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Claiming Her SEAL

By:Kat Cantrell

(Assignment: Caribbean Nights Book 1)


DEDICATION


To Zoe and Anne. I had the best time plotting world domination with you.



The tiny white bikini in Dex Riley's peripheral vision was nothing  spectacular. But there was something about the woman in it that he  couldn't ignore. Though he was trying. Partying with resort guests was  so not his style and besides, she had that look about her that said she  had more in common with nuns than the kind of women he preferred.

His demons didn't mix well with civilized company. Women in Dex's world  fell into two categories: those who didn't ask questions and those who  would be terrified by the answers.

Dex kept walking toward the small dock situated away from the guest  beach, where Jace sat in the driver's seat of the speedboat they used to  run back and forth between the resort and the other side of the island  where they lived. The last parasailing excursion had dispersed for the  day, and a cold beer with Dex's name on it waited patiently for him in  his bungalow.

White Bikini stood frozen on the beach at the surf line, watching the  foamy waterline as it rushed toward her toes. People did that to test  the temperature. Or because they didn't want to swim but liked the feel  of the sand between their toes. She wasn't doing either.

As the water covered her feet, White Bikini's body visibly jerked. She  wanted to flee. But didn't. Dex could feel the tension twisting through  her body, and he was a hundred yards away. Not looking at her. Okay, he  was kind of watching her from the corner of his eye as he walked toward  the dock. It wasn't a crime.

She was alone. Women with tight bodies and honey-colored hair like White  Bikini were never alone. That in and of itself was enough to pique  Dex's interest. On cue, a meathead wearing a banana hammock that did him  no favors came up behind her, slipping his arms around her so he could  murmur in her ear.

And that was that. She was taken. Big deal. Hundreds of women in  hundreds of different styles of swimwear regularly paraded across his  line of sight. One of the many benefits of living in the Caribbean. Some  of them caught his eye; most didn't register so much as a blip. Once he  got that beer in his hand, she'd fade from-

Banana Hammock's raised voice cut through the air, and Dex turned to see  White Bikini trying to pull away as the man's grip tightened around her  wrist.

"Let go," she commanded clearly. He didn't.

Cursing under his breath, Dex pivoted and strode toward the couple,  cataloging his target as he ate up the sand with his long-legged stride.

Two ten, not much fat, but he'd cheated in the muscle-building  department-steroids. He could probably bench about one fifty, no visible  scars, so he either won all his fights before they started, or he was  too much of a pansy to mix it up with a real man. Door number two, Dex  decided as the meathead manacled both of White Bikini's arms, hauling  her up against him and laughing like a loon at her struggles.

White-hot fury rocketed through Dex's blood, steadying his hands and his  mind. He did his best work when he was furious. If he wasn't mad enough  to kill, he rarely did.

"Step back," Dex called, his voice low and controlled. A warning. His target wouldn't get a second one.

The meathead glanced over his shoulder. "None of your business, jerkoff."

A lazy grin stretched Dex's mouth. "Aww. That's not what you said last night, sugar. Does that mean we're not friends anymore?"

"What'd you call me?" Banana Hammock dropped the girl's wrists, and she  backed up in a hurry, rubbing at the reddened circlets the moment her  boyfriend swung around to face Dex.

Definitely a bleeder, Dex mused as he zeroed in on the guy's lack of a  neck and too-perfect tattoos that he'd no doubt overpaid for in a  suburban ink shop that catered to frat boys and grandmas. His type  always bled a lot. Mostly because when Dex drew blood from people he  didn't like, he made extra sure to hit a few critical arteries.

"I'll call you whatever entertains me," Dex returned pleasantly. "And  I'll give you a generous five seconds to get your ass out of here before  I hand it to you with your testicles shoved inside."         

     



 

White Bikini gasped, but neither man acknowledged her. Dex had her  firmly locked in his peripheral vision though, just in case she was the  type to lash out at her rescuer due to some misguided loyalty toward her  abuser. Had happened to him a time or two before.

