Waitin’ on a Hero
Finley Gallagher has a business to run, a sexy-as-sin neighbor to avoid and no time for everyone’s fascination with the city’s mysterious vigilante who’s putting criminals in their place—until she’s attacked. With no one else to turn to, she’s forced to rely on the two men she’d rather not have anything to do with. One hides who he is, unleashing her deepest fantasies from the shadows, while the other slowly disarms her with one devastating smile after another.
Trace Fairbanks is determined to do whatever it takes to keep the streets safe, even if it means leading a double life. He’s wanted Finley for months, and now that he knows she’s more into his alter ego than he ever realized, he’s willing to blur the line between fantasy and reality to prove he’s the only hero she’ll ever need. But getting the girl might not be as hard as keeping her alive if he can’t trust her with the truth before it’s too late.
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“Waitin on a Hero is fast-paced, witty and extremely well written. With touching scenes that will move you and fiery sexual chemistry, WAITIN’ ON A HERO has it all and should not be missed.” – Romance Junkies
“The sex scenes are incendiary and highly sensual…enough action to up the ante, adding another dimension to this well written novel.” – The Romance Studio_
“Waitin’ on a Hero is fantastic! I really enjoyed this story.” – Joyfully Reviewed
She froze as his shadow fell across the stairs, the dim lighting still making it impossible to see his face. He reached out and flicked the light switch, plunging the stairwell into darkness. An unexpected burst of nervousness jolted her system as the door closed. His heavy footfalls reverberated off the surrounding brick walls.
She wasn’t afraid of him. Intimidated, yes, but not afraid. A man who risked his own neck saving her wouldn’t hurt her. Or so she told herself as his footsteps drew closer. He wasn’t in any hurry, and even with her eyes adjusting, she could see no more than the barest outline of his tall frame.
Finley gripped the railing, tightening her fingers as he stopped on the stair above hers. “You know, if you wore a mask, the dark thing wouldn’t be necessary.”
He laughed, the low rasping sound somehow suiting him. “I like the dark.”
“The dark is fine for sleeping.”
He stepped down on the landing next to her, and she instinctively retreated until her back came up against the wall.
“Should I be?” If not for teasing undercurrent she heard in his voice, she might have been.
He leaned against the wall next to her. The slivers of light from the hall downstairs made it possible to see him cross his arms. “No.”
No matter how hard she strained to really see him, the shadows swallowed him up. “I won’t tell anyone who you are.”
“I am making you nervous.”
“No.” Okay, maybe a little and only because her common sense demanded to know what sane woman would linger in the dark with a man she knew nothing about—one with violent tendencies if the stories circulating in the media from the criminals he’d taken down were to be believed.
“But you’d be more comfortable talking to me with the light on.”
“I don’t know you. I don’t even know why you’re here.” Didn’t know why she wanted him to be there except that he made her feel safe. Not since her mother died had it felt like there was anyone else watching out for her.
“Neither do I,” he confessed. “But I’m not stalking you.”
“Just happened to be in the area?”
“Something like that.”
It seemed a bit coincidental that he just happened to be in the neighborhood. Then again, had anyone predicted she would be saved from assault by the Night Watcher to begin with, she would have laughed and walked the other way. Maybe he’d come across her name and address somehow and was checking up on her.
Actually, that seemed even more unlikely since she couldn’t imagine why he would bother.
“Make house calls often?” she asked, a part of her foolishly wishing he was as curious about her as she was about him.
“Not a habit of mine.”
His answer startled her, but more startling was the way she found herself leaning toward him. “Is this how you always talk?”
He inched closer in response. “Does my voice bother you too?”
“No. I just wonder why you’re trying so hard to hide who you are.”
She arched her brow, then, remembering the gesture was lost in the dark, scoffed in disbelief.
“Do you trust me?”
“We just met,” she answered matter-of-factly, telling herself that reason alone should have her backing up, not yearning to feel the press of his hard body against hers.
