Sergei wants more than just another one-night stand. But his brother—a high-ranking member of the Russian mob—wants him to help the family business. He can use Sergei as an easy way to launder money, or to smuggle drugs on the Eagles team plane. And if Sergei doesn’t agree, he can kiss his skating career goodbye.
The FBI’s been watching Sergei. When they learn about Jael’s fling, they want her to persuade him to inform on his brother. But the more Jael sees the real Sergei, beyond the role he plays on the ice and in front of the cameras, the more she wants him in her life. How can she win his trust, though, when she’s playing a role of her own? And how can she protect him from his mobster brother when she can’t even protect her own heart?
Body Checked is a standalone HEA sports romance in the Center Ice series of interconnected hockey athlete stories. It contains explicit language and sexual content between consenting adults.
I lean forward in my seat.
“I would like you to serve as an informant for me in our ongoing investigation of the Bratva criminal organization, led here on the East Coast by Vladimir Drakonov. I expect you to use your, ah, unique access to his brother, Sergei, to gather information on the Bratva’s plans. You will be acting as a confidential informant, not as an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, understand?”
“Yes, ma’am.” I nod.
“Your duties in your internship will be the same as they’ve been before. I will try to limit the number of agents who are aware of your identity, but I must tell the chief of the Organized Crimes Unit, of course, and a few others.”
“In the course of your work as a confidential informant, I may call on you to snoop on the Drakonovs, to include allowing our surveillance teams to access their private homes to install bugs, should we receive warrants to do so. Are you amenable to this?”
Ex-fucking-scuse me? She wants me to bug his house? “Persuading Sergei to inform on his brother is one thing,” I say. “But I’m not—I shouldn’t be the one snooping on him—”
“It can be you, or it can be another member of our team. But I’d hate to tell your internship coordinator that you’ve been uncooperative. I’d certainly hate for you to do anything that might appear like obstruction of justice.”
My head is spinning; I can’t see straight. No. I can’t lose my internship—my job prospects. I’ve spent the past three years of my life building toward this—a career with the FBI. Oh, my god. I am so far in over my head. Damn me and my need to be honest with Frederica. Damn Sergei and his stupid, hot, mesmerizing ways.
“Let’s hope it won’t come to that. Do a good job persuading him to tell you what we need to know, and it won’t be necessary. Are we understood?” Frederica asks.
“Perfectly,” I spit out.
Katherine Stark is the pseudonym for an author of novels in a variety of genres for children and adults. She can nearly always be found buried underneath a pile of story notes. If she isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, playing video games with her husband, watching hockey, or eating her way across the East Coast.