On Danger’s Edge
On Dangers Edge By Lise Fuller
Fear be damned…
…is the code photojournalist Rorie Lindsay lives by. Free of her abusive ex-husband, she celebrates her divorce with a one-night stand then heads to her next photo shoot in the Panamanian jungles, thirsting for adventure. Finally sensing her life is her own, Rorie relishes her autonomy until guerillas take her small troupe captive. Now, in order to survive, she must match wits with the soldier who came to save her—Chief Warrant Officer Tom MacCallum, the same stranger she’d spent one incredible night with.
Tom couldn’t forget the passionate brunette he’d bedded—a vain attempt to assuage his guilt over a comrade’s death. Like his father several years before, Tom had been unable to save his friend. Driven in his Special Forces missions, the failures haunt his private life. Because loved ones die, he’s refused to commit himself to a woman. Still, he longed for something with Rorie. Unable to find her again, he’s encouraged when he sees she’s in the party he’s rescuing—until the rescue effort goes awry and he finds the terrorists hot on their trail. Now, both their lives and their destinies are…
…On Danger’s Edge.
Note: On Danger’s Edge was previously self-published in 2005.
Tom inhaled a deep breath as the last of his buddies left the half-filled lot. Reaching in his pocket for the keys to his Harley, he looked for the stars, seeing only the glare of the streetlights. “Sleep tight, bro,” he muttered, utter loneliness gripping him. “Maybe I’ll see you soon.”
Flipping the keys in his hand, he walked along the sidewalk to the far end of the postage stamp-sized parking area. The lamplight poured over the chrome on his bike, making it sparkle in the dark. The door to the bar opened. Noise from inside spilled into the quieter night. Instinct made him look to see who exited. His mystery woman walked out, her head down and a hand in her purse. She strolled toward him through the dimmest part of the lot.
Smirking, he watched her. Tom liked the way the woman walked. He imagined the lady didn’t realize the effect her swaying hips had on a guy. Tom leaned against the bike’s seat to enjoy the view.
From the corner of his eye, he caught a dark image flash across the lot and hover between two parked cars near her. His nerves on end, Tom jumped to the sidewalk. Shoving his keys back, he fingered the knife in his rear pocket, hoping he wouldn’t need to use the blade.
The brunette stopped and stared at him, licking her lips. Desire flared in her dark eyes—until the unknown assailant left the shadows. She froze, staring between Tom and her would-be attacker.
The man turned to look behind him. For the first time, the jerk saw Tom.
No one moved for the space of a breath. Then the guy in black took off like a rocket. Tom decided the creep didn’t want to mess with someone bigger than him. Good choice.
Tom relaxed his stance and glanced at the woman. Her hand shook as she pulled out a set of keys. In a few steps, he stood next to her. “Always have those in hand when you leave a place, especially a dive like this.”
The lady looked at him, the fear in her cinnamon-colored eyes mixing with some other emotion. She swallowed—hard. “Good advice,” she rasped.
If Tom’s lust hadn’t peaked before, it did now. Her soft, ragged voice sounded like sex. He cleared his throat. “You should never be alone in a place like this either.”
She bowed her head. Tom listened to her soft grunt. “Yeah. I didn’t think a few minutes would matter.” She looked up and her eyes riveted into his. “I…” She licked her lips again.
Damn. He wanted her. “Don’t park in the dark anymore. You need to stay in the light.” He thought he stuttered, and felt like a kid asking his best girl for his first piece of heaven. He turned to leave.
He didn’t need any prompting. He faced her, recognizing the indecision crossing her face. This woman didn’t buy completely into her friends’ loose sex mores, he was sure of that, otherwise her activities during the night would have been more aggressive. But what did she want?
“Could I offer you some coffee?” She straightened, seeming more confident, less afraid. “I owe you. It’s the least I could do.”
His turn to swallow. The woman didn’t seem like the type for nights on end of one-time sex, but what did he know? Maybe she was new to sexual exploration and wanted to try it? In that case, he’d be her first. Hell, sex with her would probably be safe enough. “You sure you want to?” He thought his voice sounded hoarse.
He stepped closer, enough so his body burned as he touched hers. “You act like your friends?” he whispered.
Her eyes glittered. “What do you mean?”
He put his hands on her shoulders and pulled her closer, letting his palms play down her back to her lower exterior. She leaned into him. “You only after a guy for sex?”
Her breathing deepened as her mouth parted. “I… They want me to try it.”
Backing up, he dropped his hands and reached in his front pocket for his keys. “Maybe you ought to figure out what you want first.”
Tom turned to leave and heard her steps on the sidewalk coming after him.
“Wait.” She ran into his back when he stopped. He felt her hard breathing through his T-shirt.
Tom faced her.
“It’s just coffee.”
She’d shrugged at the comment, but Tom thought the need for a naked man called in her look. He pulled her into his arms and this time let his mouth hover over hers. “Only if it’s at my place.” When he kissed her, she responded, and he poured all the anguish and need he’d felt throughout the day into his embrace.
