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Authors: Amber Kell

Teasing Jonathan

BOOK: Teasing Jonathan
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A Total-E-Bound Publication

www.total-e-bound.com

 

 

Teasing Jonathan

ISBN # 978-1-78184-330-7

©Copyright Amber Kell 2013

Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright May 2013

Edited by Stacey Birkel

Total-E-Bound Publishing

 

This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Total-E-Bound Publishing.

 

Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Total-E-Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.

 

The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.

 

Published in 2013 by Total-E-Bound Publishing, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, United Kingdom.

 

Warning:

 

This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
heat rating
of
Total-e-sizzling
and a
sexometer
of
2.

 

This story contains 88 pages, additionally there is also a
free excerpt
at the end of the book containing 7 pages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercenary Love

 

TEASING JONATHAN

 

 

Amber Kell

 

 

 

Book three in the Mercenary Love Series

After spending years defending his country, will Jonathan lose the battle over his heart?

 

When Jonathan Stevens meets Kai Stromwell, it’s attraction at first sight, but can a brief sizzle turn into a lasting fire? A series of events leads Jonathan to believe someone is trying to kill Kai. The question is who? With no obvious motives the most he can do is stick close to the handsome man and stay alert. Keeping Kai safe becomes the focus of his life while he fights his own personal demons.

 

Kai Stromwell has worked hard to build up his fortune. Upon meeting Jonathan he wonders if maybe there is more to life than long hours at the office. When attempts on his life become more and more aggressive, he turns to his new love for answers. Depending on someone has never been easy, but he would give up his millions if he could spend the rest of his life teasing Jonathan.

 

 

 

 

Dedication

 

For Jambrea Jo Jones, who pointed out

that eyes can’t hear fear and all those other issues.

Thanks for your help.

 

 

Trademarks Acknowledgement

 

 

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:

 

U-Haul: AMERCO

Volvo: AB Volvo

Tabasco: McIlhenny Company

Prologue

 

 

 

Jonathan Stevens jolted awake. Sitting upright, he gasped for air as the sound of gunfire echoed in his dreams and followed him into consciousness. The uncomfortable cold slime of sweat soaking through his shirt left a shivering trail down his back.

Not again.

His therapist had told him the dreams would start to fade. After a year, it still hadn’t happened. Jonathan’s body trembled as he took slow, deep breaths. In and out. In and out. Breathing exercises, along with medication, helped fight back his anxiety but didn’t stop it entirely. He’d pretended to believe her, but the horrible memories he suppressed during the daytime still found him in his dreams most nights.

Everything ached from the tension. Although biologically he was twenty-six years old, some days Jonathan felt more ancient than the grey-haired lady who sneaked seed to the pigeons every morning.

He knew his bosses were beginning to become suspicious. He couldn’t completely hide the dark shadows marking his eyes or the occasional nervous twitch over nothing. Although he hid his symptoms well, cracks were beginning to show.

Reaching into his bedside table, Jonathan grabbed his bottle of sleeping pills. He had to get some rest. Working for ex-mercenaries didn’t allow room for excuses. If he ruined someone’s security detail, he’d find himself unemployed. There weren’t a lot of jobs out there for a guy who’d entered the military fresh out of high school and used that time to learn how to kill terrorists. Most of his job skills didn’t translate well to civilian life.

“Fuck!” Jonathan rubbed his face wishing he could erase his memories instead of reliving them night after night. Blood, death and the screams of soldiers crowded inside his head. Wiping his eyes, his fingers soon became slick with tears. He wiped them on his blanket.

No wonder he was alone. He swallowed a pill with the glass of water he kept at his bedside. The medicine usually promised a dreamless sleep. He hoped the nightmares stayed at bay.

They’d explained to him in his first psychiatric session that one of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress was a tendency to disassociate from things—like his life. That was one piece of psychological mumbo-jumbo he believed in. Some days he felt as if he lived in a bubble barely able to perceive things through the opaque layer surrounding him. No emotions pierced his cold shell. Nothing affected his heart.

Even the group therapy recommended to him hadn’t made Jonathan feel any better. Although he’d got to know a few of the guys, talking about their experiences had only led to a bunch of soldiers trying to tell the best war story. He had no doubt that in some cases that type of counselling worked well—it just hadn’t with his particular group. Luckily, with his job’s excellent benefits, he’d been able to switch to private sessions.

While Jonathan did still keep in touch with a few of the people from his group, overall he didn’t like talking in front of others, especially about his problems. In his family you didn’t air your dirty laundry in public—you buried it and built a parking lot on top of it. He might have brushed away most of his parents’ conservative teachings, but that one had stuck.

