“What the hell, Trey? Why did you tell the commander she’d be perfect?”
He shook his head at Jack’s question. “I don’t know. He caught me off-guard. Besides, what was I supposed to do? Lie?”
“Yes. Taking her undercover to meet the target. Are you trying to get her killed?”
Trey closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “No, of course not. I have every intention of bringing us both home alive. And Jimmy too, if it comes to that.”
Jack shook his head. “You better.”
Blowing out a breath, Trey realized it was not going to be fun being trapped in a room to wait with Jack.
Trey was correct. They spent the next fifteen minutes in awkward silence until the rest of the team finally returned. He didn’t know how they’d done it, but they walked in with Carly in less than twenty minutes and boy oh boy, she didn’t seem happy about it.
She entered the meeting room looking pissed off and confused. When she saw him and Jack, she stopped dead, hands on her hips. “Maybe you two will tell me what the hell is going on since these guys wouldn’t say a thing when they dragged me out of my apartment at the crack of frigging dawn.”
Trey had seen the crack of dawn on many occasions and O-eight-forty did not qualify. She must have been out of the military for a long time. But running a bar made her schedule pretty much the opposite of his. He could appreciate her opinion of being yanked out of bed after his own long night babysitting a drunk Jack.
Speaking of Jack… He had jumped to his feet the moment Carly entered the room, but before he even had a chance to hey, darlin’ her, the commander was at the door of his office. “Williams. Get in here and bring the girl with you. We have exactly fifty minutes before the plane is scheduled to leave.”
The commander strode to his desk. He sat and addressed Carly, “Shut the door behind you.”
Trey had to give Carly credit. Even though she looked pissed as hell, she silently followed him into the office and closed the door. Then she stood there with her arms crossed, waiting.
He watched the commander appraise her from head to toe. “Not bad.”
At that comment, Carly’s eyebrows shot up to her hairline. She opened her mouth to speak and Trey jumped in before she could.
“Sir, Ms. McAfee hasn’t been apprised of the situation as yet and is a bit confused.”
She didn’t look any happier he had spoken for her, but at least he stopped her from laying into the commander.
“Of course. Ms. McAfee, we’re requesting your help in a matter of national security. If you decide to help us, you’ll be told as little as possible, your life will be in danger and you can never tell anyone about what you’ve done, ever. In addition, you’ll have to make your decision within the next fifteen minutes and leave for your assignment immediately.”
She surprised Trey by laughing. “Well, since you make it sound so tempting and all…” She rolled her eyes and looked at Trey. Then she questioned him directly. “Am I necessary for the success of whatever this ‘assignment’ is?”
Trey considered his answer carefully. “Your presence will increase the chances of the success of this assignment. Yes.”
“Increase it by how much? From like ninety percent without me to one hundred percent with me?”
Trey glanced at the commander who answered for him. “More like sixty percent without you and seventy-five percent with you.”
They both watched her carefully as she took a deep breath. Trey knew, or at least hoped, the commander was giving her the worse-case scenario to make sure she was aware of what she was getting herself into and exactly how dangerous it would be because those odds pretty much sucked.
“Why me, specifically?” She directed her question at the commander.
“Honestly? Mostly because you look like her and we don’t have time to find anyone else.” The commander slid a print copy of the photo of the woman across his desk.
Carly walked closer, picked it up and studied it. After a moment she glanced up at Trey then back to the commander. “All right.”
The commander raised a brow. “That’s it? No more questions?”
Her short laugh sounded bitter. “Would you answer them if I asked?”
The commander smiled. “Probably not.”
“Then it would be a waste of time, now wouldn’t it?”
The commander nodded. “You’ll do well I think, McAfee. Williams will brief you on the flight over, but here’s a quick overview. You’re playing a newlywed American wife. Williams is your husband and as his wife you are devoted, loving and obedient and will do whatever he says.”
Carly screwed up her face, mumbling, “Good thing I took acting in college.”
The commander pretended he didn’t hear her, but continued a bit more loudly. “More importantly, he’s your field leader on this assignment and as such you’ll do whatever he commands, no questions asked.
This is imperative. Hesitation could cost lives. He’ll be in constant contact with myself and any others who may be working with us. You have to trust him implicitly and without discussion, because you must assume every minute, everywhere, you will be monitored by those who can do you harm. I mean not even a whisper, McAfee. Do you understand?”
Trey noted she was already standing a little straighter and calling the commander “sir”. Military training was just like riding a bike. You never really forgot it.
“Good. You’re quick and you’re tough, McAfee. I can see that. You must be to deal with these guys drunk every night. I wouldn’t be sending you on this assignment if I didn’t think you would succeed. One last thing—” the commander turned to Trey, “—Williams, go kiss your new bride.”
It was a test. Trey knew that. A test both for himself and for Carly. Keeping his role in mind, he became the newlywed husband who was supplying arms to terrorist bastards.
Without hesitation, Trey strode to where she stood. More petite up close than she appeared when she was wielding her larger-than-life attitude while slinging beer behind her bar, in reality she came up only to about his chest.
He tangled one hand in her hair so she couldn’t pull her head away, not that she tried. He slipped the other beneath the hem of the shirt where it just met the jeans riding low below her waist. Her skin felt warm and smooth to the touch. He slid his hand higher and let his thumb rest just below the lush curve of her breast.
Trey had to duck his head down to reach her. She stared up at him, her eyes liquid pools of green clearly showing her surprise as he bent and captured her mouth.
Kissing her hard and deep, he parted her lips and drove his tongue between them before he or she had too much time to think about it. In this particular situation thinking would be bad.
She didn’t squirm or pull away. In fact, she actually tilted her head and allowed him greater access to the warm, wet recesses of her mouth. As his tongue met and stroked hers, he felt a stirring in his pants.
There was no way to kiss a woman this attractive this deeply and not have it affect him. He was a healthy male after all, but he didn’t need a raging hard-on in front of both Carly and the commander.
When he thought how he and Carly would be sharing a bed as they portrayed a married couple for the duration of this mission his mind went to bad places, and his erection followed. Trey quickly broke the kiss.
Trying to ignore both his pounding heart and his rapidly expanding lower appendage, he dropped his hands from her too-tempting body and turned to the commander. “Sir?”
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Alternate Excerpt at http://samhainpublishing.com/excerpt/trey