“You have a visitor,” Michael said from the doorway.
Squinting up at his former commanding officer, and now boss, Keagan Bradley frowned. He didn’t remember any appointments on the books. Technically, he wasn’t even supposed to be working. Given he and Bryce Harker had only gotten back in country seventy-two hours prior, he wasn’t supposed to be near their new office.
Leaning back in his chair he shook his head. “Who the hell would even know I’m here?” he asked.
“Apparently the young lady knows,” Michael told him. The man had a smug little smirk on his face, never a good sign, and had Bradley wondering if this was some form of payback.
He raced through his brain, scraping together anything that he might possibly have done to anyone of late, and came up blank. He was practically a boy scout in their group, so damn good that shit slid off without leaving even a trace as one of his teammates liked to say. While he wasn’t that good, he knew how to hide how bad he could be easily enough.
Shoving the chair back he got up, covering a painful wince as he put weight on the busted-up leg while he grabbed his crutches. “Where’s she at?”
“Reception,” Michael told him.
“You planning on telling me who it is?”
“Nope, but I intend to watch this fiasco in the making happen.”
Fucking awesome. Throwing the man a dirty look, Bradley began to make his way through the hall, to the elevator. Thank God for the elevators in the three story structure, or he’d have been out of the place a lot longer than the week he’d been given for downtime and reorientation with real life.
Michael followed him into the car, whistling softly under his breath. A chill went down his spine as he recognized the tune. Taps, something that was played at military funerals. Not a good sign.
He shot his friend a look, hoping his bewilderment came across. All he got in return was a grin as Michael kept whistling the song.
On the ground floor he swung out of the elevators and made his way to reception. Michael, helpful little shit that he was, swiped his key card so the door swung open, and Bradley didn’t need to slow his momentum. Usually a good thing.
Except when it was her waiting.
Slamming to a halt, he felt Michael crash into his back. Only a hand on his shoulder from the other man kept him from doing a face plant. Sadie Green, tormentor of his dreams, seductress who taunted and then left him each and every night, and the one woman he’d never been able to get out of his head.
He’d had one night with her, back when she was barely legal, and then heard nothing more. For all intents and purposes she’d dropped off the face of the planet. Harker wasn’t going to fucking believe him when he told his friend about this later. Thank God they had video surveillance covering every square inch of the property. He’d have proof.
“I take it you know her?” Michael asked.
His tone suggested he knew who Sadie was, and the quick peek at his expression confirmed it. Michael Burnett knew exactly who Sadie Green was. Bradley didn’t even question how the man knew. Given he was tapped into the General’s pocket, the man who now ran the Department of Defense, and his older brother who was a spook for all intents and purposes, Michael likely knew a shit load more than Bradley ever could about Sadie.
Fucking Sadie Green. She was older, but more beautiful than the last time he’d seen her. She’d matured, grown into a beautiful woman, and into her own body. She looked tired though, stressed, he could see the signs of strain from where he stood out of her line of sight easily enough. Something was bothering her, in a big way.
“Michael, you know I love you, brother, more than I can ever express. But I need you to fuck off now, please,” he said softly.
He felt the weight of the look he got from the other man before a hand landed on and squeezed his shoulder. “I won’t be far if you need me,” Michael said quietly.
Giving a jerky nod, Bradley sucked in a shaky breath. She was a vision even in her apparent distress, and here he was a beaten-up mess. A shattered femur, bullet holes down his side, scrapes, bruises covering most of his body, and more cracked bones than he cared to remember.
Yet, in that moment, not a single one of them mattered. All that mattered, beyond the steady throb of pain he was purposefully ignoring, was Sadie. Sweet, amazing, gorgeous Sadie.
Tightening his hold on the crutches, he told himself to get moving. To go and say hi, to find out why she was there, to go and find out if she’d married some asshole that could never be good enough for her.
But really, would she want to see him? She’d made it clear back when they’d redeployed that she wasn’t interested in more. Hell, she’d made it abundantly clear when they’d written to her care of her father that she’d rather forget their amazing night together. Her father had come to them, with apologies, and pain in his eyes to tell them in person that she’d asked him to tell both he and Harker to back the fuck off.
