He’s a fiercely loyal and determined alpha vying for a second chance.
She’s been broken and betrayed,
But with RAZOR by her side, no cut is too deep.
Tragedy. Pain. Betrayal. I’ve seen it all, done it all. As a partner in K19 Security Solutions, I never forget an enemy, or a face. The enchanting one that belongs to Ava McNamara, keeps me awake at night. And now, our reunion is coming, I plan to finish what we started, let nothing go undone, unsaid, or untouched.
Lies. Deceit. Criminals. My family isn’t who I thought they were. A wedding is my chance to reconnect with the one man who takes my breath away. But then, he pulled back in order to protect me, save me from everything I thought I knew. Will I let RAZOR take me to the edge all over again?
When my best friend sat me down and told me it was time we both grew up, I thought maybe that oughta be a wake-up call. And then when he took it a step further and said he no longer wanted to be called “Paps,” like he had been for almost fifteen years, I decided that, maybe, it was time to check the mirror to see if I was getting as gray as he was.
Gunner “Paps” Godet had been my fellow Marine, sidekick, partner in crime, wingman, and confidant since we’d both arrived at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego for boot camp. It had been a fluke that Godet was even there. Given he was an East Coast boy, he should’ve been sent to Parris Island in South Carolina. But his dad was a USMC O-8, also known as a two-star, who oversaw the base at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego. That meant Gunner had his pick.
I hadn’t cared either way, although everybody I served with later, told me how damned lucky I’d been to end up where I had.
“What the hell are you doin’ now?” Gunner asked.
Truth was, I was standing in front of a mirror, giving myself a pep talk. It wasn’t being a groomsman in our mutual friend’s wedding that worried me, or even that K19 Security Solutions—the company Gunner and I owned with two other partners—was morphing so quickly I hardly recognized it anymore. Instead, it was the woman my friend’s fiancée had paired me up with in the wedding party.
Avarie McNamara, who I should’ve forgotten months ago, wound up center stage in every fantasy I’d had when I needed to take the edge off. It didn’t help that the one and only time I’d met her in person, she was wearing the hottest damn bikini I’d ever seen.
She’d let me know, in no uncertain terms, that she was interested that day, but I hadn’t been able to take her up on it. I’d been on the clock, filling in as her friend’s bodyguard long before she knew she had one.
I’d known a lot about Ava prior to her coming on to me that day, but I hadn’t allowed myself to get to know her in the intimate way she was suggesting.
“It’s a damn tuxedo,” Gunner griped, interrupting my thoughts of the gorgeous woman I was about to see for the first time in over a year. “There’s one way to wear it. Nobody gives a shit what you look like, anyway. Let’s go.”
It wasn’t unusual for Gunner to be grouchy. I hadn’t really known him to be any other way. But in the last six months, it had gotten a lot worse.
I understood why, though. No one else had been under K19’s watch for as long as Lena “Barbie” Hess had been. When she went off her rocker, decided to make a deal with some really bad Russian dudes, and then threatened to kill one of our own, Gunner had been forced to take her down.
I rubbed my chest where it still hurt to think about. It had to be so much worse for him. It wasn’t just that Gunner was responsible for Lena’s death; I suspected that, at some point, he’d fallen in love with our former commander’s daughter. He’d never admit it, though, and I respected that.
“What is with you?” Gunner asked when we got in the car and I rolled my shoulders.
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
I realized that Gunner might be under the impression I was thinking about Barbie too, considering she had been the mother of the woman getting married today.
“Ava McNamara,” I admitted.
“Hot little number. Her twin too. How is she a problem?”
“I can’t stop thinking about her.”
“That’s not like you,” Gunner muttered.
“You should’ve seen the bikini she had on, that day on Fire Island.”
I’d spent a total of twenty minutes with her, so for her to be on my mind at all was unusual.
But the fantasies? Shit. There were times they seemed so real I could swear I knew exactly how her nipples would harden under my touch, and how her wetness would coat my fingers when I sneaked them in her bikini bottom.
I could even remember how she’d smelled that day. At first it was of sand and sun and margaritas, but the longer we’d talked, the more the sweet scent of her arousal eclipsed everything else. That wasn’t something I had to imagine; that was a bona fide memory.
When Gunner pulled into the parking lot of San Ysidro Ranch just outside of Santa Barbara, I saw Penelope, another bridesmaid, walking along the pathway between two cottages.
If Ava was wearing the same dress Penelope was, the fantasies I’d been having would soon get a hell of a lot hotter.
The small amount of pale-green fabric she wore was shorter than most bridesmaids’ dresses I’d ever seen, with a halter top that left little to the imagination. Ava and her sister, Aine, were far more endowed than this girl. I couldn’t even imagine how good the dress would look on them.
Gunner laughed, checking out Penelope like I had. “You’re in for it.”
I knew it, but then there was always a chance that reality-Ava wouldn’t be half as luscious as I remembered her being.
Plus, I knew her type. She was a spoiled little rich girl, looking for someone to take care of her the way Daddy did. I’d known plenty of girls like her. They didn’t think much of me until they found out I was a partner in a successful security and intelligence business.
Then there was the other type. They’d take one look at the body I worked so hard to keep strong and fit, decide I didn’t have much of a brain, and treat me like a boy toy. I didn’t complain, though. It worked to my advantage when they were looking for someone to rock the shit out of their world but didn’t expect me to call the next day.
Maybe that’s how it would go with Ava later. Wasn’t bridesmaid/groomsman sex a thing? After the wedding, she’d invite me into one of these cottages I guessed went for at least a grand a night, and I’d pound her sweet body out of my system.
“You ready?” asked Gunner.
“No,” I grumbled, feeling more like I should take my second cold shower of the morning. Ava McNamara was close—soon she’d be close enough to touch—and I had no control over my body’s reaction to knowing that.
If I didn’t get myself into her tight little body tonight, I’d be able to pound nails with the raging hard-on I got every time her image crept into my brain.