Leaving the military had always been in Hunter Donovan future—either by casket or choice--turns out, it was choice. Early on, he made a promise to himself that if he ever got to the point where he grew too cold, too hardened and the missions didn't matter, then he'd get out.
Working for his Delta brother's security and investigation company seemed a logical choice, too. His attraction to the sexy tattoo artist next door…not so much. She brings more than his tattoo to life, she brings his body to life, as well. Too bad Christa is a single mother because he is far from father material to Dillan. But when her life is threatened and someone tries to abduct her little boy, the hunter and protector inside of Hunter resurfaces and heaven help the person who dared to take Christa and Dillan from his life.
He stepped closer, then shocked her silent when he lifted a hand to brush a strand of hair off her temple that the wind kept blowing across her face. “You don’t have any family?”
She shook her head, her chest suddenly tight. “No. Just Dillan and me.”
“Seems to me you’re surrounded by a large family of friends now.” He slowly pulled his hand away and it was weird how she shivered at the loss, despite the warmth of his words. “The guys might not be my blood, but they are my brothers.”
Now her throat was hot. She swallowed. “I’m glad you have them.”
She got the impression his grandfather had been the last of his family, and she didn’t like the thought of him being alone, either.
He nodded but didn’t say anything. Didn’t move, either. He just stood there, studying her, his dark eyes pulling her in, making her want to bare her soul. And maybe her body too, because those sparks were back, heating the air, tingling through her.
She noticed the longer she was in his presence, the stronger the sensations got until she practically vibrated. It was crazy and amazing, and she was way out of her comfort zone.
“Thanks for changing the tire and for walking me here,” she said, inanely, but the silence was already too charged for her to let it go on any longer.
“No, I’m the one who should thank you for letting me walk you,” he said. “It gave me the out I was looking for.”
She smiled. “Ah, I thought I was picking up on some kind of vibe.”
He had seemed as if he’d wanted to get out of there too.
“Oh…there were vibes, all right, Christa.”
She swallowed, her heart suddenly thudding hard in her chest. She got the impression they were not talking about the same thing. And because the thing she thought he was talking about was a very good thing and possibly leading to a hot thing, she did the only thing she could think of doing.
She ignored it.
“Still are,” he said, his voice low and sexy.
And Christa had to admit, she was a little surprised when he stepped close enough that she was occupying his personal space. So close, in fact, she could see gold flecks in his mahogany eyes.
Gorgeous, like the man.
“I know,” she said, but couldn’t be sure if it had been in her head or out loud.
Her heartbeat increased to a near deafening tone anyway. Then he rubbed his hands on his jeans, his gaze never leaving hers. She swallowed, torn between following the urge to step back and play it safe or move forward and remove the space between them.
She had no idea which choice was best, so she started to babble. “Are your hands cold? Why are you rubbing them on your jeans?”
“To remove the dirt so I can do this,” he replied.
Then he cupped her face with both hands, and…holy crow, he covered her mouth with his and kissed her.
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