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JIMMY (Red, Hot & Blue) by Cat Johnson
Social butterfly and a soldier in the Special Forces—a match made in…bed.
Special Forces gave Jimmy Gordon the undercover skills of a chameleon, but nothing prepared him for Amelia Monroe-Carrington, the governor’s hot, redheaded daughter. She thought she was seducing a banquet waiter, and he let her. His next assignment pulled him from her bed and into the worst six months of his life. Images of Lia were what kept him alive imprisoned in Kosovo, and even now he’s home and recovered, she’s still in his head.
For her father’s political career, Lia has always done the appropriate thing, right down to dating a senator’s son. Her one rebellious act, an incredible night with a totally inappropriate man, ended when he disappeared. And then never called. When they unexpectedly meet again, the pull between them is stronger than ever, tempting Lia to stop sacrificing her own happiness for the family dynasty.
Warning: Contains incredible one-night-stand sex hot enough to withstand time, distance, and some really nasty terrorist torture.
A G rated excerpt from
“Don’t all you boys look cute.” Matt’s voice came through the communicator implanted in Jimmy’s ear and interrupted his internal soliloquy about his hatred of the shirt and tie. The mocking only seemed to make the discomfort seem worse since Matt was safely locked away in the surveillance van wearing his own nice comfortable clothes. “I’ve got eyes and ears up and running. Talk to me.”
“Gordon, Jimmy.” In the usual, preset order, Jimmy checked in first and confirmed his receipt of
Matt’s communication, such as it was, about having audio and visual surveillance in place.
The rest of the team checked in, except for the commander.
“Commander?” Matt’s question came through Jimmy’s earpiece.
Jimmy could see the commander across the room in his own penguin suit, looking just as uncomfortable as he felt.
“Yeah, I’m here, Coleman. Damn it. Let’s get this show on the road. This tie is killing me.”
At least rank didn’t have its privileges on this op. Enjoying the thought immensely, Jimmy smiled.
“You guys better go into the kitchen and find out what you’ll be passing,” Matt warned.
“You mean besides gas?” Obviously pleased with his own wit, Jack beamed. He looked comfortable in his position behind the bar. If only Jimmy had been lucky enough to be assigned the job of bartender instead of stuck out here trying to play waiter.
He heard a round of snickers through his earpiece in response to Jack’s juvenile joke.
“Ha, ha, Jack. Very funny.” Judging by his tone, Matt was not amused. “You’re all lucky. Tonight is butler service, just passed hors d’oeuvres. But I’m serious about this. People are going to ask what’s on your tray. Take it from me, you’ll feel like an idiot if you don’t know.”
Jimmy had a feeling they might actually be better off with Bull on the communications console and Matt out here. He really was the only one who knew what the hell he was doing as a waiter. All of their training for Special Task Force Zeta didn’t prepare them one little bit for butler service.
Damn, did people even have butlers nowadays? Jimmy saw the first guest arrive, and judging by the look of him, these people did. “Guests are arriving.” He turned his head to face the wall as he spoke and kept his voice low as a few more people filtered into the room. Then, always alert, Jimmy went back to visually sweeping the room.
“I’m ready.” He heard Jack’s voice and a champagne cork pop simultaneously.
The commander nodded once. “Let’s roll, boys.”
Their leader looked impatient to get this assignment over and done with. Jimmy couldn’t agree more.
Trey, Bull and BB all headed toward the entrance to the kitchen. Jimmy decided he better follow and see what the hell waited for them on this butler service crap. When he arrived in the rapidly filling kitchen crowded with cooks and now his teammates, a counter covered in big silver trays containing tiny food greeted him. The team lined up. Being in the military, they were all extra skilled at waiting in line. It was the next part Jimmy was concerned about as the chef shoved a tray at BB.
“Herb-encrusted goat cheese.” The chef’s words were spewed with every bit as much disdain and authority as a drill instructor barking orders to a new recruit at boot camp. Maybe this wasn’t going to be as far out of their realm of familiarity as Jimmy had anticipated.
