Guarding His Fake Family

Former Navy SEAL and true crime author Simon Stone needs a break, not a girlfriend. After initial success with his first book, his reputation was smeared by a backstabbing ex and now he’s looking to redeem himself. Alisha Lewis, the sister of one of his former squad mates could be his ticket to his next bestseller. She’s sexy, smart and just happens to be an investigative reporter working on what might be the perfect story for his next book. A smuggling operation in a local auction house is intriguing, but so is Alisha. After the adrenaline rush of a stakeout gone bad, they share a night of passion, one they both agree was a mistake—especially after a cop buddy tells Simon that the story is all a fabrication by Alisha. But that one night of passion has lasting consequences when Alisha learns she’s pregnant.

Alisha’s life has certainly been better. She’d been on the cusp of exposing a major smuggling operation and now she’s pregnant and—thanks to Simon confronting her in the middle of the newspaper office—she’s been pulled off investigative stories. She’s got more than a bit of a grudge, so while she feels obligated to tell Simon about their little surprise, Alisha makes it clear that she doesn’t need his help. She didn’t expect him to insist on coming along to keep her and the baby safe. And she definitely didn’t expect to need his protection when they stumble on an abduction in progress. Soon, they’re up to their necks in crooked cops, kidnappers, and the kidnap victim’s abandoned baby. Not to mention the red-hot passion that continues to flare between them. It’s enough to give a girl fits. Worse yet? As they work to solve the mystery, Alisha realizes she’s starting to fall hard for the sexy SEAL. But will they be able to survive long enough to fall in love?

Guarding His Fake Family is available on Amazon.

Extended Excerpt

Chapter One

When most people heard the name Stagecoach Pub, they probably pictured Wild West themes and maybe a mechanical bull to ride in the back. In truth, it was just like every other hole in the wall bar anywhere else on earth. No cowboys. No bulls. Plenty of dim lights and sticky floors.

Simon Stone had seen his share of them in his twenty-eight years, from Istanbul to Indianapolis and everywhere in between. If there was one thing his stint as a Navy SEAL had been good for, it was travel. He sipped his Jameson and stared at the reflection of the other patrons crowded in behind him.

Actually, being a SEAL had given Simon way more than an appreciation for dive bars. He deeply valued the skills he’d learned, the bonds he’d forged, the experiences that had pushed him to grow and change. He’d loved being a SEAL, which was why it had been so hard to leave it all behind. But being a SEAL had taught him to pursue justice, no matter the risk to himself. And sometimes that pursuit of justice meant resigning from the military, digging up the truth behind a criminal ring, and exposing the story to the public. Transition out of the Navy and back into civilian life had been challenging, but now he was a bestselling true crime author. Or at least he had been, until his bitter, manipulative ex had smeared his reputation in the tabloids, claiming he hadn’t written most of the book that had made him famous.

“Can I get a Chivas and soda, please?” a woman said to his right, nudging into the narrow opening between Simon and a raucous group of twentysomethings, out for a night on the town in Seattle. “And can you tell me if Hendrix Andronetto has been in tonight?”

“Not that I’ve seen.” A bartender gave her a wary look and a curt nod. “Be right back with your drink.”

The name caught Simon’s attention, as did the fact that the woman was gorgeous. If you went for that whole petite, curvy, Zoe Kravitz-type, which he did. Except he wasn’t looking for any kind of relationship at the moment—not even a casual, one-night fling. In fact, he’d sworn off women in general after his last bad breakup. Nope.

Didn’t mean a guy couldn’t look, though. From beneath his lashes, Simon took in her jeans and leather jacket, the long, dark, soft-looking braids hanging down her back, and the smooth, mocha skin of her hands as she handed the bartender her card. Yep. She was a beauty all right. And she looked vaguely familiar too, though he couldn’t place from where. He wondered if she was an actress or a musician. But then, no one else in the bar was giving her looks of recognition.

A stool opened up beside Simon’s and she perched on the edge of it like she was afraid it might haul off and bite her in the ass any second. Or maybe like she didn’t want him to get the wrong idea that she was hanging around because she wanted to be close to him. Simon snorted and took another swig of his whiskey.

“Something funny?” the woman asked, turning her almond-shaped dark eyes on him. Lovely, they sparkled like onyx at midnight. Those full lips of hers pinched slightly at the corners and Simon couldn’t tell if she was pissed or holding back a laugh at his expense. Lord knew it felt like the rest of the world was laughing at him right now. Or accusing him of things that weren’t true, thanks to Laura’s accusations of plagiarism.

