8:59 AM |
SAVED BY A SEAL (HOT SEALs) by NY Times Bestseller Cat Johnson
Bad boy Zane Alexander traded his family's wealth for a Navy SEAL trident. Now he needs his father's millions but there is a condition. Zane has to date the Senator's daughter, Missy, and pretend to like it. But when Missy is kidnapped and Zane's team must save her, the danger and his feelings turn very real.
CHAPTER ONE EXCERPT
Zane watched as Jon strode across the bar toward him.
“Good. You’re here.” Jon dumped a binder on the table.
The papers inside were heavy enough to make the beer in Zane’s pint slosh when it landed. Zane raised a brow as he picked up his glass. “Whatcha got there, bud?”
“That’s the completed business and marketing plan, all put together.” Jon pulled out a chair and sat. “Rick and Darci looked it over and then both Ali and I proofread it twice, so it should be ready to present to your father.”
Grateful he’d been left out of that incredibly boring stage of this project, Zane eyed the tome. “That’s all? Nothing else?”
Frowning, Jon flipped open the front cover of the binder. “I think so. Brody’s artwork for the logo is in there, along with a complete company branding section. I also cited and included all the materials I used for research to back up the idea. You know, as proof there’s a need for this kind of operation—” Jon glanced up, scowling as his shoulders slumped. “You’re fucking with me.”
“I am.” Amused that Jon had finally figured it out, Zane raised his glass in a toast to his gullible friend. Apparently Jon was a little slow in detecting sarcasm.
Zane took a swallow of the brew that was already getting warm. He’d arrived early for this meeting with his current teammate and soon-to-be business partner.
Truth be told, he’d needed the drink. Zane had faced the enemy with less trepidation than he felt now on the way to see his father. . . and the enemy had been carrying automatic weapons with the intent of killing him.
His father utilized weapons that were more subtle than machine guns and explosives, but no less destructive. Zane should know. He’d been dodging his father’s verbal shots for as long as he could remember.
He still had yet to figure out how his mother, bless her heart, had survived this long married to his father. By keeping her head down and remaining below the radar, most likely, while Zane had a tendency to get right in his father’s face. Or he had until that day he announced he was joining the Navy and walked out with nothing but what fit in his bag.
Thank God for the trust fund his maternal grandfather had set up. Zane’s father could—and had—cut him off from the family’s wealth and support, but even he didn’t have the power to take away the trust fund in his name or the monthly allowance it yielded him.
Not that Zane’s expenses were huge—living in the bachelor barracks when not deployed was cheap—but Zane did like having nice things. Big trucks. Fast cars. Hot women. That all took a good amount of cash. More than he made from his military pay, so the check was surely welcome when it appeared in his account each month.
“Do you want to take a look at what I put together?” Jon looked a little disappointed, almost crestfallen that Zane hadn’t jumped to devour the binder page-by-page.
Even with the kickass winged anchor logo and company name they’d come up with on the front of it, the binder looked too much like the schoolwork he’d always hated.
Though he supposed he would need to review the material before he met with his father later that day, it could wait.
“I will. Later.” Procrastination was one of the many things Zane excelled at.
He took another sip of his beer and ignored the book Jon had nudged toward him. He’d be drinking whisky if he didn’t have to get behind the wheel and leave for his drive to the capital region in an hour or so.
When Jon looked ready to crawl out of his skin, Zane decided to relieve his friend’s pain. “Look, Jon. I know you, and you are incapable of giving less than one hundred percent to anything you do. I trust you that everything I’ll need is in that thing, plus some. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter what’s in your plan. My father is going to give us the money for this company.”
Jon pursed his lips. “I wish I could be so sure.”
“You can be. Trust me. When my father sees I’m willing to leave the Navy for this, he’ll jump on investing as much money as we need.”
GAPS—Guardian Angel Protection Services—was Jon’s brainchild and it was a great idea. A company comprised of a group of men with the best training the Naval Special Warfare Development Group had to offer. As combat-seasoned SEAL operatives, they would be experienced experts-for-hire at a time when precision security was a growing need in so many areas across the globe.
With their friends and former teammates Chris and Rick already out, and with Jon and Zane’s current contracts about to expire, they had a four-man team to staff GAPS out of the gate with the promise of more of their teammates joining them in a few years, if they could make a go of it.
Zane traced the tip of one finger over the letters of their tagline printed on the paper slipped beneath the clear plastic front of the binder.
We cover your six when God’s too busy.
Was he covering his friend’s six now or leading them down a path of fruitless hope?
Nothing was certain when it came to his father. Well, nothing except the fact that the one thing George Zane Alexander the second could never get over was his son joining the Navy against his wishes. And Zane didn’t stop there. He’d taken it one step further by trying out for the SEALs. Then, as soon as he’d proven himself, he went for DEVGRU’s Green Team training and selection—the infamous Seal Team Six the media liked to shout about.
Even if those actually in the elite unit didn’t like or want the fame the media had thrust upon them after the Bin Laden raid, Zane was indeed among the best of the best, in spite of his old man’s wishes. The problem was that once he’d reached the top, there was nowhere left to go to piss off his father.
Zane saw Jon’s vision for GAPS as the right opportunity at the right time.
To be able to take their skills and use them as they saw fit and be their own bosses—it was tempting. A dream come true.
Of course, that was only if Zane got through this meeting with good old George without taking a swing at the man, which is what had happened the last Christmas he’d tried going home to play at being a happy family. You don’t talk bad about the troops or make disparaging remarks about the war to a man who’d watched friends get blown up. Zane clenched his jaw and pocketed the anger.
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