Authors: Kendall Ryan
Tags: #Romance, #Erotic, #cult, #New Adult
About Resisting Her
Agent Cole Fletcher lives for his job at the
FBI, and he’s more than ready for his next assignment—raiding a
cult compound and putting their leader behind bars. But he isn’t
prepared for Savannah and her knock you on your ass good looks. At
nineteen, she’s too old for foster care and too damaged to live on
her own. With nowhere else to go, and against his better judgment
Cole takes her in. But helping her out won’t be easy. He comforts
her through screaming nightmares and escaping the lingering fears
of her past, but that’s the easy part. Her preference to sleep
cuddled up next to his warm body, and her desire to please him in
every way makes her harder and harder to resist.
Copyright © 2013 Kendall Ryan
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for review purposes only.
This book is a work of fiction and any
resemblance to any person, living or dead, or any events or
occurrences, is purely coincidental. The characters and story lines
are created from the author’s imagination and are used
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Cover image used under license from
Edited by Carmen Erickson
To my readers. Your enthusiasm and support
means the world to me! A big ol’ hug to each and every one of you!
Cole listened to the soft sounds of her
breathing, wondering how he’d allowed himself to get into this
situation. He was not a cuddler. Yet there he was, his arm numb and
asleep where it rested under Savannah’s cheek. She had no problem
staking her claim and getting comfortable in his bed, even if that
meant using his various body parts as a pillow. Her favorites
seemed to be his chest or shoulder. Though right now, his bicep was
a close third.
He didn’t want to move her, didn’t want to
rouse her from sleep. He’d promised her she’d be okay and found
himself unable to break that promise in any form. If she needed to
be close to another warm body while she slept, what hardship was it
for him? Other than the awkward erection and numb arm—he’d live.
She sighed contentedly and rolled in closer, throwing one leg over
his hip which did nothing to help the blood flow racing south.
He knew if he crossed that physical boundary
with Savannah he wouldn’t be the gentle lover she deserved. The
overwhelming feeling of want she stirred within him wouldn’t allow
for that. He’d fuck her hard and fast. And since he was pretty sure
she was still a virgin, she deserved someone who would be careful,
soft, and take his time. Another reason why he wasn’t the man for
the job. Cole shifted her knee to relieve the pressure of her warm
thigh against his groin and tried to relax.
During times like this his mind often
wandered and he couldn’t help but remember the first time he’d laid
eyes on her. She’d been a startled little thing, huddled in the
corner, watching him with wide eyes. Even then she’d roused in him
all kinds of protective instincts, made the alpha male inside him
come out in a big way. And if his current cuddling status was any
indication, she still did. He tightened his grip around her
unconsciously drawing her nearer. Even if he couldn’t act on the
desire he felt for the woman in his bed, he sure as fuck wouldn’t
let anyone hurt her.
Savannah squirmed in her sleep, murmuring
lightly. He brought his free hand to her hair, sweeping the tousled
strands from her forehead to quiet her. She was too vulnerable, too
damaged, which was exactly why he needed to stop thinking with his
What a cluster fuck. Cole had seen some
messed up things in his day, but the scene before him took the
A stream of people fled through the front
doors and others jumped from the first floor windows of the large
grey compound. Then again, what had he expected when his squad
gassed the place?
After waiting for the fumes to clear, and
most of the bodies to filter out, he ran toward the building, rain
pelting his jacket. He ducked through the door and removed his gas
mask taking a tentative breath to test the air around him. There
was only a slight tingle in his throat. It would do. He didn’t plan
on hanging out in the front area where the canister had crashed
through the window anyway. His goal was to seek out the back rooms
and find anyone still lingering inside. And bonus points if he
found the cult’s leader, Jacob, before his commander did. If Jacob
was guilty of even half the crimes they had him on, Cole wouldn’t
mind punching the guy square in the jaw.
Jacob was a certified whackjob. He claimed to
be a spiritual healer, and had about forty people swallowing his
bullshit. When the FBI learned this morning of his plans to lead
his followers in a suicide mission, they’d moved fast, warrant be
damned. So far, it appeared they’d made it in time.
Cole adjusted the strap of his rifle and
treaded along the hallway. He turned the corner, the lighting dim
from the lack of windows, and listened for any sounds. Dead
silence. Hearing nothing to indicate a threat, he entered the room
on his right.
A young woman was huddled in the corner of
the bedroom. She sat slumped against the wall, knees hugged to her
chest. Her breath came in quick shallow gasps.
For a long second, Cole couldn’t move,
couldn’t think. Something about this woman captivated his
attention. Eyes, the color of emeralds, stared up at him in fear
and confusion. Trembling hands hugged her legs tight to her chest.
Unshed tears burned in that brilliant green gaze.
Snapping out of his daze, Cole stepped
closer. The woman flinched and shrank back against the wall. She
was shaking uncontrollably but her eyes followed his movements. He
scanned the bedroom, checking for other victims or threats, but
found only several bunk beds, clothes strewn across the floor, and
a crib in the corner. Once the room was secure, Cole lowered his
Procedure dictated he shout his command
before taking action. But his gut told him a different tactic might
“What’s your name?” he asked, gazing down at
her petite form.
