Hot Protector

By: Lynn Raye Harris

1





“Oh, thank God you’re here. I need your help.”

Chase “Fiddler” Daniels stared at the woman standing on his doorstep, his brow furrowing. He didn’t need to look at his phone to tell him it was around three in the morning or that he’d fallen asleep about an hour ago. His eyes were gritty and his brain wasn’t quite up to speed.

He shook his head, but she didn’t go away.

And holy hell, she was gorgeous—if she was here to fuck, then he was down with that. Wouldn’t be the first time some chick had shown up with a lady boner for him. He’d been in Buddy’s Bar earlier with some of Echo Squad’s guys, shooting pool and bullshitting. He’d flirted with the waitresses, as usual. But he didn’t remember this one, which was strange because he should have.

He put his hand on top of the open door—because he knew it made the muscles in his chest and abs flex—and gave her a look. “What kind of help do you need, sweetheart?”

She had violet eyes. Pretty violet eyes framed with dark lashes. They were wider now than they had been a few seconds ago. Her red-gold hair hung in waves over her shoulders and down her back. She was on the curvy side, not at all skinny or waiflike. She had hips a man could hold on to while he thrust deep into her body. Chase liked a girl with curves.

She threw a glance over her shoulder, almost as if she was afraid, before turning her gaze on him again. “You don’t recognize me, do you?”

He was too tired for bullshit games. “Nope.”

She dropped her lashes over those incredible eyes and sucked in a breath. “Please let me in. I’ll explain everything.”

He was starting to get annoyed. “Honey, it’s after three in the morning, and you woke me up. I have no idea who you are. If you want to fuck, just say so. You can get naked, and I’ll take you to paradise at least once before I fall asleep again. Promise.”

Her jaw had dropped during this speech. He felt a little guilty, but hell, what did she expect?

“You think I’m here for sex?”

He leaned forward, the movement popping his biceps as he held the door. “It’s nothing to be ashamed of, sweetheart.”

She stiffened her spine as if she was somewhat outraged. “I’m Sophie, you jerk. Sophie Nash.”

And just like that the ice water of reality splashed down on his head and cooled every illicit thought he’d been having about the sexy woman on his doorstep. He dropped his hand from the door and stood straight and tall, as stiff as she was now.

“Sophie Nash.” He couldn’t help the bitter twist on her last name. “Well, how about that? Not a kid anymore, I see.”

“No, not a kid anymore.” Her gaze slipped over him, from his bare chest to the faded jeans he’d tugged on when the doorbell kept ringing and right on down to his feet. “You aren’t sixteen anymore either.”

He was tempted to close the door in her face, but he didn’t. Instead, he stepped back and silently agreed to let her inside. She swept in like a queen before turning to face him again. He shut the door and leaned back against it, studying her through hooded eyes.

“You were fourteen the last time I saw you.” And he’d barely paid any attention to her at the time, though he’d actively disliked her because she’d had the things he didn’t. She’d been unremarkable, a chunky girl who’d followed him around and talked entirely too much while he completely ignored her. It was quite a shock that she’d changed so drastically, though it was to be expected in ten years.

She clasped her hands in front of her body. Her knuckles whitened. “I know you and your father have had a strained relationship over the years. But it’s not my fault—and it’s not my fault he married my mother.”

Chase swore. Two minutes ago, he’d been thinking about taking her to bed. Technically she was his stepsister, though he’d never looked at her like family. Impossible since he’d never thought of his biological dad as his family either.

“I haven’t talked to Tyler in about five years. I like it that way.”

“I think he misses hearing from you.”

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