Sabrina York

Sabrina_head_logoHer Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy to scorching romance.

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hot-rod-webThis is part of the Omega Team series:

 A standard witness protection mission goes wrong, thrusting Matt Devereaux and his target, a wise-cracking hooker named Vixen LaFleur, into a fight for their lives. But flying bullets and lurking villains are not nearly as dangerous as risking the heart. Against his will, Matt is attracted to the dauntless, exasperating woman he’s supposed to be protecting, but she is harboring a secret. One that could heal his wounded soul, or crush it.

Excerpt fromHerding Cat

 

It was a relief to get Catherine into another cab and head back to their hotel, but Garrett knew better than to relax. At least until they reached sanctuary. And even then, he would stay on alert.

This event had changed things, shifted them away from a standard protection op onto the offensive. “I’ll stay with you tonight.” God, it was hard keeping his tone casual.

Her head whipped around and she gaped at him. “What?”

“You cannot be alone.” Her horrified expression gutted him. He forced a laugh. “Don’t worry. I’ll sleep on the couch.” And thank God her suite had a sitting room. But he would have made a pallet on the floor if it hadn’t.

“I don’t need company.”

“You need protection.”

“No one is coming into my room.”

“Do you know that for certain? Are you willing to bet your life?” Because it could be that, exactly.

Her determination faltered. She nibbled her lip. He had to look away.

He wanted to nibble that lip. And more.

“In the event someone does try to get to you, I will be there.”

She huffed a sigh. “Oh, all right.” She was as petulant as a little girl, but he sensed some hint of relief in her tone. No doubt, despite her stalwart mask, she was scared.

She should be.

They pulled up to the hotel and Garrett exited the cab first, scanning the curved drive. There were far too many people standing around. “Come on,” he said, taking her hand and guiding her from the cab, across the drive and into the spinning doors of the hotel.

The lobby was busy too. Garrett quartered the space as he urged her toward the elevators. He was used to her turning heads—of course she would, she was drop-dead gorgeous—but at this moment it set his nerves on end.

A man sitting on a couch reading a newspaper captured his attention. The look in his eye was too sharp. Garrett quickly memorized his features. And there, another man, leaning against the counter of the registration desk…too calculating.

The wait for the elevator took forever. When it finally arrived, Garrett ushered her in. Perhaps with a little too much force. She glared at him.

He ignored her ire. An older couple stepped on the elevator with them, chattering about their evening and then, to Garrett’s annoyance, the newspaper man did as well. He glanced at the panel and pushed the button for the floor below Catherine’s.

Garrett knew, just knew, this man was not staying at this hotel. He reached forward and pushed a random button. When the elevator stopped on that floor, he ushered Catherine out.

Miraculously, she did not protest. But she did ask, when the elevator shushed closed, “Why did you do that?”

He shrugged. “Just a precaution.” And he needed time to prepare. In the event they arrived at the penthouse floor to find that man awaiting them. He called another elevator and pulled out his SIG Sauer, just to be safe.

Catherine’s eyes widened and she eeped, but she said nothing else.

The ride to their floor took moments. Garrett gestured for Catherine to stay back as he checked out the hall. To his relief, there was no one there. He quickly ushered her to the double doors of her suite and, again, motioned for her to wait. It took less than a minute for him to clear the room, but the entire time, his pulse slammed in his veins. He hated leaving her outside while he checked the closets and the bathroom, but it was safer.

When he was finally certain there was no one there, he pulled her inside and locked the door.

Finally.

Finally she was safe.

He nearly collapsed with relief.

Until she turned to him and said, “I’m hungry.”

He frowned at her. “We’re not going back out.”

“But I’m hungry.”

He stormed over to the desk, grabbed the room service menu and thrust it at her. She wrinkled her nose. “They charge an extra seventeen percent for room service.”

“It’s safer.”

She gusted a sigh, but dropped on the sofa—the one he’d be sleeping on, not that that thought winged through his mind—and studied the offerings. “Do you want anything?”

Well hell. He was a little hungry too. They’d had lunch at Hong Kong City Hall, but the dim sum had long ago been burned off. The adrenaline, probably. “Do they have burgers?”

She nodded. “That’s what I’m getting too.”

He liked that about her. Liked a woman who ate real food.

As she called in the order, he did a quick assessment of her suite, checking for any potential security issues. Her rooms were on the top floor of the hotel with no balcony, so that was a nonissue, but the locks on the door were not the best. Also, double doors could be easily breached if they were not bolted into the floor. It annoyed him that these were not. He had zip ties though. He could lash the handles together and provide some added security—and time, should anyone decide to attempt an incursion.

After she called in their order, Catherine went to the bathroom. She was in there a long time. Long enough for Garrett to suspect that what she really needed was some time alone. This had been a rough day—for all of them.

Still, after a while, he knocked on the door. “Are you okay?” he asked.

“Fine,” she called, but he noticed it was a watery response.

Yeah. She just needed time to deal with all this. He could hardly blame her.

She emerged just before the knock came on the door, announcing their dinner had arrived.

It was tough, sitting there at the table, watching her eat. Watching her swirl her fries in the ketchup and suck it off. Watching her lick her fingers. Fucking lick her fingers.

Did she have any idea how sexy that was?

He wanted nothing more right now than to yank her into his arms and kiss her.

But he couldn’t. Shouldn’t.

She looked up. Caught him staring at her. Instead of a glower—as he expected, being caught out like this—her eyes widened like a gazelle on an African plain sighting a predator.

And fuck. He felt like one.

Especially when that wanting look flickered through her eyes.

Oh, she tried to hide it, but he saw it. Couldn’t miss it. It sent a flame licking through his body. He was damn tired of pretending. Tired of looking away. Tired of acting like the simmering arousal he felt for her didn’t exist. Tired of keeping himself constrained.

As he continued to watch her, she became restless. And then she frowned. “Stop that,” she said.

“Stop what?”

“Stop looking at me like that.”

“Like what?”

“Like you want to…eat me up.”

He did. He wanted to eat her all up. And he wanted her to know it.

He couldn’t stop his roguish grin. “Scott was right.”

She blinked. “What?”

“It is hard to be with you, day in and day out, and not make a move.”

Her throat worked. “I…ah… Do you want to make a move?”

“Hell, yeah.”

A pink tide crept up her cheeks. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

“It’s not ridiculous in the least.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Because you should know.”

“Know? Know what?” Her innocence was feigned. It had to be. She was a grown woman. A knockout. Surely she knew what effect she had on the males of the species.

“You should know how much I want to kiss you right now.”

Her eyes shone. Her lips parted. Her tongue peeped out.

And yeah.

That was an engraved invitation if he’d ever seen one. Without a word, he pushed back his chair and rose. And then he rounded the table, took hold of her wrist and yanked her into his arms.

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