Readers thought the boys were bad—but wait until they get a peek at the wild desires of the girls. #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh delivers the third book in the Nauti Girls series, taking the sexy adventures of the Mackay sisters to the limit—and beyond—with her “electrically charged, erotic, and just a sinfully good” (Joyfully Reviewed) talents.
Zoey Mackay is as tough and savvy as anyone. But when an unknown assailant slips her a psychoactive drug, she descends into a literal nightmare of violence and blood. And even after she wakes, the horror haunts her, spurring her to learn how to defend herself. But her defense may not be enough for a different kind of opponent.
Enigmatic Homeland Security honcho Chatham Bromleagh Doogan is a man with power and the will to use it. When he rescues Zoey from the depths of her drug-induced delirium, he swears to find the bastards who almost destroyed her spirit and make them pay.
But when the shadowy threat returns, will Zoey and Doogan have the strength to hold onto each other and survive the coming storm?
Doogan stood in the middle of her kitchen with nothing but a towel secured at his lean hips and the hickey from hell marring the right side of his neck, incredibly close to his jugular vein. He was obviously headed back to her bedroom with a cup of coffee.
His dark hair was damp; sunlight gleamed across the dark strands, picking up lighter highlights that she hadn’t noticed the night before. Tight, taut abs tightened above the towel while the light mat of hair on his chest looked far too inviting.
“Well, hell.” He frowned, his brown eyes cool as his gaze slid from Lyrica to Zoey, regret flickering in his gaze. “I thought you were alone, Zoey. I’m sorry.”
“Oh my God. Oh my God,” Lyrica whispered, waving her hands in front of her face as she stared at him, eyes wide. “Dawg’s gonna have pups if he finds out about this. Doogan, you can’t . . .”
“Lyrica,” Zoey said softly, warningly.
“I’ll just get dressed.” Doogan gave his head a little shake and strode to her bedroom. “Sorry, Zoey.”
They watched him disappear, the door closing quietly behind him.
Zoey bit her lips and lifted her gaze to the skylights above them. No way Lyrica missed that hickey on his neck.
“Oh God. You slept with him . . .” her sister wheezed.
Zoey cleared her throat uncomfortably. “Well, we didn’t sleep much.”
Lyrica’s smothered squeal had Zoey’s gaze jerking to her in shock at the sound. Her sister was staring at her, hands pressed against her flushed cheeks, her green eyes dancing with sheer disbelief.
“Oh my God,” she choked.
“You said that already, Lyrica.” Zoey glared back at her. “What’s wrong with him?” Hell, Zoey thought, she hadn’t found a damned thing wrong with him.
“Oh my God, that look on your face,” Lyrica exclaimed.
“What look?” Ducking her head, Zoey stalked away from her sister and headed for the kitchen. “I need coffee.”
“Oh, Zoey, please don’t let Dawg find out,” Lyrica whispered. “That so wasn’t his pick for you.”
They’d seen enough, heard enough to know that Dawg, Rowdy, and Natches, as well as Timothy and several of their closest friends, had been playing matchmakers in the oddest ways where Dawg’s sisters were concerned.
“Yeah, well, his choices sucked anyway.” Zoey snapped. “And if I wanted one of the men he’s lined up I could have had them at any time since the day we arrived in Somerset. Stop worrying, Lyrica. I have a handle on it.”
“Oh, Zoey,” Lyrica sighed pityingly. “Haven’t we warned you about lying to yourself? I was so certain we had—”
“Shut up!” Zoey demanded. “And stop worrying. Now, where’s the babies? With Momma?”
“Zoey, listen to me,” Lyrica demanded, pressing the heel of her hand to her forehead. “Honey, you don’t understand. If anyone asks, Graham, or Brogan, who the one man was that would send them straight to Dawg if he’s seen with you, the answer is him.” She pointed to the bedroom door. “He gets people shot at. Hell, even Brogan wants to shoot him. But, Zoey . . .”
