I Don't Dance (Freebirds Book 6)

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Text copyright ©2014 Lani Lynn Vale

All Rights Reserved

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

Her
Blaine didn't understand the true meaning of lonely until she spent her first Christmas away from her husband. She was never one to believe in love at first sight. Then she met Elliott while he was on leave from the Army. From that moment on, they loved fiercely, and never wasted a day. She knew that deployment was a very real possibility… one that scared her to death.
Him
When the orders are handed down, he has to go, leaving his new wife at home while he risks his life half a world away. Elliott did his best. He loved Blaine with his whole heart, but he had a responsibility to his team and to his country. Regrettably, that meant being away from Blaine Christmas after Christmas, year after year.
Her
Blaine made the best of her situation, and did what any good military wife should do, even if it tore her to pieces to do it. She stood by her man. Years go by, but one thing holds true. They’re meant to be. Blaine and Elliott have a love like no other, and time and distance will never change that.

 

Dedication

 

This book goes out to all those military members and their families. Come home safe.

 

Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Prologue

Lumbersexual- a sexy beast of a man who has a very fine beard.

-Elliott’s self description

Elliott

I walked stiffly into the plane, my eyes scanning the cargo hold for an open seat. I found one, and started walking toward it. It, of course, was the only one left.
I’d been late as per my usual.

I dropped my bag at my feet once I arrived, tired beyond belief.

This had been one hell of a year, and if I never saw a piece of sand again, it’d be too goddamned soon.

“Ready for a long ass plane ride?” My commander, Lane, asked.

Did I have a choice? It was the only way to get home!

Sitting down in the seat next to him, I strapped my ass into the most uncomfortable seat on the planet and settled in for a long,
long
plane ride.

The bastards were never comfortable, and I had no clue why it always came as a surprise to me.

No matter how uncomfortable I was, there was one thing that made it okay.

I was going home.

“You’re sleeping already?” Lane asked.

The eyes I hadn’t been aware that I’d closed opened and glared at him, causing him to chuckle.

I closed my eyes and let my head fall back. “Sure am. I haven’t slept in over twenty-four hours, and I’m about to see my woman. Sleeping makes the time pass faster.
Oh, and I’ll need to catch up on my rest. I foresee a long night in my near future.

“You’re so pussy whipped,” Lane chuckled.

I shrugged. “Pussy whipped implies not wanting to be controlled by your woman. I, on the other hand, have no problem with being controlled by my woman.”

I yawned and stretched my legs out in front of me. “Night.”

My dreams went to where they normally went when I dreamed.

Blaine
.

Chapter 1

I asked my friend why she wore floral panties, and she explained it was in memory of all the men who’d been buried there.

-E-card

Blaine

“I’ll be there in an hour, I just need to stop by the house... oh, shit,” I gasped, as I yanked the wheel of my Jeep to the side sharply.

The phone I’d been talking on fell from my fingers into the crack between the seat and the console when I let go to clutch the steering wheel with both hands.

Having both hands on the wheel made no difference, though. A useless gesture.

I had no control over it.

Within the first three seconds of being off the road, the steering wheel jerked and slanted, ripping from my fingers and going in one direction. No matter how hard I tried, it wouldn’t stop heading for the one thing I was sure was going to stop the Jeep cold, and very likely kill me.

Towards the large trunk of a pine tree the size of a small house, and about twice as tall as a telephone pole.

“Oh, hell,” I whispered, and the world went dark.

***

Elliott

I was driving down the road that would lead me to my parent’s house when a Jeep, the same color as my own, caught my attention.

It nearly looked the same as mine as well, except mine was a few years older and was sitting on 35 inch tires with a six inch lift, whereas the other one was still stock.

If I wasn’t watching so closely, I would’ve never seen the deer that ran out in front of the other Jeep.

I would’ve never slowed in time, and I would’ve been taken out since the other jeep swerved sharply to avoid hitting the deer.

In a series of events that almost happened too fast for my eyes to see, I watched in helpless horror as they all played out before my eyes.

The right front tire blew, causing the jeep to swerve sharply in the opposite direction it’d been headed, and crossed the road in front of me, taking out the deer with the back of the jeep, as it spun 360 degrees.

It lurched to a bone-jarring stop when the front of the Jeep came into contact with a fifty year old pine tree that’d been there since before time.

“Motherfucker,” I breathed as I pulled over quickly, jumped out, and started running towards the mangled vehicle.

