Read Forever Lovers Online

Authors: Suellen Smith

Tags: #romance, #action, #dogs, #country, #military, #western, #cowboy

Forever Lovers

 

Forever Lovers (Military Romance)

 

By: Suellen Smith

 

Published by Suellen Smith at Romance Novel
Publishing

 

Copyright 2015 Suellen Smith

Amazon Edition, License Notes

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this author.

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

 

Death is always something that happens to
someone else. A finality that when it does occur,

 

you suddenly find yourself in another
dimension – floating as your soul departs from the body and

 

begins to vanish from the light before it
dims where there is only darkness and silence. When that happens,
there is nothing, only a deep blackness devoid of life until you
realize that you didn't die. You know that you have returned to the
planet earth because you feel a horrific jerk like an atom bomb
exploding in tiny bits and pieces with a sudden jolt of reality. It
is the price of a ticket back to life and the payment is the pain
of a soul living in terror and torment that is unendurable even to
the damned who are condemned to hell for eternity. It is in that
instance, you truly wish that you had died. But no one can hear you
and your wish is not granted.

 

______________________________

 

Quinn stood broodingly clutching the oak
doorway leading from his luxurious bedroom to the picturesque
Italian villa where he watched the agitated waves of the
Mediterranean beat itself repetitiously against the rock hard cliff
below. It was something that they had done for many centuries and
would continue to do so unrelentingly long after he and the human
race were gone.

Quinn stared at the vast rolling waves as he
entertained the thought of jumping off the cliff so that he could
join them and escape the pain of the living. Scowling sullenly, he
stood motionless thinking that at thirty-one, he should be at the
height of his manhood – getting married, having a family, exploring
life, but he wasn't. That was just the harsh ugly reality of his
current moment in time, one that had spiraled out of control with
no guidance or consideration from his own hand. Quinn's eyes
focused again on the scene below as he became mesmerized, lost in
the thought of joining the turbulent waves hitting and hitting
against the rocks hoping the rage within him would disappear and
dissipate like the water that receded out to sea. But, like the
crashing waves below, he knew that it would change nothing – solve
nothing.

Quinn rubbed the back of his neck with
anxiety, he knew he needed to let go of the past for his own
self-preservation, but he couldn't help but think of Lily and how
things might have been different. Just one more indulgence, he
promised himself. Then, he'd leave Lily behind and begin repairing
his life by deleting her from all memories of his past. He knew
that only then, could he start the process of gluing together the
pieces of his broken life into one by making himself whole. But,
like Humpty Dumpty, he wasn't so sure that he could be put back
together again.

CHAPTER 1

Quinn began reliving the first time he'd seen
Lily. She was only four and he was almost ten. She was the flower
girl for Uncle Luke's wedding and he was the ring bearer who she
had just tried to kick him in the hotdog. Fortunately, she missed.
Technically, Uncle Luke was not his uncle nor was Uncle Matt, Uncle
Bear, or Uncle Dawg. They were just really good friends of his
parents, Swan and Troy. He had just tweaked Lily’s hair in
retaliation for aiming and missing his family jewels when he saw
his father with his arms crossed frowning at him with disapproval.
He started to mouth, “What'd I do?” when he realized that his dad
had probably seen him give Lily's dark red curly hair a not so
subtle yank and anticipated that more was about to come. Quinn had
never ever kicked his twin sisters, Jade or Jasmine, who were four
years younger than he nor did he ever remember wanting to do so. He
had always taken great pride in being their big brother and taking
care of them, which he took quite seriously. So much so, that the
twins never had a date until they were nearly seventeen and Quinn
had long graduated from high school leaving town for the Naval
Academy in Maryland. But, Lily had always brought out the worst in
him.

Quinn had seen Lily occasionally over the
years as she was growing up whenever she came to visit the twins,
but she always stuck her bratty little nose in the air and would
dismiss him like he was of no consequence. She only talked to him
when absolutely necessary. He never realized that she had a crush
on him and that was the only way she knew how to compensate for
feelings that she didn't understand. For some reason, her
snootiness really got under his skin. It annoyed him so much, that
when he found out Lily's middle name was Ann, he started calling
her Little Orphan Annie, which didn't exactly endear himself to
Lily, but it made him happy when he realized that he was getting
under her skin as well.

For Lily, Quinn’s teasing helped not to think
of him so much as a prince any more as she stuck her tongue out at
him whenever his back was turned. That made Jasmine and Jade laugh.
Like her mom, Platinum, always said –
sometimes it makes you
feel soooo much better.
The

Little Orphan Annie” taut
was one of those times – he never knew how she retaliated.

One particular weekend when Lily was in
junior high, she came to visit. It stood out in Quinn's memory so
much that even now, it made his lips twitch just thinking about it.
His parents had gone out of town and he was left in charge of Jade
and Jasmine. Lily had come to visit the twins for a few days during
that time. The twins were fifteen and Lily was only thirteen, just
old enough to begin thinking about the opposite sex and certainly
old enough to get into trouble with very little effort. Their cute
little figures were somewhere between child and women, but
developing fast enough for the boys in their class to start
noticing. Lily was still pretty colt like with her long lanky legs,
but she definitely had the promise of some delicious future curves
to come.