“Well, I just want to do him, and I’d prefer to do him in peace if you don’t mind,” she snapped back, watching Lyrica’s eyes widen a second before her lips parted, closed, and then she shook her head with a groan.
“God, Lyrica, shouldn’t I be able to choose who my first lover is . . .”
“But Zoey, honey, he’ll break your heart,” Lyrica whispered.
“I know.” And she did. “But he’s my choice, Lyrica. Isn’t that what counts?”
“You love him,” Lyrica said softly, surprised. “Zoey.”
And she’d had enough. Turning from her sister, she all but stomped to the coffeepot. “You want coffee or you want to get all weepy and maudlin on me? Really? You’d think I could have what I want, just once, without worrying about big brother.”
Just this once, let her have something for herself, just in case life as she knew it, was over soon.
“Oh my God, Zoey. If big brother finds out, he’ll hurt Doogan. Of any man on the face of this earth, Doogan is the one he’ll lose his mind over,” her sister warned her.
“That’s when I’ll leave, Lyrica.” Turning back to her, Zoey knew if Dawg did one thing to ruin this for her before Doogan left on his own, then she’d leave herself. And she’d never come back.
“Oh, Zoey.” Lyrica knew what Zoey had already accepted.
Dawg would find out and he would, as she said, have pups. But if he interfered, she’d make sure he never interfered in any other choice she ever made again.
“There has to be a reason. Something we’re not seeing,” he muttered.
“Damn, Dawg will lock her in a hole so deep and filled with Mackay brotherly love she’ll smother to death.” Sam grimaced. “Hell of a way to die. So you can forget figuring out why anyone targeted her.”
It was a running joke that the Mackay cousins, once the scourge of Pulaski County and surrounding areas for their sexual hijinks and penchants for troublemaking, made certain Dawg’s sisters lived totally different lives. Completely innocent, virginal lives.
“Dawg can’t know about this, Sam.”
She froze for long seconds, simply staring at him.
“Are you kidding me?” she almost wheezed with wide-eyed disbelief. “Dawg finds out we held this from him, Doogan, and he’ll kill both of us. And he will find out. Trust me.”
It amazed him how terrified everyone was of Dawg Mackay and his cousins. They were formidable enemies, agreeably, and no doubt, they’d be enraged when they learned Zoey had been in danger. But, they’d never kill a woman..
“And when she dies of brotherly love and overprotection? Or whoever did this to her tonight finds a way to get to her again and ‘suggests’ she kill herself? Herself and her family? Her nieces? Is that a risk you’re willing to take?” he asked, barely managing to keep the cool, uncaring appearance he’d adopted over the past hellish year.
Could he bear seeing anything or anyone harming this innocent young woman? After all he’d lost, the thought of losing more threatened the hard won control he’d managed to salvage in the past months.
Sam’s nostrils flared and she glared at him in silent fury and denial. It was evident she had no desire to risk their wrath in any way.
“Hate me all you want to,” he suggested, icy determination reflecting in his tone. “But before you go to Dawg, remember this. They got to her tonight. She’s in her pajamas, so she was obviously in her room, asleep. Right beneath Timothy’s nose they took her, Sam. They drugged her and tried to convince her she killed Harley Perdue. And if they convinced her, then she’ll confess to it. She’s a Mackay.” Swiping his fingers through his hair, he knew no matter what he said, Sam would still go with her gut. “It’s in their fucking blood or some shit.”
And he had no doubt the little Mackay now sleeping in Sam’s bed was a Mackay all the way to her soul.
He gave a short, approving nod when she said nothing more.
“Now, we have to get her back to her bed without anyone being the wiser. Especially her brother. Otherwise, she’ll never believe this was all a dream.”
Sam shook her head, one hand slapping to her forehead in a gesture of utter amazement before glaring at him, the disbelief growing.
