Today’s snippet comes to us from Dee Davis and her upcoming book Double Danger. This is the latest installment of her A-Tac series and one I couldn’t put down.
“You okay?” Simon asked, appearing in the doorway, leaning against the frame, his voice washing over her like some kind of tonic.
“Couple of stitches.” Jillian pulled her shirt into place as Hannah cleared away the medical supplies. “You?”
“Nothing a good stiff drink won’t cure.” He walked farther into the room, his limp more noticeable than usual.
“You’re sure you shouldn’t see a doctor? I mean, after everything you’ve been through.”
“Talk about the pot calling the kettle black,” Hannah said with a laugh as she walked out of the room.
“She has a point.” Simon had moved closer now, standing only inches away, his breath warm against her cheek. “You were injured to start with. And now…” he trailed off, looking at the bloody gauze in the trashcan.
“I told you it’s just a cut and a few stitches. Nothing to worry about. But your leg—”
“Is going to be just fine.” He brushed a strand of hair back from her face. “Thanks to you.”
“I already told you it was nothing.” Her brain was telling her to move. To widen the distance between them, but the rest of her wasn’t listening, concentrating instead on the cadence of his breathing and the silvery flecks in the depths of his eyes.
“Like hell.” He leaned closer, framing her face with his hands. She tried to ignore the feel of his skin against hers, but memory surfaced, and she caught her breath, waiting. “You’ve always had my back.”
“I just reacted in the moment,” she whispered. “I saw what he was going to do, and all I could think was that he was going to hurt you. And I couldn’t bear the thought of losing you.”
The minute the words were out, she regretted them. But he took them as an invitation, his lips closing on hers, the heat of contact setting her nerves on fire. And for just a moment, she allowed herself the pleasure, opening to him, their tongues touching, tasting. Drinking deeply. Sharing a passion born of fear and relief and other emotions she wasn’t willing to put a name to, the past and the present blending together, the horrors of the last few days receding against the power of their attraction.
In the circle of his arms she felt safe.
She’d been here before. And she knew the cost was too high. She’d only just found herself again. And she’d sworn that she wouldn’t let anyone take that away. Not even Simon.
Especially not Simon.
She pushed away, rubbing the back of her hand against her lips. “I’m sorry. We can’t. I can’t.” The words were low, almost a whisper, but he reacted as if she’d yelled them, stepping back, his expression impossible to read.
“I’m the one who should be sorry. I took advantage—”
“No. I was right there with you. It’s just…” she trailed off, unsure of what to say. There was so much standing between them.
“Ryan,” he said, having no idea just how right he actually was. “I know. And like I said, I was out of line. I promise, it won’t happen again.”
She nodded, knowing it was the right decision, and yet wishing somehow that it could be different. And as he turned to walk out the door, she reminded herself that loving a soldier came with a high price.
She hadn’t lied when she’d told Hannah that losing Ryan had been far worse than anything she’d ever imagined. What she hadn’t said, however, was that on the day the soldiers had stood at her door, when she’d been so frightened for Simon, she’d also wished Ryan dead. And the guilt still clawed at her, refusing to let her go.
Ignoring his instincts once cost Simon a vital op-and the life of his best friend, Ryan. Now as escalating, violent attacks hit A-Tac, another person he loves is in danger. Homeland Security agent Jillian Montgomery’s investigation has suddenly brought her back into Simon’s life, and unless they can learn to trust each other, their dangerous mission will fail.
After her husband Ryan’s death, Jillian dedicates herself to saving others. She can’t afford to be tempted by Simon, even though his every touch reignites the desire they once shared. But in the last desperate minutes before disaster strikes, their second chance at love might be the most lethal trap of all . .