Surrounded by Roses (MF)
[Siren Classic: Erotic Contemporary Romance, HEA]
After years of working on submarines and loving what he does, a training exercise goes horribly wrong. Suffering from the loss of his best friend, Trevor Purlington comes home to try and get past the demons which keep him awake at night.
Emily Dennis spends her days working as a nurse and her nights anticipating correspondence from her deployed submariner boyfriend. The last thing she expected was to find him at home waiting for her after a long shift at the clinic where she works. After being apart for so long, she is ecstatic to finally have him home.
Only Trevor comes home to Emily a different man, one who is starting to overshadow the man she once knew. Overwhelmed and confused, she refuses to give up on the man that she loves and vows to do whatever it takes to knock down his walls and bring back the Trevor she once knew.
A Siren Erotic Romance
4.5 LIGHTNING BOLTS: "Surrounded by Roses is true to what a lot of soldiers have to overcome. It is emotional and triumphant! Goes to show that love can bring you through even the darkest times in your life. Trevor Purlington is a submariner haunted by a training exercise gone wrong. Losing his best friend is tearing him apart with all the what if's running through his head. It wasn't his fault but the guilt and anguish is taking a toll on fulfilling his duties as a soldier. Slowly he unravels and only one person can help him get his head straight. The love of his life Emily. He just needs to be close to her and ground himself. Emily Dennis is a strong woman that can stand on her own two feet. Working as a nurse is her passion but there never seems to be enough money. But she isn't one to give up. She's a fighter and hold on to the fact that one day things will be better. The one person that keeps her going is her amazingly sexy and strong boyfriend Trevor. The long distance relationship is hard but she knows he is the love of her life and with love comes sacrifice. This story is so multifaceted. You have a traumatized soldier and a strong woman willing to do anything to bring back the man she loves. It was gritty and emotional. Emily is strong but also vulnerable. I really felt these character's joys, pains and sorrows. Now don't get me wrong its not all sad. Nicole Morgan has a uncanny way of balancing the tragic with the undying love that is the salve to all wounds. Kudos to Nicole for bringing us a truly well written love story. She never disappoints. If you haven't read her books then I suggest you get to the book story pronto!" -- Tabitha Blake, Storm Goddess Book Reviews
His voice. Oh God, his voice. How could any man be so sexy and dominant in one minute and so considerate and sweet the next? She loved him. Oh how she loved him. So much so that the emotion was overwhelming her.
Overcome with her feelings, she had no more fight left in her to hold back. The warm joy of love filled her up and seeped out from every part of her body. Her heart both ached and danced at the same time while her eyes welled up with tears.
She stared at him, her expression unchanged as her vision blurred from the salty liquid. She blinked, and the first tears fell onto her cheeks, dropping so swiftly that it hardly seemed like this was the culmination of months of devotion.
“Hey.” He gently held her face in his hands, swiping at her tears with his thumbs. “What is it? Tell me, baby. What did I say that upset you? Whatever it is I’ll take it back. Shit, please don’t cry. You’re too damn pretty to cry.”
“No. It’s not that.” She shook her head emphatically.
“Then what is it? I know I can be an insensitive jackass sometimes, but I’m clueless on this one, baby. You gotta help me out here.”
“You don’t understand. I’m not upset. I’m…” She attempted to sniffle away the growing intensity of what she was feeling.
“You’re really starting to worry me, babe. Come on, let’s sit down.”
He lifted up his towel and wrapped it back around his waist as they made their way to the couch. She didn’t miss the uncertainty in his expression. She felt such guilt that she placed any amount of doubt in his mind. If only she was better at expressing herself and not so damn scared to be the one to say it first. That was if he felt the same way at all. They sat down, his body turned sideways facing her while he took her hands in his.
“I know I’m away a lot, Em. Hell, I know that our situation isn’t ideal either, but I really need you to tell me what’s wrong. Up until a couple of minutes ago I felt on top of the world. Now, I feel like you’re ready to give me the heave-ho.”
“What? Oh my God, Trevor. That is the absolute last thing on my mind.”
“Then what is it? Tell me,” he pleaded.
She took a deep breath and realized how easily she’d let her emotions get the better of her. She was just being a girl, a complete and total chick who was so in love with her boyfriend she couldn’t see straight, let alone speak, and here she had him thinking that things were the complete opposite of what they actually were.
“Baby, come on. What did I say that made you cry?”
“Okay, I’ll tell you, but I need you to promise me you’re not going to freak out on me. Deal?”
He nodded his head. “Yes, I promise. Just tell me.”
“It was when you said you would lie awake thinking of me, aching for me. It was like…well, I know how that feels. I miss you so much, Trevor. I miss you all the time. I think about you constantly and wish we were together.”
“So they were good tears? Happy tears?”
“Oh, yeah.” She smiled, despite her tearstained cheeks. “Definitely very happy tears.”
“Come here, you.”
He pulled her into his lap and wrapped his arms around her. She could feel his length underneath her exposed bottom, and she tried to ignore the pangs of desire that tugged at her. It was almost funny if she wasn’t sitting there crying. One minute she’s overwhelmed with emotion, and the next she is aching for him to fill her. As clichés went, she was proving tenfold how women’s emotions were like a giant roller coaster.
