Tag Archives: Dom/sub

Re/Captured (DFBI 7)–Pre-order Now!

Re/Captured (Doms of the FBI 7)

Keith and Katrina are back! Reader favorites Keith Rossetti and Katrina Legato from Re/Paired (Doms of the FBI 2) return for another emotional, sexy, and dangerous adventure.

Blurb:

When a day helping out at Legal Aid puts Katrina in the crosshairs of a serial killer bent on sending his version of romantic gifts, life starts to spiral out of control. Not only is she trying to plan her wedding, but work and home life are increasingly hectic.

Keith has doubts about Kat and the reasons she keeps postponing the wedding, so he sets out to recapture her heart. Meanwhile, the serial killer’s obsession with Katrina only grows—threatening her entire family.

Sacrifices must be made, but can love help them survive the fallout?

Warnings: BDSM, anal sex, D/s

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2BT1F2g

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1330056922

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/re-captured-michele-zurlo/1127745211

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/re-captured

D2D Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/mdNEYw

PG Excerpt 1:

Understanding Keith’s message—he’d wanted to put her mind at ease with regard to the children so that she could focus on submitting to him—she lowered her gaze. “Can I have ten minutes to put my bag away and freshen up?”

“Yes. I set out what I want you to wear.” His voice washed through her senses, overpowering her with peace and excitement.

“Thank you.” Briefcase in hand, she turned to follow his instructions.

“Kitty Kat.”

The unspoken order halted her. She turned back to him. “Yes?”

“I want a kiss.”

Closing the distance she lifted her face. He caressed her cheek with one hand and wrapped the other around her waist to support her lower back, two points of contact only. His lips brushed hers, teasing at a third point. He massaged, a gentle pressure welcoming her home and to her role as his submissive.

Slave to his mastery, she sighed into it, dropping her briefcase and lifting her arms to twine them around his neck, and she pressed her chest to his. He deepened the kiss, plunging his tongue deep to taste and stab. The hand on her cheek slid into her hair, and the one on her back lowered to squeeze her ass. She forgot about everything. The stresses of her day fell away as she melted in the face of his demand.

He broke away to trail sucking kisses down her neck, stopping when the collar of her dress shirt got in his way. “Go,” he said. “Take your ten minutes, and then you’re mine.”

PG Excerpt 2:

“Put your dress on. Tell me how you look.”

Though he couldn’t see it, she parked her hand on her hip. “Keith, this is highly inappropriate, and it’s bad luck.” Her pulse raced. Though she thought of the wedding as a formality, she couldn’t help but get a little excited for the actual event.

His husky chuckle crackled through the phone. “I don’t believe in bad luck, and I can’t masturbate to mental images of you in that dress if I don’t know what it looks like.”

Her fake chagrin melted. She whispered her reply. “You want to masturbate to mental images of me in a wedding dress? That’s weird. You have actual pictures of me wearing lingerie.” He also had a picture of her pussy that he refused to delete. Good thing his phone was password and fingerprint protected.

“I like those pictures.” His voice dropped as the Dom in him asserted itself. “But, Kitty Kat, the wedding dress says unequivocally that you belong to me. Nothing is sexier than that.”

Her breath caught at his tone. “You’re such a romantic.”

“How about a picture?”

“Nope.” She smiled as she refused him. “I’m not bending on this. You can’t see my dress before the wedding.”

“At least tell me what the neckline looks like. And how long is the skirt? What are you wearing under it?”

She laughed. “No clues. You’ll have to wait.”

“Tease.”

“A tease would send you pictures of random dresses.”

Reviews for Re/Paired

“Wow.  This book was so freaking hot!! [Re/Paired] has great balance….heavy on the romance with enough suspense to keep it interesting and that’s how I like it.”–Under the Covers Book Blog

5 Stars/Purest Delight from Guilty Pleasures: “This was a great read with a damaged Dom who learns to cherish his sub, a lot of hot BDSM action, suspense, and complex relationships”

If you haven’t yet enjoyed Re/Paired, you can pick it up here:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/21AACOn

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1098718284

D2D Links for Barnes and Noble and others: https://www.books2read.com/u/mVXLlb

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Michele_Zurlo_Re_Paired?id=M7UwDwAAQBAJ

 

Re/Leased–The First Kiss @MZurloAuthor #romanticsuspense

This is the fifth book in the fan favorite Doms of the FBI series. If you haven’t stumbled upon this series yet, this book stands alone, though characters from previous books do appear in it.

