| Safe From Harm  ​|

BOOK 1:  of the The Few the Proud Series

  1. "The smaller the target, the more challenging to hit it." It didn’t matter how much he found her alluring, she was a job and he couldn’t afford the distraction. "It's a similar concept with noise. The less, the better."​

  2. After an early retirement, Blake Darkman is hired to look after a South African diplomat's stubborn daughter, Ania Naidoo.

    Tension stimulates a sensual attraction and Blake struggles to maintain professionalism. After so long without much to feel, the strong, beautiful woman has put him in dangerous, unknown territory.   

  3. SAFE

    FROM

    HARM

    ALEXANDRIA

    ASHCROFT

""The smaller the target, the more challenging to hit it." It didn’t matter how much he found her alluring, she was a job and he couldn’t afford the distraction. "It's a similar concept with noise. The less, the better.""

| [FULL DRAFT:  Rated "M" for Mature]|

​​
...yet so close to danger.  ​​

NO HERO DESPITE HIS SCARS...
Blake Darkman is far from a hero no matter how many ribbons, pins, and metals he's received.

CALLED TO DUTY...
After an early retirement, he's hired to look after a South African diplomat's stubborn daughter, Ania Naidoo.

CAN RESIST THE CALL TO KEEP HER...
Tension stimulates a sensual attraction and Blake struggles to maintain professionalism. After so long without much to feel, the strong, beautiful woman has put him in dangerous, unknown territory.

SAFE FROM HARM.
This erotic short is brought to you by donations! If you enjoy the read, please consider donating to the cause! I.E. keeping me jacked up on caffeinated beverages so I can stay up late crafting fabulous works of fiction for you to devour!!

|1|Fatal Extraction

“Mrs. Naidoo?”

Ania shivered when the heavy baritone reached her ears.

“Miss,” she said, “No man’s been brave enough.” She smiled, but kept her focus on her task gathering her notes off the podium. “Who’s asking?” Her last class just let out and she had hours of grading to do before she could retire to her condo. She’d planned to eat dinner on the walk out terrace and enjoy a view of the city. When he didn’t answer she looked over her shoulder at him and her insides stilled. She met the handsome man’s deep brown eyes. She shook the thought and brought her gaze to the lecture hall that was quickly emptying. She didn’t care what people thought about her. She wasn’t going to settle for any Tom, Dick or Harry.

She examined the man as he approached her. His hair was cut low just a shadow on his head. His strong arms stretched the black shirt across his torso. Her smile faded when she met his serious eyes. She swallowed and diverted her greedy eyes back to her task.

“I’ve been sent on behalf of your father and the United Nations to--”

“Stop right there. I don’t have anything to do with my father and his political bullsh--” She gasped, when he grabbed her arm and tugged aside right before a bullet zinged past them.

Confusion made it difficult for her to explain what happened after that. Somewhere in there he pulled a gun from his ankle and popped off two shots. She was cowering behind the podium. She heard a grunt and a body tumble down the concrete steps of the lecture hall. He grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the classroom. Her chest tightened when she noticed the dead man. A student that recently transferred into her class. At least she thought he was a student.

“I need to stop in my office and get my laptop.” She pulled against him, trying to formulate some sense.

“No laptop.” He kept hauling her through the building, down the steps, into the lower level.

She yanked her arm free and eyed the man with wide eyes. “W-what’s going on?”

“Your father’s enemies want to persuade his vote in the upcoming election.”

“W-why? What has he done now?”

The man’s dark eyebrows pulled together. “This is not the time for discussions.”

She pulled her hand from his. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

He frowned and squared his shoulders.

“I’ve never lost a mark and I won’t start with you.”

She took a step back when he took one toward her. “Like hell. How do I know I can even trust you. You say these things. How do I know you aren’t apart of all this?”

“I could pick you up and carry you, but I’d prefer you walk.” He stepped aside and presented the dank, dark, musty path further into the basement.

She frowned rubbing her palms down her pencil skirt and took cautions steps to avoid shallow puddles. She was wearing one of her favorite designer shoes.

They walked a few steps. “Did my father tell you--”

“Shhh,” he demanded. He held his pose for a moment listening, then gestures for her them to continue walking.

“I told you,” she whispered. “I need to get my tablet.”

