Under His Protection

Under His Protection
Karen Erickson
April 2012
Series:

He’ll protect her at any cost…

Protect and Defend, Book 1

Protecting the vice president’s daughter is Secret Service agent Mason Russell’s top priority. With the election looming and the party’s hold shaky, Mason’s been given an important assignment – rein the controversial party girl Blake Hewitt in.

He’d like to rein Blake in all right. Keep her under his control and naked beneath him at all times. Blake is the sexiest thing he’s ever seen but she’s strictly off limits. Though she tempts him like no other.

Banished from the capital and sent far away to the family’s vacation home, Blake seizes her chance. She’ll make Mason hers no matter what it takes. But the noble Mason doesn’t make it easy, and danger lurks where they least expect it…


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Excerpt

Ah Christ, what did he do wrong? He didn’t know how to deal with a crying woman, especially a crying Blake. He knelt in front of her, his hand still resting on her knee, feeling helpless as she balled her eyes out.

Mason was baffled. She never, ever cried. He’d seen her angry, frustrated, antagonistic, even a little melancholy, but he’d never seen her like this.

He needed to do something, offer her some sort of comfort. Standing to his full height, he sat beside her on the couch and awkwardly yanked her into his arms, her head resting against his chest. Her tears dampened his shirt and she clung to him, clutched his shoulders with shaky fingers, her face nestled close against his heart.

Cradling her, he smoothed his hands down her back, wanting to soothe her, wanting to stop the heartbreaking crying. Because it was heartbreaking. She sounded so desolate. As if it had been pent up within her for months and the dam had finally broke.

She didn’t say a word and he didn’t speak either, just communicated his sympathy for her with his touch. He was tempted to do more.

Being around her day in and day out, seeing her just before she went to bed, and first thing in the morning, it both turned him on and pissed him off. Being with her so closely, it made him want things. Things he couldn’t have.

It frustrated her too. The attraction between them was palpable, getting harder to deny. Rather than spend time with him, Blake had avoided him as much as possible. She was cold and distant, barely speaking to him unless she had to. The disdain had radiated from her in powerful waves, smacking him right in the chest, a direct hit to the heart.

Oh yeah, and to the groin. His cock had wanted to shrivel up and die. It sucked to be on Blake Hewitt’s hate list.

Now that he held her close, her slender form pressed directly against him, he realized he needed to be in her good graces again. He wanted to touch her, offer her comfort in other closer, more feel-good-type ways.

Nothing new there. The urge was so strong, stronger than it had ever been. And he was so tired of fighting it. He always fought it.

For once, just once, he wanted to give in.

He moved his hand, resting it on the back of her head, sinking into her soft hair. The strands tangled around his fingers and he stroked down, until he reached the curling ends. Watched them fall from his fingertips to rest once more against her back.

She sighed, nuzzling her face closer, pressed against the spot where his neck and shoulder met. He could feel her hot breath on his skin, the faint dampness of her tears and he closed his eyes, swallowed hard.

Mason stroked her hair again and again, unable to stop. Loving the way the soft tumbling mass sifted through his fingers. Her subtle fragrance wafted upward, filling his senses with the scent of flowers and rain and the barest hint of spice and heat.

“That feels good,” she whispered, her warm lips brushing against his neck when she spoke.

God, so did that, he wanted to say, but he held back. Not ready to reveal how he really felt.

Eventually, she’d use it against him and sucker that he was, he’d let her.

He dropped his hand away from her and she lifted her head, her gaze meeting his. Glistening blue eyes stared up at him, her nose red, her lips puffy and swollen. She looked a mess.

She looked beautiful.

He pushed her hair away from her forehead, his fingers lingering on her soft skin. “Are you okay?”

With a nod, she smiled, though it didn’t quite reach her eyes. “I am now.”

This was what she’d wanted all this time. After all the flirtation, the taunting dance in the window and the frustrating, petty arguments, she’d finally landed in his arms.

And he wanted her there. Hell, he’d always wanted her there. But before it had been about her sweet little ass and the swell of her breasts and her pretty face, landing her in his bed to satisfy the sexual urges he’d fought since the moment he saw her.

Now though, after spending so much time with her, he was starting to feel something. Seeing her distressed, so upset and not know why or who made her act this way, frustrated the hell out of him. Angered him. Made him want to shelter her, and not just because it was his job.



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