by Sabrina York
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-941497-01-2
[ Military BDSM Romance ]
Fun and flirty contemporary romance featuring a hunky, stubborn military hero with a MAN CODE that is written in stone, and the woman who aims to bring him to his knees!
It was a sad day. One of the great ones had fallen.
Dane Coulter bowed his head and lifted his glass. “To Cody. My best friend and the world’s best wingman. He was a good man. I’ll miss you, buddy.”
Billy nodded and swiped at his cheek. “Damn straight.”
“To Cody,” the others around the table chorused as they lifted their glasses as well.
All but Cody. Cody shot them an annoyed look and snorted. “I’m getting married, not dyin’.”
“Close enough.” Dane clapped him on the shoulder, a somber expression on his face. “It was damn good knowing you.”
Hard to believe all their adventures, all their wild sexcapades were over. Hard to believe such a dyed in the wool ladies’ man could succumb.
But succumb he had. Cody had met Angie and she’d swept all his cynicism—his stalwart resistance to that romantic notion women called love—aside.
In just a couple days he’d be a married man. Ball and chain and everything.
Which was ironic, when you thought about it. Given his…proclivities in the bedroom. A submissive man, Cody was not.
Dane knew him well, had known him his whole life. As Army brats, traveling the world in a rootless existence, it was rare to run into the same friends again and again but, as a result of their fathers being repeatedly assigned to the same bases, they’d grown up together.
They’d been best friends since grade school, except for that month or so in high school when they’d both been besotted with Lila Pennington. But then she’d slept with Thomas Winkler and that had been the end of that.
Their families were still friendly too. Their dads went fishing together, their moms had cocktails and their brothers and sisters were all best friends. There had been dinner parties and sleepovers and camping trips.
As young men, Dane and Cody had enlisted side-by-side and helped each other survive Basic, and then Cody had followed Dane into the Special Forces. For the past five years they’d been inseparable, had each other’s backs on mission after mission, adventure after adventure.
Dane had been joking when he’d said Cody’s impending marriage was like a death sentence but, on some level, it didn’t feel like a joke at all. He tried not to think she was taking Cody away forever but, deep inside, that was how it felt.
Like he was losing a friend.
He glanced over at Cody, who had wandered to the window and was staring out at the Vegas skyline. Angie had picked Vegas for their whirlwind wedding and, of course, Cody had agreed. He agreed to everything nowadays.
Dane hadn’t complained because, hell, it was Vegas. And Angie’s dad was paying for everything. A week in Vegas. Everything top of the line.
And Cody was in love. Head over heels, helplessly, hopelessly in love.
Dane stifled a snort and took a draw on his beer. This was supposed to be a celebration, a badass bachelor party. Cody’s last gasp of freedom with his wild and raucous buddies before the boom fell. He glanced around the lush suite with derision. Wild and raucous? Not.
Billy and Kaye sat at the table flicking paper footballs at each other and Ennis was playing with himself…a desultory game of beer pong with olives. Dudley was perched on a chair angling cards into a wastebasket. Badass bachelor party? Shit. It felt more like a high school slumber party. All that was missing was footie pajamas.
It was a crying shame.
If their C.O. saw his Special Forces team brought this low, they’d all be drummed out of the corps.
“When are the strippers getting here?” Kaye asked the question humming in Dane’s mind.
Cody spun around and paled. He clutched his chest like a swooning virgin. “Gawd. Strippers? There can’t be any strippers. Ang would have my balls on a plate if I so much as looked at another woman.”
Dane tried not to roll his eyes in disgust.
“Does that mean you won’t be needing the hooker we hired?”
Cody gaped at Billy. “You hired a hooker?” His voice broke.
“Shit.” Cody raked his fingers through his hair, though there wasn’t much to rake. Like all of them, his hair was closely cropped.
“She’s paid for and everything,” Billy said, as though this would help.
“No fucking hooker. Come on guys.”
Ennis frowned and leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms. His biceps rippled. Of all of them Ennis was the most ripped, which was saying something, because they were all pretty ripped. “Shee-it, Cody. This is supposed to be a bachelor party. We’re in Vegas. It’s supposed to be wild and crazy. There are supposed to be strippers. There’s supposed to be a fucking tiger in the room.”
Why he pouted at that, Dane didn’t have a clue. If there was a tiger in the room, it would probably eat the strippers.
“Yeah.” Billy echoed Ennis’ pout. “Tonight’s the night, bro. Your last chance.” It was true. The families were all arriving tomorrow. Tomorrow the hotel would be filled with mothers and sisters and flower girls, for Christ’s sake. In all likelihood, they would not appreciate strippers. Or hookers.
Kaye joined the refrain. “If we’re gonna have a bacchanal, it’s gotta be tonight. From here on out it’ll be rubber chicken with Aunt Gladys.”
“I don’t have an Aunt Gladys.”
“Aunt whoever then.”
“And there’s not going to be a bacchanal.” This growled by their host, with a slash of his hand.
