It was a long twelve hours and the only part I enjoyed was putting my clothes back on to come home.
In book two of my "Paris Intrigue Series," the hero is treating the heroine for a scrape to her face and chin after a fall.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” He tugged her along. Farther up the hall, he palmed the door to an empty room open and escorted her in. “Sit on the bed.” After filling a small basin with warm water, he submerged a washcloth into it and set the basin on a wheeled table stocked with various bottles, gauze bandages and Band-Aids. He wheeled it toward her. “Give me your hands. I’ll start with those first.”
“I suppose you’re certified in first aid.” As a member of the police department, she was.
“Believe me, I’ve treated a lot worse than this.” He held her hand in his and gently wiped away the dirt with the washcloth. “I’ve taken care of your brother-in-law’s gunshot wounds a time or two.”
“I understand you’ve been friends since childhood.” She spoke to the top of his dark head as he doused her hand with peroxide before wiping it off with more soapy water.
“Yes, even though he was three years younger, we were close. The Reynard family helped mine through a rough time. Our friendship grew out of that.” He sprayed her palm with some antiseptic liquid that stung her nose. Her hand tingled.
“I didn’t realize you were three years older than Niko. I thought maybe you went to college together.”
“No, I was already in the Navy when he left for college in America. I was a member of Maritime Commandos by then.”
The French equivalent of the SEALS. No wonder he didn’t hesitate to leap onto that moving van as if it were the most natural way to travel through the streets of Paris. Although she’d been a block away, she could still see he was prone on the roof when he shot Taylor Ann’s abductors. Upside down, his vision and aim were still accurate. Now she understood how he rescued Taylor Ann in a matter of minutes.
Jean-Luc turned to the sink. He emptied the basin and refilled it with clean water. “Shortly after Niko went to work for Interpol, he conned me out of reenlisting with the Commandos when my original recruitment time was up.”
“Conned?” Could anyone con this man into anything?
He turned and set the basin back on the table. “Yeah, poor weakling needed someone to cover his back.” Zoey chuckled. Niko was anything, but weak. Her brother-in-law was more polished arrogance in his strength and capabilities, while the man standing before her, tending to her minor injuries, was edgy and hard-boiled.
“After the Commandos, I worked for Interpol for five years and left shortly after Niko to work for him in counterterrorism.” He rinsed the washcloth and poured antibacterial soap on it. “Close your eyes. I’ll wash your face.”
She reached for the cloth. “I can do it.”
“Close your eyes.” The tone of his voice gave no room for argument. She complied—this time. With her eyes closed, the warmth of the washcloth refreshed. His touch was gentle. When he ran it over the scrape on her chin, the movement hurt.
Her eyes popped open. “Big Galoot.”
He held two fingers under her chin and lifted her head. Reaching over, he plucked a pair of tweezers from the table next to him. “Ah, an American word I’m not familiar with. What does ‘galoot’ mean?” He poked her scrape with the tweezers.
“It means someone who’s overbearing and rude.”
He probed deeper.
“Ouch.” She wrapped her fingers around his wrist. “What are you mining for? Gold?”
“A pebble.” He held a miniscule stone between the tongs of the tweezers. “Tiny, but sure to cause infection and scarring.” He stepped closer and twisted her head slowly from side to side while he examined.
His exotic musky cologne, an unusual blend of warm woods and ocean air, filled her nose, creating sparks of awareness throughout her system. The man was so big, his muscular silhouette dwarfed her. Her body, shut down for so long after Darren’s death, responded, proof positive this man could bring her dormant femininity back to life.
Hadn’t she promised herself to never open her heart again? If she did, it’d be to someone in a less dangerous profession. No more soldiers. No policemen. For sure, no government agents who thought nothing of jumping into dangerous situations. A banker, perhaps, or an accountant. Someone who’s biggest danger of the day would be a paper cut.
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