Exposed - Tracy Wolff

Chapter 1

The phone rings at three a.m.

I think about ignoring it. Now that I have Chloe back in my arms—and my bed—I have no interest in moving for the next century. Certainly not until dawn breaks across the sky and I set things in motion for our impromptu trip to Vegas. I haven’t slept since she left me, not for more than an hour or two, and now that she’s cuddled up against me, her even breathing pressing her breasts against my side and her strawberry blond hair tickling my cheek, I’ve finally been able to relax, to breathe, for the first time in way too long.

But I’ve been waiting for a phone call and if this is it—if this is it, the last thing I want to do is miss it.

Without moving the half of my body that is firmly under Chloe’s, I reach blindly toward the nightstand. My hand collides with my phone on the second try and a quick glance tells me that I really do have to take this call.

Fuck.

“I’ll get back to you in five minutes,” I bark into the phone the second I accept the call, and then I’m hanging up. Running a hand over my face. Trying to blink myself into wakefulness.

It takes a good two or three minutes. Nothing like the abject relief that comes from holding the woman you love to finally put you under after a week of sleep deprivation.

I’m half-asleep and grumpy as shit as I slip my arm out from beneath Chloe’s head and try to slide over to my side of the bed. The fact that she moans a little in her sleep and clutches at me, her arms and legs wrapping around me like a vine, only makes it harder to leave. If it was anyone else on the phone—if the call was about anything else—I wouldn’t even think about it.

I soothe her back to sleep with a couple strokes of her hair and a few murmured words. And then I stumble to my feet and turn away, even though that’s the last thing I want to do. Even though I want to spend the next hour, day, year, beside Chloe, worshipping her beautiful body with my own.

I walk down the hall to her living room, pull out my phone. Dial the number. And wait for the private detective on the other end to pick up—and God willing, give me the news about my useless brother that I’ve been dying to hear.

There’s a click and then a terse, “Mr. Frost.”

“Yes.” A long pause, like he’s shuffling papers. Or taking a drag on a cigarette. Or tossing back a finger or two of scotch. Then again, that could just be my imagination running wild—I’ve seen a lot of old-time detective noirs through the years and right now it feels like I’ve stepped into the middle of one.

The idea makes me more uneasy than it should.

After all, I thought I was ready to hear whatever he had to say—was anxious to hear it—yet now that the moment’s here, there’s a part of me that just doesn’t want to know. Brandon is my baby brother. I’ve spent my life protecting him, trying to keep him safe, trying to fix his problems for him. But that was before I knew what he was. What he’d done.

Before I knew that he had raped the only woman I’ve ever loved…and gotten away with it.

It’s that knowledge that has me grinding out “Tell me,” even as I brace myself for the answer.

“You were right. Ms. Girard isn’t the only one.”

My blood turns to ice,