“Nope.” Simon tore his gaze from the woman and downed the rest of the contents of his glass in one long swallow, grateful for the distracting burn at the back of his throat. The whole reason he was here was to get an idea for his new book, not ogle the other patrons. “Sorry.”

“Well, if you’re hanging out in this hellhole, then yeah. You are sorry,” the woman said, after thanking the bartender for her drink.

Unable to resist a good taunt, Simon shot back, “And what does that make you, since you’re here too?”

She blinked at him for a long moment, until Simon was sure she’d tell him where to get off and exactly how to get there. Then, surprisingly, she grinned, showing off even white teeth and an adorable dimple in her right cheek and damn. He needed to lay off the booze. He’d only had one glass so far, but it must be affecting him badly if he was noticing this gal’s dimples and shit.

“Touché,” the woman said, toasting him with her glass before taking a hearty gulp. “Though I’d argue that I get a pass because I’m here for work.”

“Yeah?” Simon gave her a side-glance and raised a brow. She’d dressed to blend in, but someone as fresh and beautiful as her still looked about as out of place in here as a nun in a whorehouse. “And what is it that you do?”

The woman tossed back the rest of her drink and ordered another. “I’m an investigative journalist with The Seattle Standard.” She shifted slightly on her stool to face him, holding out a hand with perfectly painted nails. “Alisha Lewis.”

Great. Just what he needed. Another nosy writer in his life. He didn’t shake her hand, just held up his glass to the bartender to signal for more whiskey, then mumbled his name, “Simon Stone.”

Her stare tingled on the side of his face for a few seconds before she said, “The Simon Stone? The one who wrote Gunrunner: A True Story of Arms Smuggling in the US Military?”

Six months ago, getting recognized on the street for his work would have made him proud. Now, it made him feel the need to check his six to make sure they weren’t making fun of him, or worse, getting ready to punch him out, claiming he’d “betrayed” the brotherhood of the military by putting his name on someone else’s story. Both things had happened of late. More times than he wanted to recall.

All because his ex-girlfriend had been bitter about their breakup and had lied to the tabloids about him plagiarizing someone else’s work. It wasn’t true, of course, but the truth didn’t make for salacious headlines or increased sales, so yeah. The lie had stuck and been perpetuated to the point that Simon was desperate to get back out on the beat and find a story so amazing that it would shut the world up about those false claims once and for all.

So he’d come here to the Stagecoach to try and find a lead. Rumor had it the underbelly of Seattle society hung out here, so what better place to cruise for dirt than this place, with its reported mafia ties and crooked cops galore?

Except all he’d found so far was a whole lot of nothing. And Lois Lane here beside him.

Instead of answering her question, he grunted. He wished to hell he could figure out where he knew her from because that would give him some idea of how to proceed. With her looks and slick appearance, there was a possibility she was friends with his ex, Laura. She’d been pretty and perky too, right up until she’d stabbed him in the back.

But there was something about the woman beside him that didn’t strike him as the sorority sister, happy-hour honey type Laura usually hung out with. And besides, he read The Seattle Standard. It was a serious paper, publishing tough stories. Like Pulitzer-Prize winning tough. It had its fluff sections, like any other paper, but it wasn’t a scandal sheet by any stretch. Not the place a writer would go if she wanted to dish dirt and whip up a frenzy over nonsense for a living. Not to mention that the sharp intelligence in those dark eyes sparked an answering tingle of awareness in him.

She’d said her last name was Lewis. But the only Lewis he knew was Michael from his SEAL squad. They’d been best buds, until Mike had transferred to a different unit. Unless…

“My, my,” she said, giving him an arch stare. “Don’t make yourself too tired carrying around that huge chip on your shoulder.”


“You’re Michael Lewis’s sister, aren’t you?” The memory slid into place, though it had been years since he’d last seen her in person. He sighed and tipped the bartender for his second drink. “We served in the Middle East together.”

“I know.” She watched him over the rim of her glass. “I’m flattered you remember me, Simon. Last time I saw you, I was sixteen and you and my brother were three sheets to the wind at my mama’s cookout.”

A small smile broke through his stoic defenses. “God, I remember that day. It was so hot I thought I was going to melt. Mike made me man the grill while he flirted with all those girls in the pool. Asshole.”

