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Authors: Harper Sloan

Tags: #Corps Security Boxset, #Contemporary, #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary Fiction

Corps Security: The Series (7 page)

BOOK: Corps Security: The Series
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Greg shakes his head but pulls out his wallet and hands his credit card over to the bartender to start a tab.

“Bottoms up, bitches,” I say, quickly downing all three shots.

* * *

We spend about an hour at the bar, just taking in the atmosphere and the general vibe of the place. Well, Dee and Greg might be taking it all in, but I’m too busy keeping my drinks flowing. Dee was keeping my pace, but she isn’t on the same mission I am. Her goal is fun and mine is to become numb.

I steal the second Jack and Coke the bartender put down before she can drink it. I look at her, smirk and down it.

“Seriously, Iz . . . you can’t even pretend to share?” She has a small frown on her face. She knows what I’m doing and she isn’t happy about, it but being the friend she is means she will stand by my side and catch me when I fall.

I have just ordered us a round of Tight Snatches—vodka, peach schnapps, orange and cranberry juice—when I catch their eyes on me. At first, I think they are reacting to my decision to only order off-the-wall drinks, but when I look closer, I see it—the concern, the worry, and the uncertainty on how to proceed.

I pick up my drink and announce, “All right, let’s fucking party! You’re only thirty once. Whoooohoooo!” I’m screaming; why am I screaming again?

Giggling, I look up at Greg, catching his eye as he looks down at me with his stoic face. He shakes his head, accepting that his friend is well and truly sloshed. I can see his lip twitching from trying so hard to remain the untouchable bodyguard.

The hell with this.

Laughing even harder, I grab their hands and drag them out to the middle of the dance floor. Belatedly, I notice how much easier it is to walk on these sticks when you can’t feel your legs. Lesson number one for hooch wear—be drunk. It might make dancing more of a challenge, but I’m not feeling a thing and it is beautiful.

The song changes to the familiar beats of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s ‘Can’t Hold Us.’ It fills my ears and pounds into my bones. Throwing my arms up, I turn around and look up at Greg, who is still trying his hardest not to laugh. I let the music take over my body, invade my muscles, and penetrate my soul with the pulsing rhythm.

I can feel Greg behind me now, unmoving—nothing different there. Dee is moving right along with me, just as enthralled with the music as I am. She looks over at me with a knowing smile. I give her the first real smile I have felt all day. She knows how to move. We used to be regulars in the club scene during college . . . before Brandon, that is.

With a wink to clue her in to my intentions, I turn around and wrap my arms around Greg’s neck. Even with my heels, I have to come way up on the balls of my feet just to reach him. Smiling, I begin to move with his tall frame, which isn’t an easy task. His hands finally grab ahold of my hips and dig in. Dee peeks around his from his back and gives me a smirk, and we start grinding together.

I can feel the rumbles of his voice against my chest when he whispers in my ear, “You’re lucky I love you, baby girl.” I laugh up at him, noticing that his expressionless face is finally smiling.

He hates dancing, but Dee and I have made it a mission, on the rare occasions we go out, to torture him as much as possible. He knew this was coming; it doesn’t mean he has to like it. He puts up with this because he wouldn’t dare leave our sides. He knows what kind of trouble the two of us could get into.

When the song ends, we head off laughing to the bar, once again, with the excuse to rehydrate. Maybe that’s the case for them, but for me it’s all about replenishing the alcohol I just burned off on the dance floor. I can feel my buzz slipping and we can’t have that.

* * *

We’ve been at Carnal for a few hours now. The last time I even attempted to gain the time, the hands on the clock started dancing. I ask Greg, who says it’s a little after 1:30 in the morning; sure, we can go with that.

Dee and I have been taking turns ordering the most outrageous drinks we can think of—with the help of our phones and Google, of course.

“Gimmie two Golden Showers, bartender!” I scream across the bar. When did someone take my last drink? What was that one? A blow job, I think. Yes, that was it. We spent a good fifteen minutes laughing our asses off after making Greg drink one.

He is currently giving us a look of extreme displeasure. He can act as mad as he wants, but yelling for Greg to deep throat his blow job was hilarious. Just ask the customers around us. They certainly laughed loud enough.

