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So…Tamra cleaned up nice.

Not that I hadn’t already noticed she was an attractive woman, but seeing her in something that wasn’t oil-stained mechanic’s clothes, or biker gear, or training clothes… really put a fine point on it.

The woman looked good.

She’d untwisted her hair, leaving her natural coils in a fro that complimented her regal features – features that makeup was doing an excellent job of both accentuating and masking the bruises from our run-ins.

I felt pretty bad about that now, but there wasn’t much I could do to help it.

She didn’t seem bothered by it though – she had her head held high and I could tell she felt good in the flouncy evening dress she’d chosen for tonight. A deep, emerald green that complimented my tuxedo – appropriate, since she’d walked into the night’s event on my arm, and was still hanging close to keep up the appearance that she was my date.

Instead of my strike team partner.

“How long do you have to stare before you have me committed to your memory?” she asked, smirking at me as she accepted two glasses of champagne from a passing server, knowing neither of us was about to drink.

I shook my head, not at all embarrassed that I’d been caught admiring her – again.

“Just playing my role – I like to really get into it.”

Her eyes glittered, amused, as she met my gaze. “And what role have you stepped into for the night?”

“That of a man who recognizes and appreciates just how fine his date is. Is that a problem for you?”

“Stop flirting, and stay on task, Wilder.”

Tamra stuck her tongue out at me as Alicia’s voice sounded over our coms. A glance across the room told me she was looking straight in our direction – looking good as hell herself.

“Iamon task, boss lady,” I said under my breath, just loud enough for it to be picked up. Alicia rolled her eyes, tilting her head toward the front of the room.

“That is your task. Don’t lose focus.”

The task she was referring to was Tommy Turner – he was by no means the focus of this event, but he’d certainly made sure to show his face in search of political capital. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but it seemed to me that he was on edge.


Not that I could blame him.

IfIwas running for a governmental office and had failed to fake the death of my mistress and love child, and now I didn’t know where at least one, maybe both of them were… I’d be sweating through my suit too.

“What a disgusting looking man. I can’t believe she willingly slept with him, ugh.” Tamra’s face was understandably turned up in disdain – Tommy Turner bore an uncanny resemblance to Porky the Pig.

May really could do a lot better.

“Deep pockets get you access to a lot of things,” I told her, shaking my head. “Including well-out-of-your-league women willing to – literally – blow up their lives for you.”

Tamra huffed. “Yeah. Her ass better hope somebody else gets to her before I do.”

“Or me,” Alicia added.


I did not envy May, having attracted the ire of these two particular women – but I didn’t feel bad for her either. I had no issue giving her an opportunity to explain herself, but honestly, I didn’t see what she could possibly give as viable reasoning for everything that had happened at this point.

From all angles, it looked like she was willing to throw a helpless, harmless little girl under the bus to cover up an affair and stay in the good graces of a rodent like Tommy Turner.

Not a good look, at all.

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