“Yep.” Alisha snorted. “He said you loved cooking, though. Claimed he was doing you a favor, putting you in charge of the burgers and steaks.”

“Favor?” Simon shook his head and rolled his eyes. “Whatever. Mike always was a master of BS.”

“Got that right.” Alisha took another swallow of her drink. “So, how’ve you been?”

Simon shrugged. “Depends on the day. How’s Mike? Haven’t seen him since he joined the Six.”

“Good, I think. He’s deployed on a mission, so no word home until he’s done. You know how it is.”

“I do.” For the past few months, Simon had retreated to the privacy of his own company, more for damage-control than anything, but now he found himself wanting to talk to Alisha more and more. He swiveled slightly to face her too, their knees brushing beneath the bar before he pulled back. “So, you work for The Seattle Standard, huh? What division?”

“Right now? The local crime beat.” She shrugged. “But my hope is to rise to the national level and forge my own path. The Standard’s big on making you pay your dues, prove yourself before you can move up the ranks. It’s fine—I don’t mind hard work.”

He connected the dots, because that’s what had made him a bestselling true crime author, no matter what the public chose to believe. “And you came to the Stagecoach to ferret out your next big exposé.”

“Correct.” She glanced over to where the bartender stood at the opposite end of the bar, talking with another customer, then gave Simon a sly grin. “I got a tip that he and his brother have serious ties to a West Coast syndicate. Most of the cops here are in their pocket too, from what I’ve heard. Keeps them out of jail and lets them do their dirty work hassle free. Figured this whole situation was ripe for an exposé.”

Simon frowned, his gazed darting to the hippie-looking bartender, with his shaggy beard and peace-sign T-shirt, then back to Alisha. “Wait. You’re saying that guy over there is Hendrix Andronetto’s brother?”

“I am.” She lowered her voice and leaned closer to him, her spicy cinnamon scent tickling Simon’s nose and stirring all sorts of inappropriate thoughts about his best buddy’s little sister. The heat of her warmed his arm and his pulse tripped a little. Simon sat back slightly, away from temptation. This was nuts. The last thing he needed right now was to get the hots for Alisha, and yet damn if those little flames didn’t burst to life inside him anyway, threatening to torch his good intentions.

Unaware of the kindling lust inside him, Alisha continued. “I’m guessing there’s more than enough story for two people.”

And just like that, Simon’s interest switched from purely sexual to scintillated author. “I’m listening.”

* * *

“Let’s move to a table,” Alisha said, not wanting to risk someone overhearing their conversation. She also wanted to put a little more space between them. It was way too tempting to keep pressing close to his side and whispering in his ear. Bad enough she’d run into her older brother’s super-hot buddy tonight of all nights. She’d spent many a teenaged night drooling over him after that stupid cookout at her mom’s house. Then she had to go and offer to share her story with him. Alisha wasn’t prone to bouts of generosity when it came to getting ahead in her career. She’d been out in the field long enough to know there were only so many scoops to go around and those who didn’t get the byline ended up working the dispatch desk forever. She was not about to be one of those people for any longer than necessary.

Yet, here she was, weaving through the crowds in this dump of a place, ready to share her exclusive tip with this guy because he knew her brother and because he’d been a hottie back in the day. Still was, from the few glances Alisha had allowed herself. Fit and muscular without being too bulky, with a chiseled jaw and tanned skin, his Italian heritage apparent in that thick, curly dark hair and wicked eyes made of sin. Oh yeah. If Alisha had been looking for a little fun, Simon Stone here would have been just her type.  Except she wasn’t looking. Not at all. She was focused on her career. Family and a personal life could come later, when—or rather if—she wanted them. Which she wasn’t sure she did. After all, her mom had raised kids on her own and look how that had turned out.

They managed to snag a small booth for two in a secluded corner of the bar. Alisha slipped in one side while Simon took the other, those long legs of his tangling with hers beneath the table and sending shivers of awareness through her.

Down girl.

Just because she hadn’t gotten laid in what seemed like forever wasn’t a good reason to go gaga over this or any guy. She could take care of business later, in the privacy of her apartment, with her battery-operated friend and some old fantasies of the man across from her now.