Even during times like this, when you know he could be doing something better with his time, he wouldn’t dream of being anywhere else. He’s been a constant presence in my life since that day he showed up with Dee. The big brother I never had, always there when I needed him the most. I can tell by the way he keeps looking around the crowd that he has slipped back into that protector mode; it’s almost like he constantly thinks
something
is out to get him. Or me. I shiver. Brandon isn’t ever far from my thoughts, especially not after the package. I can tell when Greg looks at me like he is afraid I might break at any moment that his thoughts are the same.

Dee’s slurred voice interrupts my thoughts with a high-pitched screech. “YO, bitch, drink up! I got you one of those Pull-Down Pussy things. No . . . it was the Pussy Panty Pull-Down? Fuck.” She spits the word out with so much frustration she almost falls off her stool. She looks over at me and I can see that she’s trying to decide if she is more confused over the correct drink name or how she got to the club to begin with.

“That’s not right, Dee! Greg! Greg, tell her the right pussy! You know pussy, right, Greg?” I laugh up at him, tilting my head to the side, wondering why his frown is wobbling.

“You two are driving me fucking crazy. Just because I know my pussy doesn’t mean I know this shit. I eat it, and when drinking it down, I damn sure don’t do that out of a fucking glass. For shit’s sake, get some motherfucking water next time. Fuck me, the right pussy.” He shakes his head at us both. “If you touch one more drink with fucking pussy in the title, we are gone, got me?”

Well. He thinks he runs this show, does he?

I look over at Dee, who is trying hard not to bark out a laugh. Holding up my arm, I signal the bartender over. Again.

“What’s next, my beauties?” comes his flirty question.

“Well, since pussy is off the allowed list, how about you surprise us? Either a Slow Comfortable Screw or a Screaming Orgasm. Bartender’s choice.” I hear Greg’s annoyed curse even over the beating bass surrounding us.

I’m still laughing when Dee screams that our song is on. “Come on, Iz, it’s our song! Get up! Let’s go shake it.”

“Every fucking song is your song, Dee,” Greg deadpans.

Laughing, I spin around on my heels and run smack dab into a brick wall.
Fuck, that hurt.

I put my hands up and try to orientate myself with my surroundings; I focus, or at least I try to. Wait a minute . . . Since when do brick walls have heartbeats? There is no way that is normal. What the hell kind of club is this?

I squeeze my hands against the wall. Hmm, heated walls. Nice touch, but kind of pointless in a night club, if you ask me. I take a small step back and focus the best I can. I look up and up and up a little more. Finally my eyes land on two laughing brown eyes.
Since when do walls have eyes?

“Whoa there, sugar,” the wall says.

“Huh?” I’m confused as hell.

“Beck, what’s going on, brother?” Greg says from behind me. Grabbing my hips and bringing me to his side, he throws that familiar arm over my shoulder. “I see you met my girl, Iz. Izzy, this is Beck, one of the boys I was telling you about.”

I can feel the smile in his words. Greg has talked about his “boys” often; I know he thinks of this group as more than friends. After all, when you fight alongside each other for so many years, trusting them with your lives, they become so much more than just people to you. A brotherhood with a bond so tight it is untouchable. I know he is over the moon to finally introduce these men to Dee and me.

I come out of my wall fog long enough to glance up at Beck. He really is one handsome giant. He is at least a few inches over six feet, close to Greg’s height and build. He has such strong features—a nose that looks like he has broken it a time or ten and chocolate brown eyes that are twinkling with humor and have deep laugh lines crinkling the corners. He is obviously a man who smiles often. His brown hair is way overdue for a cut, but he makes it work. Really makes it work.

“John Beckett. Heard a lot about you, little lady. It’s nice to finally meet you.” He is holding out his big paw for me to shake. It feels strange shaking his hand after basically being plastered over his body. Awkward.

“Iz . . . um, Izzy West,” I fumble out.

Dee must have just noticed our new arrival, because right in my ear, I hear, “Who in the hot hunk of sex are you?”

Leave it to Dee. She knows what she likes, and it looks like she likes Beck. Smiling, I turn to look at my friend, and oh yes, Dee is in lust heaven right now. I’m shocked she hasn’t started panting and humping his leg.

Turning back to Greg, I notice that two new hunks have joined the party. Since Dee is now busy with Beck, I sit back down and enjoy my drunken happiness. Greg turns, noticing my sitting down, and grabs ahold of my hand.

