Rescue Me, Book 4
Estimated Release Date June 26, 2012
Savannah Gentry, now Savi Baker, escaped the torture and degradation forced upon her by a sadistic father for eleven years and has made a safe life for herself and her daughter. When her father threatens her peace of mind—and her daughter's safety—Savi runs to Damián Orlando for protection. Their one day together eight years earlier changed both their lives and resulted in a secret she can no longer hide. But being with Damián reawakens feelings she wants buried—and stirs up an onslaught of disturbing flashbacks that leave her shaken to the core with little hope of ever being a sexual being again.
Damián has his own dragons to fight, but has never forgotten the one perfect day he spent with Savannah in a cave at the beach. He will go to the ends of the earth to protect Savi and her daughter, but can never be the whole man she deserves after a firefight in Iraq. Besides, the trauma of war and resulting PTSD has led him to find his place as the Masters at Arms Club's favorite sadist. Savi needs someone gentle and loving, not the broken man he has become. But he sees that the lifestyle he's come to embrace also can help Savi regain control of her life and sexuality. How can he not help redirect her negative thoughts and actions if she needs him?
Now she did take a step back. No effing way.
“Hold still, querida.” He maintained eye contact with her, but rather than calm her, she was overwhelmed with the need to escape; to go to her safe place.
Savannah ran along the beach, ignoring the broken shells that cut into the bare soles of her feet. Where were her flip-flops?
The cave. She'd left them at the cave. She needed to get back there. After climbing over the sharp rocks, she walked into the opening of the cave, then halted. Instead of her mother, she found Damián leaning against the wall of the cave. No! Where was Maman?
Then she remembered how safe she'd felt with him here once upon a time. A very long time ago.
“Savi? Look at me.”
She blinked and found herself transported instantly back into Damián's living room. She stared at him.
“Where’d you go?”
My cave. Wait! He couldn’t know about that. “Go? I didn’t go anywhere. Just check for the broken rib and get it over with.”
Damián placed his left hand in the middle of her back and she jumped.
“Wait! I’m not ready yet.”
“You don’t have to get ready for anything. Just look at me, querida.”
No! Not yet! She tried to convey her fear with her eyes, but he ignored her.
“Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.”
She couldn't do this. Her breathing became shallow, rapid. She tried to force herself to release the tension in her shoulders and neck. I can't do this!
His words had a slight calming effect on her until he placed his right hand against her chest again. Her breathing became shallow; her heart beating wildly. She drew another breath, sharper this time.
“Just relax. I’m going to press here, but tell me if it starts to hurt.”
He applied an incredible amount of pressure against her chest wall and she cried out in pain. Oh dear lord, it hurt. She'd always been able to block out pain. Why hadn't she been able to go to her cave? He abruptly let go of her and gave her a look as if she'd just landed on earth from outer space. He reached for the cell phone and picked it up.
“Doc? You still there?”
His tone conveyed he wasn't pleased with her. What had she done wrong? She'd tried not to scream in pain.
Only dirty sluts scream, Savannah.
She should have been able to take the pain without screaming. She'd endured so much worse at the hands of Lyle and the men in the penthouse. She'd trained herself not to scream until the pain was too unbearable to do otherwise. But she hadn't had to practice that skill in a very long time. Damián wouldn't want to help her if...if he knew what she was. Control yourself, Savan…Savi. He doesn't know.
Damián sighed. “We have a couple problems with that. One is that we need a babysitter.”
Wait! What was he talking about? No one was separating her from Mari. Savi held up her hand. “No! I’m not going anywhere and even if I did, I’m not leaving Mari with strangers.”
He glared at her, but spoke into the phone. “Doc, do you have any friends who can provide a medical assessment without leaving a paper trail?” Doc. He was the medic friend. Not a real doctor. He paused to listen. “I haven’t a fucking clue, but it’s the only way I’m going to get her to cooperate.”
I'll cooperate, as long as you don't take Mari away from me.
“No, nothing like that. Just call me back PDQ.” He snappd the phone shut and just stared at her until her skin burned under the intensity of his gaze. “He’s going to try and find someone to take a look at that rib. Do you want to lie down with Mari and rest a little?”
“No. I can't breathe when I lie down. I’m fine.”
“You’re not fucking fine, Savi.”
She cringed and backed away. He was angry with her again.
“Who are you running from? Who did this to you?”
She needed to please him, or run the risk of his sending them away. They had nowhere else to go. Without further hesitation, she confessed, “My father.” Oh, God. She'd told him. Bile rose in her throat and she held her hand over her stomach as if she could keep the nausea at bay.
