Authors: Melissa Schroeder
someone doesn’t mean you can save him from himself.
Rumors are swirling about the fall of SeanKaheaku, but he’s ignoring them. Six months earlier, he had his entire world turned upside down and he still doesn’t know what to do about it. He retreated to his home in Hawaii to recover and reassess what he wants to do now that he’s been burned as a security agent.
Now lovers, Randy and Jamie arrive in Honolulu to find the lover they once knew is now even more secretive and belligerent. He refuses their help, but they are both too stubborn to leave—especially since they sense something dangerous is stalking Sean.
As the three lovers spend more time together, old feelings float to the surface and the twosome becomes a threesome. Nights are even hotter than the Hawaiian sun, and all three lovers find the connection exciting and overwhelming. But, the trouble is still out there and arrives intent on destroying Sean and everything he loves—including Randy and Jaime.
»WARNING: This book contains three spies who like to play games in and out of the bedroom, hot m/m loving, more m/m/f loving, dangerous games, lies, a few misdemeanors, and love scenes so hot, even most Addicts will be shocked. There is also a group of Alpha males with badges who will have their own series, a heroine who knows how to handle her two men, and two men who know exactly what she likes. As usual, ice and towels should be handy to help you through the book.
© 2015 by Melissa Schroeder
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to real people or events is strictly an accident.
Edited by Noel Varner
Cover by Scott Walker
ix Months Ago
Sean Kaheaku padded barefoot down the hallway, keeping his back against the wall. He was careful to avoid making any noise. There was no reason to alert anyone in the penthouse that he had arrived. If the package he had been sent to steal wasn’t there, he could disappear without an issue.
When he reached the door to the room, he took hold of the door handle. A slight twist told him it was locked.
Of course it was locked. It was the way this job had gone. After missing his first flight, he’d ended up showing up twelve hours later than he had planned. Still, he was a day early, but Sean had hoped to get done faster and get out of Thailand. He wasn’t well liked in some corners of Bangkok.
With deliberate moves, he pulled out his kit, picked his favorite tool. He squatted down and got to work. Why was he even doing this? He got a message from Lassiter telling him to get this package. He heard the click of the door unlocking. He slipped his tools back into his pants pocket. With a quick look down the hall in each direction, he twisted the doorknob and opened the door.
It opened slowly, and he found a completely empty room.
He frowned. There was an open window with wind billowing the sheer white curtains. Other than trash, nothing remained. It looked as if no one had lived there for months. He stepped into the room, making sure to keep his attention trained for any little sound. He walked over to the window and looked out. Nothing…just the quiet stillness of the night.
? He had been so sure that the package would be there. Lassiter had paid him to make sure. This is why he hated working alone. If Jaime and Randy had been with him, they could have used all their contacts to ensure the best results. But, for some reason, Lassiter had wanted only him on the job; and when someone pays you ten thousand for a quick pick up, you just do it. At least in his business you did. Lassiter had been mysterious and, well, weird…even for Lassiter. He’d said it was important for Sean to be the one to get the job done because for some reason, his boss thought Sean would benefit the most.
A creak sounded behind him. He turned to confront the threat, but he was too late. He saw nothing but a piece of wood that came rushing toward him. He had no time to prepare for the smack. A sharp brutal crack to his skull left him dizzy, the room spinning around him. Pain exploded then filtered out through the rest of his body. He lifted his hand and felt the spot that had been hit. His fingers touched something wet and warm. Fuck, he was bleeding.
He tried to walk, blinking to gain focus. He heard another whoosh before the wood made contact with the back of his head. Then, he was falling into a deep, dark pit of nothingness.
awake in a rush with the knowledge of two things: he drank too much the night before, and he was not alone. The first one had to do with the bottle of bourbon he’d crawled into the previous night. The latter came from years of experience.
He slipped his hand beneath the pillow to get his gun and found it missing. Unfuckingbelievable. Since his trip to Thailand six months earlier, everything in his life had gone to shit. That’s what he got for being greedy. One bad job with a high price tag, and he couldn’t seem to shake the clusterfuck his life had become.
“You don’t need to worry about that,” said a familiar female voice behind him. Her English accent had faded, but he knew the tone. She was pissed.
, his luck was getting shittier and shittier.
He turned over and tried to keep from groaning in pain—and failed miserably. His head spun and his stomach threatened to revolt. Every inch of his body ached as if someone had beaten the living shit out of him. He had only himself to blame for his present situation.
He blinked at the vision standing in his room. Jaime Andrews dressed as if she were
. But then, that was something she had always been good at. She could fit in any situation. The blue t-shirt made her Pacific blue eyes stand out even more. She had tied the shirt in a knot beneath her breasts, allowing for a view of her smooth rich brown flesh. She still had the belly ring she had gotten when they had done a job in Venezuela. Her hair was up, off her neck, and he liked it that way. It always gave him better access.
