She still wasn’t sure why she’d opened up to Nick. Or what he might do with the information she’d just given him. She had an overwhelming urge to trust him, but what if he did what the police had done and went straight to her father with everything she’d told him?
Would it really matter if he did? With any luck she’d be far away from here by tonight. If she couldn’t get to the American embassy then she’d pay a coyote to smuggle her across the border.
“What if I said I could help you?” Nick asked suddenly.
Her breath caught, but she refused to let herself hope. “What do you mean?”
Nick glanced out at the yacht anchored off the beach before turning back to her, his dark eyes searching hers, mesmerizing and calculating at the same time. “I can’t go into details, but I promise I’m going to make sure your father pays for what he did to your mother. Then I’m going to kick Leon’s ass for what he did to you.” He brushed her windswept hair back from her face. “You’re never going to be anyone’s prisoner ever again, you have my word on that.”
Bristol’s heart beat a little faster. Against all expectations, she found herself believing for the first time in a year that there might truly be a way out of this nightmare. But then a little voice of doubt began murmuring in the back of her mind, telling her this was too good to be true.
“Why would you go against a man like my father and risk everything for a woman you met two days ago?”
He cupped her face gently in his hand. “Because something tells me you’re worth the risk. Even if that means going up against a man like your father.”
The words were plain and straightforward, but she was starting to get the feeling that plain and straightforward pretty much described Nick Chapman. And she believed every word he said.
She abruptly remembered her tote beside them. When she’d left the villa a few hours ago she’d been ready to do whatever it took to be free of her father, including swimming all the way to the United States if she had to. But Nick had given her another option.
She opened her mouth the thank him, but then decided to show him how grateful she was instead.
When their lips came together, she felt a little tingle zip through her unlike anything she’d ever experienced. Then Nick buried his fingers in her hair and tugged her close, making several other parts of her body hum. His tongue teased its way into her mouth and she let out a little sound of pleasure at how good he tasted. Or maybe he was the one who moaned. She wasn’t quite sure.
Bristol had kissed guys in high school and college. She’d even had a steady boyfriend her junior year up in Connecticut. But as she plunged her tongue deeper into Nick’s mouth, tangling, teasing, and tasting, she realized she hadn’t ever been kissed like this.
She didn’t know when her hands had climbed up his broad shoulders and locked behind his strong neck, keeping him exactly where she wanted him. But they were there now and they knew exactly what they were doing. Nick’s free hand glided along her bare thigh, sliding underneath the cover-up she wore to settle on her hip. Heat pooled between her legs, and she suddenly wanted to do far more than simply kiss him. She wanted to make love to him right there in the gazebo.
She trailed one hand down his chest and over his rock-hard abs with every intention of heading further south when Nick pulled away with a groan. She started to tug him in for another kiss when the ocean breeze carried laughter from the yacht in their direction.
Crap. There was a whole boat full of her father’s guards watching her and Nick. How could she have forgotten that?
Nick cursed under his breath, glancing at the yacht. “I wondered why your father sent so many guards with us. Now I realize it was so they could spy for him. No doubt he’ll think this means I’m leaning toward taking that job he’s offering me.” He turned to look at her again, his dark eyes intense. “Your father would be right. But only so I can take him down.”
SEAL with a Past
Wes, cover my left flank!” Dalton shouted, his heart thumping as he kicked in the door and moved into the dimly lit room. “Holden, watch our six, dammit. Without Nash, we’re heavily outnumbered. If we don’t do this right, we’re never gonna make it out of Morg alive.”
“I got movement in the darkness behind us,” Holden announced. “I can’t frigging believe Nash ditched us at a time like this. I thought we were supposed to be a team.”
“Keep your head in the game, Holden,” Dalton said as something big and ugly stepped out of the shadows ahead of him and into the dim moonlight seeping through the skylight. “Nash made his choice. If he’d rather spend the weekend hanging out with Bristol than help us, that’s his call. We’re gonna have to pull together and pick up the slack.”
Secretly, Dalton wasn’t shocked Nash had bailed on them. They’d just gotten back two days ago from their deployment and had put in very little effort prepping for this mission. At the best of times, trying to go into a situation like this was tough, but without advanced planning, it was nearly suicidal. Nash had decided he’d rather spend his time with a sexy woman rather than dying some godawful horrible death with them. Dalton couldn’t blame his friend.
But he didn’t have to like it either.
Especially when that big, slow-moving thing in front of him turned out to have about twenty friends moaning, groaning, and hungry for blood.
Rare thunder boomed in the background and the sound of rain beating on the windows of his apartment reminded Dalton that at least they were inside. “All right, guys. This is it. I’m going straight at these damn things. Cover me.”
Jumping high into the air, he bounced off the metal catwalk above him, then came down right in the middle of the crowd of mindless killers and started roasting zombies with his flamethrower. All around him, bullets started spraying as his teammates tried to cover his aggressive move. It was a risky attack, but they were one man down and out of better options.
Then someone knocked on the door of his apartment, distracting the crap out of him and almost causing him to toast Wes’s avatar by mistake.
“Ignore that!” Wes yelled, moving to the side and reloading. “Stay on target.”
A few seconds later, the knocking came again. Dalton yanked his headset off and tossed it on the coffee table with his laptop. “Pause the game.”
“We can keep going without you,” Holden said. “You can catch up.”
