A Broken Christmas
Delta Force operative Kyle Garland divorced his wife to protect her. His top-secret missions expose him to constant danger, and his world is full of lies and deceit. But the threat to Aimee doesn’t come in the form of insurgents or bombs. Rather, his soul-deep love and the dreams he silently nurtures are her greatest hazard. When a career-ending injury brings him home for Christmas, to keep her safe he must bury his feelings and hide the monster he’s become.
Fourteen months ago, Aimee had the perfect marriage… then Kyle blindsided her with a divorce. Now, he’s coming home, and she intends to get her answers. Yet the crippled man she confronts bears scars her years of nursing cannot heal. The secret he’s hiding is tearing him apart. No matter how she tries, he keeps her at a distance, despite the love that’s still evident in his kiss. What Aimee doesn’t know is her own damaged past terrifies Kyle more than any wartime horror.
As she forces him to confront his demons, will the holiday shred the fragile bonds they share, or will Christmas complete all their broken parts?
“You need to go,” he murmured. “Away from me. I’m a monster.”
The ache behind her ribs intensified, and Aimee leaned in close to press a soft kiss to his cheek. “No. I’m staying right here. Go back to sleep, it’s not yet five.”
As his gaze locked with hers, she read the anguish behind his eyes. His whisper sent chills rolling down her spine. “I don’t want to hurt you. I shouldn’t even be here, but I needed clothes, then I fell on the stairs. I couldn’t make it back to the couch. Thought I’d sleep a little here…” He trailed off with another disbelieving shake of his head.
The man sitting before Aimee resembled nothing of the man she had married or the soldier she sent off to war. This one was on the verge of total meltdown, and the fact it was Kyle broke her heart. She slipped her hand into his, entwined their fingers. “Tell me about the dream?”
He lifted his gaze, his eyes pleading with her to understand. “I can’t.”
For the first time since she’d been issued the standard party line, she heard the truth. Not can’t. Wouldn’t. Kyle’s silence didn’t come from covert orders. The broken quality of his voice told her he didn’t want her to know.
Tonight wasn’t the time to push the issue of what happened in Afghanistan. Lifting his hand, she brought his knuckles to her lips then tucked their joined palms into her lap. “Is this why you said you don’t sleep so well anymore?”
Kyle looked to the window and answered with a short nod.
“How long has this been going on?”