Out of Time by Jen McLaughlin
Desperate to keep him...
I've finally gotten everything I ever wanted: love, freedom, happiness, and, most importantly, Finn. Our love is everything I expected it to be and more. We've finally found each other, but the world seems determined to tear us apart. We thought my father was the only obstacle between us, but now it's the military. With Finn’s departure looming, we’re squeezing in every moment together before we run out of time.
Trying to make every moment count…
Being Carrie’s bodyguard was one thing. Being her boyfriend is another. Every day she’s mine is a day the sun shines in my life. Yet our time together is running out. Her father will never think a tattooed Marine will be good enough, so I’ll do whatever it takes to be worthy of her love. But the road will take me away from the girl who makes me feel alive--the girl I can't live without.
Time only gets us so far...
I pulled Carrie tighter to my chest, closing my eyes, even though I was fully awake and alert. I just needed a second to hold her. To breathe her in. I wanted to ignore life for a second longer, because today was the day I had to tell Carrie I have bad news, and I was not looking forward to it. But hell, I didn’t even necessarily know what the message was about yet. Maybe I was jumping to conclusions.
Maybe I was full of shit. Or...maybe it was bad news.
The sun came through the curtains, and I opened my eyes again, sighing. When I had woken up earlier, my first conscious thought had been: Please don’t let this all be a dream again. Please don’t make me wake up alone.
But then I’d breathed in her familiar scent that instantly calmed my racing heart, and I had relaxed again. It hadn’t been a dream. Thank fucking God. The real world was just as happy as my dreams—which made sense since she starred in both anyway. The woman I loved had forgiven me for secretly working for her father and all was right in the world. Her bright blue eyes were shut tight, her long red hair lay splayed all across her white pillow, and her soft lips seemed to be begging to be kissed.
Her ginger eyelashes were swept low, shadowing her pale cheeks. If someone would have told me last week that Carrie would be back in my bed, in my arms, and in love with me, I would have laughed and asked them what the fuck they were smoking.
Yet here she was. This was real.
And she was late for class.
I kissed her lips, savoring the unique flavor that was my Carrie. I
made sure not to press too close to her, though, and give her the wrong idea. Or maybe it was myself I was trying to remind. But either way, there wasn’t any time for a quick morning fuck.
I pulled back, and her lids fluttered open, showing me those baby blues I loved so much. “Hey,” she said, her voice soft with sleep.
“It’s time to wake up.”
She smiled up at me, stretching like a cat. “Why are you all the way over there?”
I trailed my finger down the little strip of skin on her stomach, right above her green panties. Would I ever get sick of seeing little pieces of her skin bared for me and only me? “Because you’re—”
Without warning, she snaked her arms around my neck, hauling me closer until I lay on top of her. So much for keeping my distance. Her hands played with the back of my hair. I loved it when she did that, and I had a feeling she knew it. She could ask me to walk along hot coals for her, and as long as she was playing with my hair like that, I’d do it happily.
Without hesitation, she kissed me, her tongue slipping inside my mouth and entwining with mine. Damn it, I loved it when she took the initiative, but I had to stop this before it went too far. I pulled back and unwound her arms from my neck. Then I scooted out of her reach. “You’re late for class.”
She sat upright, blinking rapidly. “I am?”
“Yep.” I rolled out of bed, and away from the woman who held my heart in her hands. “You get in the shower, and I’ll make you breakfast to go.”
“Thank you,” she called over her shoulder, bolting toward the bathroom in her tank top and satin underwear. I had to pause to appreciate the back view, but then I hightailed it into the kitchen to make her an egg sandwich.
I passed my phone as I went, snatching it up, and quickly called her a cab before setting it down on the counter. As I made her breakfast, I eyed the fucking thing as if it was going to jump up and bite me in the ass. Sometimes, I felt like it could. It had been the root of all bad things that happened to me lately.
First it had shown Carrie I was a liar. Then the call last night...
Nothing was definite yet. Nothing at all. But when you got a mysterious phone call from your commanding officer on a Sunday night...well, you could put two and two together pretty easily. In this fucked-up world, someone was always a finger push away from starting a war with someone. And who were the first ones sent in?
Marines. Always the Marines.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She writes steamy New Adult books for the young and young at heart. Her first release, Out of Line, came out September 2013. She also writes bestselling Contemporary Romance under the pen name Diane Alberts.Since receiving her first contract offer under the pen name Diane Alberts, she has yet to stop writing. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/DianeAlberts6
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