Authors: Jamie Magee
Tags: #Bad boy romance, #Marines, #Jamie McGuire, #Jamie Magee, #mystery
Deploy | Copyright © 2015 Jamie Magee | All Rights Reserved | This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the author. | Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book. This purchase allows you one legal copy for your own personal reading enjoyment on your personal computer or device. You do not have the right to resell, distribute, print or transfer this book, in whole or in part, to anyone, in any format, via methods either currently known or yet to be invented, or upload this book to a file sharing program. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. Thank you for respecting the author’s work.
Other Books by Jamie Magee
EDGE SERIES READING ORDER
Fall of Kings
COMBINED WEB OF HEARTS AND SOULS READING ORDER:
Whispers of the Damned
*If you are a fan of Adult Paranormal Edge can be read with the Web of Hearts, before of after Exaltation—the stories share the same characters.
INSIGHT READING ORDER:
Blakeshire (Drake's Story)
SEE READING ORDER:
Whispers of the Damned
Witness of a Broken Heart
Synergy of Souls
Redefined Love Affair
Derive (Aden's Beginning)
A Lovers Revolt
, Declan Rawlings thought, as his gray gaze shifted to the ominous dark clouds.
One rumble of thunder—one flash of light. That’s all I need
, he thought.
He’d been cussing Mother Nature since the moment he flicked his eyes open, bright and early at four thirty in the morning, nearly twelve hours earlier.
Declan had cussed. He’d negotiated. He’d done everything but bust out into some hippy rain dance.
He didn’t want to be there. At. All.
It was more than his pride saying so. It was him knowing his limits and knowing that now, with only days left before he was gone from this hellhole, he had to keep his nose clean which would be next to impossible when his piss poor luck kept putting him in the same fucked situations.
Don’t kick his ass. Don’t look that way. Fuck ‘em all...
he chanted on in his mind.
The baseball field was twenty yards from him. The last game of the season was underway, and Murdock Souter, the reason Declan was serving time in detention, was being warmed up to pitch.
In one week, Declan would walk the line. Grab a stupid piece of paper that said he sat through thirteen years of education and memorized what some asshole decades before decided people needed to know to get through life.
X equals fuck you in Declan Rawling’s book.
Since before he could remember he had been plotting his way out of Bradyville, Georgia. A nowhere town that bordered South Carolina nestled against the Savannah River.
He knew his way out. The Marines. His grandfather was one. His father was one. Each of his uncles was one—yeah, it was a given.
With his father at his side, he’d signed up the day he turned seventeen and had been given a predetermined date he’d counted down to. Now he was months past the age of eighteen, and would have a diploma. Done. Over. Out.
Today he was serving detention for fighting, which would be cool if he actually threw the punch, or hell if the fight had no merit, but he didn’t, and it did.
His brother Nolan threw the punch. And he threw it because Murdock Souter got in his face—over what, Declan never understood. But more than likely it had to do with Justice Rose, the pretty girl with dark, golden locks falling down her back and blue eyes that had been known to steal a boy’s breath, who happened to be sitting on the bleachers across the way.
There never really needed to be much of a reason to fight when it came to the Rawlings’ boys and the Souters. Both families were huge and had always loathed each other. Some say the fight began with their grandfathers in Africa, of all places, but no one knew for sure.
In Bradyville, opposites didn’t attract—they fought. The Rawlings were primarily a military family, cut hard—men of few words and strong actions. The Souters, for the most part, were the men in the suits. There wasn’t much money in Bradyville, but what there was, they had. What they didn’t own they sought to destroy in any way they could. The youngest generation of Souters was comprised of spoiled jocks who were all talk and no walk—the least promising crop of assholes thus far from that lot.
Declan was serving his brother’s time in detention for more than one reason.
One, of course he would have hit the Souter, too,
reason. Especially Murdock Souter. Never—not even when they were kids—had he liked Murdock. His God-given Rawlings instinct, the one they all counted on to keep them straight and safe, always told him the fucker was bad news.
Two, he owed Nolan. He’d picked up all his shifts last week at their grandpa’s garage so Declan could cram and make sure he passed his finals.
And third, he knew Nolan needed the day to make some cash. He’d been picking up shifts at the garage and side construction jobs a town over for well over two years, hiding the cash earned for his master plan to escape and see the world.
Nolan didn’t want to sign a contract to do so. He was taking off on his own. Their dad and brothers didn’t know he was—at least if they did, they acted like they didn’t. Nolan never actually came out and said he was enlisted. He’d been forging letters and IDs since he was fifteen for various reasons. His talent in doing so, and knowing exactly what kind of paperwork to leave around the house, gave his family every reason to believe he’d be at Declan’s side. Only Nolan could pull off some crap like that. Declan was a straightforward son of a bitch and proud of it. In the long run, Declan knew he’d catch hell for the cover-up, and he was ready for it.
Nolan was leaving on his adventure—no matter what anyone said. Declan wanted to know exactly what Nolan was up to—ratting Nolan out would only leave Declan in the dark on the master escape plan Nolan had. To say the least, Declan was not a fan of this off the grid scheme Nolan had, at all. Declan would explain as much to their father when he figured this all out and railed at Declan for not speaking up.
No matter what, if you were a Rawlings, even the few and far between girl cousins, you left the town of Bradyville at eighteen, you figured out who you were outside of the family. It was tradition. Nolan was just doing it his own way; the way he did everything.
For the most part, for some godforsaken reason, the Rawlings also made their way back to Bradyville when the adventure was had, when their call had been answered.
Most southern families, especially large ones, had reunions once a year or so. Theirs didn’t. They had a Rawlings Rally every year. Unless you were deployed or dead, you better make your way to Grunt Bar, proudly owned by Declan’s father, every July.
Come late August, the first leg of Nolan’s adventure would be over, and Declan would be out of boot camp. Declan was hoping Nolan’s choices and Declan’s cover-up would be downplayed a bit; he was counting on it. Right about then, family and friends would be too pumped to see everyone, to spend days at the bar and on the river, with BBQ and beer that never ended. Hopefully, the pair of them would only be ragged about how they went about their summers.
Their grandfather gave Nolan and Declan the idea to plan it that way when he noticed how many shifts they were swapping and the bullshit excuses they were pulling to do so. He simply said, “Whatever hell you two are up to that’s gonna piss your daddy off, wait til’ the Rally to tell ‘em. I’m too old to be settling all of your tempers for you.”
After hearing as much, Nolan swapped his plans up. Instead of flying overseas with a buddy after they walked the line, they were going to wait until August. Until then, Nolan was headed to the mountains, then north through Canada before making his way back for the Rally. The road trip of trips as he called it—even though it was more like as far as he could get and as much as he could see in a truck in the few months’ time he had.
Filling in for one another with school deals, and sometimes family ones, wasn’t odd for Declan and Nolan.
Declan was the second oldest of five boys, he and Nolan were not even a year apart. Nolan was younger, born months too early.
He almost died. But as their daddy always said, Nolan, like all his boys, was a fighter—only he had to fight a bit harder straight outta the gate.
Nolan and Declan favored each other. More than a few people assumed they were twins. Some close to their family even claimed they were, only they said Declan was the early one—because he was the fighter. Nolan? He was just good people. The kinda guy who was happy to be alive. A smile never really left his eyes. Declan always liked a degree of control. An order. Something he could count on. Nolan was born thinking the world was an adventure he had to soak up to survive.
Out of all the brothers and cousins, they were the tightest, which made no sense to most of the family. Declan proudly wore the asshole name badge. He was the one who put up with no one’s BS. Not only could he handle Nolan, but he was also the only one Nolan cared to listen to.