Protecting His Kidnapped Family - Leslie North Page 0,1

to look at him, her chin resting atop her hands, her beautiful brown eyes narrowed on him and his mouth dried like the Sahara.

Christ, she’s gorgeous.

“I…uh…” was all he managed to get out.

Brilliant, dumbass. Real MENSA level stuff there, dude.

If his SEAL team could see him now, they’d be laughing their asses off. He had a reputation for being cool under all kinds of fire and now he stood here speechless over a woman and he didn’t even know her name.

“It’s okay.” She laughed, the low, husky sound zinging straight to his groin. “Go ahead and stare. Everyone else is.”

Face hot and breath lodged in his lungs, Noah just blinked at her. God, he hadn’t felt this green since high school when he’d finally managed to fuck the head cheerleader under the bleachers. But that prom queen had nothing on this goddess.

Finally, he managed to redirect a modicum of blood supply back up to his brain. He swallowed hard and tried again. “Sorry. I was just admiring the art.”

“Right,” she said, clearly not buying his excuse. But her dark eyes sparkled with mirth and Noah felt his awkwardness easing as he realized she was amused rather than offended. “Can’t say I blame you. Rebel does amazing work.”

“That he does.” He managed to tear his gaze away from the woman’s ass and met the tattoo artist’s gaze. “Good to see you again, Rebel.”

“Same, man.” The guy put down his tools and took off his gloves, then patted the woman’s shoulder. “All done, Serena. Let me just get a dressing on that and you’ll be all set.”

“Cool!” She sat up slightly, wincing and careful to avoid putting pressure on her left hip as she perused her new ink, then glanced in a nearby mirror to see the final product. “That’s fantastic, Rebel. Thank you!”

“My pleasure.” The artists stood beside Noah with a couple of gauze pads and a roll of adhesive bandage to hold them on. “That one was a bitch to get right. So many details.”

“What’s it a picture of?” Noah asked, studying the colors riding the crest of Serena’s hip. Serena. Perfect name for a pretty woman.

“The crusades,” Rebel said, stepping closer to the girl to cover the tattoo. “Come here and look for yourself—with Serena’s permission, of course.”

Serena looked back at Noah over her shoulder then cocked her head, a cheeky smile on her face. “He can see mine if I can see his.”

Noah didn’t think he’d ever pulled his shirt up faster in his life. “Mine’s the archangel Gabriel.”

“Nice,” she said, leaning in closer to inspect his ink, the warmth of her breath raising goosebumps on his skin. “Fine. Check mine out closer too, if you want.”

Oh, he wanted all right. More than anything in a long, long time.

She thrust her newly-inked hip out at him and he crouched down to get a better look. Given the fact she was about a foot shorter than his own six-two height, it only made sense to lean down and get as close as possible, right? That was the excuse he was going with anyway. Except now that he was down here, this close to her, her sweet, floral scent surrounded him and the heat of her skin tempted him to throw caution to the winds.

He bit his lip and fisted his hands at his sides to keep from reaching for her. “Beautiful.”

Noah wasn’t just talking about her new tattoo either.

God, he needed to get laid in the worst way. And not with just anyone. With this woman right here. His body all but cried out for her and if he didn’t get her into his bed soon, he felt like he might die from wanting her.

Thankfully, Rebel didn’t seem to notice at all. Just covered up all that beautiful flesh with gauze and bandages. Without looking up at the two of them, he said, “Noah chose that one because of his love for protecting people.”

“Yeah?” Serena raised one brow at him, her gaze teasing. “What are you, a cop?”

“No.” He straightened, his focus completely on her. “A Navy SEAL.”

“Oh, wow.” For the first time since he’d laid eyes on her, Noah felt like the tides had shifted in his favor. She seemed suitably impressed with his service. “I’ve seen documentaries on you guys. You’re like a real-life Superman.”

His slow smile refused to be stopped. “I try. Why’d you pick the crusades?”

Pink colored her cheeks before she looked away once Rebel was done, and adjusted her clothes. “I like to consider