Sloan (The Protectors Series Book #9)(6)

By: Teresa Gabelman

“I’ll move it.” Becky had actually grabbed her keys out of her bag as she’d followed everyone outside to stare at her beat-down scooter.

“You crossed the bridge on that?” Sloan glared down at her, his frown menacing.

“Yes.” Becky nodded, wondering how else he thought she’d arrived, since to cross a massive river you had to use a bridge. Though, she wasn’t brave enough to be a smartass yet and say that. Instead, she climbed on and then stared up at Sloan, who still frowned at her. “Where do you want me to park it?”

“At your place,” Sid replied, still looking disgusted. “Seriously, how safe is that thing? I suggest you drive your car from here on out.”

“Don’t have one,” Becky said, feeling totally outnumbered. Even Jill and Caroline were looking at her scooter oddly.

“One what?” Sid asked absently as he leaned down, looking at the back tire of her scooter.

“A car,” Becky replied, then laughed. “Listen, this is so not a big deal. I promise to park it off the property if I have to, but it’s my only means of transportation right now.”

“It is a big deal because it’s not safe to ride that across the bridge during rush hour.” Sloan’s voice stopped anyone else from saying anything. “And where is your helmet?”

Dammit, of course her new boss, unless he fired her over the scooter, would notice the lack of helmet. “I kind of forgot it.”

Sloan took three steps and with surprising gentleness helped her off the bike. “Steve, take it around back and park it.”

“That’s okay,” Becky said, but let Sloan lead her away from her scooter. “I can do it.”

“Sweet!” Steve rushed to sit on the scooter, then noticed Sid and the rest staring at him. “Hey, call me a pussy, but I think it’s pretty cool. Can I take it for a spin?”

Becky wanted to hug Steve. “Sure, but be careful. She’s old.”

“Don’t worry.” Steve started the scooter with a big grin. “Old ladies like me.”

“Jesus.” Sid shook his head while chuckles and snorts filled the air.

“What? They do.” Steve frowned and revved up the struggling engine; it sounded like it was ready to stall any minute. “Hey, Adam, you want to ride?”

“I’ll pass.” Adam shook his head, a half grin on his face. “You look right at home there, bro.”

“Why thank you, Adam.” Steve turned and headed out of the parking lot, but made sure to flip them the bird as he left on the bright pink scooter.

Chapter 3

Sloan led Becky inside toward his office. When Jill and Caroline tried to follow them, he held up this hand.

“I got this.” Sloan started to shut the door on their protests.

“But, I need to show her—” Jill attempted to push it open.

“Come back at lunch, Jill.” Sloan managed to close the women out. He headed toward his desk, but stopped and locked the door. He knew Jill well and she would find any excuse to come inside. He turned to see Becky staring at him wide-eyed. “Have a seat.”

Becky sat in one of the two seats in front of his desk. “Listen, I’m sorry about the scooter. I didn’t know it was going to cause a problem, but it really is my only means of transportation.”

Sitting behind his desk, Sloan cursed to himself. How in the hell did he find himself in these situations? He didn’t need a secretary, especially one who stirred feelings inside him that hadn’t been stirred in more years than he could count. He didn’t have time for this shit, but when he’d realized she had ridden that damn deathmobile in the dark, during rush hour, and across the river on one of the busiest bridges connecting Kentucky and Cincinnati, every protective instinct inside him demanded he do something about it.

“This isn’t going to work.” Sloan acted on his protective instinct with his normal bluntness.

“Excuse me?” Becky’s head snapped back.

Before Sloan could respond, his phone went off and someone tried to open his door, then began to knock. Holding his finger up, he answered his phone and ignored the pounding on the door.

“Sloan,” he answered, his voice harsh.