At first, I thought I was seeing things when a pert, muscled ass covered in a tight black skirt, started to make its way out of the passenger side window.

Then she fell out, and I was faced with one of the shortest women I’d ever seen in my life.

Holding a camping axe with blood running down her face.

“Whoa,” I said as I held my hands up in order not to scare her.

She blinked at me. “Did you see where she went?”

I cocked my head to the side and tried not to think that the woman in front of me was bat-shit crazy, but I failed. “What do you mean, she? Are you all right?”

She huffed. “The deer, boy. Where’d the deer go?”

Boy
?

Did she just call me
boy
?

The little spitfire had to be the cutest thing I’d ever seen.

She was all of five feet tall, at the most, and her cute pink blonde hair, although matted with blood, was still in perfectly curled shape surrounding her face.

The shirt she was wearing was slowly being ruined by the steady drip of blood from the laceration on her forehead, but that didn’t seem to bother her any.

“How about you let me drive you to the hospital?” I asked as she started to pass me.

When I held my hand out, she jerked her arm away from my touch and started walking purposefully in the direction of the road.

“I’m fine. How about you just let me see where that deer went, and we’ll talk more later?” She
offered congenially.

I barely suppressed the urge to laugh at the woman.

Like I’d leave her here when it was very likely that she had a concussion.

Fishing the handkerchief I kept in my pocket out, I held it out to the woman. “You have blood running down your cheek and staining your white shirt.”

She looked down and gasped. “No! I just bought this shirt. Shit! He’s so going to never let me forget this.”

My eyebrows raised. “Who’s not going to let you forget?”

She looked at me and smiled sadly. “My boyfriend. He likes to hang every little thing I’ve ever done wrong over my head, and never lets me forget anything. He still likes to let me know, on occasion, that we should see other people. I’m going to take him up on it this weekend.”

If my eyebrows rose up anymore, they’d disappear into my hair. “Why this weekend?”

“Our mutual best friend’s the only reason I stayed with him that long. He died this past weekend, and we were supposed to go to the funeral. I’ve probably missed it by now,” she said sadly.

I started herding her towards my Jeep.

We were on a fairly secluded road, and there was really no chance that help would even see us with how far we were off the road.

The woman was lucky I was here when she wrecked, otherwise she’d be wandering around aimlessly in the woods.

“You’re going to break up with your boyfriend after his best friend just died?” I asked in partial disgust and partial intrigue.

She looked over her shoulder and up at me. “Yes. He cheated on me. With our best friend’s girlfriend nonetheless.
It was, of course, an act of deep sorrow that his best friend and her boyfriend was dying…or so he says.
He has to know that it’s coming. I didn’t even want him at the funeral, but Nathan didn’t want to make a big deal of it. So now we’re all going to the funeral, acting like we’re best friends, and we most definitely are
not
.”

The woman sure was chatty.

And my heart felt funny.

What she’d just told me really set my blood to burning, and I wanted to knock the boyfriend...ex-boyfriend, into next week with my steel-toed combat boot. What an asshat.

“I’m sorry to hear that, darlin’,” I said sorrowfully.

She smiled tightly at me and shrugged. “Not your fault, now is it?”

What the fucker was thinking to cheat on her was beyond me. She was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, even with the axe she had a death grip on and blood running down her cheek.

Most men would find the woman crazy. However, I wasn’t like most men.

“You want me to take you to the funeral?” I asked.

She smiled so bright at me that the anger I was feeling towards her shit of a boyfriend evaporated with just that one simple act.

“Would you mind? I have another shirt in my Jeep, could you go get it?” She pleaded.

I nodded. “Sure, be right back.”

I jogged towards her car quickly, spotting the shirt hanging up in her back seat.

I winced when I saw the state of the front, knowing that the beast was definitely totaled. Poor girl. (The Jeep, not the woman.)
(Well, the girl, too. But not as much as the Jeep. ‘Cause there was no way the Jeep was going to make it out of this one alive.)

Reaching through the opened driver’s side window to the backseat, I grabbed the shirt and then spotted the purse that was dumped out on the passenger seat.

Walking around to the other side, I gathered her things up quickly and shoved them back into her purse, widening my eyes slightly when I saw the compartment where a small revolver hid conspicuously in between the two compartments.

Holy shit.

Out of curiosity, I opened her wallet and searched, finally finding what I was looking for in the very back slot. She was a concealed handgun holder. That was hot. As an Army Ranger, it always made me happy to see someone that was prepared and utilizing their right to bare arms.

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