The guys eyed Cody gloomily. “You changed, man,” Billy muttered.
“Yeah.” Kaye tipped up his beer and reached for another. “What’d she do to you?”
Cody set his hands on his hips. “I love her.”
None of them, of course, could respond to that. Although Billy did mutter again, under his breath, “You changed.”
He had. Dane tried to ignore the ripple of desolation at the thought. He tried to ignore the sneaking suspicion that as of tonight, as of right now, nothing would ever be the same again.
Ennis wandered across the room, plopped down on the sofa and turned on the TV, scrolling for porn but stalling on some financial news update. “I can’t believe we’re in Vegas and sitting in a hotel room. With no hookers,” he grumbled. “What kind of bachelor party is this?”
“A boring one.” Kaye sat next to Ennis and grabbed the remote, surfing through until he found a game on. All the guys drifted over to watch. Everyone but Dane. Yeah. He couldn’t take this. It was all too…painful.
“I’m gonna head out,” he said to Cody.
“You’re not leaving, are you?”
Dane faked a grimace. “Little bit of a headache.” It was a believable lie. After the concussion he’d received during their last mission, he’d been having them. He was probably going to hell for lying about it now to escape what felt like a wake for his best friend, but he had to escape. Misery was closing in on him like a steel trap.
He’d probably go back to his room and drink himself into a stupor.
No. He wouldn’t. He was in fucking Vegas. He’d find a party somewhere—with hot and horny chicks—and drink himself into a stupor there.
“Okay.” Cody’s brow wrinkled in concern. “I’ll see you tomorrow, I guess.”
“Yeah. Have fun tonight. And…congratulations.”
God, that word was hard to choke out. Still, Cody took his hand and shook it. Believing, trusting that Dane was sincere.
He wasn’t. He set his teeth as he left Cody’s room. Damn. Whatever had a hold on his friend, he sure hoped he never got a dose of it. Sit in his room with his buddies and chat? While in Vegas? Turning down a hooker? One that had been paid for?
So unlike Cody it made Dane’s brain hurt.
Of course, hiring hookers wasn’t their general M.O. Neither of them ever needed to hire a pro, but that was hardly the point.
The point was—
What was the point?
Ah, yes. Cody turning down pussy.
An occurrence so rare it probably caused a rip in the space-time continuum.
Even as a kid he’d been a horn dog. They both had been. Women, women, women. Nothing was as exciting as a new conquest. And with their profession, the covert missions, constant travel—relationships just weren’t in the cards.
Besides, the world was filled with gorgeous, willing hotties who loved a man in a uniform. Blondes, brunettes, redheads. Full-figured, slender. Legs, boobs, thighs… Too many choices to settle for just one.
And fuck. He was in Vegas. Hot and willing women were everywhere. Some of them didn’t even charge. Determination, to find one of them and have her tonight, raged in him.
The elevator door dinged open and he glanced up as he made his way down the hall. The breath caught in his throat.
She was perfect. Long legs. Tantalizing curves, tightly wrapped. Boobs out to here and a slinky skirt. She wore a leather jacket over a clingy black shirt. Leather on a woman always made his mouth water a little. Her face was perfection to begin with—a delicate, alabaster sculpture—but her makeup, something exotic and alluring, caught him like a fist to the gut. Red lips. Eyes darkly shadowed with long, lush, patently false lashes and a Cleopatra slant. She carried her impossibly high heels in her hand, swinging them carelessly. Her bare pedicured feet slapped the floor in a saucy cadence.
She saw him coming and her lips quirked up. As though she had mysterious secrets, and they amused her. Her eyes raked him, assessing his muscles. She popped her gum. “Well hey there,” she cooed, swinging her shoes in a wider arc.
Dane felt her coo straight down to his balls.
Visions filled his mind. Visions of him pushing her up against the wall and fucking her here, now, scorched him.
Her face wrinkled up into an adorable puddle. “Say, do you know where Cody’s room is?”
Yeah. She had to be the hooker.
Something hot, hard and needy curled through his gut. “Cody doesn’t need your services tonight.”
She blinked. “He…doesn’t?”
“No. But I do. If you’re interested…”
Her eyes widened. She looked him up and down. Her tongue peeped out.
“Interested?” He loved the way her lips parted on the word. The way it floated between them on skeins of the air.
“Are you?” He shot her a speaking grin. It seemed to bedazzle her. His dimples did that to chicks sometimes. Apparently even pros weren’t immune.
A sigh passed her lips. She seemed to melt right there in the hallway. “I…am.”
Two words. Two little words.
They skewered him.
“Come on. My room’s this way.” He held out his arm, suppressing a quiver of excitement as she hooked hers into it and gazed up at him. Damn she was gorgeous.
Too bad she was a hooker.
He didn’t know where that thought, that trickle of regret, came from. Tonight was about reclaiming manhood—for all men. For Cody.
He would sink himself into sensuous pursuits without compunction. Fuck her and send her on her way.
If she was any good, maybe he’d give her a tip.