As a member of Cross Security, Mason Hawk is a tormented man on a mission…some might say he has a death wish. No case is too difficult. Nothing if off limits. He delivers his own brand of justice. Solitude is his only reward. For fifteen years he has hidden the secrets he ran from at age seventeen. He shut everyone out when he became a Navy SEAL and he honed his skills to become the monster he believes he is. He’s a man with demons that run deep and dark. No one gets in. That is until she walks into his life and brings him to his knees. She’s beautiful, smart, and perfect. Like beauty and the beast, he believes she could never love a man like him.
Kai Wailani has lived the perfect life. She has a loving family, has surfed all over the world and is on top of her game at the U.S. Airforce, but she wants more. When she joins Cross Security, the only man stopping her from achieving her goal is a gorgeous wall of muscle who goes simply by Hawk. He’s dark, dangerous, and yet, he can make her smile with a single glance. He’s a force when he walks into a room and he wants nothing to do with her.
Like fire and ice, the dance begins. They are enemies. They are lovers. There are so many secrets. Can Hawk and Kai trust each other enough to find their happy ending or will their passion end them both?
Okay, here’s the thing… you are the only person on the team who I sense is having a problem with Kai and you know I won’t hire her unless everyone is on board. I want you to take her to lunch. Get to know her better. If you still have reservations after you spend some time with her, I’ll pull the plug. I’m asking because I’m a nice guy, but it’s really not a request. I want to hire her. I’m giving you this opportunity to prove me wrong.”
I groan and toss the phone onto the bed beside me, leaving him hanging for a few minutes while I grit my teeth and rage internally. I hate the politics of business. Shane knows this, so he patiently gives me the time I need. Finally, I hear “Hawk” from beside me so I pick up the phone and answer him.
“Yeah. Fuck. Okay. Tell me when and where and I’ll be there.” He gives me the details and we end the call. I check the time. It’s eight o’clock on a Monday morning. He wants me to meet Kai at one o’clock this afternoon. Cross Security is situated on Wilshire Boulevard between Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. I only live about fifteen minutes away in the small coastal community of Santa Monica. I have a modest house here that overlooks the Pacific. The house is nothing special. It’s a basic two-story beach house that I am slowly fixing up. What is special about it, though, is the view… it’s spectacular and fucking priceless if you ask me. Shane says Kai lives in Venice Beach which is just a short drive away. He knows I have a favorite burger joint there and has wisely chosen that location as a meeting place to help soften the blow.
As I pull my Harley up to Burger Heaven, I spot Kai sitting outside on the beach patio. She looks a lot more relaxed than she did a few days ago. The snug white dress and high heels have been replaced with flip flops, cut-off shorts and a white tank top that covers a hot pink bikini top. Her long ebony hair is pulled back into a high ponytail. She looks so young. It’s hard to believe she is the lethal weapon Shane believes she is. The rest of us look the part, like a bunch of badass motherfuckers. I suppose that is probably another reason why Shane thinks she will be such a good addition to our team. She’s different. No one would ever suspect what’s underneath all of that beautiful packaging.
She notices me as I’m climbing off my bike and gives me a wave and a brilliant smile that could rival the sun. Her brow wrinkles slightly as she takes in my attire. I’m wearing boots, jeans, and a t-shirt. I’m not exactly dressed for sitting in the sun, but the heat doesn’t bother me too much. I grew up in dust bowl Oklahoma; I’m no stranger to the uncomfortableness of the heat. My boots sink into the sand as I approach, and I definitely garner a few curious looks as I move towards the beauty sitting at the picnic table closest to the water.
Her smile turns into more of a smirk as she looks me over. “Jeez, is this is your idea of beach attire? If so, you are definitely going to need my help. I think you are lucky I came along when I did,” she quips when I finally reach her. I shove my hands in my pockets as I block her sun and look down on her grinning face.
“Hello, princess,” I say, hoping it will get a rise out of her. “I do actually own one swimsuit and two pairs of shorts, but they aren’t exactly the safest attire for the bike, so this is what you get. Maybe next time you can come to my neck of the woods, and I’ll dress a little more weather appropriate.”
Her eyebrows shoot into her hairline. “You live in L.A., and you only own two pairs of shorts and one bathing suit? Oh my, you definitely need my help.” She chuckles. “It’s nice to see you again, Mason,” she says as the waitress approaches our table.
Fuck, nobody calls me Mason. It’s Hawk or asshole or whatever the fuck you want, but definitely not Mason. No one has called me by my first name in a very long time and I plan on keeping it that way. I need to make that clear right the fuck now. We order burgers and beers and I politely wait for the waitress to leave before we get down to business.
“The name’s Hawk, I’d prefer if you used it. If you can come up with something else you’d rather use, I’m open to it, but Mason is off the table.” I give her a pointed look and immediately know it won’t be that easy by the look on her face.
“If I recall correctly, Shane introduced you as Mason Hawk. Therefore, it seems logical that most people would call you Mason, just like most people call me Kai. What’s the problem with your given name? You don’t like it? If that’s the case, why don’t you just change it?” She chirps on like a little bird as she stares at me.
My hackles slowly rise. Fuck, what is it with this chick? I don’t want to butt heads with her, but it seems inevitable. “It’s none of your fucking business, is what it is. I am just respectfully asking you not to use the name. Is that so hard?” She looks at me carefully, like she is trying to see beneath the surface. Good fucking luck, princess, I’ve got things locked down tight. Nobody gets in and nothing gets out.
Nancy Carolyn Brown is an author of contemporary romance, fond of writing love stories about hunky badass men endowed with massive hearts, and strong heroines with just the right mix of sweet and sass… flaming hot chemistry and thrilling nail biting suspense is always guaranteed!
She loves cosmos and chocolate and a swoony good book with a strong storyline.
She lives in sunny southern Alberta, Canada with her high school sweetheart husband and naughty Bengal cat. When she isn't writing, she enjoys the simple things in life like spending time with family and friends, reading and running with her favorite playlist blasting in her ears.