“Oh, you are a right mess, Sean,” Jaime said.
“What the hell are you here for, and why did you break into my house?”
“I wanted to knock on the door like a regular person. Randy decided we needed to break in.”
She motioned with her head across the room and, sure enough, Randy was there. Of course Randy was there. It was the way his luck had been going lately, not to mention, Randy and Jaime had been joined at the hip for over a year now.
. He couldn’t catch a fucking break. The two people who meant more to him than anyone else—until that trip to Thailand where there to see him look like an ass. His world had been turned upside down, and he hadn’t wanted to pull his former lovers into the mess his life had become.
He didn’t want to face them, to let them see where he had ended up.
Sean tried to sit up and found his stomach roiling. A soft trade wind blew through the opened window, bringing with it the smell of plumeria. It was a scent that never failed to remind him of Hawaii and give him comfort. Now, the usually pleasant fragrance made his mouth water and his belly tremble. Fuck, he’d had too much to drink. He sort of remembered the night before. It came to him in flashes. Someone had been there giving him shit about drinking too much. Del—that’s who it had been. He’d appeared at Rough ‘n Ready and dragged him out of the club. The memory of Del’s voice as he yelled at him on the drive home pounded through Sean’s head. Then, Sean remembered a very pregnant Ali was there, helping him into bed and telling him he would feel like rubbish in the morning.
“Whoa, I would not move too fast if I were you,” Randy said. He was dressed in cargo pants, a tight blue t-shirt, and his feet were bare. At least Randy could remember the rules of his house, even if they weren’t sleeping together anymore. He’d been in the sun recently. The tips of Randy’s hair always had turned to gold silk when he’d spent time on a beach. And, as usual, Randy looked fucking good enough to eat. Sean knew just how tasty that treat was.
That thought had him scowling. He’d moved on. He didn’t need either one of them. He was independent and didn’t need the pain.
“I think I know what I can handle.”
Randy rolled his eyes and walked over to the open doors that led out to the lanai. Sean could hear the lapping of waves against the shore. Normally it soothed him, but today, it made him want to throw up. Everything did.
Jaime sat down on the bed. “What the bloody hell are you doing?”
He saw the concern in her eyes and heard it in her voice. Years ago he would have been thankful for it. Hell, he would have begged for it. These days, he needed to keep her far away.
“I think I’m sitting in my bed asking questions that are not getting answered.”
“Oh, well, someone isn’t in a good mood. Not our fault that you got pissed last night,” Jaime said.
“I didn’t know you were living on Oahu now,” Randy said, breaking into the conversation.
Sean didn’t think he needed to answer that question. With as much dignity that he could muster, he scooted over to the edge of the mattress and stood up. He wobbled a bit, but recovered before he could embarrass himself.
“Oy, where are you going?” Jaime asked.
He slanted her a dirty look and decided to hit her right where it would hurt. “Be careful, Ms. Alexander, your roots are showing.”
With that, he walked into his bathroom and shut the door. Closing his eyes, he drew in deep breaths.
When he opened them, he saw his reflection in the mirror. His eye was blackened. His torso was yellow and purple.
, what the hell had he done last night?
With a shake of his head, he decided he’d call Del later to find out what happened. Sean knew it wasn’t going to be a story he would enjoy, and there was a good chance he would owe his old friend more favors.
e doesn’t look
bad,” Randy said.
Jaime looked over her shoulder at him, then back out at the waves rolling in from the Pacific. The sound of the surf coming in was the only thing keeping her calm. Her nerves had been on edge since both she and Randy had realized Sean was missing from their lives. Of course, as soon as they arrived, Randy was rationalizing the situation. Men, they always stuck up for each other.
“He looks like shit warmed over.”
There was a pause, as if Randy was trying to figure out what to say next. “He’s looked worse.”
Irritation fluttered through her. How could he not understand? “Maybe after a job. Not when he’s been lying around like some kind of slacker. Just what the hell is that about anyway? He has never been a man who liked to waste time.”
“Well, it’s not a bad place to do his laying about. I wonder where he got the money for this?”
Jaime looked around the grounds below and knew something was really wrong. This was a house that would be featured on Hawaii Five-O where a socialite might have been killed. The furnishings had been masterfully chosen, and not by Sean. He’d like finer things, but he had no sense of style. The colors, the styles, they all looked as if someone had spent time and money to perfect the look. That definitely wasn’t Sean. And, she knew one thing for sure; this had taken money. Sean had always had money, but he hadn’t had
kind of money. The house was four million—at least. The way real estate prices had been ballooning on Oahu in the last couple of years, it was probably going for a lot more. That kind of money did not just plop down in your lap.
