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Undetected (Treasure Hunter Security Book 8) by Anna Hackett (16)

Chapter Sixteen

As they walked into the Dashwood, the director hurried over.

“Oh, thank the Lord.” The harried-looking man took the diamond case from Alastair and opened it.

He gasped at the empty space and looked up. “The Black Orlov?”

“You’ll be contacted about it, Mr. Monroe,” Alastair told the man. “It’s in safe hands, and the museum will be compensated.”

The director pursed his lips, but he nodded.

Alastair tightened his arm around Darcy. They’d both had a trip to the hospital, courtesy of her brothers. His leg wound, and Darcy’s cuts, had been treated and bandaged. But they hadn’t had a chance to change and they still looked like hell.

“Darcy,” a voice called out.

In seconds, they were surrounded by people. He watched as Darcy was engulfed by her parents, sisters-in-law, and friends. Dec and the rest of the THS gang watched and smiled.

“We’re fine.” Darcy stepped back to Alastair’s side. “And the best thing of all, Silk Road is done.”

Cheers went up.

“It’s true?” Elin appeared beside Alastair. “They’re done?”

He nodded. The group had killed Elin’s father, and destroyed her mother’s art restoration career. Elin had been searching for justice, just like Alastair.

“Really. The Collector was a woman named Diana Acton. She’s dead.”

“Suicide,” Darcy said.

Elin gasped.

“She was wearing the Black Orlov,” Darcy added.

Layne leaned forward. “Do you think—?”

Darcy shrugged and lowered her voice. “Team 52 confiscated the necklace.”

From behind Elin, Hale scowled. “I do not like those guys.”

Elin patted his chest. “So they screwed up in Africa. You have to let it go, Hale.”

“I hate them too,” Logan said.

Morgan rolled her eyes. “You hate everything.”

“He doesn’t hate me.” Sydney was grinning, and Logan pulled her up on her toes for a wet kiss.

Click.

Alastair turned his head at the sound. Dani Ward was taking photos.

“To mark the occasion,” the photographer said. “The end of Silk Road.”

“Drinks tonight,” Morgan called out.

From beside Morgan, Zach shook his head, a smile on his handsome face. “Pretty sure there’ll be some hangovers on the flight home tomorrow.”

Darcy smiled. “I can’t believe it. Silk Road is gone.”

Alastair tightened his arm around her. “Believe it.”

Their gazes met and he felt need stir. He’d come close to losing her today, and he’d learned just how much she meant to him.

Love. The one thing he’d guarded himself against, and Darcy Ward had plowed through all his well-built walls. He really wanted to drag her back to his place and have her all to himself.

He pulled her up on her toes, and she eagerly met his mouth with her own.

Alastair tried to keep the kiss respectable, but her hands slid into his hair, and she kissed him back eagerly.

All around, cheers and whistles broke out.

He pulled back. Everyone was grinning at them… Except for Dec and Cal, who both looked pained.

Logan scowled. “I thought you hated him, Darcy?”

Darcy smoothed a hand over Alastair’s shoulder. “I changed my mind. I love him.”

More cheers.

“About time,” Sydney said.

Layne bumped a hip against Dani. “You owe me fifty bucks.”

Alastair pressed his lips to Darcy’s ear. “I love you too, baby.”

“So…” Her face changed, and for the first time since he’d known Darcy Ward, she looked nervous.

His gut tightened. “What?”

She fiddled with a button on his shirt. “Well, you live and work in DC, and I live and work in Denver…”

Alastair had already thought that problem through. Seeing the woman he loved being tortured in front of him sure put things in perspective.

“I hear that the FBI has an office in Denver.”

She stilled. “You’d move? For me?”

“For us.” He kissed her again. “But yes, I’d do anything for you. Even hack your system, bribe you into working for me so I could see you every day, and drive you crazy.”

Her eyes widened. “You are so arrogant and annoying—”

He covered her mouth with his, and this time, he didn’t hear the cheers. There was only Darcy.

* * *

Darcy rolled over in bed, golden Denver sunshine shining through the blinds she’d forgotten to close the night before.

Warm skin pressed against her back and a hand slid into her panties, stroking between her legs.

She moaned, trying to roll to face Alastair. But he held her in place, her back pressed to his front.

“Be careful of your leg,” she said.

He kissed her neck, his diabolical fingers still caressing her. “Yes, ma’am.”

A month had passed since the final showdown with Diana Acton and Silk Road. The wound on his thigh was much better, but still healing. Her cuts had scabbed over and healed. She’d have scars, but Darcy was too happy to care.

Alastair had worked hard for several weeks to wrap up the Silk Road case. The FBI, with some behind-the-scenes help—she suspected from Team 52, but Alastair hadn’t said—had dismantled the last of the syndicate’s operations. William Acton was locked away and not getting out for a very long time.

