Sam can’t remember her past. The only reason she knows her name is because of a necklace found on her. Her lack of memory makes her perfect to work undercover as an event coordinator for Carlos Mason, an entrepreneur who has ties to the seedier side of business.
When someone makes an attempt on Mason’s life Skye Latimer is assigned to be her bodyguard. Now Sam has to deal with trying to get her memory back, an annoying man she finds she can’t ignore and find something the government can use against Mason.
Skye Latimer has been told to keep Samantha safe at all costs. He doesn’t know why, but it doesn’t matter. He is the best. Getting close to her was easy. Keeping his hands to himself is another matter. Now Skye has to fight his growing attraction to Sam, try to figure out who she really is as well as keep her from being forced to do whatever Mason has planned.
Samantha had a death grip on her compad. Her memory might be gone, but she wasn’t going to use that as an excuse.
She was hired by Carlos Mason to be his new function coordinator and found she had a knack for it. This was the first time her new boss allowed her total control on one of his big galas and she sure didn’t want to mess it up. Taking one last look at her check lists, she nodded in satisfaction before she headed to the kitchens. Everything was set up, flowers, tables, even the proper music. As long as the flow of food ran smoothly the night would be a success and she would prove herself invaluable.
She couldn’t afford to be fired.
She turned a corner and practically ran over Skye Latimer. He was about her height, blonde hair that begged to be touched and sharp blue eyes that seemed to see all the way to her soul. He gave her a bone melting smile and a look that seemed to undress her where she stood. He had that look on his face every time he saw her.
“Mr. Latimer, I don’t have time for this.” She stepped around him, doing her best to ignore the butterflies she felt around him, and continued to the kitchens.
“Hey, I don’t like this any more than you do, but the boss asked me to guard you and that is what I’m going to do. We both know how he gets if his demands aren’t met.” He fell into step with her. “If you hadn’t taken off earlier I wouldn’t have had to come looking for you.”
“Please, then, stay out of my way.” She sighed. “I have a billion things to take care of before this evening starts and I don’t need any distractions.”
“I distracted you?” Skye smiled again. Another one of his seductive heart-stopping smiles that made her insides turn to jelly, but she wasn’t about to let him know that. She gave him a bored look and moved on. He followed right on her heals.
The kitchen was crazy when they entered. The head waiter was shouting out orders to his staff. The head chef was yelling at the head waiter to get out of his kitchen so his people could work.
A loud whistle filled the air as Sam waited for everyone to quiet down. “Why is there so much noise in here? Don’t you people have other things to do than give me heart failure?”
“I am sorry, Miss Samantha, but this imbecile has decided that these small quarters is where he must talk to the wait staff while I’m trying to get my people ready to prepare the meal.”
“I am not an imbecile and we have always done this in the past without trouble. Why are you acting like such a bear tonight?” snapped the head waiter.
“Gentlemen, we have twice as many staff as we normally do. You have to work this out.” Both crossed their arms over their chest and glared at each other. Neither giving an inch. Sam let go of another sigh. “Fine. I’ll cut both staffs in half, that way you’ll have plenty of room again. Your people will just have to do twice as much work and when this falls apart you will be the ones to answer to the boss.”
That got them moving. It wasn’t long before the waiters were huddled just outside the door, getting their instructions, and the cooks were prepping the food.
“You know how to snap that whip when you need to, don’t you?” commented Skye.
Sam had tried to ignore him while she spoke to the two men, but it had been hard. Even though he had kept quiet and had allowed her to do what she needed, part of her had been focused on him the whole time. His wide shoulders, narrow waist and long legs had her wondering things she shouldn’t.
She looked at Skye and saw admiration in his eyes. She didn’t need that. This was not the time for her to make alliances, especially with someone who affected her libido. She straightened her shoulders and continued down her mental list.
Once she was happy with the way things were going, she returned to the main office and knocked on her boss’s door. Popping her head in, she spoke. “Sir? Do you have a minute or two?”
“Of course, Samantha.” He stood and motioned to the chair in front of his desk. “Come in, please, sit.”
“Thank you. Everything is ready for tonight, sir. You should be very happy.” She entered the room and took the chair he gestured to. Latimer closed the door behind him and leaned against the wall. “But I need a few hours this afternoon. I need to meet with the government doctors today. Although I tried to move it they wouldn’t let me. My appointment is in about an hour.”
“Right. I can’t believe they are still making you go through these tests.” He tapped a few keys on his three dimensional computer screen before looking at her. “Have you gotten any of your memories back?”
“No.” She shook her head. “But they keep coming up with new treatments to try. I’m supposed to be meeting with some Vespian doctor who has a new technique.” She shrugged. “We’ll see.”
“I’ll have Skye take you.” He closed down the image and leaned back in his chair.