For Jonathan, being a bodyguard was the perfect occupation. Most of the time people ignored him as if he were a piece of furniture. Either attitude worked for him. Jonathan preferred to be by himself, except in the middle of the night when the nightmares came. Then he’d have given anything to have someone hold him close.

The drugs spun through his system, and drowsy and numb he lay back down. Closing his eyes, he hoped the battlefield scenes wouldn’t return while he slept.

He’d have to talk to Sin and Patrick if his symptoms continued. Letting the company down after they had taken a chance on an ex-soldier wasn’t an option. When few people had even spared a glance at his résumé, they had given him a chance. He couldn’t repay them with incompetence.

Drifting in between waking and sleep, Jonathan reflected on the past year. Despite what his therapist had said, he didn’t think he’d made much progress. Although he didn’t have constant panic attacks during the day anymore, at night—when his defences were the lowest—the memories returned. Memories of people he’d known and had fought beside superimposed with pictures of their last day on this earth. Bullets were the great equaliser. Even a person larger than life didn’t escape the grim fist of death. Bodies toppled like hollow dolls in Jonathan’s dreams and broke apart just as easily.

“I will defeat this,” he whispered in his floating state. He hadn’t escaped his family to strike out on his own only to have wartime flashbacks destroy him.

Jonathan sighed. The money he’d splurged on the memory foam mattress had been well spent. Focusing his fuzzy thoughts on the wonder of his comfortable bed, he fell back asleep.

Chapter One

 

 

 

Sometimes life conspired against him. Jonathan knew it like he knew that the desert sun always burned his skin crackling hot, and that sand always scratched across the most uncomfortable places when he needed to stand at attention.

After getting hardly any sleep, he’d driven to his boss Sinclair Alverston’s condo only to find him and his husband, Callum Turner, snuggled together on the couch, looking sickeningly happy. An ex-mercenary with a hard-ass reputation shouldn’t be able to pull off the googly-eyed look.

Callum took a moment to separate himself from Sinclair and casually whip Jonathan up an incredible omelette and heat up some biscuits, before returning to the couch for his real job—being the centre of Sin’s fucking universe. Jonathan wished he could hate Callum a bit for not only finding a lover who worshipped him but for making personal success look so easy too. Unfortunately, it took too much effort to dislike the chef. Callum was genuinely a nice guy who’d give the shirt off his back to a person in need. Jonathan considered Callum one of his rare non-military friends.

However, watching the pair of them smooching churned Jonathan’s stomach and not for the reason that his religious-minded parents would have preferred. Envy, an ugly emotion at the best of times, twisted inside him tighter than a contortionist. He might tell himself he preferred to be left alone because of his problems, but deep down beneath his indifferent veneer, he wished he had someone to love.

Even if he happened to find the perfect guy, Jonathan had enough emotional baggage to fill a dozen U-Haul trucks. If for some reason this imaginary Mr Wonderful overlooked the fact that he could never meet Jonathan’s parents and would never be acknowledged by any of Jonathan’s relatives, he’d still have to put up with the night-time terrors haunting Jonathan’s sleep.

Yep, he was a prize.

He sighed and took another bite of his omelette. Considering his sour attitude lately, Callum had shown great restraint in not poisoning Jonathan’s food. Even the explosion of flavours filling his mouth didn’t take away his melancholy. He’d have to talk to the doctor about upping his medication. He could feel depression clouding his thoughts and slowing his reflexes. With the mood-lifter cocktail he took, Jonathan shouldn’t still feel as if he were moving through molasses.

Sin approached and hopped onto the bar stool beside him. “I don’t want to pry into your personal life, Jonathan, but Patrick and I are worried about you. You’ve been jittery and unfocused lately. Not to mention you look like shit.”

Jonathan laughed. It wasn’t funny, not really, but Sin’s complete lack of subtlety was kind of refreshing. You always knew where you stood with the ex-mercenary.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

He’d known the time would come when he needed to tell his bosses and apparently that time had arrived.

“I’ve been having nightmares—flashbacks, really. I’m on anti-depressants and I have a therapist. Not much is helping,” he confessed.

 Surprisingly, Sin nodded and patted him on the shoulder. “It gets better. Stick with a regimen. If you’d like a different therapist, I have one I used for a bit when I stopped being a mercenary.”

Jonathan’s jaw dropped open. It had never occurred to him that Sinclair Alverston had ever been to a therapist in his life. That unexpected news lifted a weight off his chest. “Thanks.”

BOOK: Teasing Jonathan
9.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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