Hacked (Licking Thicket – Horn of Glory #3) Read Online Lucy Lennox

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Crime, M-M Romance, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Licking Thicket - Horn of Glory Series by Lucy Lennox
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Total pages in book: 119
Estimated words: 112244 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 561(@200wpm)___ 449(@250wpm)___ 374(@300wpm)
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Read Online Books/Novels:

Hacked (Licking Thicket - Horn of Glory #3)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Lucy Lennox

Language:
English
ISBN/ ASIN:
B09QH65N6G
Book Information:

Well-known computer security infiltration specialist Jasper Huxley has never met a system he can’t hack. Whether his assignment is accessing a highly-classified Pentagon server or modifying his little brother’s high school report card, he’s always got a botnet, an exploit, or a little bit of social engineering he can call up to get the job done.
But there are certain things he can’t finesse, no matter how hard he tries.
•Beating the infuriatingly adorable and maddeningly handsome Kevin Rogers in the ice mammoth expedition during Horn of Glory’s first annual Horn Master Championship week. (Robbery.)
•Accessing stolen cartel data on a device that’s never connected to a network. Pretty sure it’s the fault of a certain busybody gamer who will not be named. (Kev.)
•Sharing a house and–worse–a network with Kev. (Gah.)
•Being forced to allow a non-trained, non-serious, and non-resistable civilian to take part in a critical intel operation. (•side-eyes Kev)
•Navigating social situations with grace when he continues to run into Kev–and his new gamer “boyfriend”–at society events during the course of a critical mission. (Like any serious relationship starts during a game.)
•Keeping Champion Security’s system safe from increasingly sophisticated black hat threats. (Not Kev, but still… annoying.)
In short, when Kevin Rogers is in the picture, the safe and peaceful life Hux has managed to construct for himself gets suddenly and irrevocably… hacked.
(And it’s all Kev’s fault.)
Books in Series:

Licking Thicket - Horn of Glory Series by Lucy Lennox

Books by Author:

Lucy Lennox



1

KEV

SmittyKitty clearly needed my fuzzy dice… and I was in the mood to give them to him.

Watching new guys play Horn of Glory wasn’t generally a hobby of mine. If I wanted to watch a bunch of cocky know-it-alls fuck around—and I did not—I could find a plentiful supply in my real life since my cousin-slash-best-friend Carter had fallen in love with a life-sized GI Joe doll named Riggs, who came complete with a huge entourage of overgrown “security expert” badasses including his boss, Champ, and—in a shockingly unpleasant turn of events—my Horn of Glory archnemesis, Jasper “HogMasterHux” Huxley.

As of two weeks ago, Champ, Hux, and the whole crew of Champion Security had practically moved into our house while they pinpointed a vulnerability in their security, where they’d proceeded to steal my cheesecake brownies and gobble up the bandwidth in my dedicated internet connection.

Not that I was bitter about that or whatever.

But Smitty was the exception to my newbie rule and had been since the first moment I’d noticed him trespassing on my HOG homestead looking for abandoned tools and seeds a few weeks back.

Not to blow my own, erm, Horn, but I was kind of a big deal in the game. Even the rankest newbie knew the only players allowed on my land were me and Carter, and encroachers would meet the business end of my rhubarb wand. I’d messaged Smitty to give him a chance to retreat before I turned him into compost, because I was a nice person like that.

HogDocKev: You seem to have gotten off course, Swamp Minion.

I’d waited for him to apologize or pretend he’d wandered past my wards accidentally, but he hadn’t done either.

SmittyKitty: Oooh, scary. *yawn*

I’d leaned toward my computer screen, my finger hovering over the obliterate button, but I’d had to admit, this was… new. It had been a hot minute since someone in the game—besides HogMasterJerkface, obvs—had dared to disrespect me. So I’d typed back.

HogDocKev: You want to battle? *eyeroll* I don’t battle newborn babies. Accrue some actual game play time and we’ll talk.

SmittyKitty: Puh-lease. Like it would be a fair fight even then. You can’t be killed. Not when you have BOTH the Apple Butter Booster AND the Hedgerow of Health booster. The odds are stacked against me.

HogDocKev: Yeah, cause I stacked them myself through hard work and commitment. I completed every quest needed in order to obtain both boosters. I have earned every pip I’ve ever spent in this game.

SmittyKitty: Sure you have. You’re like a knight in shining armor, Sir Pipsalot. And did it ever occur to you that those quests were only open to ranked players? Just like almost all the quests required to compete in Ascendant’s Class in the Conqueror’s Tournament require a certain ranking. New guys have to work twice as hard, and it’s still not a level playing field.

HogDocKev: I’m not apologizing for playing HOG longer than practically anyone. Move along.

SmittyKitty: Just saying, Pip, I could beat you in any fight… if the fight was fair.

After that, he’d turned around and stalked off my land… and I’d let him go, for a bunch of different reasons.

For one thing, destroying a newbie would be a hollow victory. And for another thing… Smitty intrigued me. I liked his frankness and confidence. I liked the way he challenged me. And I liked that he made me rethink stuff I took for granted, like which players were eligible for quests and tournaments… and what I could do to make the game more fair.

Since then, I’d kept an eye on the guy, and what I’d seen had intrigued me even more. I learned he used he/him pronouns, lived in the upper peninsula of Michigan, and worked as a cashier at a pet supply store. The only thing I was unsure about was his age, so I ran his chat strings through an AI assessment tool, which estimated his age to be around late twenties, early thirties.

I also knew that he was a really talented player.

And that he continued to call me Pip, even though—or maybe because—it bugged me.

Tonight, I’d watched him swindle a marauding red panda out of his rubies—which required serious strategic thinking skills—but Smitty hadn’t gotten ten paces in his air speeder before he was beset by a pack of lightning orcs who’d watched the whole showdown and wanted the rubies for themselves. Without fuzzy dice in his air speeder to up his transportation points, Smitty was a goner.

HogDocKev: Hey, Smitty. Your air speeder needs these. Enjoy!

After sending the dice as an in-game gift, I sat back and stretched, moving my eyes off my monitors for the first time in hours. I rubbed my eyes and adjusted my glasses.

It was late… or early, maybe. Somewhere in the 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. range, according to my internal clock. I’d been watching Smitty for maybe half an hour, but I’d been playing Horn of Glory since midnight. With the new Valentine’s theme release, it had been easy to lose track of time. There were a million reasons I loved a theme update in the game, but this one had been extra special because Carter and Riggs had gotten married yesterday on Valentine’s Day.


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