“No tablet.”

She grumbled and pulled out her cell phone. He grabbed it and tossed it away. “What the hell!”

“That thing will get you killed--” He shoved her behind a storage shelf and took position next to her with a finger over his well-shaped lips. Her heartbeat picked up when she heard two men speaking a language she’d not heard in an age.  The tongue from her mother’s homeland of Botswana, Tswana. She grabbed his arm when the words found meaning in her cobwebbed-mind. Before she could slip into a memory, he signaled for her to remove her heels and walk backwards. He followed as they crept out of the boiler room and out a back entrance that led to an alley. He took her hand and they walked swiftly down the street.

“You knew what they said, didn’t you?” He wanted to know, when they got into a dark-colored sedan.

She met his eyes and nodded. She was literally shaking as memories from her childhood haunted her.  “M-my father has a lot of enemies.”

The man grunted and pulled out of the parking garage. “There’s a bag in the back. You’ll need to change.”

“Okay.” She frowned at her dirty stockinged feet and the two thousand dollar heels next to them, with grime on the bottom from trekking through the dirty basement.

“Now!” He frowned over at her. “Change now!”

“Now? In the car? With,” she frowned. “With you?”

He frowned. “Someone just shot at you with intent to kill. Do you really think it’s a time for modesty?”

She stuck her nose in the air. “If a woman doesn’t have her modesty, what does she have?”

“Her life. If she wants to keep it, she’ll change. Now do it. It’s going to be a long ride anyway.” He set back in the car seat. “You’ll want something comfortable.

She retrieved the bag and scoffed at the homely clothes inside. “Ah, expecting me to wear these rags. What is this?”

“Put it on and stop complaining.”

She shimmied out of the skirt and quickly pulled on the baggy sweatpants. She glanced over at him to see if he was being a peeper, but his serious gaze was focused out the window. She took her top off an failed at her first attempt and pulling on the strang top. She pulled it away from her and turned it over trying finally determining the correct way when she heard a grunt. She glanced over at the man and his dark eyes found the windshield. His strong jaw clenched and he gripped the wheel tighter.

Heat started to swim inside her imagining that maybe he was reacting to her partial nudity. She shook the thought. She really needed to get out more.

She pulled the shirt on and arranged it as best she could before settling back into her chair and putting her seatbelt on.

“That too.” The man said.

She looked over at him confused. “What?”

“That,” he said, pointing to her head.

She frowned and touched her head. “My wig! I’m not taking it off!”

“That wig has a target on it. Take it off. We have to change your appearance as best we can.”

She snatched to wig off and stuffed her cornrowed head into a hat she found in the bag.
This was bullshit! There was a good reason why she hadn’t spoken to her father in five years. Oh, when, nah, if she ever had the chance to talk to him again she planned to tear into him only like she could. People said she was just like the man. She didn’t see it at all.

“Keep your head down and don’t look out the window. There are cameras everywhere.
“Where are we going?”

“Somewhere safe.”

She groaned and rubbed her hands down her face. “Being the daughter of Kungawo Naidoo, there’s no such place.”

|2| Tight Fit |

"Why is this cabin so small?" Ania's nose crinkled, as she took in the meager interior space. Blake was certain the little princess was used to far better, but she would just have to deal with it. It had more than he’d had while touring overseas.

"You're not claustrophobic are you?" He smirked at her expression. It’d been a while since he’d paid any real attention to a woman. Once he got satiated his need to copulate he was content with his solitude. He couldn’t recall any particular characteristic aof the last string of women he’d been with and he was okay with that fact. The woman standing next to him judging everything her brown eyes touched on the other hand, was someone he was sure he wouldn’t forget her beauty.

Ania rolled her eyes at the man. "No, but not much breathing room." He mouth either. She always seemed to have something to say. THe woman pissed him off trying be defiant when people were trying to blow her pretty head off. He crouched down near a floorboard and pulled it up taking out a gun box. He punched in the code.

"The smaller the target, the more challenging to hit it." It didn’t matter how much he found her alluring, she was a job and he couldn’t afford the distraction. "It's a similar concept with noise. The less, the better."

He laughed inside at her shocked expression. Her small fists balled at her side as she approached him. “As if you’re the most pleasurable company.”