Blurb:

released 500Honoring a promise he made to his late mother, David Eastridge, part owner of SAFE Security, returns home one final time—to help his father find the culprit responsible for embezzling three million dollars from his company. It should be an easy job—his father already has a suspect in mind.

After a series of tragic events that robbed her of a father and put her sister in a coma, Autumn Sullivan was forced to take on several jobs just to get by. She’s an accounting assistant by day, an occasional service Domme on the weekend, and a thief-for-hire by night.

David’s strategy of hiring Autumn—as a submissive—backfires when he finds himself enchanted by her sense of humor and playful attitude. Determined to prove her innocence, he enlists the help of Malcolm Legato and Agent Keith Rossetti to dig deeper. This enigmatic submissive is openly hiding things from him. Her secretive nature and the bread crumbs she drops about her past don’t add up—not even when he assigns Jesse Foraker, his SAFE Security buddy—to tail her and search her apartment. None of them are prepared for what the FBI uncovers.

Falling in love wasn’t in the plan, but David makes her believe that she isn’t doomed to live a solitary life. Plunged into a world of lies and espionage—with a serial killer after her—Autumn is forced to come to terms with her past if she is to have any hope of a future with David.

Warnings: BDSM party games, sex toys, bondage, flogging, spanking, and a trip to the beach

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Excerpt:

Bracing her foot against his—without crossing the line—she leaned over and picked up a mint with her teeth. Before he could pull her, she was back. He bent his knees to line up his mouth with hers. “This doesn’t count as kissing.”

With the peppermint effectively gagging her, she couldn’t respond.

He used his tongue to take the candy, dipping into her mouth to snake it around the treat. His bowl was closer, and he was taller, so he didn’t need her leverage to make the deposit.

She didn’t dawdle. As soon as he was upright, she grabbed the next one. They worked quickly and efficiently, though each time his lips came into contact with hers, he had to force himself not to take his time and explore the sparks that kept igniting. Later he’d dazzle her with his tongue wrestling skills.

“Time!”

The verbal buzzer sounded as Bree was on her way to get another peppermint. David pulled her back to him, wrapped his free arm around her bare waist, and reined in the passion simmering in his veins. Her gaze fixated on his lips, and he wondered if she truly was a switch and, if so, was she in submissive headspace right now? Pushing aside the reasons his mission sanctioned his actions, he traced his thumb along her lower lip before cupping the side of her head with the hand still bound to hers. “This counts.”

He closed his mouth over hers, taking what he wanted. She tasted of mint and a sweetness that had nothing to do with sugar. Her body softened against his, and she tilted her head a little more to give him better access. Chemical reactions burst through his senses in a series of tiny detonations that drove him to deepen his foray. She grasped his sleeve, her nails digging the slightest bit into his arm, and a soft, kittenish moan sounded in the back of her throat.

Links:

Pre-Order from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1P1Lcs4

Pre-Order from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1119039931

Midwestern Book Lovers Unite: https://dominantpersuasions.com/

Doms of the FBI page: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com/doms-of-the-fbi.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelezurlo/

Twitter: @MZurloAuthor

Re/Leased–So that’s the way it’s going to be? @MZurloAuthor #romanticsuspense

This is the fifth book in the fan favorite Doms of the FBI series. If you haven’t stumbled upon this series yet, this book stands alone, though characters from previous books do appear in it.

Blurb:

released 500Honoring a promise he made to his late mother, David Eastridge, part owner of SAFE Security, returns home one final time—to help his father find the culprit responsible for embezzling three million dollars from his company. It should be an easy job—his father already has a suspect in mind.

After a series of tragic events that robbed her of a father and put her sister in a coma, Autumn Sullivan was forced to take on several jobs just to get by. She’s an accounting assistant by day, an occasional service Domme on the weekend, and a thief-for-hire by night.

David’s strategy of hiring Autumn—as a submissive—backfires when he finds himself enchanted by her sense of humor and playful attitude. Determined to prove her innocence, he enlists the help of Malcolm Legato and Agent Keith Rossetti to dig deeper. This enigmatic submissive is openly hiding things from him. Her secretive nature and the bread crumbs she drops about her past don’t add up—not even when he assigns Jesse Foraker, his SAFE Security buddy—to tail her and search her apartment. None of them are prepared for what the FBI uncovers.

