“This has to be 5+ stars.” ~ Kame from Goodreads
“Some stories stay with you long after you read them and this will be one of them.” ~ Sophia from Goodreads
“Jessica Scott has penned a tale of sorrow, romance, redemption, and love–a reasoned look at what it means to grapple with the terror of war, and how love and care and support brings the wounded warrior home, to live another day.” ~ Penny from Goodreads
Want a little more? Here’s another sneak peak at Reza & Emily’s story.
Reza’s voice came from far off. His face came into focus as the smoke cleared. He’d long ago passed pissed. He was livid.
“Fuck, are you okay? Emily,” he said, his voice rough. “Look at me. You’re okay.”
Her eyes burned with tears she refused to shed. Her hip was on fire and she wasn’t sure she could walk. “Holy shit that hurts,” she whispered when she was
sure she wouldn’t embarrass herself by crying.
Reza smiled gently. “Come on, walk it off. I’ll check it out when we get out of here.”
She nodded shortly and limped out of the shoot house. She managed to hand Miller back the borrowed weapon.
“Sorry about that, ma’am.” Miller said with a worried grin.
Reza smacked him upside the back of the head and Miller flipped him off. Reza shadowed her on the long, painful walk to the truck.
She nodded. “It hurts,” she whispered, her voice humiliating her as it cracked.
“Let me see how bad.”
She looked at him like he’d grown two heads. “You want me to pull my pants down right here?”
“Other side of the truck. I need to see if you’re bleeding or not. Nothing kinky, I promise.”
She made a wry grin but the prospect of possibly bleeding caught her attention. “These can break skin?”
Reza shot her a look that said “obviously” then followed her around the truck. She reached beneath her body armor and unbuttoned her pants. Reza knelt in front of her and gently eased the flap open, pushing the fabric aside so he could see her hip.
She looked down, overpowered by the sight of the big man on his knees in front of her. With a single movement, she reached out, her hands resting on his shoulders.
He looked up, concern etched onto his features. His eyes were dark, his mouth hard. His tongue slid over his bottom lip, his throat tense as he swallowed.
“You’re okay,” he whispered.
Emily was glad for two things at that moment: one, that she hadn’t actually peed her pants and two, that she’d worn sensible cotton panties that morning. He didn’t seem interested in her underwear, though, as he let out a low whistle.
She felt his fingers slide over the sensitive skin near her hipbone. She shivered beneath the hard echo of the pain. His fingers were rough on her skin. Gentle. “This is going to hurt like a son of a bitch tomorrow,” he said quietly.
“How bad is it?”
“You’ve got a bruise the size of an apple on your hip bone. It probably bruised the bone. We need to get some ice on that before long or you’re going to be walking funny tomorrow.”
He brushed his thumb along the edge of the bruise and she felt the echo of pain next to the gentle stroke of his touch. He tugged her pants closed, his knuckles brushing over her hips as he buttoned them. “But you’re not bleeding,” he said quietly. His voice was thick.
Her hands shook as she tried to take over and button her own pants. His fingers brushed hers as he helped her, deftly flicking the buttons closed and fastening her belt.
“It’s the adrenaline wearing off,” he said, motioning toward her hands. “It’s normal.”
“It feels like I’m never going to stop shaking,” she confessed.
“You will. Ready to head back?” He glanced at his watch. “If we stall long enough, you won’t have to go back to the office.”
She smiled, and felt shaky and weak and alive, her blood humming with latent energy that she didn’t know how to process. “I don’t think I can go back to the office like this, anyway.” She looked up at him, afraid to put into words the question she wanted to ask.
“Why not?” His voice was dark. Deep. Sensual. She couldn’t reconcile the sound of his voice now over the rough commands he’d barked in the shoot house.
“I’ve never felt this keyed up. I don’t think I can type with my hands shaking like this. Do you have to go back?”
His nostrils flared as she looked up at him. She hoped he wouldn’t make her say it out loud. She had too much energy, too much something running through her veins and all of this centered on the man standing in front of her.
“What are you asking me, Emily?” His voice rang heavy with echoes of war.
Her own felt heavy with a neediness she’d never felt before. She opened her mouth but there were no words for what she needed. At least not words she normally used. They were unfamiliar. Raw and hungry.
His gaze locked on hers. Powerful emotions radiated from his dark eyes. Turmoil and chaos and dark promises she didn’t have the words for.
She wanted this man. This man who’d gone to war with her over one of his soldiers, this man who’d taken her to training because she’d wanted to understand his world.
This man, who stood, rough and ready in front of her, power radiating off him and feeding the need that vibrated inside her.
His throat moved. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw his fists clench. This was not an easy decision for him. She wanted to ask why but was afraid he’d come to his senses and say no.
Finally, he spoke. “Get in the truck,” he said roughly.