He stood and her eyes grew as they followed him to his full height. She Swallowed the delicate column of her long smooth neck flexed. Her beautiful ebony skin didn’t look real. He wanted to reach out and touch her. He was certain it felt like utter under hand.

“This isn’t about company.” He clenched his jaw.

“How long?” She ordered like she was talking to a student who didn’t submit their paper in on time.

He held onto his cool, mostly because he could tell it made her mad. “For what?”

She exhaled and frowned at him. “How long with I have to endure your company?”

He smirked. “Not long at all. A day or so after the election.”

A big smiled pulled at her scowl. “That’s tomorrow.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “Good. I’m not sure how long I can spend in this place. I need to shower.”

“Upstairs, towels behind the door.”

“Is there soap?”

“Not the pretty flower shaped ones you’re accustomed to I’m sure.”

She gave him a deadly glare, turned and marched up the wooden steps.

He kept his thoughts mostly off the pretty woman who was naked upstairs dripping wet. He busied himself checking all the secure features of the little cabin. He reacuanted himself with the gun locations, security system. It was getting late so he drew the curtains and planned to check the grounds the next morning. He locked all the windows and doors and kept an eye on the security cameras hidden in the trees that faced the front and rear of the lot. It appeared to be undisturbed for quite some time⎼

A blood curdling scream sent him flying up the stairs with a loaded gun. He barged into the bathroom and was confronted by a shriek of surprise and perky dark nipples, flat stomach, and shaved privates. He quickly looked into the woman’s eyes as she moved to cover herself. She was shivering which for some reason made him laugh. Her tight frizzy curls were dangling in her eyes as she glared at him.

He grabbed a towel from behind the door and wrapped her in it.

“This is not funny! That water heater in shit!”

Her accent brought a smile to her face. He rubbed her arms vigorously with the towel while she climbed out the shower. “It helps when there’s a fire in the fireplace.” He confessed.

“Sure, tell me now.” Her teeth chattered letting him help warm her.  She splayed her elegant hands on his chest using him as support. He stopped breathing for a moment noticing that she wasn’t shivering any more, she was just in his arms. Her body heat mingled with his stirring his blood. He looked down at her and her dark eyes were grazing over his face and settled on his mouth. Her sweet, full lips parted.

He thought he had more self restraint than he did because without hesitation her cupped her face in his palm and kissed her.

She moaned, pressed into him and gathered him close, her arms wrapped around his shoulders. His other hand held fast to her small waist, pulling her soft, slender curves to his hardness. He was certain she could feel his penis pushing at her through his jeans, through her towel. She didn’t seem bothered by it, maybe it was even fueling her increasing passion. Her tongue glided over his bottom lip and he opened his mouth over hers. She moaned into his mouth the feeling intoxicating euphoric. Everything about her: from her tight curly locks to her full lips, round ass, slim waist, dark smooth brown skin--

He pulled away using her waist to untangle her limbs from around his shoulders. This was not how he handled jobs. This was how shit slipped between the cracks. This wasn’t about his cock, this was about her life.

“What’s wrong?” Her furrowed brow bothered him. If she thought it was her perfection she was sorely mistaken.

He cleared his throat. “I’ll start that fire. The sun’s going down and the temperature will drop soon.”

He noticed the loss of her heat but ignore it. He had to stay focused. Once he finished that job he could return to his beloved retirement of peace sitting on his beachside condo in San Diego. He had to hang onto that even when the feel of her ebony skin kept tingling his fingertips like ghost sensations for a long gone limb. Stay Focused.

|3| Daddy Issues |

Ania set up in the bed.

It’d been years since the nightmares woke her. She grumbled when she looked out the window and it was still dark outside. It was difficult going to sleep. Mostly because she was still distraught over the blasted man and his kiss. Had it really been so long since she felt a man’s passion, body pressed to her own? If it hadn’t, her body sure was acting like it.

She pushed off the bed and opened the door to the single room in the small little cabin. She frowned when she saw the light on in the lower level. She peered over the banister and found Blake busy with something in front of the fireplace. She descended the stairs catching a clock on the wall letting her know the sun wasn’t so far from rising. Had he been up all night?

