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“Stop,” she said. “I don’t want to hear anymore.” As she stared at him, her

mind raced with questions. Yes, she had been the one to suggest he go out

with other women, didn’t mean she wanted to hear the details. “If it was that

easy to do, then why didn’t you go on and sleep with her?” As she asked

this question, a cold lump formed in the pit of her stomach.

Clayton studied Vi, her sharp tone giving him pause. Looking heavenward,

he swiped a hand down his face, warring with telling her the truth. “Because

I didn’t want to make love to her…” The words hung in the air between

them. “When my hand covered her small breast, my mind imagined another,

more of a handful, much softer,” he finally said.

Pinning her with a penetrating gaze, he moved closer. “In my arms, her

small frame made me conjure up softer, much fuller curves. I imagined a

fuller mouth too, one you could nibble on and sink your teeth into.” He

paused as if gathering his thoughts. “Everything about her was wrong

because… all I could think of was you,” he said in a strangled tone.

Closing the distance separating them, Clay suddenly reached for her.

Before she knew what was happening, Vi found herself hauled up against

him, locked in his embrace. Her hands were trapped between their bodies,

the fingers splayed out on his chest as she stared up into his smoldering eyes.

“Clayton... wh…what are you doing?” His nearness robbed her of the

ability to move. She stood in his arms, watching his descent as he lowered

his head and kissed her. It was a very tender kiss, totally at odds with the

tension she felt in the bunched muscles of the arms holding her. Vi didn’t

have time to respond, it was over in seconds and he lifted his head.

“Mmmmm…this was missing, this softness,” he whispered close to her ear.

“She wasn't soft like this Vi…like you, and I knew immediately, I couldn’t

sleep with her.”


To Clayton, my soul-mate and two of the greatest

young men, Marques and Branden- thanks for all your

love and support. Thanks to Marcia and Jim for taking

me on an editorial journey, it wasn’t easy but we did it.

Dante-many thanks. Lastly, I need to thank my Lord

and Savior, Jesus Christ.

ISBN: 978-0-6152-1267-8

To Love & Protect

Copyright © 2007 by Lynn McCall

Landmarq Management, Inc.

Printed in the United States of America

All characters in this book have no existence outside of the imagination of

the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name

or names. They are not inspired by any person known or unknown and are

all incidents of pure fiction.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or

by any means without the prior express written consent of the author,

excepting brief quotes used in reviews.

If you enjoyed reading this book I would love to hear from you. Write to me

at – [email protected] or [email protected]

Be blessed,

Lynn McCall


To Love & Protect

By Lynn McCall





Craig’s watch lay on the table near her bed. Reaching over, he picked it up

and saw it was just a few minutes past ten. Although he had a lot to do

today, it was still early and those things could wait. Deciding to linger a bit

longer, Craig turned over and got more comfortable. It was very warm and

incredibly soft there, so he nestled in close behind her. Like a spoon, he

molded his long, muscular frame around her softness. Her breathing

changed, and she stirred in her sleep when his large hand slid over the

shapely rise of her hip.

Not wanting to wake her, Craig’s hand stilled. Waiting, he propped his

head in the palm of his hand and studied her profile. She resembled an angel

– a very flushed and sexually satisfied angel – but an angel nonetheless. As

his eyes rolled over her perfect form, he wondered if angels made love like

she did. Did they moan and climax so hard it made a man want to weep?

When he was certain she was asleep again, his hand resumed its delicate

dance across her flesh. Breathing in her scent, his fingers swept lightly over

her rounded belly until they reached the underside of her warm, soft breast.

More than a handful, he cupped its weight in his hand and instantly his mind

played out the way she’d arched against him just a few hours ago,

whimpering as he’d taken that tiny swollen crest deep inside his mouth.

With that thought, other images danced through his mind. Images of their

bodies entwined, straining against one another, until they reached that place

where nothing mattered but the two of them—nothing mattered except that


These wayward thoughts caused his body to harden and it wasn’t long

before his light caress became more insistent. Aroused by his touch, Casey

awoke and let out a deep sigh. Stretching her limbs, she rolled over to face

him and planted a light kiss on his mouth. Like a flower in search of rain, his

body sprang to life as she smiled at him. In the next instant he watched her

close her eyes again and unceremoniously throw her leg and one slender arm

across his body. Draped freely across his chest, her soft blond hair tickled

his chin where her head lay close to his heart.


Craig gathered her close and thought about the reason he’d stopped by this

morning. Although this was as good a time as any to discuss it, he hesitated

because when he’d brought it up in the past it led to an argument. Not eager

to bring it up just yet, he looked around her small apartment very slowly,

diverting his thoughts. A slight smile curved his lips as Craig thought about

how many times they both joked about her apartment being so small that a

person couldn’t even change his mind. A frown creased his brow as he

thought about the countless times he’d asked Casey to move in with him.