It was hot summer Saturday afternoon and a
small group of the twins’ classmates had come over to swim at the
Slater house. The boys probably wouldn't have come if they'd known
Quinn was there, but after realizing their mistake and not wanting
to appear to be cowards, they stuck out the afternoon and did their
best to pretend that he wasn’t there. Unfortunately for one of
them, he was not successful.

Quinn had left the swim party just long
enough to go into the house, make a phone call, and grab a beer –
make that a coke. He was probably only gone about ten minutes. When
he came back, six of the boys had their heads in the crotch of six
of the girls, three of which were Lily, Jade, and Jasmine of
course, playing water polo with the girls straddling their heads on
top of their shoulders.

Crap!
He knew that game! If he only
had a Babe Ruth, which was a candy bar that looked like a turd,
he'd throw it in the pool to clear it out like it did in a movie he
once saw. Quinn improvised and made a decision that now would be a
pretty good time to have a little diversion and get everyone out of
the pool by bringing out the pizza. At least, he hoped it would
break up the game of
Crotch Around the Neck. It was
a
successful tactic, but only until the pizza was all gone.

The party was going along innocently enough
after that if only one of the boys hadn't forgotten himself and
indulged in his surge of hormones, which was probably due to a
crotch wiggling around his neck for the past fifteen minutes. He
cornered Jade against the side wall of the pool between his arms.
He had just swooped down for a little “kissy” with Jade as an
active participate. It was the last straw for Quinn. Suddenly, the
kid felt himself being lifted effortlessly out of the water with a
furious Quinn standing over him as he stood dripping and
embarrassed like a wet doggie. “It's time for you to go home and
take your buddies with you,” he nodded his chin in the direction of
the other teenage boys. “The party's over.” A subdued teenage crowd
couldn't scrabble out fast enough!

Jasmine and Jade were furious, but they were,
however, no match for Quinn's temper as he marched all three of
them, including Lily, into his father's den as the gate slammed on
the last boy's behind. Everyone knew that's where all the serious
talks happened with Dad as they realized unhappily that Quinn was
stepping into his role during his absence.

As soon as they entered the den, Jade
flounced over to the nearest ottoman. As she plopped down, she
crossed her arms in defiance. Litter mate, Jasmine, joined her. She
gave her twin sister support as she crossed her legs and began to
swing the top one in agitation while she leaned into Jade with her
own look of reinforcement and protest. Lily, not quite
understanding what was happening, meekly followed the twins lead.
She sat down on the floor next to them with her elbows propped upon
the coffee table and her sober face resting in the palm on her
hands, waiting, as she tried to figure out what she was missing.
Quinn got right to the point. He stood in front of his father's
desk taking the same serious stance as his father with his arms
crossed and a frown on his face. He looked down at the defiant
twins as their cherub faces looked up at him reminding him all the
more what babes on the bisque of womanhood they still were. It was
a scary transition for any parent of daughters – much scarier than
getting their first driving permit to Quinn’s way of thinking. He
certainly didn't envy that responsibility on a daily basis. Then,
he looked at Lily who was looking at him with a question mark on
her forehead and who was always included in the center of any of
their fracas. She would follow the twins lead no matter what.

Quinn cleared his throat, beginning what was
supposed to be Dad's lecture. Next time he spoke to him, he'd
expect him to cough up a new BMW for the bullet that his dad had
dodged in absentee. He decided to begin his fire and brimstone
oratory with, “You should know by this time just how important it
is to always be a lady,” he paused hoping that comment would sink
in before he continued. “You should be respected by the opposite
sex and that should always be upper most in your mind. Having your
own self-respect is even much more important than being popular.
Giving up one's virginity should never be taken lightly. It can
only be given once and should only go to a person you love and not
before you are a grown woman.”

Before he could finish his last sentence, the
twins were obviously becoming amused and they had each begun
rolling their eyes. Lily had the same blank slate that she had when
she sat down. Quinn was smart enough to end it right there. “Have I
made myself clear?” Jade and Jasmine nodded their heads, sucking in
their cheeks trying to keep from giggling.

He looked at Lily for confirmation when she
piped up with her head still resting on her palms,

“What's a virgin?”

At that comment, Jade and Jasmine laughing
hysterically, hopped up as they left falling over and into each
other as they scrambled to get out of the room. They left leaving
him to answer Lily's innocent question.

“Shut the door behind you!” Quinn grumbled as
they left.

Their laughter quickly faded. They all knew
the room was sound proof because as children they had all tried to
listen to conversations inside, but to no avail. In later years,
Quinn suspected his dad took his mom in there to get a little
nookie away from prying noses and big ears of their children. He
wasn't so sure that that wasn't why the office was sound proof. He
could hardly fault his dad as his mom at forty-three was still
quite a looker.

Quinn squinted down at Lily's adorable mop
top of mahogany curls trying to decide if she were joking. Since,
she was biting her lower lip, a habit that he had long recognized
she did when she was nervous, he decided she was not. So, the next
problem was trying to tell her about being a virgin and at the same
time not making her afraid to have sex when she was mature and the
time was right.

It was an endearing innocent question. He let
out a whoosh of hot air he had been holding in and sat down in the
chair next to where she was sitting on the floor. He thought that
nothing in the SEAL manual at the academy would ever cover this
subject. He shot from the hip thinking he would keep this simple,
“A virgin is someone that hasn't had sex.”

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