Ace: The Sentinels
A roadside bombing left Ace disfigured and dead inside. He faces the world with
silent bitterness and a damaged ego. Then a quiet beauty comes into his life cracking the shell around his wounded heart and healing his soul.
Excerpt: I was coming out of the back stock room when I literally ran into Ace as he was heading toward the bathroom. His powerful hands grasped my upper arms to push me back, but not before we had a full frontal collision. The man was solid as a rock, everywhere. I gasped from the impact, and instant, hot awareness slammed through me. I gasped again upon looking up and seeing his condition. My eyes widened as they roamed over his bruised and bloodied face.
“What-What happened to you?” I asked with concern. I knew the Sentinels were tough, dangerous men and capable of taking care of themselves, but it looked as if Ace had taken a good beating.
He released me and held up a big hand, barely looking me in the eye. “I’m good.” He made a move to go around me.
“You’re not good.” I reached for his arm. “Ace, you’re hurt.”
“Don’t make it more than what it is, Emerson.” He pulled away and went into the men’s room.
I stared after him and the door that he’d closed in my face. Why was he so stubborn? He’d obviously been in a fight. And he obviously didn’t want my help. Well, that was just too damned bad. I dashed to where I knew we kept the first aid kit, grabbed it off the shelf, and went back to the restroom. I hesitated only briefly before pushing my way into the bathroom and finding him at the sink.
He was in the process of wiping his face with a paper towel. “Get out,” he grumbled.
“No.” I took a deep breath and stubbornly stepped closer. “Those cuts need more than water, they need to be cleaned.” I forced my way between his hard body and the hard counter. “Now let me see.” I brushed his hands away from his face.
“Emerson,” he growled in warning, glaring down at me with steel in his eyes, his jaw taut.
I met his eyes squarely, not the least bit intimidated. “Suck it up, biker man,” I ordered, not backing down. “I know you’re a big, old, hard-ass, Ace, but even big boys occasionally need a tender touch.” I opened up the first aid kit and pulled out the clean gauze and antiseptic. When I turned back to Ace I halted, suddenly realizing how close we were.
I hardened my reserve, which meant ignoring the unexpected tingling in my nipples, to do what I needed to do. Besides, I’d decided to move on, right? As far as I knew, the feelings that I experienced when I was around Ace were totally one-sided. I poured antiseptic onto the gauze and reached up to clean the particularly nasty-looking cut on his cheek.
“So, what happened?” I dabbed as gently as I could, wincing when I saw how deep the cut was.
“You should probably get stitches.” He just growled in response, standing there like an obstinate five-year-old who was being subjected to a fate worse than death. I felt a smile spread across my lips.
Poor baby.” He growled some more. Once I was satisfied that the cut was as clean as I could get it, I poured
the antiseptic directly into the wound. He sucked in his breath. My eyes shot up to his. “Sorry,” I
mumbled, reaching for the butterfly bandage, relieved that we had some. “If this doesn’t work—”
“I know, stitches.”
“Or we could try super glue," I smiled up at him. I glanced at his mouth, but the damage to it wasn’t what captivated me. Ace had a nice mouth; his lips were smooth and looked appetizing. Before I knew it, I was licking mine as if I were about to dive into a tasty treat. Ace had never kissed me, and suddenly I wanted that more than anything. “Let’s see what I can do to fix your kisser.” I took his jaw in my hand and tilted his face slightly, examining it to find it swollen and with a split at the corner. “I think you’ll still be able to use it.”
“I don’t kiss.”
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A Little about Tory
Tory Richards is an Amazon bestselling author who writes smut with a plot.
Born in Maine, she’s lived most of her life in Florida where she went to school, married, and raised her daughter. She’s retired from Disney and spends her time with family and friends, traveling, and writing.