Bam, bam, bam, bullets poured out of an Uzi, peppering the place.
Roman was no stranger to the report of gunfire, the way it reverberated inside his chest as if someone were ringing a bell between his ribs. The way his mind cleared of all thoughts except duck and cover.
After discovering this bar was in Merton Cornell’s territory, Roman had been expecting the gang leader to raise some hell. Only a couple of months ago, the bar had been neutral territory, but things had definitely changed since his last undercover op in San Diego. The thing that hadn’t was the fact Cornell didn’t like trespassers like the two MS-13 gang members Roman was sitting with.
Had been sitting with. At the moment, under the blaze of gunfire, he was crawling his ass as fast as possible across the floor to the bar.
Because even though he’d told her to get the hell out, Dr. Brooke Heaton was still here.
Standing at the bar, no less, with a look of sheer terror on her face. A deer caught in headlights.
Glass broke, wood splintered, people screamed. Instead of ducking, Heaton threw herself in front of one of her companions as bullets cut through the air around her.
Beautiful, brainy, accomplished woman, but obviously not one with enough common sense when it came to her own safety.
Her sexy ankles were in sight as he shimmied under the cover of a table toward her, other people’s feet making haste in the opposite direction. Even under fire, the slender feet in the heels just high enough to emphasis her calves made him salivate. The conservative skirt that hit below her knees did nothing to dampen his very vivid imagination of what the rest of her legs looked like.
In his fantasies, they were just as shapely and toned as her calves. She spent long days in the field, digging up bones and other old shit, and the job kept her body in great shape.
A window broke. More screaming ensued. It was almost a shame he was going to have to grab those sexy ankles and drag her down.
He reached for the leg closest to him, stretching to grasp it. His fingers skimmed her calf and, the next thing he knew, she kicked him, the heel of her shoe digging into his palm.
“Ow!” He jerked his hand out from under the dagger, reached another inch, and wrapped his hand around her narrow ankle. “Get the fuck down!”
She bent slightly to look at who was grabbing her, covering her ears and shutting her eyes as more shots rang out. The long, narrow skirt helped his cause as he yanked her foot out from under her. Like a tight rubber band, it kept her legs together and jerked the other out from under her as well.
“Ack!” she yelled over the commotion as she fell into his waiting arms. “Help!”
He cushioned her fall, her ass barely hitting the floor before he slid her toward him, moving them both back under the table. Her companion—the one she’d been shielding—ran for the exit at the back of the bar.
She gasped for air, kicking at him without realizing who he was, feet flailing and her hands smacking him. “Let me go!”
He was on the receiving end of several of those kicks, one coming dangerously close to his balls under the cover of the wooden table.
“Brooke.” He shook her a bit as he locked eyes with her. “It’s me.”
Her rigid body went soft as they lay facing each other, her chest heaving as those beautiful turquoise eyes of hers grew rounder. “What are you doing?”
God, her lips were perfect, so pink and ripe for kissing. Her honey-colored skin invited the touch, a sprinkle of freckles across her nose and cheeks. “Saving your incredible backside, sweetheart. Now stay down.”
Most of the people had evacuated and the gunfire had died down, but Cornell had one of the MS-13 gang members pinned against a wall. Augie already had a bullet in him, as indicated by the blood running down his right arm, and Cornell had relieved him of his weapon. Augie’s compatriot was bleeding out on the floor near the kid’s feet.
Cornell pointed the Uzi at Augie’s chest and started in with his customary rhetoric about whose territory it was, and what were a couple of “no-good wetbacks from MS-13” doing here, etc., etc.
Roman slipped the handgun from his ankle holster and placed a finger to his lips when Brooke gasped.
Tugging her closer with his other hand, he aimed at Cornell’s broad back.
Understanding what was about to go down, Brooke wrapped her arms around Roman’s chest, clinging for dear life. Her breasts smashed against his ribcage, one shoeless foot wrapping around his leg. The act was so intimate, his vision went fuzzy for a second. How many times had he fantasized about the two of them being in this exact position?
Minus the gang members and the flying bullets, of course, but what was life without a little excitement?
Her lips brushed the lobe of his ear, making his cock dance. “Don’t miss,” she whispered. Her hair smelled like coconuts and fresh lemons. “Take him down.”
Adrenaline buzzed in Roman’s system, a thousand happy bees. He touched her hair, bringing his mouth close to her ear and breathing in her clean scent. Just like she had when he’d kissed her minutes ago, her body melted into his. “My pleasure, Dr. Heaton.”