“To know true silence makes it easy to hear when an enemy is approaching. He said, without turning in her direction. She exhaled. She swore she was being as quiet as a fox hunting a meal. He cocked the gun he just put back together. There was no magazine in it as he placed it on the coffee table. “Trouble sleeping?” He stood and she found his eyes forgetting how tall the man was. Not only tall, but sturdy.

She wasn’t sure who to blame, God or the devil for the fine made masterpiece standing before her. His dark hair and groomed facial hair that accentuated his lips with the distrinct pusids bow. Her mouth tingled at the memory of having his and hers. She blinked finding his steady gaze then realizing she didn’t answer his question. “Uh, yeah. Nightmares been having for a long while.”

He gestured toward the couch. “Sit.” She did as he headed to the kitchen and retrieved a hot pot off the stove. He brought the pot and to teacups into the living room and set next to her. “I can imagine. Your father is pretty aggressive in his views.” He handed her a cup on a saucer.

“At Least you know where I get it from.” They both smiled and looked down into their tea cups.

“Is there a particular thing that keeps you awake?” He settled back in the chair his dark gaze focused on her.

“Truthfully I hadn’t had it for a long while, but hearing those men just brought it back.” She swallowed and set the tea cup on the coffee table in front of her. Her mind struggled to stray from that place, that darkness. The fear that rattled her, then, small adolescent body stole her peace then as it did that long while ago.

“You don’t have to tell me.”

She blinked and looked up at him. Her anxiety calmed a bit. “It was late, around this time. Breaking glass startled me from my sleep. The words were quick in my mother’s native tongue. We hardly spoke it in our house because she wanted my English to be good. Better opportunities she’d say. She was pleading with the men. My father was gone, off fighting other people’s battled as usual. I heard her tell them she was the only one in the house. I hid under the bed, curled up like a ball. I heard her scream, but I couldn’t move. I was shaking like a leaf lying in a pool of my own excrement. Terrified for my own life. It wasn’t until afternoon the next day when my father returned. He was screaming and crying. I crept out of my room and he was holding my mother’s dead body in his arms.” Ania gasped. “I’ll never forget how beat up her face was.” He teary eyes met his, steady, intense. There was a deep unidentifiable emotion in them. Not quite empathy, but not really anger.

“No child should have to see that.”

“That’s only the beginning of the nightmare. I thought my mom’s death would make him stop, but it didn’t.” She let out a steady breath and pinched the bride of her nose.

“It’s why you stopped talking to your father?” He leaned forward and placed his tea cup there as well. His handsome dark eyes were searching her face. Her insides warmed.

“Why should I care about him, when he doesn’t care about me.”

The man frowned. “I met your father a couple times. He loves you.”

She tisked him. “I don’t think the man knows the meaning of the word.”

“He wouldn’t be doing all he does if he didn’t care.”

“Cares about strangers anyway.” She wiped the tear before it had a chance to stain her cheek. “He loved my mother too. If that is proof of his love, I’ll not have any thank you.”

“If he didn’t care, I don’t think he would have called me.” She looked away from the fire dancing in the hearth.

“He called you personally?”

The man nodded. “He had his calm about him. The kind that rally's quiet revolts, but I could tell he was concerned. He wouldn’t allow me to turn the job down. In fact,” the man smiled, truly smiled recalling the situation. “He sent my former commander after me to me off my beach.”

She smiled from the inside out and leaned back on the couch. Truth was, she loved her father and always wished he could love her the way she wanted him to. Protect her, keep her safe, reassure her that everything was going to be alright. That was not Kungawo Naidoo’s way, then there was Blake. He was physically strong true, but he had a strength of mind too. Enduring, difficult, but enduring.

“Your father cares, trust me. Pulled some serious strings getting a hold of me.”

She sighed. “I just wish he wasn’t so extreme.”

The man frowned. “The enemy is extreme too.” His eyes went somewhere far away. “Sometimes extreme is necessary.”

She frowned. What had this man been through? He didn’t look old maybe a few years her senior, but he was retired. His eyes spoke a tale of a thousand woes. She covered his hand with her own and was rewarded by his intense gaze. It made her unsteady at first, having someone see down into your soul, but she found comfort in it. He looked down at their hands.

“I never thanked you for keeping that bullet out my head.” They held each other’s eyes for a long while.

“It’s what I do.”