Falling in love wasn’t in the plan, but David makes her believe that she isn’t doomed to live a solitary life. Plunged into a world of lies and espionage—with a serial killer after her—Autumn is forced to come to terms with her past if she is to have any hope of a future with David.

Warnings: BDSM party games, sex toys, bondage, flogging, spanking, and a trip to the beach

Order from Amazon

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Blitz Tour Excerpt 3:

He released her arm and stepped away. “Take off your shoes. You can put them on the rug next to the door.”

It wasn’t a request, and he didn’t bother pretending it was something it wasn’t. A surprised laugh, short and dry, escaped. “You’re already giving orders?”

“Yes.”

It had been a long, long time since she’d allowed anyone to dominate her. Sure, she’d bottomed for him, but it wasn’t the same thing, and she wasn’t sure how much and what kind of control she was ceding. Still, trust had to start somewhere. “So, that’s the way it’s going to be with us, is it?”

“Unless you object.”

She didn’t want to object. No part of her was against this, and her intuition chimed in with full support. She slipped out of her heels, and now when she faced him, she had to tilt her face up even more. “I don’t object.”

A soft smile lifted the corners of his mouth. “Good. We’re on the same page. Have you eaten?”

While she frequently grabbed something not memorable on her way to or from the nursing home, she hadn’t today. “Not yet.”

“Good. I made dinner.” Taking her hand, he led her to the sliding door. “It’s a nice night. We’ll eat on the patio.” He pulled out a chair and helped her sit. “Wine?”

Remembering the terms she’d unwittingly laid out the night before, a shiver of anticipation did cartwheels up her spine. “Are you hoping I kiss you before I leave?”

His eyelids fell to half-mast, and his light brown eyes became mesmerizing liquid pools. “I’m counting on it.”

Links:

Pre-Order from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1P1Lcs4

Pre-Order from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1119039931

Midwestern Book Lovers Unite: https://dominantpersuasions.com/

Doms of the FBI page: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com/doms-of-the-fbi.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelezurlo/

Twitter: @MZurloAuthor

Re/Leased–The Mercenary @MZurloAuthor #romanticsuspense

Thanks for hosting this announcement of the release of Re/Leased! This is the fifth book in the fan favorite Doms of the FBI series. If you haven’t stumbled upon this series yet, this book stands alone, though characters from previous books do appear in it.

Blurb:

released 500Honoring a promise he made to his late mother, David Eastridge, part owner of SAFE Security, returns home one final time—to help his father find the culprit responsible for embezzling three million dollars from his company. It should be an easy job—his father already has a suspect in mind.

After a series of tragic events that robbed her of a father and put her sister in a coma, Autumn Sullivan was forced to take on several jobs just to get by. She’s an accounting assistant by day, an occasional service Domme on the weekend, and a thief-for-hire by night.

David’s strategy of hiring Autumn—as a submissive—backfires when he finds himself enchanted by her sense of humor and playful attitude. Determined to prove her innocence, he enlists the help of Malcolm Legato and Agent Keith Rossetti to dig deeper. This enigmatic submissive is openly hiding things from him. Her secretive nature and the bread crumbs she drops about her past don’t add up—not even when he assigns Jesse Foraker, his SAFE Security buddy—to tail her and search her apartment. None of them are prepared for what the FBI uncovers.

Falling in love wasn’t in the plan, but David makes her believe that she isn’t doomed to live a solitary life. Plunged into a world of lies and espionage—with a serial killer after her—Autumn is forced to come to terms with her past if she is to have any hope of a future with David.

Warnings: BDSM party games, sex toys, bondage, flogging, spanking, and a trip to the beach

Order from Amazon

Order from iTunes

Order from Barnes and Noble

Excerpt:

He parked, and they walked to the entrance. Autumn’s pace slowed considerably as they approached the gates. He paused to let her take in the magnificence of the entrance. “It’s impressive.”

She panned the area, taking it all in. “That’s a very large tiger statue.”

Darcy tugged at Malcolm’s arm.  “Let’s get our picture with it.” She thrust her camera at Autumn. “Will you take it?”

