JUST HOW FAR WILL HE GO . . .
Army Special Forces Sergeant Beth Garcia owes James Walker big-time for saving her life in Afghanistan. So the least she can do is agree to be his rock-climbing partner. After a year of physical therapy, she's finally eligible for deployment again, and what better way to celebrate than a weekend with a sexy Air Force hero? She's prepared to kick his ass at climbing-until James reveals what he really has in mind . . . Pretending to be engaged wasn't the most brilliant idea James ever had. Neither was dragging Beth to his sister's wedding. The competitive tomboy is a far cry from the type of woman his family usually pushes on him. Yet Beth is more exciting than anyone he's ever met, and James has a feeling that if he can get her in bed, she'll blow his mind. They're just supposed to be acting-but as the wedding weekend wears on, Beth and James have a fighting chance at something real and much more lasting . . .
About the Author
Emmy Curtis is an editor and a romance writer. An ex-pat Brit, she quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She's lived in London, Paris and New York, and has settled for the time being, in North Carolina. When not writing, Emmy loves to travel with her military husband and take long walks with their Lab. All things considered, her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference...well, she already considers you kin.
He had just decided on her shoulder, and stuck out his hand to stop her trajectory, when she gave a small kick, moving just a tiny bit faster than he had anticipated. He knew exactly what was going to happen only a fraction of a second before it did.
Yup, right on her breast.
She didn’t flinch or raise her head. She just said, “Forward, much?” and splashed some water at him as she came to a halt.
He snatched his hand back, saying, “I was aiming for your shoulder, but the target moved at the last minute.” But even as he said it, he knew his grin was the biggest fucking giveaway ever.
Beth laughed, just loud enough to be heard. “Good thing you had better aim in Afghanistan, or neither of us would be here to touch my boob.”
The thought of her touching her own breast was almost enough for him to go from zero to “that never happens, I’m so sorry” in just a few seconds. Fuck the presidents.
“Well, that would be a crime. The thought of neither of us being able to touch them.” In for a penny, in for a pound, was that what she’d said? “That night in Afghanistan, you know, before you carelessly got yourself shot, when you reached to check the .50-caliber gun, I saw the smallest part of your bra. I never forgot that. And then when I cut off your pants and realized your panties were the same color, it was a feat of superhuman strength that kept my mind on administering first aid and trying to stop you from dying. I mean, for a moment, it could have gone either way.”
“Really? Either way, huh?” She flipped herself upright and treaded water next to him, getting closer and closer. Beth took his hand in hers and drew it down. Down past her waist. And touched it to her hipbone. Then, lower, so his fingers were slowly stroking from her hip downward. When he touched her skin instead of her swimsuit, he swallowed. It took every ounce of strength in his body not to press his fingers against her center, slide them under her swimsuit and feel her heat.
Instead she stroked his fingers lightly over her scar. It felt soft, but slightly ragged. In seconds he had flashed back to when he thought he’d lost her. Frantically pushing back the tide of fear, trying to get the pararescuers to land and take her to safety. Some other emotion overwhelmed him, overtook his pure lust for her, and he slid his hand around her wet neck and pulled her the few inches to him.
Her lips were soft, yielding. For a second. Then she slid her free hand around his hips and brought him against her. Electricity shot through him. There was nothing hotter than a woman who took what she wanted. Nothing.
Her mouth opened under his assault and he slid his tongue against hers. He had an overpowering need to hold her, to bask in her, to protect her. His mouth pressed against hers as if he was keeping her alive somehow. Breathing life into her.
Suddenly they were underwater, sinking into the warmth of each other and the water. He maneuvered her to the side of the pool and slid her up the wall so that they could breathe again. Bracing her against the wall, he held her up while he kissed her, pulling away only to bite at her water-slicked neck.
She shuddered under his touch, as if he had just brought her back to life.
“We shouldn’t do this,” she murmured. He didn’t hear her as much as felt the tremor in her neck.
“Hmm?” James said, mouth still on her neck.
“We shouldn’t do this,” she said, a little more clearly this time.
James pulled away to assess his ability to persuade her, but only heard his father’s voice.
“No, you really shouldn’t,” it said.