Sassy Ever After: Kiss My Sass (Kindle Worlds Novella) (2 page)

BOOK: Sassy Ever After: Kiss My Sass (Kindle Worlds Novella)
6.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

And then there was the fact that she would have to be informed of Matt’s death. She wouldn’t be contacted by the military since they likely had no record of her. She was a single mother with no hope of support and she didn’t even know it, but all that would change once Luke found her.



It was hours before Luke and Benson were taken out of the battle zone as well. They’d insisted on being the last, since their injuries were already healing anyway.

“I’m sorry about Matt. He was a damn fine man, and a loyal friend,” Benson murmured.

Benson had become a friend during their service together, yet Luke knew he hadn’t been privileged to the newest news. “He was going to be a father. He’d just found out.”

” he growled, pounding his fist against the side of the Humvee.

“Yeah. I promised to find his girl and make sure they’re taken care of though.”

“That’s a big responsibility. You have a plan?”

Luke gave a humorless laugh. “I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that he’s gone, so no. I’ll figure it out though. I have to find her first.”

“Good luck, my friend. Give me a call if you need anything. I’m not reenlisting, so I’ll have plenty of time. This was my last tour.”

“Really? You’re out?”

“Hell yeah. I’m getting too old for this shit. I need to build a home and settle down. You should do the same.”

“I’m going to take care of Matt’s girl first. Whatever happens, I need to make sure they are safe, happy and settled. I’ll be an uncle for him or her.” It was the least he could do, and something he probably would have done anyway. “He said she was going back to her hometown after she was done with her travels, and now that she’s pregnant I figure she’ll be heading that way soon. She told him it was some little hole-in-the-wall town down south, but we sort of got interrupted at that point in the conversation.”

“Damn. Well, the internet is a wonderful thing, so start there. Hopefully you won’t have to look for long before you find her.”

Luke hoped so too. Looking down at the blood still staining his fatigues, another wave of sadness enveloped him. He’d need to go through his own mourning before he would be any good to Ashe. Luke needed to be her rock, a steady support for her during this time when she’d need a man the most.

It was just a shame that Matt’s phone had been destroyed too. It would have made everything so much easier if he could have called her up, or tracked her phone to determine her location. However, he and his wolf did relish a good challenge.

As soon as he touched down stateside,
Operation Ashe
was a go.




























Chapter Two


Present day…

Luke paced the office where his pack alpha had instructed him to wait. A simple order that was becoming harder to obey by the minute. The war had changed him, hardened him in some ways, strengthening him in others to the point that his instincts were beginning to buck against his alpha’s orders. It was something which hadn’t gone unnoticed by his leader and friend, though he’d managed to curb his urges thus far.

He wasn’t sure what he’d been called in for, but usually meetings behind closed doors did not bode well. Luke wasn’t a fool, so he recognized the alpha tendencies he was fighting. Lately though, it was getting harder and harder to keep them from rising to the surface.

His wolf wanted to take action, to go out and do his own hunting until he found Matt’s girl and child, but his pack alpha kept shooting down that idea, explaining that a more subtle approach would be best. Hell, it wasn’t like Luke planned to just barge in and blurt out Matt was dead and her kid might be able to turn into a wolf once puberty hits.

Luke liked to think he had a little more tact than that.

His search had been ongoing since his return to the states, but it would seem that Ashe hadn’t stopped her travels as he’d thought she might. Amazingly enough he’d discovered that Ashe owned a rather nice home and a good piece of land near the mountains of Tennessee, which had been left to her by her parents upon their deaths a few years ago, but she’d rarely stayed there due to her college schedule.

With the place being pretty secluded, Luke had decided to leave a scout in the area in case she did return.

Luke had actually been packing his things up to head there himself. Spring was coming, and so was the scenting ceremony. He’d missed last year’s due to being overseas, and his wolf had been agitated, almost anxious lately. Perhaps it was time for him to take a mate?

Sadly, he would be denying himself and his animal yet again. There was just no way he could go off with the rest of the single members of the pack. They traveled to the small town of Blue Creek where the Wolfe Pack held a scenting ceremony, extending an invitation to the surrounding packs who were allies to come and potentially find their destined mate among the festivities, but Luke would just have to make due. His conscience wouldn’t allow him to seek his own happiness before he fulfilled Matt’s last request.

The door behind him opened and Adrian strolled in, his shaggy blond hair looking windblown as always. “I have good news!” His steel blue eyes showed excitement. “She came back to her house.”

Talk about timing
, Luke thought. “I was just getting ready to head over that way.”

Adrian cocked his head. “Are you sure that’s such a good idea? The scenting ceremony is only a week away. You said a few days ago that your wolf was growing restless. Perhaps you should hold off until after.”

“No, I need to go now. She moves around so much, she could be gone again by then.” After months of searching, Luke wasn’t about to let her slip away again.

“Well, I don’t think that will be a problem,” Adrian said. “It looks like she’s there to stay now.”