“Sure.” Autumn waited until they were positioned, and then she clicked several photos. Then she whirled, her hand shooting out to grab the wrist of a passerby. She twisted it, putting enough pressure near the base of the thumb to cause serious pain. The boy cried out, but she lacked mercy. She twisted harder. “You sincerely don’t want to do that. My boyfriend is a mercenary, and he’s not the forgiving type.”

David wasn’t sure what she was doing, but he knew he needed to intervene. Before he could say anything, the boy reached in his pocket and handed over a wallet—David’s wallet. Too wrapped up in Autumn, he’d let down his guard. He checked to make sure nothing was gone. “Thanks.”

Autumn eased the pressure on the boy’s wrist. “This isn’t the life you want. You should think about choosing another career.” She let go, and the boy disappeared into the crowd.

Malcolm and Darcy returned, and Autumn gave Darcy her phone back.

“What happened?” Malcolm asked.

“A pickpocket tried for my wallet, and Sugar caught him.”

A light blush stole up her cheeks, probably at his public use of the nickname. “Crowds make for easy targets. You have to watch out.”

Darcy looked impressed. “It’s a good thing you were watching. I’m not that observant.” She gestured toward the tiger statue. “Your turn.”

After handing his phone to Darcy, he slung his arm around Autumn’s waist and steered her toward the statue. “I’d love it if you didn’t call me a mercenary in public. It sends the wrong message.”

“Yeah, but ‘security specialist’ just makes you sound like a mall cop. Nothing against mall cops, but they’re not big, bad, and dangerous like you.”

Links:

Pre-Order from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1P1Lcs4

Pre-Order from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1119039931

Midwestern Book Lovers Unite: https://dominantpersuasions.com/

Doms of the FBI page: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com/doms-of-the-fbi.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelezurlo/

Twitter: @MZurloAuthor

Michele Zurlo’s News: Re/Leased (Doms of the FBI 5) is HERE! #romantic suspense

Re/Leased is released!

Your wait is over! Re/Leased (Doms of the FBI 5) is here. I’m very excited about this one. Summer and David were a pleasure to write. While this novel definitely fits in the DFBI series, it’s also setting the stage for a spin-off series set to launch in early 2017.

Blurb

released 1Honoring a promise he made to his late mother, David Eastridge, part owner of SAFE Security, returns home one final time—to help his father find the culprit responsible for embezzling three million dollars from his company. It should be an easy job—his father already has a suspect in mind.

After a series of tragic events that robbed her of a father and put her sister in a coma, Autumn Sullivan was forced to take on several jobs just to get by. She’s an accounting assistant by day, an occasional service Domme on the weekend, and a thief-for-hire by night.

David’s strategy of hiring Autumn—as a submissive—backfires when he finds himself enchanted by her sense of humor and playful attitude. Determined to prove her innocence, he enlists the help of Malcolm Legato and Agent Keith Rossetti to dig deeper. This enigmatic submissive is openly hiding things from him. Her secretive nature and the bread crumbs she drops about her past don’t add up—not even when he assigns Jesse Foraker, his SAFE Security buddy—to tail her and search her apartment. None of them are prepared for what the FBI uncovers.

Falling in love wasn’t in the plan, but David makes her believe that she isn’t doomed to live a solitary life. Plunged into a world of lies and espionage—with a serial killer after her—Autumn is forced to come to terms with her past if she is to have any hope of a future with David.

Warnings: BDSM party games, sex toys, bondage, flogging, spanking, and a trip to the beach

Word Count: 108,000

Buy from Amazon/FREE on KU: https://amzn.to/30bvYh4

Excerpt

David regarded Autumn regretfully. “I didn’t bring ropes. Maybe next time.”

“Here.” Jordan appeared out of nowhere. He handed a coil to David. “You can use mine. Amy’s not one for public play. Yet.”

Autumn fingered the rope. The silk caressed her back. “I’m game if you are.” David didn’t respond, so she lifted her arms. “It’s okay if this is your first time. Everybody’s a virgin once.”

“It’s been a while.” David untied the knot holding the coil together. “You’re going to need to be patient.”

She encouraged with a smile. “I’ve got all evening.”

Jordan took a few steps back to give them privacy. David worked quietly and with methodical meticulousness.

Autumn mostly watched his face, but her gaze was repeatedly drawn to the way his shoulders and arms moved. Muscles bunched and elongated, and the deeper he concentrated, the more he sucked the corner of his upper lip. Autumn was tempted to offer to suck it for him. Instead she chose to say something innocuous. “You’re cute when you’re concentrating.”

