This week is the last book in the Fort Gibson Officers Series, The Officer and the Traveler.
A little background, Gray is on the run, trying to escape Ella’s father, no less. When suddenly he sees a very attractive woman and becomes a wee bit sidetracked…
“It’s all right,” he crooned. His eyes settled on her plump lips and his pulse started to race, spurring him to close the gap between them. What was he doing? He couldn’t kiss her. He’d never once kissed a woman of her station and yet, her trusting eyes and timid beauty called to him.
She licked her lips and all of Gray’s restraint crumbled.
Abandoning everything he’d ever fought to protect, he brought his lips to hers.
Soft and supple, her lips were like heaven. Warm and sweet, her mouth tasted sweeter than any pastry he’d ever had melt in his mouth. This discovery was something he certainly wouldn’t have expected from a woman such as her.
A sigh escaped her lips, and he deepened their kiss.
Cupping her face with his hands, he idly rubbed her cheeks with the sides of his thumbs— something he’d once witnessed his friend Wes do while kissing his wife. Gray had scoffed at the very idea of such a display. But now… Now he wanted nothing more than to touch every inch of her soft face and hold that sweet mouth to his for as long as he could.
Which, heedless to who saw them, was exactly what he planned to do.
Or he would have, had the unmistakeable sound of General Davis clearing his throat with a gargle followed by an ahem not rent the air.
He pulled back and muttered a curse, not sure if he was cursing because he was about to face his nemesis or at the realization that kissing her had put him in such an uncomfortable state of arousal— something he’d vowed to never let happen with a woman such as this. A wave of shame came over him and he turned his head to cast a cold stare over his shoulder toward the man he’d once told if he ever saw him again he’d kill him with his bare hands.
General Davis, a retired general who was here at this abandoned fort for who-knew-what reason, penetrated Gray with his stare the same way he always had when Gray had been caught doing something wrong.
Gray held his gaze and instinctively moved to draw the woman closer to him, doing his best to shield her from General Davis’ view. He hadn’t meant to draw attention to her or embarrass her. He moved his hand to hold her just above her elbow, noting how tense her arm felt under his hand. He gave her a tight squeeze. Not enough to hurt her, but enough to assure her that he wasn’t going to let anyone, especially General Davis, harm her.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing, boy?” General Davis demanded from where he stood at attention, not five feet away.
Gray bristled at being called a boy and a belligerent answer formed on the tip of his tongue. One that would no doubt send the general into a temper. The temptation was too much, but when he opened his mouth, the words, “Kissing my intended, sir,” rolled off his tongue.
“Your intended?” the man challenged, his stony face giving nothing away.
Gray nodded. That’s all he could do, so shocked by the words that had come out of his own mouth. It wasn’t until General Davis questioned him about it that he’d actually believed he’d said it aloud and hadn’t imagined it. “Yes, sir, my intended.”
“I see,” he said slowly. “Don’t you think it’s best to ask her father’s permission first?”
“Had she one, I’d have asked,” Gray said flippantly. What was it about this man that brought out the worst in Gray? Never mind. He knew the answer to that, and thinking of it only steeled his resolve. General Davis moved his left leg out to put his stance shoulder-width apart and brought his hands behind his back, taking the ‘at ease’ position. “All right, ask.”