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Marine in the Wind

A 1Night Stand/Western Escape

Author(s): Heather Long

The beautiful woman marched straight for them and all the blood in Greg’s body shot south. He’d spent most of his time on the ranch or at Mike’s Place. The women he knew were therapists, Marines, sailors—or A.J.’s girlfriend. This lady, with her mane of midnight black hair, sun-kissed skin, and soft pink lips, reminded him of all he’d been missing, a sprite of nature given living, breathing form.

“I’m sorry, son,” Crane muttered and picked up his pace. “Georgia….”

“Don’t you ‘Georgia’ me.” The beautiful sprite turned into a fire-breathing dragon, right down to the heat flaming in her eyes. “You’re supposed to be taking it easy, Grandpa. This—?” She waved her arms toward the ranch and included Greg in her sweep. “Is the complete opposite of taking it easy.”

“I’m fine. Georgia, this is—”

“I don’t care who this is.” She exhaled a hard breath and looked at Greg. “No offense. I’m sure you’re very nice. I know you served, and we’re grateful. But this is my grandfather you’re dragging all over hell and beyond, not one of your Marines.”

“Georgia Crane.” Icy astonishment froze the older man’s tone and he scowled.

“No. You’re an hour late. You didn’t tell me where you were going. You didn’t leave a note. I’ve looked for you everywhere. If I hadn’t run into A.J., I wouldn’t know where you were now.” She held up a bottle and shook it. “You’re supposed to take this, on schedule, three times a day. You can’t skip.”

Anger tightened the lines around her eyes and her mouth had a hard, pinched look. Greg hadn’t encouraged the older man to take a long walk, but he hadn’t discouraged him either.

“It was good to meet you, Greg.” Crane turned away from his granddaughter pointedly and offered his hand. Greg shook it. “Don’t forget to keep listening.”

“I won’t. You two all right to get back to town?” He didn’t doubt for an instant the little firecracker could handle it, but in her current frame of mind, they might need a mediator.

“We’re fine.” The older man didn’t seem hurried. “Georgia, this is Greg Rainwater.”

“Mr. Rainwater.” So tightly wound up, she said his name like a dismissal.

“Miss Crane,” he replied, echoing her prim tone.

“Grandpa, come on. You need your meds and probably something to eat with them. We can pick up sandwiches on the way.” She may as well have acted like Greg didn’t exist, but since the pair seemed likely to engage in an argument at any moment, he left it alone.

After loading her grandfather in the car and walking around to the passenger side, she set her fierce gaze on him again. It raked him from head to toe before she gave him a grudging nod, although her expression didn’t ease one iota.

Greg stared a long time after the car disappeared into the distance. And he listened.

If only he could be certain what he listened for.

Excerpt


The beautiful woman marched straight for them and all the blood in Greg’s body shot south. He’d spent most of his time on the ranch or at Mike’s Place. The women he knew were therapists, Marines, sailors—or A.J.’s girlfriend. This lady, with her mane of midnight black hair, sun-kissed skin, and soft pink lips, reminded him of all he’d been missing, a sprite of nature given living, breathing form.

“I’m sorry, son,” Crane muttered and picked up his pace. “Georgia….”

“Don’t you ‘Georgia’ me.” The beautiful sprite turned into a fire-breathing dragon, right down to the heat flaming in her eyes. “You’re supposed to be taking it easy, Grandpa. This—?” She waved her arms toward the ranch and included Greg in her sweep. “Is the complete opposite of taking it easy.”

“I’m fine. Georgia, this is—”

“I don’t care who this is.” She exhaled a hard breath and looked at Greg. “No offense. I’m sure you’re very nice. I know you served, and we’re grateful. But this is my grandfather you’re dragging all over hell and beyond, not one of your Marines.”

“Georgia Crane.” Icy astonishment froze the older man’s tone and he scowled.

“No. You’re an hour late. You didn’t tell me where you were going. You didn’t leave a note. I’ve looked for you everywhere. If I hadn’t run into A.J., I wouldn’t know where you were now.” She held up a bottle and shook it. “You’re supposed to take this, on schedule, three times a day. You can’t skip.”

Anger tightened the lines around her eyes and her mouth had a hard, pinched look. Greg hadn’t encouraged the older man to take a long walk, but he hadn’t discouraged him either.

“It was good to meet you, Greg.” Crane turned away from his granddaughter pointedly and offered his hand. Greg shook it. “Don’t forget to keep listening.”

“I won’t. You two all right to get back to town?” He didn’t doubt for an instant the little firecracker could handle it, but in her current frame of mind, they might need a mediator.

“We’re fine.” The older man didn’t seem hurried. “Georgia, this is Greg Rainwater.”

“Mr. Rainwater.” So tightly wound up, she said his name like a dismissal.

“Miss Crane,” he replied, echoing her prim tone.

“Grandpa, come on. You need your meds and probably something to eat with them. We can pick up sandwiches on the way.” She may as well have acted like Greg didn’t exist, but since the pair seemed likely to engage in an argument at any moment, he left it alone.

After loading her grandfather in the car and walking around to the passenger side, she set her fierce gaze on him again. It raked him from head to toe before she gave him a grudging nod, although her expression didn’t ease one iota.

Greg stared a long time after the car disappeared into the distance. And he listened.

If only he could be certain what he listened for.

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-61333-5581-
Genre: Romance
Date Published: 06/30/2013
Publisher: Decadent Publishing

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