“Maybe, but I’m still grateful.” She pushed to standing, leaned over and kissed him on the forehead.  “Thank you.” She didn’t mean the words to come out as a whisper, but his eyes were eating into her.

He took her hand in his and leaned back on the couch. Her chest squeezed taking her breath. She let him pull her to straddle his thighs.

|4| Tight Fit |

She kept her weight off his lap and snaked her arms over his broad shoulders. Her insides jiggled at the proximity, at his heat, the way his thick muscled legs forced hers apart. She moaned when he ran his finger up the back of her thigh, over her ass where he squeezed. His hands continued up to her lower back, her waist, and up to her shoulders, then down at her sides where he pushed her to sit on him.

She gasped, when her bottom felt his straining penis push against the dense fabric of his jeans. She didn’t tell her hips to grind on him. He clasped the back of her neck and brought their mouths together. She exhaled into him, and he pulled her close holding her.  

It wasn’t like she was a virgin. She’d been with men before, but he was so sensual, so masculine it was overwhelming. Her body came alive as if reborn, a new, excited at his touch, and the lapping of their tongues.

He pulled open her robe exposing her nudity. He palmed her breast and looked at it before pulled the sensitive nipple into his mouth.

“Oh, shit!” She whispered, arching into his mouth. She moaned and let her head fall back. Her hands ventured down his well-crafted chest, over the mountains and valleys of his abs to his pants. She rubbed his penis and her breast popped out his mouth when his head fell back. “Does that feel good?” She purred, in his ear, then took the lobe between her teeth.

“Take them off.” He growled.

She knew what he was talking about, but she pulled back to meet his eyes. “What? These?” She ran her hands over his hardness through the jeans again.

His eyes glared a frown marred his angular features. “Yes.”

She pouted and put on her most innocent face. “Is that an order, sir?”

“Yes.” He ground out.

She smiled and went to work unbuckling his belt, then unbuttoning and unzipping the jeans. He let out a big exhale when his penis was able to spring free of its restriction. It stuck up through the hole in his underwear.

She bit her lower lip examining the substantial bit of anatomy. Thick, long, veiny and dark his penis stood out, the head swollen from their play, from his need, his want for her. Excitement ricocheted off the walls of her body and mind. She stood and pulled the pants and underwear off him, then pulled off his shirt.

She smirked.

This is how she wanted him, how she imagined him.

She straddled him again where he parted the sides of the robe and pushed it over her shoulders and onto the floor. His eyes devoured her nudity running over her face, shoulders, collarbone, throat, her breasts, stomach and back up again. His calloused hands felt rough against her skin gliding up form her thighs, hips, waist, her back and down where they settled on her ass.

She rubbed her pussy back and forth along his length and he groaned. He reached down to the floor and retrieved a condom from his pant pocket, ripped it out the package and rolled it over his penis. He grabbed her waist and aligned his cock with her opening then slid inside her.

She pressed her palms against his chest with a whimper. The sensation of his intrusion almost too much. He held fast to her waist but slowed his urgency. She gasped the more he entered her. She closed her eyes and let her head fall back. Once he was submerged to the hilt, he sunk into the couch getting solid footing, held her waist up a bit, and thrust into her.

“Oh, fucking shit!” She belted.

“Shhh,” a mischievous smirk met her eyes when they pulled open at his chastisement. He set up pulling her chest to his. He claimed her mouth and she ground her hips on him. She whined when he pulled away and lifted her up and down his penis stretching her slick opening in the most delicious way. His thumb roamed to her clit making her breath catch.

She couldn’t stop the overwhelming onslaught of feelings that rushed through and around and inside her. She sucked air between her teeth feeling her pussy collapse around him.

She shrieked and held on to his shoulders when he stood with her in tow. He climbed the stairs with ease and laid her on the bed without separating their bodies.

She reached for breaths when his muscled body loomed over her in the near dark room. She ran her hands all over his body her mind conjuring an accurate description of what he looked like a moment before in the light of the fireplace.

She moaned into his kiss, light at first then gradually got more demanding. She arched her body into his, desperate for him to move, to do something, anything. “Blake,” she moaned his name.