He made a sound that was almost disagreement. “It would be foolish of me to trust anyone I don’t know with my secrets then, wouldn’t it?”
“Not unless you’re worried I’d recognize you.”
His silence kicked her brain into overdrive.
“Would I?” She straightened, her hand relaxing on the railing. She didn’t let go completely, not when the dark made it impossible to anticipate his next move. A fact that made her both cautious and breathless with anticipation.
She wet her lips, the silence stretching between them until she couldn’t think beyond the pounding of her own heart in her head.
His thigh brushed hers, and the simple touch unleashed a rush of excitement and desire that pooled low in her belly.
“I expected you to be more afraid of me.”
“Pleased or disappointed?” Finley felt the need to stay on her toes with him, otherwise she really would be afraid of a man who used the dark to cloak his intentions as much as his identity.
He angled his body toward hers, his quiet laugh whispering across her cheek. “Do I seem the type that gets off on making other people nervous?”
“You wear a trench coat when it’s one-hundred-and-fifteen degrees outside. You carry some kind of tranquilizer gun that would make a zookeeper envious. Clearly the hero complex does something for you.”
“Maybe,” he conceded.
His fingers caught the ends of her hair and she sensed his mouth close to her face. The slow hum of anticipation burrowed through her bloodstream. Instead of feeling panicked by his proximity, she ached to get closer.
And she blamed it entirely on her conversation with Avery.
His fingertips threaded the long strands and her stomach flipped backward. She bit down on her bottom lip to trap the sigh that threatened to break free. What was it about him that made her forget how dangerous he could be? Was it because he’d saved her? Or was it something else? Something beyond the mystery surrounding him?
She fiddled with the empty water bottle she still carried. “Why do you do it?”
“Because I can help people.”
“Have you ever gotten hurt?”
“A couple times.”
The admission made her insides draw up tight. “Who looks after you when you are?”
“Is that your way of asking if I have a girlfriend?” She heard the smile in his voice.
“No.” She couldn’t get the denial out fast enough, feeling foolish for bringing it up. “You risk yourself to help others, and I was just wondering if, when you needed it, there was someone to help you.”
“Now I am disappointed.”
He moved so only a breath separated their mouths. “I was hoping you were curious about the girlfriend thing.”
“You don’t seem to care whether or not I have anyone in my life.”
His hand closed over hers, drawing it toward his mouth. “Would you be standing here in the dark with me if you did?”
“Are you always this arrogant, or is it just part and parcel with the hero complex?”
“Arrogance is my fatal flaw.”
“I suppose you have a nemesis as well?” It was getting damn difficult to pull together a coherent thought, let alone be remotely witty when he held her hand, his thumb trailing seductively down the center of her palm.
“None to speak of yet, but I’ll keep you posted.” He leaned in, bringing his chest in full contact with hers.
She sucked in a surprised breath as drops of water from his jacket dripped down between her breasts. “You’re wet.”
He peeled her shirt up, exposing her midsection. “I think you are too.” The wicked tone suggested he was talking about more than her clothing.
She slammed her eyes shut, her senses at war over which part of her ached the most for his touch. With no bra, her breasts felt hot and heavy, weighed down by the drenched tank top. Every breath she took seemed to rub the wet fabric against her nipples, made the throbbing between her legs squeeze and clench.
“What were you doing on the roof?” As much as her body hungered for something from this man, she couldn’t drown out the voice that warned her not to confuse her fantasies with reality. The rough brick wall against her back was real. The hard, damp body pressed intimately against her belonged to a flesh-and-blood man who courted danger on a nightly basis. A man as threatening as he was sinfully provocative.
“Watching you.” His jaw scraped against hers.
“For how long?”
“Just a few minutes.”
“And what are you doing now?” She swallowed as he tucked her hand between their bodies, over his heart.
“Trying very hard not to kiss you.”