Now Available in Print from New Concepts Publishing:
ALWAYS A WARRIOR
by: Patricia Oshier Bruening
A Steamy Contemporary Romance
knees went weak.
An intense, life threatening situation, a dangerous man, and a fierce, undeniable passion—Laurie knew this story would have no happy ending, but Damien's touch shot sparks of desire through her. His kisses overloaded her senses and short-circuited her brain.
When Navy SEAL Damien McAllister dropped into her live, he turned it literally upside down. Laurie had never found the love and acceptance she needed from anyone but the daughter who loved her unconditionally. She didn't trust her feelings in the intense situation she'd been thrust into, and she didn't want to risk her heart on a man like Damien—a man who would always be a warrior—and yet what the heart wants, it will not be denied, regardless of the heartache that's sure to follow.
A short time later Damien grunted in his sleep and Laurie slowly opened her eyes. The
gray light of early dawn peeked through the windows. Damien’s arm lay across her stomach, a
heavy but not uncomfortable layer of extra warmth under the blanket. It was a curiously pleasant
sensation and for a brief instant she wanted it to last forever.
He snuggled, pulling her closer as he tightened his embrace. His deep even breathing
caressed her ear. His chest pressed into her back with each slow rise and fall. She shifted slightly,
felt the brush of his hairy muscular leg against hers and drowned in the sensations. There was
something completely, decadently luxurious about snuggling with Damien in bed during the
early, cozy dawn. Trapped by his strength but strangely secure, she sighed deeply and pulled the
blankets to her chin. Closing her eyes, she tried to go back to sleep.
The arm holding her shifted. His hand covered her breast. A startled gasp escaped her but
her nipple tingled and tightened. His fingers lightly squeezed that nipple to a hard bud. Electric
jolts of pure pleasure shot through her. A long forgotten sensation tripled her heart rate and sent
hot blood surging into her veins--desire. He was man. She was woman. And she wanted him.
He moved until she lay under him, his hand on her breast. She stared into his passionglazed
eyes. Dangerous thrills spiraled through her. Her lips parted on a silent inhale of breath.
His mouth covered hers, dominating her senses and demanding a response. Powerless to resist
abruptly reawakened passions, Laurie kissed him back without restraint. He nudged her legs
apart with his knee, hair-roughened skin sliding erotically over silky smooth skin. A raging flame
threatened to consume her. Alarm bells clamored in her head. What the hell am I doing? This is
insane! His kisses devastated, destroyed, logic and she struggled to hang onto self-preservation.
Then why does it feel so damn good, a tiny inner voice goaded? Why are you enjoying it so
Damien dragged his mouth from hers, his lips sliding along the curve of her jaw. Her
The storm still raged around the cabin but all her senses, her whole being, concentrated
on the man before her. Only dimly aware of thunder, lightening, and the pounding rain, she lay
her trembling hand on his shadowed jaw. Flames flickered in his eyes. Don’t hurt me, she
pleaded silently. Don’t make me regret this.
As though understanding her fears, he kissed her. His lips moved softly, gently over hers.
Her lips tingled. Pleasant warmth spread over her. Cupping her face in both hands, he delicately
traced the outline of her lips with the tip of his tongue. Delicious tremors rippled through her and
her heart quivered. Tears gathered in her eyes. She would not have thought this hardened soldier
capable of such tenderness after the violence of his life. Tears spilled over her lashes, rolled
down her cheeks, and mingled with the unique taste of him.
Frowning slightly, he drew back and anxiously caught her gaze. His eyes went dark with
“What?” he murmured, wiping the tears with the caress of his thumbs.
She shook her head, unable to speak past the emotional lump in her throat. This was so
different from the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am that was her one and only experience with a
man. She realized, now, that her heart had not been involved. Damien stole her heart and melted
the very last shreds of resistance.
“Don’t stop,” she finally whispered huskily.
His hands slid down her arms. Then his arms went around her and drew her against him.
“Are you frightened?” he asked quietly.
“Only of tomorrow,” she replied honestly, tilting her head to look up at him. Heat
surrounded her, pulsing like the flames casting a romantic glow around them. His heat or hers,
she didn’t know which but she never wanted to be cold again.
He lowered his lips to hers but kept his kisses butterfly light. Her heart skipped a beat. On
a flood of delicious anticipation, she wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned into his solid
strength. Her nipples tingled, tightened, and shot sparks clear to her womb. His mouth moved
over hers, deep and slow. His tongue slid between her lips, pulling her even deeper into his
Blood rushed and roared in her veins. Her pulse thundered in her ears. Every breath was a
short choppy gasp against his lips. A low deep groan left her as she clung to him. He dragged his
mouth from hers on a harsh breath. His eyes glittered when she looked into them. Fisting her
hands in his hair, Laurie yanked him back and fused her mouth to his. He staggered, pressed her
to the wall, then pulled back sharply and flattened his hands on the wall by her shoulders.
“Slow down,” he rasped. But the fire in his eyes and the tension of his body gave away
“Slow?” she squeaked over the pounding of her pulse in her ears as she clutched at his
He leaned closer and brushed his lips lightly over hers. “Yes, there’s a bed over there—
and we have all night.”
The room spun as he swung her into his arms.
“Oh!” The half strangled cry escaped her as she clung to his neck. He covered the
distance to the bed in just a few long strides. Blood surged hot and heavy in her veins as he
lowered her to the mattress. His mouth lingered on hers, soft, gentle kisses that put a flutter in
her heart. Then he pulled slowly out of her arms to sit beside her, his hips snuggled up to hers.
Gripping her wrists loosely, he urged her to sit up facing him. The hungry gleam in his eyes sent
dark thrills spiraling through her.
