Jo Davis

I Spy a Wicked Sin

The first book in the Shado Agency series, 2010

To Debra Stevens,

my dearest friend of thirty-seven years. My chosen sister, anchor, and

coconspirator. We’ve had many good times, weathered our share of challenges,

had fun chasing the bad boys, and come through it all unscathed.

Jude’s story is for you.


My heartfelt thanks to:

My husband and children for putting up with my craziness during deadline.

My awesome agent, Roberta Brown.

My editor, Tracy Bernstein; my publicist, Elizabeth Tobin; the art department and all the wonderful folks at NAL.

The Foxes.

I couldn’t survive without you.


“Sweet Christ.”

Elbows on the ratty desk, John Sandborn dropped his face into his hands. In the wake of this terrible exercise of connect the dots, he’d be goddamned lucky if he didn’t wind up at the bottom of the Atlantic. In five different oil drums.

Because a traitorous, murdering bastard was coming for him. No doubt about it.

If he had a whisper of a prayer of avoiding a grisly fate, he had to work fast.

Clicking the X in the top right corner of the laptop’s screen, he closed the classified file and opened another. Fingers flying, he activated a program he’d hoped never to use, but was damned glad he’d put into place. Next he composed a simple coded message-a ten-year-old couldn’t decipher it, but a trusted operative could.

“Okay… got it.” He blew out a deep breath. It wasn’t perfect, but it would have to do.

Last, he opened his e-mail and hit Send. He waited, every muscle tense, while the new files, along with the classified one, shot to six different destinations and burrowed into six different hard drives. A high- tech worm that would make any hacker cream in his shorts-and just might save his ass.

Action complete.

“Thank fuck.” Sandborn attacked the keyboard again, clicking rapidly. His instincts screamed Get out, but he didn’t dare leave the last two tasks undone.

Precious seconds were whittled away, scraping his nerves raw, as he accessed the script file he’d written to initiate the virus that would destroy his hard drive. The final box popped onto the screen, and he executed his CTRL+F+U command.

Sandborn gave a grim chuckle at the double entendre in his chosen three-finger salute and wiped the sweat from his brow. Time to make like a ghost.

The door to his motel room burst open, hitting the inside wall like a gunshot. Sandborn spun, the SIG from the desktop already in hand, arm leveling at the leader of the traitor’s cleanup crew.

Too late. A pop split the air, and pain blossomed in his chest. He stumbled backward, managing to get off a shot, the explosion deafening in the tiny space. The leader went down with a grunt as Sandborn trained his gun on the second man, tried to squeeze the trigger-and couldn’t. His arm fell limp and useless to his side.

The second man crossed the room, a smirk on his ugly pockmarked face. Cold overtook the pain, spreading from Sandborn’s chest to his limbs. Numbing every muscle. Looking down, he stared in fascinated horror at the dart embedded in his left pectoral.

He swayed, speaking quickly. His life depended on it. “Tell your boss I know everything. I put safeguards in place, and he’ll never find them without me,” he rasped, the drug freezing his vocal cords quickly. “If I die… the whole world will know… what he’s done.”

Sandborn’s legs buckled and he slumped to the floor, completely nerveless. Aware but paralyzed, along for the ride and at their mercy. A nightmare.

A pair of heavy- soled leather boots appeared in his line of vision as the second man paused, obviously peering at the laptop. “You smart-ass sonofabitch,” Crater Face hissed.

Sandborn pictured the cartoon gopher dancing across the screen, shooting the finger at the henchman, and a hoarse laugh barked from his dry throat. The boots backed up a couple of steps.

John Sandborn’s last image was a snapshot of the man’s right shitkicker rocketing toward his face.


From the dossier saved on her laptop, Lily Vale knew without a doubt-if she’d had any to begin with-that her new target was the most beautiful man she’d ever seen.

The bastard wouldn’t be quite as pretty after she sent him to hell.

Striding down the hallway of the vast mansion, she clutched her purse, comforted by the heavy weight of the weapon secreted inside. If only she could use it to take him out, clean and simple.

For his crimes against innocent Americans, men like Jude St. Laurent deserved to die. Monsters like him had murdered her father, the most brilliant, gentle soul who ever lived. Perhaps quick and easy wasn’t always the best form of justice. Not that a swift end was a choice on this assignment anyway-locating the information would take time.

And while Lily worked her way into St. Laurent ’s confidence, he’d have no idea he was already a dead man. A bullet might be easier, but slow and painful was her specialty, reserved for the most vile of men. That alone fortified her resolve as nothing else could have.

Hearing voices, a low moan, Lily slowed her steps. Using caution, she approached the room the housekeeper had directed her to and peered inside.

Neither the photos in his extensive file nor her brief glimpses of him in the past had done the rogue justice. But the current tantalizing view certainly brought his many physical assets into complete focus.

Jude St. Laurent was sprawled on his back in a pile of pillows, eyes closed, chin-length auburn hair fanned around his head, gloriously naked. His long, athletic legs were spread to accommodate the equally naked brunette crouched between them, sucking his thick, erect cock in long, slow pulls.

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