Down to Ash (#Dirtysexygeeks Book 2)

By: Melissa Blue

BLURB




She's his best friend's baby sister, and he's too broken to deserve her.

Victor Yang spent six years in the Army as a bomb tech, and when he came back from war, he was half out of his mind and completely dangerous to anyone who got too close to him. His friend saved his life, and now he's repaying that debt in the worst way possible.

He shouldn't fantasize about Ashley's touch, her taste. Definitely shouldn't act on those urges. But he doesn't half-ass mistakes. One explosive night later, he's learned how sweet her forbidden fruit tastes, and is coming back for seconds. And if his friend finds out Victor knows exactly how Ash's skin feels beneath his tongue, his best friend will kill him.





CHAPTER ONE




~Gamer Truth: The key to any race is finding all the shortcuts. No one has ever won by staying on the path.~



Victor Yang jabbed a button on his steering wheel and said, “I literally just spent the last six hours of my life turning computers off and then on.”

Not exactly his usual greeting, but he'd just settled into his truck after a long day at work when his dashboard speaker had announced, “Call from Porter Hicks.”

The soft throb in his temples threatened to turn into a full-blown headache. “I need beer.”

Porter's snort blasted through the truck's speakers. His friend always found his grouching amusing. “Rain check on that drink, man.”

Technology didn't lessen the signature laid-back demeanor. Not much shook Porter or pissed him off.

His friend added with only a slight trepidation in his deep timbre, “I need a favor though.”

“Sure,” Victor agreed without hesitation. He owed Porter his life. There wasn't much he wouldn't do for him.

“Your job is by the fairgrounds, right?”

Victor glanced around the sedate commercial district. Practically every car his gaze caught on was some variation of a fuel-efficient Prius. With the truck's door propped open, the early fall breeze snaked inside, both cool and warm depending on the shift of wind.

“Yup,” Victor said. “Down the street on Garden Road.”

“That's what I thought. If I wasn't at work, I'd do it myself, but...”

That was when Victor started to have misgivings about the favor, because there wasn't much Porter wouldn't ask of him—a fact they both knew. So the hesitation meant his friend really didn't want to unload this responsibility. There was only one person in Porter's life who commanded that weight—the only person who could piss him off or shake him.

Dread filled Victor's stomach like rancid bile. He knew the favor, knew he couldn't back out with a lie or even reply with anything but, “I'm right on it.” Any other answer, and suspicion would follow.

They had a brotherhood and that meant there were just certain lines one didn't cross. You never left a brother behind. Never let him make an ass of himself—unless it was being recorded or would be funny as shit to recount in vivid detail for anyone willing to listen. You never slept with a brother's girl or someone he had a thing for.

“And—I need you to pick up Ashley,” Porter said, the wince clear in his tone. “Some asshole stood her up, and apparently she's drunk now.”

And, yeah, never fuck a friend's baby sister.

For close to twenty years Victor had avoided that particular trap. Forty more years, tops, and he could relax. He'd be dead, but he wasn't one to complain about ironclad solutions.

“Where is she?” Victor asked, resigned.

He couldn't refuse the favor. Couldn't even deny that a small part of him craved to see her, to be allowed in her space. It would be a mix of both pain and pleasure. He was fucking twisted to want it even a little bit. Even worse to want it when he was sleep deprived. Almost a year had passed without a single PTSD episode, but lack of rest was a trigger.

And Ash? Ash was the epitome of everything he couldn't have and needed to protect. She was every goddamn cliché about forbidden fruit wrapped in one lush, soft package—and he had to pick her up.

“It's not that far,” Porter said, completely unaware of the lion's den he was throwing his sister into. His friend spouted off the location, so damn trusting.

But the implicit trust wasn't foolhardy. Victor would cut off his limbs before he hurt Ash. And, really? Did he trust some random cab driver to get her home, unmolested? Either he accepted the responsibility or he'd worry about her.

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