Maggie Collins
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From Deadly Shadows...
Nick’s plan was simple. 

He’d make a quick appearance at Charlotte Trent’s birthday bash, head home with his stack of contracts and then hopefully get some sleep.

What he didn’t count on was bumping into Tess as he and Mark made their way through the crowd of guests.

“What are you doing here? And who’s the tall guy?” Tess asked with a sexy smile.

“Tess Moore, meet Mark Garrison and for the record, Charlotte invited us here tonight.”

Tess cast a suspicious look at Nick before turning her attention to Mark. “Hi,” she replied sweetly as she took a step closer to where Mark was standing.

“Is Kelly here?” Nick asked. No way was she going to believe this wasn’t planned.

“Right down there,” Tess replied gesturing towards the patio near the sound.

“Drink?” Tess asked Mark, a seductive edge in her voice. Without waiting for a response she looped her arm through Mark’s and was steering him towards the bar.

Nick grabbed two champagne glasses from a passing waiter before making his way down to the water’s edge. He found Kelly standing on one of the lower patios, looking out at the water, an empty champagne glass in her hand. When she heard his approaching footsteps she turned to face him. The shock on her face was obvious.

“Are you kidding me? This is a private party. You can’t follow me in here. I suggest you leave now or I’ll call security.” Kelly stood up tall and got right in Nick’s face as she spoke.

Damn she was beautiful.

“Sorry love. RIS happens to handle all of Dupree Industries' security. I’m an invited guest,” Nick replied, with a grin. Maybe he wouldn’t be rushing out after all. Granted walking into Charlotte’s party and seeing her here was a surprise – an interesting surprise, he mused as his eyes roamed over her beautiful face and stunning figure clothed in a fitted, beige strapless dress.

“That’s not possible,” Kelly murmured.

“Fraid so darling. And I assure you, this was not planned. I had no idea you’d be here tonight. Champagne?” Nick asked handing Kelly the delicate glass filled with bubbly. 

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