Twisting from the collective embrace, she eyeballed each man. Rhett
could stop traffic with his rugged boy-next-door good looks,
well-placed tattoos, and electric blue eyes. None of that mattered.
Cade commanded her full attention. His six-foot frame towered over
her, though she never felt threatened. From his spiky black hair to
his toned legs, he was her hero. If he only knew how wet she was
with nothing more than a hug and husky words grazing her ear.
Melanie stood on her tippy-toes. She slid her hands along Cade’s
body to cup the back of his head, partially to hug him, but more to
make sure her Airman was real. Three months back, the national
television news reported brutal attacks, including the bombing which
took their good friend Dell’s life.
After seeing the frontline footage, Melanie wondered how anyone made
it through the incident without major injury.
She thanked God each day no one came to her door to tell her
if Cade or Rhett were hurt. Although Cade stopped writing over three
months ago, Rhett’s letters kept her up to date on the extent of
Cade’s injuries and the progress of his recovery from the second
bombing. Still, seeing Cade in the flesh reassured her more than all
Rhett’s written words offered.
Melanie cocked her head and considered him a moment. The jovial
light, which normally sparkled in his eyes, seemed dim. Maybe he was
just tired and needed a long rest.
His arms laced tight around her body, sending another hot rush along
her nerve endings. Tears pricked her eyes. She wasn’t sure if she
should smother him with kisses, belt him on the arm, or a
combination of both. Why not tell him how she felt? She licked her lips and swallowed
hard to buy a moment to think. “You asked if I was your girl. I
doubt I’m enough to satisfy you.”
Cade shifted. His expression was stark. She chewed her bottom lip
for a moment. She couldn’t quite pinpoint the problem, but something
about Cade wasn’t right. He seemed stiff and despondent as he stared
at the ground. Did he see something in Afghanistan he couldn’t
shake? Or someone? She shoved the thought aside. He lived for the
ménages with Rhett. “Cade, am I your only girl for this furlough?”
Although a sly grin curled the corner of his mouth, his gaze slid to
the bank of windows to the left. “I could be convinced.”