Saved by the SEAL(4)

By: Diana Gardin

She nods, giving me a real smile for the first time.

Good Lord.

I’m floored. Two rows of perfect white teeth and plump, full lips form a smile that’s just a little bit crooked. She’s like seeing the sun again after months in the dark. Holy shit. I’m screwed. I’m not ready for this right now. I’m in no better state of mind than I was a year ago. In some ways, I’m worse. So I’m going to chalk whatever I’m feeling right now up to residual attraction from two years ago and from the high I get from saving someone’s life.

“Let’s get you to the car.” I take her elbow and steer her toward the steps.

It’s slow going, but we make it to the little parking lot. Her forehead wrinkles in confusion as we approach my Jeep.

“Where’s your little sports car? The Audi?”

“Kind of hard to haul my board and my bikes around on that thing. I like to do shit outside…a lot. My Jeep is better for that type of stuff.”

And my father bought me that Audi. After I graduated from school, I decided there was no way I was going to let him keep paying my way.

But I kept that thought to myself.

She raises her hands to the top of her wet suit, but I notice them trembling as she attempts to pull it down. Then I’m touching her shoulders without thinking.

“Let me help you,” I say as I graze her soft, soft skin.

The simple touch does something wild to my insides, turning me from strong and steady to something gelatinous and wobbly. Her eyes fly to meet mine, and I’m left wondering if she felt it, too. Slowly, together, we slide the suit down her body, still slick from the ocean water I just pulled her from. The pink and black material peels away, and my gaze fixes on her pale skin like I’ve spotted a shiny new coin. She wiggles a little, shimmying out of the wet suit to reveal a tiny black bikini underneath. The sight sends a jolt of awareness straight to my cock. Coupled with miles and fucking miles of milky skin, she’s an incredible sight. I let my gaze sweep up and down her frame just once before finding her face again. Her cheeks are pink, probably because she noticed my through once-over.

She nibbles her lip again, and I bite down hard on a groan.

“My towel is in my bag, down there.” She points toward the beach.

“I’ll get it when I get your board. Anything else, ma’am?”

I exaggerate my southern accent on the last line, making her giggle.

“Nope, I think that’s it, sir.” She picks up my game, exaggerating hers, and I feel warmth spread through my body starting in the very center of me.

“Funny girl.”

After I help her into the Jeep—ignoring her protests about her being wet—and turn down the radio as the Marshall Tucker Band blares from the speakers. I turn and jog back down to the beach. I grab my surfboard and hers under one arm and load her bag onto the other.

Even though I’m only taking her to the doctor, and it’s been months since I’ve seen her, I can’t stop the feeling of giddy anticipation overwhelming me at the thought of seeing her sitting there in my car.

After Berkeley, I changed a lot about my life. I stopped answering to my asshole father. I gave my mother a very specific ultimatum. I changed my job trajectory in the navy, entering the SEALs training program against my father’s wishes. I sold the Audi and bought a Jeep. I also bought a small house in Lone Sands close to the beach I’d always loved so much instead of living on base.

The one thing I hadn’t changed was my relationship status. I was definitely in the single category. My parents and I had basically planned my life around their goal for me to marry Berkeley one day. And like an idiot I’d bought into it; because she and I were so close there wasn’t anyone else I could imagine spending my life with. Any girl I dated before then was just a distraction.

And now any girl I dated was the same thing. A distraction. A way to pass the time. I chose girls who knew the score, girls who typically dated guys in the navy because they weren’t going to be around for long. Nothing serious, no strings attached.

But as I climb into my Jeep and glance over at Greta sitting there with a genuine, sweet-and-sexy smile on her face and with a body that could cause men to jump off bridges, something inside me stirs and stretches. Something that had been dormant for a long time. Something that tells me Greta Owen isn’t going to be like other girls. I’m not going to be able to love her body one night and then walk away the next day.

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