Read Sweet Child o' Mine Online

Authors: Lexi_Blake

Tags: #Lexi Blake, #Masters & Mercenaries, #McKay-Taggart, #erotic romance

Sweet Child o' Mine

Sweet Child o’ Mine

 

 

A
Masters and Mercenaries Extra

Lexi
Blake

Sweet Child o’ Mine

A
Masters and Mercenaries extra

Lexi
Blake

 

Published
by
DLZ
Entertainment LLC

 

Copyright
2015
DLZ
Entertainment LLC

Edited
by Chloe Vale

 

McKay-Taggart
logo design by Charity Hendry

 

All
rights reserved. No part of this book
may be reproduced,
scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission
.
Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in
violation of the author’s rights.

 

This
is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are the product
of the author’s imagination and are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual
persons, living or dead, events or establishments is solely coincidental.

Dedication

To
you. Yes, I’m talking to you, dear reader. This one is all for you with my
great thanks for all the support and love. Thank you for sharing this journey
with me and I look forward to many more adventures.

Chapter One

I
an Taggart frowned as he looked
at his childhood friend. Sullivan Roarke had grown up with Ian, Alex, and Sean.
He’d worked the same shitty jobs Ian and Alex had worked for the same shitty
pay. He’d given Ian some of that pay when Ian had a hard time keeping a roof
over his and Sean’s head. Sully had never asked for payback.

Until
today.

“So
what you’re telling me is this douchebag lets you film his life and people
watch it? Like actual living people who breathe and shit.”

Alex,
who was sitting beside Sully, groaned. “Ian hasn’t developed tact in the decade
or so since you last saw him.”

Sully
sat back with a wry smile on his face. “I wouldn’t expect him to. And we don’t
call Hoover the douchebag. We like to call him the talent.”

“Which
only proves you have no understanding of the word.” Tact was useless in Ian’s
mind.

“Perhaps,
but I’ve made a lot of money off
Kendalmire’s Way
. The network
recently reupped us for three years. Do you have any idea how unusual that is?
I’ve been in this business for a while now and this show is my goldmine. If I
can get six or seven years out of this show, I
’ll be set
for life and I won’t have to do reality shows anymore. I’ll be able to move
into scripted TV, which is where I want to be.”

Thank
god. He’d worried that Sully had lost his damn mind. “So you don’t particularly
want to film douchebag rich kids who think they’re DJs and their blonde model
girlfriends, who shop and prove the American education system has completely
failed?”

Sully
chuckled. “Not particularly, but then I suspect you’ve taken on some jobs that
weren’t agreeable for the sake of money.”

Oh,
he’d saved a few people who he would rather have strangled. “True.”

“So
from what I understand you have to run this by the rest of the team before you
take a case?” Sully asked. “I didn’t know that or I wouldn’t have brought
Hoover in today.”

Normally,
he would present the case to the team and they would decide to take or reject
the assignment and who was the best operative to work the case, if they agreed
to it. “You didn’t just bring Lord Douche. You brought all his douche minions,
too.”

“The
good news is apparently none of them eat because Charlotte offered them cookies
and they looked at her like she was crazy,” Alex offered. “That’s in your
favor, Sully. If any one of them had touched Ian’s cookies, he would have
thrown them down an elevator shaft.”

They
were his freaking cookies. Sean had recently brought in an assistant pastry
chef at his restaurant, Top. Ian was a principle investor so he tended to treat
Macon Miles like his own personal bakery. Adam’s baby bro didn’t seem to mind.
He’d kept Ian supplied with sweets. Ian
was caught
in
a never-ending cycle of pain. He got nervous about Charlie giving birth and he
ate. He got worried that he was going to end up as big as Charlie and with no
actual babies coming out of him, so he worked out. He then worried he was
working out too much and neglecting Charlie and he reached for the cookies
again.

He
was going to be so freaking happy when the demons were all born and life could
get back to…

Yeah,
he wasn’t sure what normal was anymore.

He
really wanted one of those cookies followed by a couple of rounds of punching
the shit out of someone in the ring he’d set up at the new Sanctum facility. Or
he could punch Hoover Kendalmire. That would be fun, too.

