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Authors: D.R. Grady

Tags: #romance, #pets, #relationships, #military, #family, #marine, #nerds

Nerd and the Marine

BOOK: Nerd and the Marine
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The Nerd and the
Marine

 

The Morrison Family Series

Book 1

 

D.R. Grady

Table of Contents

Other Works by D.R.
Grady

Copyright

Dedication

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

About the
Author

Treasure Me

 

Other works by D.R.
Grady

 

 

The Morrison Family
Series:

 

The Nerd and the Marine

The Corpsman and the Nerd

The Nerd and the SEAL

The Nerd’s Pocket Pets

Shadows and Spice

Macy’s Parade

Bad Nerd Rising

 

 

The Me Series:

 

Treasure Me

Save Me

Trust Me

Heal Me

Love Me

 

 

The Abroad
Series:

 

Home Song

Bearer of My Heart

 

 

Please visit my website for updates on
all three series.

http://www.drgradybooks.com

 

 

 

 

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names,
characters, and incidents are all products of the author’s
imagination or are used fictitiously. Known locales are also used
fictitiously.

 

If you enjoy this book, please buy a
copy for someone else to enjoy. Please do not download or buy this
from anywhere except where the story is offered legitimately. All
rights reserved - including the right of reproduction in whole or
in part in any form.

Copyright
2011 by D.R.
Grady

Smashwords Edition

Dedication

To Vicky Burkholder and Victoria Smith
for reading this story over and over without complaint. You still
always had nice things to say about it. Thank you!

To Christine Witthohn for taking a
chance on me and then encouraging me to publish this story; I’ll
never forget your help and enthusiasm for a story I
love.

To Kris Yankee and Leigh Michaels for
answering my myriad questions, offering valuable advice, and
unending support. Thanks for helping me edit, too, Kris!

To my hubby, Roy, for supporting me
all these years and never telling me this was a silly
dream.

 

 

 

The Nerd and the
Marine

By: D.R. Grady

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

Melly Lytle watched the man approach
the doors, stop, and turn around for the third time. This time he
straightened his shoulders, took a deep breath, and shoved the door
open. He held a dog of golden retriever ancestry but with strong
mastiff characteristics tightly against his massive
chest.

The dog whimpered, its furry head
resting on an equally immense shoulder. At first Melly thought the
mutt was medium sized, but once the man came abreast of her, she
realized her mistake. This canine resembled a Shetland pony. The
man's magnificent frame caused the dog to appear much smaller than
he actually was.


May I help you?” she asked
him softly. He wore military fatigues and had the look of a Marine.
Melly’s stomach sank, because she could think of few reasons why a
Marine would be here with his dog.

The Marine looked away, blinked, and
she watched him fight to gain control. Reining in his emotions took
very little time. He sucked in a deep breath, let it out in a
whoosh and looked her in the eyes.


I'm Captain Mitchel
Monahan of the United States Marine Corps, ma'am and I ship out
tonight for Kuwait.” Captain Monahan spoke in a calm, firm voice.
He heaved in another breath and continued. “This is
Bentley.”

The Marine's entire body trembled, an
action that caused his pet to nestle closer. Melly watched the
mutt's wet nose press against the Captain's neck and a pink tongue
whip out as though to comfort him.


Hello, Bentley.” Melly
offered a hand for the dog to sniff. Hoping she wasn't right about
the Marine’s reason for visiting,
with his
dog
. But her sinking stomach
lurched.

He fought for control again, and won
again. His muscles tightened around Bentley, but he didn’t look
away. “I leave tonight, ma'am and I can't take him with me.” His
whisper cut her heart into tiny fragments.


What about family?” she
asked quickly. “Surely you have someone who can keep him while
you're away, Captain.”

He shook his head. “All my friends
have been deployed and I don't have family.” Another deep breath
whooshed out and then back into his lungs. She had to lean forward
to hear his next comment.


Bentley's my only
family.”

Swallowing to relieve the tightness in
her throat and blinking back tears, Melly groped for a reassuring
comment. Nothing came. Nausea clawed as she thought of the
sacrifice the Marine was making. How could she comfort
him?

The man pressed his face against his
pet, breathed deeply then thrust the dog at her. He must have
changed his mind midway through the action because he then placed
Bentley on the floor. Melly breathed a small sigh of relief. If she
had had to catch the dog, they’d have both ended up toppling
over.

