One healer. Two warriors. One secret that will rip them apart...
Dorrie Haverstick is the one woman Ian Keller wants with a burning passion…and can’t have. Her connection to the man responsible for his father’s death makes her poison. That doesn’t make him want her any less.
Dorrie’s life is filled with secrets. Her beloved father runs the Russian crime family in Philadelphia but keeps her existence a secret. To acknowledge her would put her in constant danger and destroy her reputation as a physician. But his money funds her medical practice and she’s the on-call doctor for his men.
Decorated vet Ben Shaw knows his cousin Ian’s transition from the shadowy world of black ops into regular life has been difficult. But when he sees Ian’s interest in Dorrie, he sees Ian’s salvation in her eyes. There’s only one problem: Ben falls hard for the quiet, driven Dorrie.
Does Ben take Dorrie for himself? Or does he step back and wait for Ian to make his move? Either way, someone's on the outside. Unless they can agree on one indecent solution..
Read an excerpt ...
Out of the corner of his eye, Ian saw Dorrie leave the private area in the back.
He told himself he hadn’t been watching for her as he held up the wall behind his client’s table. The European high-roller who’d hired him and Ben for the night had lost a shit-ton of money at the blackjack table. Much more than he’d paid Ian and Ben, and their fee hadn’t been cheap.
But the man didn’t seem to care. Probably because of the blonde in the barely-there dress who’d been pressing her breast against his arm and giving him a good view of her cleavage for the past hour.
Ian figured she was working an angle but, honestly, he didn’t give a shit. The client was an asshole, and if she screwed him out of a few hundred thousand, that wasn’t Ian’s concern.
Ian had been hired to guard the prick’s life, not his wallet. Which meant he should pay a little more attention to the overweight, bald jerkwad with the deep pockets than to the woman who’d finally emerged from the back room.
But he couldn’t tear his gaze away as she stopped beside her bodyguard to smile and nod.
What the fuck has she been doing back there for more than two hours? Who the hell is she meeting? And what the fuck is his name so I can make him quietly disappear?
His hands clenched into fists before he forced them to relax at his sides.
Damn it. Keep your head in the game.
Which apparently was a damn good call because he caught the flash of a gun being drawn out of the corner of his eye.
His training kicked in automatically, his brain identifying the threat a split second before the gunman raised his weapon and started shooting.
Grabbing the client, he shoved him toward the floor when the first shots rang out.
The guy let out a squawk of outrage as Ian slammed him to the floor and covered him with his body. But the guy’s outrage quickly turned to fear when shots blasted into the air and people started screaming.
Ian knew the difference between screams of pain and fear. Several people had been hit.
Jesus Christ, not Dorrie.
As Ian held his paycheck to the floor with his left hand, he used his right to draw and fire at the gunman, who’d already begun to move back through the exit.
He must’ve taken out his target and was laying down gunfire to cover his exit.
Since Ian’s job was to make sure his client’s ass was safe, the second the shooter had retreated from the room, Ian yanked the guy off the floor and shoved him toward the back exit, where a steady stream of people were already leaving.
Where the fuck is Dorrie?
“Ian. Are you okay?”
Ben’s voice in his ear snapped Ian back to the moment. “Yeah. You?”
“Fine. Out the back?”
“Yeah.” No. “Wait. Fuck.”
There she was. In the middle of the room, her hands covered in blood as she waved frantically at someone. His heart leaped into his throat and he could barely breathe.
If she’s hurt…
“Ben. Brunette in the green dress. Don’t leave her.”
“What? What the fuck—”
“Stay with her and don’t leave her fucking side.”
Ian caught sight of Ben, shock plain on his face, just before he shoved their client into the hallway toward the back entrance that led into the alley.
“Get her the hell out of here, Ben.”
Right before he got their client into the hallway, he caught a glimpse of Ben running toward Dorrie.
She’ll be fine.
He kept telling himself that as he pushed the client down the hall with the rest of the frightened masses. Forced himself to bite back the question because if she was injured, he’d dump the client in the alley and go back, paycheck and new job be damned.
Jesus, please let her be okay.
Ben Shaw heard his cousin’s sharp orders through his earpiece and immediately searched for the woman Ian had indicated.
He found her kneeling on the floor across the room. “On her. But what—”
“No buts.” Ian sounded cold, controlled. “Do it.”
Ben trusted his cousin with his life but they’d been hired to do a job. Right now, Ian was hustling that job out the door and into a waiting car. A car Ben should be driving.
“Ian, what the hell’s going on?”
“Can’t explain now. I’ve got the client. I’ll take him back to the hotel. Don’t need you for that. Make sure she’s okay. Nothing happens to her.”
Since Ian was more than capable of shepherding their client back to his hotel, Ben started to make his way across the room. “Who is she?”
“Her name’s Dorrie. Tell her I sent you. No, wait. Just let me talk to her muscle. Don’t let her out of your sight until she’s safe at home.”
Now Ben was more than intrigued. “You’re the boss.” Which he wasn’t. He and Ian were equal partners, but Ben couldn’t resist the occasional jab.
He reached the woman’s side in seconds and, as he dropped to his knees at her side, his gaze narrowed at the blood covering her hands and arms.
“Fuck. Are you hit?”
She spared him a quick glance but immediately dismissed him. “Blank, I need my bag from the car.”
The big guy beside her shook his head. “No fucking way.”
“Now. Blank, she’s going to die. I need my bag.”
The big guy’s jaw locked and he sized up Ben, clearly trying to decide if he could trust him.
So he tried to make it easier. “Ben Shaw. Ian Keller sent me.”
The woman’s head snapped around and she stared at him through wide eyes, her mouth open for seconds before she snapped it closed. But her hands never faltered as she applied pressure to the leg of the wounded woman.
“What did you—” She shook her head. “Doesn’t matter. Blank. My bag.”
Ben turned to the big man by her side, but he remained exactly where he was.
“Ian.” Ben knew his cousin hadn’t turned off their comms. “I need a reference.”
“Give your ear piece to Blank.” Ian’s voice practically bit through his link.
Ben dug out his earpiece and handed it over.
The guard stuck it close to his ear and barked, “Keller, what the fuck?” Then he fell silent for several seconds until finally he nodded and handed the ear piece back to Ben.
The big guy stood. “I’ll be back with your bag. You go nowhere without him. You.” He pointed at Ben. “Anything happens to her, you better hope you’re dead.”
Then he took off at a dead run.
“Hands,” she demanded. “Here.”
He obeyed without hesitation, replacing her hands with his on the woman’s leg.
She gave orders with the authority of someone used to having them obeyed. Ben followed every one because she obviously knew what the hell she was talking about.
Doctor, nurse, medic, EMT. Someone in the medical field.
He was betting on doctor. She had that air of earned arrogance that intrigued the hell out of him.
Who was she? How did Ian know her? And why had his cousin been so adamant that Ben stay with her?
Still pressing on the woman’s leg, he watched Dorrie check the woman’s other injuries then move to a man propped against the wall, holding his stomach and moaning. After pressing on various places on the man’s abdomen, she moved to another woman slumped across one of the tables.
Blank hustled back into the room with her bag. She didn’t have to say a word. He’d already opened it for her and she reached inside with sure hands.
Then she went to work with single-minded focus.