Military Daddy

Military Daddy by Patricia Davids

Book: Military Daddy by Patricia Davids Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patricia Davids
get this finished before it rains again.”
    â€œThere’s no rain in the forecast for the next thirty minutes, so you have time for dinner. I’m not going down until you eat.”
    â€œI can’t eat. My hands are busy holding this ladder so you don’t fall.”
    â€œThe ladder is perfectly sound. You’ve been going up and down it for days.” She tried to pry one of his hands loose but only managed to get his pointer finger undone. His strength surprised her.
    â€œOkay, you win.” The sudden change in the timbre of his voice sent waves of tingles racing across her nerve endings. He let go of the ladder and closed his grip over her hand.
    â€œGood.” Oh, that had sounded breathless even to her ears. The rough texture of his skin against hers only served to make her more aware of her femininity. The size of his hand made her feel small and protected, not frightened.
    He sank back cross-legged onto the roof, letting her hand slip out of his in a slow caress. “I eat and you get down. Do we have a deal?”
    Clearing her throat, she nodded. “We do.”
    Picking up the burger, he stuffed it in his mouth in two bites. Pointing downward, he mumbled, “Go.”
    â€œAre you trying to choke yourself?”
    Chewing momentarily silenced him, but his eyes spoke volumes as he glared at her. Swallowing at last, he said, “Get your feet on the ground. That’s an order!”
    She opened her mouth to object to his manner, but he shot to his knees and gripped the ladder again. “I know how to do a fireman’s carry. Don’t make me prove it.”
    A dignified retreat seemed like her best choice. “I’m going.”
    Backing down the ladder with care, she stepped off the last rung and moved to the side. A moment later he slid down without using his feet and landed beside her.
    Impressed, she asked, “Where did you learn to do that?”
    â€œMy foster father ran a roofing business. When I was old enough, I worked with him.”
    â€œWhat happened to your birth parents?”
    â€œMy mom died of cancer when I was eleven.”
    â€œI’m sorry.”
    He shrugged. “It was a long time ago.”
    She couldn’t help but notice that he didn’t mention his father.
    â€œWhat about you?” he asked, walking toward the picnic table. Unbuckling his tool belt, he tossed it onto the wooden surface.
    â€œMy parents live on Long Island. We don’t keep in touch.”
    â€œWhy not? I’m sorry—that’s none of my business.”
    It wasn’t something she normally talked about. But then, her relationship with Shane could be called anything but normal. Without knowing exactly why, she wanted him to understand who she had been.
    â€œMy addiction made me a very destructive person. I hurt my parents in a lot of ways. I can’t tell you how many times they got me out of jail or picked me up at some hospital. I took money from them every chance I got. When they stopped keeping cash in the house, I stole their credit cards. I ruined them. My mom lost her job. Eventually they even lost their house. In the end, they had to cut me out of their lives. I have a younger brother. I know they did it for his sake. I don’t blame them now, but I did for a very long time.”
    â€œDo they know you’re sober now?”
    â€œI wrote them a letter last year to tell them how sorry I was and that I had found God, but they didn’t write back. I still hope someday that they will find it in their hearts to forgive me.”
    â€œSo what happened the day we met, Annie? What made you go into that bar?”

Chapter Eight
    A nnie crossed her arms over her chest as she faced Shane. Sharing her experiences with other recovering addicts was one thing. They understood. How much of what she had been through could Shane understand? Would telling him make him doubt her ability to be a good mother? No matter what he

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