Harris (Alpha One Security #1)

By: Jasinda Wilder

Having got what I came for I left the bunker quickly and quietly, closing and locking everything behind me. Nick was going to be in for one hell of a surprise, but I was pretty sure he wouldn’t be too upset when he realized what I had done…and why, most importantly. Like I said, the armory wasn’t exactly a secret from me, I’d just never had reason to go looking for it or want in until now.

Back in the house I peeked out the kitchen window to make sure Nick was still in the barn, working on his latest project: restoring a World War One biplane. He was there, of course, because it was Sunday, and Sundays, when he was home from a mission, were sacred to him. He spent his free time on his small but impressive collection of vintage aircraft. Some rich guys collected cars, Nick collected aircraft. He had several vintage World War One biplanes and a World War Two Supermarine Spitfire, a Vietnam-era Huey, a jet from the Korea/Vietnam era he called a MiG, an F-4 Phantom, and several private planes, both twin and single engine, and a small private passenger jet. All of this meant the compound had its own airfield, with a beautifully paved runway long enough for him to be able to take off and land the jets. The compound was our home, of course, but it was also the base of operations for Alpha One Security.

Now that Nick’s most important clients, Kyrie and Roth Valentine, were snugged down in their private Caribbean island fortress with Sasha and Alexei heading up their security operations, Nick was free to hire out his services to other clients. And considering his resources and expertise Nick was in demand, a lot, and rich celebrities paid his fees gladly, and without a second thought. Much of his work consisted of single events or brief trips, but there were at least two billionaires out there who had round-the-clock security provided by Alpha One Security—which we all referred to as A1S.

In a relatively short period of time, A1S had become a pretty mammoth operation, actually. It employed dozens of security contractors plus resource staff, with operations bases in LA and New York, as well as the main base here in the wilds of Colorado. The staff here consisted of Nick and Thresh, myself, and four other highly trained security experts: Puck Lawson, Duke Silver, Lear Winter, and Anselm See—his last name was pronounced Zay. Yes, those are their real names. I know it sounds unlikely, but they’re all real; I’ve seen their passports—except Thresh, who’s just stubborn about revealing his real name. And each of them is as infinitely badass as their names suggested. More on them later, though.

For now, let’s get back to the fun stuff. Namely, my quest to fulfill Nick’s fantasy.

I stripped naked, leaving my clothes in a pile on the floor in the kitchen, and then draped the bandoliers of shells over my shoulders. And holy fuck, are bullets cold against your skin. And heavy. But if all went according to plan, I wouldn’t have them on for very long. I hefted the M4, opened the back door, and stepped outside.

And fuck me running, it was way too cold for this. April in the mountains: not even forty-five, with snow still on the ground in some places. I pulled up my metaphorical big-girl panties and ignored the cold. I gripped the stock of the rifle with one hand and rested the barrel on one shoulder in what I hoped was a casual, sexy, badass pose. Then I walked over to the barn with as much sultry sway to my hips as I could manage without popping a joint.

I approached the barn, which was huge. It had been constructed to look like a classic barn, bright red with white accents, but it was a full hangar capable of housing multiple aircraft. The main set of doors were open, revealing the cavernous interior with a loft up near the top and an open space beneath. Workbenches lined the perimeter of the outside walls, tools hanging on the walls and resting on the surfaces. As well, there were several red Craftsman tool chests beneath the workbenches. It seemed that every available surface was covered with parts of one description or another—on a long metal table near the plane he was working on, bigger ones on the floor, some in the corners or stacked along the walls.

Nick was shirtless, wearing a pair of tight, faded blue jeans and a pair of old, scuffed, battered tan combat boots, and a black A1S ball cap. Fuck, he was gorgeous. Ripped, lean and hard. Toned muscle, shredded abs, a wicked V-cut that I absolutely loved to lick, thick biceps, corded arms. He’d let his beard grow a little lately, because I loved him in a beard. It made him look a little older, but that was fine. He was just goddamned sexy with a beard. Not real long or thick, what I would call extreme scruff. A month or two worth of growth, at most, and he trimmed it to stay at that length. His hair was a little longer too, no longer the close military buzz he’d always had. Now his dark brown hair had enough length to it that he could actually style it if he wanted, which he rarely did. Usually it was just messy, maybe finger-combed so it didn’t stick up. If he was working an event, he could clean up really well, but I liked him casual and messy. Just like this.

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