STEEL 7 (Multiple Love #5) by Stephanie Brother


My hands tingle at just the thought of the silkiness of Luna's chestnut hair running across them, or the softness of her skin. But it can't happen. I curl my hands into fists as if to send a message to my brain that there can be no tenderness with this woman. My job is protection, and that's where it ends.

We all eat and talk about our experiences of being in Germany. I'm not the only one who's spent time here, and listening to tales of German nightclubs, sightseeing, and women has Luna laughing and me relaxing.

And when we're done, we all head to our beds to rest so we're ready for an early start.

As Luna passes through the doorway to her room, she turns, her eyes finding mine as she slowly closes the door, and damn if I don't want to follow her to her bed more than I've ever wanted anything in my whole goddamned life.



This bedroom was designed to fit two queen-size beds, but the hotel has accommodated a third one without any trouble.

In fact, I’m sure that this room has the square footage of my whole apartment back home. The finishes are luxurious, and as I slump onto my bed, I moan with approval. It’s like resting on a cloud.

I was the last to shower, so Mo and Connor are already in bed. I was expecting them to be asleep, but they’re both staring at their phones.

“This place is something else, isn’t it?”

Mo’s eyes sweep the room as though he’s taking it in for the first time. “I don’t like that there are places like this in the world when so many people don’t have a safe place to sleep.”

“The world is fucked up, man, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to enjoy every minute of sleeping in this bed.”

“It’s definitely more comfortable than a bunk,” Connor says without looking up.

“It’d be even more comfortable with a woman next to me.” I turn onto my side, letting the soft pillow cradle my head. Connor’s lamp is still on, casting the room in a muted yellow glow, highlighting the wall paneling and extravagant walnut furniture and gilded picture frames.

Mo snorts, placing his phone on the nightstand. “Always with the women.”

“Women make the world go round, my friend.”

He purses his lips and nods. “This job – being a bodyguard – isn’t good for relationships. We’re away too much. Always in a different time zone.”

“Too much other temptation,” I say.

“Temptation?” Connor lowers his phone and cocks his head.

“Don’t play the innocent with me. I’ve seen the way you look at Luna. You’d break that girl in two if you ever got her where you want her.”

“Fuck off,” he says. “Don’t talk crazy.”

“I know what I see.” I place my hands behind my head, staring up at the blemish-free white ceiling. I wish mine back home was as perfect, but rented accommodation is always far from perfect. “I know what I think.”

“You think about Luna?” Mo straightens, his pebble black eyes narrowing at me. He’s a good guy, but I keep trying to tell him he doesn’t have to take everything so seriously. But what the fuck do I know? He’s grown up in a place so different and lived through things that even I would struggle to imagine.

“And you don’t?”

“You shouldn’t,” Mo says. “You start thinking about her that way, and your mind won’t be on the job.”

“Amen,” Connor says.

“Don’t go getting all religious on me. Out of all of us, you definitely have the biggest hard-on for her.”

Connor stares at me, his green eyes narrowing, then he exhales, and I can immediately see how much my insinuations are burdening him. “Regardless of what I might be thinking, this stays professional.”

“Of course. We have a job to do. I know that.”

“But?” Connor knows me so well.

“There’ll come a time where we won’t be her bodyguards. This tour won’t go on forever, and maybe the crazies will calm down once she’s more established.”

“Sounds like you have it all planned out.” Mo nods knowingly, reminding me of a wise owl.

“NO!” Connor says abruptly, louder than I think he intended. He glances at the door, his brow furrowed. Is he worrying that Luna might have heard?

“No, none of us should be thinking that way, or no, I shouldn’t be thinking that way?” I ask.