He thrust into her once then used his weight to keep her still. She growled in the darkness only to be confronted my masculine amusement. He kissed her mouth, down her neck, suckled both nipples, then back up to her lips again. He pulled out then back in flexing his strong glutes. She sighed and relaxed into the pillows. He kept thrusting into her while he kissed along her jaw until he got to her ear. “Is this what you want?”

“Mhm,” she wrapped her legs higher up his hips. He leaned back to a kneeling position on the bed, grabbed her thighs and pulled her closer to him then started driving into her at a high velocity, pounding their bodies together in rapid succession.

She could barely keep herself together she could feel her cells pulling away from each other. It was a blissful, pleasurable pain that stung and tingled, and confused her and felt good at the same time. She couldn’t keep it together.

Once she decided she didn’t want to keep it together, she shattered into a million euphoric pieces.

|5| Taking Orders |

Ania stretched and rolled over, a delightful ache in her limbs.

She frowned, when the strong warm body, she thought she’d find next to her, wasn’t there. She opened her heavy eyes  and patted further toward the edge of the bed until there was no more bed.

“You should go back to sleep.”

She started at the man’s low voice coming somewhere behind her. She turned toward the bay window and saw him leaning on the frame. Moonlight touched his smooth, dark skin with such a gentle caress it almost didn’t look real. It was very possible she was still dreaming. He was so freakin sexy it was difficult to bare being so far away from him.
“Come back to bed.” She cleared her raspy throat.

She heard the amusement in his voice. “There’s nothing quite like sleep out here.” He pushed off the frame and was heading to the bed. He climbed on the bed, a hand on either side of her. He opened her legs and settled into a lying position between her thighs. He placed kisses along her inner thigh, first one side then the other. She sighed excited at what might come--

“Oh, mmmm.” She purred. She rubbed his head while his lips and tongue toyed with her clit with diligence and skill. She rolled her hips toward his face and bit her bottom lip. She widened her legs the bursts of pleasure ever time he tasted her in the right spot was driving heat all through her body which didn’t explain why she shivered.

He moaned over her clit and slid two fingers inside her pussy and found, with haste, he golden spot.

“Holy fuck,” she rasped, that wonderful overwhelming feeling of release tingled the back of her head. She needed it now and it was so close at hand. “Yeah, yeah, right there. Of fucking shit fuck.” She heard and felt him laugh on her and she wished he had hair to grab. She grabbed the sheets at her side instead when a forceful orgasm racked her body.

*

The sun was barely kissing the horizon when Blake woke up to start the day. His evening with Ania was unexpected and most welcome. It’d been a very long time since he actually connected with someone on a level other than physical. She was so damn passionate and responsive. The way she looked at him, the way she touched him.

He got out of bed with little care of waking her. She was so deep in sleep, he knew a fog horn wouldn’t rouse his beautiful companion. He could tell by the low steady breaths that filled her lungs he’d done his job.

The corner of his mouth tweaked when he gazed at her dark skin in contrast with the white sheets.

She was a strong woman, willful like few others he’d met. He found it obnoxious at first. Taking orders for decades changed your perception quite a bit.

He retrieved some clothes from the closet which was stocked with basic items. Blue jeans and plain white t-shirts in several sizes along with good hiking boots.

He made his way downstairs checking all the windows and doors, then he ventured outside and walked the grounds. Everything looked to be in working order with no sign that anyone had been lurking.

Why the hell did he take this job anyway? He was a fool to, not like his major gave him much of a choice. Blake made his way back to the cabin and started a pot of coffee.

His phone rang, startling him from his thoughts. Speaking of the devil.

“Good Morning, sir.”

Major Delany cleared his throat. “Still up earlier than the roosters, son?”

“Yes, sir. I am, sir.”

“Very good, man. I take it you’ve secured the ambassador's daughter in a remote location.”

“Yes, sir. As directed, sir.” Blake’s ears perked up when he heard sound upstairs. He smiled. The princess finally rousing, funny what coffee does.

“Very good. I have good news. The threat was eliminated last night. Some intel allowed a quick mission with no casualties. I like those kind.” THe man forced out a painful laugh.

“Don’t we all, sir.”

“Indeed. You can bring Miss Naidoo back to her home, Sergeant.”

A sadness settled over Blake blended with relief. As much as he wanted to get the woman back to the city so he could return to his life, he also wanted to spend the time secluded up in the cottage with her.