Thankfully, if he noticed her reluctant interest in him, he didn’t show it. Instead, he was all about getting all up in the business of her story. “Tell me more about the Andronetto brothers. I had no idea that guy was Milo. I’ve never seen them before, just heard rumors about their possible connections to the mafia. So I’d pictured them in my head to be more Godfather-esque. That dude looks like a reject from a Grateful Dead concert.”

“Right?!” She chuckled. The guy was witty, she’d give him that. That was probably one of the factors that accounted for his bestselling book. He’d done the research, exposed a deep-rooted criminal ring—but he was also a great storyteller who had kept readers around the country spellbound with his writing. Maybe keeping the line of communication with him open wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all. He had to have contacts in New York, maybe L.A. too. She’d kill for a job reporting for a world news network. There was that little problem of the plagiarism rumors, but when she’d asked her brother about it before he’d left on his mission, Mike had sworn it wasn’t true. He’d said Simon would never do something like that and Alisha tended to believe him. The wheels in her head turned even more. Maybe if she helped Simon get his career back on track, he’d help her get the job of her dreams in New York. Oh yeah. That sounded like the best plan yet. But first, she had to entice him a little more.

She glanced around to make sure no one was eavesdropping, then said, “Okay, so I received a tip from an anonymous source close to the Andronetto brothers. My source said that the brothers have got close ties to an antique auction house here in Seattle. My suspicion is that they’re using the import business to smuggle in illegal and forged goods, then auctioning them off for massive profits. All I need is the proof. That’s why I’m here tonight.”

“Hmm.” Simon seemed to consider that a moment. “And you believe this source is legit?”

“I do. They gave me a heads up that one of the men who works for the auction house is supposed to be picking up goods from here at the Stagecoach tonight.”

Simon nodded and sat back, frowning at his glass of booze. “I don’t know. Sounds a bit too convenient to me. And the fact you just asked for Hendrix Andronetto at the bar means they’re on to the fact they’re being watched. The smart thing to do would be to call it off.”

“True.” She took another drink of her scotch and soda, enjoying the bite on her tongue. “But the Andronetto brothers aren’t exactly a brain trust. They know enough to be dangerous and they’ve got the muscle, but the real masterminds behind the operations are the bigwigs in the syndicate, and I doubt they bother with much oversight when it comes to the day to day operations.”

Simon narrowed those stormy gray eyes of his on her, making her heart do a little stumble before it righted itself. “Maybe. What time is the pick-up supposed to be?”

Alisha checked her watch. Eight forty-five. “Now.”

They both glanced over toward the bar just in time to see the bartender let another man in a brown suit behind the bar and through a doorway into a back room. It was hard to see what all was happening back there, but whatever it was it seemed shady as fuck. All of Alisha’s highly trained journalistic instincts went on high alert. She knew that guy in the suit from her research. “That man who just went back is Thomas Warren. He owns Warren Antiquities, the auction house the Andronetto brothers are allegedly involved with.”

Simon swore under his breath and scrubbed a hand over his jaw. “I don’t know. Even if they are stupid, it still seems weird they’d conduct shady business right out here in the open like this. Why bring it here to the bar? Why not just do it right at the auction house or maybe the docks or warehouse where the stuff is kept? Much better privacy that way.”

“Why indeed,” Alisha said. “Maybe they thought they’d have better crowd control here, rather than on the docks where anyone could walk up. Or maybe they’re just really lazy.” She scooted out of the booth. “I’m heading outside to see what’s happening out back. If you don’t want in on the story, then I guess this is goodbye. See you around, Simon. Stay out of trouble.”

She headed for the exit without looking back to see if he followed. If he did, great. If not, well, she’d planned on doing this on her own anyway.

Alisha barely made it out the door before Simon joined her. She gave him a quizzical look, but he just shrugged.

“You’ve piqued my interest,” he said, trying to look nonchalant about it, but she was having none of it.

“Is that what they’re calling it these days?” She gave him a look, then led him down the side of the bar to the back corner, their backs pressed to the wall behind them and her pulse pounding loud in her ears. Man, she loved this part of the job. The race to find the story, the rush of adrenaline in her blood. She held a finger to her lips to tell him to be quiet, then peered around the corner in time to see two men load a large crate into the back of a dark van. Oh yeah, something was up all right.

Her gut tingled in anticipation. She looked over her shoulder to see Simon watching the men too and she couldn’t hide her smile, seeing the same excitement sparkling in his eyes.

“You up for some recon?” she whispered as the guys slammed the back doors of the van, then got in to start the engine.

