by Becca Jameson
a Susan Stoker's Special Forces:
Operation Alpha Kindle World novella
The Underground Book Seven
It’s been fifteen years since Sofia Leskov’s heart broke. Sure, she was only twenty, but she was an adult, fully capable of making her own decisions. She knew her heart, and Roman Stasevich had burrowed his way into it for good.
Roman Stasevich has spent the last decade living in Chicago on an undercover assignment with Interpol. He never forgot the girl he left behind, but his job was not conducive to maintaining a relationship then, and it still isn’t now. Besides, he’s too old for her.
When Roman returns to the town where they met—Norfolk, Virginia—his only thought is a much-needed vacation on the beach. But fate lands him right in the path of Sofia, and she’s amassed a pile of problems in recent years.
Their age gap hasn’t changed, and Roman makes that clear from the moment he steps back into her life. Sofia doesn’t give a flip about their age difference, however. If anything, Roman is sexier than ever.
Roman enlists the help of long-time friend John “Tex” Keegan to get Sofia out of a bind, but neither Roman nor Sofia can prevent their hearts from tangling in the process. Their days together are numbered. Roman can stretch his vacation out several weeks, but when he receives his next assignment, he must once again leave Sofia behind...
Genre: Contemporary RomancePurchase link(s): Amazon
Content/Theme(s): Interpol Agent, Men in uniform, D/s, Military
Release Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Kindle Worlds
Excerpt & More
She turned to face the ocean, letting the sun hit her face where it streamed through the window. “Do you mind if I step outside for a moment before we go?”
He was smiling when she turned back to him. “Of course not. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I wandered out there a bit myself this morning. Early.” He padded over to the sliding glass door and opened it, motioning for her to pass.
Sofia took a deep breath as she stepped into the cool morning air. It felt wonderful, the air this close to the ocean seemingly cleaner. Fresher. She inhaled long and slow as if taking in oxygen she’d been desperate for. And truthfully she had.
She stood on the wooden deck, closed her eyes, and tipped her head to the sun. A sense of peace washed over her for the first time in years. She had no money, no apartment, no job, and a pile of bills she couldn’t pay, but for a second, the universe stood still long enough for her to breathe.
Roman set a hand on the small of her back, drawing her back to reality.
God, his hand felt good. Right. As though they’d been together for years. An old married couple stepping outside in the morning to enjoy the sun.
Except it had been years since she’d felt Roman’s touch. And she didn’t remember it affecting her so strongly.
She was older now. A woman. How long had it been since anyone’s touch filled her with so much emotion? She swallowed back the lump in her throat and forced herself not to cry.
Until last night she hadn’t allowed herself to realize she’d been on the edge of an emotional breakdown. Undoubtedly her frayed nerves had been what caused her to get into an argument with George. Not that it was difficult to argue with George. The man was a world-class dick. He knew how badly she needed her job, and he took every opportunity to harass her and throw it in her face.
And now it was over. She never had to see him again.
She was, however, out of a job. It was the only job she could find in the area without a degree or experience. With it she barely kept her chin above water.
Or maybe that was a lie. After all, she hadn’t paid her rent in months. She was far enough behind on her utilities that they were in danger of being shut off. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d purchased anything for herself that wasn’t absolutely mandatory. And human contact was nonexistent.
She took a sudden step forward, needing to break away from the feel of Roman’s hand warming her back through the T-shirt. Moving quickly, she jogged down the three steps off the deck to slide her bare feet into the sand.
It shocked her to realize she hadn’t come to the beach in years. She hadn’t taken the time to press her toes into the sand, stare at the waves, feel the breeze, soak in the sun, or inhale the scent of ocean. Those were luxuries she couldn’t afford.
But this morning, for a few minutes, she wanted this. This pause in life Roman had inadvertently given her. This gorgeous man she felt looming one pace behind her. Could he sense her need to be alone with the universe for a moment?
With a long inhale of the salty scent of ocean, she wandered forward. She continued to breathe deeply as if she hadn’t had enough oxygen in months and could somehow fill her lungs with a restorative supply that would have to last her another long stretch of time.
Because the truth was she couldn’t stand here in the sand for more than a few minutes, ignoring the reality that was her life.
“Come on. Let’s walk.” Roman’s gentle voice wafted into her consciousness. Not unwelcome. He wrapped his fingers around her elbow and gave a slight tug.
She glanced up, squinting into the sunlight. One side of his mouth tipped up in a smile. His eyes twinkled. “You need some vitamin D. The apartment can wait a few minutes. Let’s stick our toes in the water.”
She nodded, her emotions so close to the surface she couldn’t speak. And then she let him lead her to the edge of the water.
Several other people meandered up and down the beach. A group of children squealed as they ran in and out of the waves.
Roman slid his hand down her forearm. He threaded his fingers with hers. A current ran up her arm and through her body. The sun’s rays warmed her. The morning air was cool, but Sofia wasn’t cold any longer. She was underweight and often shivered, but not with Roman touching her.
She should yank her hand free, get away from this man who would break her heart again, and run fast back to the real world before she completely lost her mind.
Roman interrupted her resolve again to tug her forward. He stepped into the few inches of water lapping at his feet and turned his body to face her. He clasped her other hand and pulled gently. “It’s chilly, but it feels good.”
She stared at his feet. Sexy damn feet she’d never seen naked before. His jeans hung in the water, but he didn’t seem to care as the dark line of moisture crawled up the denim.
Suddenly he released her hands and crouched before her. He rolled up the hems of her jeans almost to her knees. And then he stood. “There.” Once again, he took her hands and led her forward.
So few words between them. And yet, so many emotions.
Two small steps was all it took for her toes to hit the edge of the water and sink into the sand as the wave retreated.
Roman stepped closer until inches separated them.
She lifted her gaze from their feet to his abs. Rock hard.
He let go of her hands and smoothed his palms up her arms until he could pull her against him, closing the remaining gap between fantasy and reality.
She sighed against his chest, inhaling his scent that now overshadowed the ocean water.
She was in a different dimension. A parallel universe.
“It’s going to be okay,” he whispered into her hair, threading his fingers into the locks at the base of her head.
He couldn’t know that. In fact, he was so wrong. It was not going to be remotely okay. Not even close. Unfortunately, it was going to be worse. If she turned and walked away from him, raced to the street, jumped into a stranger’s car, and let someone, anyone, drive her back to her real life, she’d never be okay again.
In just hours, Roman had marked her again. Deeply. With so few words and nothing but his presence. The pain was already unbearable.
Her chest pounded against his as though syncing their rhythms. Her breasts felt heavy, tight, swollen. His pecs were hard beneath her flesh. Her nipples pebbled. An ache, a need really, grew in her stomach.
The warning signs were all there. The danger to her heart was intense. And still she let him hold her.
Finally, he pulled back, cupped her face, and tipped her head to meet her gaze. “We should get going.”
Purchase link(s): Amazon
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Be on the lookout for Becca Jameson's future release(s): Catching Zia coming Jan 2017, Catching Lily coming Feb 2017 and Catching Ava coming Mar 2017
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