“Yeah, just like last time, right?” Dalton snorted as he got up and headed for the door. “When you got your ass whacked in twenty seconds without me.”
Dalton didn’t bother looking over his shoulder to see if Wes and Holden were going to do the smart thing, but he heard them groan in acquiescence. Hopefully, he could get rid of whoever was at the door and get back to the game. After coming back from deployment, their chief had put all of them on a four-day pass, saying they needed a break. Dalton wasn’t sure about that but Call of Duty: Black Ops III was definitely a good way to burn through a few down days, especially since the weather was so crappy.
He cursed as whoever was at the door knocked again, more insistently this time. If it turned out to be the old man from across the hall complaining about the noise, Dalton swore he was going to do something violent.
He jerked open the door, ready to roast whoever the hell was out there, but stopped when he found a beautiful woman with long, blond hair standing there staring at him. She was soaking wet, proof that the rain out there was as bad as it sounded.
On the bright side, the rain had plastered the woman’s T-shirt to her skin, revealing more curves than a San Francisco street map. Damn, what a body.
That was when he realized he recognized those curves.
He lifted his gaze to the woman’s face. Even though it carried more cares and concerns than he remembered, there was no doubt who the hell was standing on his doorstep.
His traitorous frigging heart actually tightened in his chest.
“Kimber?” he said slowly, hoping he was wrong.
He’d heard once that every person in the world had a doppelganger out there, someone who looked exactly like them. And after that insane mission down in Mexico when Nash had been able to play the role of an international arms dealer simply because he’d been a dead ringer for the guy, Dalton was ready to accept the possibility.
When she nodded, Dalton had to face reality. Kimber Grant, the woman who’d dumped his ass five years ago, was standing outside his apartment dripping rainwater all over the carpeted floor in the hallway.
SEAL to the Rescue
“I just want to tell you, as crappy as this evening started, it ended great,” Kendall said, turning to smile up at Holden as they stopped in front of the door to her apartment. “I had a really good time.”
He’d had followed her home to make sure she got there safely. And to know where to pick her up for the wedding the next day. Surprisingly, being stalked by one of the FBI’s most-wanted didn’t bother her as much as it probably should.
Holden flashed her a grin. “I’m glad. And thanks for letting me follow you home. I know you said your ex isn’t the kind to stalk you, but I feel better making sure.”
Kendall almost sighed. If this guy didn’t stop acting so amazing, she was going to have an extremely difficult time remembering he was one of the bad guys. She was already thinking of doing a lot more with Holden beyond slapping cuffs on him as it was.
Actually, now that she thought about it, cuffs might be okay, too.
“Don’t worry about Isaac,” she said, more to distract herself that him.
“He’s all bark and no bite. He was always kind of a wuss to tell the truth.”
“Still, I appreciate you letting me make sure.”
Kendall nodded. So, how exactly did a woman end her first evening out with a criminal she intended to arrest soon? Was a handshake called for…or Miranda Rights? A kiss would be out of the question, right?
Holden made the decision for her. Stepping close, he slipped a hand behind her neck, tipped her head back a little, and bent his head to gently kiss her. It wasn’t much more than a soft peck on the lips. No pressure, no fingers tightening in her hair, and definitely no tongue.
That lasted about two seconds…right up until they got a good taste of each other. Then that whole first date tender crap went out the window like an old fruitcake, and it was on like Donkey Kong.
Holden groaned as their tongues clashed. No, skip that. That moan had come from her, not him. He was too busy threading his fingers in her hair and getting a good grip. But damn, he tasted so delicious! And when had she developed a thing for guys tugging on her hair? Was that even a thing? Because it really felt like a thing.
She pushed her tongue into his mouth, giving as good as she got, sure she was going to FBI hell for making out with a suspect on the first date like this. Then she stopped caring as he backed her up against the apartment door, the wood creaking as Holden pressed his hard body full-on against hers, making her feel every ripple and bulge of all those yummy muscles.
Then something right around his belt line poked her in the stomach. She let out a slow, ragged breath as she realized that bulge probably wasn’t muscle. Maybe the big Navy SEAL was simply carrying a weapon of some kind. Yup, that’s exactly what it was.
She was wondering if she should invite him in for late night cup of coffee—not sure if she even had any—when Holden broke the kiss and stepped back, looking like he’d just made the decision to give up chocolate cake for the rest of his life. It was almost laughable that Holden was the one keeping things from boiling over instead of her. As a Fed, shouldn’t she be the one controlling the situation?
“I really had a good time tonight, too,” he said softly, reluctantly taking another step back. The obvious battle he was fighting made her Kendall feel like the hottest FBI babe on the planet. “Pick you up tomorrow at noon sharp?”
Kendall nodded, glancing at him over her shoulder as she pulled out her key. “Don’t be late.”
She had the key in the door and was pushing it open when she felt Holden behind her, one arm slipping around her waist, his warm mouth coming down on her neck. FBI training that should have immediately kicked in to repel the blindside attack disappeared, replaced by an all-over body shiver as his lips moved against her skin.
“I wouldn’t dream of being late,” he said in a husky whisper.
She leaned back against him, hating her rebellious body for enjoying the contact far more than it should. “I won’t complain if you’re a little early. Just saying.”
He kissed her neck again, then stepped away with a chuckle. “Got it. Early is okay. Late…never. Good night, Kendall.”