When He's Dirty (Walker Security- Adrian’s Trilogy #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

Chapter One


    Every Friday night, anyone on the Walker Security team that isn’t covered in blood, or trying to keep someone else from being covered in blood, gets together and decompresses. New York City weather permitted, as of late, which means tag football. And tag football with these guys is a good way to get tackled and in a fight. Which is why I play—it’s why we all play. Well, that and the food and beer after the brawls.

    Adam, an ex-SEAL who was on the elite Team Six but is too freaking humble to talk about it, is—fittingly—our quarterback. He’s tall, powerful, agile, and smart. He’s also a good guy, better than me, but I saved the fucker’s life, so he thinks that makes me a good guy too. He’s wrong.

    He throws wide and left and I’m wide and left. I leap in the air, snag the ball, and Lucas, nicknamed Lucifer, the newest member of Walker, takes me down hard. “Ouch,” he whispers in my ear. “I think that hurt.”

    I curse at him in Spanish, and ironically, my white father would be proud, my Latina mama, not so much. He chuckles and stands up, offering me his hand. He’s blond, muscled, tatted up, and tall as fuck, considering I’m six-one and he’s looking down at me. I don’t know his story beyond him being our newest pilot, willing to fly high-risk, big payday missions. All I know is that his nickname bugs the fuck out of me for good reason—it hits a nerve. Still, I take his hand and stand up, holding up the ball for all to see.

    Rick Savage snatches it from my hand. “To think I used to hate your ass.” He winks—a trained assassin with a scar down his cheek who acts like a goofball—right up until the moment he kills you. Maybe even in that moment.

    “Now you’re all kinds of cute,” he adds.

    I wiggle my eyebrows. “Should we talk to your wife?”

    “Sorry, man, not happening. We keep this between us. She’s still prettier than you.” He jogs away and I laugh, which says a lot where Savage and I are concerned. Right out of the gate, we were oil and water, hate to friendship, wash, and repeat several times over until we landed at friendship. After two years, I get him now. He doesn’t get me, though. He just thinks he does. Scrubbing grass from my goatee and then running a hand over my thick, dark hair, I line up for another play, eyeing Lucifer and pointing at him, telling him I’m coming for him. Two more plays in, we’ve switched sides of the ball and I take his ass down.

    “Ouch,” I whisper at his ear. “I think that hurt.”

    Lucifer gives an evil laugh and says, “Pain is the sweet stuff, man. Oh so sweet.”

    I decide right then he’s as evil as his laugh. I might end up liking him after all.

    The game ends and we all end up at Asher’s house, another blond, tatted-up dude who was on SEAL Team Six with Adam. Asher’s a good guy, married, stable, and nifty as hell at hacking. I’m in the kitchen at the island drinking a beer with him and Adam, while Adam talks about some asshole who tried to mug a woman in the subway this morning. Of course, Adam handled it. This is usually where I’d tell some stupid joke, about him liking the purse more than the other guy, a time when I’d fit in, and seem like less of an asshole than I am, but today I’m not that guy. I thought the game and the guys were just what I needed to get my mind off my problem. I mean, I do like the Walker team and pretty much everyone here. This a brotherhood, a place where you belong when you belong nowhere else. But today I question if being with them was ever a smart choice.

    My cellphone buzzes and the sound rattles my normally unshakable nerves, for the very reason I’m doubting my place here. It’s all about my life before Walker that just won’t let me go.

    I snake my phone from my pocket, glace at the number that means bad news, and send it to voicemail, at least for now. I eye Asher who’s talking about all but getting his ass kicked on a job mission. “Obviously, you Team Sixers don’t know how to fight the Mexican way.”

    Asher arches a brow. “Which is how?”

    “Dirty. I’d explain what that means, but I’d have to kill you.”

    Savage appears at the end of the island and smirks. “Your pops is white. You told me so. In other words, you fight just like us white guys.”