His square, sharp-edged jaw solidified like frozen iron, so rigid over his clenched teeth, a muscle ticked in his cheek. She almost laughed at his stunned expression, his cold, gunmetal- gray eyes unblinking, his brows zooming skyward like tarnished McDonald’s arches. Except that the face in question devastated her. If she’d thought him ruggedly handsome in the photos her dad had sent home, the giant, live-action figure totally stole her breath away, turned her knees to jelly, and melted her core. Hell, in another second, she’d be coughing and wheezing, trying to draw in a sip of the sustaining oxygen the hot-as-sin SEAL all but sucked out of the surrounding atmosphere. Jeez Louise. Raw, overpowering masculinity poured off him in waves.
Yet, the smiling face she’d often drooled over in pictures had disappeared. Did the grim man before her smile at all anymore? His sharp eyes seemed haunted in a profound way, his stares hyper-vigilant and unwavering…focused on her but, at the same time, a million miles away. She detected no humor dancing in them at all, despite the comical barbs they’d traded over the smashed pies. Hell knew bottomless grief gripped her still from time to time, wringing tears from her when she least expected the reminders of her loss. But whatever embroiled Slate seemed worse, as if he’d slipped into a dark crevice of endless, dismal eternity and couldn’t find his way back.
I need to fix him. I have to.
Yeah, and good luck with that, girlie-girl.