Nicole- young, strong, beautiful- is taking a predawn walk when she is abducted by Damien- ruggedly handsome, cold, mysterious- the assassin who's been assigned to transport her across the country. What began as a job becomes much more as they fight for their lives, to resist their growing attraction for one another, but mostly, to protect their hearts.

Chapter 1: Initial Encounter

She walked casually through the dark night, deep in thought. She paid little attention to her surroundings, to the multitude of stars above her or the buildings running parallel to the sidewalk she sauntered upon. She was in her own world and though she was young and attractive, she was not worried of an attack or anything of the sort. She knew how to defend herself, and she knew how to do it well. She was a fighter in spirit and would not be considered the victim if someone advanced upon her. This girl would not be easy prey.

Yet as she drifted along the empty streets on this particular night, she was far more vulnerable than she realized. For a man followed her every movement closely, observing her silent as death from every angle.

A chill breeze caused her to shiver and as she tossed back her head, loosening curls of deep chocolate to do up her jacket, she sensed eyes upon her. She looked all about. Everything was still, absolutely quiet as not a single car traveled this usually lively city street. She felt as though she were all alone. Keep moving she told herself. She looked about once more and spotted a 7-11's lighted panel sign. It was a veritable beacon of hope amongst the shadows that she feltclosing in on her. True enough, she knew how to fight, but she was not stupid. She did not limit herself because of a possibility of danger, hence the reason she was walking alone during this early morning dark, but she didn't search out trouble. Her instincts were well honed and she sensed the enemy drawing near. She quickened her step as the wind blew fiercely against her delicate face.

She was not surprised when less than a block from her goal she felt a strong hand upon her right wrist pulling her backwards. Most would have struggled against the pull, which is exactly why she did the opposite. She used her opponent's strength to aid her as she turned and launched her knee up hard. She found herself facing a man. The shadows prevented her from seeing his face but she was able to discern his form. He was tall; perhaps a half foot taller than she but this did not discourage her for she noted too that he appeared strong. She was glad for that because she figured she would be able to use that against him for strength often hindered speed. That was not the case with this man. He had stepped to the side in an instant; in the precise instant she had expected to make contact. This is bad she told herself even as she was falling towards him. It went from bad to worse though as he stumbled backwards after catching his foot on an empty beer bottle and they landed on the ground with him pinned beneath her, cushioning her fall. She was breathing hard. Shit, shit, shit she cursed herself as she attempted to rise quickly. He proved the quicker once more though as he grabbed her arms, pinning them to her side. She came face to face with the man and went weak, he was gorgeous. He had long black hair, hanging loosely by his shoulders and apparently it had been a few days since his last shave. His eyes were a mesmerizing grey and shone silver in the moonlight. She stopped herself then though, coming suddenly back to reality. React she scolded herself, and she was a flurry of motion a moment later.

She struggled to bring up her arms, wanting to strike this beautiful stranger square in the jaw. She was kicking wildly a few short seconds later though when she realized she would not be able to break his firm grip and opened her mouth to scream. Apparently, he had anticipated this and flipped them over so that he rested easily atop her, sealing her mouth with his warm hand and using his weight to keep her immobilized. Abruptly he regretted his decision as she bit deeply into his thumb. He did not yell out though, nor did he curse. In fact, he didn't appear to react at all.

She was wrong though, he had reacted. An instant later she felt the cool steel edge pressed along her neck. She froze.