About the book
A man born to protect
After a major loss, Brody Carter found a home with the London office of McKay-Taggart. A former soldier, he believes his job is to take the bullets and follow orders. He’s happy to take on the job of protecting Dr. Stephanie Gibson while the team uses her clinic in Sierra Leone to bring down an international criminal. What he never expected was that the young doctor would prove to be the woman of his dreams. She’s beautiful, smart, and reckless. Over and over he watches her risk her life to save others. One night of pure passion leads him to realize that he can’t risk his heart again. When the mission ends, Brody walks away, unwilling to lose another person he loves.
A woman driven to heal
Stephanie’s tragic past taught her to live for today. Everything she’s done in the last fifteen years has been to make up for her mistakes. Offering medical care in war-torn regions gives her the purpose she needs to carry on. When she meets her gorgeous Aussie protector, she knows she’s in too deep, but nothing can stop her from falling head over heels in love. But after one amazing night together, Brody walks away and never looks back. Stephanie is left behind…but not alone.
A secret that will change both their lives
A year later, Stephanie runs afoul of an evil mercenary who vows to kill her for failing to save his friend. She runs to the only people she trusts, Liam and Avery O’Donnell. She hasn’t come alone and her secret will bring her former lover across the world to protect her. From Liberia to Dallas, Brody will do whatever it takes to protect Stephanie from the man who wants to kill her, but it might be her own personal demons that could destroy them both.
Sierra Leone, Africa
Stephanie Gibson stared at herself in the mirror, trying to decide if this was the worst idea she’d ever had or the best.
It was probably the worst, but then she was trying to be optimistic.
The good news was her boobs looked pretty damn good. The white silky gown she’d bought for the occasion skimmed her curves and the ivory tone made her skin look warm. Thank god it fit. She’d bought it off the Internet a month before but she’d been too afraid to use it. Now her time was up and she needed to look her best. She’d managed to borrow conditioner from Charlotte Taggart. For once her hair was soft and relatively tame. It was weird not to have it in a ponytail or a practical bun. When had it gotten so long?
The bad news? She was fairly certain Brody Carter would still take one look at her and laugh. Oh, he wouldn’t do it in a mean way. He would be kind about it. He would chuckle, that deep voice of his sending a shiver of desire through her right before he explained that despite the roles they’d played for the last few months, he thought of her as a kid sister.
Come on, Steph. Go chuck on some proper clothes, and we’ll grab a beer before I stroll out of your life forever.
She could hear him saying the words in his sexy Aussie accent.
Steph took a deep breath and thought about running herself. If she was careful, she could get back to her cabin without anyone seeing her. Maybe Brody wouldn’t even come back to the cabin he’d been staying in for the last six months. He’d been attending something called a debrief with Ian Taggart for hours. He would likely take a room at the hotel in the city where the McKay-Taggart team was set up and she might not see him again.
Well, except he’d left his big duffel bag behind. He might come back for that.
She sank down to the bed he’d been sleeping on and remembered the first day he’d shown up at her clinic here outside of Freetown. She hadn’t been sure what to expect when she’d agreed to help McKay-Taggart on a long-term mission. They’d explained that their own operative would run most of the mission and her clinic would give him cover. She hadn’t expected for her long dormant sex drive to come alive the minute said operative walked off the plane.
Steph lay down briefly, touching the quilt she’d had made especially for him. At first she’d given him a regular cot, but after she’d realized what that had to be doing to his massive frame, she’d paid a local worker to build this beautiful monstrosity. Brody had argued that he didn’t need it, but she’d held firm.
When he was gone, she would move it into her cabin. It would be ridiculous and far too much bed for her, but she wanted some kind of memory of him.
It was over. The mission was over and in a couple of days Brody Carter would be gone. There was no more need for him to stick around because they’d done their duty. That very afternoon the op they’d been prepping for six months had played out. Guns had been fired, men had died, and Theo Taggart was going home.