Diana Acton’s private collection had been found. Certain items had been locked away, others returned to their rightful owners, and the rest donated to certain museums. The Dashwood Museum had received some choice pieces in lieu of the Black Orlov.

Alastair had transferred to the FBI office in Denver and was still working for the Art Crime Team. He was also enjoying the opportunity to work with Elin again.

His fingers stroked higher and Darcy moaned. He found her clit and sensations rocketed through her. Her thoughts scattered.

This time, she pushed harder and rolled to face him. She nudged him onto his back and climbed on top.

“You’re still recovering.” She straddled his thighs. “I’ll have to do all the work.”

His gaze was at half mast, a smile on his lips. He was smiling a lot more these days. “If you expect me to complain, you’re wrong.”

She gripped her shirt—his T-shirt—and yanked it over her head. Then she quickly rose and shimmied out of her panties.

He lay there, stretched out on the bed watching her. The unabashed appreciation in his eyes turned her on. She let her gaze slide down that sexy body of his. She reached out and scratched her nails over his hard abs.

All hers.

She lifted her hips and sank down on his thick cock. She moaned. She loved being filled up by him.

“I’ve never seen anything sexier—” his voice was a deep drawl “—than you taking me inside your hot little body.”

Darcy leaned forward, pressing her palms to his chest, and started riding him. They’d both had health checks and had ditched the condoms. She loved having nothing between them. “Alastair—”

“Faster, Darcy.” His hands clamped on her hips.

“So bossy.”

“You love it.”

“So arrogant.”

His hand moved lower and found her clit. She bit back a cry, moving faster.

“Hold on, Darcy,” he ordered. “Don’t come yet.”

Emotions churned inside her. “I…can’t.” Her release was rushing closer. That sweet, addictive promise of pleasure.

“I want us to come together,” he said. “Hold it.”

She moaned, her gaze locking with his.

He was hers. The man she’d grow old with. The man who’d love her forever. The man who loved her passionately, completely.

A man she respected, and for all his annoying arrogance, loved and respected her.

She was so close to coming. “Alastair—”

“Come. Come now, baby.”

She threw her head back and cried out.

As Darcy rode through her pleasure, she heard his long, answering groan as he came. She collapsed against him, careful not to jostle his thigh. He stroked his hands down her back.

“Damn, I’m so glad I hacked your system, Darcy Ward.”

She laughed. “Is that what they’re calling it these days?”

His arms tightened on her. “Love you.”

“Love you right back, my Agent Arrogant and Slightly-less-annoying.”

His full-bodied laughter made her smile.

* * *

Alastair looked at Lachlan Hunter’s face on his computer screen.

“The last of Silk Road’s artifacts have been secured,” Hunter said, over the secure line.

“Good. Thanks for your help with this. How’s the rest of your team?” Alastair had seen the strange news reports out of LA and suspected Team 52 had been sent in to clean up.

A faint smile touched the man’s lips. “Busy. And I have a man on leave. On his honeymoon.”

Alastair smiled. “I know how that goes.”

Hunter nodded, a warm look moving through his golden eyes. “Me, too.”

“If you ever need my help, you’ve got it,” Alastair said.

“Same, Burke. Any time.”

The screen went black, and Alastair sat back in his chair. He looked at the stack of files on his desk. He planned to power through his work and get home early to cook his woman an extra-special dinner.

There was a knock on his door and Elin poked her head in.

“Hey, how’s the new office?”

“Fine.”

The woman smiled. “Glad you’re here, Alastair. Although Thom is missing you. He keeps sending me sad emails.”

“He got a promotion, so he’s too busy to miss me.” Alastair had no doubt he’d work with Thom again someday.

“And I’m glad you and Darcy finally finished your wild mating dance.” Elin winked and left.

Alastair shook his head. He had a job he loved, good friends, and a new family. He hadn’t been too sure about inheriting two brothers, but he, Dec, and Cal were working things out. The men liked to offer pointers on dealing with a riled Darcy. He smiled. They also loved to share stories about when she was younger.

But best of all, Alastair had a woman he loved.

His gaze moved to the framed picture of him and his mom that was now sitting on his desk. Beside it, was one of him and Darcy. He was sitting in a chair and she was leaning over him from behind, her chin resting on his shoulder. There was a beaming smile on her face.

“I’m good, Mom. I’m sorry you never got to meet her, but she’s perfect.”

“Who’s perfect?”

Darcy’s voice startled him, but he managed to control his reaction. He looked at his monitor and saw her face on the screen.

“Darcy?”

“Hello there, handsome.”

“Please tell me you didn’t hack the FBI’s computer system.”

“Who me?” She batted her eyelids.

He wasn’t buying that innocent look at all.

“I just wanted to see my special agent and say hello.”

She was so beautiful, and he was such a lucky bastard. “Hi.”

“I wanted to see if you had time for lunch today?” she asked.

