I normally wouldn’t answer my phone while a gorgeous redhead was performing a strip tease in my bedroom, but it’s Rachel Hart-Wright calling. As my second in charge at Jameson Force Security, she wouldn’t call unless it was important. Besides, I’m just cocky enough to take a business call while receiving personal pleasure.
“This better be good, Hart,” I say curtly after connecting. My gaze drifts ever so briefly to the almost-empty glass of scotch in my hand before going to the woman dry humping my bedpost to some rock song I don’t recognize. She watches me through heavy-lidded eyes, knowing I’ll reward her.
“I don’t know if good is the word,” she drawls. “There’s a lot of money involved, but you’re not going to like who it’s from.”
“If it’s that bloody congressman who hired us to babysit his duffer son, the answer is no.” That job had taught me there are some things money can’t buy.
“What the hell is a ‘duffer’?” Rachel asks.
“Someone who’s useless,” I say distractedly as the woman in front of me peels off her bra, exposing gloriously perky tits.
“You Brits have a funny way of talking,” Rachel replies. “Why couldn’t you just have said ‘useless’?”
I feel the corners of my mouth turn upward into an amused smile, but she’ll never know. My tone is one of impatience when I mutter, “Just tell me what the job is, and I’ll approve or deny it.”
“It’s Joslyn Meyers.”
My blood pressure instantly spikes, and I tighten my fingers so hard on my glass I’m surprised it doesn’t shatter. It’s difficult not to yell into the phone, but there’s no mistaking the force of my words. “Not only no, but hell no. Whatever she needs, the answer is a bloody fucking no.”
“I think you should listen—”
“I said ‘no’,” I bark into the phone but then immediately lower my voice. “Now is there anything else we need to discuss that doesn’t have to do with Joslyn Meyers, or can I get back to what I was doing before you tried to ruin my night?”
“She’s in serious trouble,” Rachel snaps.
“Don’t care,” I snarl.
“Her life is in danger.”
Every muscle in my body goes rigid. A slight sweat breaks out on my forehead that has nothing to do with the redhead shimmying out of her panties. I give a hard shake of my head, wondering why Joslyn still has the power to affect me after all these years. Still, I manage to grit out between my teeth, “Don’t. Care.”
“That’s what you want me to tell her?” Rachel asks calmly.
“I don’t give a shit what you tell her, as long as the word ‘no’ is somewhere in your sentence.” I push away every bit of the concern for Joslyn that’s starting to rear its ugly head. “Refer her over to Miller’s agency. They do protection detail just fine.”
There’s a long moment of silence as Rachel digests what I’m saying. She’s well aware of my enmity toward the world-famous Joslyn Meyers, and I can’t understand why she wants to fight me on this. I let my eyes roam all over the now fully naked woman—who is indeed a natural redhead—hoping it will distract me from this distasteful conversation.
“Fine,” Rachel says with a sigh.
I feel elated to have this matter resolved, but I choose to ignore the fact I’m also strangely unsettled because it isn’t—not for Joslyn anyway.
“I understand and respect your decision. But you can tell her yourself.”
It doesn’t quite penetrate what happens next because before I know it, Joslyn’s soft voice comes over the line. “Kynan,” she says hesitantly.
I bolt upward in my chair, my spine stiff and unrelenting. Setting my glass on the table beside me, I see nothing even though I’m staring at the dancing woman who is now touching herself in the naughtiest way.
“Kynan,” Joslyn says again. Her voice quavers with emotion. “I could really use your help.”
I scrub a hand over my face, blinking stupidly at the woman across my bedroom as her hand works between her legs. She moans softly, but it doesn’t touch me at all.
My jaw locks hard for a moment, and I tell myself to stay strong. “We’re not taking on celebrity detail anymore. We can refer you to a good agency to fit your needs.”
Not the full truth, but she doesn’t need to know that.
The Jameson Group has expanded greatly over the last two years since I bought it from Jerico Jameson in a seven-million-dollar deal. The first thing I did was change the name to Jameson Force Security to better reflect my new business model. While the biggest chunk of our business is mainstream work—protecting celebrities and installing top-of-the-line security systems—our most lucrative contracts still came from the United States government and other foreign allies for “specialized” work that can be hard to come by.
Or more accurately… hard to get approval for. Jameson Force Security has become the go-to private security contractor. We offer the type of “off-the-books invisibility” a government might need when doing top-secret covert work.
