Cover Design: Letitia Hasser, RBA Designs
Photo: David Wagner
Model: David John Craig
Remember when I said we couldn’t speak after parting ways in Germany? It was
the day I broke your heart. What you didn’t know was that I was breaking mine
I thought they’d be enough–my husband and my son. That I’d get home and
everything would go back to the way it was . . .
Before the war.
Before the ambush.
But, no matter how hard I try, I can’t erase the trauma we shared. I can’t seem
to forget the way my heart beat in time with yours.
The truth is I’m lost without you.
I thought the nightmare was over when they pulled us from that hole in the
ground, but nothing could have prepared me for the war I’d face at home.
I know it’s selfish of me to ask, but, please, I have to see you one last time.
All my love,
to break my heart,” she declares, wringing her hands nervously. “Give me a
reason to hate you, because wanting you this way is…it’s ruining me. It’s
ruining my life.”
chin, as if ready to take a blow, her turbulent eyes implore mine. “Tell me
about them. Tell me about all of the women you’ve been with since Germany.”
shake my head. “Hell no.”
Briggs. How long did you wait? A few days?” She laughs sarcastically. “I bet
you didn’t even make it a day.”
coming out guns blazing, and I can see it’s physically killing her to do it.
playing the guessing game? Do I get to ask how many times you’ve fucked your
says with a shrug. “We’ll trade. You go first.”
bluffing, and I’m calling her on it.
this, Scottie. You don’t really want to hear about that.”
Briggs.” Her eyes plead with mine. “I need to hear this.”
want the truth?”
bobs her head.
stock-still as I pace the small room, feeling the blood begin to boil beneath
my overheated skin.
back toward her, stopping inches away. “You really want to know that there have
been so many that I’ve lost count? How they’re all blondes with blue eyes? But
the blue, it’s never right, and their smiles—all wrong.”
at the fresh tears that trail down her cheeks as her lips begin to tremble.
Reaching out, she places a hand on my chest, and I know that she must feel the
way my heart is pounding against my rib cage, reaching for her. Always reaching
myself away and brand that touch to memory.
forty-five seconds, my heart is going to implode. I start ticking them down.
me to tell you all about how I have to drink myself stupid, till their faces
blur enough that I can pretend…” I pause running a hand down my face. “So that
I can pretend they’re you? You want to know how fucking miserable I am? How
when I slide between their legs, I close my eyes, and it’s your face I see? How
I’m always careful not to kiss them because their lips are all wrong. How every
time I finish I want to fucking kill myself, because I can’t stand the pain of
wanting the one woman I can never have.”
crumbling, she gasps out a sob, wrapping her arms around her shoulders.
Scottie. Let’s not kid ourselves. I’m still the same prick you hated when we
met. Nothing’s changed. I think we’ve romanticized this situation long enough,
another step away from her, I tilt my head. “You’re a housewife,” I say
snidely. “Someone else’s wife and I’m a career soldier. This isn’t exactly
flinches visibly, and my heart bottoms out.
hand through the air. “At the end of the day, this was nothing but a big
mistake. And we never would have happened if—”
cries out painfully, “stop, I’m good,” she whispers before rocketing toward the
door just as I reach for her, my fingers curling in the space she just left.
Handle in hand, she looks back at me with the sweep of her eyes until they meet
mine. That’s how we started, and it’s only fitting it’s how we should end. For
the moment, we’re right back there in the place we created, where we are
perfect. Where our souls line up without any visible smudge on the seams. In a
place where there is still so much love, so much that I can’t stop the tear
that slides out before batting it away with the back of my hand.
identical tear runs down her cheek. “Thank you.”
her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. She pens messy, sexy,
angst-filled contemporary romance, as well as romantic comedy and erotic
suspense because it’s what she loves as a reader.
rap. She dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for
necessity, and on occasion, does very well at whiskey.