Falling for the Enemy

By: Samanthe Beck

Chapter One

Holy crap, I’m going to die like a gnat, splattered against a windshield.

The thought blazed through Virginia Boca’s mind while a pathetically unremarkable montage of her life flashed before her eyes. Twenty-eight years of sucking in the country air of Bluelick, Kentucky was about to come to a gruesome end thanks to that reckless little shithead, Justin Buchanan, and the stupid red Mustang his idiot father bought him last year for his sixteenth birthday. Worse, after running her down in the street like a dog, Justin would probably walk away with a slap on his wrist, because his idiot father also happened to be mayor. And without her around to throw her hat into the ring, Tom Buchanan would win re-election next month without breaking a sweat.

The steel death machine barreled down on her, so close she could see Justin through the windshield, texting away while speeding along Main Street. A scream slammed into her frozen vocal cords, but she could no more free the noise than she could change direction in midair. She’d already passed the point of no return on the journey from sidewalk to the crosswalk, and now momentum held her prisoner.

Time slowed and stretched as the Mustang neared. Justin looked up. Their eyes met. His went wide and filled with the kind of terror that came from confronting a math problem along the lines of, “How many feet does it take to stop a two-ton car traveling at sixty miles per hour?” and realizing the answer was more than he had.

Ginny closed her eyes—not so much because she accepted her fate, but because she preferred not to be there for it—and braced her body for a brutal kick-off into the hereafter.

An arm banded around her middle and yanked her backwards so fast she lost what she’d assumed would be her last breath. Displaced air from the speeding car buffeted her, but nothing more. She opened her eyes. Despite the black dots dancing around the perimeter of her vision, she managed to see the Mustang disappear down Main without a single flash of brake lights.

Shithead.

She might have indulged in a longer, more inventive rant, except the dancing black dots made her dizzy and a little queasy. She blinked fast, trying to clear them, but the stubborn things merged together to limit her vision to twin tunnels while the rest of her body turned as weightless as a helium balloon. Maybe Justin had hit her after all, and this was what death felt like? If so, the dark tunnels were even more troubling. Wasn’t there supposed to be a light to float into? Lord knew she wasn’t a saint. She’d fallen a bit short of chaste at times, and yes, she gossiped more than she should, but she’d recently vowed to mend her ways and do something meaningful with her life. Where the hell was…er, scratch that…where in heaven’s name was her light?

Strong arms kept her tethered in place and a low voice murmured, “You’re okay.”

The words vibrated in her ear, echoed around in her foggy head, and then surged down her spine, forcing her nervous system into a shaking, stuttering re-boot. Her brain attempted a physical inventory and picked up some unsettling stimuli—whipcord taut thighs braced to support her far better than her own trembling legs, a sloping wall of hard abs along her back, and a warm, wide chest pressed against her like a shield.

Her neck muscles took a time out, and the back of her head connected with a well-developed pectoral, then lolled to the side and her cheek settled against the muscular cushion. A strong, rapid heartbeat pounded under her ear, and his rough breath fanned her temple. Both told her she and Justin weren’t the only ones hopped up on adrenalin from their near-fatal game of car versus pedestrian. She stood there shivering while he did all the work—kept her from sinking to the sidewalk while somehow managing to slow his breathing and his heart rate.

Her breath and heartbeat played follow-the-leader and synched up with his, and her awareness of every plane and angle of the unquestionably male body behind her heightened. She’d never had a premonition in her life, and didn’t particularly believe in them, but apparently a near-death experience coupled with a months-long sex hiatus brought about heretofore undiscovered powers, because a vivid image filled her mind. Her, naked and backed up against her guardian angel while he ran his big, sure hands down her sides and clasped her hips. She arched her back, groaned, and—

His answering groan pulled her back to the here and now—and to the unmistakable ridge burning a brand along the seam of her jeans. Get ahold of yourself, Ginny. You don’t say “Thank you for the save” by rubbing yourself all over a stranger. She lowered her eyes and saw her hands clamped around strong, tanned forearms. Her fingernails dug into his skin as if her life still depended on him.

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