“S-Savannah,” she stammered, her voice
He pulled in a deep lungful of air and
crossed the room, his boots thudding against the tiled floor. She
pressed back hard against the wall, watching him approach. He slung
the rifle’s strap over his shoulder, letting the weapon hang free
and lifted his hands—palms out, fingers splayed—facing her. “It’s
okay. I’m here to help.”
She watched him with wide eyes that held a
flicker of curiosity. Though she remained hunkered down, she lifted
her chin as he approached.
He considered helping her up, but he
instinctively knew her hands would remain tightly locked in her
He had two choices: pick her up and carry her
out, or win over her trust. Trust took time. Making a split second
decision, he crouched down and lifted her, securing one arm behind
her knees, the other around her waist. A startled gasp escaped her
throat, but as soon as Savannah was in his arms her body relaxed.
She rested her head against his shoulder and let out a deep sigh,
as if she’d been carrying around some great burden and was suddenly
free now that she was in his arms. She laced her fingers behind his
neck and buried her face in his chest, like it was the most natural
thing in the world. Momentarily stunned by her warm body wrapped
around his, it took him a moment to get his feet moving.
He carried her through the building, catching
surprised glances from the other agents as he held her tightly to
his chest, crossing through the emptying rooms. She sank into him,
into his protection and that measure of complete trust and
surrender twisted something inside Cole, invoking a feeling he’d
never encountered until now.
“Found a girlfriend back there, Fletcher?”
one of the guys said, followed by a wave of laughter.
Normally, he’d snap back a retort, but he
couldn’t focus on much with her locked in his embrace. The fragrant
waves of dark hair spilling over her shoulders, the soft curves of
her body molding to his hard chest was more than a little
When they entered the front room, Savannah
finally spoke. “You can set me down now.” Her breath was warm
against his neck and it sent a tingling rush down his spine.
He lowered her feet to the floor, suddenly
finding himself reluctant to let her go. She looked at him and
blinked twice, her mouth opening to draw in a shuddering breath. He
felt just as speechless. Emotions he’d thought long dead stirred
She turned and strode toward the few people
still left in the building—a small group of children lined up
against the far wall, looking bewildered.
It was no big shocker that a group of male
agents were clueless as to what to do with the littlest victims. At
least they had enough sense to bring them inside out of the rain
while they waited for the vans to arrive.
Savannah kneeled before the children and
spoke to them in a hushed voice. Whatever she said had the power to
calm them. Several of the older kids swiped at tears and fixed on
brave faces. The littlest one, a toddler with blonde, curls crawled
onto her lap.
At first Cole had been solely focused on the
mission—to capture Jacob—but now he wondered what would happen to
the women and children. Well, mainly the young woman, Savannah.
When the vans arrived, he watched her help
the children fashion capes out of discarded blankets to shield them
from the rain. Then she paraded them outside to the waiting
The unfamiliar sting of worry pierced his
chest. This was the only home they knew, and it was now the center
of an FBI investigation. They’d been literally cast out into the
cold. He shook the thought away. Damn. He must be going soft. This
was the same kind of thing he’d counseled junior agents on—never
get emotionally involved in a case. It was a mind fuck waiting to
happen. But watching Savannah walk away, her shapely backside and
legs encased in a pair of jeans, damp hair hanging down her back,
he knew better than to pretend he wasn’t affected. Damn it.
As Cole stood in the doorway, the cold air
snatched his breath away instantly, forcing him to pull the edges
of his jacket tighter. He couldn’t help thinking about her lush,
soft curves and how she’d felt in his arms. Wanting her was a
powerful, primal need, an instinctive response, and one he hadn’t
experienced in a long time. The difference was he’d never act on
Hell, he was willing to bet he’d never even
see her again. And that was for the best.
Cole didn’t count on the woman appearing in
his dreams. For the past several nights, she’d played a starring
role. Though each dream contained a different scenario, they were
all a variation of the actual take-down. Only in his dreams he’d
spoken to her, made her laugh. He’d calmed her worries, and eased
that little line that creased her forehead. Then he’d leaned in
close to inhale the scent of her hair, carried her to his SUV, and
tucked her safely inside. He woke each morning cursing himself out.
He didn’t get to keep her. But damn if his subconscious knew it,
uncooperative prick that it was.
Now in the office, sitting at his desk with
the sunlight streaming through the cheap blinds, dotting his
computer screen with flecks of light, Cole scrubbed a hand across
his stubbly jaw. The case that had consumed much of his time over
the past month had come to an unsatisfying conclusion. Jacob had
been found dead in an out-building adjacent to the compound, of an
apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. From the Bureau’s
standpoint, the case was all but closed. But Cole had spent the
last several days milling through the mountains of files they’d
accumulated on the group, making sure everything was done correctly
He kept finding himself stuck on details that might somehow relate
to Savannah. Then he gave up trying to be sly, and read every
single note they had on her. She was nineteen and had joined the
group with her mother when she was just seven years old. Her
mother, believed to have been one of Jacob’s lovers, passed away
when Savannah was fifteen. Savannah had been living with the group
in the compound just outside of Dallas ever since. That God damn
cult was all she’d ever known.