Power House©2022 Ahren Sanders
Major- 3 Years Ago
I could get used to this.
My eyes move across the distance, taking in the rolling hills, the dimming light in the sky, and the valley of natural landscape.
It’s more than the scenery; it’s the uninhibited space.
Something I haven’t had in years.
“Sunsets in Nashville are unlike anything in the world.” Jewls sidles up beside me, offering a beer. “Figured you weren’t the ‘light beer’ type of guy, so I brought the good stuff.”
“You’d be right.” I swallow the cold brew, enjoying the view.
“Who knows, if this graduate school thing doesn’t work out, I can fall back on bartender extraordinaire.”
“Grad school, huh? What are you studying?”
“Psychology and Behavioral Science.”
“What is the endgame?”
Her lips curl on one side. “You mean boring.”
“Somehow, I don’t think boring is a word to describe you.”
She beams, her green eyes lighting up. “I sure as shit hope not. Life is too short to be bland and lackluster.”
I scan over her; the woman is anything but bland. If the situation was different and we weren’t standing outside of a funeral reception, Jewls would have all my attention.
She catches me checking her out, her tongue skimming across her bottom lip.
My cock stirs in my pants, and I force myself to focus back on the horizon.
Get your shit together, Powers. You’re leaving tomorrow and this woman is off-limits.
“So, tell me more about Major Powers.” She bumps my shoulder playfully.
The friendly gesture somehow feels intimate.
“Not much to tell.”
“Harley talks about you guys all the time. It means a lot to her you came today. Especially Ace.”
I glance over my shoulder, finding Talon, Ford, and Ace in a conversation with Harley’s dad, Rich. My eyes follow Ace’s line of sight a few feet away, where Harley is talking with an older couple.
The stupid ass thinks he’s sly, but one look and it’s clear how he feels.
“Harley needed him,” is all I say, hoping it explains.
When he got the call her grandfather had died, he was on the move.
Marines, warriors, and brothers.
Achilles Kingston is as badass as they come. He, Ford, Talon, and I trained side by side, the four of us forming a bond stronger than family.
We are a unit and always will be.
Early on, we learned of Harley, and through the years formed our own distant relationships with her.
So, when the call came, we followed. That’s how we roll.
Always a unit, we have each other’s backs.
“You think they will ever stop dancing around their feelings?” Jewls doesn’t miss the way he’s watching her.
I shrug, understanding the reasons he keeps her at a distance.
“They’d make a beautiful couple. Can you imagine their children? Total knockouts.”
A gurgle bubbles in my throat at the thought of children. Especially from Ace.
“You don’t like children?” Her eyebrows scrunch adorably.
“Kids are cool. Not sure how Ace would feel about it.”
“You’re quite the conversationalist.”
“Don’t have much to say.”
It’s her turn to study me, her green orbs burning into mine as she flashes a blinding smile.
“You’re reserved, mysterious, and guarded. I can dig that. But in a few hours, when the formalities are over and the real party starts, I’m going to break through your shell.”
I want to argue that no woman has broken through in a long time. That side of me died when I joined the Corps.
But something stops me, wanting to see exactly what she has in mind.
“Don’t worry, Major, I’ll go easy on you.” She winks, strutting away.
My gaze drops to her ass, enjoying the show.
Out of the corner of my eye, I catch Talon strolling over with a shit-eating grin. “You have drool on your chin.”
I take a swig of my beer, ignoring his jab.
“Seriously, are you going for the funeral hook-up with the best friend?”
“Nope, just enjoying the scenery.”
Little did I know, before the night was over, Julianna Keller would find a way to break through my shell.
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