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I watch in awe at her speed and efficiency. I’ve never seen this side of her. Her actions are . . . ruthless. Did I do this to her? My beautiful monster.

She turns to face me. “You shouldn’t have come after me, Michael. You should’ve let me die,” she says with no emotion.

“Shy,” I whisper.

She turns her back on me, heading out the door. I grab the weapons that are sitting on the table as I follow her out. Good thing too because another hostile is coming at us. I throw the knife I just secured, and it lands square in his chest, dropping him. The fourth, and final, hostile comes right behind his fallen comrade. I lift my Glock and fire one off, penetrating his head. Shy doesn’t flinch as she continues walking. Was she going to walk right into their bullets? Did I break her? I can’t have her in the field if she doesn’t care if she lives or dies. I jog to catch up with her, grabbing her shoulder to stop her. Surprisingly, she grabs my hand and uses my momentum against me. Just as I had taught her. She flings me over her shoulder, putting me flat on my back.

“Don’t you fucking touch me,” she growls, standing over me.

If she wants to do this, we can do this. I kick her feet from under her, putting her on her ass. I quickly reposition myself on top of her, straddling her legs. Closing my thighs tightly together, I lock her knees before sitting on the top of her thighs. Her wrists, I grasp tightly in my hands, locking them above her head. She isn’t going anywhere.

“Mistake number one: you let your guard down. Don’t let your anger make you stupid, Shy,” I ground out.

“Is that what this was, another training mission?”

She sounds deflated. Staring down at her, I don’t have the heart to answer. Her left eye is swollen, almost to the point of being closed. Her mouth is a mess with dried blood, and swollen. Two black eyes are forming, but through it all, I see her. Her beauty, her strength, and it undoes me. I don’t know what to call what I’m feeling, and I don’t dare put a label on it. It’s too big for that. Things stir in me. My body reacts before I have a chance to slam them back down. I press against her just a little harder. The animal in me wants her to know how hungry I am for her. At this moment something happens to me that has never happened before. I lose control.

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