Project Morpheus Book 2
by Jillian David
Genre: Military Romantic Suspense
The Project Morpheus series: Military romance, steamy passion, and heart-stopping suspense.
The Morpheus Squad: Ultimate soldiers who hide in plain sight, fierce protectors risking their existence for those they love... and virally-altered, ticking time bombs.
Pele Tuitama’s Morpheus Squad mission infiltrating a Smoky Mountain children's camp is FUBAR. He might be a virally-enhanced military experiment, but augmented abilities won’t help him protect Reagan McNeill, the most unsecure-able target imaginable. Sweet Reagan’s kisses and the possibility of a future he should never consider, distracts his laser focus. If Pele can’t keep Reagan safe from an evil adversary bent on revenge against the entire McNeill family, then Reagan will die.
After a nasty breakup, Reagan doesn’t trust any man—or herself. Enter handsome Pele, the world’s worst camp counselor. She doesn’t believe his story or his motives. When overly-protective Pele draws her close and then rejects her, Reagan is finished with games. Then the truth she learns rips open recently-healed emotional wounds.
In order to escape through the mountains, Pele must share his deadliest secret. To have a chance at their future, they must reveal their demons and pray for acceptance ... and survival.
“Pele, stop for a minute.” She tugged his hands away. “See this here? You and me in the cabin? Doing this?”
“We’ve rehearsed it before. Spoiler alert: It ends with you making an excuse and then running out that door.”
“I had to go before.”
“Sure you did.” She waved off his retort. “Look, you’re a great guy. But I can’t handle another rejection.”
“I didn’t reject you,” he protested.
“That’s not how it appeared.” She crossed her arms. “Why are you here, now, Pele?” she said, not caring if she made him uncomfortable. “What do you want?”
His jaw worked for a full minute. The words came out raw, like he’d yanked them from his chest. “I want you, Reagan. All of you.”
She sucked in a breath. “Go on.” Was that sweat on his brow? Good.
“I would only want to ... be with you, if you want the same thing.”
“Ti’o, you aren’t making this easy.” The full weight of his deep, dark eyes fell on her. “You want specific?”
“If it was up to me, I would strip you naked and taste every inch of your body before we have what I pray to any god out there is a night of amazing sex where you are totally satisfied. Multiple times.”
“Oh,” she exhaled, a liquid heat pooling between her wobbly legs.
“Let me know if you want more details.”
“Tell me you’re not playing me,” she whispered.
The edge in his voice made her jump. “Not with this, Reagan.” He rolled his lips together, and she wanted to lick him there. “But I will walk away if that’s what you decide.”
Her heart pounded double time. Decision time.
She knew what her body wanted. Pele.
What about her heart?
“Reagan?” The harshness of his low voice strafed raw nerves. “Should I leave?”
She rubbed her arms. “That’s not what I want.”
“Okay.” His pupils dilated until there was nothing but black in his intense gaze. “Then you tell me how you want this evening to go. I will make what you say happen.”
Damn, he didn’t tiptoe around. She drowned in his dark stare. Utterly sincere. Stark honesty.
Swallowing, she answered, “I want us to be ... together. Completely. Um, but at the end of the evening, I want you to still be here. With me. No running.”
He stepped forward, cupped her face, and kissed her until her knees quivered. Breaking contact for a moment, he growled. “Done.”
Snaking an arm behind her back, he pulled her into his hard torso. She met ridges of muscle that flexed beneath her fingertips. As he kissed her again, she matched his mouth, pressure for pressure. Faster and harder, the kisses rained down on her. Somehow, she ended up against a wall, with his hands planted on either side of her head, bracketing her.
Project Morpheus Book 1
Beret Jake Zimmerman’s Georgia mountain seclusion is shattered when
the one woman he should never have left, pregnant Kiera McNeill,
shows up on his doorstep. Her life is in danger, thanks to a botched
Morpheus Squad mission. If the nature of her baby is discovered, evil
forces will stop at nothing to capture Kiera. When Kiera learns of
Jake’s top-secret Morpheus Virus running through his veins, she
realizes that her protector is the deadlier threat.