He glanced at his calendar. “Yeah. I can pick you up at the THS office.”

She smiled. “Perfect.” She lowered her voice. “And I’ll need you to bring something special for me.”

That sultry tone made his gut tighten. “Anything.”

“Can you please bring me a vanilla latte? Extra shot.” She winked and the screen blinked off.

And Alastair just sat there grinning.

An hour later, he parked in front of the converted warehouse that housed the THS offices. He grabbed the two trays of coffee he’d picked up from Darcy’s favorite coffee shop, and headed for the front door.

“Afternoon.”

Oliver Ward was standing on the front steps.

“Professor.” Alastair tried not to feel awkward. But he was sleeping with the man’s daughter.

“Please, Oliver is fine.”

“Cappuccino?” Alastair held out one of the trays. “I bought extra.”

Oliver took one. “Clearly, you know my daughter well.”

Together, they walked inside, and the sound of raised voices hit them. Darcy and Dec were arguing.

“It’s a decent, paying job, Declan.”

“It’s boring work, Darce. Babysitting some rich woman’s jewelry?” Dec made a gagging sound.

“I’m sorry it’s not exciting enough for you former Navy SEAL badasses, but we have bills to pay.”

Alastair stepped into the fray. “Coffee?”

“Babe.” Darcy hustled over, heels clicking on the floor.

He held up a latte, but pulled it back as she reached for it. “Kiss first.”

She threw her arms around his neck and planted her lips on his. She took her time, kissing him thoroughly.

“God.” Dec was looking at the ceiling.

“Suck it up, bro,” Darcy said. “On our girls’ nights out, I have to listen to your wife praise your stamina.”

Layne’s cheeks turned pink.

Looking pleased with herself, Darcy turned back to Alastair. “How was your morning, Special Agent Burke?”

“Brilliant.”

Her face softened. “Happy?”

“Yeah.”

“Can I have my latte now?”

His gaze swiveled to the cup and suddenly he was hit with nerves. “Well…”

The front door opened. Distracted, Darcy looked past him and smiled at the man who’d entered.

“Hi, welcome to Treasure Hunter Security, I’m Darcy.”

“Darcy Ward?” The man, who looked about forty with thinning hair and an expensive suit, stood in the lobby, out of the line of sight of the rest of the THS crew. His gaze skated over Alastair and sharpened on Darcy.

Instantly, Alastair didn’t like the man.

She stepped forward. “Yes.”

The man held up a gun and aimed it at her.

Alastair stiffened. He took a step back and signaled to Dec, who went on alert. The rest of the THS team tensed, pulling their weapons.

“My name is Donald Simmons.” The man’s tone was hard and firm. “I’m taking over from Silk Road, and I need some information.”

Darcy cocked a hip. “Really?”

No fear. That was his Darcy. “Darcy—” Alastair warned.

She held her palm up in his direction and kept staring at Simmons. “So, you think now that Silk Road is gone, you’re going to fill the void? Make some money off being an asshole and stealing antiquities?”

The man’s bushy brows drew together. “Yeah. I want all the information you have on any treasures. The valuable ones.”

“No.”

“No?” The man’s face started turning red.

“I want to drink my latte and have lunch with my man.” She pointed at Alastair. “My hot, FBI Special Agent boyfriend.”

Simmons’ eyes widened and flicked to Alastair.

Alastair felt several presences move in behind him.

Darcy shifted, her hair swinging. “And behind him are my two brothers. Former Navy SEALs.”

Simmons’ face paled.

More movement. “And behind them, are my friends and employees. Also former Navy SEALs. Except Morgan, she’s just a badass.”

Morgan smiled and tossed the man a two-fingered salute.

Simmons looked green now, and his gun wavered in his hand.

Darcy moved fast and smacked the gun out of the man’s fingers. Dec and Cal charged forward, quickly subduing the man.

Darcy swiveled and smiled at Alastair. “Coffee, now.”

He handed it to her.

With Darcy in his life, he knew there would always be some drama or adventure going on. He couldn’t wait for more.

She rattled the cup. “It’s empty.” She frowned. “There’s something in here.”

“Open it,” he said.

Raising a brow, she pulled off the lid. Then her mouth fell open. She reached in and pulled out the diamond ring. It was a simple, elegant design—a platinum band with a single, large princess-cut stone.

Her gaze met his. “Alastair.”

“Be mine, Darcy Ward.” He grabbed her hand. “Make a life with me. Forever.”

He took the ring from her slightly trembling fingers and lifted her left hand.

Her eyes glimmered. “Yes, my Agent Arrogant and Annoying. I’ll marry you.”

Happiness welling in his chest, Alastair slipped the ring on her finger. Then he swept her close, dipped her back, and kissed her.

All around, their family and friends clapped and cheered. Except for Dec and Cal.

“Shit,” Dec muttered.

“Crap,” Cal grumbled.

But both brothers were smiling.

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