HOT Mess (Expanded Edition)(Hostile Operations Team - Book 2), page 1
Hostile Operations Team ® - Book 2
Lynn Raye Harris
About This Book
Books by Lynn Raye Harris
About the Author
The Hostile Operations TeamⓇ
HOT Mess: Sam & Georgie
© 2013 by Lynn Raye Harris
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About This Book
It starts with a single kiss… it’ll end with complete surrender.
Georgeanne Hayes is his best friend’s little sister. Off limits. Too perfect for the likes of Black Ops soldier Sam McKnight—no matter how badly he wants to corrupt her.
Georgie has wanted Sam for as long as she can remember. But all he’s ever done is push her away.
Now that someone wants her dead, he’ll fight to save her—and he won’t give in to the need that haunts his every waking moment.
His life far is too dangerous. Too unpredictable.
She plans to convince him he’s wrong. That she’s strong enough. She’ll fight for him, and she’ll win.
She has to… because her very survival might depend on it.
To my readers! Y’all rock! Thanks for embracing the men of HOT and the women who tame them.
Texas summers melted all the good sense a man possessed. That was the only explanation for why Sam McKnight had taken Georgeanne Hayes and driven up toward Hopeful Lake. He hadn’t intended to do it at all, but since he’d gotten back home on leave from the Army three days ago, he’d noticed one thing in this town that had changed dramatically: Georgie Hayes.
“You home for long?” Georgie asked.
He turned the car—an old truck he’d borrowed from his mother—onto the dirt track that ran around the south side of the lake. It was nearly dark now, the sun a glimmer of a memory on the horizon.
“Just a few days.”
“I’ve missed you, Sam.”
He shot her a grin. “I missed you too. Your whole family,” he added. The Hayes family had always been more of a family to him than his own. Her brother was his best friend in the world—which meant he should not be thinking of Georgie as anything more than the annoying little kid she’d always been. She used to follow him around whenever he was at her house, her barely concealed crush almost embarrassing to witness. He’d ignored it, which hadn’t been difficult to do when she’d been twelve and he fifteen.
But now she was eighteen—and impossible to ignore.
He could feel her pouting in the silence that followed. God, she’d changed. In ways he still couldn’t wrap his head around.
“I was hoping maybe you’d missed me the most,” she said softly.
“If I’d known you’d turn out like this, I might have.” Shut up, Sam.
Because he knew, as sure as he knew his own name, that he was not what Richard Hayes Sr. had in mind for his little princess. Georgie was going to the University of Texas where she’d study something suitably refined—interior design, perhaps—and marry the star quarterback.
He was just a soldier home on leave—and he had nothing to offer besides a healthy libido and a few stolen nights of passion.
“It was inevitable. Mama was Miss Dallas, you know.”
Yeah, he knew. But that didn’t mean he’d ever thought of Georgie as anything more than Rick’s little sister. Yet here she was with curves in all the right places, an impressive rack, and the most gorgeous chocolate-brown hair that tumbled in waves over her shoulders and fell all the way to her ass.
He found a place to park and turned off the engine. His heart pounded in his chest as he turned to look at her. What the hell was he doing again? He needed to drive straight back to town and forget every dirty thought he’d been thinking about her since she’d walked into the bowling alley an hour ago.
She gazed at him with eyes that he felt like he could drown in. Green eyes, like springtime in the country.
“I’m eighteen now.”
She slicked her tongue over pretty pink lips. “Then maybe you’ll finally kiss me.”
He could only stare at her for a long moment, his brain warring with his dick. She was still his best friend’s baby sister, and he had a duty to protect her just the same as Rick would if he were here. Sam had driven her out here, but only because she’d asked him to.
Dumbass. You know exactly why she asked, and you also know why you did it.
“I’m not sure it’s a good idea, Georgie.”
She unclipped her seatbelt and moved toward him. “I am. I want to kiss you, Sam. Hell, I want you. I’ve wanted you since I was thirteen.”
He swallowed hard. His voice, when he spoke, was hoarse. “You don’t mean that.”
She slid up close and put her arms around his neck. “Like hell I don’t. Oh, I didn’t know what I wanted at thirteen. But I do now. I want you, Sam. I want you to fuck me.”
“Christ, Georgie, don’t talk like that.” His hands spanned her ribcage. He intended to set her away from him, but somehow he wasn’t managing it.
And Georgie knew it.
“Why not? Does it turn you on?”
Did it turn him on? Shit, he was harder than an ice cube in Siberia. “I’m not here to stay. You know that, right? I gotta leave in two days and go back to the Army.”
“You asked me if I was home for long.”
She sighed. “Small talk, Sam. I know you aren’t staying. But I want you anyway.”