He glanced up, surprised, and his knot-weaving fingers stuttered.

She raised her eyebrows. “Let me guess—nobody’s ever told you that you were cute before?”

“You’re not at all what I expected.”

“You wanted a leggy blonde with huge fake boobs?”

He exhaled a laugh. “No.”

“Botox lips and cherry red lipstick?”

“Hell, no. I just didn’t think you’d be so forward.”

“Ahh.” She sighed knowingly. “I’m not demure, and that’s a turn off.”

“Not at all. It’s refreshing. I like that you’re lighthearted and that you feel free to tease and flirt. I’m having fun, and I didn’t think I would.” He went back to looping rope.

Autumn knew she wasn’t the most beautiful woman in the world. Her looks were passable, and most of the time she downplayed them to fly under the radar. She did the same thing with her personality, though she was letting it off the leash more often tonight than she usually did. She watched him untie the knot and try again. “Maybe you want to ask Jordan for help.” She used her whispering skills so nobody but David would hear. “I don’t know how to tie that one either.”

He looked around, but Jordan was working with another couple, so he signaled the original presenter who was walking around with his sub and giving pointers. David offered his hand. “You’re Malcolm, right? I’m David Eastridge.”

Malcolm nodded. “Jordan told me you were here tonight. Glad you could make it. Frankie speaks highly of you.” His sub waited patiently as Malcolm talked David through making a double coin knot.

“That’s it. Then do the same thing in the back. It looks good, and it’ll keep the corselet from slipping too much when she moves.” Malcolm and David moved behind her to work. “I hear you’re looking into CalderCo?”

“No work talk.” Malcolm’s sub broke her silence with that hissed reminder.

“Sweetheart, you just lost one stroke of the cane.”

Though Autumn couldn’t see the sub’s face, she could feel the palpable disappointment. Only a Painslut would be upset about one less hit with a cane. However, that wasn’t what made her flinch. How, exactly, was David “looking into” CalderCo? That was where she worked as an accountant. It was her one anchor to the normal world, the cover for her extracurricular activities, and it paid for the majority of her sister’s care. Did he know she worked there?

Oh, the questions she had and couldn’t ask. Wait—yes she could. “CalderCo? That’s a shipping company. I thought you were in analytics?”

“I am.” David came around to her side. Malcolm showed him how to tie off the corselet and adjust the placement of the final knot. When he looked at her, his expression was shuttered. “How does that feel?”

She ran her palms over the ropes. “Great. And it looks fantastic.” Turning around, she found Malcolm assessing the attempt with a critical eye. His sub was still pouting over her punishment. Autumn felt sorry for her.

“Malcolm, meet Bree. Bree, this is Malcolm.”

“Nice to meet you, Bree.” He turned to his sub. “This is my wife, Darcy. She and a few of her friends arranged this whole party.”

“It’s a lovely party. I very much enjoyed the first game. It revealed so much about technique and finesse.”

Darcy laughed. “It did, didn’t it? Amy said I’d like you.”

“Amy is your sister? There’s definitely a family resemblance. You’re both so beautiful.”

Malcolm put his arm around his wife and pulled her against his side, pinching her ass hard as he did so. “It’s almost time for the next game.”

Bliss parted Darcy’s lips, a reaction to the pinch. “Layla’s announcing this one, but thank you anyway, Master.” Her eyes opened, and she focused on Autumn. “If you liked the first game, you’ll love the second one. And later, there’s one where your Sir will have to guide you, blindfolded, through an obstacle course, using only a crop and his voice. Then there’s the gauntlet, if you’re brave enough to walk down an aisle lined with sadists armed with paddles.”

Malcolm rolled his eyes at his wife’s near-orgasmic listing of the festivities. “Which you won’t be doing in your condition.”

“Congratulations.” David caught on a few seconds before Autumn did. “When are you due?”

“In seven months. This is baby number two for us. Our son is eight months old. Yep, barefoot and pregnant, that’s me since the day we met.” From the sarcasm in Darcy’s reply, Autumn couldn’t tell whether the woman was happy or upset.

Malcolm grinned as he kissed Darcy’s temple. “What can I say? My boys are powerful swimmers. They laugh in the face of both condoms and birth control pills.”

“Let’s see how amused they are when you get a vasectomy.”

