Title: Finding Freedom
Series: Centre Game Book 3
Author: Natalie Gayle
Word/Page count: 145,059
Buy link: Amazon – http://goo.gl/JPfb8e
Dylan “Ice Dragon” Thompson has suddenly become the hottest thing in MMA. He’s fought all his life for control and inner peace. He focuses on what he excels at—fighting and his work with the Centre. It’s what he knows and what keeps him in balance. His latest assignment has him fighting a war with a partner he doesn’t believe he can trust.
Vanessa Aldridge has grown up in the gym and has seen it all—some good, some bad. But when performance-enhancing drugs threaten her life and her personal sense of worth—enough is enough. The very people closest to her now have her questioning their motives and nobody is as they seem. On top of all this, she’s unwittingly become the number-one pawn in an organised crime game and she’s risking her heart on a guy who wants to fight for everything but them.
Vanessa quickly discovers that Dylan is far from what he appears to be. But what happens when his latest assignment blows his carefully created world wide open? Can Dylan win the most important fight of all—the one for her heart and their future? Or will he retreat back into the one-dimensional existence of working and fighting? Can Vanessa remain steadfast to her principles and just maybe take the ultimate prize? The battle lines are drawn.
“Well maybe if I tell you what I’m feeling and labelling love then you can decide if that’s what you think it is?” He looked uncertain and Vanessa definitely felt the same but she knew she had to be brave and push on. She sensed this conversation was potentially life changing to them. Rather than wait for him to answer she launched on.
“Dylan to me love is many things. It’s a combination of lots of feelings all rolled into one. It’s about what I feel for you but it’s also about how you make me feel about myself. Let me give you some specific examples. It’s laying here snuggled into you like this. I feel totally relaxed, safe, and special. It’s knowing you’re always so concerned about my safety and you’re prepared to immediately step up to ensure it and you don’t mind offending a few people on the way if that’s what it takes. It’s the little affectionate kisses on the neck, the pats on the butt, the times you pull me into your side. It makes me feel special and good inside to know you want me close. It’s what we do in the bedroom.” He looked like he was about to interrupt but this time it was Vanessa turn to press her fingers to his lips.
“Shhh, you’ll get your turn soon. Don’t tell me its just lust. It’s much more than that. You’ve taken the time and the effort to make sure I’ve been satisfied. And that could probably be construed as you being a generous lover. But’s its how you touch me, caress me. Your touch has changed of late. It feels like I’m special and important to you. It’s different from the being. More fulfilling. ”
“It’s the way we can talk about things, argue about things but still move forward. I’m quite capable of handling most situations that life throws at me some good, some bad. I find myself wanting to share the good with you. I want to tell you all about them, experience them with you more than anyone else. And the bad, well it doesn’t seem so daunting or terrible with you there to lean on. You make me feel good about myself. You make me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. I feel whole when I’m with you. You’re the first person I think of when I wake up and the last person I think of before I go to sleep. You’re the one I want to talk to first, spend time with.” She could see the emotions rolling across his face and his hazel eyes were mirroring her every word. She wondered what he was thinking? “This is what I’m defining as love.”
She relaxed back onto his chest and pulled herself in tight to him. His arms closed tighter around her.
He’d need a few moments to process all that. Hell she did to.
Once she’d started the words just seemed to keep coming. She really hoped he understood where she was coming from. It may not have been the most eloquent of descriptions or speeches but that was how she felt. That’s what love meant to her.
Finally he shifted a little and dragged her up his body. He reached up and pressed his lips to hers. “You really feel all that about me?”
She nodded without hesitation. It was such a simple question to answer. “I do feel like that.”
He took her by surprise and rolled over bringing her under him, his body laid out over the top of hers. She loved the feeling of his weight on her. He planted his forearms on the mattress beside her shoulders and his eyes seemed to bore into her soul.
“I feel lots of things about you too, Vanessa. I’m not going to label it love right here and now because I think that would be premature and somehow cheapen what you’ve just shared with me, but you certainly helped clarify a few things for me. I definitely care deeply for you, more than I’ve ever felt for anyone else in a very long time. Maybe even forever. Now that I know we’re talking about the same thing. I need to try it on for size. See how it fits.” He leant forward and touched his lips to hers in a searing kiss. He didn’t try to push for more. The simplicity and chasteness of it spoke much more than hungry passion would have. Somehow it seemed this kiss marked the start of something bigger, better in their relationship.
“Thank you for loving me Vanessa and caring enough to try and explain to me just what I mean to you.” He dropped a light kiss on the tip of her nose and it tickled.
Natalie is the author of the Centre Games Series. A fast paced, romantic suspense series set on the Gold Coast, Australia. The series tells the stories of the Centre, a quasi government agency established to fight environmental, biological and agricultural threats. The Centre Games books are filled with hot alpha males and the feisty independent females strong enough to capture their hearts. Natalie’s books pack lots of action, hot romance and surprises.
A confessed readaholic and romantic junkie, Natalie spends her time juggling a busy career as an IT professional and author. In between staring at a computer screen (she spends lot time doing that!) Natalie, enjoys living the Gold Coast life with her very tolerant husband and two school aged children.
She loves spending time with family and friends, hitting the beach, cooking, working out and curling up with a good book. Her pet hates are cleaning and anything else that can be considered “domestic dullness”. If she could have one wish it would be to be able to fit 48 hours into 24.
Natalie is currently working on her fourth instalment for the Centre Games Series.
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