And because the mainstream part of the business is running like a well-oiled, money-making machine and I’ve been getting a bit bored, I’ve decided to expand the covert-operations part. Because of that, Jameson Force Security was born, developed, and is now ready to take on more work.
So ready, in fact, I’m on the verge of opening a new set of offices in Pittsburgh as I need to be in better proximity to Washington, D.C. Rachel had asked me why I didn’t just move to D.C., but I can’t stand the place. I’ve always loved Pittsburgh, though. It’s a city rooted in steel, grit, and determination, which is exactly the way I’d describe Jameson Force Security. I’m going to relocate to Pittsburgh and Rachel is going to stay in Vegas to run the private-security portion of the business.
“If it’s a matter of money—” Joslyn says, interrupting my straying thoughts.
I cut her off. “It’s not.”
“Please, Kynan,” she implores, and I can hear the watery tears in her voice.
Thankfully, I’m momentarily distracted when the redhead crawls on her hands and knees toward me. Blue eyes flashing with heat, her tits swaying provocatively. Silently, and with a little bit of satisfaction, I realize this woman before me is exactly what I want and need, while the woman on the phone, probably sitting in her multimillion-dollar Malibu mansion, is not.
Hands come to my thighs, slide up, and work at my belt. My cock finally deciding to get into the game, it starts to thicken at the prospect. I settle into the chair, lifting my hips briefly so she can reach inside my pants to pull me free.
I suppress a groan as her hand circles me tight and starts to stroke. Reaching out, I cup her breast, relishing the weight of it before giving her nipple a pinch. Her lush lips peel into a wicked smile right before she puts her mouth on me.
Fuck yeah. That’s exactly what I need.
My hand goes to her hair, fingers gripping her fiery locks tightly. Using my grasp as a piston, I help her bob up and down, starting to get lost in the sensation.
“He almost killed me last night,” Joslyn says and for a moment, her words don’t register.
But then they do, and I roughly yank the redhead off my cock. Her eyes widen in surprise, but I shake my head as I sit upright in my chair again.
“What?” I manage to rasp out.
“A stalker,” she whispers. “He’s been harassing me for a really long time. Last night, though, he actually managed to break into my house. I couldn’t get to my panic room in time.”
The air in my lungs freezes. She has a panic room. Which means she’s been battling a serious threat. Everything around me seems to slow as my ears ring with her revelation.
“He heard the sirens approaching before he could…” When she abruptly stops, bile rises in my throat. She coughs before finishing softly. “He ran off, and they didn’t catch him.”
I clear my throat from the thick emotion that has built up. “Where are you? Is someone with you now?”
Joslyn mirthlessly laughs. “I’m in your office. Over on Clarke Avenue.”
“Put Rachel on the phone,” I instruct, my words clipped and impersonal.
There’s an indistinct murmuring between the women as the phone gets passed. Rachel’s brisk and professional voice comes through. “What do you want me to do?”
Longingly, I stare at the redhead who has since moved over to lounge in a sexy pose on my bed. I want to get lost in her. Want to forget everything else.
There’s no holding back the sigh of resignation that escapes me. “We’re taking the case. Starting now. Bring her to my house.”
“Your house?” Rachel asks in surprise.
“For safety’s sake, she stays with me until I can figure out who to assign this case to.”
Rachel is silent for a moment, but then murmurs, “But you’re not alone.”
“True,” I reply as I stand. My pants barely cling to the edges of my hips. I’ve even lost my hard-on, a matter that needs to be rectified immediately. After I walk around the bed, I run hot eyes over the beautiful, luscious creature stretched out there. “But that’s none of Joslyn’s concern. We’re nothing to each other but business.”
“Gotcha, boss,” Rachel says, clearly amused. She’s known me for years. Hell, we were fuck buddies for a time. She caught me on the tail end of mine and Joslyn’s breakup, and I got lost between her legs as we traveled the world in search of adventures and thrills. She was easy to talk to, so she knows the basics of what happened between us.
But Rachel and I aren’t like that anymore. We’ve been colleagues at Jameson for over a decade. Once we started working together, it became purely professional. Since Jerico sold out to me, Rachel is the most trustworthy peer to me in this business. She’s also nonjudgmental. If my treatment of Joslyn is less than civilized, Rachel won’t hold it against me.
The redhead rises to her knees, then scoots toward me. Her fingers work at the buttons of my shirt. Once it’s bared, she leans in to place a kiss on the center of my chest.
My cock stirs, springing back to life, and I disconnect the call.
Joslyn is forgotten.
For the time being.