Jory Harcourt is finally living the dream. Being married to US Marshal Sam Kage has changed him - it's settled the tumult of their past and changed Jory from a guy who bails at the first sign of trouble to a man who stays and weathers the storm. He and Sam have two kids, a house in the burbs, and a badass minivan. Jory's days of being an epicenter for disaster are over. Domestic life is good.
Which means it's exactly the right time for a shakeup on the home front. Sam's ex turns up in an unexpected place. A hit man climbs up their balcony at a family reunion. And maybe both of those things have something to do with a witness who disappeared a year ago. Marital bliss just got a kick in the pants, but Jory won't let anyone take his family away from him. Before he knew what it felt like to have a home, he would have run. Not anymore. He knows he and Sam need to handle things together, because that's the only way they're going to make it.
THE man was a pig, and it wasn’t just me who thought so. Rosa Martinez, who lived on the other side of the Petersons, agreed with me. In fact, all the women who lived on our cul-de-sac were of the same mind. Oliver Peterson, whose wife had just caught him cheating on her—again —was filth. It wasn’t the fact that they already had two children; it was the fact that she was currently pregnant with a third.
Sam, the love of my life, my partner, husband, and the guy who was parenting two small people with me, just shook his head the night before and kissed me breathless after telling me for the nine-hundredth time to please not get involved. Leave the neighbors alone; this was not Housewives of Wherever, we were not on reality TV. I had explained over the McDonald’s that the man had brought home instead of having me cook—which, after the last time, we had both agreed would never happen again—that I was involved because I was her friend.
“No,” he told me as we put the kids down. “You use that word so loosely. She’s an acquaintance, Jory, she’s not a friend.”
“She’s my neighbor, Sam, and her man’s a dog, and if she needs my help with whatever, I’m gonna give it to her.”
“I’m not saying not to be nice to her, but just don’t stick your nose in their business.”
I ignored him.
I gave him the most indignant look I could manage. “So I’m what, nosy now? I’m the busybody neighbor?”
He threw up his hands in defeat.
I gave him a superior grunt because I thought he was on his way out of the bedroom to check the house, make sure all the doors were locked, make sure the stove burners were all off, but then I realized he hadn’t moved. “What?”
“You’re very cute.”
I squinted at him. “Thirty-five-year-old men are not cute.”
“You’ll always be the twenty-two-year-old club kid I saw for the first time lying in the street with a beagle on top of him.”
“I thought George was a Jack Russell.”
“Nope.” He came toward me. “Beagle.”
“Go away.” I smiled at him, trying to shoo him out of the room. “Go make sure the zombie horde can’t get us.”
But instead of leaving, he grabbed me and slammed me up against the wall in our room. With his hot mouth nibbling up the side of my neck, his hands frantically disrobing me, and his hard groin pressed to my ass, my mind went completely blank. There was no way to concentrate when I had 220 pounds of hard-muscled man focused…