“Hey,” he said while lifting her chin up with his forefinger and thumb.
He smiled. “Do you know how beautiful you are?”
She shrugged. It wasn’t that she was one of those hypercritical women who always thought her butt looked too big in those jeans. It was that she really liked hearing it from him.
“Don’t give me that, Ms. Innocent. You know you are gorgeous. You also know that I am a damn fool when it comes to you. And the truth is…”
He hesitated for a moment then let out a sigh and dropped his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. This time she was afraid. Afraid of what he was thinking. Afraid that she was getting too serious on him and it was more than he was willing or even wanting to deal with at this point.
He opened his eyes. His look was serious, his expression so intense and filled with concentration that she bit her lip nervously.
“I fell in love with you.”
He said the words so simply that she blinked several times as she allowed them to replay in her mind. She was sure she hadn’t imagined it. His declaration still hung in the air around them, washing over her like the warmth of the sun kissing her skin on a hot summer day. A blanket of joyful contentment wrapped around her as she continued to rewind her memory and listen to it over and over again.
“I’m gonna need you to say something, baby. I’ve never said that to any other woman before. I’ve never even wanted to.”
“No, baby, never.”
Through her tears of happiness she smiled. It was a wide one which showed every ounce of her emotions.
“I love you, too. I have for a while now.”
Trevor took in the sight of Emily’s body. Her frame was petite, and he liked the extra few pounds she always complained about not being able to get rid of. He could get lost in the landscape of her body. She had curves which put any other woman to shame. He loved his country and was willing to die for it, but he would take the valleys and peaks of Emily’s body over purple mountain majesty any day.
His cock twitched while he teased the taut peaks of her nipples. He always loved the way her body responded to him as if on cue. She made him feel powerful, as though he were the puppet master and could pull her strings into doing exactly what he wanted.
As much as he hated to, he pulled away from the glorious, little points. His desire to be inside her wet heat overrode any other need raging inside him. Tugging at the hem of his T-shirt, he pulled it over his head and threw it on the hallway floor.
Emily’s delicate fingers trailed across his chest and slowly raked down his abdomen. Her touch was featherlight and nearly tickled. She took a step closer to him and brought her mouth down to his chest. Lips that were a million times softer than he remembered caressed his skin. Using her tongue as a guide, she trailed her mouth to and from each of his nipples. She nibbled tenderly on them while splaying her hand up and around his shoulders.
He allowed her to continue her quest, knowing how much she enjoyed exploring his body. Far be it for him to deprive her of something she got such delight from. He would take his journey later, surveying and examining in close detail every square inch of her body.
Reaching in between their two bodies, he unsnapped the button of his jeans. Even the small relief in pressure felt like heaven to his dick. He had spent most of the day semi-hard in anticipation of their reunion.
The wait to see her again had been excruciating. Three long months submerged below eight hundred feet in the Gulf of Bahrain with limited communication had been trying for the both of them. That excitement mixed with sexual frustration culminated in one giant explosion of lust when he’d heard her outside and pulled her up against the door. His cock had gone from semi to rock hard in one second flat.
Emily was still showering his skin in gentle kisses. Some of them were so soft he could barely feel them. She had a tenderness to her that sometimes made him want to shield her from the horrors of the world. He’d seen things in the service that would make even the bravest men shudder.
Her softhearted nature was just one of the things he had grown to love about her, but that wasn’t what kept him awake at night. He missed her body, her touch, and the feel of her pussy gripping him so snug.
He pulled his zipper down, relieving himself from the constricting denim. When he first tugged the sides down his hips, taking his briefs with them, he hissed out a breath of air when his cock jutted out and poked against the bare skin of her belly.
She looked up at him, her expression hungry and desperate. This was always how they were. They didn’t need words when their bodies were involved. All they needed were their hands and mouths to connect.
Wrapping her arms around his neck, she kissed him, her seductive tongue seeking his and stroking it the moment she found it. Both of them hurriedly pushed his jeans down his legs the rest of the way. Trevor shimmied the rest of the way out of his jeans, finally shoving them aside.
He reached down and wrapped his arms around her ass, lifting her up and carrying her a few steps down the hall to her bedroom. He navigated through the dark room, and they fell to the bed, their lips still locked as they hungrily fed off of one another’s passion. Their relationship might be complicated by distance and a million other obstacles, but they were in sync when they were together like this.
His urge to be inside her went deeper than mere lust. It was elemental. He needed it for sheer survival. Like an addict who had gone months without a fix, he needed the high that only she could provide. A realization smacked him upside the head and nearly knocked the wind out of his hard-on. He didn’t bring a condom with him, and the ones he picked up were in his bag in the living room. He pulled away from the kiss, pissed off for having to stop for even a second.
“Shit. I’ll be right back.”
“No, check the nightstand.”
Getting up and off of her, he fumbled in the dark for the drawer handle. He opened it and found a box of condoms. It was still sealed and had never been opened. He tore at the side and pulled one out before throwing the package on the floor. With his teeth he bit off the corner of the foil package and pulled the condom out. He was about to place it on the head of his cock when Emily stopped him.
Quicker than he had time to react she sat up and swirled her tongue around the tip. She teased him for several seconds, circling around and sliding up the base until finally she closed her luscious lips over the head and sank her head down on him.