EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT #2 Sanctuary by Lindsay McKenna

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT#2

Sanctuary by Lindsay McKenna
Delos Series, Book 8
Paperback, ebook and audio

Teren wasn’t prepared when she spotted him at the exit doors of customs, along with several other Sudanese businessmen dressed in their robes. He was moderately built, wearing a tan T-shirt beneath a loose-fitting khaki jacket and trousers. Their eyes briefly locked upon one another, and Teren’s heart began to accelerate. He was here! Why did it feel like a homecoming instead of a first meeting? Her lips moved and then tightened, and instead, she lifted her hand.

He gave her a bare nod, his eyes narrowing, and every nerve in her body reacted to that swift, intense perusal he gave her.

And then, just as quickly, he lifted his chin, his gaze sweeping around the noisy, busy airport. She had the distinct impression he was actually a lordly leopard in disguise, calmly surveying his kingdom, not a stranger coming to a strange country. He walked like a hunter, light on his feet, avoiding any living animal in the immediate vicinity.

She watched in amazement as he threaded his way through the crowd. He moved like water flowing around rocks, disturbing nothing, gaining no one’s attention. Teren’s respect for him as a security contractor rocketed.

His shoulders were broad, squared with pride, his hand on a single bag that appeared to hold a laptop. His right hand was free. And as his gaze swept to her once again and briefly halted, Teren felt in that one, scorching moment, he had memorized her from head to toe.

It wasn’t sexual. It wasn’t lust. It was something indefinable, but just the power of it stirred up the heat simmering in her lower body. Once he was clear of the bustling crowd, his gaze locked on hers once more, and Teren felt as if she were being surrounded by such intense protectiveness, it stole her breath away.

Protection! It had been so long since she’d felt safe. So long…and he seemed to be invisibly embracing her, the sense of safety he radiated even stronger the closer he drew to her.

For once in her life, Teren found herself speechless. Their gazes clung to one another, and something passed between them that made her throat tighten. She fought back old, wounded emotions as she absorbed the look in his eyes, feeling his quiet authority and power. Now she lifted her chin and realized that, on some level, she didn’t want him to step away from her. It was the craziest, most out-of-this-world sensation she’d ever felt!

Almost dizzied by his palpable masculinity as he drew to a halt about four feet away from her, she stared up at Steele-gawked was more like it. Teren suddenly felt like an innocent eighteen-year-old who held all the hopes of the world in her heart.

Steele was a stranger. Ex-military. Black ops. So different from the world she lived in that what he was bringing with him was alien to her culture. Then his eyes warmed as he smiled down on her, and she felt heat sheeting through her, arousing her dormant body, ripping away all her fear, the sense of danger that always hovered around her. She felt a fire sparking to full life deep within her body, as if on some unknown plane of existence, she was meeting him after a long absence.

“Ms. Lambert?”

His voice was low and quiet. The vibration, though subtle, tingled through every cell within her. Teren barely nodded. “Yes.” The word came out smoky and soft, so unlike her. Nolan Steele brought out her female quality with just his mere presence.

Looking deeper into his eyes, Teren didn’t see arousal or lust. What she saw, however, was even more powerful: gentle understanding and yes, compassion burned in his eyes, aimed directly at her. How could that be?

She felt tongue-tied, scrambling inwardly to snap out of that magical cocoon he’d just woven around her. The feeling left Teren unsure of herself-normally, she exuded a quiet confidence wherever she went. Whatever magic he possessed made her feel excruciatingly female, and she gratefully absorbed it.

Steele gave her a wry smile, his eyes crinkling, the lines in the corners deepening. “Are you all right? You look a little dazed.”

Teren felt heat burnishing her cheeks. She never blushed, but she was now. She managed an apologetic, “I’m sorry…long day.” Well, that wasn’t a lie, just not the whole truth. “The heat, too.” She lifted her hand gracefully toward the automatic doors.

“Understandable,” he agreed with a nod. Holding out his hand, he said, “Nolan Steele. It’s nice to meet you, Ms. Lambert.”

His large hand engulfed her thin, narrow one, and the touch of his callused palm sliding against hers sent wild electric sensations up her lower arm. His fingers were long, strong, yet gentle, as he lightly squeezed her hand in return. Teren felt his latent strength, reminding her once more of that proud leopard who, while in repose, looked tame and nonthreatening-but he wasn’t. Skin against skin she sensed much more and couldn’t hold off images that had nothing to do with a simple “hello.”

Unsteadily, Teren pulled her hand free, her skin vibrating with his energy. “Do you have luggage?” she asked, trying to restore the impression of competence she’d brought with her.

“Yes.” He broke contact with her flawless gray eyes, which brought to mind the color of the sky just before dawn. “I’ve been here before, and baggage is that way.” He pointed in the direction of the highly polished hall that led to the right.

She blinked, her mind slowly returning online. “You have? I mean, you’ve been in Sudan before?” The way his lips parted in a grin, part boyish, part secretive, told her that Nolan wasn’t wearing his game face. He was being genuine.

Wyatt had warned her that she probably wouldn’t be able to read him or know what he was thinking or feeling. But that wasn’t true, at least not here and now. It was as if they were both standing before each other, exposing themselves boldly and fearlessly. She could almost feel his essence, and it swept her away in a glorious cloud of heat, light, and promise.

“Yes, ma’am. In fact, I’ve been here too many times,” he assured her. Nolan knew better than to cup her elbow and guide her down the massive, gleaming hallway leading to the escalator down to baggage. This was a conservative country, and a strange man could not touch a woman. Only family could touch family, and even then, it mattered which person in the family it was. Earlier, when they shook hands, any passerby would automatically think they were related and from the same family. They would think nothing of the greeting. Nolan gestured and said, “This way.”

Pre-order: right now!
Release Date: 2.1.18!
contact me at: http://www.lindsaymckenna.com

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