|Publisher:||Start Publishing LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
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SEAL Destiny by Sharon Hamilton:
Special Operator Chief Luke Paulsen had that dream again.
Her red lips pressed like tiny pillows against his cool mouth. Though he was buried in his Afghan dugout bunk, he could feel the delicate vibration of her moan as her lust for him whispered things. Unmentionable things. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t recall her words. He could only remember the heat washing over him as she breathed life into him. Again. Like she did every night.
A sharp crack of gunfire forced him to open his eyes. He caught a glimpse of Carson’s scared face in profile just before the young Marine got the round in the chest that exited out between his shoulder blades. In a graceful dance performed all too often, Carson fell into his arms, and Luke watched the youngster’s life bleed out onto the sandy pit and all over his boots. He held Carson’s clear blue gaze, and, without saying a word, told him he’d see him again one day. The boy’s eyes remained open and fixed after his soul had departed. Luke became witness to the young Marine’s passage from his arms into the arms of death.
A split second later, Luke remembered who he was and why he was here. A day’s ride by donkey from anywhere. He lifted the tiny mirror on a wire, the sun to his back.
Still clutching the body of the lifeless Marine, he followed the trajectory of the round that had killed his young apprentice and caught the glint of dark blue steel disappearing into a blackened doorway. Laying the Marine down gently, he picked up his H&K MP5, counted to five while he clicked the safety once. Before he saw the barrel of the insurgent’s rifle again, he fired off several rounds that landed exactly ten inches above the protuberance and saw the red spray of a kill.
Was it wrong that the color of the spray reminded him of her crimson lips? That he died a thousand little deaths with each of her kisses?
His dreams were stealing his present.
A week later, SOC Luke watched the sun pour itself into the horizon on one of San Diego’s white sand beaches. The afterglow felt good. So did the blush on his face from the three beers he’d finished. He usually drank with the rest of his SEAL Team III. But this last DT, Dissociative Tour, in Afghanistan had given him a cadre of young Marines eager to prove themselves, along with Carson, the medic-in-training.
But Carson had drawn a different card and would be taking the short flight home. Luke raised his long-necked IPA to the sunset and toasted the man.
“To all the young hearts you won’t break,” he whispered to the soothing waves and the sunset.
It was a damned shame. He thought Carson would have made an excellent doctor.
Luke heard laughter as two lovelies in shorts ran past him to splash in the surf. Slender tanned legs kicked droplets of white foam into the air. He loved watching the girls’ carefree spirit, just being goofy and lacking an ounce of self-consciousness. He couldn’t help but smile.
The dark haired one with the cutoff inside-out sweatshirt that showed her muscled midriff stopped and turned to face Luke. Her brown eyes were wide set. Her thin nose lead to full lips that were stained bright red. She licked those lips and pushed her chocolate brown hair from her forehead, exposing a delicious ridge of little lines on an otherwise smooth and flawless forehead. With a tiny angle she tilted her head to the side and waved in that embarrassed way her mother must have told her never to do. Especially to a strange sailor sitting alone on the beach with empty beer bottles at his feet.
Luke waved back, using the same three middle fingers she used, sending his communication off with a shy smile. He imitated the angle of her head and felt the dangerous curiosity and wonder of their chance meeting.
He wanted her in the worst way.
The blonde was pulling her friend, pleading, but she wasn’t having any of it. Luke’s unspoken message had touched her, and those golden tethers of his thoughts drew her to him, just as if he had special powers. It was lovely when that happened. He could almost believe in the supernatural, like those paranormal guys his sister read about in her romance novels.
The exquisite young thing with the well-defined legs came to within striking distance. If he wanted to, and hell yes he wanted to in the worst way, he could reach out and bring her to his arms and he could tell she wouldn’t resist. But it would be so much better if he showed a little restraint.
Those who wait? What was that saying?
No matter. Luke felt the confusing enchantment like vamps did in those books. It was a pleasant fantasy. Let her have her way with him. Yes. He could tell she felt she had a date with destiny.
I can be your destiny for one night, darlin’.
She disposed of her friend with a sharp command and, alone now, stepped closer to Luke. “You look like you could use some company,” she said as she swung her upper torso from side to side.
Her feet had implanted themselves in the sand, and he watched her pink nail polish peek out between the grains.
Lady, you have lovely toes.
But, she’d asked a question that needed an answer. “That depends,” he murmured, stunned at the joy it gave him let his eyes walk slowly up her body, every lovely inch, heightened by the knowledge that she let him. He watched the tops of her breasts quiver under the thin cotton blouse. He’d learned to assess subtle changes in body language and heart rate. He noticed the blush in her cheeks and the red blotches on her chest just below the delicate V of the top of her breastbone. His gaze roamed over her quivering chest again, and he smiled. He couldn’t wait to hear her response.
“Depends on what?” she asked.
Her brown eyes mirrored truths he wasn’t sure he’d divulge to himself.
“If it’s complicated,” he said. “I like uncomplicated.” He was telling her something he was trying to convince himself he believed.
She took in a sudden brief inhale. Her gaze quickly diverted to the ocean, giving him a full pure look at her upper torso, every curve and valley, until he thought perhaps he could even taste her skin. What Luke saw in profile was a strong, handsome woman with a body made for hard loving, who was unafraid.
Then she turned back and faced him fully. Her body dropped to her knees in front of him, so quickly he thought perhaps she’d gotten suddenly ill. “I don’t do uncomplicated,” she whispered. “I like it complicated and rich. I like entangled. I like feeling everything and being sorely missed when I’m gone.”
She didn’t physically touch him, but she had mated with a part of his body that rarely was visited.
Table of Contents
xx SEAL Destiny Sharon Hamilton
xx Renegade Brindle Chase
xx As You Were Alice Janell
xx Diving Deep Jenny Lyn
xx Besieged Elle James
xx Painted Leah Ridgewood
xx Pumping Iron Christine d’Abo
xx Heated Negotiations Macy Man
xx Five Alarm Fire Sabrina York
xx Once Upon a Time in Mukdahan Sidney Bristol
xx Big Guns Michael Bracken
xx The Star Tahira Iqbal
xx Natural Appetites Adele Dubois
xx Mountain Man Tamsin Flowers
xx Pitch Black Delilah Devlin
xx About the Authors
xx About the Editor