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Authors: Elle Kennedy

Tags: #Red Hots!, #Contemporary Romance

Heat of the Night

When the heat is on, anything that can happen…will.

Out of Uniform, Book 5

When her long-time fiancé breaks off their engagement, saying he needs to “explore other avenues”, Annabelle Holmes has no trouble reading between the lines. Bryce thinks she’s a prude. Funny, since when it comes to acting out sexual fantasies, he’s always been the squeamish one.

Determined to prove him wrong, she sublets an apartment in San Diego, grabs pen and paper, and lists all her sexual fantasies. Intending to surprise Bryce with it as soon as possible. Only the list winds up in the wrong hands—or are they the right ones?

Navy SEAL Ryan Evans is expecting a little impromptu fun with his always-willing, blonde-and-leggy neighbor. But when he slides into her bed, he finds horrified, brunette-and-curvy Annabelle instead—

along with her naughty list.

Embarrassment doesn’t begin to cover it when Annabelle realizes where her list has ended up. But then Ryan makes her a delicious offer: The chance to check off every last wild, wicked item—with the help of his equally hot SEAL team buddy, Matt.

A harmless fling is easy to add to her list. Then something unexpected happens that’s not so easy to cross off…

Warning: This title features a sassy heroine, a Navy SEAL hero, and a sex list—being organized has never been so much fun! Be prepared for hot sex on the floor, in public, and even with someone watching…

eBooks are
not
transferable.

They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this work.

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

577 Mulberry Street, Suite 1520

Macon GA 31201

Heat of the Night

Copyright © 2010 by Elle Kennedy

ISBN: 978-1-60928-217-2

Edited by Lindsey Faber

Cover by Natalie Winters

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Firs
t Samhain Publishing, Ltd. el
ectronic publication: November 2010

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Heat of the Night

Elle Kennedy

Dedication

This one’s for Amanda Nicole White, the best friend a girl could have!

Chapter One

“So this is the new place,” Jane Harrison remarked, glancing around the courtyard of the low-rise apartment building. She admired the perfectly kept lawn and colorful flowerbeds around the edge, adding,

“I like it.”

“Me too,” Ryan Evans admitted.

His gaze strayed to the large, rectangular pool, where his teammate, best friend and new roommate, Matt O’Connor, was swimming laps. He and Matt had moved in three weeks ago, and so far the arrangement was working out pretty nicely. They’d always gotten along famously, being the two youngest members of SEAL Team Fifteen, and now its two remaining bachelors. All the other men had settled down over the past few years, handing the lady-killer torch to Ryan and Matt, who used it to burn the sheets with the endless supply of willing women in San Diego.

Heck, he and Matt had only been in the building three weeks and already they’d wound up in bed with their upstairs neighbor, Christina, a sexy blonde looking for some fun after a break-up with her beau.

Ryan’s teammates, Carson Scott in particular, constantly told him he should think about finding one woman to settle down with, how “rewarding” it was, but Ryan wasn’t interested. Not now anyway. The only woman he spent more than a week with was standing right beside him, and she happened to be engaged to his commanding officer.

“Beck and I are thinking of finding a house in this area,” Jane said, her long red ponytail bouncing as she continued looking around.

“Didn’t he just buy a house near the base?” Ryan asked.

“No, he’s renting. He didn’t want to buy until he knew whether I’d be leaving L.A. Now that I left the magazine, we’re ready to find a place.”

Ryan frowned. “You left the magazine? Since when?”

He couldn’t believe Jane would even consider leaving her job at
Today’s World
. Since the moment he’d met her, he could tell she loved her work. In fact, that was the main obstacle for her and Lieutenant Becker, the fact that Jane’s ambitions meant she wouldn’t be a housewife any time soon. Ryan still didn’t get why Beck had been so turned off by that. Jane Harrison was the most enchanting, intelligent woman Ryan had ever met. Hell, if he’d met her first, maybe he wouldn’t be having threesomes with Matt and their new neighbor. But Jane was head over heels in love with Beck, and Ryan respected that. He just hoped Becker hadn’t pressured her to quit her job or anything.

Heat of the Night

“It was my choice,” Jane added, reading his mind. “I’ll do some freelance work until the baby comes.”

Ryan’s gaze flew to hers. “The
baby
? Holy shit, you’re pregnant?”

A dry expression filled Jane’s big blue eyes. “Seriously, you’re telling me you didn’t notice that my boobs got enormous?”

“They were enormous to begin with.”

“Yeah, but now they’re extra enormous.” Her eyes sparkled. “It’s worth it, though.”

He softened his tone. “You sure about that? Six months ago you had no intention of being a wife and mom. Don’t tell me you planned this.”

“No, it wasn’t planned,” she admitted. “But the second I looked down at that pregnancy pee stick and saw the pink plus sign, something changed. Honestly, Ry, I’m so freaking excited about this baby. I never thought I’d be this happy, but I am. And before you ask, yes, Beck and I plan to get married. Maybe in a few months.”

Ryan studied her face, looking for any hint that she might not be completely honest, but Jane’s expression conveyed pure bliss. Shit. She was actually cool with all this. Which meant he had to be cool, too, no matter how apprehensive the news made him. Hit a little too close to home, that’s all. His mother never wanted a kid—she got rushed into it by Ryan’s father—and she’d been miserable and angry during Ryan’s entire childhood. He sincerely hoped Jane was certain this was what she wanted.

