Read Hacking the SEAL (Saving the SEALs Series Book 2) Online
Authors: Leslie North
“You sure you’re okay?” Scotty nudged her shoulder beneath the blanket he’d thrown over her and part of him. He’d taken hold of her hand too, right after they’d left the pawn shop, and he’d not let her go since.
Hayley stared straight ahead and nodded. She couldn’t look at him, not now. If she did, the tightness in her chest might burst out as tears and then he’d hold her and comfort her and she’d get lost in his deep blue eyes again and… no. Just no. She’d kept her shit together just fine during the crisis, as the Bureau had trained her to do. But now, in the aftermath… her body trembled and her knees shook and she was gearing up to be a fine mess. “I’m fine. My head’s a little sore, but otherwise, I’m good.”
“Glad to hear it.” He gave her a crooked little half-grin, his gaze warm and soft, and a different kind of shaking took over her body, born of want and need. “We’ll be at the condo a minute.”
“Looks like they knocked you a good one,” Spencer said, squinting at her bruised temple.
“Yeah.” She probably looked like Frankenstein’s bride after what she’d been through.
“Those guys who took me are setting you up. They wanted to use me as bait. And a diversion, they said. Not sure what that’s all about. Oh, and I think one of them was the guy you told me about, Scotty. The SEAL who got burned?”
“Becks?” Kyle glanced at her in the rearview mirror, his expression suspicious. “And you’re telling us this why, Agent Stevens? Isn’t that against Bureau policy?”
They’d all seen Michelle’s team at the pub, probably got an earful from Scotty too. No wonder they all seemed to be giving her the cold shoulder. Besides, with everything these guys had been through they had a right to keep up their guard. “I’m not exactly working for the Bureau anymore on this case, Mr. Matthews. After what I’ve found regarding your brother’s death. I don’t believe your team was involved.”
“Well, you’d be in the minority then.” This from Gage. He shifted slightly to look at her, his gaze icy.
“Please, call me Hayley.” She cleared her throat. “All of you.”
“I’m down with that,” Spencer said, lifting an arm to put around her, then stopping halfway when Scotty gave him a death glare. He dropped his arm back to his side and grinned. “Hayley it is.”
Gage stared at her for a long moment, then gave a curt nod and swiveled to face front again.
Kyle, the ever-stern team leader, flicked his gaze to her in the mirror, his expression inscrutable. Finally, he took a deep breath and looked away. “Okay. You can call me, Kyle.”
“Well done, Red.” Scotty whispered in her ear and she couldn’t suppress her shiver or the resulting rush of happiness his praise caused. “He likes you.”
“Good.” She tried to play it off even as a flush prickled up her cheeks. “Guess that makes one of you then.”
“Nope.” Scotty squeezed her thigh beneath the blanket. “That makes two. I’m pretty partial to you myself.”
“Yeah?” Hayley hazarded a look at him then, her gaze focused on his soft lips, the hint of stubble shadowing his jaw, his warm blue eyes.
“Oh yeah, Red.” He snuggled a bit closer to her and traced his thumb in lazy circles against her palm. “Oh yeah.”
“I say we just storm in there and kick some fucking ass?” Scotty slammed a fry pan down on the burner and poured in some olive oil before lighting the flame. “I’m sick of just sitting around and doing nothing.”
“We’re not doing nothing.” Kyle’s tone remained calm as he pulled a bottled water from the fridge. “We’re strategizing.”
“Yeah?” He slapped down some freshly washed zucchini, chopping it into thin slices with way more force than was necessary. “Because it sure as hell feels like a whole lot of nothing to me. I want to rip their fucking heads off with my bare hands for touching Hayley.”
“Watch yourself,” Gage growled, his tone disgruntled as he leaned against the breakfast bar. “Show some respect for your team leader, dude. And it’s not like you’re working either.”
“I am working.” Scotty tossed the zucchini into the sizzling pan then added a can of diced tomatoes and a some green pepper and onion to the sautéing vegetables before giving his team mate a look. He’d been giving the guy the benefit of the doubt, figuring he was cranky because of Anna working a lot lately and her not giving him all of her attention. Now, his patience had worn beyond thin. “Somebody has to feed you ungrateful jackasses.”
“I am not ungrateful,” Spencer piped in from the living room. “Smell’s great, by the way.”
Gage shook his head and cursed under his breath. “You know what I mean.”
“No, actually, I don’t.” Scotty lowered the flame on the burner then faced his fellow SEAL, arms crossed. “What exactly are you trying to say, huh? You got a problem with me cooking?”
Fists clenched and jaw tight, Scotty stepped closer. He’d been on edge and strung tighter than a razor wire ever since Hayley’s return. He needed to touch her, kiss her, make sure for himself she was okay. But so far, she’d stayed in her own corner of the living room with her nose glued to her laptop, ignoring him completely.
