Their Masquerade

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

The American Soldier Collection 6: Their Masquerade

Mariah Langcaster lost her brother, a Marine and undercover officer, to murder. His troop, four close friends, vow to protect her like a sister. Mariah doesn’t see L.T. Montgomery, Deacon Rayas, Quentin Hayes, and Axel Monroe as brothers. She wants them. But their continued denials send her further away, and into a danger none of them expected. She’s made her own vow. To identify her brother’s killer, an arms dealer, engaged in treason.

The last thing L.T., Axel, Deacon, and Quentin expect to find at the masquerade is Mariah. She’s gained the interest of some shady characters, and with masks in place, they could finally have the woman they want without the guilt they feel for loving her. The masks maintain their secrets, and it will take some serious investigative skills to figure out the good guys from the bad. One determined woman with enough inner strength and conviction to end a murder rampage and four determined Marines to prove their love once and for all. Anything can happen at the masquerade.



DEDICATION





May you all enjoy the next addition to THE AMERICAN SOLDIER COLLECTION.

Sometimes the circumstances of life, or the need to fulfill what one might think are the most important things in life, soon prove to be not so important. Especially when those goals, those determinations, even revenge itself, bring one further and further away from love.

To be so scared, so uncertain and afraid to open up one’s heart and give love a chance because of presumptions or false ideas could truly allow true love to slip right through one’s fingertips.

This is the case for Mariah, Quentin, Deacon, Axel, and L.T.

They have all lost. They all have scars of their own, fears and uncertainties about how much they can give, or even if they are capable of loving at all.

They hide behind their own masks, in a public display of courage. They believe their own lies that they created in their minds to hide from the truth in fear of opening up their hearts, when fate steps in. One special night. Danger lingers around them, but the power of love, affection, friendship, and desire emerges in a masquerade, waiting to be revealed.

Will they remove their masks? Will they open up their hearts, their hidden desires, and follow a greater instinct and power?

Enjoy the story of their masquerade.



Hugs!



~Dixie~






Prologue




“Michael? You scared me. What is going on with you?” Mariah asked her brother as he snuck up behind her. She was getting in late from hanging out with her friends.

“You should have been home over an hour ago,” he reprimanded her, and then ran his fingers through his hair. He was breathing heavy and seemed upset, almost in a panic.

“Are you okay?” she asked, letting her hand fall from the doorknob and choosing not to enter their uncle’s house.

He walked over toward the front of the porch and the night sky. He appeared out of nowhere, like a shadow in the night, and without a sound.

His silence put her on edge. It always did, because since he’d retired from the Marines and was working undercover for the police department, she worried about him. Nearly losing him in battle in Iraq was enough to make her protective.

He turned back toward her and reached out his hand.

“Come here,” he whispered, and she immediately walked toward him and right into his arms. Standing at six feet tall, with lots of muscles and an authoritative attitude, he made her feel protected. He was a great big brother, and after losing their parents in a car accident, they had survived because of the strong bond between them.

“I’m sorry that I scared you. It wasn’t my intention,” he said as she stepped from his embrace, while he caressed her hair away from her cheek. He stared down into her eyes. He seemed different.

“No big deal. You probably miss sneaking up on people, and jumping the enemy,” she teased. He smiled.

He seemed to have a lot on his mind as he looked away from her and then out toward the darkness.

“Mariah, I need to tell you something. I need you to promise me that you’ll never repeat any of this to anyone. Please,” he asked her, and she instantly felt concerned.

“What is it?”

“Do you promise me?” She nodded her head.

“There are things going on with work. Things I can’t discuss, but I need to try and ensure your safety, and Uncle Jeb’s.”

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