The flickering glow from the candles and the lamp covered them in a golden glow and
threw shadows around the room. Electric sensuality crackled around them. Damien plowed his
fingers into her hair and tugged her the last scant distance. His mouth captured hers, his lips
rubbing frantically over hers. Her breath caught in her throat and she drowned in him. Her lips
parted to the conquering thrusts of his tongue and their mouths melded in kisses of devastating
His hands roamed over her back, fiery circles that inflamed her already raging passions.
She could not get close enough, fast enough. He dragged his mouth from hers, licking and
nibbling along her jaw. Sweeping her hair aside, he nibbled delicately on her sensitive earlobe.
Pleasure, intense and dangerous, swirled inside her.
She squirmed in his arms, creating a delicate friction between her breasts and his chest
that drew a moan from him. His tongue forged a path down her neck, setting her skin aflame. He
pressed her even closer until every point of contact sizzled. She wanted more. Plastered to his
broad chest, she tangled her fingers in his black hair, the silky texture tantalizing her with yet
another combination of sensations. She loved his hair, thick and springy yet silky to her touch.
“I want you,” she whispered huskily in his ear as his mouth moved along the curve of her
neck and shoulder. His teeth scraped lightly over her skin and a shudder of delight shook her.
She shifted her hold, her trembling hands sliding from his hair to his shoulders, broad
enough to carry any load. She nipped at his earlobe, swirled her tongue around, and felt his
shudder of response. Pure feminine triumph had her smiling, her lips curved against his skin.
Stroking, caressing, her hands explored his chest despite the fabric separating them. Just
touching thrilled her. Her fingernails raked lightly over his nipples, her hand trapped between
their heaving bodies. He sucked in a ragged breath and lifted his head.
His hungry gaze clashed with hers. She stared into the dark, flickering pools of his eyes
and dropped her hand to the button of his jeans. After hesitating only a fraction of a second, she
moved lower to cup her hand over the bulge behind his zipper. He flinched under her touch,
straining denim. Delirious, she relished his instant response and pushed her other hand under his
sweatshirt, felt the quiver of his stomach as her fingers walked up all that glorious male flesh.
She flicked a nipple with her fingernail. Both of her hands moved and maneuvered at the same
time. A harsh groan erupted from deep in his throat.
He dropped his hands to the hem of her sweatshirt and shoved the fabric above her
breasts. He groaned his delight at finding her braless. Laurie snatched her hands from him,
yanked her shirt over her head and tossed it aside. She reached for him but he caught her hands
and simply stared at her, his gaze riveted to her breasts.
“Witch,” he muttered and quickly shed his shirt.
She caught only a brief glimpse of all that gleaming skin, the contrast of wavering
shadows and flickering firelight, before he lowered her onto the mattress.
His eyes gleamed dark, dangerous, and exciting as he leaned over her. Turgid and
straining, her nipples brushed his chest. Oh, God, was her only thought as he captured her mouth
and ravished it with lips and teeth and tongue. She no longer heard the thunderstorm over the
rush and roar of blood in her ears. Her pulse pounded erratically. Was that her heart pounding or
his? His hand was rough, calloused as it swept over her ribcage and covered her breast.
She arched automatically, filling his large but somehow gentle hand with her aching
flesh. He molded, kneaded, and tweaked her already hard nipple between finger and thumb.
Erotic pulses hummed along her frazzled nerves, sent jets of fire straight to her loins.
Writhing, she clamped her hands on his arms, dug her fingers into hard muscle. Her heart
raced even faster and she closed her eyes, swamped in erotic sensations. He dragged his mouth
from hers, replacing his fingers on her breast. His tongue laved, stroked, and drew strangled
moans from her. His lips closed around her and he suckled, tugging on her nipple as though it
was the sweetest nectar.
“Jesus.” The word was a long, drawn out groan of aching pleasure. Her hands fisted in
his hair and she clutched him to her. Volcanic heat wrapped around her, swept her away like a
river of molten lava.
Propping himself on one elbow, he switched breasts and sent the same shocking
sensations slamming into her. Her hands lost their grip on his hair, slid limply to her side, and
then clenched the sheet in tight fists.
“Please, Damien,” she begged breathlessly, unable to stop herself.
His hands streaked, hot and lethal, over her quivering stomach to the button of her jeans
and lingered there. She writhed frantically as his fingers teased her skin, dipping beneath her
waistband in soft strokes. He lifted his head, speared her with the raging unleashed passion in his
eyes. She could not look away, did not want to look away. Pleasure, bordering on pain, spread
through her in shocking waves. His knuckles brushed her skin as he unbuttoned her jeans.
Anticipation, sharp and edgy, knifed into her again.
Frantic for him, she shoved her hands between them and fumbled with his jeans. She slid
the zipper over his erection so fast he sucked in a startled breath. She dipped her hand under his
briefs to find him. He was hot, hard, and huge in her hand. Staring deep into those swirling dark
eyes, she stroked and fondled every glorious inch of him. He blinked and stared down at her. His
eyes blazed into hers. He growled, low and deep and urgent, and then abruptly jerked back.
Lacking all finesse, he stripped off jeans and underwear. Just as quickly, he removed her
Fascinated by all of his naked masculinity, she reached out and wrapped her hand firmly
around his pulsing shaft. It only took a slight tug to tumble him on top of her. Pressing her
deeper into the mattress, he was neither heavy nor uncomfortable. She shifted restlessly until he
settled between her legs with his erection nestled against her. She clutched his shoulders,
clinging mindlessly to his sheer strength, and lifted her hips, urging him to give her what she
“I’m trying to be gentle,” he croaked, his eyes as wild as she felt. “But you’re making me
Something fragile deep inside her snapped.