For six months she’d had a gorgeous, brawny, sexy Australian bodyguard who pretended to be her right-hand man. Together they had navigated the underworld of criminal activity on the continent, all in a crazy attempt to draw out the woman who had kidnapped Theo Taggart. Dr. Hope McDonald hadn’t stopped with Theo. She’d kidnapped several other men and ruined their lives, health, and destroyed their memories.
She was going to hold on to the memory of her glorious Aussie never-quite-a-lover.
The door opened suddenly and a shadow filled the space. Six foot seven. Two hundred seventy pounds of pure muscle. Brody Carter. He stopped as though allowing for his eyes to adjust. It was inky midnight outside, and her camp was far from town. He would have walked in the darkness from his Jeep to the cabin.
“Steph? Luv, what are you doing here?” He stepped inside. “Is something wrong? Something happen at the clinic?”
Oh, god, he was here. What the hell was she doing? He was stunningly gorgeous and she was the shy girl who always sat at the back of the room and hoped no one noticed her.
Except she hadn’t always been that girl. Once she’d been the girl who answered all the questions, the girl most likely to succeed.
And then she’d taken her eyes off the road, and in a flash of blinding light and crushed metal, that girl had died.
She stood up. There was a reason she didn’t get dressed in lace and silk and try to seduce men. She wasn’t that girl and she never would be again. Now she was the girl who repented, the girl who tried to save the world because once she’d destroyed it utterly.
Did she have to stop the rest of her damn life forever because she’d made a mistake? Could she not have one night of respite? One night where she got the guy?
Deep down she knew she wasn’t thinking about just one night. Deep down she knew she was crazy about Brody Carter and this was her play.
“Steph, why the hell are you dressed like that?” The question came out of his mouth on a breathless huff, as though he’d just figured out she was half naked in his bedroom. “You shouldn’t be here.”
But the words were said softly, not with any force of will and not with the abject horror she’d been worried about. He hadn’t moved away. He’d walked into the room, his big body taking up so much space she could practically feel the heat rolling off him. He’d closed the door and now it was just the two of them.
“I want to be here.” There was no place on earth she would rather be. She’d dreamed about being right here since the moment Liam O’Donnell had introduced her to him. He’d brought Brody with him and they’d sat in a café in Freetown, discussing the mission ahead. She’d known it would be dangerous, but all she’d been able to think about was how amazing the man across the table was.
Over the months he’d become her friend, her protector, her pretend lover, but every single time she thought he would take their ruse into reality, he would turn away.
She couldn’t let him turn away tonight. It was her last chance. She could let it slip away or she could reach out for it and have at least one sweet memory.
A shuddering sigh left his chest and she saw the way his hand fisted at his side, as though he didn’t trust himself not to reach out and touch her. His jaw tightened and she watched him win the war. “No. I’m not good enough for you, luv. I’ve known it for a long time. Why do you think I haven’t tried to climb into your bed?”
“Because you don’t want me.” She didn’t think so, but she needed to hear it from him. If he told her he didn’t, she would be able to walk away. She would be humiliated, but she would have tried.
He was worth trying for. Somewhere along the way he’d decided he was a grunt soldier, pure cannon fodder, but she’d seen another side of the man.
The side she’d fallen in love with. The side that might make all the pain she’d been through worth it. The side that might bring her back to life.
“It ain’t that, and you know it.” He couldn’t seem to look at her. His eyes went to the floor. “I’m not the man for you. You need someone better. Someone more on your level.”
She wasn’t sure what level he was talking about. She ran a rough-and-tumble clinic in a place that mostly made the news for its outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever. If she had more than a hundred dollars in her bank account, she counted it as a win. “Shouldn’t I be the one to make that decision?”
“Not if you’re not smart enough to make the right decision,” he replied. “Someone’s got to look out for you. You won’t listen to your nurses and your head of security is a washed-up drunk. I’m going to hire someone else before I leave.”
She couldn’t argue with anything he’d said. “If you’re leaving then it doesn’t matter if we spend the night together.”
“It does because you’re not doing this for sex. You’re doing it because you think it might change my mind about staying here or about taking you with me when I leave, but I won’t. I won’t do that to you. Stephanie, you’re brilliant. You need to be back in the States, learning new techniques and charging a fortune for your expertise. You’re going to die out here.”