Kiera knows the secrets of Fallen Comrades, a billion-dollar “charity” which siphons donations away from wounded veterans and into the pockets of power-hungry CFO Beau Lequire. Now her sadistic ex-boss, Lequire, wants revenge. Her only chance of escape rests in the lethal hands of the man who once rejected her: Jake. All she needs to do is suppress her feelings for Jake long enough to destroy Fallen Comrades, stay alive, and save her baby.
Thanks to his tree-mounted security cameras that made the system guarding the crown jewels look amateur, it took less than ten seconds for Jake Zimmerman to identify the vehicle creeping to a stop in front of his remote Blue Ridge, Georgia, cabin. Silver Hyundai Accent, five years old, brand-new tires. No registration.
He cocked his head to the side. No whumps of an incoming government helo.
Sparks of adrenaline fired up his nerves, lasering all of his senses on the intruder.
He ran the pad of his index finger over the rough grip of the Sig nestled in his shoulder holster. How could anyone find him? He’d buried his personal intel deeper than a black ops mission file.
With minimal concentration, Jake could detect the ever-present multitool tucked away in a pocket and ready to go for any occasion.
He peered at the … occasion … on the computer screen.
He kept the house lights off. Control, dammit. Drawing a hand over his face, he took several deep breaths. The muscles in his neck clenched, refusing to loosen. The damned virus had started to take over his brain again until his entire world narrowed down to one mandate: destroy.
No, damn it. He was not this … monster.
Thanks to the top-secret Project Morpheus he had volunteered for almost two years ago in Special Forces, the darkness within Jake thrived on the anarchy that was his virally corrupted soul.
Add in an uninvited visitor, and it looked like tonight would bring even more fun for one of the U.S. Army’s best-kept secrets.
Did the person want to rob him? Jake had no material items of value.
Well, he had a locket with a clip of smooth auburn hair he should have thrown away long before now. Yeah, he was a bastard for preserving the keepsake, despite being technically faithful to his then-wife who did not have auburn hair. Could explain why he was no longer married.
So. What to do about the person outside his house?
Wiping his hands on his black cargo pants, he unholstered the Sig and crept to the front door.
The one person who knew he lived here was Mateo, and Jake hadn’t seen his Special Forces buddy since Brady McNeill’s funeral.
Brady’s funeral. And one particularly fucked-up night. Not in small part because of seeing Brady’s sister, Kiera.
Seen? A bland word for the silky skin sliding over him and around him during their sweaty, heated reunion.
Since that night, nothing besides Jake’s own misery mattered. Not his best friend’s death, not the Morpheus Squad, his own emotional baggage. Nothing.
Which was exactly what he had now, wasn’t it? Nothing.
Well, not completely. He had someone casing his house.
He licked his lips.
The virus crackled through his nerve endings. Mental processes turned to sludge. As unnatural strength and acuity of his senses grew, his sanity ebbed.
What a time to skip an antidote dose.
Too late now.
He rolled his shoulders, upper back, and arms. Each muscle popped as poorly contained rage swept through him, turning him from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde.
Sweat broke out on his forehead as the shaking began.
On second thought, he could use a good brawl. Stuffing the Sig back in his holster, he flexed his hands. Mr. Hyde would much rather do this the natural way.
The hunched figure in the baggy jacket trudged up the gravel driveway, halting gait a little short on one leg. He couldn’t make out any other details with the hood casting a shadow.
Pressing his back to the wall next to the front door, he listened. The virus strained like a chained dog tempted by a wounded rabbit.
Jake became a metal spring, coiled and ready.
At a knock on the door, he didn’t move.
The spring inside of him tightened. Tick, tick, tick. His body ratcheted down as tight as he could go.
A tap on the electronic keypad outside. What the hell? The bolt turned and the door cracked open.
The coil released.
Jillian David is a rural family physician who lives near the end of the earth, writing paranormal, suspense, and adventure romances with medical characters and scenarios. She loves to use medical situations to drive drama. Her favorite cell is the platelet and her least-favorite organ is the pancreas. She fully believes that curse words, when appropriately deployed during surgery, are hemostatic. https://www.jilliandavid.net
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