Chapter 10

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I woke to Hawk's bare chest right in front of me. I traced the Marine tattoo covering one side of it. I had a similar one on my arm. Hawk shivered, and his hand ran up my back. "We have to get up, Devil," he said, and I heard the regret in his voice.

I already was. Unfortunately there wasn't time for that this morning. I still pressed my mouth to his chest, but he hauled me up so our lips met. "Later," he promised, "when this is over."

I rolled away from him and found the clothes I'd stripped off the night before. "I'll meet you downstairs," I told him. His eyes were hot on me, even as I headed for the door. We had to get the job done, to keep the club and everything we stood for safe, but when that was taken care of, I'd be right back here with Hawk, and we could figure out where this would go.

As long as we both made it back. That was something I couldn't bear to even think about. I pushed it away as I headed back to my room to get ready for this mission.

I was downstairs fifteen minutes later, just behind Hawk. I did not mind taking that position. I saw the slight bulge of one gun at his back, right at the bottom of his vest. I knew he'd carry another in the inside pocket of his vest. We all did that. Except Trace if he could help it.

I was pretty sure that was only one reason Icarus planned to leave him here to protect the ladies. Not that most of them couldn't take care of themselves. I didn't dare even insinuate that. But, I knew Icarus' Cassie couldn't. Birdie could protect herself, but she'd been abducted once before. Icarus wouldn't want to take the chance it would happen again.

I rested my hand on his back right outside of the dining room. He glanced back over his shoulder and smiled at me. That look held a whole lot of promise for later. I wasn't sure how to act now.

Hawk took care of that as we grabbed plates from the side table. He took my hand and pulled me in for a quick kiss. It was as simple as that.

Birdie grinned at us as we grabbed food off the buffet. We didn't have this every day. Usually Cook made up whatever we wanted. Hell, a lot of us weren't even up in time for breakfast most of the time. We always treated going out on a mission – and coming back from one – as a special occasion.

I didn't quite grin, but I was pretty sure I worked up at least a smirk before piling up as much as I could on my plate. "Hungry?" Arrow asked with his own smirk as we joined them at the table. Hawk chuckled beside me then dug into his own food. Arrow, Birdie, and Trace—excuse me, Dive now—kept throwing around comments as we ate. I ignored them, though I felt the tips of my ears go hot.

I was used to this, or at least I should be. I'd even thrown in with the joking at times. It had been like this when I'd been in the Corps, and I'd been part of the club for more than a year. It had never been aimed at me. Not even when I'd brought girls to the clubhouse.

When they realized they weren't going to get much of a reaction from me, too busy stuffing my face, the comments trailed off. Birdie still shot both me and Hawk little smiles from time to time. The truth was, I had worked up an appetite. We probably should have gotten more sleep than we had. Sleep was hard to find when Hawk's hands couldn't stay off of me.

We did have years of my stupidity to make up for. Everyone seemed to know now, and not one of them appeared to care. If I wouldn't have been so afraid, we could have had this for a lot longer. Well, I'd take advantage of the time we had now.

They did leave us alone while we ate at least. A lot of them did talk among themselves. It still felt almost as if Hawk and I were in our own little world. At least for the moment. It wouldn't last long. We'd be leaving as soon as everyone finished eating.

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