Authors: Lynne Silver
Tags: #Coded for Love
A woman on the run…
Abused wife, Jill Thompson, knows she has to get out of her bad marriage. Like yesterday. With no money, no job and no friends, this small town girl can’t find a safe harbor. But when she sees a news report that The Program, a US military base, is seeking women to be matches for their genetically enhanced soldiers, she sees her opportunity. If she is lucky enough to be a match, her snake–mean husband, Jack, won’t be able to find or hurt her ever again.
A man looking for acceptance…
Rowan Blacker is the only soldier of his cohort to request a breed match. He’s the newest soldier on campus and, thanks to his genetic defect, he feels like an outcast. Matching and breeding with a woman will help him fit in with the team. Unfortunately Rowan’s match is nothing like the sexy, fun woman he was hoping to romance. The woman they claim is his perfect DNA match is a scared shell of a woman carrying a trunkful of emotional baggage. Against their better judgment, they move in together and as Jill shakes off the shackles of abuse, their attraction ignites.
Table of Contents
Coded for Love 5
By Lynne Silver
Copyright @ 2014. Lynne Silver
Cover by Babski Creative Studios
Formatting by Anessa Books
Editing by iProofread and More
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re–sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
All characters in this book are fiction and figments of the author’s imagination. www.lynnesilver.com
here the hell have you been?”
Jill closed the front door behind her and eyed her husband of six years. She hadn’t even gotten a minute to savor the heat of the house before her husband was in her face. What kind of mood was he in? She couldn’t judge by his cursing. She didn’t think Jack Thompson knew how to form a sentence without a curse in it. “The library.”
He gave a hoot of laughter. “You? At the library? Are you getting educated on me? Thinking of reading a book?” Jack stepped out from the archway leading to the den and took a step closer to her. She hadn’t moved away from the front door. One icy hand remained behind her back on the knob ready to fling it open if necessary. After her long walk in the cold, she didn’t want to race back out into the biting wind, but she’d do what was necessary. His expression narrowed into something familiarly ugly. The doorknob turned slightly under her palm.
“You think you’re better than me. College girl.”
“You know I didn’t go to college, Jack.” No, she’d finished high school and married him. But she could’ve gone to college. She’d had the grades. “You know that. I was getting recipe books for you.”
She hastily dug around in the large purse on her shoulder to pull out a colorful cookbook. “See. I was tired of making you the same things all time. I thought you’d like something new.” She held out the book to show him. “Barbeque. Your favorite.”
He snatched the book from her and thumbed through it, glaring at the colorful illustrations. She held her breath all the while. At last he smiled and threw the book back at her. The heavy hardback corner caught her in the breastbone. “You’re fucking good to me, baby. Go make me something from that book.”
Breathing out fully for the first time since arriving home, she took a step toward the kitchen holding the book in front of her chest like a shield. A hard swat on her rear sent her stumbling forward a few feet. “Don’t you ever go off without telling me again.”
“Never Jack,” she promised and escaped to the sanctity of her kitchen. Jack rarely followed her here. Not even to grab a beer. He expected those delivered to his hand, never mind if she had all four burners lit and was frying up his dinner. And it wasn’t like he was going to do the dishes. He’d nearly wet his pants laughing when one night she’d suggested he might do the cleaning since she’d done the cooking.
“Don’t make me no pussy, Jill.”
She hadn’t pushed the issue. There were bigger fish to fry. Like how she was going to get back to the library to check her new email account. She carefully placed the borrowed library cookbook on the counter and idly thumbed through the well–worn pages. The colorful pictures were still bright and showed dishes of savory meats and vegetables. She’d have to return the book in three weeks or they’d pay a fine. Jack would hate that. She smiled grimly. There was her excuse to return to the library.
If she didn’t get an email response in three weeks, she didn’t know what she’d do. There was nowhere else she could check email. She refused to contemplate getting a response and having it be a negative one. They couldn’t turn her down. She was young, healthy, and willing. Surely she met the requirements. Sighing, she opened the fridge to pull out the chicken wings and thighs she’d bought Saturday at the Walmart in Farmville. No cause to get antsy. She’d made it six years; she reckoned she could last three more weeks. And then she was gone. Never to see Jack stinkin’ Thompson again.
An hour later, she and Jack sat at the table with the television aimed their way. She didn’t know why Jack insisted on watching the evening news at dinner every night. It only upset him. He’d start off nice. Chewing his food, calmly watching the anchor, but by the second commercial, he was pulling back his Bud and red–faced. Tonight was no exception.
“Damn Democrats fault. Thinking they could play God.” He gestured at the TV with his beer and some sloshed out of the can and onto the floor. She bent to wipe it for fear he’d slip on it and blame her. “Close the place and kill the damn freaks who live there.”