She wanted to protest but knew better. Why did it have to be Skye? Sam stood, waiting to be dismissed. If she had a way to sneak off she would have.
Skye stepped forward and nodded as he got his instructions. Once he did, he turned to Sam and gestured for her to walk in front of him. “So we get to spend the afternoon together.”
“If you enjoy hanging out with a bunch of doctors.” She walked out of the room. “I need to change first.”
“You look fine.”
She glared at him. “I’ll meet you downstairs.”
“No need. I’ll go with you to your room.”
“I don’t think so.” There was no way she was going to let him into her quarters. Her room was her haven away from everyone and everything. If he were to invade she’d never get the memory of his presence there out of her head. She turned her back to him and headed to the elevator. The doors opened and she stepped in with him right behind her.
“I’ll wait outside if you’re afraid to let a man into your bedroom.” His lips were only inches from her ear. She felt the heat of his breath brush against her throat, sending little frissons of desire coursing through her blood.
Mixed emotions took over. A part of her wanted to grab him and kiss him, end this strange little cat and mouse game they seemed to be playing, but another part wanted to slap the arrogant attitude off his face.
The doors of the elevator opened.
She didn’t respond, couldnt. The fear of what would happen if she did got her feet moving and she darted out of the elevator, down the hall and into her room, letting the door close before he could try to come in. Sam leaned against it for a moment before she pulled off the dress she had been wearing to slip on a pair of comfortable pants and a blouse.
Once she had regained her composure, she stepped back out, ignored Skye, and headed to the elevator that would take them to one of the private transports. Once they were secure, Skye maneuvered it to the central medical center. Sam knew where to go, so she led the way once they landed. She entered the main office of the brain center.
“I have a two o’clock?”
“Yes. The doctor is ready for you.” The woman behind the desk stood and pointed to the doors that led into the lab.
The doors slid open and Sam walked through. Skye followed.
“Doctor?” There were several people there who could have been her doctor.
The man in question turned to face her. “Samantha? Dr. Kuarto.” His smile relaxed her as he took her hand and shook it. “I’m sure you’ve been through this before, but I’m going to ask you a series of questions that will allow me to set a base to work off of.”
“Sure.” She looked at Skye, who had come into the room with her and sighed. She wished he wasn’t there. This was something she didn’t want broadcasted.
“Three months ago you awoke to find your memories completely gone.”
“Yes. I was found in one of the wooded areas in the territory that used to be Washington State. I don’t remember anything before that.”
“The files I have showed there is no permanent damage to your memory. Have you had any trouble retaining memories from that point on?”
“No flashes, or dreams of another life?”
“Nothing. It’s like that moment when I woke up in the forest was the first day of my life.” She glanced at Skye once again, wishing he wasn’t hearing everything being said. “Can I ask you a question?”
“Sure.” He entered her data on the small pad he held in his hands.
“The doctors say that I’m part Vespian and I’ve done a little research. I don’t look like the typical Vespian.” She looked down at her fair hands.
“True, but you do have a few of the physical traits. The height for example.” He patted a table nearby he wanted her sit on. “The average female height is about six foot six and you’re not too far off that being six foot five. You also do have the distinctive ring around the cornea.”
“You’re eyes might be inverted but it is there. Most Vespians have golden eyes with a color band on the outside of the iris, you have violet eyes but the outer band is the same golden color that all Vespians have.”
“You’re right,” he laughed. “Very observant. Every once in a while there is a small abnormality. The gold in my eyes is muted. It has a touch of violet in it.” He held out a small scanner. “I need to take a few readings, map out the memory loss to see if we can free it.”
“You going to be able to free my memories today?”
“Is that what they told you?” He stopped what he was doing to look at her.
“I really love how the UCE misconstrues the missives I sent.” He shook his head. “I hope to free your memories but it will take time. Today is the first step.”
Skye’s communicator beeped. “Excuse me.” He stepped out of the room.
“So what is with the watchdog?” He looked in Skye’s direction before he went back getting everything ready.
“He’s been assigned to be my guard.” She looked as well. His absence should make her happy but it didn’t.
Kuarto frowned. “What do you need a guard for?”
“My boss.” She shrugged. “Someone tried to assassinate him and he was afraid they might come after me.”
“Your file says you work for Carlos Mason.” Kuarto looked down at his pad. “Isn’t he some sort of entrepreneur?”
“Yeah, he’s done a lot of work helping preserve many our historical items.” She shrugged. “It doesn’t make sense, but someone wasn’t happy with something he did. Mr. Mason has been a bit paranoid since. He assigned Mr. Latimer about two weeks ago.”
“You don’t seem to be very happy about it.”
“Let’s just say he’s very good at his job. Doesn’t let me out of his sight.”