She might, but it would be okay. She’d always known that. Now that her mother was gone, she didn’t have any reason to go back to the States. It was better that she stay here where she was needed, where she could do the good work she’d promised to do.
Where she could eternally punish herself.
He took a step back and she thought he would leave. He would pick up his pack and she wouldn’t see him again.
One last desperate plea. That was all she had left. She happened to know that he spoke another language, a private one that eased him and softened his soul.
Stephanie dropped to her knees, hoping that weeks of practice had perfected her form. Knees wide, spine straight, head down, and palms up on her thighs. The offering of a submissive to her chosen Dom.
Or at least that was how the books of Serena Dean-Miles explained it. Avery had sent them to her along with a few books by Serena’s friends. She’d looked at the salacious covers and rolled her eyes. She’d wanted fiction, not porn.
But then Brody had joined her and one night she’d found herself picking up The Mercenary I Loved and falling into the story of Shane and Gabriella, and she’d found a whole new world.
Brody cursed under his breath, but his boots came back into view. She could feel him looming over her. “You don’t know what you’re offering.”
“I know exactly what I’m offering.” She didn’t lift her head. “I’ve never had a Dom. I won’t have another one. Not out here. I want the experience, Sir. Or do you have a submissive at home in London?”
His hand touched her head, fingers sinking into her hair. They slid along her scalp, lighting up the skin he touched. “You know I don’t.”
“Then I don’t see the problem, Sir.” She had to hope the word Sir worked the same kind of magic on Brody that it did on Serena’s heroes.
The hand on her head lifted. “The problem is that you’re going to want more from me than one night in the sack, Stephanie, and I can’t give you more than that. I’m not the kind of guy who settles down. I’m not the one for you.”
Yes, she’d heard a whole lot of that. What he really meant was she wasn’t the one for him. It wasn’t his fault he wasn’t attracted to her. She’d misread the situation and it was time to retreat.
She stood up, swearing she wasn’t going to cry. Nope. She’d been through way worse shit and one guy rejecting her advances wasn’t going to break her. Her inner tough chick made an appearance and she found herself straightening her shoulders and lifting her chin. She rose to her feet. When she thought about it, she was horny. That was all this was about. He was gorgeous and close to her and the adrenaline of the day had affected her.
Yeah, inner tough chick was good at deflection.
“Sorry about that. I didn’t understand. I get it now.” She held out a hand. “It was nice to meet you, Brody Carter. Have a good life.”
He looked down at her hand and sighed. “Steph, let’s sit down and talk. I don’t think you do understand what I’m saying to you. I’m not trying to hurt you, luv.”
He didn’t even want to shake her hand? She eased around him. Inner tough chick had started biting at the bit Steph kept in her mouth. Irrational anger poured through her, but she had to keep a lid on it. It wasn’t Brody’s fault that she’d gotten her hopes up. “Not necessary, man. It’s all cool. I’ll see you sometime.”
She started for the door.
“Please, Steph, I don’t want to say good-bye like this. I don’t want you angry with me.”
But she was. It wasn’t fair, but he was one more disappointment in a lifetime of them. She might deserve it, but it hurt. This one particular snub cut deep. She’d known deep down that she would be alone, but she’d thought there might be moments of respite. These weeks with Brody had refined her need.
Never let them see you hurt. It was far better to look like she didn’t care than to sit down like an obedient little girl and let him explain all the ways she wasn’t good enough for him. She was certain he would tell her it was the other way around, but what she would hear was that she wasn’t sexy enough, her boobs weren’t big enough, she was on the thin side and he was a man who needed curves on his lovers.
“I’m not angry,” she said as flippantly as she could. “I’m trying to catch the CIA dude before he turns in. He’s bunking down in the clinic. I thought he might want an upgrade.”
She wasn’t going to look for Ezra Fain. The last thing she needed was a casual hookup. God knew she’d had more than enough of those in her life. Except those hadn’t been casual. Those nights hadn’t even been about sex. They’d been about obliterating herself.
