Rebecca “Beck” Morrissey likes her black ops work but she’s tired of government politics, as are her closest friends. She’s spent way too much time working for secret government agencies, and she is fast approaching burnout. Her option? Join Hank Patterson’s Brotherhood Protectors—if she can convince him it’s workable. The last person she expects in the meeting is Roman McClain, the man she shared both a dangerous op and incendiary sex with four years ago. And it seems that attraction is still alive and ready to explode. How will that affect them when Beck and her friends join the Brotherhood Protectors for an extended training session in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains?
Things get even more complicated when Beck’s sister disappears, just as they learn that a radical, antigovernment group, headquartered in the Wind River Mountains, is preparing for an attack on a major target. In all likelihood, they have snatched Beck’s sister to use her as a bargaining tool. Now it’s up to Beck and her group of friends and Roman and the Brotherhood Protectors to pull off a rescue and thwart a disaster, all while she and Roman deal with an attraction that is hotter and stronger than ever.
It’s a great idea. A terrific idea. He’ll jump on it right away.
Yeah, keep telling yourself that.
Rebecca “Beck” Morrissey kept repeating those lines to herself as she drove up the driveway of Hank Patterson’s ranch to the big ranch house that also houses the offices of Brotherhood Protectors. She had a great proposal for him that was unique and had endless possibilities. Hank had built a great organization with Brotherhood Protectors and she was sure this would only enhance it.
She recalled when Hank had left his SEAL brothers to deal with trouble at his ranch in Montana. He’d told her he never realized what would evolve from that. First SEALs, then other Special Forces, became part of a still growing group that dealt with trouble better than anyone.
Now Hank had two very successful setups going already, the original Brotherhood Protectors based in Montana and the Colorado offshoot in Fools Gold, Colorado. Team Trojan, former Green Berets out of Fort Carson who had left the service and Fort Carson on a bitter note. They had formed the basis for that setup and it was working very well. But apparently the number of extreme bad guys was growing because the entire organization was constantly busy.
And they all thrived on doing the kind of work they’d trained for, but without the politics involved.
Beck and her four friends who she pitched this idea to wanted the same thing. They were all hoping Hank would say yes to her proposal. They had all been friends for a long time and had been involved in government agency dark ops or secret projects, so they brought a lot of experience with them. But like her, they were ready for something new. Something where they had fewer restrictions and could choose their cases. When Beck reached out to them with her idea they had responded with enthusiasm.
Hank will see the benefit of it.
She kept repeating it to herself as she parked her car, walked up to the house and rang the bell.
“You made it.” Hank grinned as he opened the door. “Good. How the hell are you?”
“I’m terrific.” She squeezed him back. “And getting better.”
“Well, I sure am damn glad to see you. And anxious to hear about this hot idea you have.”
“Which I hope you will think is as exciting as I do.”
“I am open to suggestion,” he told her. “Come on down to the offices. I’ve got one of the Brotherhood Protectors down there who knows you. Thought we could use his input.”
She wondered who the hell that could be? She knew a few of the men but she didn’t think she knew any of them well enough who might be on board with her suggestion.
She followed Hank down the stairs to the offices, which took up the entire basement of the ranch house.
When she saw the man lounging against one of the desks, for one brief moment she thought her heart actually stopped beating.
She hadn’t seen Roman McClain for four years and she hated the fact that her body’s reaction to him hadn’t changed a bit. One glance at him and every one of her hormones jumped up and began to dance. Heat sizzled through her and it had taken every single ounce of willpower not to let it show.
She wondered what his reaction to her proposal would be, because Roman McClain was the last person she’d expected to be a part of this.
Oh, this was so not good.
Roman, on the other hand, looked very comfortable. She wondered how long he’d been a part of BP.
His deep voice still resonated through her and lit fires under her hormones.
“Hey, Roman.” She cleared her throat. “Long time no see.”
He nodded. “Four years.”
She couldn’t stop staring at him. She thought she’d buried her feelings deep but it seemed even after all this time Roman McClain still had an incendiary effect on her.
More than six feet of well-muscled masculinity, the jawline beard he still wore accented the high cheekbones and lips that delivered scorching kisses. Kisses that she still remembered after four years. Deep blue eyes studied her from beneath thick black lashes that were the same ebony as his hair and beard. She remembered running her fingers through that thick hair. Feeling the scratch of his beard on her thighs. His—
Stop it! Get your act together.
She could be a big girl about this. He’d made no bones about their one night together. That was all it would be, a sort of celebration of the op they’d completed so successfully. Just because he’d kept his word and that one night was all they had—or were going to have— didn’t mean they couldn’t at least be civil to each other. And apparently Hank was counting on Roman’s opinion of her proposal.
“So I take it you’re out of Special Forces and are now a part of Brotherhood Protectors?” It was as much a statement as a question.
He nodded. “I am.”
“Roman’s been with us for almost two years,” Hank told her. “He’s become a key member of the organization.”
“Well, good. That’s good.”
Or maybe not.
She used every ounce of discipline to get herself under control. Her training with black ops was a big help. She’d spent four years burying the memory of her one night with Roman McClain as deep as she could. He wasn’t a man who stayed around for more. She’d known that from the beginning. But that one night together had been worth it.
“How about a cup of coffee?” Hank asked.
“Uh, sure. That would be good.” And give her something to focus on.”
Once she had taken a couple of sips of the hot liquid she drew a breath and forced an air of calm.
“Okay.” Hank’s voice broke into her thoughts. “So how about telling us what’s brought you here today.”
“Okay. Well. You know I spent the past few years working for several black ops organizations within the government.”
Hank nodded. “And from what I’ve heard, did an incredible job.” He nodded toward Roman. “Roman here told me you and he had worked an op together and it went off like clockwork. I think the words ‘consummate professional” were used, if I recall.”
“Thanks for that, Roman. It’s nice to have good advance publicity.” She took another sip of her coffee.
“Okay, Beck.” Hank waved a hand for her to tell her story. “Let’s have it. Who are these women and why would they be a good fit for Brotherhood Protectors?”
“Anyway, I have four very close friends who also worked in that environment including the CIA, the Department of Defense and others I’m not at liberty to mention. And they were—are—all damn good. The point is, we’re all suffering a bad case of burnout.”
“I can get with that,” Hank agreed, “It takes a toll and working for the government can be very frustrating.”
“Amen to that. So.” Another sip of coffee. “Anyway. Last month we were all in Virginia, having lunch and discussing our situations. And…”
Just tell him, idiot.