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What happens when ten-foot-tall and bulletproof asks you to spend thirty days alone with him?
Tinsley Abernathy never thought she’d have to ask herself that question. And Ash Ford isn’t just any run-of-the-mill, drop-dead-gorgeous stranger, he’s the soldier she’s been exchanging letters with every week for the last three years. And now he’s back in town. And he’s ready to meet her.
Warning: Ash is one sticky, sweet, military muscle-man in camo cargos. He’s set his sights on one woman only, and he won’t stop until her heart is Under Siege.
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I am coming home, sweetheart. No more letters, no more wanting. Because, baby, I am coming for you. I’ve waited three long years to see your sweet face.
I can’t tell you how much all those letters meant, sweetheart. They kept me going. Every single damn time I wanted to give up, one of your letters would come in, and I knew there was an end to it all. You gave me hope, Tinsley. YOU are my salvation. My sweet girl, you kept me alive.
I am hoping—no, I am praying you want to see me too. I will be at McLaren’s. It’s my first night back, and even though I wanted it to be with just you, I have to meet up with my buddies. The assholes won’t let me out of it, I tried. But I want you there, Tinsley. I want you there my first night. Please be there… McLaren’s, 9 p.m. Friday night. I can’t wait to hold you, my sweet Tinsley.
I can’t believe you’ll be home in a few weeks. I can’t believe you’ll be right here, we can meet, hang out, fight about who has the better football team (it’s State, by the way!).
It’s been a long three years and there were so many times I thought this day would never come–of course I’ll meet you at McLaren’s. I’d meet you anywhere.
P.S. I think I’m madly in love with you.
“Welcome home, dickhead!” A group of guys erupted into a round of cheers at the bar. My eyes slid across the polished wood table to land on my best friend’s.
“I think it’s time we hit the road.”
Lily huffed, sucking another strawful of her margarita. “Nonsense.” She swiped a hand as if to bat away the silly thought. “We just got here, and you have been talking to this guy for the last three years. I mean, you’ve ditched me for him on Saturday nights, writing those long love letters.”
“I told you, they weren’t love letters. We’re just friends.” The last letter I’d written him rattled through my mind–the one where everything in me had wanted to confess I was falling for him. Only I’d been a coward and scribbled the whole thing out. Now I was thinking my foresight was pretty keen–this group of guys looked like a bunch of wild college guys, certainly not a group my thoughtful, affectionate Ash would be friends with, right? The frown deepened on my face.
Lily huffed, taking another drink. “You should go talk to him, introduce yourself.”
“Yeah…” I glanced over at the crew at the bar. A dozen guys at least. Ash and I had never exchanged a photo while he was away, and we’d had a little vow that we wouldn’t look each other up on social media. I’d kept it, but I wasn’t sure if he had.
I frowned, watching a shorter guy get a round of shots for everyone. “I don’t really care which one he is, to be honest. I don’t think any of them are my type.”
“Well, he was your type for three years when you were writing back and forth every week.”
“Was…” I gnawed down on my bottom lip, thinking I’d made a giant mistake even coming here tonight. Ash and I should have left well enough alone, pen pals while he was deployed with the navy overseas and nothing more. “I vote we head home and start the next season of Pretty Little Liars.”
“Well…” Lily arched one perfectly manicured brow at me. “I vote you swallow down the rest of that drink while I get us another round.”
I was still shaking my head when she rose from the table, finishing her drink with a wink and then scurrying off to the bar.
I rolled my eyes inwardly, sucking on the end of my straw and wishing Lily and I were curled up on the couch right now with pints of Ben & Jerry’s in hand. I had a feeling Lily wasn’t going to let me off the hook that easily, though. We’d been living together for more than two years now; she’d seen the letters from overseas coming fast and furious. I think she was as nervous and excited about this night as I was.
I groaned, sucking down the last of my drink before standing to make my way to the bathroom. A hard mass of muscle brushed by just as I stepped off the elevated platform. I stumbled, losing my footing and heading for a face-plant on the floor.
“Shit, sorry ’bout that.” A heavy palm wrapped around my elbow and caught me in a graceful spin. Hauled against the chest of one very tall, broad monster of a man, I steadied myself on slabs of pectoral. Lightning sparked through my veins, racing to my toes as I inhaled a quick scent of woodsy cologne. The smell was so hypnotizing that my head began to spin with pure intoxication.