"As if you could." Banana Hammock sneered with a once-over full of  bravado and nothing to back it up. "Throw down, boy, so I can teach you  not to mess with a guy who's trying to score."

"Is that what that was?" Dex laughed and leaned forward onto the balls  of his feet in case the other guy started swinging. Dex never threw the  first punch. He didn't start fights, but he sure as hell finished them.  "A pointer for you. When a woman says no, you're done trying to score.  Now you're working on a felony."

The meathead wasn't going to have the chance to find out what the  nearest jail cell on Abaco Island looked like, at least not for this.  Odds were fifty-fifty on whether he'd wake up in the hospital though. It  all depended on what choices he made in the next couple of seconds.

Apparently he had enough gray matter for the littlest bit of concern to  begin filtering through his expression, and he glanced around, zeroing  in on the many security cameras and other Duchess Island resort guests  milling around the beach area. Guess he'd forgotten that this was a  public place.

Dex didn't move, but Banana Hammock backed up a step. Finally they were communicating.

"It's cool, bro." Banana Hammock held up his hands in a conciliatory  gesture that was part we're all friends here and part I have nothing up  my sleeve. "Plenty of other fish in the sea."

Yeah. Something like that. Except Dex didn't want to repeat this conversation in an hour.

"None of them want your hands on them after they've said no either. Make  no mistake. I'll be watching you until you leave. I've got nowhere more  important to be." Dex jerked his head at White Bikini. "Is your  girlfriend going to have a problem when you get back to your room  later?"

That probably was none of his business, but now that he'd stuck his nose  into it, there was always a possibility that Dex had made it worse for  her. This guy wasn't the type to hide his repulsive actions behind a  closed hotel room door, obviously, but you never knew. If Dex saw so  much as a paper cut on White Bikini tomorrow, there'd be hell to pay.

But she shook her head furiously, honey-blond hair flipping over her  creamy shoulder. "I'm not here with him. I've never even met him  before."

Dex sighed and cracked his neck a couple of times to loosen it up, never  taking his gaze off lover boy. "Well, that just pisses me off even  more. You're hassling a woman you don't know? My opinion of you is  slipping into a place you don't want it to go. How about you disappear  before something really bad happens?"

Whirling, Banana Hammock strode off without a backward glance. Well, well. He was smarter than he looked.

"That was amazing," White Bikini gushed and closed the gap between them instantly.

Dex glanced at her. Mistake.

Distance had lied to him. The bikini was spectacular. So was the woman.  Her angelic face sucked all the air from his lungs. So not his type. Or  rather, she absolutely was but shouldn't be, which was a whole other  kettle of fish.

He shrugged. "All in a day's work."

"No, I'm serious. You scared the crap out of him without lifting a  finger." Something darkened in her expression. "I wish I could do that."

Someone had hassled her before, maybe with less favorable results. "I know a thing or two about intimidation."

"Yeah, obviously. You were so commanding." She sighed, a breathless  little number that heated Dex's blood in a very different way than the  near altercation had.

He shut his eyes against the sight of her beautiful breasts rising and  falling. When he refocused, it was on her face, which wasn't much  better. The smile she wore had too much my hero in it for comfort.

She stuck her hand out. "I'm Emma."

Of course she was. The name Emma had all sorts of sugar and spice and  everything nice tied up in it. Her nightmares probably consisted of  breaking a nail or wearing the wrong shoes to a party. Must be nice, he  thought with no small amount of envy. The last thing he wanted to do was  turn her nightmares darker, which was what would happen if this little  interlude kept going down the same path.

But she was still standing there, hand outstretched.

Reluctantly, he reached out to clasp her palm, but it wasn't a handshake  by any stretch of the imagination. The instant their flesh connected,  electricity arced between them, lighting him up.         

     



 

Emma was a hot blonde and wearing nothing but three scraps of fabric.  Also, he wasn't blind. Even her bare toes-painted a neon shade of  green-were sexy. Nothing wrong with his plumbing, and no reason he  couldn't have a purely sexual reaction to her.

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