Keep Me Close

October 24, 2017 – Book Two, Lazarus Rising

Keep Me Close

Flynn Haddox is a dead man. Literally.

As a highly trained Navy SEAL, Flynn once worked covert missions for the U.S. government, but then his life was stolen away. Killed and placed in the secretive “Lazarus” program, Flynn was brought back from the dead and turned into a super-soldier. Now he has increased strength, enhanced senses, and a few psychic bonuses that he fights hard to keep hidden from the rest of the world. He also has no memory of his past…and a new, twisting darkness seems to be growing inside of Flynn.

Cecelia Gregory escaped death once. Can she do it again?

Dr. Cecelia Gregory was supposed to help the Lazarus test subjects. They didn’t have control of their emotions after the experiment, and her job as a psychiatrist was to break through the walls that the men had created. Too late, Cecelia realized that the Lazarus subjects were far more dangerous than she could ever imagine. The men came back from the dead, but some of them came back…wrong. Now one of the subjects has a dark obsession with Cecelia. The man known as Subject Five is hunting her. And he wants her dead.

One man wants to kill her, but another just…wants her.

Flynn feels a connection to Cecelia that he can’t deny. Not some sweet, innocent attraction—a consuming lust that makes him crave her all the time. Flynn knows that his feelings aren’t normal, but protecting her is his mission now. The man hunting Cecelia is just like Flynn—all the same enhancements, all the same strengths. And no weaknesses. One big difference, though—Flynn doesn’t plan to lose Cecelia. And he’ll fight his own darkness to prove his worth to her.

Excerpt

**Unedited Excerpt from KEEP ME CLOSE.**

 

“Stop staring at me that way. It’s not appropriate.”

He sighed. A truly long suffering sigh. “There you go again, Cece. Using the ‘appropriate’ word. Can’t blame a guy when he just doesn’t understand, right?”

Her shoulders straightened. She was wearing green today, and the color was absolutely killer on her.  A strand of pearls circled her throat, and he wondered what she’d do if he crossed the room and slid his fingers under those pearls. If he bent his head and put his mouth right over her pulse. Licked her. Kissed her.

“You are not my lover,” Cecelia stated crisply. “I don’t appreciate the lie.”

I could be your lover, baby. If you’d just let down your guard… He pushed away from the door and took slow, measured steps toward his prey. Did she know he thought of her as prey? Probably not. But that was the way his mind worked. Predator. Prey.

Victim.

Hunter.

Shit, I am so fucked up.

Had Lazarus done this to him? Or had he always been screwed up?  “Sorry.” The word was rusty on his lips. “You’re right. I shouldn’t have lied. Probably should have just told my new buddy Mark the truth. Said I was your bodyguard. I was a super soldier freak, and that a guy just like me—ten times stronger than your average human and with no moral compass at all—was currently gunning for you.  Yep, probably should have warned the good old assistant that his ass was going to come in the line of fire.” Flynn shrugged. “And that he might die.”

The color bled from her cheeks. “Stop it.” Real anger bit into her words. “Don’t you dare come in here and try to scare me.”

He wanted to put his hands on her. To curl his fingers around her shoulders and yank her close. “Someone needs to scare you.” Since he was trying not to touch her, his hands fisted at his sides. “What the hell are you thinking…opening your office again? We talked about this. I told you it wasn’t a good idea—”

She laughed. It wasn’t a real laugh, he could tell, but the sound still made his chest feel funny. “We didn’t talk.” Cecelia enunciated each word carefully. “You ordered. You do that a lot. Order me about as if I’m a soldier under your command. Newsflash, I’m not. And I can’t keep living my life in limbo because I have an enemy out there, somewhere in the world. It’s been months since we escaped Lazarus. Months.”

He knew.  He’d been living in the shadows that whole time.

“I needed an income. I needed a job. So, yes, I opened my practice again. I made that decision. I will be working. Consulting for the government, going back to my cases that I handled for the FBI. I had a life before Lazarus, and I’m getting that life back.”

He looked away from her. “Good for you. Wish I could do the same.” But the life he’d had before was long gone.

Cecelia inhaled sharply. “Oh, shit.” Then she was reaching for him. Touching him. And his whole body stiffened in response. Her soft hands curled around his arm. “I didn’t mean it that way, Flynn.”

His gaze swept back to her face. Her beautiful face. The face that haunted his dreams.  The face that obsessed him. The face that made him want to do all kinds of incredibly bad things to Cecelia.

“I’m so sorry that your past is gone. I wish I could bring it back to you.”

He believed her. Cecelia had always said she’d wanted to help him. Funny thing was—she’d been one of the few people who actually meant those words.  She hadn’t wanted to use him. She truly had wanted to help.

“You’re free now.” She squeezed his arm. “You can go anywhere. Be anyone. As far as the U.S. government is concerned, you’re dead.”

Now it was his turn to laugh. “Baby, as far as everyone is concerned, I’m dead.” Because he was.  Once upon a time, he’d been Flynn Haddox, decorated Navy SEAL. Then he’d been killed and taken into Project Lazarus. A top secret formula had been pumped into his body, and he’d been brought back to life. Subject Two—that had been his new identity.

He’d come back from the dead with quite a few bonuses.

And some unfortunate side effects.

“Have you had any flashes of your past?” Her gaze was steady.

He shook his head. “Not a damn thing.”

“And, um, have you been hearing any voices in your head?”

Flynn glanced down to where her hands still curled around his arm. “If any other shrink asked me that, then I’d say the shrink was trying to figure out if I was crazy.”

“I’m not any other shrink.”

“No, you’re mine.” A possessive edge entered his voice. Primitive. Primal.

Her hands slid away from him. “I know you’re not crazy. We’re past that, don’t you think?”

He thought they weren’t past a lot of things. As far as him being crazy…some days, he barely held on to his sanity. Those were the days when he needed her the most.