“We’re
taking the case, Sully,” Alex assured him.

They
were. Because he owed Sully for all those precious ten dollar bills he would
slip to Sean for school lunches and for showing up with pizza right about the
time Ian’s paycheck would run out. “How many times has he been assaulted?”

“Yesterday
makes three. It was a really close call. Someone took a shot at him. We have it
on camera,” Sully explained.

Ian
had already looked over the footage. Hoover and his model girlfriend Brie had
been filming their very high-end picnic when someone had taken a shot at Hoover
with a high-powered rifle. Unfortunately, they’d only managed to hit the bottle
of Cristal that had then splattered all over Brie’s overpriced shirt and she’d
thrown a fit. She hadn’t been pissed someone had nearly taken off her
boyfriend’s head, but damn she wanted to hurt whoever had ruined her designer
wear.

Ian
wished whoever had tried to kill the fucker had been better at their job. He
sighed and leaned forward. “Why don’t you go and join your crazies in the
conference room. Alex and I will be right out. I want to take one more look at
that footage before we talk to…god, I hate even saying his name…Hoover.”

Sully
stood. “Yeah, his parents had more money than sense. I often think they named
him after the vacuum cleaner, which is oddly appropriate since he sucks the
intelligence out of any room he enters. But damn that kid’s got a million-watt
smile. And if you can solve this case without Hoover dying, I can use all of
this as a storyline for next season. If the kid dies, so does the show. But you
aren’t going to let that happen. I know you, Ian. You’re going to solve this in
no time.”

Sully
was smiling as he left the office. At least someone was happy.

“I
say we set Si and Jesse up on this case,” Alex said. “Phoebe and Chelsea won’t
mind a couple of months in LA. I’ll estimate the project at roughly six to
eight weeks. We’ll need to interview everyone involved and get a feel for what
the victim’s life is like. I’ve already been on the phone with LAPD. Derek has
a friend in the Threat Management Unit. They’re overtasked and apparently Brie
and Hoover are difficult to deal with. What a surprise.”

Ian
flipped a button on his computer and looked over the footage again. The shooter
had been roughly five hundred feet away, in a cluster of trees. The shot would
have taken off Hoover’s head if he hadn’t caught sight of his reflection in the
bottle of champagne. The dumbass actually picked up the bottle and started to
admire himself. His narcissism saved his life.

The
cops had found the spot where the shooter had likely stood, but they couldn’t
determine much. The spot was a hiker paradise. There had been too many
footprints to make any kind of guess.

“I’ll
talk to them. Maybe we should send one of the new guys, too.” He’d recently set
up a close-cover bodyguard unit within McKay-Taggart. His operatives were
almost all family men, and that didn’t seem to go well with twenty-four seven
close cover. So he’d talked to a friend of Sean’s and allowed him to run his
business as a subsidiary of McKay-Taggart. “Do you find any of Fisher’s men
annoying? Because I want to set someone annoying on this guy. Jesse and Si will
be too nice. Hey, maybe Chelsea can do some of that rat bastard stuff she used
to do to me.”

Like
putting him on a no-fly list and subjecting him to body cavity searches for
months when he flew. It had been a complete dick move and one he respected. He
didn’t fuck with his sister-in-law much anymore. She was mean and he could
understand that.

Charlie
could be mean, too, but when she was he would spank her sweet ass and show her
who was boss. Well, she was boss and he damn well knew it, but in the bedroom
there was no question who topped who.

God,
he wanted to top her. Lately, he was too worried to. He looked at that big
belly of hers and worried things were going to change again.

“Stop.”

Ian
looked up. “What?”

“You’ve
got your ‘worried dad’ face on.”

“I
do not have one of those.”

“You
do. It’s a little like your ‘I’m going to murder someone’ face but slightly
less happy. You’re going to be fine, Ian.”

He
hated this. Hated all this touchy-feely shit. Still… Alex was kind of his go-to
guy. If he couldn’t talk to Alex, he couldn’t talk to anyone. “I have no idea
how to raise girls. Why couldn’t they have had penises? I know what to do with
a boy. Shove ’
em
out in the backyard and let them
free range for a few years. They’ll build their own cabins and become
self-sufficient. I don’t think I can do that with girls. Speaking of
complaints. Why two? One I could maybe handle, but now it’s a freaking girl
gang at my house. Do you think they’re pulling a fast one on dear old dad?
Maybe they’re hiding their penises and laughing their asses off in utero.”

