Book #2, Heroes Rising
Congrats to longtime reader Teresa Fordice who won the right to have the heroine named for her!
Could she trust him to help her as disaster loomed?</strong
He’s a SEAL and we know they are the best of the best, right?
Arms manufacturer Reed Morgan’s secret money man is dead and wild rumors of ma dangerous plot are floating. Tasked with finding out what it is, ATFE agent Teresa Fordyce must flee for her life. She ignores the order to come in from the field, instead she runs to Montana and the place where Morgan’s secret plan is being hatched. But finding Jesse Donovan there, the man who walked out of her life, complicates things even more.
He might have left the SEALs but the memories of battle still haunt him…
The recurring nightmares made Jesse Donovan walk away from the best woman he ever met but now Fate has thrown them together and he has a chance to redeem himself. Can he get past the memories to help her on her mission to take down a man who may be plotting against the country?
What is it? When is it? What is Reed Morgan planning? Can Terry and Jesse find out in time and can they stop him? And what will happen with them after that? Can he walk away again? Will she let him?
As the motorcycle came closer her breath caught. No, it couldn’t be. Not here, in the middle of nowhere. Not when her mind was so focused on her job and what her immediate priority was. It had to be someone who just reminded her of him, with a big bike that looked like his. But when he got closer every nerve in her body fired as she realized it was indeed Jesse Donovan, heading straight for her. What on earth was he doing here?
He pulled up to the shoulder of the road, shut off his engine and climbed off the bike. Then he pulled off his helmet and stared at her for a long moment. She felt as if all her clothes had been stripped off.
“Fancy meeting you here,” he said at last. His voice still had that deep, rusty tone to it.
She ran her gaze over his body. He was just as lean and muscular, his hair a little longer, his beard a little scruffier. Very inappropriately the pulse between her legs set up a throbbing and her nipples hardened. She wished she had a jacket on to conceal the evidence of her unwanted arousal, because Jesse’s eyes immediately focused on her breasts.
She swallowed. “I could say the same.”
“I’m here to see an old friend. What’s your story?”
“Ditto.” He knew she was an ATFE agent but she wasn’t about to spill the details of what was going on. She had no reason not to trust him but spilling her guts didn’t go with the job.
“You have an old friend out here in the middle of the Crazy Mountains? That’s…crazy!” e grinned. “Crazy.”
“Yeah, well, I could say the same.” She looked at her flat and the jack lying on its side. “I better get to work here.”
Jesse closed his fingers around her wrists, his touch sending arrows of heat through her body.
“I’ll do it.” He grinned. “Wouldn’t want you to break a fingernail.”
“Damn you, Jesse.”
She wanted to stamp her foot at the unfortunate situation. Then she wanted to scream.
He laughed. “You wouldn’t be the first person to say that. Now let me at it. I’ll get this done in just a minute.”
Silence dropped over them and she felt a need to break it.
“So, uh, what have you been doing since I last saw you?”
His body tensed for a moment before he answered. “A little of this, a little of that. Here and there. Lot of construction work.”
She wanted to ask him if he’d hooked up with anyone but pride kept her from it.
“You still chasing the bad guys?” he asked.
“Still doing it. They never stop being bad.”
It seemed they had nothing to say to each other after that so she just stood and watched him.
He changed the tire and as he was tightening the lug nuts he asked, “So who are you all the way out here to see, anyway? Old boy friend?”
“I’m here on business.”
“Here in the Crazies?”
“Good place for crazy people,” she told him.
“And who are you on your way to meet? Another hotshot ATFE agent?”
“Not that it’s any of your business,” she snapped, “but I’m hooking up with a friend who’s going to help me.”
“And does this friend have a name?” He finished tightening the last lug nut.
“You wouldn’t know him. Alex Rossi. Sheriff Alex Rossi.”
Jesse dropped the lug wrench with a clang and whirled to look at her.
“You have got to be kidding me.”
“Why? He’s an old friend. And what’s it to you, anyway?”
He raked his fingers through his hair. “That’s who I’m on my wait to meet with, He’s an old friend of mine, too. We were in the SEALs together. On the same team for a while, as a matter of fact.”
Terry just stared at him. “You’re kidding me. Or someone is playing a huge joke.”
“Nope. Not at all.” He rose, replaced the lug wrench in her trunk along with the flat and dusted his hands on his jeans. “But it is a hell of a coincidence.”
Silence dropped between them like a boulder.
“Listen, Terry,” he began
“Jesse, I—” She stopped, took a deep breath. What could she say to him that didn’t sound like a bitchy female? He was certainly free to do whatever he wanted, including leaving her without a word.
He held up a hand. “Me, first. Running out on you the way I did was wrong. I knew it then and I still know it, but I didn’t know what else to do?”
“All you had to do was tell me we were getting too serious and you wanted to back off. Or needed to get out. Anything but just running off.”
He nodded, anxiety etched on his face.
“I was carrying a lot of baggage. A lot. Stuff I couldn’t make myself discuss.” Distress etched lines in his face. “I still can’t, and it isn’t fair to dump that on another person.”
She wanted to tell him she could handle anything he dished out but she knew at the moment he wasn’t open to that. Maybe this coincidental meeting was fate creating the opportunity. She mentally crossed her fingers, because Jesse Donovan was the only man she’d ever been with where she could just plain be herself.
* * *
And be sure to pick up your copy of Book One in the series