Body Shot(4)

By: Kelly Jamieson


But at least they could do other things. It was good for them to have some downtime where they weren’t focused on profit-and-loss statements, accounts payable, and why nobody ordered food anymore when they came to Conquistadors.

Cade appeared. “You made it,” he said to Beck. “Let’s do this.”

They headed through to the track and were soon wearing helmets and roaring around hairpin turns and fast straightaways. The karts had timers that electronically recorded their lap times to the thousandths of a second, giving them detailed information for each lap completed. Which they would then compare, after. Loser bought the beers.

A couple of hours later, they went to the Condor, a nearby microbrewery with a small pub. They sat at a high-top table. Beck rolled his shoulders around, feeling relaxed from the little adrenaline rush the racing had given him. “You’re buying,” he told Cade. “Slowest time.”

“Fuck,” Cade muttered. “By two seconds.”

“Don’t be a sore loser, now.” Beck grinned.

“How was your date last night?” Marco asked Cade.

“It wasn’t a date. Just a hookup.”

“Right.” Marco nodded. “Do you even know her name?”

Cade gave a sly grin. “Does it matter?”

“Man, you need to slow down. You’re gonna end up with the clap or something.” Marco shook his head.

“Hey, I practice safe sex. No glove, no love.”

“Yeah, I don’t think what you’re doing is ‘love,’ ” Beck said, two hands curving around his cold glass of amber ale.

“I won’t deny that.” Cade leaned into the back of his stool, smiling with satisfaction. “Okay, then, let’s say I cover my stump before I hump.”

Marco choked on his beer.

“Wrap your whacker before you attack her,” Beck added with a grin.

Cade nodded. “You can’t go wrong if you shield your dong.”

“Enough.” Marco held up a hand. “I still think you’re overcompensating a little.”

The air immediately went static around them. Cade’s face darkened and his eyes narrowed at Marco. “Shut the fuck up.”

“Look, I don’t mean anything by that. I’m just saying…you don’t have to prove your masculinity. You’re fine.”

“I am now.” Cade’s jaw set. “And I’m not trying to prove anything.”

Beck and Marco exchanged looks. Yeah, they totally didn’t buy that bullshit. But Cade refused to talk about this.

“You don’t give Mr. Smooth here a hard time.” Cade’s annoyed gaze landed on Beck and he lifted his chin. “You do as many chicks as I do.”

Beck laughed. “Not possible.”

Yeah, he liked women. He loved women. And they liked him too. He wasn’t being cocky, it was a fact.

“You two are disgusting,” Marco said.

“You’re just jealous.”

“Fah.”

“What did you just say? Fah?”

“I was about to tell you to fuck off.”

Inevitably talk turned to business.

“So Saturday’s our first tequila tasting evening,” Marco reminded them. “This should bring in some business.”

“Let’s hope so.” Cade sighed. “We need to pick things up.”

“We’re doing fine,” Beck said.

Cade slanted him a frown. “Says the guy money doesn’t matter to.”

“It matters to me.”

“Only because you have so much of it.”

Beck swallowed a sigh. He’d thought they were past the fact that he was loaded.

They’d been together for the most part of the years they’d been SEALs. The intense, fast-paced training—along with practical jokes, good-natured ribbing, and roughhousing during off time, as well as the intense focus and danger while on ops—banded platoons together like brothers, but Cade, Marco, and Beck had found a special bond. Then they’d all made the decision to leave the Navy around the same time and had to figure out what they wanted to do with the rest of their lives. When Marco made a joke about opening a tequila bar because they drank so much of the stuff (his nickname had been José) they’d all laughed. Then Beck had revealed that he had a trust fund tucked away that would allow them to make that a reality. They knew who his family was, and how wealthy they were. They also knew he hated his family and didn’t have much to do with them, but they’d had no idea that he personally had inherited a whack of money from his grandfather, which he’d never touched…and which had grown into billions of dollars.

They’d been kind of pissed he’d never told them that.