Too Wilde to Tame (Wilde Security)By: Tonya Burrows
Greer Wilde slumped over his drink like a man who’d had one too many. In truth, he’d been nursing the same glass all night, but he needed to hide his face, and the best way to do that was to pretend he was pissing-himself, couldn’t-lift-his-head drunk. The man he was following had been his father’s best friend at one time, and he looked too much like David Greer Wilde Sr. to pass as anyone but his son.
Or his ghost.
About an hour ago, he’d purposely let Richard Mendenhall see him. Just a brief glimpse, but good ol’ Rich had gone sheet white, which told him a lot about the state of the guy’s conscience.
Guilty. As. Fuck.
Probably why the guy was drinking his way through a cheap bottle of vodka right now.
Does it help? Does the vodka help you sleep at night? Help you look yourself in the mirror after you orphaned five kids?
The story that his parents were killed in a gas station stick-up gone wrong was bullshit. His father—a career military man, who had spent a good portion of that career in black ops—wouldn’t have been taken out by some lowlife punk looking for quick cash.
No. In the deepest part of Greer’s soul, he’d always known there was more behind their deaths than he’d been told, but at fifteen, he hadn’t been able to do anything about it. He’d been just a kid, and he had four brothers—Reece, Vaughn, Cam, and Jude—all counting on him to keep their family together.
But he wasn’t a kid anymore, and if something happened to him now, his brothers would be okay. They had Wilde Security, and Reece, Cam, and Jude were even married to good women who would keep them in line. Vaughn…well, when he’d left home three months ago, Vaughn was struggling, but he’d eventually be okay, too. The rest of the family would take care of him. Which left Greer free to pursue the one thing he’d dreamed about for years, the thing he’d trained himself mercilessly for, hardened himself for.
He lifted his gaze enough to check on Mendenhall. Guy was still drinking and didn’t appear to have plans to stop any time soon.
Wincing, Greer shifted positions on his stool and let his body droop forward over his glass again. It wasn’t hard to act the part of a drunkard when every cell throbbed with pain. A new trickle of blood leaked from the gunshot wound in his side, sliding in a hot trail down his stomach to soak into the waistband of his jeans.
Damn. Must have popped open the hurried stitches he’d put in.
It was kind of surreal, being back in the States. This hole-in-the-wall bar, where the most dangerous thing was a rowdy drunk, was so far removed from the a war-ravaged country he’d been in less than twenty-four hours ago. In Syria, you couldn’t tell the good guys from the bad, and the bad guys from the civilians. He’d spent the last several months sleeping with one eye open and one hand on a weapon, ready to jump into action at the smallest indication of trouble. And still that constant alertness hadn’t helped save one of his men. His friend. He’d jumped like he was trained to, and the whole fucking world had crumbled down around them anyway. Nobody had seen the attack coming, and there wasn’t much a guy could do when mortars were raining down from the sky except bend over and kiss his ass good-bye. He still wasn’t sure how he’d made it out of there…
And wished like hell he hadn’t.
No. Greer grabbed the glass in front of him with a trembling hand and gulped down the rest of the contents. He had to shut out all the noise in his head. Had to shut out the recent past and focus on his mission, right here and now. After years of dead ends, he was only feet away from the man responsible for his parents’ deaths.
At one time, Rich had been a big, happy guy. Always had a quick smile for everyone, and was always up for a touch football game whenever he came to visit, but the man sitting at the end of the bar now in no way resembled the one from Greer’s memory. He was stooped and balding and looked older than his sixty-some-odd years. Watching Rich out of the corner of his eye, Greer had to wonder if his father would have aged well or would time have been as cruel to him as it had to this piece of shit?
For years, he’d been so sure his parents’ deaths had been because of something his father knew or did with the military. He’d worked his way into the Rangers and then into some of the most secretive black ops units in the world—all hoping to catch a whiff of anything that would point him in the right direction. He never had.