Captain Jesse Forbes was understandably mistaken in his original assessment of Colonel Mitchell Stone. But his method of gathering that intel has blown up in his face. Given Addison Longwood’s history, he knows she’ll never offer him a second chance, and working together against a common foe is going to be torture in more ways than one.
Addison hopes for the best but expects the worst as she and her fellow defenders gain reinforcements and take it to the enemy, unaware another betrayal awaits them. Survivors change sides and lines are blurred—good guys and bad guys wear camo.
Stepping right into her space, he grasped her by the upper arms and yanked her close. The familiar feel of his body against her own, his scent, thrust her into memories—the good ones that had temporarily replaced the ones from her childhood—and nearly overwhelmed her common sense.
“Addy, I need to you to listen to me. Please.” For an instant, she longed to melt into him, to let him kiss her the way he did, to escape from the reality that was to come. To allow what usually followed such a kiss. Her innate sense of survival overrode the impulse. Trust was such a fragile thing… Fool me once. She carried enough shame.
Twisting free, the strength of his fingers likely leaving marks, she put distance between them. “Don’t. Not ever.” The words, spoken so adamantly, quietly and so coldly, fell between them and rose up like an invisible wall only the two of them could see.
Jesse stilled, staring at her, his whiskey-golden eyes morphing into solid amber. “You’ll never forgive me.”
“There’s nothing to forgive.” She repeated what she’d said to Marcia and would repeat forever, if necessary. “Means to an end. I get it. I’d be stupid to let it get to me. But that doesn’t mean I’ll let you use me again. We can’t afford to allow anything get in the way of what’s coming next. We can’t afford to be … distracted. You have everything you need.”
“This is about what happened to you growing up.” The wistful, arbitrary feeling about her own needs burned away with white-hot rage. Damn him.
She managed a shrug but then hit back, forgetting her resolve to remain distanced. “Such a clever spy, Forbes. You know all my secrets. Good on you. Hope your real boss appreciates your diligence. Anything for the cause. It’ll look good in your report. Make sure you spell my name right.”
“That’s not—” He growled something under his breath and stalked over to a folding table, kicking a chair out of the way.
“I’m leaving. And don’t pull anything like this again.” She made her weak knees stiffen so her legs could carry her past him.
“It became so much more, Addison.” He turned and spread his hands. “I can’t go back. I wish I could. If I’d known what it could become, I’d have waited. Until you knew who I really was.”
She shut her eyes tightly against a new shard of pain in her chest before gaining the exit, not able to form a coherent response. A terrible sense of loss hollowed her senseless, but she schooled her features.
Allyson Young aka Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada. She and her husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business. She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth. A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of April 2018 she has published seven series and several standalones, with others in the works.