Read Her Shifter Soldier (BBW Erotic Romance) Online

Authors: Jackie Sexton

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Her Shifter Soldier (BBW Erotic Romance)

BOOK: Her Shifter Soldier (BBW Erotic Romance)
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Her Shifter Soldier
Jackie
Sexton
Smashwords
Edition
All Rights
Reserved ©201
4
Moon
Flower Press. First Printing: 201
4
.
All rights
reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the
prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief
quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other
noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
Her Shifter Soldier
Jackie
Sexton

 

Chapter
One

 

I couldn’t spend another second looking at
his photograph. He was hugging a small, African child who was
grinning with all her might next to the handsome soldier. But I
knew what he really looked like beneath that heavy, khaki camo.
Years of hanging out on my father’s ranch, watching him build a
shed or tame the horses, led me to to an intense appreciation of
the male form.
Dalton Jacobs glowed like an angel—a sexy,
golden angel with a six-pack and a no-nonsense, tough guy persona.
My heart pounded harder in my chest just thinking about him and how
I was going to see him in just a few hours.

“Looking at the
picture
again
?” my
best friend and sole confidant Shannon chided. I turned and scowled
at her, quickly slamming the photo album shut. I wanted to pretend
like it didn’t affect me, but she knew better. It wasn’t like she
couldn’t hear my heart pounding across the room, desperate to see
his handsome face again.

“It’s not like that,” I mumbled, flushing
red.
“Uh huh,” Shannon called from the kitchen,
rummaging around the shelves for a mug. “That’s why your hair is
down and not in its usual business bun.”
I quickly pulled the elastic band from my
wrist over my hair, gathering it into my typical up-do. I hadn’t
meant to make my efforts so obvious. I just wanted to look casually
nice, like, seeing-an-old-friend nice.
An old friend who was incredibly hot.
“No leave it down! You look so gooood,” she
moaned, flouncing down at the breakfast nook table across from me,
coffee in hand.
“I’m sure I look silly,” I mumbled, patting
down any potential fly-aways and avoiding her gaze.
“You’re a kindergarten teacher, not dead,”
she sighed, obviously exasperated with me. “How are you going to
get that hunk of a man to fall in love with you if you don’t?”
“Shannon,” I growled, “you know Dalton is
just a friend. Nothing more.”
“Ugh, what a waste.” Shannon took a long sip
of her coffee, which I saw as the perfect opportunity to slip into
the kitchen myself. If I could occupy myself with a cup of tea,
maybe there was a chance she would drop the topic and move onto
something else.
“Are you excited for your new job?” I called
over the kitchen bar as I set the kettle.
“Yes, but don’t change the subject. Why
won’t you give Dalton a chance?” she pressed, turning around to
scrutinize me with her pretty blue eyes. I dropped my gaze onto the
olive green kettle and stayed quiet for a moment. The truth was I
couldn’t just say it. The awful truth was too much—it was a
thudding ache in my chest, a small rodent slowly clawing its way
through my heart.
My brother Eric was dead thanks to some
secret terrorist organization in the heart of Africa. He was never
coming back, and I couldn’t hold servicemen any closer if I could
help it. It was a matter of self-preservation. It wasn’t about
whether I could love Dalton or not.

As if she read my mind,
Shannon’s voice became gentle and soft like fleece. “Don’t let what
happened all those years ago keep you from something
beautiful.”

Tears brimmed in my eyes, and I turned
around to wipe them away. I hardly wore any make-up, but even the
lightest brush of mascara would look like insane torrents of muck
against my alabaster skin.
I held my arms stiffly to my side,
remembering my brother’s warm, inviting face. He always had a smile
on, one that shone so brightly it could put the sun to shame.

Except for the day we
buried him. Then his eyes were shut, his wonderful, deep brown
windows to the world, out like snuffed candles. He wasn’t the man I
knew, so full of life and love. He was nothing but a corpse, ready
to take to the earth as its final destination.

“I’m sorr—” Shannon
started, but then there was a neat, hard-fisted rap at the door. My
heart skipped a beat, and I quickly reached for a paper towel to
dab at my pathetic, tear-stricken face.

“I got it,” Shannon said quickly, and I
could hear her chair skit across the linoleum floor.

I quickly checked myself in
the back of a spoon, appraising my distorted reflection for any
signs of mascara tracks. It shouldn’t have been him so soon, and
yet I had the feeling it was by the excited tone of Shannon’s
voice.

“Jessie are you...indisposed?” Shannon
called back to me. Shit. It was definitely him.
“I’m...fine!” I called back, straightening
out the hem of my floral dress. I suddenly felt self-conscious of
such a feminine choice—I usually wore dark jeans and a button up
shirt, keeping it plain and professional just in case a
six-year-old decided to smear glue on me.
I heard the heavy clicking of his boots and
inhaled sharply.

“Jessica,” Dalton said, his
voice even and yet filled with a deep, resonating desire. I felt my
knees weaken and raised a palm casually, my hands clamming like I
was a kindergartener myself rather than a person who taught
them.

