The Soldier Next Door - Cassandra Dee
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“Ugh!” I shriek, throwing my phone down on the bed. I roll over, frustrated that my best friend Marcella isn’t answering the phone. I stare at the fan on my ceiling and watch it go around and around.
It’s another boring Saturday in Remford, Iowa, a small, suburban town about a half hour outside of Des Moines. I live in a well-to-do, quiet neighborhood. Everyone has white picket fences, neatly manicured lawns, and everyone knows everyone. All of my neighbors are generally older, except for my new neighbor.
I haven’t met him yet, but my parents did a couple of weeks ago and said he was a nice and charming man. He recently served in one of the armed forces and moved into the house next door to start a quiet life. Hmm. Interesting. I wonder if he’s Army, Navy or Air Force? I’ve always had a thing for military men.
But that’s neither here nor there, because maybe our new neighbor is married with five kids. Veterans do tend to start families quite young after all, although come to think of it, I haven’t heard the sounds of any children.
I put it out of my mind and let out a big yawn before stretching my arms over my head. My parents are away for the afternoon, gambling at a nearby Indian casino. My dad is a bank teller and my mom volunteers at the library a few times a week. They’re older, in their fifties, and they’re gone a lot. I don’t have any siblings so it’s me by myself at home most of the time.
I blow out a puff of air in exasperation. When Marcella doesn’t answer the phone that means I have nothing to do. She is my best friend and has been since we were both freshmen at Remford High. We do everything together like cheer, student council and Junior League. We just finished our junior years and she decided to get a job for the summer, making her super unavailable for me. How annoying.
I even thought about working at the same place that she does just so we could spend some more time together, but Marcella always seems so busy these days. As a result, I’m glad I didn’t apply. I just try to catch her on her days off instead.
I roll over on to my stomach and look out the window. The sun is shining bright outside and the blue sky is calling my name. I sit here, thinking of my options. Go outside or stay in?
I decide to read one of the books my mom brought home from the library. She picked up the newest romance novel by my favorite author, Jillian Amada. I like reading and since I’m home alone a lot, books sometimes are my only company. I get lost in the characters’ lives and their love for one another. I admire how the characters fall in love slowly yet have an irresistible lust for one another. Every time I read one of Ms. Amada’s books, I picture myself as the heroine, being swept up by a handsome knight in shining armor.
It’s silly, I know, but it’s the closest thing I have to a real romance. Might as well give it a read. I slide off my bed and wander over to my desk to pick up her newest release, which I’ve been eyeing for a while. This one has a shirtless, sweaty cowboy on the cover, and my mouth goes dry as I study his abs. They’re bronze and as hard as rock. I’d love to run my fingers over them in real life.
Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. Sighing, I head back to my bed, and throw a glance out my window. That’s when I see my new neighbor. Correction, my new HOT neighbor. Holy shit. Who is this? But before I can even take him in fully, my phone starts ringing.
I quickly glance at it and snatch it off my bed, not even checking to see who is calling me. “Hello,” I answer, not taking my eyes off the Greek god outside.
“Hey girl, sorry I missed your call. I just got off work. What’s up?” Marcella asks from the other side.
I don’t hesitate.
“Girl, my neighbor next door…he’s…I just…wow…oh my GOD,” I stammer into the phone. I can’t rip my eyes off his beautifully sculpted body or his chiseled features. He has black hair, tan skin and arms that bulge when he works.
My friend giggles.
“Oh, the guy that’s been