But again, he couldn’t question her. She was his best friend, after all, and Becker was his lieutenant.

He wasn’t about to butt his nose into their business.

“So…” Jane eyed him expectantly. “Do I get a hug, or what?”

Ryan found himself experiencing a pang of longing as he pulled the petite redhead into his arms and held her close. Damn. Why hadn’t he met her first? It bothered him, this inappropriate yearning he felt for her.

“I’m happy for you,” Ryan murmured, planting a quick kiss on her forehead.

Jane was beaming as she pulled back. “Thanks, Ry. That means a lot.”

“Hey! Where’s my hug?” came Matt’s gruff voice. A moment later, he ascended the ladder at the edge of the water and hopped up on the warm pool deck. Water dripped down his bare chest and off his navy-blue swim trunks, and his shaved head glistened under the hot afternoon sun.

“Janie’s preggers,” Ryan called as Matt reached for the towel on the nearby chaise lounge.

“No shit!” Rubbing the towel over himself, Matt made his way over to them, shooting Jane a big, genuine smile. “Congrats, darlin’.”

Jane grinned back, pretending to fan herself. “I love it when you call me darlin’. Where you from again, Matty? Georgia?”

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7

Elle Kennedy

“Tennessee,” Matt drawled, thickening his accent, which barely made an appearance after all his years of living out west. “I’m flying out there in a couple hours, actually. It’s my mom’s birthday tomorrow so I’m heading there for a visit.”

“Nice, have fun. I should get going too,” Jane said, shifting her purse to her other shoulder. “Beck and I are going to look at a few places.”

She gave each of them a hug and kiss on the cheek, even Matt, who was still all wet. Then she offered her usual cheerful wave and flounced off, while Ryan watched after her, feeling slightly dismayed.

“Get that look off your face,” Matt sighed, slinging his towel around his neck. “She’s off-limits.”

“I know she’s off-limits.” Ryan’s lips tightened. “You don’t have to remind me of that every time she’s around.”

“Yeah, I do. Because I see the way you look at her, and it’s not healthy, man. She’s having a baby with Beck, for God’s sake.”

Ryan didn’t answer. Fuck, he should have never told Matt about his attraction to Jane, but the guy was his best friend. Besides, Matt had the uncanny ability of knowing things without Ryan even telling him.

They’d gotten drunk a few months ago and when Ryan mentioned Jane’s name in some random, unimportant sentence, Matt had quietly set down his beer and said, “You have a thing for her, don’t you?”

Just like that. Ryan ended up confessing his completely improper feelings, which he now regretted, seeing as Matt rode him about the issue whenever he could.

“You need to distract yourself,” Matt said as they drifted toward the back entrance of the building.

“Go out tonight or something.”

Ryan shrugged. “Don’t feel like going out.”

“Then visit the lovely Christina.” Matt grinned. “I mean, I know she likes me better, but since I won’t be around, I’m sure she’d be willing to settle for second best.”

“Funny.”

They entered the stairwell landing and climbed the two floors to their apartment. Matt immediately made a beeline for his bedroom, calling out, “Gotta finish packing” while Ryan headed to the small kitchen and grabbed a beer from the fridge before flopping down on the living room couch. He untwisted the cap and took a long swig of alcohol, hoping it would soothe the lump of sadness and faint bitterness stuck in the back of his throat. Damn, he was pathetic. He had absolutely no business wanting Jane. She was his friend.

She was Becker’s pregnant fiancée. And besides, what could he really offer her, even if she was available?

He’d never been in a long-term relationship before, wasn’t sure he even wanted one.

Matt was right. He needed a distraction.

The red numerals on the DVD player’s clock read four thirty. Christina volunteered at the hospital every afternoon until five, then worked as a bartender at a local bar until midnight. She wouldn’t get home until close to one, which meant he had about, oh, eight hours to kill before he could pay her a visit.

8

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Heat of the Night

Ryan leaned his head back on the sofa cushion and forced all thoughts of Jane, Becker and their new baby from his head. Fuck, it was going to be a long night.

Annabelle Holmes took another sip of her vanilla and lavender tea and glanced down at the lined sheet of paper in front of her. She’d torn the page from the legal pad sitting on the nightstand, and now she stared at her own loopy handwriting, wishing she hadn’t written anything down. It made the words feel a little too…real. And they weren’t real. They were fiction, fantasy, just a silly exercise meant to prove to Bryce that the speech he’d unleashed on her two days ago was pure and total bullshit.

I need to walk on the wild side, Annabelle.

Translation: the vanilla sex we’ve been indulging in is boring the shit out of me.

It wouldn’t hurt either one of us to experiment.

Translation: you’re a prude in bed and I’d like to screw around with someone a tad more adventurous.

The funny thing was, there was only one prude in the bed she and Bryce had shared for five years, and it sure as hell wasn’t her. She couldn’t remember how many times she’d suggested they spice things up, how many hints she’d dropped about straying from the missionary and exploring the raw, wild and indecent.

How quickly Bryce forgot. He’d implied that she was the one holding back, promptly following that zinger with the admission that he wanted to take a break, play the field and let loose before they made any serious decisions about their relationship. She’d been tempted to laugh, because, really, they’d pretty much been engaged since they were six years old—their relationship had never been anything
but
serious.

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