Gunner’s Flame (Devil’s Outlaws #2) by Lynn Burke (@AuthorLynnBurke) #MCRomance #Erotic #Suspense #Series #HEA
Mitch “Gunner” Flannigan rules the Devil’s Outlaws with a firm hand, one trained by his stint in the SEALs, yet tempered by empathy for other vets. When a curvy redhead in Army fatigues snags his attention—and puts him in the line of fire—he’s torn between wanting to bury himself between her lush thighs and helping to ease her return to American soil.
The recent death of Shelby’s mother and her cousin’s terrorizing only adds to the PTSD hindering her return to civilian life. Flames ignite when she’s thrown into Gunner’s arms, where she also finds safety with someone who understands her struggles.
Attempts on Gunner’s life threaten their future, but so do the secrets Shelby withholds from him. When those secrets come to light Gunner will have a decision to make. Will he choose to stand with his loyal Outlaw brothers or will he choose the path that crosses them—and leads him right into her arms?
Warning: Contains adult content, graphic violence, and dark emotional scenarios that may trigger some readers.
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Appropriate or not, I rifled through Shelby’s bureau, pulling out comfortable-looking clothing rather than the sexy underthings I’d have loved to see on her body. The second she’d stripped down to a mere t-shirt, nipples pebbled from the cold air of the house, my dick had decided to fuck with the goddamn situation and enjoy the sights.
And her ass beneath those damn fatigues? Shit. Even better than I’d imagined.
I adjusted myself, teeth clenched, and made my way back across the hallway to the closed bathroom door. My soft knock went unanswered, and I opened the door enough to speak though. A blast of that herbal scent from her shampoo tightened my dick to the point of pain.
“I got you some clothes,” I said, slipping them onto the sink beside the door, keeping my gaze averted from the shower directly ahead.
“Thanks.” Her voice broke.
“You okay?” How many times had I asked her that, knowing she’d say yes even though she wasn’t? I wasn’t usually one for a loss of words. “Shelby?”
“Y—Yeah.” She sniffled a bit, and the shower shut off.
I forced myself to step back into the hall and quietly closed the door in front of me. Shelby had to be in shock—I wouldn’t put it past her to climb out of the shower without a thought of her nudity while I stood in the doorway.
Dick aching, hands clenched at my sides, I told myself she needed a friend, nothing more. Sitting on the edge of her bed to wait for her didn’t lessen the tight confines of my leathers. A bookshelf on the far wall held old paperbacks, pictures, and knickknacks, and even an old gray stuffed bunny that looked well-worn and well-loved.
I wondered at her life before that day, her childhood, what happy moments she’d tucked away in her memory. I wondered, too, at the life ahead of her and how she would cope with becoming a civilian again—alone, without family except for a cousin she wasn’t close with, and without the brotherhood-type club that had helped me.
While I expected she wouldn’t be able to handle group therapy, I knew of two therapists who would fit her in if asked. Talking her into it would be another matter altogether since most returning vets didn’t want to be seen as being weak—even though seeking help wasn’t in my book.
With a shitty family—old, drunk dad, deceased mom, younger sister addicted to pain killers—I’d been thankful to find someone who helped me unload. I’d had a few girlfriends here and there, but none of them had understood my need for the Navy and the Outlaws after getting out. I needed that companionship, that brotherhood that gave my life meaning after struggling to adapt to home again.
Shelby’s arrival in the bedroom’s doorway prickled my skin with awareness and wiped all thoughts but her from my head.
Waves of damp red hair hung to her waist. She’d gone without the bra I’d included in the pile of clothes, and the tight t-shirt revealed every goddamn curve of her plump tits, including her tightened nipples.
I clenched my teeth and tore my gaze off her before my eyes could eat up her long legs encased in dark leggings and wonder at the color of hair hiding her pussy. “Come over here,” I said, pulling back her comforter and angling my body away from hers to hide my straining erection.
She obeyed without a word, curling on her side to face me, hands folded beneath her cheek. Light blue eyes fringed with equally pale lashes with a hint of red at their tips, peered up at me as I slouched to a crouch beside her bed.
My hand moved on its own to smooth strands of her hair away from her face, and she sighed, her eyelids fluttering shut beneath my touch, her freckles stark against her pale skin. “Will you stay while I sleep?”
“If you want me to.”
“Yes. Beside me, please.” Her brow furrowed. “I—I can’t be alone right now.”
Knowing there was no way in fuck I could crawl under the covers and hold her close, I laid down on top of her comforter behind her after texting Brewer to let him know I wouldn’t be returning to the compound that night. Shelby turned and tucked herself into me the best she could considering the blankets between us and let out another sigh.
“Thank you for saving my life and bringing me home.”
“Thank you for allowing me to be your knight in shining armor.”
A huff of light laughter escaped her, and my lips responded. I pulled her closer, settling her cheek on my chest and rubbed my fingertips against her scalp.
“Promise you’ll be here when I wake?” she murmured, her voice fading.
“Promise, sweet thing. Close your eyes and sleep. I’ll keep you safe.”
© Lynn Burke 2018
ABOUT LYNN BURKE:
Lynn Burke is a full time mother, voracious gardener, and scribbler of spicy romance stories. A country bumpkin turned Bay Stater, she enjoys her chowdah and Dunkin Donuts when not trying to escape the reality of city life.