Sworn to Protect
reminded that time was precious and never guaranteed. That I’d do anything at all to protect the ones I love, and that it’s my calling. It’s what I was born to do.” He cleared his throat. “And that’s when I knew, deep down, I’d do whatever it took to earn your forgiveness.”
    “Those are some beautiful words.”
    “I can back them up, I promise you.”
    She really wanted to believe. But although she understood where his head was when he broke things off, it still hurt. “Why don’t we take things one day at a time?”
    Disappointment flashed in his eyes, but he quickly recovered. “I’ll gladly accept whatever you’re willing to give me.”
    The man was saying all the right things. Time would tell if he could walk the walk.
    She enjoyed the meal, which was exceptional, and he vowed to bring her back as often as she wanted. After sharing a crème brûlée for dessert, he paid the check and guided her to the truck.
    He opened the door for her, helped her in. But this time he didn’t step back. Instead he leaned inside and cupped her face in his hands. Their gazes met, and he simply stared at her as though she held all the secrets to his universe.
    He smelled so good, and she loved his strong hands on her. She was addicted to his touch, his warmth. When he lowered his mouth to capture her lips, she moaned, pushing into him. She snaked her arms around his middle, clutching the shirt at his back. His tongue tangled with hers and she relished his taste, wine and sweet cream. And all Shane.
    He pulled back with a smile. “If I don’t let go, I’ll end up ravishing you right here and now.”
    “That doesn’t sound so bad.”
    Chuckling, he kissed her cheek and shut the door. He climbed in the other side, and they took the long way home, enjoying the sight of the river in the moonlight. She knew they both wanted this night to end the same way, but she was glad he didn’t rush the trip. One thing Shane was very good at was savoring a moment.
    Half an hour later, they arrived at her little house in town. “May I come in for a while?”
    “I’d be sad if you didn’t.”
    “We can’t have that.”
    She let them in, only bothering to turn on a small table lamp in the living room so they could see well enough on the way to her bedroom. She took his hand, leading the way. Once there, she began to unbutton his dark shirt.
    “I’ve missed you, my sexy cop.”
    “God, I’ve missed you, too.”
    She parted the material and he hissed as she bent and licked one of his nipples. Took it in her teeth and worried it, making the nub stand out proudly. His fingers combed through her loose hair as she gave the other equal attention. Then he went to work on her blouse.
    “My turn.”
    He pulled it over her head and then unclasped her bra. She let the straps slide off, and the garment fell to the floor. She loved being bared to him, because he always gazed at her as though she was the moon and stars. As if it was more than lust between them. As though he truly cared for her.
    And it showed in his lovemaking. Like now, the tender way he guided her to the bed to lie on her back, never breaking eye contact. How he slowly unzipped her capris and made sliding the material down her legs seem like an art. Then he hooked her panties, taking them down as well, making male noises of appreciation in his throat. She loved those sounds.
    “Can I taste you, sugar? It’s been so long.”
    “Too long. Please . . .”
    Parting her thighs, he dipped his head. One flick of his tongue and she melted, opening for him with an abandon she’d never felt with anyone else. Shane made her fly.
    He licked and sucked, causing little tremors to zip to every nerve ending. Until she was squirming underneath him, practically begging. “Tell me you came prepared.”
    That sexy grin showed his white teeth against his tanned face, feral in the darkness. Exciting. “I brought the gun, the bullets,
the holster, baby.”
    She laughed as he

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