“Sergeant, are you there?”

“Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. I will get Miss Naidoo back home in short order, sir.”

“Very good. I will call you at 2100 hours to verify the mission was completed successfully.”

“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”

“Ambassador Naidoo is over the fucking moon delighted  you took the mission, and so am I.”

Blake smirked. “Very good, sir.”

“Get home safe.”

“Will do, sir.” Blake hung up the phone and shook his head pouring a cup of coffee. He made his way to his duffle and started stuffing his guns and other things in there. The mission was a favor, and Blake was too loyal, or too brainwashed to turn the man down. His major was a difficult man, and losing his leg didn’t make him any easier to get along with.

When Major Delaney returned home, he closed himself off like many vets, especially the vets that experienced physical trauma. His wife, the dumb broad, left him sometime during his second tour. No one felt pity for Major Delaney. He wouldn’t have it. Blake respected that about him.

Things weren’t good for the Major. In fact, he could imagine they were shit blowing around in a sand storm, but the man came out to force Blake into this job. That was mostly why Blake agreed. For the man to make the effort it had to mean something.
“So what now?”

He glanced over his shoulder at the beautify, brown-skinned woman. She was wearing a pair of the standard issue jeans, small enough to fit her frame, and had the white t-shirt knotted to show some of her smooth, dark stomach.

He turned back to his task or he might grab her up. “You get to go back to your classroom. Back to cell phones, tablets, laptops and conferences.”

She laughed. “That’s not what I was really talking about, but good to see you actually have a sense of humor.”

He shrugged. Humor was for those who had the luxury to not see what he had. “The class clown, I was not.”

“No?” He loved the teasing quality of her voice. “I think a red nose would look fetching on you.” She graced him with a smile, when he smirked at her over his shoulder. He noticed that she’d ventured closer to him.

A silence settled between them. “I was talking about, will I ever see you, again?”

His eyebrows quarked, as he held her dark eyes. “I’m surprised you’d want to.” He laughed uncomfortably.

She looked down at his large hands and took one in her comparably small one. “You’re not so bad.”

He frowned. Sure he had both of his legs, but he had his demons. She had no idea what his dreams were made of. “You say that because you don’t really know who I am.”

She frowned up at him.

His jaw tensed.

She cupped his cheek in her palm and his insides reacted to her touch. “Maybe not. But I can tell that violence and loyalty have been your life for a long while. It’s been the way you eat, reason why you don’t sleep, but you haven’t allowed it to destroy you.” She pressed her other palm to his chest. “On the inside.”

He swallowed, searching the woman’s eyes.

“I’ve killed people.” She winced and he nodded, expecting the reaction.  “Many of them and feel little remorse. I did what I was told and was handsomely rewarded for my blind loyalty.”

He pulled her hand away from his face and brought his focus back to his bag and packing his weapons. “It’s probably best you stay away from me.”

She took a few steps toward him intently watching him work through his task. She rubbed her hand up his back and along his shoulders. He froze and looked at her over his shoulder.

She found his eyes from under her lashes. “You’re probably right, but when I see someone I want, it’s hard to stop me from getting them.

His eyes darkened. The woman had no idea what kind of danger she was putting herself in. Maybe a past him, would have had the strength to make the right decision for her, but that man died somewhere in that desert thousands of miles away.

He turned and clasped the nape of her neck pulling her willing lips to his. The heat, the desire that stirred his body from the inside, was a taste of the danger he felt every time he touched her. He would be lying if he said he wasn’t an adrenaline junky. However, this danger was foreign territory, and it called him like a wolf yearned for the moon.

THE END
  1. “If you don't believe in Valentine's day then why are you here?”

    “To tempt you with something tangible.”

  2. When an unexpected guest crashes Lacey's Valentine's Day Singles’ Event, She's tempted to fall prey to his indecent proposition: One night of unadulterated passion.

  1. "What?" His insides warmed at her cool gaze that took him in over the rim of the wine glass. She shrugged diverting her gaze to her wine. "Nothing at all."

  2. When Tabetha drops Abigail off, Tabetha has a hostile encounter with the girl's father. To add insult to injury Abby wants Tabetha to go on a date with her father.

  3. BAD 

    DADDY

    ALEXANDRIA

    ASHCROFT

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