They say before you start a war, you better know what you’re fighting for. He shot a look toward the door and listened to Daphne laughing at some comedy movie on TV in the living room. He returned his gaze to Caroline sleeping beside him. He’d only been with her a few days, but she’d burrowed into his locked heart.
What was it about her? Maybe it was her determination to keep her home and land out of the hands of the Casa de Catequil Cartel. Maybe it was her infinite gentleness with the military war dogs she rehabilitated. Maybe it was her fierce persistence to make sure her family and friends had a place of safety in a world so bent on harm.
Maybe it’s all of those.
Whatever it was, she’d captured his heart without his say-so, and he wouldn’t be able to walk away without helping.
Because I love her.
The words made him start and he shot a guilty look at her face when she stirred against his side. How the hell had that happened? He was an active duty Navy SEAL. He didn’t have the luxury of hanging out longer than his leave. Hell, he could be called back to base at any moment, leaving her in a predicament without his help.
Please, Universe, let me stay at least until the guys from Ultimate Recon get here.
He couldn’t leave Caroline and Daphne, and their dogs, unprotected. It would undermine one of his core reasons for becoming a SEAL. He’d done it to protect the ‘little guy’, somewhat literally. At 5’8’, he was the shortest member of the Bravo Squad, but his lack of height had only been a problem for others. He’d been his BUD/S class’s Steve Rogers, a scrapper and a wrestler, using his body in ways the bigger guys couldn’t.
Deli chuckled as Caroline resettled her head on his shoulder. It was the first time he realized size didn’t matter.
It didn’t matter now, either. He didn’t need to be huge to do his job, he just needed heart. He knew what was worth fighting for, or rather, who. Caroline was his heart, and he’d make sure it was better defended than his original one.
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