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Authors: Nicola Marsh

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Falling for Flynn

BOOK: Falling for Flynn
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Falling for Flynn
Nicola Marsh

Avon, Massachusetts

This edition published by

Crimson Romance

an imprint of F+W Media, Inc.

10151 Carver Road, Suite 200

Blue Ash, Ohio 45242

www.crimsonromance.com

Copyright © 2012 by Nicola Marsh

ISBN 10: 1-4405-5214-2

ISBN 13: 978-1-4405-5214-4

eISBN 10: 1-4405-5213-4

eISBN 13: 978-1-4405-5213-7

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, corporations, institutions, organizations, events, or locales in this novel are either the product of the author’s imagination or, if real, used fictitiously. The resemblance of any character to actual persons (living or dead) is entirely coincidental.

Cover art © iStockPhoto.com/cameronpashak, iStockPhoto.com/grafikeray, 123RF.com.

Contents

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

EPILOGUE

ALSO AVAILABLE

PROLOGUE

Moonlight filtered through the small, single window set high in the grungy wall, slivers touching the sleeping man beside her, dappling his torso with luminous pinpricks, illuminating him.

Lori Ballantine’s fingers tingled with the urge to trace the light patterns against his tanned skin, to outline the ridges of muscle, to skim every hard plane on his impressive chest.

Instead, she clutched the threadbare cotton sheet covering them until her fingers spasmed. She couldn’t touch him, couldn’t wake him. It would only complicate things.

She edged away, stiffened when his head turned toward her.

She held her breath until her lungs screamed but she needn’t have worried. He slept on, oblivious to her escape plan, oblivious to her real feelings, oblivious to everything, bar his precious career.

She wriggled toward the edge of the bed, sighed in relief when her feet hit solid floorboards, managing to twist her body into a Houdini maneuver to land on her knees with the rest of her slithering behind. She crawled around, picking up discarded clothing, memories slamming into her as she collected each piece.

Denim skirt: Flynn tugging the zip, slowly, inching it down until she’d almost yelled at him to rip it off.

Halter top: Flynn toying with the knot, his lips skimming the back of her neck, his teeth nipping her.

Embarrassingly sensible white cotton knickers: Flynn peeling them off, pleasuring her while doing so, rendering her senseless.

Squeezing her eyes shut to block out the erotic memories she rammed her legs through the knicker holes, shimmied into the skirt and tied a hasty knot in the halter-top with shaky hands, dragging air into her lungs to ease the overwhelming urge to tear everything off and clamber back into bed again.

Being in his arms felt safe, felt right. But it wouldn’t last and as she opened her eyes, saw his uniform draped over the back of a chair, the epaulettes twinkling like evil eyes, any faint hope she may have harbored that tonight might change things faded.

Tonight was an aberration. A whimsical fulfilling of a secret dream, a forbidden taste of what she could never have no matter how much she wanted it.

She cast a last malevolent glare at the uniform before glancing at him, her heart clenching with regret.

He looked so young, so relaxed, at odds with the tough guy he’d become. Dark eyelashes cast illegally long shadows against clean-shaven cheeks, his sensual mouth curved in a semi-smile, his brown hair unnaturally short but just as sexy as the long-around-the-collar style he’d had as a teenager.

She’d fallen for Flynn Logan from the first moment they’d clashed on opposing high school debate teams, his subdued intelligence at odds with his defiant stare as he’d visually dared her to beat him.

She had. He’d smiled. And sealed her fate.

He’d been her first love, her only love, yet she’d deliberately distanced herself the last four years as he’d chased his dream.

A dream that would take him beyond reach after tonight.

Hot tears scalded her eyes and she swiped them away, angry for crying. She’d gone into tonight knowing the outcome, grasping at a fleeting taste of joy, greedy to be his last memory of Melbourne before he shipped out.

No use crying over departing soldiers now.

With one last, longing look at the man she’d never forget, she tiptoed across the room, picked up her shoes, and eased out the door, the tears she’d battled cascading unchecked down her cheeks.

CHAPTER ONE

“What do you think?”

Flynn cast a critical eye around the grounds, noting the fenced off paddocks, dilapidated warehouse, large sheds in good condition, and the overall layout of the land.

“Not bad. Needs some work.”

The realtor frowned, sensing a hard bargain. “Take it from me, mate, there isn’t much left around Richmond like this. You mentioned a training school for prospective army recruits? This’d be perfect.”

“Maybe.”

Flynn’s noncommittal answer hid his growing excitement as he surveyed the land. When his major had recommended Richmond for the site of his training school, Flynn had masked his initial reluctance for anything remotely associated with a suburb that elicited nothing but haunting memories.

However, he couldn’t deny this place was perfect for what he had in mind. As for Lori and the memories Richmond resurrected, he shouldn’t give a damn. He’d made his choice, she’d made hers. And when he’d thought they might have a chance at a future despite what she’d said, he’d woken to find her gone.

She’d ignored his letters, his emails, and he’d eventually stopped trying to contact her. But he’d never forgotten her and that one, incredibly hot night she’d made a mockery of her vehement refusal to consider a relationship.

“Ready to put in an offer?”

