Authors: Kade Boehme
Of a Wild Heart
Confessions of a Wild Heart
Copyright © August 2015 by Kade Boehme
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Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Published in the United States of America
This is a work of fiction. While may include actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
This e-book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language and may be considered offensive to some readers. For adults
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The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following trademarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Air Jordan: Nike, Inc.
Big Gulp: 7-Eleven
BMW: BMW of North America, LLC.
Coke: The Coca-Cola Company
Crocs: Crocs Retail, LLC
eBay: eBay Inc.
Ensure: Abbott Laboratories
Girl Scouts: Girl Scouts of the United States of America
Harley Davidson: H-D
Heineken: Heineken USA
IKEA: The Ikea Group
JC Penney: J.C.Penney Company, Inc.
Kindle: Amazon.com, Inc.
La-Z-Boy: La-Z-Boy, Inc
Levi’s: LEVI STRAUSS & CO.
Michelob Ultra: Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC.
NFL: NFL Enterprises LLC.
Nikon: Nikon Corporation
RAM2500: Chrysler Group LLC.
Solo: Dart Container Corporation
Sprite: The Coca-Cola Company
Starbucks: Starbucks Corporation.
Taco Bell: Yum! Brands
U-Haul: U-Haul International, Inc.
WD-40: WD-40 COMPANY
Wrangler: VF CORPORATION
A HUGE thanks to Sandra Harden. You, my friend, are amazing and I’m ever so grateful you helped me give these boys a shiny finish. I’m also grateful for the compassion you had toward Ase. I owe you so much.
And I MUST take a minute to thank Heidi Ryan for her tireless promo work. You’re such a great cheerleader and you’re the kindest, most encouraging person. You are amazing.
Monika, as I go into another release I just think… Wow. If she hadn’t said “you can do it.” Again, you can say “I told you so.”
Jackie, my sister, you light up my life like nobody else.
Oh, Felice and Meredith. My two loves. From boozie brunches to encouragement to just being silly when I need you to. Or when you’re just awesome, amazing women who I’m honored to have as friends. I thank you.
And most definitely, I have to thank Wendy for listening to me freak out over this manuscript a million times. From the outline to the first chapter to the last damn page, over three weeks I was manic and a basket case but you listened to me ramble on and on. And you said not to give up on Ase. So here we are.
And my readers, my friends, my family. You continue to mean the world to me.
All of you. I couldn’t do this without any of you. I’ve got the best team ever encouraging me and I hope I do a quarter for you what you all do for me.
To you out there mistreated for being you, for loving. To you who are daring and hopeful and courageous when there’s no reason on earth you should still be. You’re my heroes. And I love you. This is for you.
You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.
JASE Emery felt ridiculous for being so ungrateful, so unappreciative of the sights he was taking in. Not one other twenty-one-year-old—hell, not many forty-year-olds—from his town got to see the things he’d seen. And here he was, too concerned with bullshit to enjoy the magnificence of
Castle. He was too lost in matters he could do nothing about; angry words from back home in Texas.
He was usually good at dismissing things. He’d been away most of the four years he’d been enlisted and looked forward to ending his final tour of duty before being finished with the U.S. Army and all of Uncle Sam’s rules altogether. He’d kept his head down, left the personal shit back home, and done his job. Of course, now it was all for naught. And he was too upset to think about anything but going back to his hotel room in Munich, leaving his phone there with his bags, and finding distractions in the city. This was his last vacation, his last bit of freedom with no family, no drama, no rigid schedules. He damn well intended to enjoy it.
Of course, getting back to Munich would require another two-and-a-half-hour bus ride, and he’d traveled all this way to see this damn castle, spent the money for the tickets and the tour, so the least he could do was enjoy himself.
He’d already missed half the information about the
because he’d been staring at his cell phone or lost in thought. He scowled as he pushed the Do Not Disturb option on his touch screen. No more distractions.
He followed the guided group outside and took in the beauty of the “nineteenth-century
Romanesque revival palace”—according to the tour guide—with its white walls and pointed towers. It really was like a fairy tale castle. He felt a faint smile crease his face as he tilted his head up, soaking in the mild warmth of the springtime sun, enjoying the view of the majestic castle against the backdrop of lush emerald trees and clear blue skies. He’d been in cities or in the Sand Box so long he’d missed clear views and mild days like the one he basked in at the moment.
Most of the tour group dispersed, taking photos and chatting quietly. Their respect for the surroundings was nice, as no one raised their voices above a conversational level, a quiet laugh heard every once in a while.
