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du·ty n. pl. du·ties 1. An act or a course of action that is required of one by position, social custom, law, or religion. 2. a. Moral obligation. b. The compulsion felt to meet such obligation. 3. A service, function, or task assigned to one, especially in the armed forces. 4. Function or work; service.
Duty Bound by Noelle Adams, Samantha Chase
(The Protectors #1)
Publication date: April 10th 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I used to think I could be a hero, but one deadly night destroyed that delusion. So I’ve come home defeated. My military career, my best friend, my purpose—all of it is lost.
What I find is her.
She’s my best friend’s sister, and she’s everything I shouldn’t want. She’s on a hopeless quest for answers about her brother’s death, but those are secrets that can never come to light. She’s always been a fighter, and she desperately wants the truth.
I desperately want her.
Someone is trying to kill her now, and she won’t let me keep her safe. I have to do it anyway, even if she doesn’t trust me, even if she hates me for it. A man protects what’s precious to him, whether or not he can ever claim her for his own. So she becomes my purpose.
I’ll become a hero for her.
Five minutes later, he finally returned, having found a wrap.
“Just put it there,” I said, gesturing to the coffee table. “I’ll wrap it when I take off the ice. It’s really not that bad.”
“It’s already starting to swell.”
I sighed. “It will be fine. Thanks for your help.”
I hoped he would understand my tone as a sign for him to leave, but he didn’t. He sat down in a chair and gave me a significant look.
“I don’t feel like having another argument, Levi,” I said, my voice slightly wobbly. I was suddenly so tired and frustrated and stretched that I felt like I could just burst into tears.
“Okay.” He sighed and leaned back in his chair, just watching me.
“Are you just going to stare then?”
“I’m going to wait until we take the ice off so I can wrap your ankle.”
I could tell he meant it. He wasn’t going to budge. And I was just too exhausted to argue.
I closed my eyes and tried to relax, tried to pretend Levi wasn’t in the room with me.
He was blessedly quiet, and while I couldn’t exactly forget he was around, at least he wasn’t forcing his way into my attention. We didn’t speak for the next ten minutes, and when I opened my eyes as he got up at last, I didn’t feel the irresistible urge to strangle him.
He carefully wrapped my ankle, and I had to admit that, for such a macho guy, he really knew how to take care of someone. He seemed to know what would hurt and what wouldn’t hurt, and he even helped adjust the cushions so I was lying more comfortably.
When he was done, he was kneeling beside the couch, and I’d turned my head so our gazes were locked.
“Thanks,” I said. I thought it should have been said in my normal voice, but I sounded rather raspy and breathless instead.
“You’re welcome.” He didn’t move. He just knelt where he was, his eyes never leaving my face.
“I appreciate your help.” That comment was supposed to add to the conversation, but it didn’t. At all.
Levi didn’t seem to notice. “I’m happy to help.”
“I think I’ll be okay now.”
So, now would be the time for him to leave, but he still didn’t leave. His eyes had been deep and somehow uncertain, but as I watched they warmed to a soft blaze of heat.
My lips parted in surprise at the expression and at how it evoked a matching feeling inside me. Attraction and emotion and desire washed over me as I stared up at him, and I actually lifted my head slightly, some unstoppable force drawing me toward Levi.
“You are so beautiful,” he breathed, reaching out to take my face in one of his hands.
New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40’s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.
When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, blogging, playing way too many games of Scrabble on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina. For more information visit her website at www.chasing-romance.com.
Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.
She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances. For more information, please check out her website: noelle-adams.com.
Not Everyone’s Mama