Love Irresistibly(9)

By: Julie James

“Of course. And how would this particular trick work, should I choose to assist you?”

Vaughn, along with Huxley, was in charge of the technical aspects of the sting operation. But when it came to dealing with lawyers, as the AUSA handling the case, Cade generally called the shots.

Thus, the agent shot him a quick look, looking for the go-ahead signal before he proceeded.

Cade nodded.

Vaughn leaned forward in his chair as he explained.

“You would need to give us access to the restaurant during a time when it’s closed. We’ll set up the bugs underneath the table, nothing that would ever be noticed by any of your servers or patrons. Then on Sunday evening, you’ll just have to make sure that the targets are seated there.”

“In addition, we’d like to station two undercover FBI agents at a nearby table, who will be there simply to make sure that everything proceeds smoothly,” Huxley added. “I’ll handle that, along with a

female agent. We’ll look like an ordinary couple out on a date—no one will ever be the wiser.” Brooke stared at them for a moment. “You’re actually serious about this.”

“Dead serious,” Vaughn said.

“As part of some mysterious investigation, you want to bug one of the tables at Sogna, arguably the most exclusive restaurant in Chicago, and then you want me, the general counsel of the company, to make sure that these ‘targets’—who I’m guessing are up to some very shady stuff—are seated there.” Cade, Vaughn, and Huxley looked at each other.

Yep, that pretty much covered it.

Huxley held up a finger. “Oh, one other thing. You need to make sure that the female undercover agent and myself are seated nearby.”

“Right. Wouldn’t want to forget that part.”

“The trickiest part will be getting the party to the table that’s bugged,” Vaughn said. “You should tell the hostess where to seat them, but without letting her know why. This operation has to be kept confidential. You tell the wrong person what’s going on, and our whole cover could be blown.” Brooke leaned back in her chair, saying nothing for a long moment. “This is a lot to ask someone at

—” she checked her watch—“four thirty on a Friday, don’t you think?”

Cade sensed that it was time for him to jump back into the conversation. “We apologize for the inconvenience, Ms. Parker. We just learned of this opportunity last night. Although I do note that I tried to contact you earlier this afternoon.” Her gaze turned to him, and from the savvy gleam in her eyes, Cade knew that Huxley and Vaughn’s part in this discussion was over. From this point on, he and Brooke Parker of Sterling Restaurants would have to lawyer it out.

Game on.


“DO YOU HAVE a court order to do this?” Brooke asked.

“No.” Seated across the desk from her, flanked by the two FBI agents, Cade appeared unconcerned with such pesky details. “But I can get one, if necessary.”

From his self-assured tone, Brooke had a feeling that Assistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan was a man who was used to getting his way. He certainly looked the part, with his strong jaw, dark brown hair, athletic build, and cobalt blue eyes. He was remarkably good-looking—she would have to be a fool not to notice that—and had no doubt that this played very well for him both inside and outside the courtroom.

“You probably could get an emergency judge to grant you an order allowing you to plant a few bugs in the restaurant,” she conceded. “But you would still need someone on the inside to make sure your target sits at the right table.”

“True,” he acknowledged. “It would be very difficult for us to pull this off without your help.” At least he could admit that much. “Before I’d even consider agreeing to this, I’d need to know who the target is and what that person or persons are being investigated for.”

Cade shook his head. “I’m afraid the nature of the investigation is confidential. As for the identity of the target, after we have your agreement to cooperate, we’ll provide you with that information at the appropriate time so that you know who to seat at the bugged table.”

For Brooke, however, this point was not up for debate. “I have a responsibility to protect Sterling’s interests, Mr. Morgan, and that includes the safety of its employees and customers. For all I know, the person you’re after is an organized crime boss, a drug kingpin, or some other sort of dangerous criminal. What if these two men discover that the table is bugged? What if they identify Agent Huxley and his fake date as undercover agents and pull out guns and start shooting people?

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