He shouldn’t do it. He knew he shouldn’t. He should start the truck and drive back toward town. But he wasn’t going to. He was weak and, from the moment she’d walked up to him looking like this, he was lost.
With a groan, Sam lowered his mouth to hers and kissed her.
Twelve years later…
“I’m sorry, Dr. Hayes, but we can’t give out that kind of information.”
Georgie gritted her teeth in frustration. She’d been getting the same answer for two days now. Military bureaucracy at its finest. She gripped the phone and tried to keep her voice calm. “Sergeant Hamilton has not formally withdrawn, but he’s not been to class for the last three sessions. Surely you know if he’s been deployed.”
The woman on the other end didn’t miss a beat. “I’m not allowed to give out that information, Dr. Hayes. We don’t discuss our personnel with unauthorized persons.”
Georgie sighed and pressed her hand to her forehead. “Fine. Can someone just submit a withdrawal form on his behalf? It will save him getting an F, which will affect h
And if she knew anything about Jake Hamilton, she knew for a fact he didn’t want that. He was dead set on graduating with honors and applying for Officer Training School. If it came down to it, she’d submit the form herself. It was against policy, but she’d argue for an exception in this case.
“I’ll see what we can do.”
After the niceties were finished, Georgie hung up the phone and suppressed the urge to scream. If she were at home alone, in her little Alexandria townhouse, she might do just that. But she was currently sitting in a coffee shop in the Pentagon concourse, waiting for her class to start.
The military did a fine job of encouraging its members to go to school, gave them plenty of money for tuition, and provided space on military installations around the world for universities to teach classes and offer degree programs. The only issue for most of her students was time since they also had very demanding jobs.
Which was where her concern for Sergeant Hamilton had come in. This was the third course he’d taken with her, and she’d never known him to miss a single session without first informing her of any temporary duty he might have. Not that he couldn’t have had an emergency, but when he missed the third class in a row, she’d begun to wonder. It just wasn’t like him to be irresponsible.
If he didn’t show up tonight, it would be the fourth time. Two weeks of class was a lot in an eight-week term. Not only that, but finals were next week, and if he didn’t come tonight, he’d never be prepared. She’d e-mailed him a couple of times now, and she’d even called the number he’d put on the information sheet she collected from every student at the beginning of the term.
There had been no reply to her calls or her e-mails, which seemed very odd.
The last time she’d seen Jake, he’d been sitting on a bench in the Pentagon Metro. She’d walked over to talk to him before the train arrived. He’d seemed a bit preoccupied, but she hadn’t thought too much about it since her students were adults with busy lives.
When the train came, he did not get on. He’d told her he was waiting for a friend so they could go out to a bar in Crystal City. The last Georgie had seen of him, he’d been talking to a dark-haired man with a manicured beard. Georgie had waved again as the train pulled out. The man standing with Jake turned, his hard gaze meeting hers. He’d looked angry, threatening in a way that shocked her. She’d snatched her hand into her lap and turned her head, breaking eye contact.
And then she’d been angry with herself for reacting that way. She was a grown woman, independent, and she didn’t like that a man had made her feel unsafe just by looking at her angrily.
But then she’d gone home, taken a hot bath, immersed herself in a book, and forgotten about Jake and his friend.
Now Georgie checked the time on her phone, and then she gathered her computer and purse and made her way down to the basement where her class was being held.
Jake never showed. Two and a half hours later she retraced her path through the Pentagon and down to the Metro station that lay beneath the building.
As she stood in the station with the hot air blowing through the tunnels and ruffling her hair, she decided that tomorrow she was calling that woman at Jake Hamilton’s unit and trying again.
She knew she should just leave well enough alone, knew that the military did what they wanted when they wanted. They could have shipped him off in the middle of the night for some sort of duty, but he wasn’t Special Forces. He worked in a general’s office as an administrative assistant. Not typically the kind of guy to disappear without notice since he wasn’t a combat troop.
Georgie yawned and stepped forward as the rush of air intensified ahead of the next train. She was so ready to take a hot bath and climb into bed with a good book and her cat. The sad state of her life these days. Being divorced was a blessing, but it certainly hadn’t done anything for her social life.
A bright light shone from the tunnel as the train fast approached. The station wasn’t as crowded this time of night as it was during rush hour, but there were still plenty of people waiting on the platform. Georgie was moving toward the platform’s edge along with everyone else when someone jostled her. Hard.
She lost her balance and slammed onto the concrete, her body sliding over the lip before she could save herself.
The darkness below yawned up at her as the train’s brakes began to screech. Her body seemed to hang over inky blackness for a long moment, her arms useless to grab onto anything because there was nothing to grab.
And then she was falling, falling, falling—into the path of the train.
