(Masters and Mercenaries #16.5)
(1001 Dark Nights #84)
by Lexi Blake
Their first chance at love ended in heartbreak
Wade Rycroft fell in love with Geneva Harris when she was the smartest girl in his class. The rodeo star and the shy academic made for an odd pair, but their chemistry was undeniable. They made plans to get married after high school. Those plans changed when Genny broke his heart. Joining the Army gave him a chance to leave that life behind. News that Genny married the town’s golden boy let Wade know that he could never go home again.
A chance encounter rekindles an old flame
Fifteen years later, he’s found his place in the world and tried to forget the woman who left him standing in the rain. After leaving the Army he forged a new life as a bodyguard at McKay-Taggart, but he still feels incomplete. When his brother’s wedding brings him home to Broken Bend, Texas, he walks into a storm of scandal. Genny’s marriage has dissolved, the town has turned against her, and someone is making threats. Seeing her again reawakens feelings he thought were long gone, and he worries that staying close enough to help her could be too much to bear.
Their reunion just might kill them both
After an attempt is made on Genny’s life, Wade can’t refuse to help her. Watching over her day and night, it’s clear that having her back in his life could be the thing to finally make him whole. When the danger follows them back to Dallas, their second chance at love could be over before it even begins.
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“There’s no reason for you to be jealous of Hutch. He gave me a few kisses, that’s all.”
He dropped her hand, turned, and started back toward the office. Hutch’s truck was still here. He would kill the little fucker and that would teach him. He would torture him first. Hutch liked computers. Wade would see how much he liked them when they were shoved hard up his ass.
“Wade.” Genny ran after him, her laughter a musical sound he didn’t want to hear right now. “Wade, come on. I was joking. He let me raid his desk for chocolate. Those kind of kisses. Please don’t murder him.”
He stopped, completely embarrassed. He hadn’t been thinking. She was used to being around a man who took out his temper on her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
She grinned up at him, her hand on his arm. “You didn’t scare me. Why would you… Wade, I know you’re not Brock. I’ve always known that. I’m not terrified of all men. Hell, I’m not afraid of Big Tag. He’s kind of funny once you let him know where the boundaries are.”
“You gave Tag boundaries?” He’d been afraid to leave her alone with Ian. Not because he thought Ian would hurt her, but because he could be intimidating at times. Now that he thought about it, Big Tag was actually perfect for Genny to start practicing her newfound sass on because he would like her more if she gave him hell.
“Very firm ones, but I also offered him something in exchange. We’re going to get along fine, Tag and I. And Hutch and I are only ever going to be friends. He talks way too much about Game of Thrones, but he does have a lot of candy so it evens out to a nice friendship.” She moved her hand up to his shoulder. “I’m not interested in Hutch, but there is this guy who works in the office I am interested in.”
His whole body went on full alert. He had things to tell her, things that were important, but was here really the place to do that? Here was the place to talk about work things and who she was interested in. Interested in seeing? Interested in spending more time with? “Who might that be?”
Her eyes met his, heating up. “He’s in the bodyguard unit and he told me once that if I ever want a real kiss, I should ask him.”
He could feel the erection coming on like a runaway locomotive. He’d spent the last few months going without. The scene at Sanctum had gotten boring for him. At first it had been filled with excitement, but watching all his friends settle down had made him look at his life in a different way. Having Genny back in it made him absolutely sure he didn’t want casual sex. He wanted a woman who belonged to him, who he belonged to. He wanted disgusting, nasty, utterly committed sex. “Then you should definitely ask.”
“Wade, will you kiss me?”
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