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Full Domain (Nice Guys #3)
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Honor, integrity, and loyalty are how Deputy US Marshal Kreed Sinacola lives his life. A former SEAL now employed by the Special Operations Group of the US Marshal Service, Kreed spent most of his life working covert operations and avoiding relationships. Never one to mix business with pleasure, his boundaries blur and his convictions are put to the test when he finally comes face-to-face with the hot computer geek he’s been partnered with. Hell-bent on closing the ongoing case for his longtime friend, he pushes past his own limits and uncovers more than he expects.
Aaron Stuart strives for one thing: justice. Young and full of idealism, his highly sought after computer skills land him a position with the National Security Agency. Aaron’s biggest hazard at his job is cramped fingers, but all that changes when he is drawn into the middle of a dangerous federal investigation. Aaron gets more than he bargained for when the FBI partners him with a handsome and tempting deputy US marshal. His attraction to the inked up, dark-haired man provides another kind of threat altogether. Aaron tries desperately to place a firewall around his heart and fight his developing feelings, knowing one misstep on his part could ultimately destroy him.
The solution isn’t as easy as solving the case, which is treacherous enough as it is. But the growing sexual attraction between them threatens to derail more than just Kreed’s personal convictions as he quickly learns temptation and matters of the heart rarely fit easily into the rules he’s lived by. Will Kreed be able to convince Aaron to open his heart and face the fact that sometimes the answers aren’t always hidden in code?
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“Man, this is turning into one suck-ass day,” Aaron mumbled quietly to no one in particular as he edged his way through the overcrowded and lengthy terminals of the Atlanta International Airport. He swore his backpack weighed at least fifty pounds and the small carry-on he tugged behind him easily added another twenty-five. He’d tried to stick to the bare necessities for this trip, but with all his gear, electronic equipment, and his most important ASUS ROG notebook, which he never left home without, he still managed to over-pack.
The gates and corridors were congested with rude, indignant travelers, more than he’d ever seen gathered in one place before. From the conversations he’d caught snippets of along the way, the irritable attitudes were due to unexpected flight delays across the eastern half of the United States.
A winter storm had blown through, dumping a shit-load of ice in its wake. Apparently the magnitude of the storm had caught the southern half of the US by surprise. The meteorologists had completely missed this monster of a storm before it bore down on its intended target. At least that was the continued excuse he kept hearing from the airport personnel as to why they weren’t better prepared for this crippling event during one of the busiest traveling days of the year. Words like happy and holiday were used with increasingly angry bursts of fucking and asshole added to the mix.
Not even the Christmas carols playing overhead helped lighten the mood surrounding him. So much for peace on earth.
Keeping his eyes focused on the large information screens, Aaron scanned the arrival and departure listings, watching as hundreds of delayed flights were canceled all across the East Coast—not that any of that actually mattered to him. His flight from Miami had arrived so late he’d have missed his connecting flight regardless of the inclement weather.
No way in hell would he spend the night in some corner of this overly congested airport, waiting for the flight schedules to open again. The Federal Bureau of Investigation would just have to work their magic and get him on a different flight tomorrow or when things let up outside. Until then, he’d find a vacant room in a five-star hotel—preferably the Drake—his favorite place to stay when he stopped in Atlanta.
Aaron sighed as he followed the discontented masses toward what he hoped was an exit. If the weather was as bad as everyone kept hinting, he might not get a chance to eat at Poor Calvin’s, Aaron’s favorite little Asian-fusion eatery on Piedmont Street. The lobster fried rice was to die for and thoughts of the dish had actually been the only thing keeping him sane as they’d flown high above the city; it felt like they’d been circling for an hour and a half, waiting for their chance to land. His stomach picked that second to protest, the loud rumble reminding him he hadn’t eaten anything since the protein shake he’d choked down for breakfast.
Aaron looked around and spotted a food kiosk about fifty feet away. That should take care of his urgent food needs until he could get to the hotel. Taking a deep breath, he carefully dodged his way through the crowd, attempting to move toward the kiosk, which proved a trickier process than he’d anticipated. He apparently hadn’t truly experienced the vexed people in this airport until he tried to work his way between them.
“Hey, move it!” the guy behind him bellowed as Aaron slowed to merge farther to the left.
“I’m sorry. Excuse me,” Aaron apologized when he accidently stepped in front of another person in his rush to get out of the middle of traffic and away from the jerk behind him. The woman in his path huffed, and although he’d never touched her, her hands flailed dramatically like he had tripped her in some way.
“Dude, watch it,” the man beside her quipped, making a show of keeping the woman on her feet as she reached out for his arm. Aaron moved quickly to the opposite side, tugging his luggage out of the way and inadvertently stepped into the flow of traffic going the opposite direction.
“Shit!” he exclaimed loudly when a large trunk-style suitcase rolled right over his sandaled foot.
The scowl he’d been holding back slid firmly in place as he watched the person who’d so rudely rolled over his foot, glance back over his shoulder to give him a very clear fuck you glower as he kept going without any hesitation.
Seriously, this place was worse than Black Friday on motherfucking steroids. Aaron took a deep breath and tried to move farther out of the way. He made it to the far wall and stopped outside the flow of manic pedestrians to catch his breath and regroup. The only reason he was in this godforsaken mass of pissed off travelers during the airlines’ busiest and most miserable travel week of the year was a job, and no job on the planet was worth this kind of bullshit.
Time to reassess his life. No more Mr. Nice Guy. He was done with that. Look what being nice had cost him. He was standing in the middle of hell. If the FBI insisted he be onsite, then he shouldn’t have any problem becoming the biggest pain-in-the-ass on the planet.
Except that just wasn’t his personality. He’d tried everything to make the bureau see that he wasn’t needed in Washington, DC, for this assignment. He could carry on as he was, monitoring everything from home with the equipment he needed to do his job properly. Look how far he’d gotten on his own, from the privacy and comfort of his living room.
Yet the stuffed-shirt egomaniacs in DC said it would be in everyone’s best interest if they were able to look him in the eye when they spoke. In other words, no matter what he had done to prove himself, they didn’t trust him as far as they could throw him.
But not even the FBI could control Mother Nature—even though the majority of them had huge God complexes—and he wouldn’t arrive there today as he’d been ordered. That thought eased a little of his tension. Honestly, their demands meant nothing to him, and the only reason he’d eventually given in and flown to DC had to do with his friend Mitch Knox.