Then her senses sharpened and she’d begun to watch all of him. When he swept his square hand down his muscular forearm the first time, she’d thought nothing of it. The second time had drawn her eyes. The third had made her frown. She realized that there was a subtle shaking moving through the man’s body. As he’d placed his order and moved to lean on the counter, she waited to see what he would do.
As soon as the barista handed over the cup, he shoved through the door of the coffee shop. Her nurse senses jangling, she followed him out of the building, catching sight of his perfect ass turning the corner of the building. Without hesitation she followed him.
The poor guy had dropped the cup of coffee and was braced facing the wall. His fingers flexed against the brick and his arms strained. When he arched and cried out, then began swiping his palms down his arms, she moved forward. Lacey didn’t see anything, but he was acting as if he’d walked into a swarm of bees. Her eyes scanned for anything that would make him act like that, but she couldn’t see anything.
Knowing from experience that if she reached out to touch him she risked her life, she stopped a few feet away. “Sir, I need you to look at me. Whatever it is you think is attacking you isn’t there. I promise you. Can you look at me?”
It only took a moment for him to look at her, but it seemed ever so much longer as she watched him strike himself over and over again. Obviously he felt it was the only way to rid himself of whatever he thought was after him. She continued to speak to him in the calm voice she’d used on many frantic patients until his movements began to slow. “Hey, buddy, I know you can fight it off. Can you look at me?”
His dark head lifted and fierce, brilliant, yellow-gold eyes latched onto hers. Lacey felt like she’d just landed on a lunch order. She smiled at him as reassuringly as she could, then dared to step forward. She reached out a hand but he jerked away.
“No,” he snapped, deep voice taut with strain. “They’ll get you.”
Lacey pressed forward, hand outstretched. “There’s nothing there, I promise you.”
She rested her hand on his quivering arm and ran it down his skin to clasp his broad wrist. His frantic gaze followed her movement, then he turned to her and looked her arm up and down. Blinking, he shook his head, then held his own arms out in front of himself. When he lifted his eyes to her, she knew the hallucination was gone.
She tried to put all the reassurance she could into the smile she directed at his dazed expression.
“What did you see?” she asked.
“Spiders,” he gritted out. “Stabbing at my skin as they crawled up my body.”
Holding his arms out again, he skimmed his palms down their length, as if brushing away the experience.
Lacey realized as she stood there that his eyes still seemed a little dazed. Was that normal?
She held out her hand. “Lacey Adams.”
The man straightened and clasped her hand. “Maxwell Tate. Thank you.”
Lacey gasped as he tugged her into his hard arms, then allowed herself to be bear hugged. She expected to be released quickly, but instead he held on, as if he needed the contact. The man smelled incredibly good, as if he’d just rolled in laundry softener. Relaxing, she allowed him to take what comfort he needed from her. She’d actually been hugged many times like this, as if she were the last lifeline in the world. She looped her arms around his waist and rubbed his back. He would let her go when he was able.
When she felt his nose nuzzle into her loose hair, sudden shivers danced down her spine and the tenor of the hold changed. She became aware of how solid his arms felt around her. Muscular pecs rested just above her breasts and he was curled over her to accommodate his size. Heavy thighs pressed directly against hers.
When he eased back, she thought he was releasing her, but instead he shifted his strong hands to cup her jaw. Before she could breathe out a question or protest, his head lowered and his mouth settled against hers.
Lacey’s normally level-headed brain short circuited as his soft, full lips began to move over hers. The stubbly hair around his mouth tickled, but arousal surged through her body and she opened her mouth when his tongue glided over the seal of her lips. Damn. It had been an embarrassingly long time since she’d been kissed like this. Against her better judgment, she leaned into him, tilting her head.
The man groaned at her compliance and one of his arms wrapped around her arched back, clutching her tight. He shifted forward until their hips were more tightly aligned and she could feel exactly how much he was enjoying their kiss.
Then he jerked away.
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Maxwell Tate fights against a psychotic dream world. His sense of reality is warped until he no longer knows what’s real and what’s not. But the haze is welcome as he struggles to come to grips with the loss of his team. Once in a while an angel spreads her grace to him, easing the fire in his heart.
Lacey Adams knows she can’t save all of the injured warriors she comes in contact with, but Max appeals to her more than the rest. Abused by the system he trusted then shuffled away, he’s truly on a downward spiral.
Can she buck the system to salvage the Unbreakable SEAL?
Connected Books: Lost and Found Series
The books below are connected to the Lost and Found series but can be read out of order.