9/11. Too many memories. A burning pain. Scarred body and soul. Damaged beyond comprehension.
Fighting fires to save lives, unable to combat the devil inside, but I need more.
More… I need her. She’s my salvation and I will have her. No compromises.
Danger. Domination. Destruction.
An elite core of smokejumpers nestled in the heart of Missoula, Montana.
By day they indulge in their penchant for danger.
By night they exude passion.
Are you ready for their brand of domination?
Prevent. Protect. Preserve. This is their motto.
Publisher’s Note: This adult, action adventure romance offers suspense, danger, mystery, explicit scenes and power exchange elements. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.
Ten minutes later, Shannon plopped the bag of burgers onto the counter and headed for her office to grab some paperwork. When she returned, the bag was gone. And so was the man. With no money on the counter. Furious, she took long strides from behind the bar, walking with purpose toward the front door. No matter Landen whatever his name was would serve and protect the state, he would not get away with theft. Not in her bar. Not in her town.
“Uh-oh. The woman has a purpose. Somebody complain, sweetie?” the gruff voice asked, sarcasm dripping from his mouth.
“Shut up, Bart or I’ll give you something to complain about,” she snarked in return. Slapping her hand against the heavy door, she tossed back her hair and stalked out into the parking lot. The sun was finally below the horizon, leaving a series of eerie shadows crisscrossing the parking lot. Looking from right to left, she found him easily enough.
“Hey. You. Buster.” Her voice reverberating into the parking lot, she stormed toward him. As soon as the words were out, he opened the driver’s door. Of course, he was going to run. Coward. “I said you!” She was within two feet when a growling noise came out of nowhere. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a blob just seconds before-
“Ah, shit. Get off the lady, dog. Come on. Where are your manners?” Landen’s voice held a lilt as he wrestled with the wiggling mass.
The moment her head hit the pavement, Shannon saw stars. “What the…” Blinking, she was finally able to focus as a long, wet tongue was dragged over her face. Then again. And again. “Oh!”
“Come on, buddy. She doesn’t need a bath. We were having dinner.” Landen managed to pull him off, holding the scruff of the dog’s neck with one hand and holding out his other. “Sorry about that. He’s a bit gregarious.”
“Gregarious?” She ignored his offer and struggled to stand, rubbing the back of her head. “A menace. That’s what he is.” While she didn’t particularly care for dogs, she had to admit, the pup was friendly enough. “That’s who you were feeding the burger to?”
Landen shrugged. “He’s hungry. Haven’t been able to get any dog food yet.” He reached inside the car, pulling a burger from the bag. After peeling away the wrapping, he took a bite then tossed it toward the pup. “Here you go, buddy.”
An awkward silence settled in and Shannon had no idea what to say. “Well, you can bring him in until you’re ready to leave. I don’t think I’ll have any food Nazi’s here tonight. Just mind his manners. You hear?” Tentatively she reached out, petting the dog on the head. Maybe the guy wasn’t all that bad after all. “Don’t forget about paying me.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.”
They both heard a commotion and turned toward the bar. “The jumpers. Must be a call,” she muttered.
“Weaver. You’re new but I hope you’re ready,” Captain Phillips said as he raced forward. “We have a bad one and all hands on deck are needed.”
“The smoke from before?” Landen asked as he stepped forward, closing his car door.
“Yeah and the flames are threatening one of the local resorts. We need to get rolling. You’re coming with me.”
Landen cringed and turned toward Shannon. “I realize you don’t know me, but will you keep him until I return? I can’t take him with me.”
The way he said the words was almost heart breaking. “Sure. Yeah. Of course.”
Gripping her arm, he rubbed his thumb back and forth across her skin. “Thank you. I’ll pay you back. Be good for her, little buddy.” He took off jogging.
“Hey. What’s his name?”
Landen turned and held out his hands. “I don’t know yet. He doesn’t have a name.”
“Great. Just great.” As she looked down at the pup she shivered, and it had nothing to do with babysitting a dog.