The door banged open, and Rylee jumped. The test tubes she’d been pulling from a box rattled in her hands and nearly crashed to the floor.
She whirled at the disturbance and found a tall, dark-haired man shoving his way into the room set aside for her lab. His eyes found her and directed a ferocious scowl her way.
“You were supposed to wait for someone to get you,” the giant growled.
She took a step backward and tried to calm her pounding heart. Her hands went to her throat. She forced a breath out of her lungs, then sucked down her inhale. Waited a second. Then repeated the process all over again. But the breathing exercise did little to calm her.
God, he was huge. Bigger than Peter, bigger than Major Delano, bigger even than Chief Judah Hawkins. She was surprised he didn’t need to duck to enter the door. Tattoos covered his arms and added to the dangerous mystique of the stubble on his cheeks and his perfectly messy dark hair.
While she wanted to take her time studying the inked patterns on his forearms and his hands—his hands! those must have hurt!—it was his eyes that drew her in. They were storms of grey that hinted at a troubled soul, but there was kindness there, too. He could have given her a flat, steely look, but his eyes were soft.
Rylee could feel her cheeks reddening. Her panic was fading as much as it possibly could with a man of his size so close to her. And that ebb in emotion revealed something hidden under the depths: desire.
He was a rugged, handsome man. No. Hot as sin. And extremely, entirely off limits.