She knew the last few years, Sean had been playing fast and loose with his jobs. Getting involved with Lassiter was one of the worst decisions Sean had ever made after they split up. Randy and Jaime had walked away from taking jobs with Lassiter, partially for personal reasons, but also because Lassiter had made some dubious connections lately. Sean had kept working for him. It was his involvement with the bastard that had been Sean’s downfall—or so they heard. Both Randy and Jaime had done jobs with Sean that were sketchy, mainly because they had wanted to protect him. Knowing he had gone on a job by himself, then disappeared off the edge of the earth had worried her. Subsequently…as the months had rolled by, and they didn’t hear anything about him…both she and Randy had started to worry. They couldn’t really put the call out for him because it might cause him issues, so they had sifted through the evidence. It had been long and painstaking, but they had finally found out what the hell happened.
Burned. As in, no connections, no protection…ruined in their business. He was considered a security risk, thanks to Lassiter—another man who had let her down more than once.
The race to find him overtook their every thought. She knew that Sean would be an ass and say he didn’t need them, but he did. Burned in their world was ten times worse than being dead. At least dead you knew the pain was over.
“Babe?” Randy asked. He was worried about her. She had been a bitch on a mission from the moment they had found out.
“He’s not working, we both know that.”
Sean was always resourceful, but the massive mansion on Oahu was beyond his means. Not to mention the Jag and the pimped out Escalade in the driveway. There was something very wrong going on with Sean, and it wasn’t all about his burning.
Randy stepped up behind her, slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her back against him. She took comfort in the warmth he offered her. He was a calming influence.
“He’s okay. We’ll figure out what’s going on.”
She sighed and let the worries she had been holding in for more hours than she wanted to think about release. It wasn’t easy. It never was when it came to Sean. He was the one person who could hurt both of them without even thinking. He never understood why the two of them kept coming back.
“We should have gotten here sooner.”
It was Randy’s turn to sigh. She had repeated that phrase over and over for the past week. “Babe, you know we couldn’t. We didn’t know about his burning until last week.”
“We should have known.”
The world of security experts—especially on their level—was a small one. Everyone knew each other and, on some days, your enemy could be your best friend. The fact that she and Randy had not heard anything was, to say the least, odd. Lassiter had not told them, but then, Jaime and he were barely speaking.
“It’s weird that we had not heard anything. If he’s been burned for six months, someone would have said something. Hell, Lassiter should have told us.”
Just another transgression to lay at the feet of Royce. The man had been nothing but trouble from start to finish, and now he had hidden Sean’s status from them. She had an idea why, but she couldn’t tell Randy. Not yet.
“You heard what Ross told us,” she said. “He’s been hanging out here in Oahu. Lord only knows why, because he always said it was too busy for him. He preferred the Big Island.”
“Let’s face it. There is no Rough ‘n Ready there. Of course, after his behavior from last night, he might not have a membership anymore.”
Club owner Micah Ross had been furious last night, but she got the feeling he was more worried about Sean than mad at him. It was definitely the reason he poured out all the info he had on him when they had shown up. If an acquaintance Sean didn’t know that well knew of his issues, it was definitely getting bad.
Randy shook his head. “There is something bothering him. You know he likes to brood.”
“Yes, but he has never been a drunk.”
And she knew why, they both did. Control was something that was so important to Sean, and drinking to excess was something he never did. Not in all the years she had known him had she ever seen him pissed, but apparently, he had been spending most of his nights that way.
“Hey,” Randy said, resting his chin on her shoulder. “We’ll help him sort it all out. I promise.”
She closed her eyes. Tears threatened, but she would not show it. She would not lose it. She had her dignity left—and that was something she planned on holding onto.
“I don’t know what the two of you are cooking up, but I don’t need your fucking help.”
Randy moved away from her to look at him. Jaime opened her eyes and turned to face Sean. He didn’t look any better…and he looked so damned beautiful. From the moment she’d met him all those years ago, she had never been able to take her eyes off him. He was one of those men who just seemed to capture the attention of everyone in the room.
He’d changed clothes, pulling on a pair of loose white pants and a shirt to match. At least now she couldn’t see the purple bruising that had covered his chest. Even if she didn’t know what he did for a living, she would recognize the lethal grace in his movements. And sweet. He was so damned sweet, but people didn’t see it in him. They only saw the player. She knew the man who could make her laugh, and who would happily feed her chocolates in bed.
It didn’t excuse him for being an ass, however. She decided to lay it out on the line so Sean knew exactly where they stood.
“Let’s just say that we are here for answers and we aren’t leaving until we get them.”