From the book
Enraged and uncertain what he planned to do, Casey started forward. Before he reached Dell, Sawyer caught his arm and drew him up short. "Take it easy, Case."
Emma covered her mouth with a shaking hand, crying while trying not to cry, held tight by her father's grip even as she attempted to inch away from him. She wouldn't look at any of them, her narrow shoulders hunched in embarrassment--and possibly pain.
Casey's heart hurt, and his temper roiled. Emma's pretty brown eyes, usually so warm and sexy, were downcast, circled by ruined makeup and swollen from her tears. There was a bruise on her cheek, just visible in the glow of the porch light.
Casey felt tight enough to break as a kind of animal outrage that he'd never before experienced struggled to break free. Every night he'd thought about seeing Emma again, and every night he'd talked himself out of it.
Not once had he considered that he'd see her like this.
His vision nearly blurred as he heard Emma sniff and watched her wipe her eyes with a shaking hand.
With unnecessary roughness, her father shoved her forward and she stumbled across the wide porch before righting herself and turning her back to Casey. Without a word, she held on to the railing, staring out at the moonlit yard. Her broken breathing was audible over the night sounds of wind and crickets and rustling leaves.
"Do you know what your damn son did?" Dell demanded.
Casey felt Sawyer look at him but he ignored the unasked questions and instead went to Emma, taking her arm and pulling her close. It didn't matter why she was here; he wanted to hold her, to tell her it'd be all right.
Drawn into herself, Emma sidled away from him, whispering a broken apology again and again. She hugged her arms around herself. Casey realized the night was cool, and while Dell wore a jacket, Emma wore only a T-shirt and jeans, as if she'd been pulled away without having time to grab her coat. Since he was shirtless, he couldn't offer her anything. He tried to think, to figure out what to do, but he couldn't get his brain to work. He felt glued to the spot, unable to take his gaze off her.
She needed his help.
Honey came to the same realization. "Why don't we all go inside and talk?"
Looking horrified by that proposition, Emma backed up. "No. That's not--"
"Be quiet, girl!" Her father reached for her again, his anger and his intent obvious.
Casey stepped in front of him, bristling, coiled. "Don't even try it." No way in hell would he let Dell touch her again.
Face mottled with rage, her father shouted, "You think you get some say-so, boy? You think what you've done to her gives you that right?"
Without moving his gaze from the man in front of him, Casey said, "Honey, will you take Emma inside?"
Honey looked at her husband, who nodded. Casey hadn't had a single doubt what his father would do or say. Not once in his entire life had he ever had to question his father's support.
Never in his life had he been more grateful for it.
Again, Emma tried to back away, moving into the far shadows of the big porch. Casey snapped his gaze to hers, so attuned to her it seemed he felt her every shuddering breath. "Go inside, Emma."
She bit her lip, big tears spilling over her blotchy cheeks and clinging to her long lashes. Her mouth trembled. "Casey, I..."
"it's all right." He...
Author: Lori Foster
Lori Foster is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author with books from a variety of publishers, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martin's, Harlequin and Silhouette. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. She's had top-selling books for Amazon, Waldenbooks and the BGI Group. For more about Lori, visit her Web site at www.lorifoster.com.
"Bestseller Foster...has an amazing ability to capture a man's emotions and lust with sizzling sex scenes and meld it with a strong woman's point of view." - Publishers Weekly on A Perfect Storm
"The fast-paced thriller keeps these well-developed characters moving...Foster's series will continue to garner fans with this exciting installment." - Publishers Weekly on Trace of Fever
"Steamy, edgy, and taut." - Library Journal on When You Dare
"Foster writes smart, sexy, engaging characters." - New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan