“Best thing you ever tasted. Right?”
With a run of his tongue across his lips, he stared at her. “Yeah, and the cookie’s not half-bad, either.”
“I want to—” Before her brain stopped her, she pressed her lips to his mouth, and her body leaned into him.
Daniel didn’t resist. His arm snaked around her waist and tightened his hold, drawing her to him. He took over, parting her lips, exploring her mouth, holding her captive with his caress.
Lord, he could kiss.
Forget chocolate. She had a whole new favorite taste. Raven wrapped her arms around his neck and held him closer, taking the kiss even deeper.
With a groan he eased back. “This is a bad idea,” he said softly.
“I don’t care,” she whispered against his mouth. And she didn’t. She just wanted to feel.
The Cradle Conspiracy
Award-winning author ROBIN PERINI’s love of heart-stopping suspense and poignant romance, coupled with her adoration of high-tech weaponry and covert ops, encouraged her secret inner commando to take on the challenge of writing romantic suspense novels. Her mission’s motto: “When danger and romance collide, no heart is safe.”
Devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes adventures with a love story sure to melt their hearts, Robin won a prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award in 2011. By day she works for an advanced technology corporation, and in her spare time you might find her giving one of her many nationally acclaimed writing workshops or training in competitive small-bore-rifle silhouette shooting. Robin loves to interact with readers. You can catch her on her website, www.robinperini.com, and on several major social-networking sites, or write to her at PO Box 50472, Albuquerque, NM 87181-0472, USA.
Dedicated to the warriors from all walks of life who battle post-traumatic stress disorder, and the families who fight beside them every minute of every hour of every day. May your journey find light, hope, love and peace.
She came to slowly, her head throbbing, crippling pain skewering her temple like an ice pick digging deep. Without opening her eyes, she tried to lift her hand to touch the side of her head, but her arm wouldn’t move, almost as if it were pinned against her body. Confusion swept over her, and she forced her eyes open to sheer, cloying darkness. The air around her was fetid and stale, stinking of dirt, wet wool and...
Oh, God. Where was she? Desperation clutched at her throat.
She struggled to move, but her arms were numb. Something held her as if she were encased in a straitjacket. Frantic, she lifted her head, and her face bumped up against what felt like cheap shag carpet. She clawed her fingers beneath her and identified the distinctive weave. This couldn’t be happening.
Instinctively she gasped for air, the darkness pressing down like a vise clamped on her chest.
Was she buried alive?
Her stomach rolled, and bile rose in her throat. She couldn’t get sick. She had to escape.
She twisted and turned, struggling against the suffocating prison, scratching at the rough fabric. It was above her, below her, around her. She fought to free herself, panic mounting from deep within.
She rocked back and forth. Dirt and dust shook free. She sucked in a breath, and her lungs seized on the foul air. She had to get out.
“Help,” she tried to scream, then fell to coughing as if she’d used up the meager air supply.
Worse, the rug had muffled the sound of her voice. Wherever she was buried, would anyone hear her cries? “Oh, God. Someone help me. Please,” she croaked in a voice she didn’t recognize.
Her breathing turned shallow. The air had thinned.
She sucked in one more desperate breath and froze, aware of a new scent, far more subtle than the rest. It penetrated her mind. Sweet, familiar, and so very, very wrong. Baby lotion.
Nausea suddenly churned, and her dread escalated. Strange visions stirred through her. A pink blanket. A tiny crib. But along with the images came stabbing pain in her head that nearly shattered her.
Her thoughts grew fuzzy, and she fought to hold on to reality. Somehow she knew, if she closed her eyes, she would never wake up. She couldn’t pass out. She had to find...
A name flitted at the dark edges of her memory, then slipped away, leaving despair and terror. She turned toward the sweet scent again and breathed deeper. More flashes. Pain. Fear.
A stranger’s voice screaming, “No!”
Lights exploded behind her eyelids and darkness engulfed her, closing around one wisp of memory.
The last sound she heard was a baby’s terrified cry.
* * *
THE AFTERNOON SUN beat down on Daniel Adams from a bright West Texas sky. He adjusted СКАЧАТЬ