When I couldn’t produce the twenty-five thousand, he got rough with me, landing a solid left hook to my temple. I don’t think he was doing this per se to “act” like the stereotypical loan shark. I think he did it because he was drunk, possibly high and pissed I didn’t have his money. Jayce wasn’t a nice man on most days, but cross him and he could get vicious.

With a sigh, I turn around and trot down his porch steps and head back to my car. I want to get a good night’s sleep because I have a feeling that working in a sex club starting tomorrow is not going to be conducive to restful nights over the next few weeks.

CHAPTER 3

Jerico

There’s a sharp rap before my office door opens. Kynan walks in without waiting for permission, and he’s the only one who’s allowed to do that.

“Just get back?” I ask as I briefly glance up at him and then back down to the quarterly tax report on my desk.

“Few hours ago,” he says as he drops down into one of the chairs opposite my desk and sighs with satisfaction.

“Let me guess,” I say dryly without even looking up at him. “You stopped off in one of the rooms before you came in here.”

“Orgy Room,” he says, and I can hear the grin in his voice without even looking up. “Some dude in there whacked off while I banged his wife from behind.”

Chuckling, I push the tax report away and lean back in my chair to look at my closest friend and my only confidant. I met Kynan McGrath while I was a young 2nd lieutenant with the Marine Corps. I was fresh out of college, fresher out of officer candidate school, and on my first deployment to Afghanistan. My unit was paired up with a unit from the Royal Marine Commandos, which was led by Kynan. We bonded as we spent months flushing Taliban from small villages, a tedious and dangerous job that was mentally stressful. I was impressed with Kynan, and he with me, and he was the first person I asked to join up with me as a civilian contractor. I knew I wanted out of the military after I’d gotten shot, not because I was afraid but because I was an entrepreneur. I figured if I was going to do dangerous shit in service to my country and its allies, I wanted to be paid well for it. So when my enlistment was up, I didn’t look back. That was ten long, lucrative years ago, but we’ve worked together seamlessly ever since. I’m going to sell The Jameson Group to him when I fully retire. As it stands now, I’m pretty far removed from it. Kynan’s been running everything for the past year and a half as I’ve devoted my attention to The Wicked Horse.

“So getting your rocks off was more important than reporting the final details of your operation to me?” I ask him with a straight face.

Kynan knows me well. His grin gets bigger. “I think you’ve gone soft, dude. You’ve been living in fancy suits and sitting in a comfortable chair for too long. Meanwhile, I’ve been freezing my ass off in the Pakistan mountains gathering intelligence for our country, eating freeze-dried food, and whacking off in my sleeping bag. So yeah… it was more important I visit The Orgy Room before coming here.”

I smirk at Kynan because I agree with him. When I came off missions, first thing I always wanted to do was fuck. In my single days, that would be nameless, one-night stands. Then it was only Michelle, who I met three years after I started The Jameson Group, I wanted to fuck. I was twenty-eight and ready to settle down. We’d dated for only six months before I proposed, but I didn’t have any doubts. She accepted, and I thought things were perfect. Less than ten months after that—and only two weeks before our wedding—I came off a mission a few days early to surprise her, and it was a surprise indeed when I caught her in our bed with Jayce.

The betrayal hurt. I could go into a million different ways in which that betrayal has changed me. But when it boils down to it, it was so much more than the fact she cheated on me. She and Jayce took away the one thing I wanted most in the world, and it’s the reason why I hate them so much.

Nowadays, I fuck one-night stands and frankly, I don’t find it to be unsatisfying at all. No annoying fiancée to please, no expensive wedding to hold, and the knowledge my heart would remain securely untouched.

“Everything go according to plan?” I ask Kynan, pushing my thoughts away from the bitter taste that floods my mouth when I think of Michelle and Jayce.

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