Alandra Pargas, ex-CIA counter-intelligence officer, plans to wreak vengeance on the people who tried to kill her. A little rendezvous with danger is not what scares her, though. It’s seeing the tall, dark, and dangerously sexy man she vowed to love forever that has her running for cover.
Former U.S. Special Operative, Quinn Hamilton, left the world of covert operations after the love of his life died in his arms during a black op. Three years later, he still loses sleep wondering if maybe he could have done something more to save her – until Alandra shows up on his doorstep. With her lies and betrayal, he wants nothing to do with her, yet, his heart won’t cooperate. It’s not until unknown enemies come after her that he must decide if he can leave the past behind and protect the woman he’ll always love. Will they survive this last mission and rekindle the love and passion they once shared?
Quinn eased around the paint-chipped pillar, and along the musty-smelling hallway, his gun held close to his body and ready to shoot anyone who got in his way. All he needed was to leave the building without being detected.
“You have twelve minutes to get out of there Q,” Malik said through Quinn’s earpiece.
Quinn proceeded through the corridor, his body tight against the uneven wall. He made the first turn and moved down the dimly lit hallway where a single bulb dangled from a sub-standard light fixture. He heard voices coming from a room to his right, so he turned left and maneuvered down the staircase. Ten more yards and he would be home free.
He made it to the final step and halted when he heard footsteps running on the level above him and then down the stairs behind him. He ducked into a nearby utility closet, not closing the door completely.
“We have a problem,” he heard Malik say in his ear.
No kidding, Quinn thought.
“Two snipers on the rooftop of the building adjacent to the one you’re in. Sit tight.”
Missions like this Quinn normally did solo, but he was glad Malik was there. They’d run into a few snags, and his presence had proven beneficial.
No longer hearing footsteps, Quinn eased back into the hallway, down the back stairs and out of the building into the night. He made sure the information he had just stolen was secure inside his jacket, and he inched toward the gate. A tree branch snapped. Quinn slammed his body against the brick wall, blending into the darkness of the night. He stood still for several seconds and heard it again. Slowly, he turned his head toward the noise. What he saw, several yards away under the dim moonlight, made his heart stop.
Alandra. What in the… He blinked several times, unable to fathom why she was thousands of miles from home, and standing in the middle of what could easily become a war zone.
He retraced his steps. She anxiously looked around the area and then back at the small device she held in her hands. Within five feet of her, he must have made a noise because her head shot up and their eyes connected. And in slow motion everything exploded around her.
“Get down!” he yelled and saw her fall to her knees.
Without thinking he ran to her and chaos erupted in every direction. He scooped her up and nestled her behind a long concrete block and then he noticed she’d been shot.
“Quinn,” she said, grasping at his shirt, her eyes wild. “Please … be careful.”
“Malik, I need you. Now!” Quinn growled into his mouthpiece giving Malik his location while he jerked out of his jacket and placed it under Alandra’s head.
“On my way,” Malik said.
“Hang on baby. We’re going to get you out of here.” He ripped open her down vest and then her shirt to determine the extent of her injury. Blood spilled from the chest wound. Damn. He glanced around trying to decide the best route to safety as he removed his shirt, leaving him with only a black T-shirt on. Gunshots rang out around him as he pressed his shirt over her wound to slow the bleeding.
“Quinn… I love…you. I have to tel…”
“I love you too, baby, but I need you to hold... Oh, damn. Alandra? Alandra?” he growled when her eyes rolled to the back of her head. He cradled her closer to his body, willing her to stay with him. “Lan…” he started but felt a bullet slap the back of his shoulder - and then his back. Paralyzed by the sharp pain that traveled down his spine, gripping him like steel claws, he struggled to hold on to Alandra, fighting the blackness that threatened to overpower him.
“Alandra, baby, I...need you…to hold on.”