VIKING UNCHAINED (reissue)
years ago...not your regular Welcome Wagon...
Lydia Denton shifted the paper grocery bag to her left
hip and used her right hand, holding the carryall with
her aerobics customer files, to punch in the security
code on the front door of her San Diego beachfront home.
sooner did the door start to open than a male hand
grabbed her wrist and yanked her into the darkness, the
door slamming behind her. The grocery bag and carryall
fell to the floor, spilling their contents, as he
pressed her up against the door, his nude body telling
her loud and clear what he had in mind. A yelp of
distress, followed by "Wait!", barely escaped her lips
before he rasped out, "Don't talk," and a hot, hungry
mouth covered hers with a kiss that was devouring in its
was like a mad man, his mouth everywhere, sucking her
nipples into hard points through her T-shirt and bra,
licking her neck, nipping her shoulder, and always
coming back to kiss her senseless, his tongue a
demanding weapon of erotic torture. And his hands...oh,
God, his hands! She could not keep track of their
fast-moving foray. Cradling her face, lifting her by
the buttocks to ride his hips, then skimming up her
thighs, under her short denim shirt, to grip the sides
of her bikini briefs and rip them apart. Within
seconds, without warning, he plunged inside her.
Steel-hard and thick, pulsing with arousal.
His eyes were closed, his neck arched back, the cords
standing out in emphasis of the control he was trying to
maintain. His lower body did not move. But then his
eyes fluttered open and he said, so low she could barely
hear, "Help. Me."
Without hesitation, she complied. With one hand cupping
his nape, she used the other to reach down and touch
herself where they were joined. Instantly, she began to
climax around him. Wild, grasping convulsions of her
inner muscles, milking his hardness. Only then did he
begin to move. But no long slow strokes from him. No,
he was fast and furious, hitting her clitoris every time
he thrust in, causing her to have a never-ending orgasm
'til he impaled himself deep in her and cried out his
own release. Even then, she continued to spasm around
seemed like forever before he raised his head from her
shoulder and grinned. All he said was, "Babe."
That was enough.
him, she said, "Dude," and grinned.
That was enough, too.
show, second act...
carried her, his penis still curled up inside her, her
legs still straddling his hips, down the three shallow
steps leading into the living room. It was somewhat
lighter here, the full moon shining in through the plate
glass windows facing the ocean.
thought you weren't coming back 'til tomorrow."
grunted and said distractedly, "Mission accomplished
early." No wonder he was sparse on words. The brute
was doing something strange to her ear with his tongue.
Deliciously sexy, but strange nonetheless.
"Where did you learn to do that?" she inquired,
squirming against his belly.
"We were hiding in a Kuwait safe house with nothing to
do but listen to Cage ramble on with his usual
nonsense. He told us about that trick." Cage was a
fellow teammate in the SEALs, known for his Cajun
blarney. "Do you like it?"
She tried to laugh, but it came out as a gurgle.
"I'll take that as a yes."
Easing himself out of her with a grimace, he laid her
across an upholstered ottoman, one of those low pieces
that serve a duel purpose as a coffee table, and knelt
between her legs.
"Raise your heels to the edge, baby, and spread wider,"
he ordered as he sat back on his haunches.
"Hold yourself open, sweetheart."
She did that, too, her fingers spreading her private
parts. No questions. She would do anything for him.
This was her husband of three years, the man she loved
beyond life itself.
"Does that mean you missed me?"
"Good. Cage said something else? Wanna know what?"
Is he crazy? He wants to have a conversation about
Cage? Now? "Do I have a choice?"
pinched her belly lightly. "He claims he knows how to
have a tongue hard-on."
"And you believe him?"
shrugged. "I'm just sayin'." He leaned forward and
tasted her. One quick lick.
"Dave. Wait. I can't. I'm too sensi....aaaaaaaah!"
Turns out she could. Turns out she wasn't as sensitive
as she'd thought. Turns out Cage wasn't too far off
base, no pun intended.
Before she could say "Wowza!" or "Oh. My. God!" he
flipped her over and took her from behind.
She wasn't sure if it was her, or him, who screamed this
Third time around, and much later, following a quick
meal of grilled cheese and tomato soup and then two
glasses of wine out on the deck, her sitting on his lap,
he made love to her in the bedroom. This time, he took
things slow. Very slow. Mixed in with the wicked
things they did to each other, and the wicked words that
slipped easily from both their mouths, they said out
loud and expressed bodily how much they loved each
Then they fell asleep in each other's arms.
