SEAL Ever After - Makenna Jameison

Chapter 1

“You’re doing great!” Sarah Foster encouraged her patient, watching the woman continue the physical therapy exercises they’d been working on for the past hour. “Fantastic job. Practice those daily at home, and I’ll see you back here next week. We’ll have you running again in no time.”

“Awesome. Thanks again Sarah. I can’t believe how much better I’ve been feeling lately.”

The two women said goodbye, and after wiping down the equipment, Sarah walked down the hallway toward her office in her scrubs.

Her friend and fellow physical therapist Dawn was working with a patient in another therapy room, and Sarah grinned and waved before heading into her own office and sitting down at her desk. Papers were stacked in haphazard piles, a well-worn paperback rested near a package of organic trail mix, and a vase of fresh wildflowers stood to the side.

Reaching into her mini fridge, she grabbed a bottle of Kombucha tea, twisted the cap, and took a sip.

Her cell phone buzzed with a text, and she looked down to see her boyfriend Ryan’s name flash across the screen.

I’ll be here on base again tonight. Make sure you set the alarm after you get home.

Love you.

Sarah frowned, not liking that he was stuck at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek dealing with whatever mission he was commanding for another night. Ryan was in charge of an elite team of Navy SEALs, one of which happened to be her own brother. He sent them into battle and held down operations from home while the men he commanded deployed all over the world.

Although she understood the importance of Ryan’s career and was thankful he didn’t have to deploy on ops like his men, it was still hard knowing he was busy working twenty-four hours a day, unable to come home until the mission was completed.

She snapped a quick selfie blowing him a kiss and thumbed a response.

Okay, baby. Miss you.

Pressing send, she set her phone down and took another sip of her tea. Although he’d probably appreciate her reply and photo, she knew she wouldn’t hear from him again for a while. When Ryan was wrapped up in his work, it required his complete attention.

Giggling to herself, she imagined what the men on base would think if Ryan took his own selfie and sent it to her.

Not that that would ever happen in a million years.

Sarah was as free-spirited and carefree as he was rigid and controlled—at least outwardly. He had an image to maintain on base and an entire chain of command to follow in the Navy. Ryan was excellent at what he did, and his teams of SEALs literally trusted him with their lives.

One bad decision could lead to someone being injured or killed, and she knew that responsibility weighed heavily on his shoulders.

Still, she knew Ryan didn’t exactly mind the spontaneity and craziness she brought to their relationship. They balanced each other out, for better or worse.

She and Ryan had danced around their attraction to one another for nearly a year, as opposite as night and day, but once they’d finally gotten together? It hadn’t just been fireworks in the bedroom—it was more like a damn nuclear explosion. Which made it all that much harder when he was gone for several nights. She missed him—both talking to him in the evenings and snuggling up beside him in bed every night. And the sex?

Off-the-charts spectacular.

She’d have to surprise him when he finally got home, she decided. Maybe some new lingerie or something just to show Ryan how much she missed him.

Sarah hummed to herself as she stood, planning to grab a salad at a nearby café for lunch. Maybe her best friend Morgan would want to meet up tonight for dinner or drinks. She could use a little girl time if Ryan was going to be gone again.

Heading down the block, she breezed into the smoothie place and pulled her phone from her hobo bag. As she stood in line, she texted her best friend.

Drinks tonight?

Her phone buzzed almost immediately with Morgan’s reply.

Commander Hottie is still busy on base, huh?

Sarah laughed, remembering how she’d lamented to her best friend yesterday that Ryan hadn’t been home. She knew other women had to deal with a heck of a lot more—long deployments, husbands or boyfriends who’d been injured or killed. She shuddered, remembering her own brother’s brush with death not that long ago. Patrick had been injured on a mission and airlifted to Landstuhl.

Ironically, that entire situation had brought her and Ryan together, not