To stop writing, to leave her the hell alone, and to never contact her again. So they hadn’t. But that didn’t mean that both of them had forgotten about her.
“You want to talk to me, or are you going to keep hiding behind that hair of yours?” he asked, his finger rubbing higher on her arm.
“I’m not sure what you want to talk about.” She moved her hair and allowed him to see all of her. She didn’t like it, but he deserved to be able to see her. “I know I look a mess, but I’m okay. It took a long time to get here, but I’m here now.” She had scars that ran up her arms from where she tried to slice her veins open, and succeeded but sadly was found before she could give in to death. Something she was now profoundly grateful for. “I was weak,” she admitted quietly. “After I learned I lost them I hadn’t wanted to go on.” She touched the scars on her arms. “No cross cuts for me. I had truly wanted to leave this life but there was always someone there, or something that kept me here.” She looked at him and smiled a small smile. “I’m glad now, though.” Her smile increased. “Now I get a second chance at love. That’s more important than the grief at the time, right?”
He shifted around, using the buoyancy of the water to his advantage. Keagan cupped her face gently, rubbing his thumbs over her cheeks before letting his hands slide down her throat and then over her shoulders. His fingers ghosted down her arms to capture her hands. Lifting her right one, he leaned in, his gaze locked with hers, and brushed a kiss to her inner wrist. He did the same with her left, and even nipped lightly. “You are beautiful to me, Sadie. You always have been, you always will be,” he said quietly. “I’m not a shallow man, or at least I try not to be, sweetheart. Looks don’t last forever, life or time will always ravage us.”
“That’s why it’s so easy to let you in, both of you, all over again. It hurts that we lost so much, but we live for the here and now from this moment on. Right?” She shivered when he had kissed her wrists and when he nipped, she melted. Moving in closer to him, she touched his chest lightly, running her fingers over his scars and tattoos, and leaned in. She said more without speaking than she ever could by speaking. Her mouth moved across his collar bone and to his neck, nipping ever so lightly as she did so. She had shifted so that she was practically in his lap now, face to face with him once more and loving the feeling of his body against hers. She shivered with the feel of his cock pressing hard against her bare pussy and nipped his lower jaw once again. To her this man was part of her soul that had been missing for far too long. “Is it bad that I never once stopped loving you?” Her words were given as she whispered kisses along his shoulder, her fingers in his hair and holding him close to her body.
“Not in the least,” he said on a low moan. He jolted, and grabbed her hips. “Weight off my leg, love,” he told her in a tight voice. “I can’t handle any pressure on it, Sadie. I hate to stop you, or put a crimp in your plans, but stay over on my right leg. We’ll both me much happier if you do.”
“Sorry.” She shifted so that she was no longer on his left leg and leaned in. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” She would never hurt him, she hoped he understood that. “I hate that you are hurting so badly. Is there anything at all that I can do to help you?”
“You could kiss me again,” he suggested with a smile. “Keep your weight off my left leg, and we’ll be fine. You’re still a slight little thing, but even that’s too much for me currently. So give me some loving, sweetheart.”
“Oh, I’m all for kissing you again and again.” She moved in closer to him and brushed her lips over his and nuzzled him slightly. “Especially since it’s been so long since I’ve kissed you.” God, she loved this man, wanted every moment with him she could get.
“Thank God,” he muttered. Catching her lips with his, he kissed her back, teasing her tongue gently. Keagan let out a low growl that seemed to vibrate through her entire being when he pulled her in closer and helped her keep her balance all at the same time.
She was whimpering, rubbing against his erection and then reaching between them and taking him into her hand. “I need you.” She wanted to feel Keagan completing her and had missed him so badly all of these years. “Please tell me you need me as much as I need you?” She knew he did, she could feel how much he wanted and needed her and loved it.
“You know I do, Sadie. Hell, woman, you’re the only one I’ve dreamed of having in my bed again. But we can’t,” he told her in a pained voice. This time she knew it wasn’t from his leg, though. “At least not with me sitting up, and even laying down it’s going to be a tough one.”
“Goodness, very true.” She rubbed her hand up and down his cock. “Then let me at least relieve you of the pressure and ache that you have right now? Let me help you to come? I want to feel every part of your release, please?”
“Turn the jets off,” he told her quietly.