“Always,” Simon said, tugging on her arm. “Come on, let’s go.”


Chapter Two

As Simon steered his blue sedan out of the parking lot, tailing the van at a safe distance, he still couldn’t quite believe he was doing this. Sure, he wanted a new story idea, but was it worth partnering with his best bud’s sis to get it?

He gave Alisha some side-eye while she sat in the passenger seat, fiddling with the GPS on her phone, and decided, yeah, it was. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and right now, Simon was under the gun with a deadline from his publisher. He’d gotten a two-book deal when he’d sold his first title, and he was expected to turn in an outline—or at least an idea—for his next project any day now. He couldn’t afford to pay back his advance and the clock was ticking.

“They’re headed to the auction house,” Alisha said, squinting through the windshield at the van’s glowing red taillights ahead. “I’d bet my life on it. It’s not far from here. Only a couple of blocks.”

Sure enough, about five minutes later he and Alisha were parked at the curb, about half a block from Warren Antiquities, watching through a chain link fence while the two men from the bar parking lot unloaded the huge crate from the rear of the van. Two other men—it was hard to see their faces, but Simon recognized the brown suit from the bar so assumed it was Warren and Andronetto—exchanged cash. From the size of the stack, Simon guessed it had to be several grand at least, maybe more, depending on the denomination of the bills.

Alisha took several photos with her phone, then reached for the door handle, but Simon stopped her.

“What are you doing?” He scowled. “We can’t go in there.”

“Look, I need more proof and the only way to get it is through that fence,” she said, tugging her wrist free from his grip. “So, unless you have a better idea, I need to get closer to see what’s going on.” Before he could stop her again, she was out of the car and heading for the auction house.

Shit. Just shit.

Since dealing with all the press and paparazzi after his ex’s lies, Simon had done his best to live under the radar, but this mess tonight was blowing those plans sky high. Part of him wanted to start the car and drive away, but his inner SEAL just wouldn’t let him leave Alisha behind like that. It was his damned principles getting in the way again, as Mike used to joke with him. Those principles were what had caused him to leave the SEALs at just twenty-six so he could report the wrongdoing he’d seen and expose it to the world through his book. Funny thing, but as strong and mighty as the SEALs were, you couldn’t do a damned thing about injustice within the ranks while still a part of them, aside from reporting the problem and hoping the higher-ups would deal with it instead of covering it up. When the cover-up kicked in, full force, he’d left what he’d planned on being his lifelong career to start over again as a writer. Now it felt like he was at one of those turning points again. Stay in the car and stay safe or go after Alisha and figure out what the hell was going on here.

In the end, there was no choice at all.

With a muttered curse, Simon got out of the sedan and trailed after Alisha, careful to stick to the shadows to avoid being seen. Up ahead, he could just make out the shape of her near the back wall of the building. Something in her hand caught the light and flickered and he narrowed his gaze. Her camera. She was trying to take another round of pictures.

There was more movement in the lot behind the building and Simon spotted two guards walking the perimeter of the fence line, armed and definitely dangerous. They were headed straight for where Alisha stood.

Dammit. Clicking over into full-SEAL mode, Simon quickly traversed the distance between him and Alisha without making a sound, catching her from behind and pulling her back into the shadows before the guards could see her, one hand over her mouth to keep her quiet.

She struggled against him, kicking him hard in one shin, and Simon bit back a grunt of pain.

“It’s me,” he hissed in her ear. “There are guards out back. They were going to see you. Understand?”

At his words, she calmed down and gave a curt nod. He removed his hand and loosened his grip on her. She stepped away and leaned back against the brick wall beside him.

“Sorry,” she whispered, taking a deep, slow breath. “But you scared the shit out of me.”

“Better me than them.” He shrugged, not sorry at all. “Stealth is all about surprise.”

“Well, you’ve certainly got that down.” Alisha watched him a moment, her wide smile showing off all her pretty white teeth and that damned dimple again. “Thanks.”

“Thank me later,” Simon said, eager to shift his attention away from forbidden territory and back on to the task at hand. He hiked his chin toward the fence line. “Did you see what they had in the crate?”

“No. I got a couple of shots, but the angle was all wrong, so they’re not what I needed.” She tapped the screen on her phone again. “Maybe if I climb the fence, I’ll be able to see in those windows up there and find out what’s in there.”


“What do you mean ‘no’?”

