Sweet Child o' Mine(5)

By: Lexi Blake

Erin’s eyes slid away. “No, Sir. You know he’s actually very kind. I don’t know how to handle it. I would be more comfortable with Hutch.”

Because Hutch treated her like one of the guys. “Hutch is incapable of looking like he’s in love with you and he has zero training in D/s. Faith McDonald has been in the lifestyle for longer than you have.”

“Longer than Theo, too.” It was obvious Erin wasn’t giving up.

“But Theo has been training day and night.” Theo seemed to have figured out what Erin needed, and he was trying hard to be able to give it to her. He’d been working with Ten under Tag and Alex’s tutelage, and he’d come a long way. His brother was more than ready for this assignment. He was the best man for the job. Tag liked to fuck with his employees, but he took his business seriously. “Theo is perfectly prepared for this mission and you’re the right operative to get close to Faith McDonald. You’ll be her personal bodyguard and you can bond over giggling and tea and whatever girls bond over.”

Erin flipped him off. It was a good sign. He suspected she had some serious shit in her background having to do with authority figures. Flipping the boss the bird meant she was comfortable he wasn’t going to hurt her. Now she simply had to figure out Theo wouldn’t either. “I’ll take care of Faith. I actually kind of admire her. She’s smart and seems to be trying to do good in the world.”

Unfortunately, her father was an evil fuck who sold out servicemen for a buck and made his fortune off keeping the wars going. Faith McDonald could be Mother Teresa and he would still use her to take down her father. “Don’t go into this expecting a lifetime friendship. She’s the target. Talk to her. Convince her to come to Dallas with you so she can meet a new Master. She’s single right now, but the word is she always indulges during her off time. Get her back here with you and Ten will handle the rest.”

“And Theo?”

Did he have to figure out everything? “Don’t sleep with him. It’s just your cover. Sometimes operatives don’t use their covers to get a little something something.” Ian scratched his head, trying to think of an example. It was hard. His operatives were the worst when it came to sleeping with their partners—Simon and Chelsea, Jesse and Phoebe, Alex and Eve—or being stupid fucks and falling in love with their targets—Sean and Grace, Li and Avery. Hell, Jake and Adam had married their freaking client. It could be their new slogan. McKay-Taggart: We Don’t Keep It In Our Pants. Oh, well, there was one he could think of. “Alex and I went undercover once and we did not sleep together.”

Alex shrugged. “He tried but I wanted someone a little more tender. Li used to go undercover with Karina and he’s never once slept with her. Then there was that first mission we sent Jesse on at the strip club.”

Ian cleared his throat. He was pretty sure Jesse had slept with about ten of those strippers, but that had all been before Phoebe.

Alex shook his head. “JoJo, Eboni, and Misty Rose weren’t his partners. Simon was. Si swears up and down they’ve never cuddled. Not once. So you’re safe, Erin.”

“You’re all jackholes, you know that, right? And Liberia? Really? I left the damn Army so I didn’t have to spend all my time in the world’s shitholes.” Erin was shaking her head as she walked away. “Simon gets to go to Venice. Li’s biggest op was in London. I get fucking West Africa.”

“Don’t forget the Ebola,” Tag called out. “You’re welcome.” He shook his head as she disappeared around the corner. “They’re totally going to do it in Africa.”