The realtor glanced at his flashy gold watch as if he had more important things to do with his time. “I do have other clients interested, you know.”

Considering the barren landscape on the edge of the trendy suburb, Flynn seriously doubted it, but now that he’d found what he was looking for, no point wasting time.

“Let’s head back to your office. I’m ready to negotiate, put an offer in writing if the price is right?”

He could almost see the dollar signs in the realtor’s beady eyes at the thought of the whopping commission from the sale of the land.

“I’m sure we can sort something out, Captain Logan.”

Flynn nodded, skimmed a hand over his short back-and-sides, turned his back on his new project and headed for the rented SUV, hoping to God he was doing the right thing in coming back here.

“Mom!”

Lori had barely stepped out of the car before Adam barreled out of the house next door and flung himself into her arms.

“Hey, Sweetie. How are you?”

She hugged her son tight, silently vowing to refuse the next interstate professional development opportunity the school offered. She valued up-skilling her qualifications but it took her away from home, and Adam, too often. “Been a good boy for Jane?”

Jane Davies, her neighbor and fellow single mom, stepped out onto the porch. “He’s been an angel.”

Adam squirmed out of her embrace and she briefly wondered how long it would take before he’d be too embarrassed to hug his mom in public — and dreading the day.

“It’s been super cool, Mom. Chris and I made a model plane and everything.”

Her son looked up at her with the slate gray eyes she’d only seen in one other person, their unique color a haunting memory of a man she’d rather forget.

She smiled and ruffled his hair. “Glad you had a good time.”

“How ’bout you? Anything exciting happen in Sydney? Did you climb the Bridge? Did you go swimming at Bondi? Did you bring me anything?”

He slipped his hand into hers, gazing up at her with hope.

“Sydney was good though nothing exciting happened. As for bringing you something you’ll just have to wait ’til we get inside.”

Rather than nagging her as most five year olds would’ve done he smiled, a wide toothy grin illuminating his face.

“Okay. I’ll get my stuff.”

She watched him scamper off, faded blue T-shirt hanging out of baggy shorts, socks rolled down, one shoelace untied on scuffed sneakers, a surge of maternal love almost bringing tears to her eyes.

Despite Adam’s father breaking her heart, he’d given her a gift she’d be eternally grateful for.

“Thanks for looking after him, Jane. You’re a lifesaver.”

Jane waved away her thanks. “No problems, any time. Having Adam stay over is a good influence on Chris. I’m hoping my scallywag picks up some of his vibes.”

Lori chuckled, remembering the stories she’d heard on the teaching grapevine about Jane’s cheeky son.

“Chris is a healthy, growing boy with a curious sense of adventure. Nothing wrong with that.”

“Tell that to Mrs. Cook. She’s already rung me three times this term.” Jane rolled her eyes. “Anyway, enough of my dramas. You head on in and I’ll send Adam over with his bags.”

“I owe you. Though do you mind giving me half an hour? I need to grab a few groceries, otherwise Adam will be back over for some of your wonderful fish and chips he’s always raving about.”

“Take your time. I’ll send him over when you get back.”

Lori waved as she backed out of the driveway, made several left turns and headed up Victoria Street. Seeing Adam had lightened her mood considerably. Though work managed to fill the hours she wasn’t with Adam, sometimes it wasn’t enough. While in Sydney, self-pity had snuck up on her and grabbed with both hands, shaking her resolve that she was doing the right thing in raising Adam as a single parent.

She’d learned to conquer her doubts most days, managed to quash her guilt at not telling Adam’s father the truth, but sitting in a nondescript Sydney hotel room with too much time on her hands had allowed the doubts to creep in, undermining her resolve, her righteousness.

Adam’s dad had chosen his career, she’d chosen to protect her child from the pain she’d enduring growing up. An excuse that justified her behavior most days. But in the wee small hours with only her thoughts for company, she couldn’t help but wish things had worked out differently.

Eager to return home to Adam, Lori sped through the supermarket, throwing essentials into a trolley. Mentally ticking off her checklist of milk, bread, cheese, and fruit, she rounded a corner and collided with a trolley.

“Oops, sorry … ”

The rest of her apology died on her lips as she stared in disbelief at the last man she’d expected to see, the shock on Flynn Logan’s handsome face mirroring hers.

“Hey, Lori.”

He didn’t blink, his gray-eyed stare worming its way into her soul, setting her heart racing just as it had years earlier.

“What are you doing here?” She blurted, gripping the trolley handle until her knuckles turned white, needing to hold onto the metal contraption for support before her knees buckled and she collapsed in a heap at his feet.

“The same thing you are.”

When she gaped at him in confusion, he pointed to her trolley. “Shopping for groceries.”

Recovering her wits, she wished she’d freshened up when she’d arrived home, then chastised herself for caring.

“That’s not what I meant.”

“No, I guess not, though you’re an expert at saying things you don’t mean.”

She knew what he was implying. Her refusal to consider a relationship when he first enrolled in the army, then her abrupt about-face four years later on his final night in Melbourne before transferring overseas.

She couldn’t tell him her reasoning then and she’d be damned if she skipped down memory lane now.

BOOK: Falling for Flynn
6.32Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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