Seven thieves. Seven days. Seven priceless items.
Only one will be crowned the best of the best.
Braxton Hughes has seven days to complete his mission. His reputation is riding on his attention to detail and infallible focus. Not to mention the bet he has no intention of losing. There’s no time for distractions.
But then he meets beautiful Elise Savade. She quickly becomes a complication he can’t afford…and a temptation he can’t resist.
From: Zeus @ theblindbet.com
To: sevenofspades @ theblindbet.com
Subject: The Bet
1787 Lafite G.W.
You have seven days.
Braxton Hughes stepped out of the limo and tugged his bow tie into place. Roger Savade’s enormous French chateau sat at the end of the cobblestone walk, looking regal and impenetrable. He held out his hand to the woman in the backseat, and she slipped her satin-gloved fingers into his.
For a woman pushing fifty, Claire Renaldae looked great in her lavender dress with her hair perfectly coiffed. He tucked her arm through his and started up the path with the other guests, anticipation sizzling through his veins.
“Thanks for bringing me tonight,” Claire said, her voice soft. Her silver gray eyes, rimmed with dark liner, sparkled up at him. There was an air of smoky sophistication about her, showing him that she belonged at parties like this one. Rubbing shoulders with the filthy rich, dancing until dawn.
Recently divorced, she was here to show up her ex-husband with a hot new stud on her arm.
Braxton was here for the wine.
He’d known as soon as he’d pushed himself out of the pool at Chateau Le Cannet four days ago that Claire was perfect for him. Perfect for the job. She’d been lying on a lounge chair, a black one piece showing off a trim, sun-kissed figure. The big, fluffy hat hadn’t been able to shadow the look of desire in her eyes when she’d glanced at his body glistening from his afternoon swim.
It had taken little effort to strike up a conversation and find out about her ex-husband and her invitation to the Savade party. Nor had it taken much effort to casually offer to escort her to said party.
“You’re welcome.” He glanced around at the other guests, nodding at the few who made eye contact. “Think he’ll be here?”
“Of course. He wouldn’t miss a party like this, or a chance to show her off.” The her Claire was referring to was her ex-husband’s new mistress, Scandinavian supermodel Mia Rassmusen. She’d mentioned the other woman several times, and he found himself wondering why a woman like Claire would waste her time and energy on a man like her ex-husband. She may not have been a hot, young supermodel, but she was smart and witty enough. And not at all bad on the eyes. Years of spa treatments had, no doubt, seen to that.
“Well, I seriously doubt she’ll look anywhere near as beautiful as you,” he said, playing his part.
Claire preened under his gaze, her spine straightening. “You’re so sweet.” She squeezed his arm.
The receiving line slowed to a halt.
Brax looked around the manor, noting the number of windows and doors and their locations. His gaze traveled over the shrubs and stone walls of the landscape. The large front doors were wide open, and golden yellow light poured out. He could hear music. Probably some lesser known French composer.
“Roger Savade is such a pompous ass. He hosts these parties to show off his money. His things,” Claire whispered. He glanced down at the necklace dripping with diamonds around her neck. Speaking of showing off one’s wealth…. “Just like my ex-husband.”
Brax stayed silent and watched as the hosts greeted the guests. It wasn’t that he didn’t agree with her. Roger was known to flaunt his money and his possessions. Brax wondered if he’d have the 1787 Lafite on display in the dining room. That would sure make his job easy.
The line moved forward, and he saw their host nodding to a short, graying gentleman. By habit, Brax surveyed his surroundings for security, both electronic and hard, hired muscle.
Did Roger Savade even know the significance of the 1787 Lafite, or had he bought it just because someone had told him it was rare?