From her knees on the floor, she glanced up at the television screen to see the current cause of his wrath. They were discussing the day’s government hearings on The Program and the genetically enhanced soldiers who worked there. Her heart pounded at the video footage of The Program campus that was now as familiar as pictures of the White House. She bent her head, hoping none of her anxiety or strong feelings were evident to her husband.
Jack was oblivious to her feelings as usual. He continued to mutter and scowl at the screen. Finally he turned and saw her at his feet. He gave her an ungentle kick. “What are you doing?”
“Just wiping up a little spill.”
“Well, move. You’re in my way.”
She hurried back to her seat, hoping to catch more of the segment on The Program, but they’d already moved on to the weather. “What did they say?” she dared to ask. “Is the government going to stop The Program?” She crossed her fingers under the table. They couldn’t shut it down. She’d die if they did. Literally.
Jack answered around a mouthful of mashed potatoes. “No. Gave ‘em an extension. Fuckers. Them soldiers could take over the army.” He swallowed and finished with “Damn Democrats,” one of his favorite insults, and one he threw around often. For someone so emotional about his politics, Jill thought he’d at least show up on Election Day to cast his ballot, but he hadn’t voted once in the six years they’d been married.
She hadn’t either. She only got out of the house when Jack gave her enough cash to buy groceries and put a little gas in the car. He only did that on Saturdays when he didn’t need the car to get to work. Elections were held on Tuesdays. Not her day to have the car. It was rare for her to get out of the house on any day but Saturday.
Today she’d managed it, and it was a Monday. By walking three miles to the nearest bus stop and taking the forty–minute bus ride, she’d made it to the library and back in four hours. Still not in enough time to get home before Jack did. She didn’t know if she’d pay for her mistake later. Jack seemed relaxed enough, but she never knew when he’d get angry and take it out on her.
she told herself. She had to survive only three more weeks.
* * * * *
The Program Campus, Beltsville, Maryland
“Rowan, what’s happening?” Shep looked up from his desk and smiled at him. “How can I help you?”
Never one to believe in wasted conversation, Rowan got down to business. “I want to throw my name in the hat for matching.” He braced on the back of the visitor chair in Shep’s office, using his only arm for balance. He’d obviously taken his commander by surprise.
He met Shep’s gaze, trying to put his thoughts into words. “I’m bored.” Wrong answer. Shep leaned back in his desk chair, crossed his arms over his wide chest and scowled at him. Rowan returned the look.
“You’re bored? You want to make a lifelong commitment to a woman you’ve never met because you’re
“No good. Good–bye.” Shep looked back at the papers on his desk.
Shit, he was going to have to articulate. “You’re right. It’s not ‘cause I’m bored. I want to fit in here, Shep. I want to contribute. I’ve been here less than a year; I don’t have the training to go on missions.”
“You’re training with Xander.”
“Yeah, but I’m not good enough yet. We both know that. Especially with my liability.” He raised the stump of his right arm. He’d been born minus the lower half. It wasn’t much of a hindrance in everyday life, but to be an elite soldier, it wasn’t optimal. Plus he’d started training about thirty years too late.
“I see,” Shep said slowly.
“Plus, I’m kind of…lonely.” He was embarrassed by how hot his cheeks felt at the confession, but if Shep was the gatekeeper, he had to use all available keys. “My brother’s matched and lately it seems like everyone else is, too. Xander, Chase…”
“All right, son. I’ll send the necessary authorization to Doctor Wise. Go set up a time with her to get the process started.”
“For real?” A grin spread across his face. Everyone claimed to accept him as one of them, but because of his birth defect, he hadn’t been sure if they’d let him take a match. “Thanks, sir.” Rowan turned to leave Shep’s office in a much better frame of mind. Soon he’d have what his brother, Adam, had: love, companionship, sex. It had been a very long time since he’d had any action. As in before the government hearings about the future of The Program had started. Residents of The Program were under a lot of scrutiny. To leave the campus, you had to drive through a tunnel of reporters with cameras. And a lot of women seemed to want to be with a soldier from The Program. Maybe they thought the enhanced part translated to bed performance. Either way, it had become too much of a hassle to leave the campus to meet women for a casual date.
Not to mention, his buddies were all paired off now. Xander had never been up for going to a bar to meet women, and now he had Emma. Chase was keeping toddler hours and getting ready for a newborn. Adam was still willing to hit a bar with him but wanted to be home by ten to be with his fiancée, Loren. He needed some new friends. Stat. All the better if his new friend was a woman. His woman.
he cable’s out.” Jack stood from his spot on the couch and circled it to where Jill stood wiping the dining table. “Why the fuck didn’t you tell me the cable’s out?”
“I didn’t know.”
Jill’s hands flew to protect her face, and he shoved her in the soft part of the belly. Her hip caught the sharp edge of the table and she tripped, landing in a protective heap on the floor.