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Matt laughed. “Did you spend the night?”

“Naah. Awesome BJ aside, the sex wasn’t all that great.”

Beck’s fingers curled into fists. Okay, this was f**king disrespectful. If Evans said even one more word…

“I like my women moaning and squirming and you know, getting into it. She just lay there, looking bored, making me do all the work.” Ryan shrugged. “She was tight as hell, though—”

Becker snapped. One second he was standing by the pool table, the next he was shoving Evans hard against the wall. He seized the other man by the collar and shook him hard, his vision nothing but a hazy red.

“Don’t f**king talk about her like that,” Becker growled.

Shock flooded Ryan’s face, accompanied by a spark of fear in his blue eyes. “What the f**k are you doing, Lieutenant?”

He shook the younger guy again, his jaw so tight that his teeth started to hurt. “This isn’t a locker room,” he spat out. “Show her some goddamn respect.”

A hand suddenly clamped down on Becker’s shoulder. “Beck, let him go,” came Carson’s even voice.

Becker didn’t ease his grip. Glaring at Ryan, he said, “If I hear you talking about Jane in that way again—”

“Jane?” Ryan interrupted, his eyes widening.

“What, you forgot her f**king name already?”

There was a short pause, and then Ryan sighed. “We weren’t talking about Jane, man. We were talking about Cynthia.”

Becker blinked. “Who?”

“Cynthia, the chick I hooked up with last night.”

The air went rushing out of Becker’s lungs. Cynthia? He looked into Ryan’s eyes, saw the genuine confusion there, and cursed under his breath. Shit. Slowly, he released Evans from his kung-fu hold and took a step back. As he noticed the curious eyes focused on him, not just from his team members, but the stares of the other bar patrons, he grew uncomfortable.


“I’m sorry,” he finally said, his voice hoarse. “I thought you were…talking about her.”

Ryan straightened the collar of his shirt, a flicker of annoyance entering his eyes. “That wasn’t cool, Lieutenant.”

“I know.” He drew in a breath. “I’m sorry. I thought…”

“You thought I f**ked her,” Ryan finished knowingly. “Yeah, well, I would’ve, if she’d wanted me. But she didn’t. I took her back to her hotel room, where she spent half the night crying.”

Becker hesitated. “Why was she crying?” he asked softly.

“Because you dumped her, you idiot.”

“You can’t call your superior officer an idiot,” Carson said. He smirked. “But I can.” He cast an irritated look in Becker’s direction. “You’re an idiot. You didn’t even talk to her, did you?”

“No,” Becker admitted.

“Why the f**k not?”

“Because…” He let out a sigh. “Because I thought she slept with him,” he said, jerking his thumb at Ryan. He stared at the other guy in remorse. “I saw you two in the hotel parking lot.” Becker swallowed. “You had your arm around her, and the two of you walked inside together. I assumed you…you know.”

Ryan flashed a grin. “Like I said, I totally would have, if she wanted me. But she’s in love with you. She spent the entire night downing margaritas and talking about what a jerk you were for ending things, then she cried, then…well, then there was the vomit thing, and finally she went to bed.” He gave a pointed look. “I slept on the floor, by the way. I only stayed the night because I didn’t want her to be alone.”

Becker had no idea what to say. He felt like a total ass**le for making assumptions. And he felt like an even bigger ass**le when he pictured Jane’s silky-smooth cheeks soaked with tears. He’d caused those tears. He’d built up this foolish image of his perfect woman, a woman who was the complete opposite of his ex-wife. But who the f**k needed perfection? And why on earth would he ever want a sweet, docile wife when he could have his feisty, stubborn Jane?

“I’m an idiot,” he muttered under his breath.

Carson overheard the remark and said, “Trust us, we know.”

Jane’s hands were full of shopping bags as she climbed the stairs leading up to her third-floor apartment. Her building didn’t have an elevator, but considering her claustrophobia, that was a blessing. It was good exercise too, hiking up all those stairs. But super irritating when trying to make the climb with all these bags. Liz had been right, though. All she’d needed to do was get out of the house and already she felt much better. Of course, a shiny pair of Manolos and three new dresses could make anyone feel better.

Shoving the bags in her right hand into her left, she dug around in her purse in search of her keys, head bent as she headed down the corridor toward her apartment. She’d just grabbed hold of her key ring when she lost her grip on the purse. It went flying to the floor, its contents spilling onto the carpeted hallway floor.

“Need some help?”

The familiar voice startled the hell out of her, causing her to drop the bags she was holding. Those fell too, joining her purse on the ground, but Jane was too stunned to pay attention to the discarded items. Becker was standing in front of her door, clad in a pair of khakis and a blue button-down shirt over a white T-shirt that molded to his perfect chest. Apprehension clouded his eyes, along with a spark of heat that burned brighter when their gazes locked.


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