“Wow, Doogan, that’s a hell of a fucking order,” she snorted, her hands propping on her hips then. “Why don’t we rob Fort Knox next?”
His brow arched mockingly. She could be a smart-ass, even as a child.
“I haven’t finished the plan for that one yet.
Zoey swung around at the sound of the brooding tone, rife with amused mockery.
Her brows arched and she allowed a small smile to threaten the corners of her lips. Now, didn’t he just look rather fun?
“Zoey Mackay?” A single dark brow arched, interest gleaming in his dark, chocolate-brown eyes.
He stood almost lazily next to the front wheel of her cycle, hands tucked into his black slacks, the sleeves of his white shirt rolled several cuff widths up his tanned, lightly-haired forearms, his longish, dark brown hair framing aristocratic, damned imposing features.
“And you are?” she asked warily, though she had a good idea who he was. The boss’s boss. It was damned funny how even Eli refused to use his name. Like some kind of talisman that could hold him at bay.
He did look kind of dangerous, though, in a very aristocratic sort of way. In a very arrogant lord-of-all-he-surveyed way. And she had to admit, it was a damned arousing look.
She liked it.
A little too much perhaps.
Her eyes narrowed then. It had been years. Five years, to be precise. He was harder, his face sharper, his expression colder. But it was him.
She’d danced with him one sultry summer night, certain he’d kiss her once the dance was over. Instead, he stepped back, ran his finger from her temple to her jaw in a gentle curve, before turning and just walking away.
But did he know who she was? He didn’t appear to recognize her, and it had been five years after all. Perhaps she hadn’t made the same impression on him.
His lips quirked. “Who did Eli tell you he was meeting?”
Propping one hand on a leather-clad hip, she slid her gaze to the plane, then back to his amused features.
“His boss’s boss.” She wrinkled her nose with a hint of disdain. “Be careful of him, he tends to get his agents shot at, you know.”
Casually, ensuring that the move appeared natural, Zoey lifted her jacket from the seat of the cycle and pulled it on once again. “Hopefully he doesn’t get Eli shot at before we leave. I’m certain I have things to do tonight.”
“Really?” The interest deepened in his eyes now. “Perhaps you can give him a few more minutes while you explain how you know so much about his boss?”
Lifting one arm, she checked her nails for a moment before lowering it once again and directing her attention back to him.
“I’m a Mackay, we tend to know these things. Instinct perhaps.” She shrugged as though no more interested in the conversation than she was in the grass growing in the fields surrounding the airfield. “Think the boss’s boss will be done with him soon?”
He turned and gave the plane a long look before turning back to her. “I don’t quite think he’s finished yet. You could come up with him if you like.”
Uh-oh. That did not sound promising. For Eli at least.
“What’s he doing?”
“A hundred push-ups for bringing a civilian along,” he answered far too seriously. “And if I don’t get back, he’ll cheat on the count. There’s cold drinks in the plane if you decide to join us.”
“I assume you’re the boss’s boss, then?” she queried, knowing he was. “A name would be nice. Even my sister won’t provide the name of the man who dared to invite her out to dinner while my brother-in-law was still trying to seduce her. I believe they consider saying your name bad luck. Rather like Rumpelstiltskin perhaps?”
She wondered if she should just tell him she knew who he was and how much she appreciated him taking her sister out and not even telling her who he was. That was enough to piss her off.
That little twitch at the corner of his lips hinted at a smile of sincere amusement.
“Come along.” As he angled his head to the aircraft, his gaze turned mocking again. “Eli can introduce us properly since he convinced you to come along with him.”
“I just followed him,” she retorted, grinning at his back now. “He does live with me, you know. And I was bored tonight.”
“Get bored often, do you?”
Damn, she wished she could see his face when he asked that question.
“Only on Fridays,” she assured him.
“Today’s only Thursday.” Still, he didn’t deign to let her see his expression.
“Oh well. I guess I started a day early, then. My bad.”