Publication date: September 1st 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
When Navy Seal Operative Luke Kiersey is finally granted leave after five years, he finds himself driving to a house he doesn’t recognize in a town he’s never been to. The house is home to a beautiful woman and a little girl with big blue eyes. Day after day, he drives back only to hide in the shadows and wonder why he can’t seem to walk away from them.
His therapist says is PTSD.
His handler tells him he’s just not cut out to be part of the civilian world.
Luke can’t help but feel like it’s more.
The dog tags that once hung proudly around his neck, now feel like a collar; leashing him to a life that he fears he didn’t choose. After the terrible things he’s done in the name of freedom, could he possibly be worthy of something as precious as the woman and child he continues to watch?
When the two worlds collide, Luke needs his mind to be stronger than the implant the government placed in his back. They’ve told him he can’t survive without the implant they use to control him, but Luke’s wondering if he can survive without the little girl with big blue eyes and the gorgeous woman she calls mamma.
“Luke! Couldn’t take it, could ya?” Dean joked in greeting.
“Did I ever live off base?” Luke asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Exactly what I asked. Before my accident, did I ever live off the barracks?”
“Where’s this coming from?” Dean asked.
The evasion of the question wasn’t lost on Luke. He felt a spike in his adrenaline, which was quickly offset by his civilian setting in his new chip. Since Luke had been put on leave, the computer system had been adjusted to keep him neutralized. Not that Luke had a temper, but the Navy couldn’t be too cautious. They had to make sure he didn’t start a bar fight that could cost civilians their lives and out the Navy’s biggest secret.
“You mostly lived in the barracks,” Dean finally responded.
“I may be on autopilot right now, but I do still have my own instincts. Right now, they’re telling me you’re hiding something from me.”
“Are you getting your memories back, Luke?”
“No, but something weird is going on. It’s like déjà vu, but worse. So much worse. It almost makes me sick, but I never quite remember anything.”
“What triggered these episodes?”
Luke dragged his hand over his face. He didn’t know whether he should tell Dean the truth or not. Luke was terrified Dean would decide it was too risky for Luke to continue his leave, and he would be torn away from the one thing that he had gotten attached to since his accident—even if it was a complete stranger and totally inappropriate.
“Fuck, man,” Luke said with a huff once he realized how crazed he was being.
“Luke, I got to be honest with you right now. You’re making me nervous.”
“It’s a woman.”
Luke waited for Dean to say more, but he never did.
“Dean, is there something I need to know?”
“Luke, I don’t know anything about a woman. Maybe you should just come back to the compound. Maybe being out around the civilians is messing with you. You’ve never known anything except this life. It’s a lot for any soldier, let alone one of your status. There is no precedence for this, and I don’t want you out there having weird episodes.”
“I still have five days. I’m taking them.”
Luke hung up on Dean. At this point, Luke wouldn’t be shocked if Dean showed up with a SEAL team to extract him; he also didn’t care. A car pulled up in the woman’s driveway, yanking Luke from his thoughts. He took up his usual position by the window toward the woman’s house. An older couple got out of the car and made their way up onto the stairs. The little girl bolted out of the house and straight into the older woman’s awaiting embrace. Luke held his breath; the little girl holding him captive. She was breathtakingly beautiful. He wasn’t close enough to see her eyes, but he imagined they were blue; brilliantly blue. The little girl seemed to make everything around her dim in comparison. It was as if the world was black and white, and she was the only sliver of color left.
Andrea is a wife, mother and writer from small town West Virginia. She spends her time while she’s not dreaming up lovers and villains alike chasing after her two kids and husband.
Her overactive imagination and her husband’s wacky dreams attribute to her love of the written word. Guilty pleasures include reading all night and Reese Cups
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