Rescued By the Scot
Romancing the Spies #3
Revenge only leaves your heart vulnerable to ….
She rescues him for vengeance. He rescues her for desire. Will their unlikely meeting form a bond of everlasting love?
Set out to finalize a deal for her brother’s return, Skye MacKinnon instead captures the double agent working alongside her enemy. When she holds her prisoner hostage at her castle, he draws her into an attraction that spirals out of control. After she fights off his spell, she deceives him for her own agenda. As she betrays his trust, she is caught in the web of the evil villain who is terrorizing England.
Chained and left waiting for his own demise, Earl Zane Maxwell is soon rescued by a Scottish goddess. He is enraptured by her charms and drawn under her spell. Her touch and look sink into his soul a connection he cannot resist. While he lures her into his confidence and seduces her into his bed, her only plans are betrayal. When she is captured, he realizes she was only protecting his life. Now he must rescue her and destroy the man who hurt her.
Zane Maxwell has finally met his match in Skye MacKinnon. The Earl is unlike any man Skye has ever known. Can they endure the treachery of Captain Shears to discover a deep love that will last a lifetime?
If you like fiery, enthralling, dramatic filled chapters set in Scotland and England then you’ll love the final book in the Romancing the Spies Series.
Purchase Rescued By the Scot to escape into a world filled with romance and danger today!
ZANE MAXWELL DIDN’T GRASP how long he had been hanging from these chains. It felt like an eternity, but he perceived it might have only been a few days. A few hazy days at that. How he got himself in this predicament was unknown to him. He only knew he betrayed his best friends to end up here on this godforsaken hovel of a ship, chained to the walls. Zane’s wrists were raw from chafing against the metal chains. His wounds were cut open, and blood soaked along his arms. His body was beaten and bruised from every angle. But it was not only his blood covering his body, his enemy’s blood covered him too. The only regret consuming his thoughts was that it wasn’t the blood of death. He learned Shears still lived, long enough to keep him prisoner on this poor excuse of a ship.
Zane lifted his head to look around the hold. The pit of the ship was as disgusting as the rest of everything else Shears owned. Rats were crawling around, biting at his ankles, wanting something to fill their bellies. He kicked out at them. He watched as they scurried to the pile of rubbish in the corner. The walls were lined with mildew from where the water seeped in through the bow of the ship. To think that his dear friend, Ivy survived being held captive on this ship. He would never understand how she endured such suffering. While they threw her overboard and left her for dead, it was the best thing that happened to her. When he had found out what Shears had done to her, he remembered attacking him, only for Shears to laugh at him. During this whole time, everybody had been pawns in Shears’s game of hell.
Leaning his head against the wall, he thought of how he could escape. Maxwell laughed to himself as he realized he had gotten himself in way over his head. All for what? Praise? Recognition from the Crown for a job well done? Since he’d attacked Shears, intending to kill him, he gathered he couldn’t talk his way out of it this time. Every other time he had fooled Shears into believing he was a double agent. At least he killed Gold Tooth, Shears’s largest man. With him gone, he might be able to fight his way off this ship.
He heard footsteps coming down to the ship’s hold. He hung his head, pretending to be unconscious. He listened to what sounded like four sets of feet. One had a lighter tread than the others, but he couldn’t afford to peek without blowing his cover. He had to wait for them to show themselves.
“Madam, you cannot come below deck,” a deckhand explained as he chased her down the stairs.
“Why not? What are ye hiding? Since ye say ye do not have my shipment, ye must carry cargo ah might be interested in buying.”
“Nothing is for sale here. Now you must leave. Captain Shears will contact you in a few days.”
“I think not. I have already been waiting for two full days already. Ah noticed yer ship docked here fur for longer.”
“The captain will be in touch soon.”
“What of my shipment? What is yer excuse this time? I’m thinking yer captain has proven false on his claims to provide me with the firearms fur our cause.”
“We have them, ma’am.”
“Tsk, Tsk, Tsk, how ah hate when I am addressed as ma’am. It makes me sound so old. Am I old, Gregor?”
“No, Mac, yer definitely nae old.”
She laughed, a soft husky laugh at that. Something in her voice touched Zane from across the hold. He wanted to catch a glimpse of her. Her wit and sarcasm were lost on Shears’s man, but not on him.
“Ower 'ere, Mac, looks lik' thay git themselves a prisoner.” Another voice beckoned for her to come over.
He heard her walk across the planks toward him. Maxwell could sense her eyes piercing his soul as she looked him over from his hanging head to his rat-bitten ankles. He could imagine her touch, as if she were caressing every part of his body. He didn’t need to raise his head to sense her perusal. Who was this mystery woman? When she touched him, it took everything he had not to react to the power of her touch. The only thing she did was trace her fingers softly across the raw openings of his wrist. It should have stung, but it soothed. Maxwell let out a moan at her gentle touch, hoping she didn’t hear. But she did. She put a finger under his chin and lifted, raising his head. He met her eyes as his head rose. The darkest green eyes he had ever seen gazed back at him. They appeared to read his mind, as well as his soul. They searched for the answers she already knew, but wanted him to admit to. He shuttered his gaze, rocked to his very soul by her awareness. He didn’t have all the answers, and those he did weren’t for her to discover.
