He’s ruthless. She’s off-limits. But he’s just met his one weakness… Now nothing will stop him from making her his.
Pierce “One-Mile” Walker has always kept his heart under wraps and his head behind his sniper’s scope. Nothing about buttoned-up Brea Bell should appeal to him. But after a single glance at the pretty preacher’s daughter, he doesn’t care that his past is less than shiny, that he gets paid to end lives…or that she’s his teammate’s woman. He’ll do whatever it takes to steal her heart.
Brea has always been a dutiful daughter and a good girl…until she meets the dangerous warrior. He’s everything she shouldn’t want, especially after her best friend introduces her to his fellow operative as his girlfriend—to protect her from Pierce. But he’s a forbidden temptation she’s finding impossible to resist.
Then fate strikes, forcing Brea to beg Pierce to help solve a crisis. But his skills come at a price. When her innocent flirtations run headlong into his obsession, they cross the line into a passion so fiery she can’t say no. Soon, his past rears its head and a vendetta calls his name in a mission gone horribly wrong. Will he survive to fight his way back to the woman who claimed his soul?
Pierce’s hands dropped to her hips. “Would you rather do something besides play pool?”
Yes, please. “No. This is fine.”
His fingers tightened on her. The heat of his touch penetrated the khaki twill of her shorts. Suddenly, she found it hard to breathe.
“Then turn and bend over the table again.” He waited until she complied, and Brea was achingly aware of his body heat bracketing the backs of her thighs, of the sexual stirrings his closeness roused. “You’re right-handed?”
“With that hand, hold the cue about five inches from the bottom. Now place it near your hip. Don’t hold it so tight. You want to be relaxed but controlled. Good. Align your body with the cue ball. This will help your aim. Exactly. With your left hand, make a V with your thumb and index finger, like this.” He demonstrated. “You’ll balance the tip of the cue in that crevice.”
Brea watched, acutely aware of the veins bulging in his forearms, the size of his hands, the length of his fingers, the hair dusting his knuckles.
Then he took hold of her hips again. “Spread your legs, pretty girl.”
Her stomach tightened. “Why?”
“Your feet are too close together. You’ll find it hard to stabilize when you take your shot. Go on. Yeah, just like that. Now lay the rest of the fingers of your left hand on the table and make a bridge for the V to rest on. You got it.”
“Now what?” she asked.
Brea only half listened to his answer. She was excruciatingly aware of his body heat blistering her, of his hips packed against her backside as he leaned over and utterly surrounded her with his big body.
“That means you need to bend over a bit more.”
“Oh,” she breathed as she rushed to comply.
“Good. Now hold the cue steady and eye the ball. Like that.” He sounded hoarse as his fingers gripped her tighter. Then he pressed his entire chest over her back and breathed against her neck. A shiver wracked her. “Hold still. Yeah. Now take your shot.”
How the devil was she supposed to concentrate when he was all over her? When his musky scent swam in her head and she kept closing her eyes to drink him in? It was hard to concentrate on balancing the cue when her body kept urging her to press back into him with a moan.
But Brea did her best.
The tip of her stick barely poked the cue ball. The white orb rolled lazily across the table, made a polite clap with the first of the balls in the triangle, barely jostling them before rolling away.
“Not a bad first effort. Next time, put a little more force into it.” He eased away, seemingly reluctant to put space between them.
“It was horrible.” She straightened, and her hungry stare climbed him again. “Show me what I should have done?”
He hesitated, then set his pool cue aside. “You didn’t come to play pool. Cutter made you promise not to talk to me, so why are you here?”
“To thank you.” She blushed.
“You could have left cookies for me at the office. But you came to my house. On a Friday night. With your hair curled and your makeup done, wearing pretty white lace.” Pierce fingered the scooped neck of her top before he wrapped his hand around her neck and tilted her face up to meet his stare. “Look me in the eye and tell me why you’re here.”
“I don’t know.”
“Yes, you do. You’re afraid to admit it.”
Goodness, Pierce could see right through her.
She swallowed. “Terrified.”
His fingers on the back of her neck tightened. “I’m more than happy to give you what you want, but you have to look me in the eye and say it out loud.”
Brea dug her nails into his forearms, her heart pounding. “I don’t understand.”
“I won’t settle for less than your enthusiastic consent when I take you to bed.”
Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nearly than eighty novels. For over twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.
Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eleven years.
Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.