No, she would go to her cabin and cry and sleep, and in the morning, she would work and begin to forget him.
She started out the door but then felt a hand at her wrist, dragging her back.
Brody’s eyes had narrowed, his face turning hard when it was always soft around her. It didn’t make him any less beautiful. If anything, that hard edge sent a thrill through her. “What did you say?”
Her first instinct was to drop to her knees and beg his forgiveness, but he didn’t want that. He’d rejected that part of her. So he got the inner tough chick, the part of her that kept on surviving. “I said, I’m going to check and see if Ezra needs some company since you don’t want any.”
The door slammed and she suddenly found herself with her back against it. Brody crowded in, taking up all the space and staring down at her. His body brushed hers and she found both her wrists captured in one of his. He dragged them over her head, forcing her chest to come out, breasts skimming along his body. “I shouldn’t do this.”
Tough chick was winning. Steph let her take over. It was surely better than the desperate girl who lived inside her. She kept asking for love and affection and getting swatted away. This was the next best thing, possibly the only thing she would ever get. “Then don’t. Let me go and I won’t bother you again.”
“No, you’ll go find Ezra Fain and bother him,” Brody said on a growl.
“Somehow, I don’t think he’ll find me a bother.” She’d barely spoken two words to the man, but she wasn’t going to admit it. It was better to let Brody think she wasn’t a love-starved girl.
“He won’t fucking find you anything at all. If you’re determined to not sleep alone tonight, you can damn well do it with me.” His mouth came down on hers and every inch of her skin came alive. His kiss was overwhelming, hungry. There was no slow meshing of mouths. He took her, his tongue surging inside and dominating her own. He let go of her hands and started to explore her body. His hands were on her hips when he came up for air. “I’m leaving in the morning. I’m going back to London and I can’t come back.”
She’d known that would probably be his answer. She’d known he wouldn’t want to stay and she couldn’t leave.
“One night. That’s all I want.” It was all she could have. It had been foolish to think it could be any different.
His mouth came down on hers again and she let herself get swept away. One night and her life would go back to normal. One night and then she would be alone again. His hands started to roam over her and she tried to forget all the reasons why this was a bad idea.
He stepped back, his entire body set in hard lines. He strode over to the bed and sat down. “Take off the gown. It’s pretty, but I want to see you.”
She hesitated, all her insecurities coming to the forefront. Somehow, she’d thought he would simply take her. “Let me get the lights.”
He was back in her space again, his hand wrapping around her wrist. “I didn’t say turn off the lights. I said take off the gown. How am I going to see you if you turn off the lights?”
“Brody,” she began.
He was having none of it. “You got on your knees in front of me and you said you knew what you were offering me. The first thing you were offering me was obedience. The second was your body. You’re giving me neither right now.”
His voice had gone midnight dark and something about the tone made her soften. He was right. She did know what she’d offered him and now she was trying to have it all her way.
There was nothing wrong with her body. It was feminine and she was healthy. What was she afraid of? “All right.”
He let go of her wrist and sat back down, looking like a damn king waiting on his concubine’s performance. For all his “I’m nothing but a grunt” talk, the man could be incredibly arrogant, and damn if she didn’t find it sexy as hell.
Something about that voice let her know that everything was going to be fine. He was past the point of rejection. He was in and that meant he would play her Dom for the night. He would take care of her. She was as safe with him in the bedroom as she’d been in the field.
At least she was safe for the night. In the morning she would be in a world of hurt, but she wasn’t thinking past tonight.
Steph eased the strap on her right shoulder down, exposing more skin and the top of her breasts. Brody sat and watched, his eyes latched onto the scene in front of him. He wasn’t going anywhere and that meant she needed to make the most of this because he would leave in the morning.
Unless she gave him a reason to stay. Deep down, that was what she truly wanted.
She eased the other strap off and let the gown fall to the floor. Cool air caressed her skin, and she could feel her nipples tighten.
