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Tempting The Soldier

Tempting The Soldier

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She’s going to bring him to his knees.
He’s a big, strong military man.
Women want him and men want to be like him.
So what could he have in common with the mousy librarian?

Main Tropes

  • Protective Man
  • Curvy Woman
  • Military
  • Librarian
  • OTT
  • All the Feels

Synopsis

She’s going to bring him to his knees.
He’s a big, strong military man.
Women want him and men want to be like him.
So what could he have in common with the mousy librarian?
He doesn’t want marriage and she doesn’t want a fling.
She may not realize it, but she’s tempting the soldier…
And just may bring him to his knees.

Intro to Chapter 1

Chapter 1

TRAVIS

 If my brothers in arms
could see me now.

I shake my head, knowing
that they would be giving me shit if they got a load of me right now. It’s like
I’ve turned into a housewife instead of the military soldier I am. I push the
cart to the next aisle and look at the list. Basil. Easy enough. And then I
notice it says fresh basil in my aunt’s small cursive
stroke. I wad up the paper and put it in my pocket since that’s the last item
on the list.

I get to the produce
aisle and stand in front of a completely green section. There seems to be a lot
of options and when I see the sign that says basil, the bunches of green leaves
are so close together, I can’t tell which is which. Looking up and down the
aisle, there’s no employee within sight.

I’m about to do eenie
meenie miney mo when I hear someone with a cart rolling up behind me. She’s a
young, full-figured woman in a baggy top and her hair in a bun. She looks
old-fashioned and fainthearted. Her buggy is full and I’m almost sure she can
help me just by looking at the many fresh vegetables that are in her cart.
“Excuse me, Miss?”

She startles when she
hears the deep baritone of my voice in the quiet aisle. She looks skittish and
as if she may bolt at any minute. And I’m afraid she just might, until she sees
the scars on the side of my face. Instantly, I see her soften and in return my
face hardens. I don’t like the pitying look she gives me. The scar doesn’t
bother me, not anymore, but the way people react to it does. I would much
rather they give me a disgusted look and turn away instead of the looks of
sympathy or pity. Gritting my teeth together, I mutter, “I’m sorry to bother
you, but my aunt has asked me to pick up basil- I mean fresh basil and I can’t
tell which one it is.”

She looks between the
green vegetables and herbs over my shoulder and then back to me, almost
questioningly. Finally, she pushes her glasses further up her nose and lets out
a soft breath. “Sure. What kind of basil does she need?”

I cross my arms over
my chest and shrug. “Fresh.”

She tries to hide her
smile and covers her mouth as she gives off a fake cough. “Uh, well, there’s
sweet basil, cinnamon basil, lemon basil.” She’s pointing at each of the herbs
on the shelf, like she recognizes which one is which. It all just looks like
green weeds to me.

She looks up at me
expectantly and for the first time, I get a clear view of her dark brown eyes.
There is a fleck of gold in each one and I bend down to get a closer look,
wondering if it’s the shining lights in the building or if there are actually
gold flecks.

She takes a step back
and starts to fidget again. “Okay, well, let’s see. Do you know what your aunt
is cooking?” She turns away from me, staring at the herbs in front of us.

Instead of answering
her, I take this time to look at her. To really look at her. I start at her
legs, which are covered in a long skirt that covers her ankles, then I glance
at the big sweater she’s wearing. Her red hair is tight in a bun, but there are
a few pieces that are whisping around her face. Whisping? Fuck, I need to get
outta here. I need to go lift some iron or go shoot something, I’m almost
waxing poetic and the thought just gets me back on task. “I’m sorry, what did
you say?”

She still won’t look
at me. And that sort of pisses me off a little. I’m not used to timid women and
the fact that I scare her, that she can’t look at me, sort of bothers me.
“Spaghetti… or something Italian anyway.”

Her face lights up.
“Um,” she moans, and as she does, I wonder if she realizes what that sound does
to a man. Especially one that can’t remember the last time he had a woman. She
points to one of the green bunches. “This is the one you want. It’s sweet basil
and is perfect for Italian food. Now, to pick out a good bunch, you look for
the ones with vibrant green leaves. And no dark spots too.” She plucks a bunch
off the shelf and holds it under her nose, taking a deep breath. When she
breathes it in, she moans again.

I make a point not to
adjust myself while she’s standing beside me. I have a feeling if I do, she’s
going to run screaming. She holds out the bunch to me. “Smell it.”

I almost look around
to see if any of my buddies are here and I need to turn in my man card before I
do what she asks. I put my hand around hers that’s holding the bunch of herbs
and bring it closer to my face. My eyes are on hers the whole time, and while I
inhale, I can see the awareness light up in her eyes. With the scent of sweet
and savory in my nose, I watch as her face flames and she tries to pull her
hand away. I almost hold it, enjoying the way she fidgets around, her eyes wide
behind her glasses. But realizing she’s uncomfortable, I reluctantly release
her. “It smells good. Thank you… for your help.”

She barely nods her
head at me before she’s pushing her cart away. I follow behind her at a slower
pace, not taking my eyes off her. She’s shapeless with the long skirt and big
shirt, definitely not my type, but I have to admit there’s something intriguing
about her. Even though there is another lane open, I get in line behind her.

Bethany

He’s
not anywhere near me. His cart is at my back and
he’s on the other side, but I can still feel the heat from him as if his hand
is still around mine from when I was holding the basil out for him to smell.
Awkward and timid, that’s me. I peek at him through my lashes as the cashier
rings me up. He’s tall, wide, and confident. There’s an arrogance about him,
but I can see why. He’s probably the handsomest man I’ve ever seen in my life.
Even with the scar that is on the side of his face, he’s beautiful. When his
gaze meets mine, I look away quickly.

“What’s your name?”

I turn and raise my
eyes to him, and I can see the smirk on his face, like he knows how
good-looking he is and how he affects me. “Bethany.”

He reaches across the
length of the cart easily and holds his hand out to me. “I’m Travis. It’s nice
to meet you, Bethany.”

I look at his hand
before putting mine in it. His hold is firm and it’s like a warmth rolls
through my body and tugs down deep in my belly. I release mine, but he keeps
holding on to me.

“Thank you for your
help back there.”

I shake my shoulders
at him. “Sure, no problem,” I mutter.

The cashier gives me
the total and I pay him quickly while stuffing everything into my cart. When I
look at where Travis was standing, he’s no longer standing there, staring at
me. I look at his cart, half wondering where he went, when I feel his presence
behind me. He reaches around me, his hard chest to my back, and grabs the bags
and puts them into my cart. I completely forget to take a breath. Again, I
mutter thanks and start to push the cart away when I hear the cashier tell him,
“She’s the librarian.”

And then Travis’
response echoes to me. “Figures.”

I tuck my chin to my
chest and hustle out of the store. I load up my groceries, rushing to get out
of the parking lot before he gets outside. I know he was playing with me. I
guess some men think it’s fun to play with frumpy, insecure women.

I push my glasses
further up my nose and try to put all thoughts of Travis out of my head.

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