Undercover cop Logan “Kash” Ryan can’t afford a distraction like his new neighbor Rachel Masters, even if she’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. To catch a serial killer, he needs to stay focused, yet all he can think about is the feisty, long-legged coed whose guarded nature intrigues him
A matter of lies…
Deceived and hurt before, Rachel would rather be a single, crazy cat lady than trust another guy, especially a gorgeous, tattooed bad boy with a Harley, like Kash. But when his liquid-steel eyes meet hers, it takes all of Rachel’s will-power to stop herself from exploring his hot body with her own.
A matter of love…
As much as they try to keep it platonic, the friction between them sparks an irresistible heat that soon consumes them. Can Kash keep Rachel’s heart and her life safe even as he risks his own? Will she be able to forgive his lies … or will she run when she discovers the dangerous truth?
Rachel is supposed to be planning her wedding to Kash, the love of her life. After the crazy year they’ve had, she’s ready to settle down and live a completely normal life. Well, as normal as it can be. But there’s something else waiting—something threatening to tear them apart.
Kash is ready for it all with Rach. Especially if all includes having a football team of babies with his future wife. With his line of work, he knows how short life can be, and doesn’t want to waste another minute of theirs. But now his past as an undercover narcotics agent has come back to haunt him … and it’s the girl he loves who’s caught in the middle.
Trent Cruz’s orders are clear: take the girl. But there’s something about this girl that has him changing the rules and playing a dangerous game to keep her safe. When his time as Rachel’s protector runs out, he will turn his back on the only life he’s known, and risk everything, if it means getting her out alive.
“Rach, do you really need this many shoes?” I watched as she unpacked the third box in our closet, and wondered how any person could ever have a need for that many pairs of shoes.
Her hand stopped mid-way to the shelf with another pair, and her bright blue glare turned on me. I took a step back.
“Are you actually asking me that right now?”
“Say no,” my dad whispered from behind me. “Course he wasn’t, Rachel. He’s just mad that he won’t have anywhere to put his sparkly hooker heels.”
Rachel laughed and went back to putting her dozens of shoes away. “No worries about that one, Rich. I put them up already, they even have their own little place away from everything so they don’t get ruined.”
My mom pushed through Dad and me to get into the closet with an armful of clothes to hang up. “Really, Logan. Give the girl a break, I have more shoes than this.”
“Oh, Marcy! I forgot to tell you—”
“Is this gonna be a long story?” Dad drawled, cutting Rachel off.
“Actually, it is,” she snapped right back with a playful smirk. “So get comfy!” As soon as she launched into her story about whatever the hell those two always talked excitedly about, my dad turned and gave me a shove.
“Have I taught you nothing when it comes to women?” he asked softly.
“What? That’s a shit ton of shoes!” I hissed, and looked back to see her pull more out. I swear to Christ this last box was like Mary Poppins’ purse. It was a never-ending pit of shoes.
“Okay, we’re gonna do this quick and easy. One, your woman can never have too many shoes, clothes, purses, or jewelry. Two, it doesn’t matter if you know you’re right—because God knows your mother is wrong about … well … just about everything—but it doesn’t matter. They are always right. Just say a simple, ‘Yes sweetheart, I’m sorry I’m a dumbass’ and you’ll be fine. Three, them asking if they look okay is a trick question. Because, let’s face it, even if we think it’s the ugliest shirt we’ve ever seen, it’s probably in style and we wouldn’t know either way. So they always look amazing, remember that word.”
I laughed. Rachel could wear a sack and I would think she looked amazing. Or she could wear nothing … I preferred her in nothing. I cleared my throat, and had to look away from Rachel when I started picturing her naked.
“Four, and probably the most important if you want to keep your manhood, do not ever ask if she is PMS-ing. No matter what. Might as well dig your own grave if you do that.”
Too late. I was always asking Rach if that was why she was in a bad mood. And if I was right, there was no way in hell I was going to tell her I was in the wrong. She could bitch about it if she wanted, but I wasn’t going to go easy on her for the sake of getting out of an argument. Arguing with her was one of my favorite things.
Nodding, I slapped my dad’s shoulder and smiled. “Thanks, Dad, I’ll remember all that.”
“… have to go back and see if they’re still there.” Mom was excited about something, and from the look of it, Rachel was too.
“Yeah, we do! Anyway, I just had to tell you about that, I knew you’d flip,” Rach mumbled as she flattened the last box of shoes. Thank God Mary Poppins’ box had officially emptied out.
“That was a lovely story,”—Dad drawled again—“and you tell it so well, with such enthusiasm.”
Mom rolled her eyes and shook her head as she smiled, and Rachel just looked at my dad like she was about to let him have it. At the last second, her head jerked back. “Wait. Forrest Gump … really, Rich? You’re using Forrest Gump quotes to insult me?”
“You have met your match, honey!” Mom cheered, and Dad just huffed in annoyance toward them, but shot me a wink.
“She doesn’t put up with your bullshit or mine. Son, I’m telling you, you better hold on tight to that one.”
“I will, Dad. Rach, are you done with the shoes?”
“I’m not sure. If you bring up my shoes again, I could probably sit here and re-arrange them, maybe set them up by color, size of the heel, and length of the boot.”
“Woman, get out of the damn closet. I have to put this up, and if you coordinate your shoes, I swear to you they will be in a pile on the floor the next time you come in here.”
“Logan Kash Ryan!” Mom chided at the same time Rachel swore, “I will gut you.”
My little Sour Patch. So fucking cute when she’s threatening my life.
“Wait, what are you putting up?” she asked as she walked out of the closet that was big enough for a car.
“Kind of like a really cheap safe room. Actually, that’s a lie. It’s just for you to hide behind if someone were to break in or something.”
She laughed loudly and kissed my throat. “Kash, really? You’re being just a little bit paranoid. We’re not putting up a fake wall.”
Before she could move away, I wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close. “Babe. I almost lost you once, I’ll be working shitty hours and there will be a lot of nights you’re here alone. This is for my peace of mind, don’t be difficult.”
“Nothing is going to—”
“Rachel, stop. We’re putting up the wall.”
“You’re being paranoid!”
I kissed her hard once before pushing her gently away. “I probably am, but I don’t care. With all the clothes hung up, you won’t even notice it’s there. And if something happens, it’s there for you to hide behind. I love you, but I’m getting my way on this, okay?”
She rolled her eyes and gave my mom a look that Mom clearly understood since she started laughing. “All right, Kash. If you want to put up the fake wall to help you sleep at night—err, to keep you happy when you’re away—then have at it.”
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