“I mean, no. You’re not climbing up there. It’s too dangerous.” Simon crossed his arms.

“Then you do it.” Alisha gave him a look. Even through the shadows, he could tell it was the facial equivalent of a middle finger. “You’re the big, bad black ops guy, right?”

Well, shit. She had him there. That simmering tension inside him notched over into full boil. Adrenaline, anticipation, and…something else. Something Simon didn’t want to get into right then. “Fine. Give me your phone and I’ll take the shots.”

“Here.” She stepped closer. Being around her was all but impossible when she was the most infuriating, irritating, dead-ass sexy thing Simon had come across in a long time. He wanted to simultaneously spank her and kiss her silly. Which did nothing to calm the raging energy inside him. So much so that his fingers trembled slightly when he reached for the phone, fumbling it and causing it to clatter to the ground.


The ruckus sounded like a one-ton warhead going off in the otherwise quiet area.

“Who’s out there?” one of the guards yelled, shining a high-powered flashlight into the shadows. If it wasn’t for Simon’s quick reflexes, he and Alisha would have been caught for sure. As it was, they were hunkered down against the brick wall, breath held and hearts racing, just beyond the reach of the beam. Several long moments ticked by until the guard turned away to yell to the other one. “Get the dogs.”

Fucking hell. This night just kept going from bad to worse.

“Come on.” He took Alisha’s hand and started toward the opposite end of the building. They’d need to skirt around the block to get back to the car, but at least they could hopefully avoid those damned dogs, which were now barking and howling and generally sounding altogether rabid. “Let’s go.”

“Wait!” Alisha scrambled away from him before he could pull her back. “I need my phone.”

“Fuck your phone! We need to go, now!” he hissed, but she was already across the sidewalk and scrabbling for the damned thing. Thankfully, she nabbed it before the hounds of hell caught up to them. “Go!”

They took off, running like their lives depended on it, and honestly, they probably did. Neither of them looked back until the echo of barking and pounding footsteps behind them had faded. Then they slumped against a parked vehicle about a block from where the sedan was parked, the orangeish glow of the streetlights around them casting their panting breaths into foggy relief in the early morning chill.

“That was…” Alisha started, then shook her head.

“If you say fun, I won’t be responsible for my actions,” he said, giving her a warning glare while bent over with his hands on his knees, sucking oxygen into his lungs. Back in his SEAL days, that sprint would have been nothing. But while he still tried to keep himself in shape, he wasn’t part of the elite forces anymore. And avoiding the paparazzi meant he’d been slacking off on his running routine. When she didn’t answer, Simon looked up to find her grinning. “What?”

“It was kind of fun though, right?” She nudged him with her elbow, speaking between breaths. “I mean, in a Bourne Identity kind of way.”

Bourne Identity?” He snorted. “You watch too many action movies.”

“Maybe.” She straightened and held her hand to her side, those full lips of hers parted and her eyes sparkling with excitement. “But there’s nothing like a little flight or fight to get the motor running.”

For a moment, Simon was sure he’d misread her meaning. They barely knew each other. She was Mike’s kid sister. He was the last guy in the world looking for love. Besides, she seemed so young and eager and fresh, so why the hell would she want to be with a jaded has-been like him?

Then he straightened too and looked into her eyes and…yep. There was definitely lust there. An answering hunger blazed hot inside him. Maybe she was right. Maybe it was the adrenaline, the rush of survival, against the odds. Maybe he just needed to get laid, since he hadn’t been with anyone in months.

Whatever it was, the minute her gaze flickered to his lips, Simon knew this was on. Big time.

Before either of them could change their minds, he had Alisha in his arms, his mouth on hers, kissing her like his life depended on it. For her part, she couldn’t seem to get enough of him. Her hands were in his hair, under his shirt, her fingers slipping beneath the waistband of his jeans to graze the top of his ever-hardening cock. A groan escaped him before he could stop it and Simon picked Alisha up, turning to brace her back against the wall of vehicle nearby, praying to God he didn’t set off an alarm. She tasted like sunshine and Chivas and something uniquely Alisha and Simon couldn’t get enough.

Finally, the sound of a car starting down the block made him pull back. If he didn’t get them out of there, he’d take her right that moment against the car and even as turned on as he was, he didn’t want that. If he was going full-blown forbidden with his best friend’s little sis, he didn’t want some quickie where they stayed mostly dressed and kept an ear out for anyone approaching. He wanted to fully savor the experience, since it would be a once in a lifetime thing.

