“No offense, Madison,” Sam replied, using her first name the way she’d used his, “but there’s a big difference between you and me.” He propped his hands on his hips. “I’ve been trained to fight aggression. I know how to resist torture, how to survive in the wilderness, how to operate thirty one weapons with lethal precision. You don’t know any of that.” He raised his eyebrows at her.
“True.” She conceded with surprising grace and a delicate shrug of her shoulders. “But I offer the world something other than physical protection.” Her liquid amber gaze seemed to see deep down inside him.
“What else is there?” He was afraid to ask.
“Spiritual protection,” she informed him solemnly. “Hope. Companionship. Compassion.”
Her words had a strange effect on him. He felt his chest tighten, his throat constrict. At the same time, he realized that arguing with her was clearly a lesson in frustration. “Now I see how you drive your father crazy.”
Her coral-colored lips quirked into a sad smile. She looked away from him, subdued but not defeated.
He stood there a moment longer, considering her fearlessness, her insanity. “Something tells me you’re not going to stay away out of hotspots from now on,” he guessed, his anger returning, simmering low deep down in his gut.
She looked up slowly. “Would you quit?” she asked him. “Just because someone worried about you?”
“It’s not the same.”
“Yes it is.”
Fueled by frustration, Sam stalked toward the bed. Madison stiffened but she didn’t shrink away from him when he caught her face lightly between his thumb and fingers. “You better hope I’m never taken off an assignment to rescue your sweet ass again,” he warned her, altogether distracted by the way her lips parted and the tongue darted out to wet them. “Stay the hell out of the hot spots from now on,” he added.
“Can’t,” she replied with an apologetic shrug.
That single syllable scarcely qualified as a smart-assed reply but, for some reason, it incensed Sam. Oh, what the hell. He’d been dying to kiss her since she’d lain across his lap like a damp angel. An angel with a temptress’s body.
Visit the author: Marliss Melton
Marliss Melton is the author of the bestselling Team Twelve Navy SEALs series. Wife of a retired Navy veteran, she relies on her experience as a military spouse and on her many contacts in the Spec Ops and Intelligence communities to pen realistic and heartfelt stories about America’s most elite warrior, the U.S. Navy SEAL. As the daughter of a foreign services officer, Melton grew up in various countries overseas before settling permanently in Williamsburg, Virginia. She has taught Spanish, ESL, and Linguistics at the College of William and Mary, her alma mater. In addition to her writing, Melton busies herself raising a young daughter, keeping tabs on three college students, and walking her miniature Australian Sheepdog.