Hold Me: Delos Series, 5B1

Hold Me: Delos Series, 5B1 by Lindsay McKenna

Book: Hold Me: Delos Series, 5B1 by Lindsay McKenna Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lindsay McKenna
Tags: Romance, Military
right? Never.” He relaxed his hand around hers, releasing it. Even lifting his left arm caused a lot of discomfort to his rib cage. “After I got hit in the side, I was having a lot of trouble breathing. I lay there stunned, unable to move. Every breath I took, Callie, I thought was my last.”
    He heard her gasp, throwing her hand up across her mouth, her green eyes going wide. Pushing on, he said roughly, “I knew I was dying. I could feel it. Every breath was less and less. I had blood coming up out of my right lung, filling my mouth and I was choking on it. My last thoughts, sweetheart, were of you.” He reached out, touching her hair and cupping her cheek, holding her tear filled eyes. “I now understand what you went through, Callie. You thought you were going to die, too. None of this diminished one whit about how I feel toward you. If anything my love is stronger for you now than it ever was.” He leaned over, very carefully, and kissed her mouth, moving against her lips, feeling her returning warmth. God! Didn’t she know he needed her more than life itself?

CHAPTER 6
    May 20
    “C ome on. Let’s sit down on the swing,” Callie urged Beau.
    Up ahead of him, in an area between the chicken coop and corrals with the barn, sat an ancient elm with thick, spreading limbs. Rallying, Beau nodded, taking her hand and walking toward it. Right now, he was a mess inside, beating himself up for not having been sensitive to Callie’s struggles. But he had been. He’d done so much to support her during that period.
    Since she had admitted it nearly a week ago, he’d chewed on it. She’d been an emotional wreck after the ambush in Afghanistan and he’d been unsure how to help her get through it. He’d not known what to do, what to ask her, or what to say. Callie never blamed him for it. In part, it was her fault because she never shared how she was feeling with him.
    They slowly walked across the gravel parkway between the swing and the main cabin. Beau had begun to recognize how important it was for those who experienced trauma to have a sounding board, just as Callie was for him. She’d suffered in silence. Callie was teaching him to be transparent, that it was all right to unveil his deepest feelings to her.
    His fingers tightened around hers. The pain in his heart was more acute than the jabbing pain he experienced each time he placed his right boot on the ground, activating pain in his injured lung. The crunch of the gravel was drowned out by a red rooster crowing in the hen house area. A couple of sheep, which his mother kept for shearing twice a year for blankets, called back, as if to answer the rooster.
    Sitting down in the ancient swing made by his grandfather always gave Beau a sense of peace. Thick chains held the large swing beneath an overhead limb, and Beau sat on one end, his right elbow on the wooden arm because it stabilized his healing rib cage. Callie, who wore a pair of pecan colored twill pants, sat facing him, one leg beneath her. The spring breeze lifted strands of her hair, now glowing crimson and gold as sunlight shot through them. Beau swore she looked like an angel with a halo of light around her head.
    “Comfy?” she asked him, resting her hands in her lap about a foot away from where he sat.
    “Yeah, I’ve always liked this swing.” He casually glanced in her direction and was relieved to see the tension dissolving from her features. Placing his hand over her knee closest to him, he added, “As a kid, I liked coming out here after our chores were done for the day. I’d watch the clouds come overhead and find images of animals and insects in them. Sometimes, I’d even see a face.”
    “Funny,” she said, leaning against the back of the swing, “I used to do the same thing up at our ranch. I had a small hill where I rode one of our horses. I loved doing it all summer long. And like you, once I got my chores done, I’d tell my mom where I was going and take off across the

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