Fighting with his team mates wouldn’t help his frustrations, but at least it allowed him to blow off some steam. “You want to take this outside? Because the way I’m feeling right now, I will kick your ass so hard you won’t sit for the next century.”
Gage laughed. “I’d love to see you try, shithead. All you combat specialists hit like girls.”
“Yeah? Speaking of girls where is Anna anyway, huh? Tired of you already, is she?”
“Don’t talk about my girlfriend.”
“You gonna stop me?”
“Enough!” Kyle stalked back into the small kitchen and shoved both of them hard. “Both of you need to pull your heads out of your asses.” He stopped and glanced at the stove. “Dinner ready?”
“Why does Scotty get to play house and bake cookies while the rest of us bust our humps on the Internet?”
“Because he’s the only one who can make more than toast.” Kyle’s flashed his icy glower, the one that had made many a recruit soil his skivvies in SEAL boot camp. He got right up in Gage’s face and growled. “You got a problem with that?”
“No.” Gage stared straight ahead at the wall, spots of color dotting his high cheekbones. “No, sir.”
Scotty snorted then regretted it immediately as Kyle swiveled to face him, same glower, same effect. He straightened and steeled his expression, staring over his team leader’s shoulder.
“You think that’s funny, smartass?”
“No, sir. Absolutely not, sir.” He did his best to ignore Gage, who stood behind Kyle, giving Scotty the finger. “Not funny at all, sir.”
“Fucking right it’s not. I should beat you both for insubordination. Don’t think I can’t either.” He turned slightly and glanced sharply at Gage, who snapped to attention again. “Now get your lazy butts back to your assigned duties. Got it?”
“Sir, yes sir!” Scotty and Gage said in unison, both adding a salute just to be on the safe side.
Kyle stomped from the kitchen and Scotty gave Gage a nasty look before turning back to plate dinner for all of them. He’d spent his youth working in restaurants, first as a bus boy then as a line cook. Anything to help his mom pay the bills. He’d helped out in her dance studio too, sweeping floors and assisting with lessons when she needed a male partner. Hell if he’d let the guys know about that though. He took enough shit just by cooking.
As he dished out portions of veggies then pulled the roast from the oven and carved it up, some of his tension dissolved. Cooking relaxed him, helped relieve his stress—those were the main reasons he did it. That and you know, avoiding starvation. Once he had all the food served up, he transferred the full dishes to the nearby galley-style bar. “Food’s ready.”
“Awesome!” Spencer was the first taker, grabbing his food then returning to the living room and stuffing the first bite in his mouth before he’d even sat down again.
Kyle was next, followed by Gage, who made a point of glaring at Scotty the entire time he stood at the counter. Finally, there were only two plates left. His and Hayley’s. He picked them up, along with silverware and napkins then walked over to her secluded corner of the room.
“Hey,” he said, taking a seat on the loveseat beside her then setting the plates on the coffee table in front of him. “You need to eat something, Red.”
“In a minute.” She kept her attention on her computer screen. “I just want to finish this.”
Scotty studied her profile—the delicate way her nose turned up at the end, the full, luscious curve of her lips, the darkening bruise on her temple.
He couldn’t go any longer without making sure for himself she was all right. He closed her laptop slowly with one finger, giving her time to pull her fingers out and give him a harsh stare.
“I was working.”
“I need to see you.” He took her hand, noticed it was trembling slightly, and pulled her to her feet. His condo was really more of an old warehouse, meaning basically one big open space. Only the bathroom had a separate door and, therefore, privacy. “Alone.”
“But what about our food?” She glanced around at the other guys, all of whom were too busy devouring their meal to pay them any attention. “What about the team—”
“I don’t care what they think.” Scotty tugged her behind him across the room. Then, just to prove his point, he shouted out, “We’ll be out in a minute, guys. Anyone who lays a hand on our grub will lose a digit.”
A chorus of disinterested grunts was the only response. Someone clicked on the flat screen TV and Scotty grinned. “See?”
Hayley looked supremely dubious, but followed him into the tiny bathroom.
There was room for a walk in shower, a small vanity with a sink, and a toilet. Not much else. He closed the door behind them and locked it, then leaned back against it, arms crossed. “So, how are you, Red?”
“Fine.” Nose wrinkled, she looked around the teeny space. “Not exactly a paradise around here, is it?”
“Paradise is what you make it.” Drawn by that invisible cord of connection between them, he moved closer, crowding her space, inhaling her strawberry scent. Jesus, he loved that scent. He placed his hands on her waist and held her still in front of him, his forehead to hers. “Did those bastards hurt you, Hayley?”
Eyes closed, she shuddered beneath his touch, her voice small and quiet. “No.”
“Why are you shaking?”
“Why are you holding me?”
He kissed her forehead, her russet brows, the lump where that bastard had smacked her with the gun. “Because I can’t help it.”
She tilted her back and to the side, allowing him better access to the long, graceful line of her throat. “Me neither.”