Finding a bigger place for the two of them, Craig assured her, would be no

problem. She had refused him each time, patiently explaining that she

wanted to stay independent, having suffered several failed relationships in

the past. Thinking about those past relationships, Craig’s mind wandered to

the first time they’d met over four months ago. It was a Saturday night…

When his shift ended that night, Craig had decided to stick around to finish

up some paperwork. Casey had been a victim of domestic abuse, and came

to the police station that night to file charges against some asshole boyfriend

who had roughed her up pretty badly. Normally women in her situation

looked defeated and scared when, and if, they came to the police. But, not

this woman. While she sat in the squad room waiting for someone to take

her complaint, Craig noted her expressive eyes, soft-looking full lips and the

slight lift of her small, proud chin. Her light, mocha skin tone was in direct

contrast to the midnight blue of her eyes, set nicely in a classic face

surrounded by a mass of long, honey gold curls. He figured she was either a

very, tanned white woman or a mix of something else, although he couldn’t

be sure. Somehow Craig found himself mesmerized by her. Glancing

around the squad room, Craig noticed the other officers on duty were either

on the phone or busy with someone else. Even though he was officially off

the clock, Craig decided to take her statement and made his way over to the

desk where she sat. With quiet resolve in her eyes, she looked up at him as

he sat down and prepared to question her. Beyond the black eye and

bruising, her beauty and vulnerability struck a cord deep within him.

Before she left the squad room that day, Casey asked him if she would

receive police protection from the guy who beat her up. He didn’t want to

come right out and tell her that all they could do was follow-up on the leads

she’d given them and try to track the guy down. For some odd reason, Craig

found himself drawn to her and since that night began checking in on her

every other day. Their relationship started off innocently enough and, after a

while, they started spending a little time together, just talking. They soon

decided to stop fighting the mutual attraction that had flared between them

almost from the beginning. Giving up the pretense of trying to be friends

had led to some very intense sexual encounters, which had eventually led to

this… and this was nice.


Lying here now, he realized it wasn’t just about the sex anymore because

lately he found himself beginning to want more—much more. The wanting

made the words tumble from his lips and, before he knew it, Craig blurted

out what had been troubling him. “Casey, I want you to come for dinner this

Sunday and meet my family,” he said flatly.

He felt her stiffen in his arms and the delicate fingers threading through the

dense hair on his chest stilled. Casey let out a long sigh, trying to figure out

how best to respond. “Craig, you know I can’t.” She rose from the bed,

taking her warmth with her, striding naked toward her tiny bathroom.

“We’ve been over this before,” she added in an off-handed manner. “Why

don’t we talk about it later?”

As she started to leave the room, her plan to postpone this discussion

dissipated with Craig’s next words. “I’m tired of keeping our relationship a

secret,” he told her.

She turned to him; her expression shuttered and she replied in a measured

tone. “Baby, you said you had a lot to do today, I promise you we’ll discuss

this later.” Then she closed the bathroom door, cutting off any further


When Casey was safely inside the bathroom, she stood with her back

braced against the door, knowing she’d just dodged a huge argument. It had

been such a beautiful morning and Casey didn’t relish spoiling it. But when

Craig got something in his head, he went after it with a single- minded

purpose. She knew the more insistent he became, the more resistant she

would become. Leaving the room was the only way she could be sure they

wouldn’t end up fighting again.

Turning on the tap water, she gingerly stepped into the shower and stood

under the warm spray. For some reason her mind drifted back to the first

time she’d seen Craig…

She’d been scared shitless. Raul would be furious if he knew where she

was and what she was about to do. It was bad enough he’d done this twice

now and she’d let him get away with it. The first time he’d hit her was right

after he moved to town. After a few weeks of unemployment, Raul had

gotten drunk one night. Casey remembered that when she tried to take the

bottle away, he’d smacked her clear across the room. She’d been a fool to

let him stay with her in the first place and now here she was, sitting in this

police station wanting to put his sorry ass away.

Taking a deep cleansing breath, Casey closed her eyes and started

counting. She thought that if one of these cops didn’t come over here by the

time she counted to ten, she would just get up and leave. Then she opened

her eyes and saw him. He introduced himself as Officer Craig Simpson.

Unable to concentrate on what the man said after that, Casey’s jaw dropped


as she stared at him. The man before her was extremely tall, well built and

handsome beyond belief. He had a wide, sensuous mouth with very dark

eyes that matched his equally dark, milk chocolate skin. When he flashed it

briefly at her, his smile made her heart leap.

Whoa – down girl!
Mentally admonishing herself, Casey tried to clear her

mind. It wasn’t like she’d never seen a good-looking man before. Sure, this

guy was clearly not hard on the eyes, but she wasn’t here for this. Suddenly,

she remembered she was sitting in a police station—with a black eye and

bruises—waiting to press charges against the jackass who’d done this.

She thought. She had bruises and a black eye. Slowly, it

dawned on her that while she was salivating over this cop, he was probably

repulsed by what he saw. Now self conscious about the condition of her

battered face, she bent her head and tried to reign in the wayward thoughts

racing through her mind. Trying hard to focus, she realized he was saying

something to her. Unfortunately, she’d been so self-absorbed with her own

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