But it wasn’t only her touch and the gaze in her eyes that took his breath away. Her hair was a deep shade of red that hung to her waist. It was unusual for a woman to wear her hair loose and flowing, unless in the privacy of her own bedchamber. But she was no lady, and she was beyond bold. She was Scottish, and her speech held an accent that slipped out every now and again. There was no gown that hugged her body, but trousers molded to her legs, begging for somebody to strip them off her. They shaped and hugged her derriere. But it was the blouse she wore, white cotton that teased open to display her breasts, that drew his attention. They gleamed under the dim light the lanterns provided. Who was this sensuous creature?
“Who do we have here? I take it Shears doesn’t care for this bloke much, does he?”
“No, I do not madam,” said a voice from behind them. “It doesn’t matter because he won’t be around for much longer to even matter.”
“Ah, Captain Shears, ye finally grace us with your presence. Ye know how I detest to be kept waiting.”
Zane was so distracted by the goddess before him that he hadn’t hear the clomp of Shears’s footfall as he entered the hold. Maxwell watched as the overweight captain limped over to the intruder on his ship. The man’s greasy hair hung in his face. He swept it from his face so he could view the lady. Shears held his hand to his side in pain as his eyes devoured her in lust. The captain’s eyes took in how her clothes molded her body leaving nothing to the imagination. Maxwell could see that Shears was distracted by her charms, but not enough for rage filled Shears’s eyes too. When Maxwell’s eyes moved to her, he noticed she had been aware of Shears’s presence the entire time. She raised her damn eyebrow at Maxwell and gave her head a small shake, showing her disappointment in him for not being aware of his surroundings. He cursed himself for his mistakes and blocked her beauty from his mind. He needed to focus if he was going to get off this ship alive.
Captain Shears bowed before her. “Please accept my apology.”
“I won’t. Not until ah see the delivery of my goods.”
“We ran into a problem with your shipment. You see, the gentleman before you destroyed my merchandise.”
The green eyes raked over him in disdain and flashed with anger.
“He,” he said, pointing to Maxwell, “and his friends work for the Crown, and they destroyed every one of my loads the last few weeks. I stand before you to beg for a loan to replenish my supply. There is a seller arriving in one month’s time. When he has arrived, I will provide you with the weapons you need to carry out your plan.”
“I already gave ye a hefty sum and received nothing in return. Now ye have the audacity to ask for more money?” she questioned in anger.
As she spoke, her two henchmen flanked both sides of her. Their size only dwarfed her but didn’t take away her sense of control. If anything, they seemed to enhance her power. As her anger grew, her brogue disappeared and her English became more direct. She was a professional, and Maxwell was intrigued by her.
“As I said, one month and I will double your arms. Then we can destroy England.”
“Rumor has it that you are near destruction. That your whole operation is blown asunder.” She laughed her sarcastic laugh that Zane was beginning to admire .
Shears scowled at her humor. He puffed up his chest and advanced toward her, trying to threaten her. But she only stood there, her eyebrow raised at his advancement. Her men tightened themselves around her for protection. She held up her hand, halting them, and they backed away from her—not too far, but far enough to show Shears he did not intimidate her.
“What are you implying? That I cannot destroy England?”
“The only one you are destroying is yourself. You ruined the destruction set in play to achieve your own agenda. For petty revenge against a French girl and her lover, from what I hear.”
Shears whipped his arm toward Maxwell. “His friends, madam. They set out to destroy us from the beginning. Even Maxwell here betrayed us. He was on our side, but his love for Ivy Thornhill brought on the wrath of her husband and brother. He double-crossed us for a pair of thighs that will never part for him.”
She turned toward him, scrutinizing him for a reaction. To see if he would defend his friends. He spoke not a word.
“He ruined you for a lady married to another bloke. That must be true love. Was it worth it?” she inquired.
No answer uttered from his lips. He wouldn’t be a pawn in their game. While she was a means of escape for him, he wouldn’t give her any ammunition in this fight.
“Mmm, a question for another time. I would love to hear the backstory on this, but I must leave. The docks are being patrolled, and I won’t have the guards catch me.”
As she continued observing him, Shears had come up behind her. He brushed the hair back from her face. She stood still regarding Zane. If Zane wasn’t watching her, he would have missed the repulsion that flashed in her eyes. It was gone in an instant, replaced by humor. When she turned, her lips twisted into a smile at Shears, shaking her head.
“You know the rules, Shears. You can look, but not touch. Now remove your hands from me if you want me to continue to grace you with my presence in the future.”
Shears dropped his hands as her men pressed closer. One of them sent a hard elbow into his side. Shears gasped for air as it connected with his wound. Blood seeped through his shirt, soaking it to a darker red.
Her eyes viewed the wound then landed back on him. She tilted her head in question. Zane tilted his head in return. Of course. Who else? She nodded back her approval. Why that gave him justification, he didn’t know. Who cared if she approved that he tried to kill Shears. She was working alongside Shears for the same revenge against England that he was fighting against to stop.