Omigod. Rorie Lindsay’s nerve endings fired on all thrusters. Stares from the tanned man holding her had put her on edge all night, and now she stood in his arms. She’d never experienced a kiss like this, one that scorched every fiber in her. Her body burned and when he started to back away, she pulled him closer. Rorie ran her hands through his thick, black hair, allowing him to penetrate her mouth with his tongue.
When common sense finally crept into her head, she released him—slowly—a primal need for him urging her on. What was she thinking? That she’d make love to him here in the middle of the parking lot? The one margarita she’d had told her yes.
But Rorie’s strict upbringing and the uncertainty she thought lurked in his deep, green eyes gave her a definite no. Still, his hard, fit body spurred her needy libido. The man wanted her. A man who looked like him wanted her. Wow. A first—at least in a long time. She’d gained a lot of weight during her abusive six-year marriage to Stephen “Dickhead” Brockhurst. It’d been two years since they’d separated. Rorie’s efforts to tighten and tone her plump body had taken over a year. Yet, the therapy to regain her self-esteem had taken much longer.
She let her hands roam over his broad shoulders and down his beefy arms. Strands of hair at her temple brushed his chin as Rorie studied him. Sally Shepard had been right about the men who came here. They were hot. But the only one who had caught her eye now held her in his arms, looking at her like he could devour her.
Rorie had to admit, she liked the way he studied her. It did funny things in the pit of her gut. Thing was, she didn’t do casual relationships. To be more honest, she didn’t do relationships at all. It had been over a year since her last sexual encounter—a brief affair with another photographer, a relationship Rorie could only describe as dispassionate. They didn’t even have real sex, just touched one another, although she’d about died for the act of coupling, as needy as her body had been at the time.
The deep tones in his rich voice stroked her, sending delicious chills tingling through her. Sally had said to loosen up, take a risk and meet some guy. Not all men were like Stephen. “Who knows?” Rorie remembered her best friend from college saying. “Maybe you’ll meet the man of your dreams.”
She held her breath and looked at this man, her breasts pushed against his hard chest, the heady touch of his arms around her. Rorie had never dreamt of any man as good as him.
“Sure,” she finally said, butterflies dancing in her stomach at the crazy thought of being with him.
“What’s your name?” he asked and nipped her bottom lip.
She stifled a moan. “Aurora.” She used her given name. It sounded more feminine than Rorie, the name all her friends used.
“Aurora.” The stranger looked at her. A dimple in his right cheek appeared with the quirk of his lips. “As in a heavenly body.”
“Something like that.” Her voice sounded flat. She’d never liked the name her mother had picked for her, and figured the drugs they’d used on Vivian Lakehurst Lindsay at Rorie’s birth were to blame for the anomaly. Her nickname described her far better, especially her thirst for adventure. The name was all she’d ever used—until now. Tonight “Rorie” didn’t seem to fit into the sensual tension between them.
He chuckled. Rorie liked the timbre of his voice. It softened him, made him seem less harsh than the somber man she’d been attracted to all night. She smiled as two dimples deepened in his cheeks.
“Follow me.” He stepped back, and eyed her up and down. “I’ll ride slow, but if you change your mind, I’ll understand.”
Rorie didn’t tell him she’d already changed her mind a billion times—and still came back to the fact she needed to know what a taste of this tempting, brooding man would be like.
Copyright © LISE FULLER, 2005.
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
“Lise Fuller creates a military romance that does not bog the reader down…. The chemistry between Tom and Aurora is explosive and their feelings for each other grow as they are trying to survive in the jungle. Aurora is in the process of learning about herself and overcoming her fears. Tom is a hero with a heart. He has always been a protector, which causes some friction…. On Danger’s Edge is an action packed romance that grabs the reader and holds on till the last page. This is absolutely a keeper….” - 5 Cups | Cassandra Buckles | Coffee Time Romance
“On Danger’s Edge is loaded with romance, danger, and intriguing secondary characters…. Throw in action, danger, and a run through a jungle and On Danger’s Edge is an entertaining reading for any romance fan…. I’ll be waiting anxiously the next addition to what looks to be a must read series.” – Melissa from Joyfully Reviewed
“After escaping an abusive marriage, photojournalist Rorie Lindsay longs for adventure. ‘Shoot’ takes on a whole new meaning, however, when she and her companions are taken hostage by guerrillas…. On Danger’s Edge is fast paced and action packed. Tom and Rorie are well-developed characters that face their relationship challenges and fears head on. A very enjoyable read!” – 4 ½ Kisses | Romance Divas
“A fast moving story, On Danger’s Edge is a romance with much more adventure than Rorie bargained for when she agreed to take photographs in the jungle of Panama…. Readers will enjoy an exciting jungle adventure along with romance in On Danger’s Edge.” – Marilyn Heyman | Romance Reviews Today
“I found myself unable to stop reading this book. Rorie and Tom truly care about each other but because of past hurts, they are unsure of themselves, and their feelings for each other. Not to mention the small problem of being Panamanian hostages. I cheered their successes and groaned when things didn’t go their way. I have never read anything of Ms. Fuller’s prior to this book but would be happy to read her again. I enjoyed this book and its characters.” – Natasha from Romance Junkies