Savi tried to find the words to explain the unexplainable. She'd spent the last two days trying to make sense out of what her father had wanted her and Mari for, but all she'd been able to come up with was that he'd wanted to hurt Mari the way he'd hurt Savannah. She wouldn't let him see her daughter, much less touch her. Ever.
They'd gotten all the way through Utah before she figured out how he'd found her. "He tried to take Mari from me. I guess he saw me on the news footage from Julio’s arrest and tracked me down, after all these years.” Damián seemed puzzled. “I can’t let him anywhere near her. That’s why I came to you." She paused, trying to gauge how much she needed to say to get him to help. "The way I saw you taking care of Teresa in my office. The way you were ready to kill her father, if necessary. We need that kind of protection right now. Will you help us?”
…The way you helped Teresa when her father came back for her?
Savi watched and waited. Her side began to hurt like the dickens after he'd pressed on her sternum. Why hadn't she zoned out? But hadn't she? A brief glimpse of herself in the cave at Laguna Beach flashed through her mind. In the past, Maman had always waited for her there. This time she hadn't found Maman at all. She'd found Damián. Disconcerting was an understatement.
How could she run from his touch physically and wind up running to him in her mind? Her safe place no longer felt safe. But he wouldn't hurt her. Would he? She had to trust him so he would protect her and Mari. That's what had sent her halfway across the country to find him, wasn't it?
"Why didn't you call the police?"
"He's friends with the police chief." Her father always made it a point to have something to hold over key people in power, including judges, several state legislators, and even a congressman. Her body had been offered to service many of them in the past. Apparently, he'd been trying to exert his control over her for weeks, beginning at her workplace.
Until yesterday, she hadn't even put two and two together to figure out her father had had a hand in her being fired. Her foremost thought was to escape from Lyle and Father. Having worked for years to study and train in her chosen profession, and giving her all for the children in her care, she'd become the clinic's top victim specialist in a short time. Once again, her father had shifted her world on its axis.
She squeezed her eyes shut and lowered her head, worrying about the upheaval her sudden disappearance must have caused her young, vulnerable clients. Just thinking about the feelings of abandonment they must be experiencing…
"You're still in pain."
She opened her eyes and stared at him. Yes, but not the physical kind.
A flash of anger in his eyes told her he wasn't buying her verbal assurances. Had she done the right thing coming here? Damián wouldn't be as easy to manipulate as she'd learned to do with the other men she'd had to deal with, well, except for Father Martine. She trusted him.
So how, in just a few minutes, had Damián gotten her to reveal more than she'd intended to tell him—ever.
So dangerous. But where else could she turn? Savi would do whatever it took to protect her daughter from her father and Lyle's sadistic ways. The other night, however, as she lay on the floor at Lyle's feet, she'd realized how difficult it would be to protect her baby. Admitting failure or weakness, much less need, to someone else was so difficult—especially to a man. She'd sworn she'd never be vulnerable to a man ever again. Yet, this time she couldn't do it alone. The stakes were too high and her father much too powerful.
Damián's cell phone rang. "Yeah, Doc?" Pause. "You're sure?" Pause. "Appreciate it. Meet you there."
Savi tried to square her shoulders and stand straighter, but again, her breath was cut off. Do not let him detect any weakness. "I said I'm not going anywhere without Mari."
"Not a problem. My friend is meeting us at the clinic. We'll bring Marisol with us."
"She needs her sleep."
"She can sleep in the car. I'll drive your car and when we get to the clinic, I'll watch Marisol while the doctor checks you out."
No! She was losing control. Panic clawed at her chest and sweat broke out on her upper lip. She cleared her throat. "Look, I said I'm fine. Just some bruises. I'll be even better after some sleep."
"You said you couldn't lie down. How do you plan to rest?"
Oh, God. What had ever possessed her to come here? She needed to leave, but she couldn't carry Mari down those stairs. Her gaze strayed to the open bedroom doorway where she saw her daughter curled on her side, sleeping peacefully. How could their lives have become so screwed up in such a short time? Everything had been going perfectly until…
Damián. He'd come back into Savi's life because of his niece's rape. Then the hostage situation at her house when her father had returned, drunk and up to no good. If only Teresa hadn't called her to her house that afternoon to help…and the news crews hadn't shown up.
No, it wasn't the girl's fault. She was another victim of a father's sick and twisted abuse. Who better to help Damián's niece deal with her father's assault than Savi, who knew all too well a father's ruthlessness?
"Let's get your coat buttoned up…" When Damián's hands reached for her she stepped back, her legs pressing against the sofa, nearly toppling her backward. No escape. Trapped.
"No! I can do it myself." She scrambled with shaking fingers to close her coat and pulled the belt tight, wincing as she cut off her breath, but hoping he wouldn't touch her again.
