Cambria is no stranger to hot men or hot loving. She likes her relationships simple -- hot, satisfying and under her control. Until Dack and Logan walk into her life. Now nothing's simple, and she's losing control. Two hot, hard men who live together, work together and love together, and the woman they want is her. Getting them out of her head, her bed, or her life isn't working. Choosing between them isn't an option.
A vengeful enemy has forced Dack and Logan to live a life spent watching each other's backs, 24/7. That includes in the bedroom. Nowhere is safe. Love affairs are brief. But Cambria is a lady neither of them can resist. With her sassy attitude and passionate nature, she touches some part of them they'd thought dead.
Stormy passion and tender touches tempt the two battle-scarred warriors with a taste of the forbidden, but how to keep the woman they both want safe, and in their bed?
This is a sequel to Outside Protocol, although it can be read as a stand-alone.
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
November 13, 2009
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Challenge Protocol by Dawn Ryder
She needed a drink.
Actually, she needed a man, but since she'd left Dack and Logan, a good bottle of wine would have to fill in the gap. Hot arousal clung to her as she pulled her car into her garage.
Cambria kicked off her stilettos as she opened her laundry room door from inside her garage. Picking them up, she sat them on her washing machine. Her little lace panties needed to go as well. They were wet and irritating now. She removed them, tossing them into the laundry basket. She took off her garter belt, carefully unsnapping each stocking to keep them from running.
The air was still warm and getting rid of most of her clothing felt nice. She walked into her kitchen, lifting a wineglass out of its place. Opening another cupboard, she found a bottle of wine and pulled it out.
She kept her alcohol consumption strictly monitored, but tonight she was having a glass of wine alone. Possible consequences be damned.
Boy, when she decided to play with fire, she sure did try to pick up an entire barbeque pit full of it. She frowned as she realized that neither Dack nor Logan had said goodnight to her. Not that she'd given them much of a choice in the matter but something still nagged at her about the easy way she'd ditched them. As far as teasing went, she'd been hitting them pretty hard.
Maybe she was just disappointed they had been so easy to cut loose.
She sighed as she rolled her neck to loosen the tense muscles. She'd gone looking for a high-stakes game and had managed to find exactly that. A smile decorated her lips as the memory of them showing up replayed across her mind. Yes sir, they were something else and that was for sure.
A flicker from her patio almost stopped her heart. She looked through the kitchen window as the two candles on her tiny patio table began to burn. Soft yellow light washed over the frame of a man as he turned his attention towards her. She cussed low and deep as a shudder moved down her body. Dack hadn't told her goodnight because the man wasn't planning on being sent home so early.
It was arrogant. Completely presumptuous too, but the excitement flowing through her veins couldn't be masked by her irritation over his methods. He was watching her, half bathed in candlelight. She saw just a hint of a smug grin on his lips and that made her chuckle. The man was finally at ease. Flipping the lock on the back door, she stepped outside as he pulled it open for her.
Her back terrace was decorated island style. She had two large wicker chairs with thick cushions near that tiny table. Two candle trees stood on either side to provide better lighting, but Dack left them unlit. The majority of the space was occupied by a large hammock. One large, flat surface hammock that was held steady in a steel frame. She had a patio cover above it that she'd placed palm mats over to complete her tropical island escape. Ferns and a small water fountain made it perfect in the summer air. She had the added bonus that her unit was an end one, so with the patio covered, it was also private.
"You know, there are words for men who hang out in women's backyards without asking. Stalker comes to mind."
"A very underappreciated group of people." His voice was deep and husky. Relaxed now, and it reminded her of smooth brandy. "Think about it for a moment. A stalker is one hundred percent dedicated to his idol. With all these people getting upset over infidelity, you'd think the stalker would gain a little respect for their unwavering focus." He pointed a finger at her. "You never have to worry about who a stalker is thinking about. He's obsessing over you. Stalkers take devotion to the limit."
"Well, when you put it like that, I guess you've got a point." His grin widened as she agreed with him. "Not that I'm getting in line to get one."
He moved, his body fluid and controlled in the night. He cast a look about before closing the distance between them. Her skin tingled as he came close enough for her to catch the scent of his skin. All humans had a scent and some men just smelled more manly than others. Cheesy or not, it was true. Dack smelled warm and strong. It set off various jolts of sensation inside her. He propped a hand on the side of her house, next to her face. His expression was hidden in shadow, since the candles were behind him.
"Does that mean you want me to leave?"
He didn't give her the opportunity to answer. His mouth pressed down on top of hers in a kiss that almost burned her. It stole her breath and froze the air in her lungs. Sweet delight poured down her torso as his mouth pushed her lips apart. He slid one hand over the nape of her neck, firmly gripping the tender spot as he closed the remaining distance between them. Her hands landed on the side of his shoulders she'd spent a few too many hours thinking about. Sliding her fingers along the hard surface, she sighed as she found all the strength she'd fantasized about.
He smoothed his hand down her neck and across her shoulder. He caught one of the thin straps holding her dress up with his fingers and pushed it off the edge of her shoulder.
"You didn't wait for me to answer that question." She was teasing him. Dack heard it in her voice and it touched off a feeling he'd forgotten he had locked up inside him. A tender rush of warmth that melted clean through some of the thick calluses he'd grown over his emotions. Women chased him for his brawn or his dark aura. It had been a really long time since a female poked fun at him.
"I told you, I like to win." And he wasn't backing away from her. She was warm and full of life. Pushing the other strap off her shoulder, he watched the way she confidently stood still as her dress slithered down her body to her ankles. There was no protest, real or faked, just a sure and steady stare from her dark eyes. She was magnificent, caramel skin from head to toe with dark nipples that were drawn into beads. Her mons was bare, the hair waxed away, allowing him to see her cleft.
"You're one hell of a woman, Cambria."
The tone of his voice was dark. She shivered as she watched him sweep her bare body. He did it slowly, taking the time to soak up every detail her dress had hidden from him. His face drew tight as he focused on her newly waxed mons. She stared at the raw look of hunger, her confidence soaking up the moment.
"So glad that I meet with your approval."