Bentley's leash trailed beside him and
Captain Monahan stooped to swipe up the leather. He shoved the
leash in her hand and quickly left the room, only to return a
moment later with a pet bed that would accommodate the mutt’s size.
A huge bag of dog food rested on the bed and a box holding toys
also accompanied what might be all of Bentley's worldly
possessions.

The man dropped on a knee and took the
dog's head in his jumbo-sized hands. They stared at one another
before he pulled Bentley close for a last hug.

He jumped to his feet, then thrust a
card, check, and completed shelter papers into her hand. He patted
his pet on the head, and blinked away the moisture in his
eyes.

Melly watched, heartsick and helpless
as he left, blinking rapidly. His left shoulder bounced off the
door frame he didn’t quite clear in the first attempt. Those same
shoulders that nearly spanned the doorway he exited.

*****


Hello?” Lainy Morrison
answered the phone with only part of her brain. She'd just found
the bug responsible for messing up her newest program and needed to
correct the problem, only to have to answer the summons of the
ringing nuisance.


Lainy?” Her sister, Melly?
The voice sounded strange, not quite her sister’s, but
close.


Melly?” she asked, not
quite certain who had interrupted her debugging process.


It's me. Lainy, I need a
huge favor.” Melly’s words tumbled together in a jumbled
mess.

Lainy pulled the phone from her ear
and stared at it, wondering if the device could tell her why her
sister sounded so ... odd.

When the worthless receiver failed to
comply she positioned it back to her ear and answered, “Of course
I'll help if I can; what do you need?”


Lainy
,” Melly whimpered in the most pathetic voice she'd ever
heard. Something else sounded in the background, a moaning of
sorts.


Mel, are you hurt? Is
everything okay?”


Yes, no, I don't know,”
her sister helpfully answered.


Hello
. Could you please tell me what's going on?”


Lainy, have you ever seen
a Marine almost cry?” Melly’s voice was abrupt.

Quelling the urge to look at her
receiver again, Lainy blinked instead. “Um, Mel, I don't think I
know any Marines besides Granddad, and I’ve never seen him cry, so
I'd have to say, no, I haven't.”


I just met a Marine who
was devastated, Lainy. Not crying, but close enough. And do you
know why?”

Suppressing a sigh, Lainy
figured this explanation was going to take until next Tuesday. “No,
Melly, I don't know why, but I really wish you'd tell me.
Quickly
.”

There was silence for a moment, and
Lainy hoped she hadn't inadvertently hurt her sister’s feelings.
She had very few social graces and rarely said the right thing.
Which might be why she was the quiet one in her family.


Lainy, I saw a man today
who has to give up his dog so he can fly to some God forsaken
country to fight for our freedom.” Melly’s voice was intense and
somber.

Lainy closed her eyes, feeling the
pang of regret pierce her heart at her disregard for her sister's
behavior. “I'm sorry, Mel,” she whispered, not knowing how to make
amends, but upset that she'd probably hurt her sister, again, after
some poor Marine had to give up his pet.


No, Lainy, I'm sorry for
being such a pain. It was just really hard to watch this enormous
man come in, holding this equally gigantic dog, and he was so
heartbroken. Lainy, I can't keep this dog here for an entire year,
and who knows when this guy will come back, if ever.”


No, sometimes their time
is extended, isn't it?” Lainy wanted to help, but wasn’t certain
how.


Lainy, will you take him?
You've got room and you've wanted a dog for a while. He's
definitely big enough to do watchdog stuff and he's friendly and
sweet. I don't think he'll be a problem. And the Marine left a dog
bed, a huge bag of food, and all his toys.” The sadness in Melly's
voice, coupled with her own knowledge that she needed to do
something for those fighting for her, made Lainy's decision easy.
Before she hadn’t known what she could do to help, but now that she
did, it was time to step up and do her part, no matter how
small.


Of course I'll take him,
Melly,” she answered, feeling at peace once she'd agreed. This was
the right thing to do. But her heart sank at the thought of
contacting some man she didn’t know. In fact, she thought she might
be sick.


His owner left a card with
his name and e-mail address, so you could let him know you've got
Bentley. Oh, Lainy, you'll make his day.” The relief, joy, and
gratitude in her sister's voice also sent those emotions surging
through her, once the sickness subsided. She rarely did anything to
elicit such feelings, so while unfamiliar, she was appreciative of
the experience.

BOOK: Nerd and the Marine
4.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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