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Just a Bit Shameless (Straight Guys #8)
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Sam Landon is a homeless eighteen-year-old thief who is desperate for a different life. When his skills attract the attention of the Secret Intelligence Service, Sam eagerly grabs the chance.
Sam’s determined to prove himself when he gets his first mission–to steal a flash drive from a paranoid crime lord–and is sent undercover as another agent’s sugar baby.
Dominic Bommer, his “sugar daddy,” is outrageously handsome, charming, rich, and pretty much perfect. Dominic is kind, generous, and protective of him.
Except “Dominic Bommer” is nothing but a role performed by a cynical MI6 agent, who is actually straight, aloof, and manipulative.
Sam is perfectly aware that everything Dominic does is carefully calculated, every emotion faked. He knows that men actually do nothing for Dominic and he doesn’t really want Sam.
But despite knowing all of this, Sam still finds himself falling hard for a man who doesn’t exist.
Or does he?
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“He’s too young.”
The woman seated behind the massive desk gave the man a flat look. “Hardly, Agent. You were far younger when we recruited you.”
The man’s dark eyes met hers steadily. “He’s too young,” he repeated.
The woman studied him with pursed lips. Agent 11 was one of her least favorite agents for this very reason. He had… opinions. He belonged to the category of men she had always detested: men who always thought they were right, so confident in their own abilities that everyone just accepted that they were right. It grated on her nerves. Privately, she thought Agent 11 had a problem with a woman being in charge, but she had no way to prove it. He’d never crossed the line and was always unfailingly polite, even though she could often feel that he disagreed with her decisions.
Unfortunately, she had no choice but to tolerate him. He was one of her best agents, if not the best. His success rate was unparalleled. He was too good to get rid of, no matter how much she might dislike his attitude.
So she returned her attention to the boy on the screen. To be fair, Agent 11 had a point: the boy did look young. But they were hardly in a position to be picky.
“We need him,” she said shortly.
“He’s a homeless, untrained kid,” Agent 11 said. “What can he do that our trained agents can’t?”
She gritted her teeth. Did he think her incompetent? Although he was closer to thirty than to twenty, compared to her, he was no more than a boy himself. She was twenty years his senior. It was true that she didn’t have any field experience, but she hadn’t become the Chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service by being an idiot.
She knew she could tell him to do his job and stop questioning his superiors. But it wouldn’t be smart. Agent 11 was always more cooperative and efficient if he agreed with the mission.
“We need him for the Brylsko mission,” she said.
He said flatly, “You want to use an inexperienced, innocent kid to steal highly sensitive data from a Polish crime lord.”
She met his gaze unflinchingly, ignoring his unimpressed tone. “He’s more than experienced for the job. That ‘innocent kid’ has been pickpocketing since he was six. Our sources in London gangs—multiple sources—say that he’s the best out there. He has the moniker Shadow for a reason. Apparently it’s nearly impossible to catch him even when you know he’s going to steal from you. He’s that good.”
She thought Agent 11 looked a little interested now, but as usual, it was hard to read his face.
“I’m sure A19 can do the job,” he said. “And he’s not a kid.”
“Agent 19 isn’t suited for this particular mission,” she ground out. “He can neither play the role of the rich, hedonistic businessman nor can he be a believable sugar baby.”
She felt a little ridiculous saying the words “sugar baby” in a serious conversation, but she liked to be blunt. That was what they needed for the mission, after all: two agents to go undercover on a cruise, an exclusive luxury cruise for rich people who had a taste for younger pets. A19, for all his considerable talents in pickpocketing, lock picking and hacking, was an ordinary-looking twenty-year-old with a bad case of acne. He was best suited for missions that required anonymous agents that could blend with the crowd. He was definitely not suited for the Brylsko mission. No one would believe that a rich businessman would be interested in taking A19 as a pet, and A19 was too young to pull off the role of a rich sugar daddy.
Agent 11 looked at the screen as well. “And you think this homeless kid can make a believable pet? Even if he could pull it off, he’ll likely crumble under pressure. Pickpocketing random people is one thing. Stealing a flash drive from a paranoid crime lord and then putting it back without him noticing is another.”
She pinched the bridge of her nose. The worst part was, she knew A11’s concerns were valid. Not for the first time, she wished they could simply eliminate the target and get the flash drive, but it was not possible. They couldn’t risk it.
“At least, unlike A19, he does look the part,” she said, glancing at the screen again.
The boy on the screen was definitely attractive. He was taller than average, lithely muscled, with long legs and a nice smile. He was a bit too pale, as many redheads were, but the paleness of his skin only accentuated his bright green eyes and the red color of his lips. His eyes and those long eyelashes were probably his best features. Granted, that red hair was rather unfortunate, but some people liked the color. The curve of the boy’s generous mouth gave the impression of vulnerability, which was something that would definitely appeal to older men who liked younger companions.