No dirty deed goes unnoticed in a seductive game of cat and mouse. But for Alec and Gaige, the wrong move could get them killed.
Alec Drummond didn’t make his billions by playing nice—or by playing much at all. When it comes to pleasure, Alec only has time for whatever’s quick and easy, which is exactly what he gets from his company’s hot new computer genius. But Gaige Owens isn’t some pushover. He pushes back, and it’s giving Alec a rush. The question is, could Gaige be the one who’s leaking trade secrets? Just to be safe, Alec keeps him close at hand . . . night and day.
Gaige never thought he’d roll over for a man like Alec again, but who could resist sex this mind-blowing? Then there’s the draw of Alec’s mysterious side: his cutthroat ambition, his covert CIA connections, and the murder in his past. For Gaige, a deeper look proves an irresistible temptation. But when Gaige and Alec are stripped of their defenses by an unseen danger, everything they don’t know could bring them closer together—or tear them apart. Only one thing is certain: Before it’s all over, someone’s going down.
Gaige stopped in the middle of the living area and faced Alec again. “You live here alone?”
Gaige frowned. “What kind of answer is that?”
It was a fair question. Alec wasn’t exactly accustomed to explaining, or even talking all that much when he was at home. “Other than my brothers, an assistant and, most importantly, the woman who makes sure I don’t live in filth, I am the only one here most of the time.”
He never brought men here for sex. Not in his personal space. That saved him from having to escort men back out again on a regular basis. There was also the matter of security, which he took seriously. Money attracted some difficult types, and Alec had no interest in being seen as an easy mark for someone looking to make quick cash.
“I’m guessing you don’t trust anyone else,” Gaige said as he walked to the glass doors that folded open in an accordion style but were closed now.
“What makes you think I even trust the people I listed?” But he did. Those few and not many others. Alec kept his circle tight. It was sloppy and foolish not to.
Gaige shook his head as his gaze traveled over the rock garden in the backyard. “That sounds emotionally healthy.”
“Would you like to talk about all of your friends? Is someone actually looking for you right now?” When Gaige shot him a side-glance, Alec almost laughed. He did appreciate a man who valued privacy. “Yeah, I thought not.” Alec joined Gaige at the window. He pointed to a small white box at the top of the glass doors. “The building is protected by security and sensors and cameras, so don’t try to sneak out.”
“You know how to make a guy feel welcome.” Gaige turned and smiled.
The unexpected look hit Alec with the force of a sucker punch to the gut. He expected anger and frustration, even fear. Not this. The way Gaige’s expression changed, his eyes lit up and warmth spilled out of him. Just for a few seconds, but it was there, making Alec’s breath stutter inside him.
He never gave a shit about a guy’s smile. Arms, yes. Ass, definitely. This whole package, the immediate need to know more, he’d only experienced that type of racing thrill on the job.
Rather than analyze what was happening between them, he stepped back. When that didn’t seem to work, he took another step. Then he tried clearing his throat. “Do you have clothes?”
He really wasn’t good at this practical shit, but he tried anyway. “Did Seth give you time to pack a bag before throwing you on a plane?”
“Ah, that.” Gaige nodded. “I have a few things. My hope is that I’ll only be here a day or two.”
Alec guessed that estimate wasn’t close.
“You can borrow what you need.” For whatever reason the thought of Gaige walking around in sweatpants and a tight tee excited Alec. He clearly needed to get laid and soon.
“Uh . . .” Gaige’s gaze slipped up and down Alec’s body. “I don’t wear suits.”
“Yeah, I guess it would be hard to navigate a jacket while you’re breaking into another man’s office.” There, that got rid of the smartass grin. Alec’s discomfort faded and he flipped right back to being in control. “We’ll come in and out together, so you don’t need a key.”
“So, essentially I’m in prison,” Gaige said.
He caught on quick. Alec liked that about him. “You’re free to leave right now, but I’m guessing you won’t.”
“Because you’re so hot.”
Words slammed to a halt in Alec’s brain. He had to swallow twice before he could force out a sentence. “Because Seth has made it clear that you owe him and he’s collecting.”
Gaige eyes narrowed. He seemed to be studying, assessing. “What if I want fresh air or a drink you don’t have?”
“I’m prepared to meet all of your needs.” As soon as the words were out there, Alec knew they were true. His brain fought the truth for a second then gave in without much of a push.
The rational side of him, which was almost all of him, knew how this worked. He followed a pattern. If he was attracted to someone and the man showed he was willing, Alec flashed a green light. This time wouldn’t be any different. He wouldn’t make special rules for Gaige because the guy was not special.
“That sounds . . .” Gaige blew out a long breath as he stepped over to the base of the staircase and glanced up.
“Maybe finish your sentence.”
“I’m starting to know what a caged animal feels like.”
For a second Alec didn’t move except to turn and watch Gaige’s walk, those long legs, every inch of him lean and muscled. The way his black pants balanced on his hips, just begging for someone to slip off that belt and rip them down.
Alec hadn’t felt this punch of need in months. The work had piled up as they expanded the company into new territories. He’d spent long hours trapped at his desk, denying an urge. Before that he’d depended on his private club to find bed partners. Men who coveted privacy and a hard screw as much as he did. He couldn’t remember any of their faces. Not really. But he found his mind memorizing Gaige’s.
“Am I?” Alec asked, thinking back to the lost strand of a previous conversation. One that suddenly mattered far more than it should.
Gaige spun around. “Wait, what?”
“Hot.” Not how he’d describe himself, but he didn’t mind if Gaige did. “Your word, not mine.”
“In a dirty, restless kind of way.”
That didn’t sound like a bad thing. Kind of great, actually. “Good to know.”
HelenKay Dimon spent the years before becoming a romance author as a divorce attorney—not the usual career transition. Now she writes full-time and she’s much happier. The author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and short stories that have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan, she’s on the board of directors of the Romance Writers of America and teaches fiction writing at UC San Diego and Mira Costa College.
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