She’ll ask him to marry her. And pray he says yes…

Kayla wants a daddy for her little girl. Navy SEAL Zach is perfect for the job. Kayla’s made wrong choices before, but she knows this one is right. Zach’s a strong, honorable man who will keep her baby safe.

Zach’s been twisted up inside from the moment he laid eyes on Kayla. It’s been months, and he still can’t untangle his feelings. Especially after the single night they shared. A night that took their relationship out of the friend zone and put it firmly into the hot zone.

When Kayla proposes a marriage of convenience, Zach won’t agree to a name-only arrangement. If he’s going to marry Kayla, and be a dad to little Ana, then it’s all or nothing.

But when Kayla’s past returns, threatening the life they’re building, Zach will sacrifice everything to protect his new family from harm…

Read an Excerpt

Kayla sat in her car outside of Zach’s house and gripped the wheel, thinking hard. The party had broken up a little while ago. Bailey and Alexei had taken Ana home earlier when Ana started to fuss. Kayla had insisted she could do it, but Bailey said, “It’s okay, honey. Stay with Avery and Chloe and have fun. Alexei and I will put Ana down in the guest room tonight, so take your time.”

Kayla let them do it because she needed to talk to Zach. She’d told no one about the phone call she’d gotten two days ago. She’d blocked the number. It didn’t matter, though. The man knew where to find her which meant she’d been living in fear every moment since. He might have been the one in the car, though she didn’t know for certain. The one in the car had gotten angry fast. The one on the phone had been cooler. More calculating. That’s why she feared there was more than one of them.

And they were watching her. She didn’t really think they wanted Ana as payment, but she wasn’t taking any chances. She couldn’t.

Kayla stared at Zach’s place as if looking for a sign. An idea had begun to form itself in her head this afternoon at the party and she couldn’t shake it. It was an outrageous idea, and yet outrageous was what she needed right now.

She didn’t know who the man on the phone was, but he was one of the Kings of Doom. He had to know that she was responsible for the raid on their operation. They’d been scattered and broken up, but clearly not all of them had gone to prison.

What she didn’t understand was why he’d called her. Why not just kill her? It’s how the Kings had always operated. Revenge was sacrosanct in their world.

Settling scores. Sending messages. Nobody betrayed the club and got away with it.

So why let her know they knew where she was? Why not attack when she least expected it?

Kayla bit the inside of her cheek. They didn’t come for her yet because someone wanted her to suffer. They wanted her scared. Or someone did anyway.

James? He was in prison, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t find thugs to do his bidding. He would know how to contact her.

Maybe she should tell Bailey and Alexei about the call. Just tell them and let them deal with it.
But how could she do that? It’d been months since the SEALs had raided the Kings of Doom compound and rescued Bailey. Months in which Bailey had gotten over the trauma, gone back to school, and gotten engaged. She was planning a wedding next month, and she was happier than Kayla had ever seen her.

Bailey had spent her life taking care of Kayla and her problems. Bailey was four years older, and she took her duty to protect her baby sister seriously. How could Kayla disrupt her life yet again? How could she take away the joy she saw in her sister’s eyes every single day?

The man on the phone had seen Bailey. The threat was subtle, but it was there. Kayla wouldn’t let her mixed up life drag Bailey down ever again.

And she damned sure wouldn’t let it drag Ana down. Not her precious baby.

That’s why she had to do this. Why she had to try. It was either this or run again.

She didn’t want to run. She loved her job, and she loved the people she’d formed attachments to over the past few months. She didn’t want to leave her daughter, either. Because she would have to. It wouldn’t be safe to take Ana with her. She’d considered all the options, and this one was best.

Kayla wanted security. She wanted a bodyguard like her sister had. Like Chloe had. A big, bad, intimidating as hell bodyguard who would protect her and Ana. Someone who could make a grizzled biker think twice before he came gunning for her.

A Navy SEAL.


She firmed her jaw. Not crazy. Necessary.

Even if he was hung up on someone else.

She couldn’t let that stop her. She shook her head, sucked in a fortifying breath, and opened her car door. Then she climbed out, locked the car, and strode toward Zach’s place. Her heart hammered, her skin grew moist with sweat, and her breath quickened.

She stood on the threshold and gathered her courage. Would he laugh at her? Would he tell her to get out?

Maybe. And maybe she deserved it.

It was a chance she had to take. If he did, she’d think of something else.


Or maybe she’d get on her knees and beg.

Determined, she pressed the doorbell. Zach had occupied the bottom floor while Ryan had the top, but now that Ryan was living with Chloe, Kayla didn’t know what Zach’s arrangements were. Still, she’d gone to the side door leading to the lower floor because that’s where she’d entered the house that night.

Kayla swallowed. That night.

Yes, the night they’d gone out to dinner together, just friends, and then ended up back here where they could talk without loud music or other people.

And then, somehow, they’d wound up in bed. A little too much tequila on her part, too much Scotch on his.

Didn’t change the fact it had been hot and amazing. Or that she still dreamed about that night and the way she’d felt so utterly cherished. Zach knew his way around a woman’s body, and he’d made hers sing.

Yet another reason she’d run away from him the next morning.

The door jerked open and Zach stood there in all his hard muscled glory. Faded jeans that hugged his narrow hips, dark T-shirt clinging to muscles sculpted during hard combat, bare feet. He was tattooed, but it wasn’t overdone like the bikers she’d lived with. He had a tribal tattoo circling one arm, and she knew he had others on his back and chest. In the background, she could hear a car auction on the television.

“Hi, Zach. Can I come in?”

He hesitated. And then he stepped back, holding the door wider. “Yeah, sure.”

She walked inside, twisting her hands together in front of her. Could she do this? She had to do this.

He closed the door and leaned against it, watching her with hooded eyes that glittered like emeralds. What was he thinking? Probably that she wanted something.

He wasn’t wrong.

In the background the auction continued as someone bid an astronomical amount for a car. She didn’t know what kind of car. Wasn’t looking. Didn’t care.

“What did you need, Kayla?”

She should have expected that he’d cut straight to the chase. She pulled in a deep breath, let it out again. It was now or never. Her breath got tangled up in her chest, but she forced the words out anyway. He was a good man. She focused on that, not on the other stuff. The feelings and the raw sexual heat that still pulsed inside her. For him.

This was either going to be a disaster, or it wouldn’t. She didn’t know until she forged ahead.

“I need a favor, Zach. A big favor.”

Her heart beat so hard she thought she might pass out. Her vision tunneled for a second. Be strong, Kay-Kay. You can do this. For Ana. For Bailey. For you.

“What’s that?”

Kayla closed her eyes. Her throat constricted. She forced them open again. Willed him to understand.

“I need you to marry me.”