Read Pin Down (Men out of Uniform Book 1) Online
Authors: Kaily Hart
For Nash Carmichael, this downtime
was meant to be like any other. Pick a random city and settle in for some much
needed R&R—of the adult variety. Except Nash didn’t count on meeting Lexi.
He’d written her off as too young, too blonde and too “cute” for his brand of
entertainment…until her smart mouth intrigues the hell out of him.
Alexis “Lexi” Ryan might be
outwardly tough and plenty sarcastic, a byproduct of her crappy childhood, but
it’s pretty much all for show. Fact is, she’s got a big-ass problem—one she’s
kept from everyone, one she hasn’t been able to solve on her own. So how then
does the hot, gorgeous, “it’s just sex” guy manage to zero right in on it? And
somehow fix it?
Nash’s only permanent place is a
storage unit he hasn’t checked in over five years and that’s just how he likes
it. The sex with Lexi is plenty hot and dirty—just how he likes
it’s sweet too, and not just that. Soon he’s trying to remember why he vowed
never to be pinned down by anything or anyone.
DOWN Copyright © 2015 Kaily
RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any
form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying,
recording or by an information storage or retrieval system without the written
permission of the author, except where permitted by law.
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product
of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual
events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
by Grace Bradley
design by The Killion Group, Inc.
I’ve always wanted to write military heroes. A guy willing
to defend his country? That’s hot. But then I got to thinking…what happens
after? When former special forces guys are out in the wild? They’d need a
special woman who could handle them, right? And so…the Men Out of Uniform
series was born. ENJOY!
How exactly did I get roped into this again?
Oh, yeah, the guilt card had been played in a major way and
she’d been the sucker who’d caved. Also known as “doing a big-ass favor for a
friend”. Lexi sighed. It really hadn’t been so bad and it was for a good cause,
right? At least there’d been some decent eye candy to pass the time, although “decent”
might be an understatement. All those fit, hard bodies. Close-cropped hair. And
muscles, let’s not forget the muscles, a whole hell of a lot of them. And, oh
man, add to that a uniform and you had a serious case of “wow”.
Just when she figured she’d put in enough time to be able to
bow out, she saw
. Some guys had the walk, you know? The signature
stride that drew the eye with its easy movement, the one that screamed
confidence, the one you just knew meant he had to be awesome in bed. Or at
least he thought he was. And this guy had it all going on. He had the same
ripped, honed body, yet even in a crowded airport filled with returning
serviceman—big, hot, hunky guys—he still somehow managed to stand out.
He wore dark, wrinkled cargo pants that rode low on lean hips
and a black t-shirt that had seen better days, the seams stretched to the max
over a massive chest and thick biceps. The shirt hung a little loose over a
hard, flat stomach and God, how she loved that look on a guy.
His hair was dark and short, sticking up in places as if
he’d run impatient fingers through it, and he had at least a day’s beard growth
covering lean cheeks and the hard angles of his jaw. He should have just looked
scruffy, yet he exuded a sharp, savage awareness that had
the air almost crackling with energy around him. Despite his casual appearance,
his every movement screamed “fighter”, plain and simple.
He was rough, rugged and God help her, edible. She had an
urge to lift up his t-shirt and taste that hard skin, put her mouth to him, lick
him until he whimpered. Would a guy like that whimper? Would he even know how? What
she wouldn’t give to find out. She took a deep breath at the curl of heat low in
her abdomen. It had been too long, way too long, if she was drooling over a guy
just because he had a spectacular bod. She snorted to herself. He probably had women
hanging all over him on a regular basis and she’d never been much for following
And just look at him. He was scanning the area as if he’d
prefer to be anywhere but here. Now
she could relate to.
Lexi dragged her gaze away with an effort to land on the guy
next to him. Oh, so not fair. They were of a similar height and build, but
where the first guy was dark, this one was light. He was dressed in sand-colored
cargoes, a white t-shirt and except for the hard edge in his gaze, he could
have been a beach bum—brown sun-streaked hair, blue eyes and tanned.
Separately, they were more than drool-worthy. Together, they almost hurt her
eyes they were so stunning. And she wasn’t the only one to notice.
She watched with more than a little interest when the blond
guy dropped his duffel and embraced the woman who stepped up and straight into
his arms as if she belonged there. It was a clutching, clinging hold, his arms
wrapped completely around her, almost as if they wanted in each other’s skin. Her
heart slammed against her ribs, her throat went dry and she felt the heat in
Jeez, guys…get a room already.