“What gave that impression?”

“According to our scout, she had several deliveries all over her porch, and when she finally arrived the following day, she had her baby with her.”

“Already? But it’s too soon!” Suddenly a dozen questions flew through his head. Was the baby okay? Had there been complications? Was Ashe alright?

“It’s not too early if the child is one of us. The baby looked to be at least a few weeks old,” Adrian continued. “Her deliveries consisted mainly of baby furniture and such, so I doubt she’ll be running all over creation anymore.”

“I hope you’re right, but I still need to go. Matt’s been dead for six months now, and for all I know she could be thinking he’s abandoned her and their child. I have to make sure she knows that’s not the case.”

Luke knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but he also looked forward to seeing Matt’s child, the only part of his best friend that was left.


































Chapter Three




              Ashe was oh, so tempted to pitch the pieces of the changing table out the window. As it was the instructions had seen better days. The booklet was a wrinkled up mess sitting in the middle of too many pieces to count.

She could have paid someone to assemble everything for her, but Ash had stupidly decided that she wanted the
parenting experience. So far she’d managed the crib, swing, and bassinet, but the damn changing table was making her crazy. You’d need to be a freaking octopus to have enough hands to hold things in place and still be able to get all the screws in.

Well, that or another person. Like the child’s father.

Ashe let out a deep sigh, full of frustration, sadness and acceptance. Matt had seemed like such a nice guy, but not long after she’d told him she was pregnant, he stopped contacting her. It wasn’t like she’d gotten pregnant on purpose, or was after his money.

Ashe knew the military didn’t pay as well as it should, but she’d at least hoped he would have been willing to stick around to be a father even if they never stayed together as a couple.

Any and all letters she’d tried to send had all been returned. She wasn’t even sure if he was still overseas or if he was back home and enjoying his bachelorhood.

Oddly enough, Ashe couldn’t really hold a grudge. After all, it’s not like they planned to have a kid, and it was her choice to keep the child. They’d been in lust, not love, and both had known the score going in. Fate just had a different plan.

One busted condom later, and Ashelynn had become pregnant with Lilly. The crazy thing was, she was over two months along when she’d found out. Turned out she was one of the lucky women who didn’t experience any morning sickness, but she
tire very easily.

Knowing that it would be a long time before she could travel again, Ashe had begun to plan out where she most wanted to go. If she was going to do this trip still, then she needed to fast track it.

Backpacking across the US had been an experience she’d looked forward to sharing with her parents before their deaths. Her mom had passed from cancer, and shortly after, her father suffered a cardiac arrest, though Ashe suspected it was more like a broken heart.

Feeling like they were still with her, she decided to take the trip for them all. Despite the very healthy nest egg left over from the life insurance policies, she had enjoyed taking odd jobs while traveling. Bartending was the best though.

She’d bartended all through college, and had learned several tricks and such to wow a crowd and really amp up a party, so her tips were phenomenal. It was at one such job where she’d met Matt.

He was handsome, polite, and just plain
. They enjoyed hikes, long drives to some surrounding attractions, and had so much fun she’d decided to stick around until he had to fly out again.

During one of their hikes, something her mother had told her popped into her mind.
Some people come into your life, not to stay, but to bring you to the path you were meant to be on.

Ashe wasn’t sure why that particular bit of imparted wisdom had sprung up in her mind, but with his absence now, she couldn’t help but feel like perhaps he was one of those people for her.

Now she was home, living in the very house her parents had spent so many happy years together in, only she was back to raise her daughter alone.

It saddened her that they’d never get to meet their grandchild, but Ashe felt sure they were looking down on them both. She only hoped she’d become as great a parent to Lilly, as they’d been for her.

Lilly was her miracle. Ashe was a firm believer in fate, and her daughter came along at a time when she was feeling incredibly lonely. Having her there, feeling her roll and kick in her belly, had filled her with so much joy.

Traveling had been a little slower as her body changed, but it was the rate of the changes that staggered her. It seemed to be going much faster than normal, and Ashe wasn’t sure what to think.

Being as she was pretty healthy, took her vitamins, and exercised, she couldn’t figure it out. After recalling a friend of hers who was in school for ultrasound, and how they would do scans for expectant mothers to get practice, she’d sought those schools out and ended up with one hell of a photo album filled with fuzzy black and white images of Lilly.

It alarmed her just how quickly the baby was growing. The students and instructors all commented on how healthy she looked, but Ash still worried that something was wrong.

She didn’t have a regular doctor, but when she did go in to be seen, she was assured that everything was great with Lilly’s development and that her blood work was perfectly normal…but the due date kept changing, growing closer every time she was seen.

For some reason, when she reached about twenty-eight weeks, she went into labor. Knowing the crazy growth rate of her baby, Ashe didn’t let on that she was nowhere near forty weeks. Instead, she went with her gut, and it was telling her everything would be all right.

BOOK: Sassy Ever After: Kiss My Sass (Kindle Worlds Novella)
6.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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