“Um, hey,” I replied like a dolt, denying
the true extent of my affection. Because more than anything I
wanted to wrap my arms around him and press my lips to his, stare
into his flecked hazel eyes for eternity and feel the strength of
his taut muscles beneath my palms.
You know, normal, platonic stuff.
“So…I have to go to work, but why don’t we
catch up for a drink later? Does that sound good to you guys?”
Shannon asked casually, pulling her black barista apron from the
back of the chair and tying it around her waist.
“Sure,” I said, my mouth and throat going
dry. I could tell that Dalton was simply unable to answer her—he
was completely taken by me, like no other man ever had been. But
that was always the strange, unbelievable dynamic between the two
of us.
Shannon nodded and left, excusing herself
with very little fuss and a surprising amount of tact. Of course
that left me feeling awkward and tense, alone with the hottest man
I had ever laid eyes on.
“So, how was your flight?” I asked, walking
slowly around the kitchen bar towards the nook area, a nervous
smile plastered across my face. Dalton didn’t answer me. He just
stared me down with his heavenly eyes, like light filtering through
maple syrup. I tried to think of something to say, but he took
several large strides towards me, enveloping me in a passionate
hug.
His hard body crushed against my plush
curves, and I relished in the heat between us, the space between my
thighs going damp with desire. As much as I denied his affection in
the past, I hadn’t seen him in over a year. Feeling the hard stone
of muscle wrapped around my body was akin to dying and going to
heaven. At least if it isn’t like that, then I don’t want to
go.
“Jessica,” he murmured into my ear, sending
an electric shudder down my spine. It was all he had said in the
few minutes since he arrived, and yet it communicated more than
years of conversations and dozens of letters. I fought the lump
forming in my throat and just told myself to accept the moment—to
be happy. He pulled away to look at me, his heavy brows knitted in
concern.
“You were crying,” he said sternly, his eyes
searching my face.
“No,” I lied quickly, my cheeks turning
crimson. Then I noticed a scar running down the length of his left
cheek. “What’s this?” I asked, my voice hoarse as I trailed a
finger along the ridged abrasion.
“It’s nothing.” It was like he was still
trying to find the hidden tears on my face. “I made it out
alive.”
I then remembered what Dalton had told me in
his letters, about the terrible attack on his base and how several
men in his platoon died, with others severely injured and maimed.
He didn’t mentioned that he had been hurt, probably because in his
eyes hardly anything had happened to him.
“I’m sorry,” I managed in a hushed voice.
Thinking about how I almost lost him, lost another man in my life,
filled me with dread. I suddenly became aware of how I was clearly
crossing the boundaries I set for myself.
“That’s the army for you. At least I’m here
with you now. This is why I do what I do, to keep you safe.”
His words were more than I could bear. I
pushed away, trying not to acknowledge the break of goose bumps
that were forming along my arms.
“Did you want anything to drink? Any
coffee?” I asked, my voice higher-pitched than I would have liked.
I winced at my own words, hard and grating.
“Iced tea would be great if you have it. But
I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you otherwise.”
“Not a problem,” I rushed quickly, making my
way to the kitchen. “I was going to bake you some cookies, but I
wasn’t expecting you so early.”
“They switched the flight time on me,” he
explained. I could still feel his eyes hot on the back of my neck,
making me feel both wanted and exposed. “And all those cookies
you’ve been sending me have been more than enough to get me through
the brutal nights. They’re sweet, like you.”
“Dalton…” I warned, the cold glass stinging
my hand as I gripped it tightly. I felt him come up behind me, the
heat radiating off his body. He wrapped one arm around my waist,
taking the glass from my hand with the other.
“I’m done waiting for you, Jessica. I’ve
done just about all I can to convince you I’m a stand-up guy. I’ve
never set my eyes on another woman—it’s been you since that day at
the lake, sweet heart.”
The truth was, I hadn’t been with anyone
either. I was a twenty-four-year-old virgin, and it wasn’t because
I didn’t have the chance to be otherwise. It was because every time
I thought to pursue a handsome guy, I thought about that sunny day
at the lake also. My toes were dangling over the edge of the wooden
pier, my eyes cast downwards at my reflection. I was sixteen—on the
cusp of womanhood. For the first time, I could make out my
voluptuous figure as something more than awkward and unwanted.
Because Dalton was beside me, telling me I
was perfect. Telling me I was everything he ever wanted and that
he’d make an honest woman out of me.
“I’m young,” he said, and he was.
Fresh-faced and eighteen-years-old. But he was strong and
confident, more of an adult than I could imagine being at that
point in my life. “But I know about forever. Forever is when you
don’t give up. Even when just about everything is going to crumble
beneath you. You’re my forever, Jessie. Don’t let a war make you
forget that.”
I could feel the weight of that memory
pulling inside of me as his breath fell on the back of my neck in
the kitchen, a million miles away. I closed my eyes for just a
moment, losing myself as I returned to his touch.
“No,” I said weakly, pulling away and
stepping back to look him square in the face. I took a deep breath
and mustered all the courage I could. I’m not the bravest or most
outspoken girl, but sometimes you have to fight to say what you
truly believe.
“You gave up the chance we had together the
day you enlisted,” I said, my voice wavering. I fought back the
tears for the second time in the last half hour. I felt weak, but
my false display of bravado was helping me get through the moment
as I stared down the most gorgeous man in the face, telling him he
couldn’t have me.
“It’s not that simple,” Dalton growled, his
handsome lips falling into a frown. He rubbed his thick, calloused
hand against his stubbled chin. He was used to me throwing this
point in his face, and yet it never ceased to frustrate him. “I’ve
told you that a million times. A lot more is at stake than I could
ever express to you.”
“So leave that to somebody else!” I
exclaimed, feeling guilty but exasperated. I knew it was wrong, but
I had always wanted him to myself; I couldn’t help the words as
they tumbled out of my lips.
“And then what?” he snapped, taking another
step towards me so that his face was only a few inches from mine.
“Leave all the good men and women I’ve met to fight the good fight?
I’m not that kind of man, Jessie. You know that. I follow through
with my convictions and beliefs. That’s what makes me different
from all the boys you’ve met in this town.”
BOOK: Her Shifter Soldier (BBW Erotic Romance)
6.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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