Authors: Sophie Brooks
Copyright © 2016 Sophie Brooks
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This book is a work of fiction. All names, characters, events, locations, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.
Note: This book was previously published as
I CROUCHED BEHIND a low wall, aiming a gun at the tall man facing away from me. Was I really going to shoot him in the back? Hell yeah I was. Squeezing an eye shut, I pulled the trigger—once, twice, three times. He spun in surprise, registering the hits while his eyes went in all directions.
“You’re dead, Shane,” I cried, popping out from behind the crumbling brick wall. It was tempting to shoot again, but he was done and he knew it. A moment later a disembodied voice from an overhead speaker confirmed it, and he slunk away, defeated. Hmm ... this laser tag thing was growing on me.
Moving on, I looked for my next target. It was employees versus spouses, and I’d already taken out two of Ian’s colleagues. Carefully, I moved along an alley, keeping an eye out for cover in case someone from Ian’s team showed up. I’d always pictured laser tag as people running around in the dark wearing glow-in-the-dark vests. But this was different. It was the ‘largest laser tag arena in eight states’ according to the boring speeches we’d heard earlier.
A burst of gunfire came from my left. Scanning the area, I ducked behind the shell of a dumpster that looked as if it’d been bombed. The big selling point of this ‘state-of-the-art laser tag facility’ was the post-apocalyptic theme, and I had to admit they’d done a good job. I knew we were in a large building that used to be an old factory, but it truly looked like a city in ruins.
Ian had been telling me about it for weeks, how his marketing firm—hired to create a buzz before the grand opening—had pushed the idea to people who liked laser tag, people who liked first person shooter games, and people who read futuristic sci-fi. This was just the soft opening for those who’d worked on the advertising campaign, but I could see this place being a hit. I was having fun, and twenty-seven-year-old female lawyers weren’t exactly the target demographic.
And speaking of Ian, there he was, running down an alleyway, avoiding jets of neon light coming his way. With his strong, athletic body and his darkly handsome good looks, he seemed more action hero than advertising executive. Of course, he should be good at this, I thought, watching him dodge around a twisted pile of metal that looked as if it was supposed to be a barricade. He played those shoot ‘em up video games all the time. Or at least he used to, before he started spending such long hours at work. Not that I was the poster child for a healthy work-life balance.
Ian passed me followed by two pursuers whom I recognized as the husbands of his coworkers. I crouched down lower, grateful that the dim light meant he hadn't seen me. He turned right at the end of the block and the other men followed, one of them panting a little at the exertion.
There was a shout of surprise, and the sound of several shots being fired. Then the loudspeaker announced that Rodney and Davenport were out. Suckers. I guess I should’ve been upset that I’d lost two more teammates, but no way those bozos were a match for my man.
Holding my gun with both hands, I crept cautiously in the direction Ian’d gone. Rounding a corner, I moved slowly through an archway, pointing my gun all around like actors do on police dramas. I didn’t see anyone, so I hurried round the next bend, which opened up to a deserted side street. There was a rusty, broken-down car blocking the way off to the left, but there was space for a person to squeeze by. I went that way, hoping to find better cover.
Easing around the front bumper—apparently cars of the future still had those—I had my eyes set on a small alley off to the side when a hand snaked around my waist. I let out a shriek as I was pulled down into the dark space between the car and the wall of a building. Struggling, I tried to turn, but I was held tight against a large, hard body. A very familiar body.
“You scared me,” I said, struggling to break free.
“Shhh,” he said, his voice hard to hear over the pulsing music. “I saved you, Alyssa. Johnson is right around the corner.”
I squirmed, unable to get loose as Ian pulled me back farther. He had a sweet hiding spot with his back to the wall, the car shielding him to the right. He made it even more secure by pulling open the car door as soon as we’d cleared it. I got my feet underneath me and leaned forward to place my gun over the windowless car door. Now if Johnson came around the corner, I could pick him off, too.
Behind me, Ian chuckled softly. “Since when did you become G. I. Jane?” he said, pressing himself against my back. Even through the somewhat stiff fabric of the jumpsuits we wore—which were wired with sensors to register hits—his body pushing against mine felt good. It’d been a long while since we’d done something fun like this. Something playful.
“I took out Shane,” I said.
“Serves him right for trying to claim credit for my slogan last week. I got Davis’s wife, whats-her-name. In the tight dress.”
“Heather,” I said, frowning. She’d worn a low cut, practically see-through little black dress with endless cleavage, and she’d been eyeing Ian all night. She’d probably run right up to him hoping to flirt and gotten taken out for her trouble.
The thought made me smile though I had to admit that my blouse was fairly low cut, too. But there was a difference between classy and trampy. Heather apparently hadn’t gotten the message that this was just another meet and greet that spouses were obligated to go to, not a place to strut her stuff.
I went to things like this for Ian, and he went to things like this for the law firm where I worked. Though as far as spousal obligations went, this was definitely one of the better ones. And I was still enjoying Ian’s hard muscles pressed against me from behind. He worked out at his company gym when he had time. I wished my company had a gym.
