Have kidnappers have taken advantage of the weather or is the bride a clever con woman?
The Wedding Deception
Supervisory Special Agent Finn Callaghan is impressed. While teaching a course at Quantico, he witnessed trainee agent Kennedy Morris take down a bully twice her size. Before leaving Washington DC, he stops by her apartment to offer her a job as his partner in Granite City, Montana and is surprised to see a wedding reception in her building during the worst storm of the year.
Kennedy is having a bad day. Her FBI training isn’t going well, her dysfunctional family is visiting, there’s a category one hurricane bearing down on them, and now she has to deal with her attraction to her superior Finn Callaghan.
When the bride from the reception, Vanessa Stevens, disappears, Finn offers to help. With Kennedy’s aid, they delve into the world of the rich and powerful. But their investigation reveals that no one really knows Vanessa. When the storm cuts the power and phone lines, they must ascertain if kidnappers have taken advantage of the weather or if the bride is a clever con woman.
Finn entered, aware that he was dripping on her perfectly polished stone floor. The open-plan apartment was roomy and bright, even now with the storm raging outside. The kitchen lay in an alcove to his left. It was spotless, no crumbs, no stinky garbage or dirty dishes, not even an old cup of coffee, which wasn’t such a surprise when he considered that until this morning, Kennedy had been staying at the FBI Academy in Quantico.
The entrance widened to the living room. A large white couch sat in the middle of the room with a medium-sized flat screen TV on the wall opposite. Throw rugs, figurines, and pictures were artfully littered about, but there was nothing personal. The whole place felt like a Hollywood set with no family photos, knick-knacks, not even a newspaper to indicate this was a home.
Finn didn’t venture too far into the apartment. He daren’t. He’d had a long day, wearing the same suit, and he’d been pounded by the storm. He needed a shower and a hazmat suit before he could sit on the white couch without getting it dirty.
Kennedy waved a hand toward an older woman who sat in a large armchair near a wall of windows, as if she were holding court. “This is my mother, Sofia DuPont.”
Mrs. DuPont had perfectly styled, short, blond hair, and the kind of dour expression that reminded him of a character from a Dickens novel. She took in Finn’s subpar clothing, his wet hair, and his five o’clock shadow. He had no doubt she’d assessed his net worth in one glance and found him wanting. That was fine with him. He wasn’t here to impress these people, although it did make him second-guess his first impression of Kennedy.
“And my sister, Riley.” Kennedy nodded toward a young woman with a shaved head who sat on the couch, staring at the television.
Then she turned to face Finn. “I don’t think we’re going to get any privacy here. Maybe we could go downstairs?”
Riley stood and stomped to a room at the far end of the lounge. “I came here to see you, sister dear, but you obviously don’t appreciate the gesture.” Then she slammed the door behind her.
Kennedy’s cheeks reddened, and she let out a long breath. “That wasn’t embarrassing at all.”
Sofia slipped on a pair of expensive looking, flat, black shoes. They probably cost more than all Finn’s clothes combined. “If you’ll excuse me, I have to return to the wedding.” She stood and walked toward Kennedy. “It’s bad enough your sister let Blake Sheldon get away and has come back to spoil his wedding. Now you’ve brought the FBI to our door like we’re common criminals.”
“Mother, I’m training to be an FBI agent. Special Agent Callaghan is here to…to—”
“Offer you a job,” Finn finished for her.
Kennedy smiled at him, her eyes shining. “Really?”
“A job working with criminals,” Sofia shouted as she marched to the door. “First you ran off to join the marines, now you have to humiliate me with this.”
“Mother, this isn’t about you.”
“Isn’t it?” Mrs. DuPont opened the front door. “I’m going to the reception. One of us has to be gracious, especially since your sister blew it with Blake. That could’ve been her down there. He comes from a good family. She would have been somebody. Trust me to be cursed with a pair of daughters who have no ambition.” She gave a heavy sigh. “I swear you do it to hurt me.”
“Mother.” Kennedy’s warning tone suggested Mrs. DuPont had said too much.
Sofia slammed the door behind her.
Kennedy inhaled a deep breath, blew it out through pursed lips, and then rubbed her hands down her pant legs. “I apologize, but as you can see, we’re just your regular dysfunctional American family.”
“Everyone has one of those.” Finn smiled in an attempt to put her at ease.
She drew herself up to her full height, so she was almost as tall as him, and squared her broad, swimmer’s shoulders. It was as though she was physically pushing away her embarrassment from a moment ago. “Tell me about the job.”
About the Author:
After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories.
Marlow is an award-winning author, and a member of the Romance Writers of America.
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Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Marlow-Kelly/e/B00MZE72CS