Northstar Security Series, #3
Northstar Security agent, Riley O’Neal, balks at posing as anyone’s husband for an assignment. Nevertheless, to rescue the kidnapped wife of a U.S. Senator, he’ll perform his duty and do his best to resist the charms of the very woman who deceived him on a previous mission.
U.S. Army Lt. Mary “Chip” Anderson is uneasy about the undercover assignment to pose as newlyweds. Concealing her attraction to Riley while staying focused on the task, may be the biggest challenge. Despite efforts to remain objective, enforced proximity ignites emotions and a desire to make the fake honeymoon real.
When Chip is kidnapped during a botched rescue attempt of the senator's wife, both women become pawns in the case that threatens the nation’s security. Riley must remain objective, save the women, and avert the threat. But after that, can he convince Chip that she wants to wear his ring forever?
Riley tore one end of the envelope. Not seeing anything at first, he tipped it upside down. Two gold bands slid out. The innocent symbols of eternal love clattered ominously on the table. The larger one spun a moment before coming to rest, barely touching the smaller ring.
Riley felt immobilized by the significance of the gold glinting under the room’s fluorescent lights. As though on cue, they both reached for the rings. When their hands collided, Chip snatched hers back and balled it into a fist.
He picked up the smaller ring first, and rolled the smooth metal between his fingers. He strode around the table and stopped in front of the petite lieutenant. She stood her ground.
Taking her left hand, he heard her draw a breath. His gaze locked on to the violent storm brewing inside her gray eyes. The temperature inside the room increased. His breathing matched the rise and fall of her chest as the room filled with white noise.
Her slender hand trembled ever so slightly as he slipped the band onto her fourth finger. It fit perfectly. He stared into the dark pools of her eyes, like a man dying of thirst in the scorched desert. Uninvited, the timeless words from the marriage ceremony echoed through his head. “With this ring…”
Stunned by the thought, he stopped short of speaking the words aloud.
At the head of the table, Byron cleared his throat and broke the spell.
Riley dropped her hand as though he’d been burned. He returned to his side of the table, picked up the other ring, and slid it on the fourth finger of his left hand. No fanfare. No ceremony. Only an unfamiliar burden he was about to carry. A partner—a wife as a cover story—with two lives and the nation’s security at stake.