Lexi swallowed and looked away. It was intimate, too
intimate, and that’s when reality set in, hard and fast. She didn’t have anyone
to hold or anyone to hold her and probably never ever like that anyway. As it
was, she wasn’t even likely to be getting any action anytime soon. Mr. Hot Bod
was staring down at the floor, almost as if he couldn’t stand to look at them either.
As if sensing her eyes on him, his lids lifted and his dark gaze zeroed right
in on her.
The color of his eyes made her think of melted
chocolate—dark, decadent and so not good for her. In fact, probably outright
bad for her. His look was bold and assessing and unapologetic as hell.
Lexi cleared her throat. “Welcome home, soldier.”
It wasn’t what she’d meant to say but at least she hadn’t
blurted out what she was really thinking. Yeah, that wouldn’t have been good,
but it still pissed her off because her voice came out a lot huskier than normal.
Why? Because he was a hot guy and pushed her buttons? Every single one of them?
Please. He probably had a voice like Mickey Mouse.
“Yeah. Why don’t you save that for someone who’ll appreciate
Okay, so he had a deep, gravelly voice that pushed all the
—and then some. She couldn’t help thinking
about what he’d sound like whispering dirty, naughty things in her ear while he
did dirty, naughty things to her body. So maybe he was lacking in the size
department. Nah. No guy strutted around like he owned the place with nothing
under the hood. Besides, the size of those hands and feet pretty much nixed
His eyes narrowed on her before he turned away and she
ground her teeth together. He hadn’t given her more than a cursory once-over. Most
of the guys coming through the welcome station were happy to be home, eager to
be with friends, family and loved ones. Grateful. Not this sorry, surly ass.
“Jeez, someone needs a hug,” she muttered.
His head whipped back around. He looked surprised, as if
he’d already dismissed her from his mind and wondered who the hell she was. And
he didn’t strike her as the type of guy who was surprised very often. His eyes
didn’t move from hers, but somehow she knew he’d seen as much of her as if he’d
slid his gaze up and down her body in a detailed inventory.
“Yeah?” he drawled. “You handing out those too?”
Actually, she’d lost count of the number she’d given today.
They’d been brief, casual, simple “welcome homes” and none had gotten her stomach
twisted in knots at the mere thought of it.
He glanced down at the bottle of chilled water she all but
shoved at him. The corner of his mouth lifted. “I don’t qualify for the hug
He didn’t think she would, Lexi could see that. She’d never
backed down from a challenge in her life, even if it was idiotic. In fact, that
was one of her weaknesses, probably her biggest one. She’d been here for three long
hours, handing out water, snacks and hugs, a whole lot of hugs. She needed to
get her kicks where she could, right?
“Why not?” she countered.
Lexi stepped to him before she chickened out, reached a hand
up to his shoulder and leaned in. The flesh under her hand was warm and firm. Okay,
it was more like rock hard and even through the t-shirt she could feel the heat
coming off his big body. Before she could pull back, he’d wrapped an arm around
the back of her waist and eased her closer to him. She’d meant the hug to be
quick and impersonal, just like all the others, except he was too big, too warm
and smelled so damn good she’d forgotten the point of it.
He held her loosely and didn’t do anything inappropriate,
yet all of a sudden Lexi had difficulty breathing. She swallowed at the wash of
heat that surged through her, arrowed down between her legs and caused a
stinging ache, deep inside. He smelled like a man should—hot, woodsy with a
hint of something elusive that just said “guy”, and “hot guy” at that. It was a
turn on, plain and simple.
was a turn on. God, did he realize what a
weapon of mass destruction he was? Yeah, he probably did.
She felt the deep breath he pulled into his lungs and
frowned. She eased back and he released her immediately.
He stared at her for a second before a frown appeared between
his eyes. “Thanks for the bump and grind, but I gotta go.”
Lexi felt heat crawl into her cheeks and clenched her hands
into fists. It had nothing to do with her reaction to him.
was just a rude, obnoxious…
“What the hell is your problem?” she hissed.
One of his eyebrows lifted. “My problem?”
“I’m here, voluntarily and on my own free time as a service
to welcome you home and you
“So? You want a medal for that?”
” she all but sputtered. “So, the least you
“Is what? Christ,” he sighed and shook his head. “Do-fucking-gooders.”
“Asshole,” she muttered under her breath.
“Is that the best you can do?” He laughed,
and Lexi ground her teeth to keep from saying anything else. “Baby, I’ve been
called a hell of a lot worse than that, believe me.”
