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She grew light-headed, her cheeks so hot she knew they must look like two enormous apples. And her heart…oh God, she really was going to have a heart attack. In this miniscule elevator car with no air and walls that were closing in on her and—

A pair of strong arms wrapped around her and suddenly she found herself in Thomas Becker’s lap. His hands cupped her scorching cheeks, those brown eyes blazing with intensity. “Jane, look at me. You’re okay. We’re okay. We’ll get out of here in no time, all right? And there is plenty of air, so you really need to stop hyperventilating before you pass out.”

Pass out? She was more worried about her heart bursting right out of her chest. As panic spiraled through her, she buried her face against Thomas Becker’s sturdy chest and started to cry.

Fucking wonderful. Not only was he going to be late for his appointment with the realtor, but now he had to contend with the panicky, crying sexpot in his arms. With a sigh, Becker awkwardly patted Jane Harrison’s back, attempting to offer reassurance, but all he got in return were a few more muffled sobs and a growing erection. The hard-on couldn’t be helped. The woman in his lap was smoking hot, with high, full tits, shapely legs that were bare beneath that short skirt of hers, and a firm ass that felt pretty damn good against his thighs. And she smelled incredible, like honey and lavender and a flowery perfume that made his groin ache. He couldn’t resist pressing his face to the wild mane of red hair spilling down her back, inhaling her sweet shampoo as the soft tresses tickled his nose. He forced himself to pull back, because one, it was inappropriate to smell a woman’s hair while she was crying in his arms, and two, because he really, really didn’t need this headache right now.

His shoulder was f**king throbbing, the bullet wound still in its early healing stages, and he knew he’d overdone it in the physical therapy session today. But hell, he needed to get back in fighting shape, and fast. He was going stir crazy in his hotel room, dying to get back to work, and if it meant pushing himself to his physical limits, so be it.

“Jane,” he said firmly. “Look at me.”

When she didn’t lift her head, he did it for her, grasping her chin with both hands and tilting it. He found himself staring into a pair of big blue eyes awash with tears.

“There’s plenty of air, okay?” he said in the same calm, reassuring voice he used when dealing with hostages he’d rescued. “We’re going to be fine.”

She didn’t respond. He could see her pulse throbbing in her slender neck, a sign that her panic hadn’t diffused, despite his words.

With a sigh, he brushed away her tears with his thumb. “I get you’re scared, but there’s no reason for it, all right? We could survive in here for days. You won’t pass out, you won’t have a heart attack, and you won’t stop breathing.”

She blinked, sending another tear down her unbelievably smooth cheek, which he couldn’t resist caressing. “You promise?” she finally murmured.

“I promise.”

A flicker of relief filled her gaze. “Do you…would you mind holding me a bit longer?”

Becker suppressed a groan. Did he mind? Hell, yes, because any moment now, she was going to snap out of her panic-induced haze and notice the massive erection pressing against her thigh. But since he wasn’t an ass**le, he couldn’t very well push her out of his arms when she was still so shaken up.

“I don’t mind.” Damn, his voice came out thick, hoarse.

“Thank you.”

They sat there for a few moments in silence, Becker painfully aware of the woman in his arms. She was all curves, a glaring contrast to his ex-wife, who’d been far too thin for his liking. He’d always urged Alice to gain a few pounds, add some curves to her stick-straight figure, but Alice was all about her image. She’d been modeling since she was eighteen years old, the same age Becker had been when he married her. They’d managed to make it work for fourteen years, shocking really, considering their hectic schedules. With Alice working on becoming a supermodel and Becker traveling the world with the Navy, it was a wonder they’d been able to stay married for that long.

Becker resisted a sigh. Shit, he really needed to quit thinking about the divorce. It had been finalized months ago, and yet here he was, constantly thinking about his ex-wife. Maybe he needed to take a page out of his teammates’ books and indulge in some random, no-strings sex.

And double shit, because sex was definitely something he shouldn’t be thinking about either. Not now, anyway.

The woman in his lap shifted, letting out a wobbly breath that broke through the silence. “Okay, this isn’t working,” she choked out. “Maybe you can try to distract me? Talk to me about something.”

Becker fought a wave of discomfort. Wonderful. If there was one thing he sucked at, it was talking. Especially to women.

“Please,” she added, obviously seeing the reluctance in his eyes.

“Talk about what?” he finally asked, caving in.

“Anything. Tell me about the bullet wound in your arm, your favorite movie, your pet peeves. I don’t care.” Another shaky breath.

“Um, okay.” He paused. “Well, bullet wounds f**king hurt.”

Her lips quirked, and Becker was startled by the little spark of pleasure he got from knowing he’d made her smile. “What does it feel like? Is it like a knife wound? Because I know what that feels like.”

“When the hell did you get a knife wound?”


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