The guard simply turns away from me. Heading back to the guard house, he steps inside to activate the gate.

“Asshole,” comes from my gritted teeth as I gun the engine of the vehicle.

Meghan quietly murmurs to me as the steering wheel starts to groan from how hard I’m gripping it. “Calm down, Gabriel. They’re just doing their job.”

The blood rushing to my brain slowly abates as I pull the SUV through the gates and down the drive to the massive house. I can slowly feel my hands loosening on the wheel as her touch radiates a feeling of warmth.

“Fuck,” I say with a shake of my whole body.

The red haze that started to flood my vision has abated completely when I look over at her.

Her hand slowly pulls away from me as she watches me. Is she afraid of me? I can’t really tell, but she doesn’t act like it. If anything, she seems to be emboldened by being able to calm me.

She should be afraid of me, not fucking smirking when I look her in the eyes.

“You okay there, big guy? We kind of need a steering wheel if we want to drive away from here,” she says with that sexy fucking smirk.

“I don’t like guards, and I really don’t like asshole guards,” I grumble before hopping out of the parked vehicle.

It’s fucking springtime here in Garden City, and as fucking usual it’s freezing temperatures one day and mild the next. All the same, as I go around the car to help my struggling bride out of the vehicle, I take a moment to pull my black tactical coat from the back. It’s not fucking cold outside right now, but it’s not exactly warm.

Going around to her side of SUV, I start yanking out yards and fucking yards of fabric. I know my bride was stuffed into the fucking passenger side of the vehicle, I’m the one who put her there, dammit. But right now, I can’t find anything but the ankle of a very pissed off woman.

“Who the fuck even wants to wear one of these bulky dresses in the first place?” she shouts as I finally grab her forearm and yank her out of the seat.

Pulling out the combat knife attached to my belt, I give her a look. “You didn’t pick this fucking thing out?”

Eyeing the knife, she shakes her head slowly. “No, they had me so drugged up I had no clue I was even wearing this until right before the wedding started.”

“Ah.” Kneeling down in front of her, I start slicing through most of the frilly shit that I can’t even remember the name of.

Hacking my way through until I see her calves, I quickly move around her, trying to trim off as much of the material as I can.

“Holy shit!” she groans when she looks down at the huge pile of white stuff. “You cut off like thirty pounds. My hips hurt so bad from all that damn weight on them.”

Lifting up my jacket to her, I motion for her to take it. “Would’ve been better for the both of us if we’d had a nudist wedding.”

Snatching the jacket out of my hands, she tucks herself inside of it before she responds. “Not on your life “

Looking down into her eyes, I can’t help but notice how small she is inside my coat. She almost looks like a lost little waif. But those fiery eyes stare back at me with a spirit that goes straight to my cock. This little one is all fucking kinds of danger bound in a little body.

“We’ll see,” I say as I turn toward the house.

“Fuck no, we won’t.” she growls at my back before jogging to catch up to me.

My silence must really irritate her though because she jabs me hard in the ribs to ask, “What are we doing here?”

“My boss wants to have a talk. I suspect it’s about the marriage and what’s going on with your father and your former fiancé,” I say as we approach the door. “There’s a lot of shit blowing around the city right now and we’d rather it be blowing in our favor.”

“But I don’t have anything to do with this!” she snarls. “I was being forced to fucking marry him. I didn’t get to choose whether I wanted to marry him any more than I got to choose being married to you.”

Reaching up to knock on the door, I’m tempted to use the knocker, but instead I use my fist as a hammer and just give it a couple of good thumps. “Yeah, well, we all have shit choices in life. You said yes, too late to back out now.”

“You didn’t even give me a choice!” she shouts just as the door swings open.

A beautiful young woman appears before us, her eyes taking us in quickly. “You must be Gabriel and Meghan.”