The Emerald Cat
Weeks earlier, the twenty four year old architect stumbled across an antique desk that was probably fake. None of her business really, but the desk had been donated by one of her clients, John Forrester, and well, she figured she should let him know, right? Plus, she'd been actively procrastinating in those days. Anything that could be used to delay facing something she'd been meaning to deal with for, oh about nine years, was deemed worthy of attention.
Then it turned out there were more donated items, so possibly more fake antiques, and in a slightly drunken pique she surprisingly offered to check them. More surprisingly her offer was accepted. So she'd been sleuthing around Europe with the combination of either help or hindrance from the enigmatic Jack Knight, a cleaned up lumberjack of a man with a knack for pushing all her buttons and knowing more than he should. So far so good.
Continuing to follow leads though might be pushing her a tad too far into the deep end. As she's been reminded, she's an architect, not a detective, and her impulses are falling squarely into irrational territory. When her worried friend asks if she'll at least be accompanied by Jack on one of the trips, what is Ashley supposed to say? Their relationship is complicated. So complicated in fact that she's not sure they even have one. Whether he shaves his beard, keeps his subtle accent, or throws her for a loop with some fake story, he's still plenty mad that she won't drop it already. He has his own decade old issue, but then how is she supposed to know that?
On the upside, she's getting something therapeutic out of the case. Plus, the more time she spends with Jack, the more time she has to figure out what he's lying, or almost lying, about, and how exactly he manages to keep getting hotter.
The downside, while busy adventuring and trying to stave off her growing attraction to a man with identity issues, she keeps forgetting something. Even if antique furniture fraud hardly seems dangerous, and even if the switches are actually made by a collection of comical crooks, there is a shady someone out there calling the shots. For all she knows that person could be watching, waiting, and possibly meaning both her and Jack harm.
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