part of the Dangerous Men, Dangerous Places anthology
erotic menage novella, (approx 12,000 words)
Release Date: 07/12/12
Cover Art by Winterheart Design
Big, burly and bristling with high-powered weapons, Vlad and Slava are the best bodyguards and hostile environment consultants Russian money can buy. They’re also about to meet their five-foot match. Government veterinarian Jane Ransom expected explosives, shelling and bad-tempered ewes while working in Russia’s war-ravaged Caucasus mountains, but nobody warned her about excessively hot Russian bodyguards. Or long hours spent sandwiched between them in a backseat designed for two. Too bad for the Russians that Jane’s learned the hard way about men and commitment, and would sooner be run over by a troika than succumb to lust. But while their client might be reluctant to take a risk of the carnal variety, Vlad and Slava have her firmly in their sights, and neither will abandon their mission to keep her hostage in their bed until she surrenders and realises she belongs to them—for keeps.
A thunderous explosion rocked the snow-dotted mountains, the blast jerking Jane Ransom’s head up from the hypodermic she held poised.
As the rumble echoed across the mountains and shook the dirt under her feet, shale and pebbles slid down the incline and cloven hooves scrabbled around her, raising a cloud of dust. Panicked fleeces flashed by, a blur in her peripheral vision as the ewe between her knees began to struggle, joining in the nervous bleat of the flock.
Tightening her aching legs around its girth, she locked the bicep turning its head at a thirty degree angle and held on long enough to finish swabbing the puncture site and collect her blood sample.
Her back twinged as she freed the ewe and straightened, the ripe smell of lanolin-rich wool fading from her nostrils.
Her hundredth customer done and dusted, despite the half-hearted shelling rattling the Vodsk Pass all day. Another hundred samples and she could confirm the epidemic pathogen type in these parts.
Adrenalin from her struggle with the ewe kept charging through her veins, addling her brain and making her slow to notice the way Vlad had raised his rifle and Slava was scoping the west ridge with binoculars. Hired guns they might be, but their training and instincts were excellent, and she’d learned to pay attention when they paid attention. And follow orders. Like the one Slava issued now. He eyed her and pointed at the all-terrain vehicle in a familiar grating gesture.
Muttering, she stashed her blood-filled vacutainer in her storage box, grabbed her sharps bucket and high-tailed it to the safety of the armour-plated Zhiguli.
Yuri sat behind the wheel, a battered, hand-rolled smoke dangling from his lower lip. His rollie filled the car with tobacco fumes pungent enough to make diving back out into the war zone a temptation. Barely eighteen, downy fluff coated his top lip and he swam inside his body armour, unlike the two men backing toward her with rifle points raised.
Viacheslav Alexandrovich Vlasov and Vladislav Ivanovich Markov. When she’d first heard their names she thought she’d have to call them V1 and V2, then she’d heard them call each other Slava and Vlad and had stuck with that. The two were military through and through, cocky from boot tip to brush cut, their good looks a warning shot to celibacy. She’d bet her last vacutainer that they’d left a trail of broken hearts all the way from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg. One look at her appointed hostile environment consultants and she’d realised that hob-nobbing through the Caucasus Mountains sampling animals for anthrax and other diseases would be the least dangerous part of her job.
As she shed her body armour and helmet behind the car door, Vlad sank to kneel beside her, rifle point angled at the west ridge. Her heart did a lazy flip-flop because she knew what he would say next--what he always said when it was time to get back in the car.
“Sandwich time, Jane.”