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Marco “Giggles” Ricci’s job is to separate himself from those his team rescues but an unexpected rescue brings him Ember. Rescued from a human trafficking ring, Ember has set out to make a new life for herself. Until she learns the man who held her captive for six years isn’t dead.
The last thing he expected to hear her say was that the Diego they were sent to stop was the same man who had held her. They had all assumed that whoever her pimp was, had died among the men in Ricardo’s compound the day she was rescued. Apparently, they assumed wrong, and the fact that none of them thought to verify the fact was a mistake he would never make again.
“How could it be him?” She continued to cry in his arms. “It was hundreds of miles away.”
“Liam said Diego was new to the area and brought the girls with him. It was how he got on Liam’s radar. The locals didn’t like that he brought his own . . . product,” he explained. He hated using that word, even if it was exactly how the women were described in the trafficking world.
“Oh, God,” she groaned. “Why didn’t I say something sooner?” She beat her head against his chest.
Running his fingers through her hair, he gently tugged her head back, so she was forced to look him in the eyes. “Don’t.” He hardened his voice. “Don’t do that. This isn’t your fault. We never asked either, so if anyone is to blame, it’s me and my team. It’s our job to tie up the loose ends.” He damn sure would be talking to his team about that oversight.
She was no longer sobbing, but silent tears still streamed down her cheeks. Using the pad of his thumb, he swept them away carefully. He wanted more than anything to kiss her slowly and take her mind off Diego and the girls, but now wasn’t the time. She wasn’t ready for him or the feelings he had for her.
“This isn’t your fault,” he repeated. “But I can promise you, we will make this right. My team and I will find Diego and end his miserable life, so he never has the chance to hurt another woman. You can trust me on that, sweetheart.”
He didn’t like to make promises. In his line of work, there were no guarantees, but he was willing to make an exception. He knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that he would find Diego. And when he did, the man would pay for every bit of physical and mental pain he caused Ember.
“I need to speak with my team, but I want you to stay.”
Everyone had cleared out when she had crumbled to the floor, giving him privacy to soothe her. He was surprised to find that he really liked how she felt in his arms. At any other time, he would have savored the feeling, but not right now. While they had planned to continue searching for Diego, he hadn’t been a priority. That was about to change.
“Thank you,” she whispered as she snuggled deeper into his chest.
“For what?” He had no idea what she could possibly be thanking him for. He wasn’t doing anything special.
“For being you. For comforting me and making me feel safe. And I’m not just talking about today.” She cleared her throat before continuing. “Even a year ago, when you carried me away from that hellhole, I knew I was safe in your arms.”
“Always,” he vowed. “You will always be safe with me.”