Double Crossed

Kate Cooper thinks her Tennessee State trooper husband is dead. ATF Agent Michael Lassiter knows he is not.

When Michael goes undercover into Kate’s elementary classroom posed as a school drug cop, his mission is to find out what Kate knows about her husband’s supposed death, his involvement in a drug cartel, and to determine if she is hiding away the AWOL trooper. His mission is to into her life. Get answers. Get his man.

His mission doesn’t involve getting into her panties. But somehow things go haywire.

Chapter One

He wished he could see her legs.
Although her frame was small, with narrow hips and a wasp-like waist, her legs, as they say, went all the way up. The woman wore a pair of low-slung black trousers that hugged tight to her hips and thighs, showing off some of her best assets. A white knit sweater clung to every curve of her upper body—and those curves were damn appealing. Although she wasn’t an overly tall woman, the illusion of tall and thin was accentuated by her outfit. The finishing touch a pair of black boots sporting heels that looked a little too high to be teacher attire.
At least no teacher he ever had would dress like that.
But the thing that snapped Michael Lassiter’s libido to embarrassingly quick attention was the mane of blond hair, coupled with steel-blue eyes set like perfect jewels against the backdrop of black and white.
Cold as steel blue eyes? Perhaps. That’s what he wanted to find out.
Yes. He knew they were blue even though he wasn’t close enough to see them right now. He had stared into them a whole lot lately, though—into the photo in her file. He’d studied this case, and Kate Cooper, for weeks. He glanced to that manila file folder, now laying open across the passenger side of his cruiser—said picture staring back up at him—and frowned.
Not the open-and-shut case they’d once thought. No. That feeling was stuck in his gut. This all went much deeper.
As he sat parked next to the Black Bear Elementary school playground, his gaze lifted and he returned to examine every inch of Kate’s body while she crossed the school-yard. His breathing deepened as he took in the sexy hitch in her step, every subtle expression on her face. He scowled. Another place, another time—perhaps if he’d spotted her in a bar, or at the mall—he’d have approached her and made small talk, perhaps asked for her number. Pursued her. Admitting his attraction to her now, even to himself and while during a case, was against his own personal moral code.
Hell, she was a good-looking woman. What was not to be attracted to? After all, he was a hot-blooded, All American man. Right? And he was also a professional who know when to cut off the desire and tuck it back inside his jeans. But she conjured up all kinds of scenarios when he looked at her, and his brain raced with thoughts of how physically attractive he found her, and how he could be incredibly interested in her—
If things were different.
But things weren’t different.
Clearing up the mystery of Rob Cooper’s murder was the goal, not romancing the object of his investigation. Sure, he never thought he’d end up undercover in Cooper’s wife’s classroom, but here he was, posing as a school drug cop in order to get into her life.
But not into her panties.
That was not part of the deal.
He had expected her to be beautiful. The picture was an obvious giveaway. What he hadn’t expected was for curvy blonde quicken his pulse the way she had once he’d set eyes on her in real time. But she had. And it was all he could do at this moment in time, to not imagine that halo of flame unleashed from its single braid, fanning out around her on a pillow.
His pillow.
Dammit. Forget it Lassiter. This you don’t need. Not now.
He watched her round the corner of the school building, calling out to a child. His heart raced, unable to keep his mind from wandering. How her lips might feel pressed against his. How soft she was. How passionate. How deep he could slide into her….
And how the hell Rob Cooper could double cross a woman like that.
He washed his hands over his face, shaking his head.
Fuck. Give it a break.
Perhaps Jenkins was right. Perhaps Kate Cooper’s image of the squeaky clean, widowed school teacher was a hoax.
“You could have made this a lot easier, sweetheart,” he mumbled, “if you were about a hundred pounds heavier and a foot shorter. Maybe about fifteen years older. With bad teeth.”
But she wasn’t. She was a beautiful young woman. One he hoped wasn’t mixed up in the hottest drug-running operation to hit this area in years. One he hoped to hell wasn’t hiding away a husband who was supposed to be dead.