He was silent for a moment, staring at her, but she could feel the heat coming off him. The khakis he wore had tented, so she let go of any silly notion that he didn’t want sex. He wanted it bad, and it was there in the hot glare of his eyes, the rigid erection that threatened to split his pants.
Her heart was beating, sounding out a rhythm she hadn’t heard or felt in forever.
“Come here.” He shifted, spreading his legs and gesturing for her to come closer.
She moved, her feet shuffling across the wooden floor of the cabin. In the soft glow of the lamp, she could almost believe they were somewhere else, in some grand hotel room getting ready to celebrate their…what would they ever celebrate? She let the thought go. There was only the here and the now.
Even seated, his gaze almost lined up with hers. She only had to look down slightly. He was such a big man and she’d always longed to get her hands on all that muscled strength, to feel his skin under hers. But it would have to wait because she was going to be a good sub. It might be her only chance at experiencing this kind of kink, and she wasn’t going to ruin it by going too fast for him. She stood there, allowing him to look his fill.
After a long moment, one hand came up. He covered her breast, the heat making her swell against that big palm of his.
“You’re every bit as beautiful as I thought you’d be.” His voice was a harsh whisper, as though he was trying to be soft with her but simply couldn’t manage it. “I knew you’d be delicate and feminine.”
“I’m not delicate, Brody.” She knew far too well how much damage her body could take. “I don’t need you to treat me like I’m made of glass. I need you to remind me that I’m a woman. I sometimes forget. I can be out in the field for weeks at a time and I don’t even touch myself. I want you to touch me, to let me feel like I’m more than just a doctor.”
It was the one thing she would get out of the night, the memory that once a man as strong and fierce as Brody Carter had wanted her, had needed her.
He leaned over and she felt his lips on her skin, soft kisses that moved from one breast to the other. His hands circled her waist, holding her in place as he nuzzled her. He seemed to breathe her in. She was sure he would take her nipple into his mouth, but then he sat back.
Like she was moving in a decadent dream, she found herself responding without real thought. She let all rational thinking go. This was about feeling. This was physical, and her body was oftentimes far smarter than her brain. Steph turned, the air soft around her.
“Yes, you’re as lovely from the back as you are the front.”
She felt him move behind her, his heavy boots thudding against the floor as he circled her.
“I can be rough, Steph,” he said. He finished his circle and stood behind her, one big finger tracing her spine. “I like things that might scare you.”
Like spankings and floggings and kinky sex. “I think I’m weirder than you give me credit for.”
He chuckled at that. “All right, let’s see how much you can take. Undress me.”
She could totally do that. She’d dreamed of that every night for the last six months. Sometimes he would walk around without his shirt on and the sight of his cut chest was enough to make her drool. She wanted to see every inch of his masculine body.
She turned and realized why it was incredibly intimidating. She was already naked and he was standing there staring at her, fully dressed. It was odd to undress another human being.
He reached out and his hand went for her breast. He took her nipple between his thumb and forefinger. She went still, giving over to the sensation of having him touch her.
And then he twisted her nipple, the pain sparking suddenly and making her gasp.
“I said undress me. Did you not understand the command?”
Her eyes had watered at the pain, but it had also shot straight to her pussy. She’d felt that hard twist of his fingers in her womb.
Steph bit her bottom lip before sliding her tongue along it. Her mouth had gone dry. Likely because all the moisture in her body had pooled in her pussy. She could feel how wet she was getting and he’d barely touched her. She found the buttons on his shirt and started undoing them, peeling back the cotton to uncover all that soft skin. Every inch was a revelation. She eased the shirt back and let her palms rest on his chest. He had a light dusting of hair that made him all the more manly. It was neat, forming a triangle that led down to a thin line of hair disappearing into his khakis.
“Get down on your knees and undo my belt,” he commanded. He quickly leaned over and hauled his boots off his feet, tossing them along with his socks into the corner.
Steph dropped down in front of him, his height so much more imposing from here. She looked up the length of his body and realized how small she was compared to him. It did something for her.
Her hand went to the buckle of his belt and she undid it. What would it feel like if he used it on her? A vision of her leaning over and taking his discipline assaulted her brain, making her heart race.
