Sunday, May 4, 2008

Caught by Marie Rochelle

Ryan couldn't believe his luck. Standing not ten feet in front of him was the woman he was supposed to hunt down. How in the hell had she planned all of this? Was the entire police force asleep when she climbed into his car? Damn, he was doing everything he could not to notice how her picture didn't do her justice. Ajana Bennett was beautiful. His attraction for her only heightened since she was positioned in front of him, displaying a killer body in form fitting clothes.

He wasn't dumb. He saw that Ajana was a damn good-looking woman, but if he let her sway him with her pretty face and centerfold body. He would end up on traffic duty and he wasn't going to let that happen. He had to find a way to get out of this cuffs and arrest Ajana.

"We can begin by you getting me out of these handcuffs. After I'm free I'll call the station, then take you in. I won't press charges if you don't put up a fight."

"Are you crazy? Half this town thinks I'm a jewel thief and the other half probably doesn't care about what happens to me. I'm not about to turn myself in to anyone. However, you will tell me why you gave an interview to that reporter."

Ryan tried to move his hands and get the cuffs loose, but Ajana was one smart woman. She made sure they were tight enough that he wasn't able to do it. He had to find a way to trick her into taking them off of him Then Miss Bennett would be taken down to the station and booked on two separate charges. His offer not to press charges ended the second she ignored it.

"I always talk to the press when I feel the leads are turning cold. I had to smoke you out some way, and it worked." He smirked. "You came to me. I didn't have to break out in a sweat to find you."

"Why aren't you listening to me?" Ajana snapped. "I'm not guilty. You have the wrong woman. I haven't robbed any jewelry stores."

Jerking his arms again, Ryan was growing tired of hearing Ajana's lies. The station had a videotape of her in action. She wasn't going to get away with it. "Miss Bennett, you're guilty as sin and I'm going to prove it."

* * * *

Ajana didn't know how she was going to get herself out of this mess. Officer Lerner was wrong. She wasn't the thief the cops had been searching for the past two months, but it didn't seem like he was going to believe her.

Everything had been fine with her last hideout until Officer Ryan Lerner decided to go on television and display her picture to the world. First she was so captivated by how handsome Officer Lerner was that she hadn't heard the words coming out of his mouth. But the second her picture flashed across the screen the fog in her mind cleared. It took her all of five seconds to get out of the restaurant and into her car.

All the way back into town her mind played out several ways to get Officer Lerner to listen to her side of the story, but not once did any of her ideas involve kidnapping him. God, she was already looking at twelve years in prison for a jewel heist she didn't do. Now with the federal offense of kidnapping an officer she would never see the light of day if she got caught..

Sitting on the coffee table in front of Ryan, Ajana crossed her legs and ran her gaze up and down the length of the hunk in front of her. Television showed off how nice looking he was, but it diminished his thick and shiny his dark brown hair. Or how the green flecks in his dark brown eyes made them look more hazel than brown.

"Stop staring at me and let me go. I swear I'll do anything I can to help you get a lesser sentence," Ryan exclaimed.

Ajana shook her head slowly. "No, I can't let you go. You're my only hope of clearing my name. You should know the definition of a kidnapping. The kidnappers never lets the hostage go until they are positive every demand has been met."

"Your demands aren't going to be met because you're guilty. I have all the proof I need in the file out in my car," Ryan tossed back at her.

"What proof?"

She watched as Ryan pressed his lips together, then turned his head away from her. "Don't tell me then. I can go and get it myself. But you should know, Officer Lerner, I'm not going to prison for a crime I didn't do." Spinning on her heel, Ajana raced from the room back out to the car.

* * * *

"You idiot!" Ryan screamed at himself. How could you let her know about the file? She's going to destroy it and where will that leave you? He had to find a way out of these damn handcuffs, and soon. Ajana honestly believed she was innocent, and a desperate person did desperate things to prove their innocence.

He hated that Ajana was on the wrong side of the law because she was one hot little number in the eggshell sweater and jeans. He couldn't help but notice how Ajana's butt was cupped nicely in those jeans as she ran from the room. He twisted around in the chair to relieve some of the ache in his groin. Had he really been without a woman for so long that he was lusting after the prime suspect in an ongoing case? Shit, after this was over he would have to dig out that little black book and find an old girlfriend to call.

"Hey, I know you aren't asleep, so why are your eyes closed?" Ajana came back into the room with his bag in her hand. Sitting down on the couch, she tossed the gun on the table and then unzipped his bag.

"I didn't tell you that you could go through my things," he retorted as Ajana tossed confidential items from his bag onto the table.

"I don't need to ask your permission for anything, handsome. I want to look inside here, so I did," Ajana answered, then smiled at him before reaching back into his dark blue bag.

"Flirting with me isn't going to get me on your side," Ryan replied, not liking how her compliment made him feel. Damn, he knew he was hard up for a woman when a known criminal was turning him on.

"Just stating the obvious," Ajana countered. "You know, you're an attractive man. If we had met under different circumstances I might have approached you."

Ryan sat silently as he observed Ajana lift her file and spread it across the glass table. She didn't say a word to him as she read over her file and looked at all the witness statements. He wanted to tear his gaze away from her, but he couldn't. It seemed like a light was around her that drew his undivided attention.

Ajana was totally different than he thought she would be. She was spunky, border lining on tough, but there was a softness about her. She almost had him doubting that it was her on all of the surveillance cameras. Shit, if Sergeant Carelli knew he was thinking this way he would have an appointment with the department shrink in five minutes flat.

"This isn't me in these photos. I have never been to any of these places," Ajana uttered, drawing his eyes down to her full bottom lip.

"Don't play that with me. It's you and we both know it," Ryan said. "Look, you're holding a close up of your face. Are you really going to tell me that isn't you?"

"Yes, I am. You have to trust me. Officer Lerner, I swear this isn't me in any of these pictures."

"It's kind of hard to trust you and I'm still handcuffed to this chair."