BB picked up the tray with two slightly unsteady hands. Turning in slow motion toward the door, he tenuously balanced the tray as if it held a nuclear bomb.
Trey stepped forward.
“Bruschetta,” the chef barked with another shove.
“Bru-whatta?” Trey frowned down at the little red triangles laid out in an artful display in front of him.
The look the chef shot him could have wilted the green leafy things garnishing Trey’s tray. Trey’s tray, that’s funny. Jimmy laughed to himself at his own little joke. He’d have to find a way to use that later.
“It’s chopped tomatoes with basil on garlic toast points,” the chef explained none too patiently.
“Oh.” Trey grabbed his tray with one hand, raised a brow and then left the kitchen.
“Don’t piss off the chef, whatever you do. I had one throw a butcher knife at me once.” Matt’s voice issued that warning to them all, unbeknownst to the chef in question.
Great. Now Jimmy had to worry about the chef throwing things at him on top of terrorists blowing up the rich guys who were going to be asses to them for not knowing what bruschetta was.
Bull stepped forward as the chef shoved another tray forward.
“Wild mushrooms and brie on sourdough toast.”
Hmm. Who knew toast was so highbrow? It was in two of these things already. Jimmy had been eating toast all his life. He hadn’t known he was so classy.
Bull took the mushroom toast things and looked like a storybook giant carrying a doll-sized tray out of the kitchen.
Uh oh. Jimmy was up next. He stepped up to the stainless steel table.
“Hot parsnip soup.” The tray slid toward him as the chef announced its contents.
Uh oh, again. His silver and very slippery tray contained about twenty tall shot glasses filled with a whitish liquid that he thought looked too much like semen to even contemplate drinking, or eating or whatever. But that wasn’t the least of it. How was he supposed to carry this without those shot glasses sliding all over the place?
The commander was behind him, so he stepped aside to magnanimously allow him to go first. “Sir?”
“Oh no, Gordon. That one’s all yours. And don’t call me sir.”
Under the impatient scrutiny of the chef, Jimmy cringed a bit and picked up the tray with shaking hands. He could shoot the bull’s-eye out of a target with a hand so steady he could perform brain surgery with it, but carry a tray full of semen-soup-filled shot glasses and he was…well…shot.
Jimmy somehow got himself out the door without spilling, although the whole lot of glasses shifted slightly to the left, along with the white lace doily that may look nice, but did dick to help him keep from spilling. He paused to scope out the situation in the rapidly filling room and nearly got knocked into by a guest as he did.
That was it. He couldn’t keep his eye peeled for the bad guys if he was staring at this gross soup in a vain effort to not accidentally dump any. Jimmy gingerly walked over to his brother at the bar. “I’m leaving this tray here with you before I spill it.”
“What the hell is it?” Jack glanced at the contents of the glasses.
Jack winced. “Well, it looks like—”
Jimmy held up his hand to stop Jack before he went any further with his most likely X-rated description. “I know what it looks like. Just tell the guests what it is if they ask. I’m going to do a walk- through and see what’s up.”
“All right, but nobody’s going to drink that shi—I mean stuff.” Jack censored himself just as a couple walked up to the bar and into earshot.
Jimmy smiled. This gig might not be too bad. It would definitely be something to talk about over drinks later. Until then, he’d just keep dumping his trays with Jack so he wouldn’t have to deal with them.
Proud of his stroke of genius, Jimmy was still congratulating himself when he saw one hot number walk into the room on the arm of one of the VIPs they were there to protect. An old dude he sincerely hoped was not her date. That would be a shame, since she was hotter than that soup he’d ditched and a hell of a lot more attractive.
Her red hair was pulled up to reveal the sexiest porcelain-white neck and shoulders he’d ever seen.
Her legs seemed to stretch nearly up to her armpits. Her black, strapless dress slit up the side nearly hip-high was pretty nice to look at too. Big eyes, which he could see from across the room were as blue as the cool pond on his mama’s farm, completed this vision of walking, talking sex that would fulfill any man’s fantasy.
Wow. Good thing he’d ditched that tray. Otherwise, he definitely would have dropped it when he saw her.