Wicked and True - Shayla Black Page 0,1

last ten months, a single sticky paragraph in their employment contracts had kept them apart.

As of five minutes ago, it was gone.

I’m going to take her aside this morning and present her with a new contract. Better sick pay and vacation, tighter nondisclosure…and no nonfraternization clause. She’ll sign. Then you’ll both be off the hook.

Son of a bitch. Zy had waited and wanted Tessa, ached and burned for her. He’d been hoping that somehow, someday they could be more than co-workers and friends, but he’d never imagined that he’d be strong-armed into getting her between the sheets to spy on her. He didn’t have to fuck Tessa to know that selling the bosses out was something she’d never do. But he didn’t have a choice. Since they’d already coerced him into snooping on Trees, Zy figured he’d repeat the process…just with hot, bust-up-the-bed sex.

But one way or another, he would prove to the Three Stooges that they could one-hundred-percent trust Tessa.

“Get a move on,” Logan, the youngest of his bosses, insisted.

Fuck off, douche bucket.

But Zy kept his mouth shut and gave them all a tight smile as he headed for the door.

As he approached, it crashed open. Caleb Edgington, the team’s previous commander, charged in looking shell-shocked, like he’d collided with panic and run face-first into death.

“Colonel, sir?”

Hunter and Logan both stood. The quietest of his bosses, Joaquin, rose with a frown.

“Dad?” Hunter approached him.

The older man swallowed. “Your sister…”

Sudden tension gripped the room.

“What’s wrong with Kimber?” Logan scowled.

“I received a threat recently. It wasn’t specific, just a tube of lipstick and a warning to hand over Valeria Montilla before they took whoever the tube belonged to. I didn’t know who—” Emotion choked off the colonel’s words. He pressed his fist to his lips, grasping for the fortitude to finish delivering the bad news.

Zy’s gut twisted. The man’s only daughter, Hunter and Logan’s sister…

Another guy came in behind the colonel—big, blond, badass, and totally pissed off. Deke Trenton, Kimber’s husband. “She’s gone. She dropped the kids off at daycare, then made a trip to the grocery store…and didn’t come home. A courier delivered this thirty minutes ago.”

They all crowded around as he whipped out a picture of Kimber, her auburn hair tangled, her big eyes red rimmed, with a gag over her mouth, her hands tied behind her back, and a gun to her head.

Holy shit.

“We’ll get her back.” Despite his face going pale, Hunter sounded resolute. “We’ll do whatever it takes—”

“You’re fucking right we will,” Deke spat. “I want my kitten back. Jack and the rest of the Oracle team are at our office strategizing. Any help you can spare…”

“You’ll have it,” Hunter promised. “We need to lock down the rest of the wives and kids.”

“Fast,” the colonel managed. “Before it’s too late.”

The older man ducked out, looking as if he could barely keep himself together.

Deke didn’t look much calmer. “Thanks for whatever you can do.”

“Fuck that, she’s our sister. We’ll devote day and night to saving her.”

Kimber’s husband nodded, then he was gone, too. Silence prevailed for a protracted moment before Hunter swallowed, collecting himself. He turned to ice in an instant. Logan lived up to his fiery temper, grabbing an eraser from the nearest whiteboard then throwing it violently. His empty coffee mug followed, shattering against the wall.

Before he could toss anything else, Joaquin stepped in. “We don’t have time for this.”

“I know. I fucking know. Goddamn son of a bitch!”

Hunter and Joaquin jogged out the door, quietly strategizing ways to keep all the others in their family safe. Logan fumed, trying to gather himself, his lungs working like a bellows.

“I’ll come with you,” Zy offered. “I’ll devote all my energy—”

“No. This shit is centered around Valeria Montilla,” he said of the deceased drug lord’s estranged wife, whom Caleb Edgington and his sons had rescued from her husband almost two years ago. “Now that her safe house has been breached, Trees and Kane are going to relocate her and her family pronto—and we’ll be monitoring every step. But none of that will mean shit if you can’t nail our mole.”

In other words, prove Tessa was guilty and stop her.

Zy bit back an argument. Logan didn’t have time for it with his sister in the clutches of a cartel demanding information the team couldn’t afford to give. Giving up a client would ruin their professional reputation.

In short, they were utterly screwed between a rock and a hard place.

“I’m leaving,” the former SEAL barked. “You’re in charge until one