Alone at sea. On the run from a killer . . .
It’s been a year since Saria Sands entered The Program, her last chance to stay one step ahead of a relentless killer. When Bodyguard and Weapons expert Ben Hammers sends her on a private yacht to the South Pacific, Saria agrees. But confined in close quarters together on the yacht, Saria can’t help desiring more with her mysterious protector.
Ben Hammers will do anything to protect Saria. She’s more than just a job. Protecting the innocent is Ben’s only way to right a wrong he’s kept hidden his whole life, a secret that has kept him from forming a connection with any woman, let alone the one he wants more than anything.
Ben knows he can’t let his guard down. But the more time he spends with Saria, the further he finds himself slipping…
In bed, Ben fixed the thin strap of Saria’s singlet top that had slid off her shoulder. “What are you thinking right now?”
“I’m wondering how quickly you could disarm me if I attempted to make a move.”
“Less than a second.” He draped the bed sheet over his lower body, and she lost half her glorious sight. “Which means you’re not permitted to. I don’t want to hurt you, and I am trained to immobilize any threat.”
“And you consider me a threat?”
“Of the greatest sort. I don’t do relationships, Saria. I’ve told you that before.”
Yes, her bodyguard had told her that the night he’d started sleeping in her bed. He’d made his position more than clear, that their new arrangement was necessary because of what her therapist had said. “I’ve never asked for a relationship, and being stuck in The Program made that impossible. Some fun though would be nice.” Slowly, she stretched her fingers and hovered her hand over his chest. She waited for him to halt her, but the seconds ticked by. “You’re not stopping me.”
“You haven’t done anything yet.”
“I said I’m after some fun.” She pressed down and with lightning speed, he trapped her fingers against his warm skin. His heart beat soundly under her palm.
“Fun isn’t permitted between us.” He rolled toward her, his brows slashing down. “Clients have the potential to form an attachment to their bodyguard, and at times bodyguards can become as dependent, needing to keep an overly watchful eye and all.”
“I might be dependent on you, but I like it.”
“We’ll muddle through and find a way to break our codependency.”
“Muddling is good, breaking is not.” She leaned in, rubbed her nose against his. “You should know I’ve fantasized about kissing you.”
“Breaking our bonds means no kissing.”
“I’ve also fantasized about you kissing me.”
“You’re not being very helpful, Saria. You promised not to pounce, which you are.”
“And you said you wouldn’t let me. I also noticed your last answer wasn’t a direct no.”
“Taking my pants off gave you the wrong idea.” He pressed forward with his body and steered her back onto her side before rolling back to his. “I want you to sleep. You need the rest and so do I. Tomorrow I’ll get my own room and we’ll begin on inserting some space. A little at a time so our codependency has a chance of retracting.”
“Sleep and retracting are technical terms that just went right over my head. Sorry, but you’re out of luck.” She wriggled one leg over his. “I want to feel your mouth on mine, to see how deep this connection between us goes.”
“There’s no connection.” He stroked her upper leg.
Sure there wasn’t.