He was enjoying the solitude and the peace of the moment enough to give in to the small twinge of homesickness. The temps here were much closer to what he experienced back home and the wide expanse of open sky more familiar to him than so many things he’d seen over the last three-and-a-half years. But the homesickness wasn’t enough to drown out the fact he loved each experience he was having on this trip. He was definitely glad he’d finally listened to his friends and struck out on a two-week tour of Europe.
He wasn’t sure why the clicking of a camera shutter got his attention. That shutter in particular could easily have been lost to the gentle winds or the tittering laughter around him.
Listen to you being all fancy
. He laughed at himself, remembering how much it annoyed his dad and younger brother when he used his “ten dollar words.” They hadn’t, neither of them, gone to college and were the type to think you were speaking down to them if you showed you were better educated than they were. Thankfully, Jase’s mother was proud of him, even if he was a snob in everyone else’s eyes. He was just a simple soldier who’d taken a few college credit courses.
Jase glanced over to where the camera shutters went off once more, spotting a man with what looked to be a pricey camera held up to his face. Jase frowned at the man. He could very well be taking photos of the castle, but for some reason Jase thought the man was photographing him.
“Sorry,” the man said, lowering his camera. Wow. He was one beautiful man. His skin was a shade too brown to be Italian, but Jase couldn’t tell exactly where he was from. He worked around every ethnicity from Greek to Hispanic, and Munich was no less diverse than the military as far as that went. The man’s black eyebrows were a bit thicker than average, lashes thick and ebony that set off soft, but beautiful almost-black eyes. The man’s high cheekbones, sharp, dimpled chin and pouting, super-full lips were enough to make him beyond model-pretty. Jase found himself tripped up by the stranger, even if the creep was taking photos of him.
Wait. That was weird. He continued frowning at the man whose timid smile morphed into a wide, friendly grin. “I get carried away.” The man stepped toward Jase, who eyed him back warily.
“Yeah, that’s weird.”
Jase didn’t expect the amused laughter that spilled from the handsome stranger. The guy couldn’t be much older than Jase. And where Jase was built solid like a soldier, the stranger was solid, but lithe. He wasn’t too thin; just on the far side of too muscular and masculine to be a twink, but not a meathead. Like Jase.
“You speak your mind. I like it.” Jase felt a shudder go through him at the not-too-deep, warm tone of the man’s voice. The stranger’s English was clear, obviously also American, though it had that lilt that Jase’s dad—rudely—called the
The stranger’s laughter died as Jase got lost in thought, still eying the man. “Oh, sorry. Do you not speak English?” The stranger pantomimed something that Jase couldn’t fathom would ever translate to the question he’d just asked, so he just raised a brow at the stranger. “Ay,” the stranger mumbled to himself, his brown cheeks coloring. “Perfect. Scare the foreigners, why don’t you?” The stranger continued talking to himself, smiling and putting his hands up as if to show,
I mean no harm
Jase still thought the guy was weird. Who takes photos of perfect strangers? But he couldn’t help laughing at the man’s discomfiture.
“Naw, man. I speak English fine. Just not fluent in stalker.”
The guy’s shoulders relaxed as he rolled his eyes and smiled again.
“I was just—what do the British call it? I was ‘taking the piss’?”
The stranger snorted. “So you were.” He held out his hand for a shake. “This is how your people greet one another, correct?”
“Was that a dig on my accent?”
“Same as takin’ the piss, man. I was fucking with you.”
“Oh,” stranger said. “Yes. It was. Though I assume handshakes are universal in the Western world. Don’t tell my mother I speak white people. She thinks I’m wild enough as it is.”
Weird or not, Jase kinda liked this guy. Jase held out his own hand and they shook. “Jase.”
The stranger tilted his head back and laughed again, exposing the long column and protruding Adam’s apple. Jase wanted to lick it, damn the man. But he didn’t imagine it was any more acceptable to go around licking guys’ throats here than it was back home.
“Well, Jase, my name’s Ase.”
Jase raised a brow again. “Seriously?”
“Indeed. If that’ll be too confusing, you’re welcome to call me Alessandro, though only my
call me that, these days. Much too ethnic for my friends, and Alé or Alex would have been way too easy.”
“Ah. So you’re from?”
“San Diego. My parents are from Mexico, though. Well,
is from Mexico.
is from Guatemala.”
That would have been one of Jase’s guesses. The Mexican-American part, not the Guatemalan bit. “I’d tell you where I’m from, but you’re taking pictures of me so I’m not sure I should.”