When she turns and changes the music, I look over and read the name off the iPad screen—Marian Hill’s “Got It.” The music starts off with the perfect beat to warm my body with. Her sultry and seductive voice feeds my newfound confidence. It isn’t long before I’m lost in the sounds pulsing through the room. I move with ease and ignore the burn in my muscles when I bend over and grab my ankles with my hands, shaking my ass in the air . . . right where the object of my desire’s face would be if he were sitting there.
With that image fresh in my brain, I end the dance giving it all I have. My hips are rolling and undulating in a feverish nature, so when I catch my refection in the mirror, even I have to admit that it’s hot. Standing up, I run my hands from my neck, over the sides of my tits, and down to my inner thighs.
The music owns me.
It isn’t until the song ends and the girls around me start to clap that I remember where I am and stand up quickly.
“Well done, Dani! I knew you had a little slut in you yet!” Maddi whoops from the corner where she is standing with Stella and Lila, who are giggling.
“Very good, Dani. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought you weren’t even seeing that chair, right?” Lyn knowingly jokes and throws her arm over my sweaty shoulder.
I don’t say anything. Not even when Maddi keeps cracking jokes. Stella laughs a few times, but her focus is quickly lost when we walk out of the room and she sees that the gym filled up with hot guys since we went into the class almost two hours ago.
“Oh my God,” Lila laughs.
“Uh oh,” Maddi giggles.
“This is going to be so freaking good,” Lyn chuckles just seconds before my elbow is grabbed and I’m spun around before looking at a very angry Cohen Cage.
“Shit,” I mutter.
IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN easy workout. Chance, my roommate and ex-Marine brother, said that I needed to get my shit in gear and get off the couch since I would be shipping off in two weeks.
The plus side of being in a unit that was as dark as it gets is that we aren’t reporting to a base every day and dealing with shit day in and day out. We report, but it isn’t to a base in the middle of the public eye. No, our shit is buried deep. We have once-a-month training missions that can last up to two weeks. Those keep our skills sharp and our bodies ready.
We were lucky this time. Normally when we’re needed overseas, things have gotten worse than they can control. Then we come in and clean house.
This time, we’re being sent in with notice, which always means we’re going to be gone for a long period of time with no set end date. We could be over there for a few months or over a year. Mom is her normal freaking-out-but-staying-strong-and-supportive self. Dad, I know, is worried, but he won’t speak a word of it. He’s been there. The Special Forces unit I’m in is almost a carbon copy of the one he served on almost thirty years ago. He is more aware of the reality that I might not come home than anyone else is. But he also knows that this is very much a part of me and wouldn’t dream of being anything less than supportive.
Chance served with me during our last deployment, but when we were ambushed and, in turn, he was injured, he was discharged honorably and has been heading up the personal security end of Corps Security ever since. We’ve been roommates on the home front ever since boot camp, and I wouldn’t have it differently. He’s just as much of a brother to me as Cam and Colt. He’s been so busy in the two years since moving to town, often out of town for long periods, that he has rarely gone out with all of the crew.
“Yo, Cohen. Isn’t that Maddox’s daughter?” Pause. “Uh . . . and your sisters? And Axel’s kid?”
My head was already turning when he mentioned one of Maddox’s girls, then a little quicker when he mentioned the twins, but the second he mentioned Dani, my head snapped so rapidly that it’s a shock I didn’t break my own neck.
“What in the hell?” I ask, not expecting an answer.
“Damn, you didn’t tell me the girls were looking like that these days,” he grumbles and lets out a deep, “Umphh,” when I elbow him in the gut.
“Shut the fuck up,” I snap. “Is that the fucking pole dance room they just went in?”
“One in the same, brother,” he laughs on a sharp exhale. “Did you have to give me all your strength, fucker?”
“Don’t be such a baby. I hardly touched you.”
“Hardly touched me. Well, Superman, you don’t know your own strength.”
I spend the next hour and then some fuming, imagining what is going on behind those doors. The more I think about it, the more I fume. I take it out on every piece of equipment I hit. I push my body to the edge just to get some of the anger out before the girls get out.