Love is the last line of defense.
Jolene Benate has spent six years keeping a vow to herself to never again be that weak woman weeping at her young husband's graveside. Now she's a deputy marshal on the elite warrant squad, as physically and mentally tough as they come. But moving on isn't as easy as it looks.
Especially when the husband she thought was dead suddenly reappears. And, even in the face of his betrayal, she still wants him.
Paul Benate's gifted mind was groomed from a young age to serve the military and its top-secret projects. His one youthful act of rebellion was to marry Jolene, only to discover a terrorist could use her to force him to give up his classified secrets. For her own safety, he had to let her go.
But the safety he thought was assured by his "death" was only an illusion. Secrets have a way of surfacing, and once again Jolene is the perfect target. There's only one thing left to do...reclaim the woman that he has always loved.
Even if she's mad as hell at him.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
May 05, 2008
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Still Mine by Mary Wine
In the dark it was impossible to tell what he tossed at her. Catching it by instinct, Jo held it for a moment, trying to decide what it was. She was grateful for the warmth the garment would provide, but less than pleased with the delivery person.
Six years ago she would have walked through fire just to hear his voice one more time.
"Yeah, well, thanks." She shrugged into the coat and started walking.
"Where are you going?"
His demand broke through the shock attempting to numb her brain. But it wasn't happening fast enough; she still felt too much. It was move or attack the cause of her problem. Halting her step, Jo turned to face the root of her pain.
"I. Don't. Know!" Each word was slowly spat out with the venom that was winding its way along her spine. "I don't know where I am and I don't have a clue as to how long this fence is. But I just might have the answer to that question tonight."
She stopped and turned so quickly that Paul had to pull himself up short or collide with her body. Standing this close, he could clearly see the flames that burned in her eyes. Eyes that held a place in his memory of the only woman he'd ever risked his work for. Her scent drifted on the wind and he pulled it into his lungs. Recognition flared in a forgotten corner of his brain, that place he'd shoved every memory of her into, bolting the door shut to avoid being yanked away from his work again.
Control was something he defined himself by. Jonnie destroyed it with one soft kiss. Ripping away every layer of protection he owned, leaving him exposed. There wasn't a man alive he feared.
Jonnie terrified him.
But the woman in front of him fascinated him too. Curiosity was still the most deadly of sins because he couldn't resist investigating the woman his child bride had transformed into. He also didn't get surprised often and the rush of excitement was overpowering his better judgment. He wanted to know, needed to discover just who she'd become.
"Get lost. I don't need your company."
The tilt of her chin as well as the solid stance of her body declared her to be far more than the girl he'd taken to his bed years ago. This was a mature female. Capable and armed with the knowledge of her own strength. Admiration formed and spread up his back in response to her denial of his authority. His cock twitched with more than common lust. Need flared up from the coals of their marriage. It wasn't nearly as dead as he'd convinced himself it had to be. Heat moved through his blood as his gaze swept her frame.
"Really, Paul, I don't need your company. I'm quite used to doing without it."
He didn't look like he was in the mood to listen. Jo watched as one cheek flinched. His face was familiar yet the hard features were somehow oddly primitive now. Paul had never been so...hardened. Those black eyes sharpened into solid steel as he reached some sort of decision.
"You've grown up, Jonnie."
He sounded surprised and impressed. Jolene felt her pride rear its head. "If I was too immature for you, why did you marry me? You couldn't have been that hard up for sex."
His lips curled back from his teeth in response. His gaze very precisely dropped down her body in a slow inspection that made her gasp. Oh God, her memories didn't do justice to just how intensely sexual her husband could be. Somewhere along the way, the dreams of him had taken on a controlled feeling that was anything but true. He had always been in command of her, his body driving her past any control or ability to think. He'd possessed her. The hard edge radiated stronger from him now than she could recall it being in the past.
Heat filled her checks as she watched him stare at the mounds of her breasts. The things he could do with a woman's breasts were amazing. But that little tingle of attraction beneath the jacket only made her madder. She'd been forced to forget because he'd discarded her. Hell, he hadn't even left her hope they might reconcile.
"There wasn't any other way to have you. You wouldn't yield without that wedding, and I wanted you." One corner of his cheek twitched as his gaze roamed over her body once again. Heat tingled all the way down her spine as she watched his gaze linger on her hips. Her memory was cruel because her clit softly throbbed as she recalled exactly how good it felt to be had by him. Dreams were nothing compared to the reality. Knowing that just made everything worse. It was the absolute in forbidden fruit. Within reach but deadly if she gave in to temptation. Just looking at him doubled her hunger.
"Absolutely perfect. You married me for sex. Wonderful, and here I've been thinking that we were in love. How silly of me." Propping her hands on her hips, she shook her head, screaming at the surge of sexual impulses trying to flood her brain with hormones designed to defeat her. "You have one hell of a nerve, you know that? You got one thing right, my virginity was worth fifteen minutes in front of a priest."
Hurt speared through her as she recognized the hard truth that you had to value someone before you cared if you deceived them or not.
But her body wasn't listening to the anger coursing through her. He still drew her attention like freshly baked bread did a starving person. There was no logic to it, only the clamoring of every inch of her body for her protests to die a swift death in favor of letting her explore the gift of having her husband back in the flesh. She wanted to step through the mirror into her dream world and let him fold her into his embrace. She shuddered with the sheer abundance of emotion.
"You mean your love was worth that visit to the church. You were the only person who ever loved me. That was worth a wedding."
Her love. As in one sided.
His gaze fused with hers, his mouth pressed into a hard line. "I'm sorry I hurt you."