Just for fun, I wiggled my ass back against Ian’s firm thighs. His arm was still wrapped around me, his face buried in my hair. “Be good,” he said, his voice a low growl in my ear.
“I don’t want to be good. I want to take Johnson out. You said he’s just up there?” I shifted as if to stand but Ian held me back.
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen you in Alyssa-the-Avenger mode. Who knew you could kick butt in high heels?”
“Hey, I dressed for cocktails, not combat. But now that we’re here, I’m in it to win it.”
“Hope you can settle for coming in second.”
“Not likely. I could shoot you right now.”
He chuckled, but his strong hands held my upper arms, locking them in place. “I didn’t shoot you when I had the chance.” His breath was warm against my neck. “What’s to stop me from doing so now?”
“Maybe the fact that only one of us is holding a gun. Where’s yours?”
“In my holster,” he began, and I felt his grip loosen for a second. I took my chance and pushed with both feet, slamming back against him. I tried to twist around and get my gun pointed at him, but he grabbed my wrist, forcing my hand upward. I accidentally squeezed the trigger, the green stream of light briefly illuminating the ceiling painted to look like dark skies. Ian pushed my arm away until my gun was pointed uselessly at the wall behind us.
Reaching out with my free hand, I groped for his holster, but he caught that hand too, pushing me back and pinning my hand—and my gun—to the ground above my head. He swung his leg over mine, straddling me.
“That was easy,” he said. His arrogant smirk made me push against him even harder, but it was no use. He was too heavy. Too strong. It was a waste of effort to struggle. Besides, his toned thighs pressing on either side of my hips felt pretty damn good. For a moment, I forgot this was a competition and just enjoyed the feeling of his weight pressing me down. It reminded me of when we used to have a sex life.
In the dim light, I could see Ian’s eyes were alive with excitement. Maybe he was turned on, too? I thought I could feel hardness occasionally brush against my abdomen. Or maybe his keyed up expression was just because he was winning. Or rather, because he
he was winning. He loved any kind of competition. In college, he’d played tennis and baseball. I’d often wondered why he hadn’t become a lawyer like me. He loved to compete. He loved to win.
My smug husband looked at me mockingly. “What now, sweetheart? We seem to be at an impasse.”
“We could call a temporary truce and go our separate ways,” I suggested, already planning how I’d get the drop on him if he fell for that.
But he just smiled. “Why would I do that? Not when I’ve got my sights set on a gorgeous woman with her hair all messed up and her shirt gaping open.” He grinned down at my chest, and I realized the zipper at the front of the jumpsuit had worked its way down during our struggle. That should’ve been fine, I was wearing normal clothes underneath, but the neckline of my thin blouse seemed to have gotten pushed askew.
Ian’s gaze turned evil as I squirmed under him, trying to get free. Still pinning my wrists, he leaned down, nuzzling his nose between the tops of my breasts. His tongue darted out, slipping along my cleavage and making me squirm for an entirely different reason.
“Stop it,” I said. “Don’t they have cameras in here?”
“Tons,” he murmured against my chest, sounding unconcerned. Easy for him to say. He wasn’t flashing anyone. Mmm ... but he was doing something that felt amazing, blowing soft air across the top of one breast and then the other. I felt my nipples harden and I sincerely hoped that these high-tech jumpsuits only registered laser hits and not other things pressing against the fabric.
“C’mon, let me up. It doesn’t matter who wins. It’s just a friendly game,” I said, fairly certain he knew I didn’t mean a word of it. I was pretty competitive, too.
“Just a game,” he scoffed. “Remember that all-night game of Zombie Threat 3 our junior year of college? We played until the sun came up.”
I remembered, and not just about playing the video game. We’d probably spent more time talking that night, when we were only dating, than we had the entire last month. And we were married now. Amazing how two high-powered careers can do that to a couple.
But tonight, we were actually doing something fun together. It would be a shame to spoil it with negative thoughts, so I let my competitive side take over. “Hard to believe it took you seven hours to beat a girl who’d barely been playing the game for three weeks.”
“Maybe I liked staying up all night with that girl,” Ian said. “Maybe I would’ve even let her win if we hadn’t made that bet.”
her win,” I said sarcastically, before my mind registered the latter part of what he’d said. “Wait, what bet?”
“Oh, I’m pretty sure you remember ... especially since you lost,” he said, moving his mouth up to my throat.
And suddenly I did remember. Somewhere around five in the morning, we’d gotten to trash talking each other—fueled, no doubt, by a box of sugary donuts—and decided that the loser would
the winner. Orally. We’d had sex a few times before that point, but intimate sexual acts together were still kind of new to us.
When I’d lost, I’d felt initially apprehensive about giving Ian a blow job, but he’d been really great about it, somehow managing to be teasing but also encouraging when it was time for me to pay up. It had ended up being a really fun experience for both of us—one that we had repeated many times since, at least before we’d both gotten so busy.