Works in Progress
Freedom isn’t free.
Staff Sergeant Austin Chandler has learned this lesson well. Dealing with the devastating truth that his military career is over, he is discharged from the Marines and returns home from fighting the war in Afghanistan with battle scars that he fears will never heal. But the truth is a bitter pill to swallow when he arrives at the airport and realizes that his wife has abandoned him when he needed her the most. Broken in body as well as in spirit, Austin suffers not only from the slowly-healing scars on his back, but also the wounds that her desertion has left on his troubled heart.
Until a chance encounter with a beautiful artist leaves him wondering if perhaps some things are meant to be. Trisha Morgan has secrets that she is trying desperately to hide, with a troubled past and abandonment issues of her own.
But can two wounded souls break through the battered barriers of each other’s hearts?
Trisha had thought she would never see him again. Even though he wasn’t hers, he had never been hers; she had always thought of him as her marine.
That airplane flight to Texas had changed her life for the better. It had opened her eyes, in more ways than one. Because of him, she had realized that she had never truly loved Ty and she never would have been good enough for him. Or for his family.
Trisha Morgan had often fantasized about what would happen if she ran across the tall, broad-shouldered, good-looking Marine again. They had had an instant connection, they had both felt it. But since both of them had been attached, nothing more than a new friendship could evolve between the two of them.
Austin Chandler walking in on her while she was as naked as the day she was born was not one of the many scenarios that she had envisioned.
Wet skin. Long legs that seemed to go on forever. Waxed bikini line. Delicately-painted red toenails. Pink-tinged, erect nipples. Large, full breasts still wet from a recent shower. Small droplets of water that he could lick off drop by delicious drop.
She shrieked with surprise, her hands drawing her towel even tighter around her shaking body.
A sudden thought occurred to her.
He wasn’t wearing a ring.
She screamed, the sound sharp enough to shatter glass. Wrapping a fluffy, blue towel around her slender body, she paused, apparently not knowing what to say.
When Austin was finally able to raise his eyes from admiring her ass…ets, his dark brown gaze slowly travelled up her perfectly proportioned body before focusing on her flushed, embarrassed face. It was her. The girl from the plane over three years ago.
Their eyes met and time seemed to stand still. This was fate, destiny, kismet.
Trisha stood there trembling. She had imagined this moment for so long, yet when it finally came, it was nothing like she had expected. She had never been one of those girls who hopped into the nearest bed with a complete and total stranger.
But Austin wasn’t a stranger, she struggled to remind herself. She had met him before. He was her hero, her knight in camouflage. He was her marine. She smiled. She wondered how he would feel if she were to confess that little secret to him. Would he be upset or would he be flattered?
A small hint of a smile played on her lips and he dropped his duffel bag onto the ugly stained orange carpet of the hotel room floor. He had dreamed of this moment, he had longed for it. He had longed for her. On the bed, against the wall, on the tile of the bathroom shower stall, any way he could have her.