EXCERPT: Three weeks did nothing to dilute the effect he had on me. Arms huge, jaw set, gaze unwavering, Viking stole my breath but he looked different. Harder, bigger, edgier… more determined. “Neil.” My voice faltered.
He didn’t say anything but the impenetrable stare I’d dreamt about wasn’t its usual cold mask. It was dark and churning and the storm was threatening.
My stomach fluttered and anticipation left a desperate taste in my mouth. Every second of his hands on my body replayed in my mind and became movie screen big.
I clutched my purse to my chest like armor. “You’re back.”
He pushed off his truck and took a step toward me.
Not even the clothes on his body could disguise the rippling muscles or hide the sheer strength of him. Viking was a warrior. He’d always be a warrior and that terrified me but I’d never fully understood why until this very second. Warriors weren’t permanent. They didn’t give away their hearts. They took what they wanted and the collateral damage was the hearts of those they left behind, trampled in their wake.
This would be my life with Viking. He’d show up unannounced, leave unexpectedly and expect me to drop everything. I couldn’t live like that and Conner didn’t need to lose another man from his life. “What are you doing here?”
He took another step.
I didn’t want him to come closer. If he touched me, I would lose all my resolve. I needed to get in my car and drive away, but just the sight of him was making me want to beg him to stay. “I, um…” I palmed my keys. “It’s late, I gotta go.”
“You are frightened. Why?” His deep, quiet voice didn’t drift across the alley. It filled every dirty corner and blanketed it in hope.