Bitten Under Fire
Bianca Devlin’s work is her life. Now, she’s finally taking a vacation…and guerillas hit her resort to kidnap a diplomat’s son. She does the only thing that makes sense—intervene to save the child’s life. Being dragged into the jungle with a scared kid she’s determined to protect was definitely not how she saw this trip ending.
After she returns to Texas, the last person Bianca expected to see was Sergeant Carlos “Cage” Castillo, the member of Bravo Team WOLF that helped rescue her. Nevertheless, there he is, living across the street from the house she just bought. The coincidence is alarming, but she has to admit, his presence isn’t entirely unwanted.
But there’s something off about Cage—the way he can move without a sound or the weird way his eyes seem to almost glow at times. And how can Bianca manage her growing attraction, when everything she knows about him and his reason for being there, turns out to be a lie?
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The achoo she released climbed a couple of octaves and came out with a wild squeak. Wincing, she glanced at Cage, another apology on the tip of her tongue. His expression, though, held a measure of entertainment and instead of saying she was sorry, she blushed. Heat scorched her face at the simple joy in his eyes.
“That’s a sneeze,” he said softly, without a hint of mockery.
“It’s a thing with me,” she admitted. “I’ve never been a quiet sneezer.”
“Good to know,” he said, settling back onto—oh, he was sitting on a stool. Even sitting, he seemed huge. His presence dominated the room, but he didn’t overwhelm her. “I meant it when I said I’d go get you something else if you’d like it.”
“Why?” The question popped out before she could think better of it. They were total strangers, and she was aboard a military vessel—she’d had the honor before and would have recognized the med bay even if the corpsman hadn’t been in uniform.
Cage wore fatigues, but they were open in the front and showed his tan undershirt. She was pretty sure that wasn’t regulation, but his high-and-tight haircut was. It was sharp, but even with the close-cropped hair there was a hint of the curl in the front, as though it didn’t want to stay in line. She kind of liked it. She kind of liked him.
“Why did I mean it?”
“No.” She managed another half smile; this one didn’t hurt as bad as the first. “I meant why are you offering in the first place? You’re not a doctor.”
“Don’t I look like a doc?” Amusement glittered in his eyes once more.
McGinnis laughed. “I’m going back to my office. Give me a shout if you need me.” The corpsman left them alone, but it didn’t bother Bianca to stay with Cage. If anything, the sense of calm she’d experienced when she first laid eyes on him seemed to redouble.
“No, you really don’t,” Bianca said, answering his earlier query. “You look more like a soldier. Or, wait, you’re a Marine. Those are Marine fatigues.”
“You know your MARPATs from your camo, good to know.” The fact he seemed impressed shouldn’t have tickled her, but it did.
“This isn’t my first trip on a military vessel.” Glancing around, she spotted the plastic cup with the straw. It took a little concentration, but she managed to reach out for it and lift it before Cage covered her hand with his and assisted. The contact sent a shiver along her spine.
“You’re stepping all over my hero moves here.” The light teasing softened the rebuke in his tone. “I’m here to help.”