“Come home with me.”
Lexi’s stomach jolted and for a split second she thought
said the words. And to her.
Wrong on both counts. They both turned to look at the blond
guy at the same time. She’d completely forgotten about him and that had to be
saying a lot. If the expression on the dark-haired guy’s face was anything to
go on, he’d forgotten him too.
Maybe she had rocked his world some—just a little—or at the
very least provided an unwelcome distraction.
Mr. Hot Bod gave her a last quick look, cleared his throat
and turned away from her. “Nah,” he said to the blond guy. “You go enjoy
Lexi could guess exactly how the blond guy was going to do
that if the way the woman was clutching his hand was any indication. Some women
had all the luck.
“Come on, man—”
“Fuck, Jake, don’t we spend enough time together? Look, I
plan to hole up somewhere, get some decent sleep on a soft bed, drink some good
quality beer and get laid. As often as possible. Don’t need a babysitter for
that.” He glanced at the other woman. “You get in some quality time, okay?”
“You’re not fooling me. Anonymous sex isn’t all it’s cracked
up to be.”
He choked out a laugh. “Yeah? I deserve some oblivion. We’re
both long overdue. You get it your way, I’ll get it mine.”
He glanced back at her, a single hot glance that said he
probably knew what she looked like naked and she didn’t exactly do it for him,
hoisted his duffel more firmly over his shoulder and walked off. No, sauntered.
The way he moved couldn’t be called mere walking and
if she still
didn’t get a tingle just from watching him.
Lexi sighed, her gaze fixed on the way the soft fabric of his
pants hugged the hard curves of his ass, when her phone beeped. God, how she’d
come to hate the sound. She should have turned the damn thing off. The sense of
dread that was never far from the surface rose up and over her like an ominous
blanket, even before she took the phone out of her pocket, flipped open the
cover and looked at the text. All the warmth, even the sharp heat of annoyance
was gone, replaced in an instant with ice—cold and black—in her gut, deep inside
She flipped the sound off and slid the phone back into the
pocket of her jeans. She glanced around, trying to act normal, trying to
normal. Everyone was going about their business, living their everyday lives,
taking care of everyday, mundane things. It wasn’t fair. It just wasn’t. She tried
to swallow, but the ice had made its way up into her throat. She hated feeling
like this, hated feeling helpless, clueless and scared. And yeah, she couldn’t help
but be a little resentful. How she wished her only problem was some gorgeous
jerk who defined a new level of rude and thought he was God’s gift to women.
she knew how to handle. This other crap? Not so much.
* * * * *
What were the chances?
Nash leaned back against the bar and lowered his lids while he
kept his gaze trained on the dance floor. For someone he’d written off as too
young, too blonde and too “cute”, she sure knew how to move that hot body. And
those curves…where the
had she been hiding those curves at the
He knew despite his civilian clothes and longer-than-regulation
hair, he looked military. He lived it and breathed it, so why not? And he knew
the way he carried himself pretty much catalogued him too. There wasn’t a whole
hell of a lot he could do about that.
The dismissive line he’d thrown her should have left her
speechless, stopped her in her tracks, had her crying back to her mama. Nope.
Not even close. She’d looked down her nose at him as if she’d missed the
cutting comeback. Even if the brush-off had gone over her head, the scowl was usually
enough on its own.
Tough guys had cringed under one of his famous scowls, but
not her. And she’d called him an asshole. He smiled. She’d muttered it low
enough that no one around them would be able to hear. Except him. He’d bet she’d
pitched it perfectly to be sure he heard it though.
Right now she was wearing a short denim skirt, a white tank
top and cowboy boots. Oh, man, those boots. Even though she was kind of short, they
made her legs look endless. Sleek, smooth expanses of honey skin he could all
too easily picture wrapped around his hips. Hooked in the crook of his elbows. Or
draped over his shoulders. He swallowed. And yeah, she’d have nothing but those
All at once he was hard and not just his dick. Every single
muscle in his body had stiffened at those images crowding his brain. Christ, it
couldn’t be because of
. So she was the first woman he’d been close
to in months. He still should have been able to get the feel of her softness out
of his mind by now, along with how sweet she’d smelled.
He told himself he’d still been raw from witnessing the
reception Jake had gotten from his girlfriend. They’d held on to each other as
if they couldn’t get close enough. Man, whatever floated his boat. Even though
Nash thought being reduced to that was lame, he could still wonder what it felt
like to want—to need—someone else like that, right?