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Packing Heat

By:B. B. Hamel

Packing Heat



A Bad Boy Secret Baby Romance





B. B. Hamel


Prologue: Cassidy





Good girls don’t go looking for mobsters.

They don’t go to mob bars and they definitely don’t flirt with bad guys. Good girls don’t go home with strange men.

Maybe I wasn’t good. I always thought I was. I grew up in Ohio, I had a normal childhood, and I never got in trouble. I became a journalist because I wanted to help the world. I was working hard on a story that I thought could help break human trafficking wide open and maybe save a lot of lives.

Instead, I found him. Cocky, tall, and so damn handsome, I felt instantly afraid of how badly I wanted him to drag me into a dark corner and never let me go.

That was the kind of man he was. He was more likely to pick me up and drag me off than he was to smile and politely say hello. I was afraid of him, but there was something else beneath that fear that made me sit down next to him and order a drink.

It was just one drink, I told myself. I was out researching a story, trying to find out about human trafficking in Chicago.

Just one drink turned into so much more.

I’d never forget his eyes as he pressed me against the wall behind the bar.

I’d never forget his words.

“You’re going to be mine tonight, whether you know it yet or not. I already have you begging. I’ll have you doing so much worse.”

That cocky bastard. I never wanted this to happen. I was supposed to be a journalist, and journalists weren’t supposed to get involved with their subjects.

I was supposed to be good.

But when he came around, I found myself being bad. Very, very bad.

Bright green eyes. A grin that made me so angry I could barely breathe. A dirty mouth that swept all of that anger away and left me in a drooling puddle on the floor.

The city was full of dark and light, light and dark, and all the colors in between. I thought I was working for the light, and he was firmly in the dark.

But nothing was ever that simple. In a city like Chicago, there were only the things hiding in between, the things that weren’t easy to stick into neat little boxes. He was like that, a twisted little game wrapped in an incredibly handsome body.

I thought I hated games. He made me realize I didn’t know a thing about myself or about the world.

His dirty, cocky grin again, floating into view. “Come on, girl, quit pretending. Let me teach you a thing or two.”

I bit my lip and looked away. I wasn’t going to let him have me.

“It’s way too late for that. Chin up. Take what you want.”

I didn’t want to be in the places between the dark and the light. But maybe, just maybe, if I went there with him, I’d come back more myself. I’d come back with a story and finally figure out who I was.

Or maybe he’d ruin me completely.





1





Cassidy





I felt like a spy from a movie.

Well, a really bad spy. I tugged at the hem of my dress, frowning to myself, as I slowly walked across the crowded bar.

I felt eyes drift across my body. I didn’t know anyone here, and nobody knew me, which was dangerous. I was in the middle of the hornet’s nest, way behind enemy lines, and I was totally exposed.

Of course, that was the plan. I’d wanted to wear my sexiest dress, wanted to get attention. I’d thought it all out, went over emergency plans, even brought some pepper spray in my little clutch just in case.

Which was probably stupid. As I nervously took a seat at the bar, I realized that pepper spray wasn’t going to do a damn thing against these men.

“What can I get you?” the barman asked me.

“Um, white wine?”

He nodded and walked away. I nervously glanced at my phone and then took a deep breath.

I had to get myself together. I had a job to do after all. I crossed my legs and took the glass from the barman, smiling at him. He nodded and left as I took a sip.

Just one drink. I’d sit and listen, maybe talk to someone if they talked to me, and then I’d leave. I wasn’t going to expose myself any more than I had to.

I’d been working on this story for so long now that I was beginning to forget I had a life outside it. I had family and friends and coworkers, and I wasn’t just an undercover journalist trying to solve the problem of human trafficking in Chicago.

Or maybe not solve it. Maybe I could at least shine some light on it, write about the major players, get some public support behind the cause. That’d be good enough.

I felt like I was getting close. I’d interviewed dozens of people, but the real breakthrough came a month ago when I met Dasha.

She was intense. Tall and beautiful, Dasha used to be a human sex slave. She told me the story of how she was taken from her village when she was only sixteen, and two years later she ended up addicted to heroin and working in a brothel in the city.

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