“Baby girl, this is Zeke Cooper and Maddox Locke. Boys, this is Izzy.” He introduces me with a huge smile.

I haven’t seen Greg this happy in a long time. I know he has been waiting for this moment, introducing two sets of his ‘family’ to each other. I don’t know much about these men outside the fact that they served with Greg in the Marines. It’s my understanding that they work for the same security company in California, something they started up when they left the Marines. Greg couldn’t wait to merge his company with theirs, turning Cage Investigation and Security into a large-scale operation.

“Hey, boys. Nice to look at cha,” I tell them. Oh my God, did that just come out of my mouth? If their twin smirks are anything to go by, it most certainly did. Shit, does Greg only know hot guys? Both of these two easily top Greg’s six foot three. They’re giants to someone as vertically challenged as I am, and holy hell, they are nice to look at. Talk about easy on the eyes. Both men have bodies meant to be worshipped, long and hard.

Zeke has blond hair, clipped close to his scalp, eyes so blue that even in the club’s dim lighting they look clear, and a blinding, full smile with twin dimples on each side. He reminds me of a model straight from Abercrombie. He is the perfect vision of the boy next door.

Maddox is his polar opposite. He has just as many muscles, but on him they look huge and imposing. His brown hair is longer than Zeke’s, sporting that messy look like he was running his hands through it all day—sex hair. His face is hard but friendly in a weird combination that just seems to work. But it is his eyes that hold me captive; they are so dark they look black and bottomless.

I realize I have been sitting here eating them up with my eyes when I hear Greg clear his throat. Looking over at him, I see the biggest grin on his face. Thinking he is smiling at me, I give him one of my brightest smiles and start to turn around to properly introduce myself to his two friends. I am not exactly making the best first impression with these men. I open my mouth to speak when I hear Greg booming—yes, booming.

“Reid! Damn, is it good to see you again. Twice in one day. Must be my lucky day, you fucking bastard.”

Jesus, there’s another one of these men? Maybe this one will be short, fat, and balding. Ha, not looking like that’s possible with this cast of man candy. Even their names are hot. Beck, Zeke, Maddox, and Reid.

I turn to my side, giving Dee a smile that I hope expresses how lucky we just became. She is still standing next to Beck, but her flirty smile is long gone. The look of shock and something else I can’t name has taken over her face. What the fuck? She looks like she swallowed a damn fly and is looking right over my shoulder with her jaw on the floor.

Damn, this one must be even hotter than the others.

I make a mental note to discuss this with her later. I might be out of the game, but even I think that is a weird flirting technique.

I finish my rotation and end up looking at the biggest chest I have ever seen in my life. If the boys before this one made me feel small, this man makes me feel like a damn midget.
Well, I can understand her astonishment now. It isn’t normal to be this large.
How is his shirt even staying stitched at the seams? His arms are so big and powerful that they are currently testing the strength of his black button-down shirt, which is stretched across his massive shoulders and tucked neatly into the tight black dress slacks, slacks that are doing nothing to disguise the healthy-sized bulge.

I shake myself off, mentally berating myself for going
there.
I just eye fucked this complete stranger without even saying hello. Maybe I shouldn’t have had that last drink.

I look back up and meet the most stunning green eyes I have ever seen. Eyes I have seen before. Eyes I have spent hours gazing into. Loving and planning. Eyes I have been mourning for the last twelve years.

Feeling dizzy, I reach out to steady myself, catching the first thing I find, which I think might be Greg.

“What the fuck?” he mumbles under his breath.

This isn’t happening.

This can’t be happening.

He’s gone. I know he is. If he wasn’t, I wouldn’t have just spent the last twelve years missing him so ferociously with every fiber of my being.

The last thing I think before I feel my world spinning and crashing down on me is that Axel isn’t gone. He isn’t dead. I didn’t lose the last part of him when his baby bled out of my body on my eighteenth birthday.

And before I lose all touch with reality, I swear I hear, “Are you fucking kidding me? Isabelle is your goddamn Iz?”

I must be dreaming because MY Axel would never sneer my name with so much anger and hate.

CHAPTER 5

“Baby,” I hear his deep voice seductively rumble as he trails his fingertips up my spine.

BOOK: Corps Security: The Series
6.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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