“Chief Wyatt Lockwood kept his gaze averted but was still able to find Captain Talia Culver, U.S. Marine Corps, who stood restively in the Bagram chow line. She was with her brother, Matt, and her sister, Alexa. He knew Matt well because they’d worked together on a number of black ops missions over the years. Alexa was an unknown simply because she was an Air Force combat pilot and he was a ground-pounder.
As he hungrily scooped up his second helping of six eggs, along with a tray piled high with bacon and toast, he smiled to himself. His “animals,” the other SEALs in his platoon, had their heads down, concentrating on wolfing down as much protein their empty stomachs could hold.
But he had other fish to fry. Namely, Tal. Damn, she was an Amazon-warrior knockout. Of course, he’d never tell her that. She’d get royally pissed off, turn on her heel, and leave him in a huff without another word. She was like that, quick to give him an icy glare. She didn’t have the time of day for him, which her body language had told him again and again—for three years, in fact.
He watched Tal and her sister, noting that Tal was taller than most women, although Alexa was only two inches shorter than her. Tal had a lean body that he found himself fantasizing about on far too many nights. Despite her height, she couldn’t have hidden her femininity if she tried.
Granted, out here in the badlands, women didn’t wear makeup or perfume—especially a sniper like Tal. The scent would carry on the wind, straight to the Taliban. They’d follow it and discover her hiding place. He couldn’t even think about what might happen after that.
Turning to his breakfast, he shoveled more eggs into his mouth, delighting in the line of sight he had on the woman he wanted in his bed—one way or another.
Wyatt had always danced away from serious, long-term relationships. Hell, he’d seen too many SEAL marriages fail horribly. A 90 percent divorce rate didn’t offer him the odds he’d need to even consider the idea, which was why he kept his hookups light and short-term.
He often told himself that he was doing women a favor by walking away in the morning. To lead a woman on by making her think there was hope for a serious relationship would be a dark falsehood. SEALs who were in love, he thought, had to lie to themselves about their odds of keeping a marriage together, given their brutal rotation cycle and the fact that they were often away from home for six months or more at a time. He wouldn’t put himself or a woman he wanted to love through that kind of minefield. Wyatt was always upfront with a woman who interested him—that it was for a night of sex, and that was it. If she agreed, they both walked away satisfied and happy the next morning.
Didn’t the woman ever get horny? Hungry for sex? God knew he did! But then, she was a woman, and her hormones were different from a man’s, although he did know plenty of women who liked having sex. Too bad Tal wasn’t more like them.
Wyatt had once heard Matt hint that there were two main reasons Tal wasn’t interested in him. First, he was enlisted and she was an officer. The UCMJ rules were very clear that it was taboo for men and women in those categories to get together. Of course, Wyatt never worried about that. SEALs had a hell of a reputation for breaking rules in the military and living to tell about it.
In fact, he knew plenty of officers and enlisted here on this base who would eagerly fraternize with one another. The key, of course, was keeping it hidden from a superior officer or individuals who might want to make trouble for the couple. If an officer was caught fraternizing with an enlisted, his or her career could go to hell pretty damn fast.
Maybe he could convince Tal Culver that he’d personally guarantee that no one on this base would ever find them out. He’d say whatever he had to in order to get her into bed. Then again, he’d have to get her to talk to him first, so the chances were slim to none that he’d have to bother with guarantees!
The other reason Matt had given him was cause for serious concern. He’d told Wyatt that Tal had lost the man she loved, a Marine sniper, six years ago. The couple had been deeply in love, Matt confided.
Wyatt had wanted to continue their conversation and was frustrated that he’d have to wait to learn more—if Matt was in the mood then to continue his confidences. Maybe she was still grieving. Wyatt had never been in love, so he didn’t understand someone having to work through years of grief.
The strangest thing was, he had a feeling—call it intuition—that deep down, Tal actually respected him. That was the thing about being a SEAL, working for years under life-and-death conditions. A SEAL’s intuition was so developed, it often flew off the charts. He’d seen intuition save a man’s life, and Wyatt’s psychic ability was damn near in the paranormal range. His platoon knew about his gift and always deferred to him on a DA when he told them to stop, that there was a Taliban ambush ahead of them. And he was never wrong.
He watched Tal lead the way from the chow line to the opposite end of the hall from where he and his team sat, and smiled. Yeah, she knew exactly where he was sitting and was going to avoid him big-time. Pushing the emptied tray away from him, he picked up his mug of coffee and finished it off. God, how he’d missed good, strong espresso. Six months without a sip of it had been starting to stress him out.
Tal move between the tables. His body responded as he silently observed her. She had one of the nicest-shaped asses he’d ever seen on a woman. He could tell by the way she walked, the way her loose-fitting Marine outfit flowed over her hips, that she would be exciting to explore. His hands itched. Damn. He had it bad for his ice queen.”
are backdrop for her understanding of the military in general, and also her very successful Morgan’s Mercenaries, which is an ongoing series in Silhouette to this day! Forty-five books strong!
are bound to fall in love with the Culver family. Delos is romantic suspense, which Lindsay is well known for. It took her five years to create and bring DELOS to her readers. It was worth the wait, but we’ll let you decide that.