Tucked away at the base of the Rocky Mountains lived a little boy with one singular dream: leave this broken and battered home and become someone.
Be somebody’s hero.
That boy was me—Colby Brooks. Except I’m not that same little boy anymore.
My dreams might still be the same, but my reality isn’t.
I’m smarter. Stronger. A man.
And I learned a long damn time ago, the only way to achieve my dreams was to avoid distractions—at any cost.
Focus. Resolve. Determination.
But all it took was one single night. One night and my entire life…changed.
One night had me colliding head first with the biggest distraction of my life; Rory Oaks.
Smart. Charming. Beautiful.
Rory changed everything.
Quickly, my one-track mind started to bend.
Each kiss faded decade-long dreams.
And with one single incident, I fly off course.
Head turned down, pushing the sleeves of his white Henley up his arms, he swaggers toward me. His jeans hang low on his hips, held up by the same brown belt he wore the other night. His narrow waist directs my eyes to the center of his jeans, and I can’t help wonder what might be behind the crotch of his pants.
And then there is his chest. Barrel like, broad and prominent. His thick biceps showcase his strength, and the fabric of his shirt stretches over his shoulders and forearms. Having spent a lot of time at the gym, I’ve seen every body type, but Colby’s is different. He’s strong, built, but not like a body builder. His body seems to suggest the only kind of weight he’s been lifting is his own body, pushup after pushup. I can’t imagine there being barbells in his workouts, but I can imagine logs, cadets, and heavy machinery. He has working muscles, the kind you earn from hard, dedicated work on the field. In a word? Impressive.
Walking up to Stryder, he grips his friend’s shoulder and says something into his ear. A smirk crosses Stryder’s face before he moves over to our side of the bowling alley and takes Colby’s place.
Is he leaving? Already?
Might as well at this point. It’s not like he’s going to talk to me, not after my pathetic attempt at a bet. I should have known I was going to hang out in the gutter all night. It’s where I usually am when I’m bowling. I blame the ball. The thing has a vendetta against me.
Sighing, I prop my chin in my hand and watch Stryder expertly toss his ball down the lane, getting a strike . . . once again. And just like every other strike, he pumps his arm up in the air and celebrates. We get it, you’re good, no need to—
That voice . . .
Stunned, eyes wide, not able to move, not wanting to scare him away, I keep my eyes trained forward, soaking in that beautifully deep voice of his for a brief moment before saying, “Hey.”
“Can I sit here?”
Still keeping my eyes trained forward, I say, “Sure.”
My body tingles with awareness of how close he is to me, that fresh laundry scent invading my senses, prickling the little hairs on my arm. My body leans toward his, wanting a little more, searching for anything else he might give me. I don’t know why he’s choosing to engage me in conversation, but I’m sure as hell not moving while he does.
“Sorry about tonight,” he says and he actually sounds sincere.
“Why are you sorry?” I mumble.
Reaching around, he takes my cheek in his hand. The callouses on his palm rubbing against my skin is a welcome sensation. As I’m turned toward him, I steady my breathing. I’m having a hard time slowing my heart rate because of his close proximity, and the unexpected touch shooting a wave of heat through my veins.
“I’m sorry you didn’t get to ask me any questions. I didn’t think you were going to suck that bad.” A playful smile tugs at his lips, and my heart sinks to the floor. Oh God, he’s so gorgeous, especially when he smiles.
Matching his smirk, I say, “I didn’t think I was going to suck that bad either.”
“I feel bad.”
“You should.” That garners a laugh, deep and throaty, the sound cloaking me like a shield, protecting me from the outside world, bringing me into a little bubble where we are the only two that exist.
“Ask me a question.”
Shocked, I swallow hard and say, “Really?”
He nods and holds up his fingers. “You get three.”
“Oh, three? Wow, I feel like you just gave me the key to your soul.”
Rolling his eyes, he adjusts his stance on the barstool and leans back, giving us some space, our knees still knocking into each other. “Easy killer; it’s just three questions.”
“Yeah, three questions I didn’t have before.” Tapping my chin, I try to think of good questions, but now that I have him willing and waiting, nothing comes to mind. I wasn’t prepared for this, he caught me off-guard, and now I feel I can’t be strategic about my probing. “Hmm . . . what do you like to do on the weekends?”
“Jump,” he answers.
Searching his eyes, lips quirked, I say, “Uh, you’re going to have to be more specific than that. What kind of jumping are we talking here? Like jump roping? Because that seems kind of weird to do on the weekends, and if you tell me you’re in some kind of jump-roping club at the academy, I’m not going to believe you.”
His lips curve up as he scratches the side of his jaw. “Jump out of airplanes.”
That’s . . .
Uh, that’s really hot.
“So you just casually jump out of airplanes?”
“I’m part of the Wings of Blue, the academy’s parachute team. We jump every day, at least two to three times a day after class and before dinner, depending on wind and ceiling limits. On the weekends, some of the guys, including Stryder and me, go to Springs East Airport and do civilian jumps. The more jumps we get in, the higher the chance we’ll be considered for big demonstrations, like parachuting into football games and major sporting events for the Rockies and Broncos.” Ummmm. Did anyone else just hear how many words he gifted me? And seriously? Does the man have no clue how incredibly sexy he is when he talks about something he loves? The expression on his face . . .
“Wow, that’s . . . that’s really hot.” I chuckle. “Sorry, I don’t mean to fangirl over your parachuting, but I guess I wasn’t expecting that answer. You just jump out of planes?”
He slowly nods. “Every day.”
“Anything to get you up in the clouds, huh?”
“Yeah,” he answers shyly, rubbing his jaw. “Okay, next question.”
THE DOWNSIDE OF LOVE – July 5th
Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.
Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.
Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!