When things are at their lowest ebb, chances are it’s going to get worse.
For Erin McNally that includes working alongside David Villede. He’s the one man she wants and can never have. Too much separates them—position, money, and power are just the beginning.
For David, Erin is the woman he dreams of and burns for. After she’s hurt in a horrible incident, his protective instincts kick into overdrive.
But the times are dangerous. The genetically engineered warrior children are growing in power, there’s someone in the camp they trust who’s betraying them, and the tide of public acceptance could just as easily turn against them as in their direction.
Success isn’t assured, and neither is their survival. Love may be their only hope.
Content Warning: genetic modification, violence, and erotic content exist within this book
“I wanted to talk to you about that night, Erin. I…” David reached out, and Erin flinched back.
“I don’t think so. Everything that needed to be said was. I had a nightmare, you woke me, and things happened that shouldn’t have. Is that all?” She raised an eyebrow, well aware that would goad him into action. She needed David gone so she could find her center once more.
“Erin, dammit, we need to talk. Come for a coffee with me. Please.” The word contained so much emotion, and heaven knew Erin wanted to go with him, but it wouldn’t be wise, her rational mind screamed.
“No, sir. Now, if there’s nothing else?” She strode to the door, opened it, and gripped on like it was a lifeline and willed him to leave.
Defeat filled his face. “Okay, for now. But we do need to talk about this. About us. We’re not done, Erin. Not by a long shot.” He turned and marched past her.
Erin watched him go, knowing damn well if he decided to push it, they’d be revisiting this conversation again before long.
She closed the door and backed up into the room before slumping back on the narrow bed. So, unlike the one… Stop it! Don’t remember!
If only it were so easy to turn off her memories.
She woke, arms holding her against a hard chest. The half-light from the bathroom the only illumination.
“I’ve got you, Erin.” David’s voice betrayed the depth of emotion, rough and dark like liquid chocolate.
She shivered, her body still frigid from the nightmare. “Please, don’t leave me.” Her fingers dug into his shoulders, clinging to him. Holding him so close and absorbing the reassurance.
“I won’t. I’ll be right here. Always here for you.” His breath whispered over her hair, ruffling it, while his hand moved in tender circles over her back.
Her nerves jumped and danced at his proximity. Some of it was left over from the nightmare of the shooting, but the rest was a reaction to the tenderness of the caress.
Tears burned in her eyes, scalding her cheeks, wetting his bare torso.
“Erin?” His fingers stilled, dragging her closer.
Awareness flared and she tugged away.
“Stay still, Erin. Just there.” He exerted careful pressure, so that once more her face rested against his collarbone. Just a tiny shift and her lips would be in contact with the warm, muscled skin.
An odd yearning rose.
Erin moved, her lips opening over the flesh. Tasting the saltiness of his flesh.
He shuddered in response. “Erin.”
His hand cupped the back of her head, curling into her hair and guiding her gaze upward so she could read the ardor in his eyes.
“I want to kiss you, Erin.”
A long second passed, dragging her into a well of pleasure and hunger.
When their lips touched, her whole body ignited, fire licking at her, and their mouths crushed, opened, and the heated cavern of his mouth beckoned.
The interest between them, long denied, flared into light in a second.
His tongue danced against hers, while need bubbled and boiled in her gut and her most secret recesses melted with arousal.
He groaned, or she did. Her mind unable to grasp who gave voice to the furious sensations battering her mind.
Her arms wound around his neck as he reached for her breasts, diving under the loose nightshirt.
She moved and fire streaked, roaring pain searing her mind, and she tugged away on a screech of agony.
“Oh, Erin! I’m sorry. Let me…”
Tears soaked her cheeks again as she cautiously cupped her side, and she fought for control of her breathing and stomach. The echoes of pain had her gut threatening to release itself then and there.
“Please. Get me a pain pill and some water.” Her voice sounded scratchy as she closed her eyes, refusing to watch the real-life, god-like man in the bedroom with her move to the side. Her hand came away damp, and she opened her eyes, glancing down.
Blood. Great, she’d likely opened the wound.