon. Needles, scalpels, in a pinch one of the bags themselves. He’d killed people and had been locked up for who knew how long. She braced herself as he passed by her again, this time to shove the curtains closed. The room darkened, then went bright again when he clicked on a bedside lamp.
Despite her wobbly legs, Ashley remained on her feet and watched every single move he made.
“They think you’ll be mine. You’re safe.”
“Safe?” she croaked.
He inclined his head, nodded in agreement. “Safer than if you weren’t.
Regardless of their loitering, right now Taras and Olena are more worried about Valeri than they are you. You’d squash Badger like a spider if he tried anything and he knows it. Javi’s down an arm, and besides, he’s not the violent type. That leaves you one option for protection.” He surprised—no, he shocked—her by walking over to the bookcase, perusing the contents as if he was in a public library. “Me.”
He made it all sound so…simple. And yet nothing was simple about being locked in a bedroom with a convicted murderer.
“Where are we?”
“Knowing won’t do you any good.”
But knowing might keep her sane. “Where are we?”
“The last sign I saw before we turned off the highway was for Lassen National Forest.”
Her mind raced, trying to remember something, anything, about their location, but as she was new to California, her frame of reference was limited.
“Asking questions is only going to get you killed, so I’d suggest you stop.”
He picked out a thriller, read the back cover copy, set it aside. “I’ll do what I can to keep you safe, but you’ll have to do your part.”
“And I’m just supposed to believe that? That you’ll protect me?”
“Given your other choice is to stand there in a panic, I’d say it’s the better one.” He didn’t even bother to glance at her. “I won’t hurt you, Dr. Ashley.”
She wanted to believe him. More than she wanted her next breath.
Prison Break Hostage
Honor Bound Book 5
by Anna J. Stewart
Genre: Romantic Suspense
She’s dedicated to helping others…
Now she’s the one in need of rescue.
As a witness to a prison bus crash, Dr. Ashley McTavish is only concerned with saving lives. But when she’s taken hostage, her own life is threatened. Ashley is undeniably attracted to her sole protector, a convict called Lucky. But when Lucky’s true identity as undercover agent Slade Palmer is revealed, he and Ashley must flee for their lives. Can they protect one another as feelings grow and danger looms?
From Harlequin Romantic Suspense: Danger. Passion. Drama.
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USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart writes sweet to sexy romances for Harlequin and ARC Manor’s Caezik Romance. Her sweet Heartwarming books include the Butterfly Harbor series as well as the ongoing Blackwell saga. She also writes the Honor Bound series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense and contributes to the bestselling Coltons. A former Golden Heart, Daphne, and National Reader’s Choice finalist, Anna loves writing big community stories where family found is always the theme. Since her first published novella with Harlequin in 2014, Anna has released more than forty novels and novellas and hopes to branch out even more thanks to Caezik Romance. Anna lives in Northern California where (at the best times) she loves going to the movies, attending fan conventions, and heading to Disneyland, her favorite place on earth. When she’s not writing, she is usually binge-watching her newest TV addiction, re-watching her all-time favorite show, Supernatural, and wrangling two monstrous cats named Rosie and Sherlock. You can read more about Anna at her website, www.AuthorAnnaStewart.com.
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