He rested his forehead against hers and swallowed hard, their panted breaths mingled, one of his hands around her waist, the other braced against the car. “We should get out of here. My place is…”

“My apartment’s a block away,” she said, cutting him off. Her legs slipped from around his waist where she’d placed them when he’d picked her up. Slowly, her body slid down his, nearly making him moan again when the heat between her legs brushed against his aching cock. She took his hand and pulled him in the direction of the sedan. “Hurry.”

* * *

By the time they reached her place, Alisha thought maybe the urgency threatening to explode inside her would have died down at least a little, but nope. She’d wanted him for what seemed like forever, and tonight, she was going to have him. And sure, maybe tomorrow she’d regret it, but no way was she missing this opportunity. If she’d learned anything from her brother being a SEAL, never knowing where he’d be sent next, when or if he’d return home, it was that life was precious and you only lived once.

They barely made it inside her apartment before she was on him again like white on rice. She could tell by how he’d gone all quiet and brooding that he was having second thoughts and she needed him to forget those. Forget everything but her and this amazing chemistry between them.

And yeah, maybe it was a bit weird, him being friends with her brother and all, but they were both adults. They were free to make their own choices. Mike sure as hell never asked Alisha her opinion on the skanks he chose to date. Her love life was none of her brother’s business.

“Hey,” Simon said, between kisses. “Are you sure about all this?”

She pulled back slightly, pressing her hips against his and rocking slightly. Oh yeah. He wanted her. No doubt about that. “Positive.”

Her lips captured his again, her tongue gliding against his, tasting the dark smokiness of the whiskey he’d drunk earlier and his own unique Simon flavour. It was good. More than good. A girl could get used to that. Not that she would. Nope. This was a hot and heavy hook-up. A one-night stand.

The end.

So that meant she needed to make the most of it, right? Before the big finale, there was so much she wanted to explore on him. To prove her point, she grinned and gripped his cock through his jeans, trailing her fingers over him from root to tip and eliciting a deep, low, feral growl from him that damned near made her come right on the spot. So, so hot. “You want me.”

“I do,” he said, not denying it. “But what about Mike?”

“What about him?” Alisha frowned. “There’s just you and me tonight. No one else. And I want you too, Simon.”

He seemed to consider that a second while she nuzzled his neck and continued to stroke him. She could tell the second he gave in to his desire because his body melted into hers, his hips arching into her palm and his hands digging into her waist. Then he kissed her hard and deep and before Alisha knew what was happening, they were in her bedroom. Simon tossed her into the middle of her bed and followed her down. Their clothes came off in a frantic blur of caresses and licks and moans. He kissed his way down her body to lick her slick folds, leaving her teetering right on the edge of orgasm, her nails digging into the duvet and her thighs clamped around his head.

Then Alisha took charge, rolling Simon over onto his back and lavishing kisses and caresses down his body until she could worship his gorgeous cock. Usually, giving head wasn’t her favourite thing, but with him it was… wow. He was so responsive, guiding her to what he liked best, his fingers gentle in her hair, caressing rather than tugging, never forcing her to do anything she wasn’t ready for. By the time he pulled her away, his faced was flushed and his chest was heaving.

“I can’t wait,” he said, the words rough with need. “I need to be inside you, Alisha.”

“I need that too,” she said, straddling him and sinking down atop his cock, loving the fullness of him inside her, the heat of his skin, the hardness of his muscles. At his startled look, she chuckled. “Don’t worry. I’m on the pill.”

Then she started moving, slowly at first, then faster as they found their rhythm, riding him for all she was worth. This was so much better than any fantasy. This was everything.

All too soon, she teetered on the brink of climax. As if sensing it, Simon bucked beneath her, driving harder inside her while reaching down to stroke her most sensitive flesh and sending Alisha toppling over the edge. While her body still convulsed around his, milking him, Simon rolled her under him and thrust hard into her, once, twice, before finding his own release.

Wave after wave of pleasure eventually gave way to fatigue. Simon stretched out beside her and pulled Alisha back into him, spooning her from behind. His arm was around her waist, his breath warm and soft on the nape of her neck as Alisha drifted off into a dreamless sleep.

Tomorrow, there might be consequences. But tonight, she had no regrets. None.

Guarding His Fake Family is available on Amazon, and it’s 99c until January 17th.