She’d read way too many books.
Then she didn’t care at all because all she could think about was the monster in front of her. Brody’s cock was built on the same lines as the man himself, and it wasn’t waiting for her to politely help him out of his boxers. His cock was poking out of the top as though desperate to get to her.
He stared down at her, his eyes dark as she eased him out of the boxers and khakis.
She folded them and placed them aside and sat back on her heels, waiting for his next command.
If she only had one night with him, she intended to do it right.
She knew in that instant that she might be able to fool Brody Carter, but she couldn’t fool herself. She was in love with this man and she might always be.
She placed her hands palms up on her thighs, her body throbbing in anticipation of what came next.
* * * *
Brody looked down at her. She was the perfect picture of submission, but he knew he’d been had. She’d set him up because she wanted this night, probably more.
He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t do it to her. He wasn’t good enough. She had the whole world in front of her and she would grow bored with an Army grunt. At some point, she would stop punishing herself for the sins of her past and get on with her life. He wasn’t going to be one more way she hurt herself.
But he couldn’t turn away from her. He’d tried. He’d done his best, but now that she was naked and kneeling, he realized this had been inevitable from the start.
If he thought about it, why the hell hadn’t he packed up and been ready to go this afternoon? He’d known one way or another the job would be over today, but when he’d gotten ready to go to the hangar where they were supposed to meet McDonald, he’d left his duffel behind. Even as he’d allowed O’Donnell to drive her back to the clinic, he’d known he would spend one last night here. Taggart had offered him a hotel room and he’d given Brody a long look when he’d turned it down.
They’d all known what he was coming back for.
“Touch me.” He wanted to feel her hands on him. How many nights had he sat up and wanked his own dick, wishing it had been her small hands on him? Her exceedingly competent hands. He was fascinated with them. They weren’t painted and taken care of the way other ladies’ were. Steph used her hands every day. She washed them a hundred times after she sewed a cut closed or took out an appendix. He’d seen women with sexy nails and baby-soft skin, but it was Steph’s hands he wanted on his body.
She looked at him like she was ready to eat him up, her tongue darting across her lower lip and making his body tighten with pure lust. Her hand reached up and gripped his cock and he had to force himself to breathe.
Oh, all the nasty things he could teach her. She’d only learned about D/s from books. She’d never bottomed for a man before. If he stayed here with her, he could train her. He could take her mouth, shoving his cock deep. He would hold on to the nape of her neck and force his way to the soft, sweet space at the back of her throat. He would watch over her all day, be the good bodyguard, but when night fell, she would be his sub.
Hell, who said he had to wait for night? She pumped his cock in her hand, watching the way the foreskin moved back and up his stalk.
She was surprisingly innocent when it came to relationships. If he wanted to, he could bring her fully into D/s. He’d never had any thought to taking a full-time submissive, but if he wanted to keep her it might be the best way. He could bring her in, convince her that obeying him was best.
He had no right to think those thoughts. No right to take control of her life, but the impulse was there.
“Stop.” If he let her continue he was going to come in her hand, and that was the last thing he wanted. He would only allow himself to have this one night with her. He intended to make every second count.
She sat back on her heels, but he reached down and lifted her up. This first time was going to be fast. He couldn’t help himself. He needed to get her off because he was worried the minute his dick plunged inside her he would come like a rocket.
He carried her over to the bed, her weight nothing compared to his strength. He laid her out, a feast for his eyes. He’d meant what he told her. She was stunning, so much more in person than in his dreams. He’d known she would have lovely breasts, but had never imagined how perfect and round they would be, how the nipples would be tight pink-and-brown buds. He’d known her body was slender, but not how sleek and sexy she would be without her clothes. Her scrubs hid the graceful curves of her hips and ass. And as often as he’d thought of her pussy, he’d never dreamed it would be perfectly pouty and wet for him.
He lay down beside her, the bed creaking under his weight. He turned on his side and found her mouth with his. Kissing her was like a flower opening to full bloom under the sunshine. Her arms came up, wrapping around his neck, and she held back nothing. Her tongue played against his, sliding over and around.