Groaning low in his throat, Scotty captured her lips with his, pulling her hips tight to his body, craving more—so much more—of her. He needed to stroke her creamy, freckled skin, taste the salty spice of her mouth, bury himself so deep inside her hot, silky wetness until he didn’t know where she stopped and he started.
Hayley wrapped her arms around his neck. He grasped her hips, lifting her up to sit on the vanity while he quickly removed both of their shirts and her bra. She bit her lip as he cupped her breasts in his hands, kneading them while his thumbs flicked over her hard nipples. Leaning closer, he stared down at her lovely curves, pure lust surging through his veins. “You are so gorgeous.”
“I’m not.” She shook her head then ran her fingertips over his chest and down his abs to the waistband of his jeans. “But you are.”
“No, Red. You are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Ever.” He stifled a moan at her soft caresses. “I need to be inside you. Now.”
“I want you inside me. Now.”
. With sure, fast moves, Scotty stripped them both from the waist down, then pulled a condom from the back pocket of his jeans and put it on. Hayley, still seated on the vanity, gave him a deep, open-mouthed kiss and took his rock-hard cock in her hand, guiding him between her legs. His sensitive tip nudged her wet folds and she wasn’t the only one trembling now.
He had more than his share of experience, yet this one tiny redhead made him feel like an inexperienced schoolboy again.
He cupped her face and stared into her lovely green eyes. “Ready?”
“Hell, yes.” She locked her feet behind his lower back for emphasis.
Slowly, he guided himself into her, inch by delicious inch. She was so tight yet so giving that he didn’t stop, couldn’t stop, until he was in all the way. Locked together, as deeply as two people could be, he slid his fingers through her long hair and kissed her again to swallow her cries of pleasure.
This is what he’d needed since he’d lost her on the plaza.
This is what he’d craved since she’d returned to him after her ordeal.
He withdrew slowly, then thrust home again, over and over and over again until they were both breathless and panting for release. Mindful of the people in the next room, he kept his endearments whispered while she muffled her adorable mewls and sighs against his shoulder, his neck, seemingly needing him as much as he needed her right now. When she finally arched against him with a telltale tightening in her body, he reached between them to stroke her slick folds.
“Are you close?” he whispered.
“Come for me, Red.” He slipped two fingers on either side of her swollen clit, massaging gently and she gasped, then shuddered, her nails digging deep into the muscles of his upper back as she came hard around him.
The convulsions of her body milked his aching cock and brought him to the edge of his own climax. A few more hard thrusts and he was right there with her, groaning Hayley’s name into her mouth as he kissed her hard, wave after wave of pure ecstasy and endorphins emptying his mind and relaxing his tense body until he sagged against her. As he drifted back down to earth, Scotty came back to reality in stages. Her fingers, toying with his hair. The salty taste of her skin beneath his lips. The tang of arousal and sex in the air. Smiling, he placed a kiss against the sweet curve of her collarbone then straightened. “Better?”
“Much.” She pulled him down for one more kiss then scooted off the vanity and gathered her scattered clothes from the floor. “Thanks.”
“Anytime, Red. Anytime.”
Scotty had just tugged on his jeans and T-shirt when someone pounded on the door.
“What the hell’s going on in there? Someone fall in?”
He waited until Hayley was fully clothed again then yanked open the door, his expression mulish despite his inner Zen. “We had some things to discuss.”
“Oh, I see.” From his arched brow and sly expression, what Spencer saw was straight through Scotty’s bullshit. “Is that what they’re calling it these days?”
“Shut up.” Scotty jammed his feet back into his socks then took Hayley’s hand. “C’mon, Red. Let’s eat.”
“Okay.” Humor sparked in her eyes as she followed him back to the loveseat. “I’m suddenly starving.”
“Me too.” He took his seat beside her and glanced out at the rest of the room’s occupants. Gage rolled his eyes and looked away and Kyle just shook his head. Yeah, okay, fine. So now they knew he was sleeping with Hayley. Big deal. He stuffed his mouth with tepid food and relaxed back into the cushions while Hayley opened her laptop again and perched it on the arm of the loveseat beside her then grabbed her plate.
She took a bite of his Yankee Pot Roast and sighed. “Oh my God, Scotty. This is so good.”
“Thanks.” An inordinate amount of pride swelled in his chest. Seems he satisfied his woman both in and out of the bedroom. Job well done. He paused mid-chew.
Wait. His woman?
Her laptop dinged and she glanced over. “Guys, I think I have a new lead on Natalie.”
All eyes turned to her.
“How?” Scotty asked around his last bite of veggies. No body scarfed down a meal faster than a military man.
“That’s what I’ve been working on since we got here. I tapped into the municipal security feeds. They keep track of all the national monuments, the traffic, even the metro stations. I figured if she was still in DC, that would be our best place chance of spotting her and I was right.”