Damián frowned at her. "I'll get Marisol."
Savi followed him back into the bedroom, afraid to let him out of her sight, especially anywhere near Mari.
He turned toward her, not seeming at all surprised she was on his heels. "I'll just wrap her up in this blanket." He turned the Mexican blanket down first, then the sheet, uncovering Mari. Her little girl stirred, scrunching her nose and brows at the intrusion into her snug cocoon.
"It's okay, bebé. We're just going to take a little ride."
Mari opened her big brown eyes, so much like her father's, and looked up at him. "I remember you."
"You do?" Damián grinned, seeming pleased to know he had a lasting effect on her daughter. Did he know? "I remember you, too, mi muñequita."
Mari smiled and nodded at being called his little doll, and then she promptly fell back to sleep, not a worry in the world. Savi wished she could be that trusting. That innocent.
Never again—if she had ever been.
Damián picked Mari up and laid her down in the middle of the blanket, and then wrapped it snugly around her. He lifted her into his arms with such gentleness, he made Savi's chest ache with a new and unfamiliar pressure. Letting her little head rest on his shoulder, he started for the doorway. Savi blinked her eyes and turned away to lead the way. The sooner she could appease Damián and get her ribs checked out, the sooner she could…could what? She had nowhere else to go.
At the front door to his apartment, she looked out the peep hole, but didn't see anyone near the door. After turning the deadbolt, she held the door open for him, then reached into her pocket for her car keys.
She turned back toward Damián. "Wait! I need to find my keys."
"They're in my pocket."
"Oh." Shit. He hadn't given them back to her from when he went down earlier to get Mari, who was now in his arms. How was she supposed to…?
"Just close the door till it clicks. It will lock automatically." Damián walked through the doorway and she did as he'd instructed, then followed, watching him limp slightly toward the stairs.
What was wrong with his leg? Concerned he might not be able to support Mari's weight, she hurried to catch up. "Are you sure you can carry her down the stairs?"
He turned and scowled at her. "What makes you think I can't?"
"You were limping." His fierce glare told her to back off, but she decided to get in front of them, just in case he lost his balance. She could break their fall. Thankfully, they made it down the stairs and to the car without incident, where Savi had to face facts. She needed to retrieve the keys. From his pocket. Oh dear lord.
Like hell. "Let me take Mari so you can open the car."
He ground out the words, "Reach in my pocket and get the keys, Savan…Savi." He was getting angry with her again.
Still, Savi hesitated a moment longer, until he glared at her again. Did he have any other expression? Yes. He smiled and grinned when he looked at Mari. The glares he saved for Savi. She looked down at the pocket. Leather pants. She supposed he'd worn leather because of his Harley, but wished he'd changed into jeans or something when he'd gotten home. Not that she'd given him time to change before she'd shown up on his doorstep.
"Savi. Get. The keys. Out of. My pants. Now."
How was she ever supposed to get them out without touching him more intimately than she'd touched any man, well, since Damián, all those years ago? Savi's hands shook as she placed one at the opening of the pocket of his lethal-looking, hip-hugging pants and pried it open. She could barely wedge the fingers of her other hand inside. The warm leather felt good against her cold fingers. Heat spread up her arms and into her face. Okay, the heat in her face was from a separate, mysterious source. She did not blush and did not let a man affect her this way. Ever.
What was happening to her?
Not wanting to prolong the contact any longer, she dug into his pocket almost ferociously and found the key fob. Thank God. She yanked on it until the key got hung up. Shit.
"Use both hands." Damián just grinned. Damn him. The bastard was enjoying her obvious discomfort. Heat spread to the pit of her stomach. She decided she preferred his glare to his grin.
She took her other hand and opened the pocket wider and then, with a slight tug, the keys popped out at last. She retreated several steps and took a few rapid, shallow breaths, trying to regain her equilibrium. Realizing she was just working herself up more, she remembered the Lamaze breathing techniques Anita had coached her on before Mari's birth, and tried to control her response with slow, deep breaths.
She clicked the remote to unlock the car doors and opened the back door, watching Damián sit Mari in the back seat. He looked back at Savi. "I need you to buckle her in while I hold her up."
Why was he forcing so much close contact? She'd managed to buckle Mari in without another set of hands. Of course, Mari had been awake those times. With great reluctance, Savi moved forward, but when her lower body brushed against his, she came to an abrupt stop. She took several rapid breaths.
I can't do this. Abruptly, Savi backed away and walked around the trunk of the car on shaky legs. Opening the other back door, she reached across the seat, ignoring the pain in her side and Damián's glare. She pulled the seatbelt from its pocket near the window and stretched it over Mari's blanketed shoulder and waist, fumbling around until she found the buckle. It clicked into place, and Savi breathed a deep sigh of relief. Mission accomplished; minimal damage.