Autumn couldn’t help but laugh at Darcy’s dry tone. She clamped a hand over her mouth and buried her face in David’s shirt to hide her laughter. He hugged her to him, and his chest shook with silent amusement as well.

“I’m going to get her something to eat. Pregnancy has made Darcy start hallucinating when she’s hungry.” With that, he dragged her off toward the barn.

Autumn looked up at David. With her body pressed to his and the way he held her, it was an intimate pose. “I bet she’s a handful.”

A slow grin lightened his eyes. “I bet you are as well.”

She shrugged. “It’s been known to happen.”

The light in his eyes dimmed, and his mood grew sober. “I have really big hands.”

This wasn’t supposed to get serious. She dropped her gaze, severing the spell he was weaving. When she lifted it again, she attempted to make his eyes turn lighter again. She was beginning to really like that cinnamon brown color. “All men think they have big hands.”

It worked. He laughed.

Re/Leased is Now on Pre-Order!!!!!

Re/Leased (Doms of the FBI 5) is now available for pre-order!

released 500Blurb: Honoring a promise he made to his late mother, David Eastridge, part owner of SAFE Security, returns home one final time—to help his father find the culprit responsible for embezzling three million dollars from his company. It should be an easy job—his father already has a suspect in mind.

After a series of tragic events that robbed her of a father and put her sister in a coma, Autumn Sullivan was forced to take on several jobs just to get by. She’s an accounting assistant by day, an occasional service Domme on the weekend, and a thief-for-hire by night.

David’s strategy of hiring Autumn—as a submissive—backfires when he finds himself enchanted by her sense of humor and playful attitude. Determined to prove her innocence, he enlists the help of Malcolm Legato and Agent Keith Rossetti to dig deeper. This enigmatic submissive is openly hiding things from him. Her secretive nature and the bread crumbs she drops about her past don’t add up—not even when he assigns Jesse Foraker, his SAFE Security buddy—to tail her and search her apartment. None of them are prepared for what the FBI uncovers.

Falling in love wasn’t in the plan, but David makes her believe that she isn’t doomed to live a solitary life. Plunged into a world of lies and espionage—with a serial killer after her—Autumn is forced to come to terms with her past if she is to have any hope of a future with David.

Warnings: BDSM party games, sex toys, bondage, flogging, spanking, and a trip to the beach

Word Count: 111,121

Pre-Order from Amazon

Pre-Order from iTunes

Pre-Order from Barnes and Noble

First chapter excerpt you’ll find nowhere else:

“CalderCo is hurting badly, David. There’s nobody else I trust to straighten it out.”

The message ended, leaving David staring at his phone. So many thoughts and fierce feelings pummeled his brain that he couldn’t quite sort them out. Thirteen years had passed since he’d walked out on his father. Harsh words hadn’t needed to flow between them because they’d already been said—whispered vehemently and shouted at the tops of their lungs—from the time David was old enough to rebel against the way his father insisted on controlling every aspect of his life.

His mother’s death had sealed the deal. He’d packed his bags before the funeral, and he had been gone before his father had arrived home from the wake. Eighteen and freshly graduated, the world had been his for the taking. Eschewing his father’s money and connections, he’d forged his own path just fine.

“You don’t have to go.” Dean Alloway pulled David from the darkness of his bitter memories.

David had met Dean in the Marines, and the duo had become fast friends. They’d saved each other’s asses more times than either could count. He sighed heavily. “Yes, I do. I promised my mother on her deathbed that I’d come when he called—but only once.” The feud between David and his father had been going on for as long as he could remember. His mother used to run interference. When she was around, David could breathe. He could be himself and not have to worry about the fallout. Once she fell ill, he and his father had taken steps to hide their hatred for one another.

But, of course, she hadn’t been fooled. “One day, your father is going to need you, David,” she’d said, her voice raspy and weak. “Be there for him. Do this for me. I love you.” She’d been too spent to say more, and she’d slipped away within the hour.

“Fine.” Dean folded his hands on the table. He was a bigger guy than he seemed. The sweaters, vests, and dress pants went a long way toward disguising the bulky muscles earned during years of heavy physical labor, and the metrosexual haircut completed the image. Dean was all about understated power and surprising the enemy. And manicures. David had never met another man who got weekly manicures, yet could also neutralize a target with one well-placed blow. “Tell me what you need. Frankie, Jesse, and I are here for you, man. You’re not alone. We’d never leave you hanging.”