Alex
laughed, the sound lightening the mood. “This has been a fun nine months for
me, brother. I can’t wait for the rest because there are no penises and that
gang of girls is going to be so much fun for me to watch when they get to be
teens.”

Ian
shuddered. He didn’t want to think about teens.

Alex
leaned forward, that sensitive
I’m-about-to-give-you-words-of-wisdom-because-I-watched-a-lot-of-Oprah-in-my-time
look on his face. “You’re going to be fine, Ian. I know you think because your
dad walked out that you won’t know what to do, but Sean would disagree. Sean
would tell you you’ve already been a great dad. There’s only one rule.”

“Don’t
kill the children. Charlie already made me promise.” He didn’t like the fact
that Alex was right. Or that the idea of Sean thinking he was going to be good
at the father thing made him a little soft on the inside.

Alex
rolled his eyes. “God, you’re a pain in the ass.”

“What?”
He wanted to know. “What’s the one rule?”

“Be
there. And let me tell you, Ian Taggart’s got that one down. So relax. You’re
going to be a pro at this in no time. And I think you’re going to look good in
the pink sling Eve bought you.”

“Oh,
that was so not Eve, asshole.” The baby shower had been a revelation. So much
fucking pink.

Alex
gave him a shit-eating grin. “I laughed the whole time I was buying it. I tried
to find a place that would bedazzle the fucker, but Eve wouldn’t let me.”

Ian
stood. “You know what, I’m going to make that shit manly. You think I won’t
wear a pink sling? I will rock that motherfucker.”

“If
anyone can, it’s you,” Alex conceded. He grabbed his laptop. Alex would deal
with setting up the project files and all the administrative stuff that came
with a new case. He’d backed off of active duty since he and Eve had adopted a
baby boy named Cooper.

Who
would one day likely turn that innocent gaze of his on Ian’s daughters.

“You
tell your boy to keep his hands to himself.”

“Oh
god. I hadn’t even thought about that. You’re going to be that dad. You know
the one who thinks his girls are perfect angels and all the boys around them
are the devil? Can we wait until they’re born before you accuse Coop of trying
something with them?”

Ian
kind of thought Cooper eyed Charlie’s baby bump as though he knew something
good was going to come out of there. “You’re wrong. I know my girls won’t be
angels, and that’s why I intend to keep an eye on them at all times. And
they’re going to look like Charlie so they’ll be gorgeous. No doubt about it.
Those girls are going to be trouble.”

He
followed Alex out into the hallway. It was so weird to walk this hallway now.
At one point the floor had been damn near empty. They’d really only needed
reception, the main conference room, and seven offices, though when they’d
first begun, Ian had claimed they only really needed six because Adam was so
far up Jake’s butt they should share one.

He
still loved giving Adam shit. It was one of the constants in his life.

Back
in the beginning they’d closed off half the floor and now he was thinking about
buying the floor below him if he could convince those damn lawyers to move out.
The back conference room
had been turned
into a
daycare center. Charlie now occupied a corner office where she helped Alex with
the administrative stuff and was the chief liaison with clients and the outside
world. They’d lost Sean to the culinary arts and the world was a better place
for it, but somewhere along the way they’d picked up Simon, Jesse, Phoebe,
Erin, and now even damn Tennessee Smith had an office, though he’d put Ten in
the back next to the babies so he didn’t think this was a forever thing.

He
was a little scared he was going to end up with all of Ten’s former team on the
payroll. Since
Ten had been disavowed by the CIA for getting
too close to a dirty politician
, his old team was slowly working their
way out and they all ended up at Ian’s office with their hands out. He would
send the fuckers away but Charlie kept putting them on the payroll.

“Boss,
you can’t be serious.” One of the newbies was marching down the hall, her red
hair flying behind her and a look of righteous fury on her face. Yeah, Erin had
obviously gotten her new assignment.

“I’m
never serious,” he replied. God, he loved parts of his job, and fucking with
his employees was one of them.

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