Staff Sergeant Sam McKnight stood in front of a townhouse on a shaded Alexandria street and took a deep breath. It was early morning and the sun was shining bright. The sky already had that hazy look that meant they were in for another humid day in the DC Metro area. It was hotter than blazes, but not quite as hot as Texas. Or as hot as where he’d just returned from.
Texas might be hot, but the Afghan desert was hotter. He could say that for a fact now that he’d been on rotation there with his Ranger unit. He expected he’d get there a few more times now that he’d joined the Hostile Operations Team.
He looked down at his uniform—crisp ACUs—and wondered if he should have saved this visit for another time, when he could show up in jeans and a T-shirt and look halfway like the guy Georgie would remember.
But he’d just gotten back to the States recently and he was looking forward to seeing an old friend—at least he hoped Georgie was still his friend. He hadn’t known she was in DC until he’d spoken to Rick just a few days ago.
“Could you check on her for me, man?” Rick had asked. “I think the divorce messed with her head. She seems sad. Won’t come home to Texas, insists on staying in DC and teaching college classes.”
Sam frowned. He had no idea what kind of reception Georgie might give him. He hadn’t seen her since she’d married Tim Cash six years ago. Before that, the last time he’d seen her was when she’d been naked in the front seat of his truck and he’d nearly taken everything she’d offered. He’d had the good sense to stop, but he wasn’t sure she’d ever forgiven him for it.
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea, Rick. Why don’t you just call her and ask how she is?”
Rick blew out a breath. “I call her every week, but she never says anything. She avoids my questions about Tim and says she’s fine. I’ll send you her address. Just go see her. She’ll be thrilled.”
Sam fixed his gaze on her door. Birds chirped in the trees overhead as he steeled his backbone and prepared to ring the bell. Hell, he wanted to see Georgie. He just wasn’t certain she wanted to see him.
When he’d heard she was marrying that dick Timothy Cash, he swore he wouldn’t go to the wedding. But then the invitation had arrived, and though he’d replied no, he’d flown home at the last minute and walked into the reception, compelled by some force he hadn’t quite understood.
He had never forgotten the sight of Georgie in her wedding dress, or the way it had somehow managed to jab him right in the chest and make him ache for days. He hadn’t seen her since that day six years ago. Was he ready to see her now?
Sam took a deep breath and stepped up to the door. He was not scared of a little girl from his hometown just because she twisted him up inside.
No fucking way.
Sam jabbed the doorbell and waited. No one came. He jabbed the bell again and stepped back to look up at the house. A curtain moved in a window above. He didn’t know if that meant she would come to the door or not, but he wasn’t going away now that he knew she was home. Georgie couldn’t ignore him forever.
It took almost five minutes, but he heard movement inside. And then the door whipped open and Georgie was standing there, staring at him with the most God-awful, wounded-looking eyes. Jesus, had he put that look on her face? Or had Tim really hurt her that badly?
Sam wanted to drag her into his arms and hold
She blinked. And then a slow smile appeared. It wasn’t a bright smile, but it was a smile nonetheless. “Hey, Sam.” Her gaze slid over him. “Long time, no see. Get lost on your way to work?”
“Naw.” He stood there looking at her, just drinking her in and feeling that same jab in the chest he’d felt six years ago. Why? That’s what he didn’t get. She was just little Georgie Hayes, his best friend’s pain-in-the-ass baby sister.
She stood there in a stretchy tank top and what he’d been told were yoga pants, her body lush with those curves that had nearly done him in twelve years ago. Her green eyes were deep and mysterious, and her brown hair was piled on her head in a messy knot. She looked adorably rumpled, and he had a sudden thought that maybe she wasn’t precisely alone.
Which jabbed him in the chest a little bit harder than before.
She held the door open wide. “Do you want to come in?”
“That would be great.”
She stepped back and he entered, shutting the door behind him. Her foyer was dark and cool and he stood there like an idiot, waiting for her to say something. He figured if he was interrupting something, she might not let him in. On the other hand, he didn’t really know what Georgie would do these days.
She turned without speaking and he followed as she walked down the hallway. Sam frowned when he realized she was limping.
LYNN RAYE HARRIS SERIES:
Other author's books:
- Ross: 7 Brides for 7 Blackthornes (Book 3)HOT Mess (Expanded Edition)(Hostile Operations Team - Book 2)HOT SEAL Hero: HOT SEAL Team - Book 7Black Tie: HOT Heroes for Hire: Mercenaries: A Black’s Bandits NovelHOT SecretsHOT SECRETS: A Hostile Operations Team - Book 13Black List: HOT Heroes for Hire: Mercenaries: A Black’s Bandits NovelHOT Justice: A Hostile Operations Team - Book 14Hot Ice (A Hostile Operations Team Novel - Book 7)
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