Semper Fi Marines, book 1
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“Hey. You look beat.”
She sighed. “I am. I think I’ll strip down, crawl into bed, and go into a coma sleep.”
His brain sputtered to a stop. Right there, right then, he wanted her. There was no denying it now. His body ached, his head spun. Never in his life had he wanted a particular woman this much. It left him slightly dizzy and confused. Over the last few days, he had denied his need for her so many times, but right then, at that moment, he couldn’t. There was something about Tess that tugged at his heart. It was probably a mistake, but he didn’t think he could stop himself from taking action. He walked over to her and slipped his arm around her waist. In that instant, it just felt right.
She frowned. “Bran?”
“I’ve been thinking about this all day.”
He had been. Since he stopped by for breakfast that morning, he’d been thinking about it. He wanted a taste. Her mouth. Her flesh. Bran wanted to savor every bit of her body.
The moment his mouth touched hers, she shivered. He was enough of a man to admit that it turned him on to know she was vulnerable to him. She moaned against him as he pressed his body to hers.
Before he knew what was happening, she pulled back shaking her head at him. It took him a second to realize she was trying to disengage from him. There was a split second where he thought about denying her that. Not allowing her to go. Then, his common sense hit him. With much reluctance, he allowed her to step back.
She looked at him strangely, and he didn’t blame her. Even Bran heard the arousal in his voice. It vibrated just beneath the surface and pounded through his veins.
She took another step back. “This isn’t smart.”
“I never said it was.” He stepped towards her, closing the distance.
Tess held out her hand as if to ward him off, but he took it in his and pulled it up to his mouth.
“Bran, you’re not interested in me. You never have been.”
“You’re wrong there.”
She rolled those expressive green eyes of hers, and he hid a smile as he nibbled on her fingers.
“I’m not wrong, Bran. I’ve never been your kind of woman.”
He heard the doubt in her voice and was stunned. This woman had always seemed so confident, so sure of herself. But in this, she seemed…at a loss. She apparently didn’t know how stunning her found her. That she was gorgeous inside and out.
He guessed it was time to reveal that little secret of his.
“Do you remember graduation?”
“Yes, it rained, we had it inside. It was hot as hell.”
“Not high school. Annapolis.”
She frowned in thought, then nodded.
“You were so excited that you came running up to me and hugged me. Do you remember that?”
She sighed. “Of course I do. It wasn’t that long ago. I don’t know what this has to do with the fact that you’re gnawing on my fingers.”
“Then you kissed me. On the mouth. You’d never done that before.”
Anyone watching would have seen a calm woman, but Bran knew better. He was holding her hand and his fingers skimmed over her pulse. It sped up a beat or two. Bran was enough of a competitor to admit he enjoyed that.
She cleared her throat apparently trying to compose herself. “And?”
He nibbled a little longer, taking his time. He knew it was small of him, but he was enjoying her discomfort. “There’s a reason I avoided you for a few months. For a second there, I almost lost it.”
Now she looked very wary. “Bran if you want me to believe—”
Irritated with her, and the fact that he was dying to touch more than just her hand, he interrupted her.
“I am not lying. You kissed me. It lasted a second and the only thing I could think was that I wanted more.”
Her eyes widened and she shook her head.
He nodded. “Thoughts of tearing off your clothes and kissing every inch of your body took over. Then, all the family came up and well, I felt perverted because the rest of the night I wondered what you looked like under your uniform.”
“You ran off with Jimmy and the rest of those idiots that night.”
“And I came back to the hotel without them. I couldn’t get you out of my mind. Then, you were gone and we were both busy. It all hit me when I saw you the other day.”
“It’s true. I want you. And I could tell from that kiss, you want me. Why does it have to be any harder than that?”
“Our families, our…careers.”
“And you date other Marines. Unless there is something wrong with me.”
“There’s nothing wrong with you.”
The way she said it was as if she was irritated with him for it.
“Hey, I won’t push you, but tell me…can you really say you don’t want this?”
He pulled her closer and kissed her again, this time thrusting his tongue inside her mouth. She tasted of minty toothpaste and lust. It was an odd combination, but need poured through him. Then, slowly, she slipped her hands up his arms and behind his neck. It was Tess who pressed her body against his this time, and it was him who shook. She tilted her head to the side and slid her tongue against his.
When he pulled back, they were both breathing heavily.
“So, what do you say, Tess?”
He left it up to her. He knew that for her, it was the right way to go. Tess always had to think things over and if she said she wanted to wait, he would wait. He’d have to take a cold shower for an hour, but he would do it. She lifted her fingers to her lips and touched her mouth. She looked stunned.
Damn, she was going to say to wait. Or, worse, no. That would be ten times worse. But then, in a blink of an eye, she dropped her hand and her lips curved.
“Are you sure?”
She nodded. “Have you ever known me to not say what I mean?”
Then, he let out an oorah as he bent to pick her up. He caught her unawares and she squealed.
“Bran, put me down,” she said wiggling against him.
“I will, when I can put you under me.”
Then he marched into her bedroom.
From an early age, Melissa loved to read. First, it was the books her mother read to her including her two favorites, Winnie the Pooh and the Beatrix Potter books. She cut her preteen teeth on Trixie Belden and read and reviewed To Kill a Mockingbird in middle school. It wasn’t until she was in college that she tried to write her first stories, which were full of angst and pain, and really not that fun to read or write. After trying several different genres, she found romance in a Linda Howard book.
Since the publication of her first book in 2004, Melissa has had close to fifty romances published. She writes in genres from historical suspense to modern day erotic romance to futuristics and paranormals. Included in those releases is the bestselling Harmless series. In 2011, Melissa branched out into self-publishing with A Little Harmless Submission and the popular military spinoff, Infatuation: A Little Harmless Military Romance. Along the way she has garnered an epic nomination, a multitude of reviewer’s recommended reads, over five Capa nods from TRS, twelve nominations for AAD Bookies, winning both Most Accessible Author and Author of the Year, and regularly tops the best seller lists on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She recently had her first USA Today bestselling book, The Santinis Collection.
Since she spent her childhood as a military brat, Melissa swore never to marry military. But, as we all know, Fate has her way with mortals. She is married to an AF major and is raising her own brats, both human and canine. She spends her days giving in to her addiction to Twitter, happy her husband is finally retired and they are living where the bugs die in the winter.
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