Baby, baby, baby...
Next morning they slept in. She stared down at this
beautiful man, all six-foot-three of hard muscles, his
arms thrown over his head, breathing softly. His black
hair was a little long for his preferred "high and
tight," a military cut she usually didn't like, but on
him was sexy as hell. But then, even his breathing was
sexy to her.
His beeper and a Glock sat on a bedside table. In the
closet, three rifles and a collapsible machine gun were
stored. One specially-made kitchen drawer with a
combination lock held a fully-stocked backpack that
included, among other things, a Ka-bar knife, night
vision goggles, kevlar gloves, another weapon, a back-up
secure satellite phone, plastic cuffs, a length of thin
rope, a black balaclava, and prescription pills, whose
purpose she had never wanted to know.
She leaned over him, carefully.
closer scrutiny, she noticed the dark circles under his
eyes and new bruises on various parts of his body. She
recalled from last night the weariness and despair that
had clouded his remarkable gray eyes, as was the norm
these days when he returned from a live op. He'd made
some kills this time, she could tell. And horrible as
these terrorists were, as noble was the SEAL cause,
killing took its toll on a man eventually.
She wished he would quit. Or take a long vacation.
But, since 9/11, the demand for SEALs was unremitting in
the war on terrorism. The tangos, as SEALs called the
terrorists, were everywhere and their ranks growing.
Dave was thirty years old, and he'd been a SEAL for
seven years, but no one seemed to notice, except her.
Where would it end? Where would he end?
hour later, after showering and setting the big,
traditional homecoming breakfast she'd prepared in the
warming oven, she carried a tall glass of iced orange
juice into the bedroom.
His eyes opened slowly as she walked into the room and
sat on the edge of the bed. He took the glass from her
and drank thirstily, down to the last drop. Then he
pulled her down on top of him, giving her a quick kiss
on the mouth. "Hey, babe! Tsk, tsk, tsk! You showered
"You were sleeping like a baby."
baby, huh?" He tugged her hips against his morning
"Braggart," she accused.
"It's only bragging when you have nothing to back it
up." He waggled his eyebrows at her.
Later, when they were sitting in Adirondack chairs on
the deck soaking up the sun, she said, "Honey...?"
"What do you mean, no? You don't even know what I was
going to say."
"Yeah, I do. You have that baby look in your eyes."
was right. Lydia desperately wanted to have Dave's
baby. Yeah, she was only twenty-five, and she had a
full-time job she loved as an aerobics and yoga
instructor, but at heart all she wanted was to be a
mother, especially a mother to Dave's child. "Why...why
can't we get pregnant now?" She bit her bottom lip to
still the tremors.
squeezed her shoulder in comfort, but still he shook his
head. "Not now. I'm already losing my focus, worrying
about you. A baby could be dangerous to my
concentration, as well as a target for terrorists if my
identity were known." In fact, Dave had not wanted to
marry her, at first, for this very reason. It was why
their home was sealed tighter than a drum, with every
type of security device know to man. He squeezed her
"When?" she asked softly.
"Once I quit the teams."
"And that will be...when?"
"Don't push me," he snapped, then immediately
apologized, "I'm sorry, babe. It won't be much longer,
But his promise was not to be fulfilled.
One month later, Dave set out for a new mission, once
again to Iraq. His words as he went out the door were,
"Love you forever, babe."
Her words to him were, "Back at you, hon." Except hers
were accompanied by tears.
Who was she kidding? He had tears, too.
Three weeks after that, a Purple Heart decorated warrior
was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Lt. David
Denton, U.S. Navy SEAL, had died in an ambush by
really does go on...
For three months, Lydia was a zombie. Her grief was a
living, breathing animal of crushing hopelessness.
She'd quit her job. She rarely left her house where the
blinds were drawn. Many times, she forgot to eat or
bathe. She put her cell phone on permanent voice mail.
one knew the extent of her depression. No one had ever
felt this bad before, no matter what they said. Time
would not heal. Time was her enemy.
Dave was never going to come back.
But then, ninety-three days after his death, she
discovered that he was coming back. Oh, not him
personally, but a part of him. She was pregnant.
Five months later, a black-haired, gray-eyed Michael
Denton came into the world.
And gave Lydia a reason for living.