“Well since we appear to be at an impasse, I will take your prisoner here as collateral.”
“His Lordship is not for trade.” Shears scowled.
“But he is, you see. You owe me money and weapons. You can provide neither. I will take him until you do. At that time, I will return him to you. If not, I will add him to my collection.”
Shears observed the two men flanking her side. Zane finally regarded them too. They weren’t any ordinary henchmen. The brutes almost looked too handsome. They were tall, with wide shoulders with muscles stretching the material of their clothes. Their long hair was pulled back and showed off chiseled cheekbones. As he looked closer at their hands, Zane saw the sheer brute of her guards. Their hands were those of warriors, rough and calloused and displayed signs of demanding work and defense. Defending her. He could tell their loyalty by how protective they were.
“Why don’t we continue this discussion in my cabin? I am sure we can figure out an agreement.”
Her husky laughter filled the air again. “Now Shears, you understand I do not mix business with pleasure.”
“You mix it with your own guards.”
When she walked around her henchmen, she ran her hand along their muscles, squeezing them. Her fingers trailed against their chests. They never moved or reacted to her touch, only standing as silent statues. Zane ached for her to caress him again. How could they not react? Her presence was making him hard as stone. From her long red hair to her husky laugh, he felt an attraction to her. He shook his head, struggling to get his thoughts under control. He shouldn't be desiring a lady who was in cahoots with Shears. They must have knocked him on the head harder than he thought.
“My relationship with my guards is different, Shears. You know the guidelines on doing business with me. Now, is your crew releasing my prisoner, or do my men need to take the chains off him?”
“As I told you before, he is not for sale. I have my own plans for him, and they involve a long, slow death with one act in particular I will enjoy watching my men perform on him.”
“Now Shears, do not make me press my issue here. Either your men pull him down now, or I will give the signal for the rest of my men to join me.”
“You have no other guards here, madam.” Shears smirked.
“Do you think I came onto your ship without an army of protection? Never take me for a fool, Shears. That will be your first mistake. Your second mistake will be for me to repeat myself.” She arched her stunning eyebrows at him.
Shears scowled as he motioned for his men to cut him loose. His men unlocked the chains around his wrists, and they dropped to the hardwood planks with a thud . The chains rattled when they settled on the floor of the ship. They weren’t finished with him though, as each of Shears’s men made sure they landed a blow to his sides as he became free.
Zane grunted as he fell to the floor. His legs gave out from underneath him, weak from hanging for days. His numb fingers rubbed at his sore wrists, pressing the raw flesh back into place. A hand lowered to help him to his feet. A soft delicate hand slid into his palm, beckoning him to rise. He slid his rough palm into hers, feeling the comfort of home. He let her help him rise to his feet. She slid her arm around his waist and took his weight against her own. She was no lightweight miss. He could feel her strength as she guided him from Shears’s ship. Her arms squeezed him lightly as she bantered with Shears. “Yes, I think he will be a nice addition to my harem.” She laughed to herself as they climbed the stairs.
Shears followed them to the top of the deck. His men gathered around as they watched them disembark the ship. Her men circled around them as they made their way along the dock. Shears noted she was too protected to execute his revenge. He would find her when she was alone and vulnerable, and then she would be his. When he captured her away from her henchmen, he would bring her back and set sail for the unknown. He missed out on that sweet Ivy Thornhill, but he would own MacKinnon, even if he had to tie her to his bed to make her his. Her sassy mouth wouldn't protect her then.
Shears watched as Maxwell made his escape. He wasn’t finished with him either. He would kill him before this month was out. His backup was coming, and he would destroy them. The only thing he took pleasure in was that she held the key to Maxwell’s search for the treasure, and Maxwell didn’t even know it. That was a bit of sweet revenge.
“Have the boy bring a bottle of whiskey to my cabin. Follow them. I want them watched until they make their return. And for god’s sake, do not get caught. Report back to me in the morning.”
Shears staggered back to his chamber and sprawled out on a chair. His cabin boy raced in after him, carrying the bottle. He was a small lad, no older than six. His clothes hung on him, torn to rags. Not one spot on his body was clean. He was covered in the same grime that decorated the ship.
“Here you go, Captain.” The lad rushed to his side to please him.
Shears grabbed the bottle and swatted him across the face, taking out his anger on the boy. He swigged back a drink as he kicked the young lad.
“Get the hell out of here, you gutter swine.”
The young boy ran out of the cabin as fast as he could, for fear that the captain would harm him. When the captain was angry, it was always best not to be in his line of sight.
Shears leaned back in his chair, drinking from the bottle. He lowered his hand to his side, wincing from the pain. When he raised his hand, it was coated in blood. He snarled as he watched the blood dripping from his fingers and swore his revenge on Maxwell. The earl had double-crossed him for the last time. His snarl quickly turned to a smile as he began to plan his revenge on the spy and the ravishing redhead he escaped with. Neither one of them would survive what he had in store for them.