She looked up as Damián began to pull himself away from her daughter and was horrified when Mari held him tighter. "Don't go, Daddy."
Savi's heart thudded against her chest. Mari couldn't know. Why would she call him such a thing? Because she's always fantasized about having a real daddy. Apparently, Damián filled the bill for her. More likely, in Mari's deep sleep, she must be dreaming.
Savi ventured a nervous glance at Damián and saw a stricken look on his face. He turned to meet Savi's gaze with a question—no, an accusation—in his eyes that she didn't want to deal with right now. The expression was replaced with a grim resolve.
Of course, she'd planned to tell him. Soon. But this wasn't the time or place. She needed to divert his attention. Reaching down to her side, Savi winced. Damián's face showed concern as his focus returned to why they were out here in the first place. He gently unlocked Mari's hands from around his neck. Good.
"Don't worry, bebé," he whispered to Mari. "Daddy's not going anywhere." He cast a sharp look at her, as if to make sure Savi knew he intended to keep his promise.
Oh dear lord. Why was he reinforcing her daughter's fantasy?
Savi's heartbeat came to a halt for a second before slamming against her ribcage. She didn't need this complication. When he hadn't made the connection that he might be Mari's father at San Miguel's, she'd just assumed he never would figure it out. If Damián knew, would he try to take Mari away from her? Maybe telling him wasn't a good idea after all.
Unable to take his scrutiny any longer—his face showing a mixture of anger and pain that left her unsettled—she backed out of the car. By the time she reached for the driver's door, Damián's warm hand pulled hers away from the frozen handle. How had he come around the car so quickly?
He took her by the elbow, carefully but with a firm hand, and guided her to the passenger side. "I'm driving."
"But I drove all the way from the West coast."
"Exactly. You don't need to be driving any further until we get those ribs looked at."
No one had taken care of Savi since she'd moved out of Anita's house after graduating from college. That was the year she'd landed her first job at a mental-health clinic in San Diego. Even when Anita had tried to help her find a position at the clinic where Anita worked, Savi had refused the job until it was time for Mari to start school. She'd wanted her daughter to go to school in Solano Beach, rather than San Diego.
Savi had chosen independence because she wanted to start supporting herself and Mari and not be a burden on anyone else anymore. She took pride in not needing anyone—most especially a man.
What alternative did she have but to seek this man's assistance now? Damián held the door open and waited for her to get inside. Her lungs constricted when she reached for the shoulder strap, but Damián stayed her hand and took the seatbelt, pulling it across her chest. His forearm brushed against her breast as he buckled her in like a child. She tried to press her back further into the seat cushion to avoid the intimate contact.
Damián closed her door and was soon behind the wheel. Silence ensued as he drove across town and Savi found herself consumed by memories of the decision that had started her on the long, twisted road that eventually had led her back to Damián.
Doesn't NOBODY'S PERFECT sound good! Want to learn more about the rest of the series???
Masters At Arms by Kallypso Masters
Rescue Me, Book 1
Masters at Arms begins the journey of three men, each on a quest for honor, acceptance, and to ease his unspoken pain. Their paths cross at one of the darkest points in their lives. As they try to come to terms with the aftermath--forging an unbreakable bond--will they ever truly become masters of their own fates? Or would fate become masters of them? FREE ON AMAZON!! Click Link Below :)
Nobody's Angel by Kallypso Masters
Rescue Me, Book 2
When Marc rescued Angelina from an abusive Dom at his fetish club, he never imagined she'd upend his safe, controlled life. But his SAR partner, Luke, a widower, thinks Angelina has been sent to him by his dead wife. Marc knows only he can fulfill her sexual needs, but won’t hurt his friend. When the abusive Dom stalks her, she turns to Marc for help and learns a submissive has power too.
Nobody's Hero by Kallypso Masters
Rescue Me, Book 3
Retired Marine Adam Montague has survived many war zones, but can he survive the war Karla Paxton has declared on his heart? Karla fell in love with Adam at 16; nine years later, she's determined to make 50-year-old Adam see her as a woman. But can she submit to his Dominant personality? And will she be able to get him to surrender to her and lay his ghosts to rest?
Kallypso is offering a daily prize of a $10 Gift Card & Swag! Yay! To enter please leave a comment below and don't forget to include your EMAIL!
There is also a GRAND PRIZE of $200 as well!! Yay Kallypso!! To enter the GRAND PRIZE drawing fill out the GOOGLE DOC below!
Tour Schedule: HERE
Want to learn more about Kallypso??? Here are some links... Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter