She wavered a bit, but spoke strongly. “Any chance you could move the baby seat
over to Marisel’s car? It’s that green Forrester across the street.”
Emilio, whose gaze had stayed on the door where Marisel had disappeared,
looked at Cooper. “I’m on it.”
Soon Marisel was back and Emilio helped the group get settled in the station
wagon. Cooper turned to Sylvia. Her gaze followed the car as the rain and dark
“They named the baby Aniya. It means, look up to God.”
He was quiet for a moment, watching her. The urgent need to act that had driven
her for the last half-hour was gone now. She looked about to collapse.
He bit down on the urge to comfort. His fingers itched to take her arms and snug
her up against his chest. He reminded himself of his job. “Did you get a look at the
car the shooter was in?”
Instead of answering, she bent over, leaning with her hands on her thighs, her
Cooper took her arms and raised her back up. “Are you okay?”
Her only response was a soft moan as she swayed a bit on her feet. He steadied
her and she looked up at him. Without taking her gaze from his, she slowly slid
one hand under her jacket. When she brought it back out, she held it between
them, palm up. Cooper looked down and saw it was covered with blood.
“Shit.” He grabbed her wrist. “Is that yours?”
She didn’t answer, didn’t take her eyes from his face. Cooper brushed her jacket
aside and saw her white tee shirt was soaked with blood, from her ribs all the way
down her right side. The black stain, glimmering crimson in the limited light,
seeped into the jeans she wore.
“Baby,” he said, not stopping to think about how improper that was. He took her up
into his arms and looked around. The ambulance was gone. He carried her to the
squad car, cursing himself for failing to take the basic step of ascertaining the
number of injured. Where had he left his head?
“Emilio!” He called his partner over. “She’s been hit. Get Jackson over here to
drive us in.” He slid into the rear seat, keeping her held tight in his arms. Soon
Jackson was in the driver’s seat, cranking the engine. Emilio held the back door
open for a moment, giving Cooper a look.
Cooper met it, but had no explanation to give. “Oh, yeah—I think there’s another
woman in labor up there. You’d better stay with her until someone else gets here.”
“Don’t worry. She’s only three centimeters—she’s got some time yet.” Now there
was a little green around the edges of pale. “Help’s coming.”
Emilio seemed frozen, so Cooper pulled the door shut himself. “Let’s go.”
Tires squealed as they pulled out. Acceleration pressed him back into the seat
and brought Sylvia’s weight harder against his chest. He brushed strands of wet
hair away from her face, stroking. Her eyes opened and he kissed her forehead,
then tucked her head against his shoulder.
“I couldn’t see the color of the car. It was dark. They didn’t have their lights on.”
“Shh.” He kept his lips on her forehead, wondering at but accepting the pounding
of his heart.
“The gun came out of the back window. It was rolled down, but not all the way, like
one of those cars where the back window only opens half-way.”
He shushed her again, biting back the word that was in his head—sweetheart. He
enforced it this time by putting his lips to hers. When he lifted his face to look at
her, she was watching him.
“Cooper. You kissed me.”
“Yes.” He wanted more. He wanted to loosen her hair and bury his hands in it. He
wanted the taste of her, the feel of her. He wanted her safe.
He squeezed gently where his hand held her against him. “Hush, please. Rest.”
“I was shot, wasn’t I?”
He nodded, fighting icy fingers of fear that nearly stopped his breath. He stroked
her face as he felt the wetness of her blood saturate the leg of his jeans. He
hardly knew her, but he wasn’t sure he would survive losing her.
He could barely hear when she echoed his thoughts.
“What a strange night.”
When Investigator Cooper Billings carries Sylvia Huston into the
emergency room, her blood saturating his hands and his clothes,
she becomes his. He doesn't care that his partner accuses him of
thinking with his dick or that her godfather is his boss, the
lieutenant, or that her mother gives him the stink eye when she
catches him sleeping next to Sylvia in a hospital bed. Or even
that Sylvia vows she’ll never love a cop. Lucky for Coop, Sylvia is
an earthy, sensual woman, entirely responsive to his heated
touch. Once he has her in his bed, he’s sure he’ll wear her down.
Sylvia does her best to resist Cooper. He’s bossy and always
thinks he’s in charge. He’s also extremely determined to have
her. Strong, handsome and hot, he’s hard to refuse. Maybe she
could be falling for him.
But nothing matters more to Sylvie than Tynie’s Place. She’s a
midwife, and her birth center is dedicated to the poorest of
women and babies. When it comes under threat by gangs vying
for control of the drug trade, Sylvia risks her life to defend it.
Cooper can’t save her until she learns to trust in his love. Only
then will he have her safe in his arms.
"This book is like a vacation! A complete
escape - so nice to be drawn in to a great
romance. I strongly recommend it - great
beach read for this summer. Can't wait for the
next one." -shul
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