“I know you wouldn’t, but this is something I have to do on my own.”

“No, you don’t.” Frankie Sikara sauntered in, a wet towel draped over her shoulder. She kissed the top of his head before flopping down on the chair next to him. “Sell that bullshit elsewhere.”

David hadn’t known Frankie was in the building. From the black leggings and sports bra, he deduced that she’d spent the morning in the gym. “Jesse in the shower?”

“Yep. I kicked his ass, and now I’m leaving him alone to cry it out.” She winked to let them know that Jesse didn’t need medical attention. Frankie Sikara was one tough woman. Trained in six different martial arts, she was deadlier than any of them. “I heard part of the message. Let’s hear the whole thing.”

“We’ll wait for Jesse,” Dean countered. “You can go ahead and grab a shower.”

They had one locker room in the facility, which wasn’t the issue outsiders thought it would be. Once you’d been through hell and back with someone, little things like that ceased to matter. She was one of the guys. Frankie glared at Dean. “I already did, genius.”

Dean frowned, which made him look all kinds of menacing and foreboding. Well, as foreboding as someone in a designer sweater could get. “You’re not wearing a shirt.”

“Another point for Captain Obvious.” Frankie’s dark eyes flashed, and David found himself smiling. The dress code was an ongoing point of contention between these two. “I’m waiting for my hair to dry so it doesn’t get my shirt wet. If the sight of my bra offends you, I can take it off.” Crossing her arms, she grasped the elastic band on the lower part of her sports bra.

Dean’s expression didn’t change, and that was a challenge Frankie wouldn’t ignore.

As amusing as it was, David held up a hand. “How about you two parking lot the issue?”

“Dress code again?” Jesse Foraker came in, also missing a shirt. As he kept his hair high and tight, he didn’t have Frankie’s reason for going topless. “If you want us to wear shirts, then maybe you should stop stealing them from our lockers?”

The frown on Dean’s face melted. He shrugged. “I left replacements.”

“I’m not wearing that fucking shirt. It looks like I should be chugging a beer in a bowling alley.” Jesse inclined his head toward the lone phone on the table. “What’s going on?”

“David’s dad called.”

Jesse lifted a brow. “Damn. How long has it been?”

“Thirteen years.” David hadn’t thought about his father in so long that he’d stopped measuring the time. “I don’t know how he got my number.”

“I’m going to blame the Internet,” Frankie said. “It’s not like you’re hiding.”

“No, but I changed my name.” He’d taken his mother’s maiden name, Eastridge, when he’d cut ties. Accepting that his friends weren’t going to let him handle this alone, David played the message again.

Three million dollars is missing from the company. This is going to break us if I can’t find it, or at least find out who’s responsible. I’m at a loss, David. The best guess I got is a woman, an employee named Autumn Sullivan. Something isn’t right about her, and not just because she’s into all that whips and chains crap. Anyway, I don’t have hard evidence. CalderCo is hurting badly, David. There’s nobody else I trust to straighten it out.

Jesse frowned. “Why doesn’t he conduct an audit? He can turn the findings over to the FBI, and they’ll prosecute. Insurance should cover the loss.”

This was another point of contention between David and his father. “My dad’s business is like an iceberg. Some stuff is above board, but there’s a lot hidden under the water. There’s no way he’ll want law enforcement looking through his books.”

Dean pressed his fingertips together. “How dirty are we talking? Mob connections?”

“Possibly. I’ve long suspected that he launders money. It could explain his desperation. If he’s lost money belonging to the mob, they’re not going to be patient while he goes looking for it.” David had turned his back on the family business from a young age. It would only have given his father control over that part of his life too. “I’d love to see what the FBI has on him.”

Frankie stood. “On it.” She nailed Dean with a hard look. “I have extra shirts, but I would appreciate having back the one you took.”

“It’s in your office.” Dean pointed to Jesse. “So is yours.”

“Great. I’ll dig up the dirt on Autumn Sullivan.” Jesse followed Frankie out the door.

Left alone with Dean, David waited for his buddy to deliver his opinion. “You’re not going in there alone. We’ll research, do some recon, and then develop a plan.”

These people were his family—always there to support him. Now they were going to help him honor his mother’s memory. Before he choked on his emotions, David agreed to the plan. “Thanks.”