It’s Author’s Choice today. One of my favorite couples is Chad and Lauren. Life threw them one of the worst curves — their daughter’s death tore at the very foundations not only of their marriage but in how they viewed themselves. Ten years have passed and they’re finally recovered enough to realize they still love each other. Chad more reluctantly than Lauren. Part of the reason they’d split was because men deal with the loss of a child differently than a woman so there was a definite lack of communication — something essential to the health of every marriage IMHO. And part of it was due to the interference from someone else. But now they’re in the same room, forced to talk, and Lauren’s finally started to break down Chad’s barriers…
[I] didn’t leave you because I didn’t trust you. I left because I trusted the wrong person’s advice. I made a bad decision, Chad. Haven’t you ever made a decision you regretted later?”
a gorgeous love story that will break your heart and mend it all over again ~ Miranda, Joyfully Reviewed
Instead of feeling the satisfaction, the relief he’d expected, anger surged inside him, a low burn that boiled over. “It’s taken you nearly ten years—ten fucking years—to find me to tell me that? You threw everything we had together away, Lauren. I gave you my word that I would be there for you. I stood up in front of a judge and promised to love, honor and cherish you, no matter what. So did you.”
“I know. I should have stayed.” Her quiet answer slipped into his brain, into his heart, a soothing balm tipped with barbs. “I was mixed up; I wasn’t thinking clearly. By the time I realized it, I thought you’d moved on.”
“I loved you, Lauren.” Part of him still did no matter how much he tried to deny it. “I would have done anything to make our marriage work.”
She slipped past him and leaned against the door post, her arms wrapped around her waist the only clue that she wasn’t as composed as she tried to appear. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry about not trusting you, about not talking to you—not telling you what was going on in my head.”
Did her apology help ease the hurt? He did a mental check. Nope. That goddamned ache in his chest still hurt like a sonovabitch.
He forced himself to look at her without allowing her to see how much her apology hurt. He’d be damned if he’d give her that power over him. “I’m going back to D.C. Troy can—”
“Please. Don’t leave.” She moved closer, her breasts brushing his shirt, her hips touching his. She hadn’t put on any perfume but there was still a hint of something fruity wafting from her, probably her shampoo.
His cock punched a tent in the front of his sweats. Fuck.
“Don’t leave. Not with this still between us,” she whispered. “I thought I was doing the right thing. Once I realized what a mess I’d made of things, I’d been told you were already with someone else and I figured it was better to let you go.”
God, he wanted to touch her. To hold her. To have her rest her head against his shoulder the way she had the night before. While his brain was saying “damned straight I didn’t understand,” his cock was saying “lie down on the couch, babe, and let me taste you again.” At the moment, it was a dead heat as to which body part would win the argument. Then his guts weighed in. When this was over—whatever it was—would he find himself alone? Because there was no way he could go through losing her again.
“How would you know if I was with someone else? You were half the fuckin’ world away.” Maybe if he couldn’t smell her he could fight whatever spell she was weaving. Distance, that’s what he needed. Yet he couldn’t move; his legs felt like they’d been nailed in place. “What do you want from me, Lauren?”
“From you? Nothing. But I need to make things right for you, for both of us,” she whispered. Her eyes slowly lifted to his again. He lost himself in the flecks of gold buried amongst the brown. “I want to…I want us to try again.”
His hand reached for her, hovered an inch above her hair before he stopped himself. Damn, she looked just like she did when they were first dating. When they’d finally admitted what they’d each needed, wanted from the other. On their wedding day when she’d promised to love him for better or worse. Well, he sure as hell had delivered the worst, hadn’t he?
She looked up at him, conviction firm in her voice as well as her eyes. “I’ll do whatever you ask to prove myself to you. Except leave.”
“Will you?” He gave in to the temptation and touched her hair with one finger. It was as soft, as silky as he remembered. He cupped the back of her head, holding her in place, letting her feel his control. A dark wave of lust swamped him. Why not make her prove she’d changed? Or not. Why not satisfy that demon inside that needed to punish her? He tightened his grip. “If I told you to suck me off right here where my men could see you, would you do it?”
“Yes.” There was no hesitation to her answer. She started to reach for his waistband.
What the hell was he doing? They were out in the open where anyone could see. He had to work with these men, command their respect, not give them a thrill watching their boss get a blowjob. “Stop.”
Telling his dick it would just have to wait, he stepped out of her reach. “You want to do something for me? You want me to trust you? Then stop lying to me and tell me the truth. About what the hell the threat is and exactly why you’re here.”
They stared at each other for a long moment, the faint buzz of a plane thirty thousand feet above and a sparrow chirping to his mate the only sounds breaking the silence. Finally she nodded. “All right, but I can’t tell you everything. Some of it’s classified.”
Classified? Perhaps this Light Brigade place she’d worked for had involved one of the alphabet agencies if Harris had terrorist connections.
“Come on, let’s go back to the house. I’d rather not have anyone listen in to whatever we end up saying.”
Or watch whatever they ended up doing. Be it yelling or making love.
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Deliberate Deceptions will be available in print January 2012 as part of the Private Deceptions anthology. Pre-order your print copy now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble,
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Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Mandy M Roth