Marriage Confidential

By: Debra Webb

A sexy hero vows to love, honor...and stop the hacker!


Marriage to Madison Goode—his secret high-school crush—is news to billionaire techno whiz Sam Bellemere! The gorgeous State Department liaison has summoned him to fix a cybersecurity breach at an art museum reception. But why is he guest-listed as her husband?

Madison has her reasons...as does a nefarious hacker now threatening her life and career. But once they’ve gone public, introvert Sam and career-focused Madison must play their roles perfectly, trusting and protecting each other as they race to thwart disaster. Surprisingly, being close is easy. A real relationship might be possible...if a worldwide cyber attack doesn’t cost them their lives!





“All right.” He came up beside her and covered one of her chilled hands with his.


“What if we enjoy what is sure to be an outstanding dinner and then head back to my place and handle whatever is coming together as husband and wife?”

She studied his profile, seeing none of the tension or stress in the hard square of his jaw, only resolute determination. “Together?” She was bewildered as much by the offer as she was by the easy way he delivered it.

“Exactly.” He faced her, giving her a heated, toe-curling smile.

If only it would be that easy. “You stepping up publicly as my husband could very well put Gray Box at risk.”

“I’ve factored that in.”

His absolute fearlessness despite the unknowns made her want him more. She hadn’t known it was possible to sink deeper into her infatuation with him.

“You expect me to live with you at your condo?”










CAST OF CHARACTERS

Sam Bellemere—A cutting edge software developer, technology genius and billionaire, he serves as head of security for Gray Box, a company he founded with his old friend Rush Grayson.

Madison Goode—A State Department liaison working in San Francisco, California, she is part of a team that maintains peaceful, open communication between the United States, China and Vietnam.

Xi Liu—The highest ranking official on station at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. He has been working closely with Madison on a new exhibit of treasures from China, on view at a museum in San Francisco.

Rush Grayson—Rush pulled himself out of a bleak childhood and a stint in juvenile detention with Sam for hacking secure websites to create Gray Box, considered the best option for storing data in the information security industry. Newly married to Lucy Gaines.

Lucy Gaines Grayson—A new addition to the Gray Box team, Lucy brings a fresh viewpoint and energy the executive staff appreciates. Newly married to Rush Grayson.





For my grandmother, ever the diplomat in the family,

for being a boundless source of wisdom, inspiration

and unconditional love.

—Regan





Chapter One


San Francisco

Friday, June 10, 6:45 p.m.

Shoulders back, head high, Madison Goode kept pace with the silent and stoic Special Agent Spalding from the FBI at her side. Her high heels clicked softly on the exquisite black marble tile. The sound was the only acknowledgment of their progress. Every inch of the Artistry of the Far East Museum was elegantly appointed and thoughtfully designed, not just the galleries displaying the invaluable collection. To Madison, who’d been behind the scenes of many of the most elaborate venues here and around the world, it seemed as if the museum founders had been as eager to inspire the staff as they were the visitors. She appreciated such excellent attention to detail.

As she turned her wrist to check her watch, her platinum and diamond wedding set glowed beautifully under the perfect lighting. She’d had it cleaned yesterday for this occasion, a little unnerved by how awkward and vulnerable she felt in the hours it wasn’t on her finger. She took comfort in the familiarity of the jewelry in its rightful place, a calming reminder in what hopefully wouldn’t blow up into a crisis.

The countdown for the evening was running in her head. The dignitaries from China’s foreign ministry would be here within forty-five minutes for a pregala toast and a private viewing of the new exhibit on loan to the United States. She knew from her years of experience as a State Department liaison that they would arrive five minutes earlier than scheduled.

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