SWORN TO PROTECT by Diana Gardin
(June 4, 2017; Forever Yours eBook; $3.99; Rescue Ops Book 1)
To keep her safe, he'll have to uncover all her secrets...
Rayne Alexander. A face I never thought I'd see again, and one I never could forget. Nine years ago, she left town--and me--without a backward glance. But now she's back, with a haunted look in her eyes and a feisty attitude that didn't exist when we were teenagers. Seeing this grown-up--and sexy--Rayne is something I wasn't prepared for... and it's bringing up feelings I'd thought I'd buried years ago.
Although I want to demand answers from Rayne, working on black ops at Night Eagle Security has taught me that it's sometimes better to keep my mouth shut. So when I catch her hiding a photo of a little boy, I'm curious. When I see her jump as her phone rings, I'm concerned. But the second I notice a car following her home, I know she's hiding something. Something dangerous. And while I may not know why she left or why she's back, if there's someone out there Rayne is afraid of, I'll make damn sure that threat is eliminated.
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Even when I tell it not to, my body reacts to Rayne. Every time she pulls her lip between her teeth. Every time her midnight blue eyes meet mine and smolder with some unseen emotion. Every single time I see a peek of the perky breasts that were really nice in high school, but are just spectacular now.
And I’m having a more difficult time every day hiding the way my stomach clenches when she checks her phone with that look of fear on her face.
It’s at one of these times that I don’t fight the pull and stalk toward her desk.
Snatching the phone from her hand, I read the text that put the disturbed expression in her eyes.
“Jeremy! What the fuck?”
Ignoring her pissed-off shout, my eyes narrow and my teeth clamp shut when I read the words on her screen.
You can’t hide forever. I will find you. And I will take what’s mine.
Rage explodes inside me. Glancing around the lobby, where people are acting like they’re not listening to us, but who are clearly paying attention, I grasp her by the elbow and tow her and the phone down the hallway and into the lounge.
Tossing her phone onto a countertop, I spin her around until she’s pressed against the nearest wall. I cage her in with my arms, leaning forward while taking deep breaths to try and control my temper.
“Tell me about that text, Rayne. Tell me now.” The words are gritted out through my teeth.
“It’s none of your—”
“Dammit, Rayne! If you tell me it’s none of my business I’m probably gonna break something. I know that I shouldn’t care, shouldn’t want to know. But I do! Okay?
If someone is threatening you like this, then I need to know about it. I just do.”
She clamps her mouth shut, staring back at me with stubborn fear in her eyes.
While I’m watching, a lone tear escapes and rolls down her cheek. She’s too mulish to wipe it away, so it just keeps falling while I trace its track with my gaze.
“Fuck me.” The curse is muttered from me while I use a thumb to wipe the tear away.
“Rayne…I know it’s been a long time. You don’t know the man I am now. But there’s no way in hell I can watch you keep getting these texts—see the fear in your eyes when you read them—and not do something about it. You’re working in an office full of guys that can take out whoever this is. But you have to trust me enough to let me help you.”
She sniffs. “I don’t trust anyone, Jer.”
Jer. The nickname rocks me, sending me reeling into the past where her plump lips would utter that name on a sigh while I kissed the sweetest spot in the world—the hollow right above her collarbone.
Blinking, I shake off the image and dip my head a little. “I know. What I don’t know is why. What happened to you?”
Her mouth stays firmly closed.
“You think I’m gonna let this go, Rayne?”
She just stares up at me, a war going on in her eyes. It’s like she wants to tell me what’s happening, but something inside won’t let her. She doesn’t want me to get close.
I’m suddenly aware of the fact that we’re only inches apart. I can smell her. The fresh, slightly sweet scent of something floral washes over me, mixed with the hint of spice that is just Rayne.
“I just want to help you,” I whisper, before letting my thumb roam over her soft skin.
One hand is still braced against the wall while my thumb sweeps a path across her cheekbone, and even though I’m fighting the lust bubbling up inside me, my cock swells in my jeans. Taunting me. Forcing me to think about what she’d look like now if she were lying naked under me. All that gorgeous black hair splayed out on the pillows, my name falling from her lips while I please her. Whether I’m willing to admit it or not, that’s still a deep, dark desire inside me.
Pleasing her. And I don’t want to just please her. No, I want to possess her, to own her.
Because a long time ago, I did. But she slipped through my fingers, and I was left wondering how the hell I lost her.
Diana Gardin is a wife of one and a mom of two. Writing is her second full time job to that, and she loves it! Diana writes contemporary romance in the Young Adult and New Adult categories. She's also a former Elementary school teacher. She loves steak, sugar cookies, and Coke and hates working out.
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