this mattered much, obviously. She had no doubt that Kyle Rhodes had kissed many a woman in the last nineyears—and done a helluva lot more than that—so she considered it quite probable that he wouldn’t so much as blink when she walked into the courtroom tomorrow. Which was just fine with her. After all, what she remembered about that night was that her first impression of him hadn’t been all that favorable. And if her second and third impressions had been any different…well, she would forever plead the Fifth on that one. Because a serious federal prosecutor like herself did not get all hot-and-bothered over the criminal defendants she faced off against in court. Not even a criminal defendant who’d once said he would drive two hours to take her out for chicken wings. Luckily, that was ancient history. Yes, the circumstances of their “reunion” were ironic, perhaps even laughable, but at the end of the day she would treat Kyle Rhodes no different from the many other felons she’d encountered during her career as an assistant U.S. attorney. She was a professional, after all. And tomorrow, she would prove just that.
“KYLE! KYLE! WHAT are your plans for the future now that you’re a convicted hacker?” “Have you spoken to Daniela since your arrest?” Seated at the defense table in the front of the courtroom, Kyle ignored the questions and the flashes of the cameras behind him. They would get bored with him eventually, he told himself. In less than an hour, he would have his freedom, and then this would all be over. “Do you plan to make Facebook your next target?” another reporter screamed out. “Would you like to make a statement before the judge comes in?” someone else yelled. “Sure, here’s a statement,” Kyle growled under his breath, “let’s get this show on the road so I don’t have to listen to anymore dumbass questions.” Sitting next to him, one of his lawyers—inexplicably, there were five of them today—leaned over and spoke in a hushed tone. “Maybe we should handle all inquiries from the press.” The courtroom door suddenly opened, and cameras began flashing wildly. A low murmur spread through the crowd, and Kyle knew it could mean only one thing: either his sister or his father had walked in. He looked over his shoulder and saw Jordan walking up the aisle in her oversized sunglasses and cashmere coat. She wore her blond hair—which was several shades lighter than his—pulled back in some sort of knot or bun thing and coollyignored the reporters as she took a seat in the front row of the gallery, directly behind Kyle. Kyle turned around to face her and blinked at the multitude of flashes that instantly exploded in his eyes. “I told you not to take off work for this,” he grumbled. “And miss your big finale? No way.” Jordan grinned. “I’m all a twitter to see how things turn out.” Ha, ha. Kyle opened his mouth to retort—five months ago he’d given his sister free license to make jokes and, boy, had she ever run with that—when she took off her sunglasses, revealing a big, ugly yellow bruise on her cheek. Aw…hell. No way could he say anything sarcastic now. Kyle doubted he would ever stop feeling guilty over the fact that his sister had gotten that bruise and a broken wrist—and had nearly been killed —while working with the FBI as part of a deal to get him out of prison. His fingers curled instinctively into a fist, thinking it was a good thing that the dickhead who’d caused those injuries was behind bars. Because a bruised cheek and a broken wrist would be the least of Xander Eckhart’s problems if Kyle ever got five minutes alone with the guy. Yes, Jordan was a pain in the ass, but still. Kyle had clearly set the rules back in sixth grade, when he’d given Robbie Wilmer a black eye for de-pantsing Jordan on the playground in front of the whole school. No one messed with his sister. So he humored Jordan’s Twitter joke with