Cruisin' for a SEAL
Book 5 in the SEAL Brotherhood Series
Mark Beale and several of his brothers from SEAL Team 3 board a cruise ship to bury a fallen buddy’s ashes at sea. A risky affair with a beautiful Italian the night before they leave begins to ease his survivor’s guilt.
Sophia Negri, suffering jitters over her engagement, falls for the handsome SEAL and pretends she speaks no English, letting their bodies do the talking. When Marc finds her on the ship and learns Sophia is half American, he is angry at first, but falls for her all over again as they set sail.
Terrorists take over the ship and hold the passengers for ransom, Mark and the other SEALs are the only ones who can stop the plot. Will Marc’s actions be enough to save Sophia or will he have to sacrifice himself to save the woman he loves?
READ AN EXCERPT
Marc started to stand, but she stopped him with her hand on his forearm. He did sit back down, but he crossed his massive arms in front of his chest, leaning back into the couch and looking the opposite direction, away from her.
“I know none of this makes sense. Not sure I do either. I thought that—well I just thought a little night of anonymous sex with no strings would be something—and this is a totally selfish thing here, I admit it—I thought I could just have…” This was going to be much more difficult than she’d planned. Everything she wanted to say wasn’t right. “I just wanted one more night being single, being free to choose, being with someone without it being complicated. And I’m sorry. I realize now that that was a huge mistake.”
His passive, hulking frame and dispassionate stare into the distance broke her heart.
“Please Marc, look at me.” He did, but his eyebrows were raised, his eyes contained the look of someone who thought she was full of crap. She mustered her courage and added, looking into his sky blue eyes, those eyes she’d gotten lost in, eyes she would remember forever, “I am truly sorry. I am not a good person at all. I did this without any regard for your feelings.”
Their eyes did connect, and for a second she could see the hurt there, a little dream in his heart that was dying too, just as hers was. Instinct told her to reach over and kiss him, hug him, tell him how sorry she was for her behavior, but she knew that was the wrong way to handle it. As much as she wanted to touch him and let him know how awful she felt, she needed to keep her distance.
Just tell him the truth and get out.
Marc hadn’t dropped his eyes. He was searching for something in her face she hoped didn’t show up. He was looking for evidence she cared for him. Wouldn’t it be wiser to show coldness? Let him understand there was no future between them?
But was that the truth? Really the truth? Did all this happen because of her niggling doubts about Ricardo and the life she would have with him in Brazil? If she were certain of her decision to marry him, would the night with Marc have happened? She honestly didn’t know the answer to that.
“It was the most beautiful afternoon I’ve spent in my entire life. I will never forget it. Never, Marc,” she said.
His crooked smile with the dimple on the right side of his full lips was sexy as hell, and changed the mask of his face.
“It was a pretty incredible afternoon, but hey, no worries, Sophia. I’m not looking to get hooked up with anyone. I’m getting ready to deploy. This is just a little R and R before we go. It kind of worked, in a sick sense of the word.” He looked at his palms.
She hadn’t expected that.
“You aren’t angry?”
“For an afternoon of the best sex of my life? Fuck no.”
It was a nice thing to say, but she felt the blunt force of a verbal slap. “I think it was more than that, is what I’m trying to say,” she said, her voice low and husky.
Marc shot up, put his hands in his cargo shorts. “I’m glad. While you’re working your way through the cruise ship males, I’ll be having beers with my buds and probably swearing off Italian girls for awhile.” He began to walk out of the bar.
She had to do something. She ran and stood in front of him, to stop him.
“Wait a minute. What I want to say is that it wasn’t just a hookup. I mean it started that way, but it became more, I guess is what I’m saying.”
“Well, that’s fine, honey. And if you get that itch again, I’ll scratch it. No worries. I’m not going to get pissed off and ruin another good time.” His brilliant white teeth and blue eyes melted her bones.
“So it wasn’t—”
“You don’t have the right to that privileged information, honey. You’re engaged to someone else. I don’t gotta tell you anything about me or how I feel about anything, remember? But if you want another anonymous hookup, I’m not going anywhere. We’ve got like twenty days together. We’ve already proven we can let our bodies do the talking since the words seem to get in the way.”
He left the bar. She felt her stomach drop to her ankles.
It wasn’t easy to put it out of her mind, the look on his face as he turned, bowed slightly and walked out of her life. She’d already cried for him once as she was walking away from him in the Piazza. She’d left a part of her with him that day, and now today he took away another piece as he walked down the marble foyer, pushed the up button and left in the elevator.
© Sharon Hamilton