Heat of the Night Page 1

Author: Elle Kennedy

Series: Out of Uniform #5

Genres: Romance

Chapter One

“So this is the new place,” Jane Harrison remarked, glancing around the courtyard of the low-rise apartment building. She admired the perfectly kept lawn and colorful flowerbeds around the edge, adding, “I like it.”

“Me too,” Ryan Evans admitted.

His gaze strayed to the large, rectangular pool, where his teammate, best friend and new roommate, Matt O’Connor, was swimming laps. He and Matt had moved in three weeks ago, and so far the arrangement was working out pretty nicely. They’d always gotten along famously, being the two youngest members of SEAL Team Fifteen, and now its two remaining bachelors. All the other men had settled down over the past few years, handing the lady-killer torch to Ryan and Matt, who used it to burn the sheets with the endless supply of willing women in San Diego.

Heck, he and Matt had only been in the building three weeks and already they’d wound up in bed with their upstairs neighbor, Christina, a sexy blonde looking for some fun after a break-up with her beau. Ryan’s teammates, Carson Scott in particular, constantly told him he should think about finding one woman to settle down with, how “rewarding” it was, but Ryan wasn’t interested. Not now anyway. The only woman he spent more than a week with was standing right beside him, and she happened to be engaged to his commanding officer.

“Beck and I are thinking of finding a house in this area,” Jane said, her long red ponytail bouncing as she continued looking around.

“Didn’t he just buy a house near the base?” Ryan asked.

“No, he’s renting. He didn’t want to buy until he knew whether I’d be leaving L.A. Now that I left the magazine, we’re ready to find a place.”

Ryan frowned. “You left the magazine? Since when?”

He couldn’t believe Jane would even consider leaving her job at Today’s World. Since the moment he’d met her, he could tell she loved her work. In fact, that was the main obstacle for her and Lieutenant Becker, the fact that Jane’s ambitions meant she wouldn’t be a housewife any time soon. Ryan still didn’t get why Beck had been so turned off by that. Jane Harrison was the most enchanting, intelligent woman Ryan had ever met. Hell, if he’d met her first, maybe he wouldn’t be having threesomes with Matt and their new neighbor. But Jane was head over heels in love with Beck, and Ryan respected that. He just hoped Becker hadn’t pressured her to quit her job or anything.

“It was my choice,” Jane added, reading his mind. “I’ll do some freelance work until the baby comes.”

Ryan’s gaze flew to hers. “The baby? Holy shit, you’re pregnant?”

A dry expression filled Jane’s big blue eyes. “Seriously, you’re telling me you didn’t notice that my boobs got enormous?”

“They were enormous to begin with.”

“Yeah, but now they’re extra enormous.” Her eyes sparkled. “It’s worth it, though.”

He softened his tone. “You sure about that? Six months ago you had no intention of being a wife and mom. Don’t tell me you planned this.”

“No, it wasn’t planned,” she admitted. “But the second I looked down at that pregnancy pee stick and saw the pink plus sign, something changed. Honestly, Ry, I’m so freaking excited about this baby. I never thought I’d be this happy, but I am. And before you ask, yes, Beck and I plan to get married. Maybe in a few months.”

Ryan studied her face, looking for any hint that she might not be completely honest, but Jane’s expression conveyed pure bliss. Shit. She was actually cool with all this. Which meant he had to be cool, too, no matter how apprehensive the news made him. Hit a little too close to home, that’s all. His mother never wanted a kid—she got rushed into it by Ryan’s father—and she’d been miserable and angry during Ryan’s entire childhood. He sincerely hoped Jane was certain this was what she wanted.

But again, he couldn’t question her. She was his best friend, after all, and Becker was his lieutenant. He wasn’t about to butt his nose into their business.

“So…” Jane eyed him expectantly. “Do I get a hug, or what?”

Ryan found himself experiencing a pang of longing as he pulled the petite redhead into his arms and held her close. Damn. Why hadn’t he met her first? It bothered him, this inappropriate yearning he felt for her.

“I’m happy for you,” Ryan murmured, planting a quick kiss on her forehead.

Jane was beaming as she pulled back. “Thanks, Ry. That means a lot.”

“Hey! Where’s my hug?” came Matt’s gruff voice. A moment later, he ascended the ladder at the edge of the water and hopped up on the warm pool deck. Water dripped down his bare chest and off his navy-blue swim trunks, and his shaved head glistened under the hot afternoon sun.

“Janie’s preggers,” Ryan called as Matt reached for the towel on the nearby chaise lounge.

“No shit!” Rubbing the towel over himself, Matt made his way over to them, shooting Jane a big, genuine smile. “Congrats, darlin’.”

Jane grinned back, pretending to fan herself. “I love it when you call me darlin’. Where you from again, Matty? Georgia?”

“Tennessee,” Matt drawled, thickening his accent, which barely made an appearance after all his years of living out west. “I’m flying out there in a couple hours, actually. It’s my mom’s birthday tomorrow so I’m heading there for a visit.”

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