Protecting Melody

By: Susan Stoker

SEAL of Protection Book 7


Six Months Ago

Tex: Hey, I haven’t seen you in here before. Your username struck me as interesting, so I thought I’d shoot you a private note

Tex: Swear I’m harmless

CC_CopyCat: Hey Tex. I mostly lurk

Tex: Don’t blame you, it’s better to be safe than sorry

Tex: You wanna talk?

CC_CopyCat: About what?

Tex: About whatever

CC_CopyCat: That’s kinda vague

Tex: Well, we could talk about the weather, but that would be cliché.

CC_CopyCat: LOL

Tex: Made ya laugh!

CC_CopyCat: Yeah, you did. Thanks

Tex: Thanks?

CC_CopyCat: Yeah. Thanks

Tex: So . . . how’s the weather where you are?

CC_CopyCat: Crappy, you?

Tex: Sunny and beautiful

CC_CopyCat: You’re one of those aren’t you?

Tex: ??

CC_CopyCat: One of those annoying people who see the good side in everything

Tex: Actually, no. not even close

Tex: You still there?

CC_CopyCat: Look, I’m not sure this is gonna work out

Tex: You just met me, I couldn’t have pissed you off already

CC_CopyCat: I’m not here to find a best friend, I already have one of those

Tex: Then why ARE you here?

CC_CopyCat: Just passing the time

Tex: Then why can’t you pass it with me?

CC_CopyCat: Because you’re probably either a 14 year old boy who wants to find someone to sext with or you’re a 50 year old pedophile looking for sex from a 16 year old teenager who doesn’t know any better than to talk to people who spend their time in a chat room on the Internet.

Tex: Same goes for you. You could be anyone. You’re probably an undercover cop looking to catch bad guys who use chat rooms to lure people to their death

CC_CopyCat: ARE you a bad guy Tex? Are you even a guy?

Tex: Are you a woman CC?

CC_CopyCat: I shouldn’t say one way or the other

Tex: No offense, but I don’t want to chat with a dude. I’m not looking for a relationship, I’m not looking for sex. I have male friends I can talk to

CC_CopyCat: What ARE you looking for then?

Tex: Just someone to chat with. My life is stressful. I’d love to talk with someone who doesn’t want anything from me. Who just likes to chat with me because she thinks I’m interesting

CC_CopyCat: You never answered my question. Are you a bad guy?

Tex: I’m a 35 year old retired military man who lives on the east coast. I’m good with computers and spend most of my time with them. I’m not hideous looking, but I’ve found that I’m also not the guy women want to take home to meet their family. Swear CC, I’m harmless.

CC_CopyCat: You know that’s what serial killers say

Tex: LOL. You’re right. But you can trust me

CC_CopyCat: Yup, they say that too

CC_CopyCat: You still there?

Tex: You gonna diss me more or are you going to tell me about you?

CC_CopyCat: Sorry. I was kidding. Yes. I’m a woman

Tex: Thank you. What else?

CC_CopyCat: I don’t really know you, that’s all you get

Tex: I’ll take it . . . for now. You gonna tell me about your handle?

CC_CopyCat: I gotta go

Tex: Okay, I’ll be here if you wanna talk again

CC_CopyCat: How will you know when I’ll want to talk again?

Tex: I don’t, but I told you I work on computers, I’m always here

CC_CopyCat: Okay, maybe

Tex: I’ve enjoyed talking to you CC

CC_CopyCat: We haven’t even talked about anything interesting

Tex: Yeah, but you aren’t afraid to tell me what you’re really thinking. I like that

CC_CopyCat: Most men don’t

Tex: I’m not most men

CC_CopyCat: Whatever. OK, I’m logging off

Tex: Bye CC. Later

Tex sat back and smiled at his computer. He didn’t usually engage people he met online, but he’d been visiting this particular chat room for a while now and noticed “CC_CopyCat” lurking. He’d taken a chance and sent the private message, hoping he was messaging a woman. Tex had been honest with her, he wasn’t looking to start up an online friendship with a man.

Call him sexist, but Tex was more comfortable talking with a woman than a man. Maybe it was because he was around men all the time. It was just . . . different, speaking with a woman.

Ever since he’d lost part of his leg to an IED while on a SEAL mission, Tex was more comfortable talking to people behind his computer or phone. Before he was injured, he’d never had a problem attracting the ladies. He was in his mid-thirties now and still worked out every day. Physical fitness was too ingrained in him to give it up after he was injured.

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