He let his hand cup one breast, loving the silky feel of her skin and how the bud of her nipple pressed into his palm.
His whole body hummed with an energy he hadn’t felt in a long time. He could feel his blood pounding through his system, all his instincts telling him to take this woman and mark her as his.
He smoothed his hand down her body, skimming over her belly until he could feel the swell of her pussy. Soft and ripe. A single swipe of his hand let him know how wet and ready she was for him.
So ready and yet he wasn’t going to take his until she’d screamed for him. That was what truly kept him awake at night, the idea that he might be the one man who could loosen her up, who could remind her there was a world outside of medicine and self-sacrifice. For all that he believed she deserved someone educated and successful, he was also certain that man probably wouldn’t dedicate his whole being to bringing her pleasure.
She shivered beneath him as he fingered her clitoris. That ripe bud was practically pulsing with excitement. He kissed her while he ran his finger over and around and pressed down. He shifted so he could work one long finger into her pussy while letting his thumb work her clit over and over again.
His dick throbbed against her hip, every squirm of her body bringing him closer to the point of no return. It didn’t matter. She was already squeezing around his finger, coating him in her essence. He pressed down while his finger curled inside her and he felt her nails dig into the flesh of his back. Her head dropped away from his and she screamed out his name.
He gave her another moment as she came down, but it tried his every bit of patience. He couldn’t wait another second longer. He rolled her over and made a place for himself between her legs and thrust in. She was incredibly slick, so wet he didn’t have to force himself in. It was like she’d been made for him. He fucked her hard, looking down at her body. She was gorgeous, flush with her recent orgasm.
“Please, Brody,” she said. “It feels amazing. Like nothing I’ve had before.”
He pulled out and thrust back in, the feeling heavenly.
Because he’d made a big mistake.
“Shit.” He forced himself to pull out. What the hell was he doing? “I need a condom.”
“On the nightstand.” She reached over to the small wooden nightstand by the bed and sure enough, there was a stack of condoms.
She’d come prepared. Before he could calm down and let his mind take over, he grabbed the foil packet, opened it and rolled the rubber over his cock. He wasn’t stopping. There were three condoms there. He intended to use every single one of them.
She’d given herself to him for the night. He wasn’t giving her back ’til morning.
Brody gripped her hips and drove in again. He ground down on her, making sure his pelvis hit that sweet clit with every pounding thrust.
She clenched around him, her eyes widening as she came.
And then it was his turn. Pure pleasure coursed through him, making his whole body shake. He drove into her again and again until he had nothing left to give her.
He fell on top of her, not holding off a bit of his weight because she’d agreed to take all of him. He nuzzled her neck and breathed in her scent. “I’m not done with you.”
She lifted her head and brought their lips together. Brody started all over again.
Hours later, he stared at her as she slept. She was small in the big bed. Delicate and fragile, and she didn’t have any care for herself at all.
She needed someone who would take care of her, but it couldn’t be him.
If he stayed with her, he would try to dominate her, try to control her life, and it would wreck them. He would do it because the truth was she scared him in a way no other woman ever had. He would lose her and it was better to walk away now than it was to feel that pain because there was no way he was staying around and becoming one more way she punished herself.
He had many reasons to leave and the only reasons he had to stay were selfish.
God, she was beautiful, and he wished he’d been something more than a soldier. Perhaps if he’d had the patience to go to university...
She was something magnificent and it would take a better man than he to bring her to the place she needed to be.
He turned and promised himself this was all for the best.
He left the cabin quietly and got into his Jeep. At least he’d remembered the damn condom. One problem they wouldn’t have.
He told himself it had been one night. But he would remember it for the rest of his life. As for Steph, what could go wrong for her? She would move on, and that was a good thing. Before long she would forget she’d ever met him and get on with her life unencumbered by anything that happened that night.
* * * *
Seven weeks later
Steph stared down at the pregnancy test. “Well, fuck.”
Copyright 2017 Lexi Blake