Saved by the SEAL(3)By: Diana Gardin
“There you are.” I breathe. “Hey, beautiful. You’re okay. You’re okay.”
I repeat the phrase again and again, rubbing her back with one hand while she gains her bearings. She blinks rapidly a few times, and then croaks out in a hoarse voice.
“Grisham? Grisham Abbot?”
I smile, grateful to hear my name falling from her mouth right now. “It’s me. Been a while, huh?”
She nods, coughing again. She raises a hand to her head and winces. That’s when I see the blood, nearly hidden in her hair at the top of her forehead.
“Damn. That’s a nasty cut. That probably happened when you fell off your board. Let me take you to the hospital, okay?”
She shakes her head. “I hate hospitals. I was just there with my little sister a few days ago. I’ll go to urgent care.”
I shake my head. “Not by yourself. I’ll take you.”
She looks reluctant, but nods her head. “Okay.”
I stand, holding out my hand to her. “Do you think you can stand and walk? If not, I’ll carry you.”
She allows me to help her up. She’s a little unsteady on her feet, but she seems like she’ll be able to make it up the steps and to my four-door Jeep Wrangler.
“Wait!” she cries, turning toward the ocean. “My board!”
“Shhh, I got it,” I reply, pointing to where it’s lying on the beach. “We towed it in on your ankle.”
She nods in relief.
“Let me get you to the car, and then I’ll come back for our boards. Okay?”
Her eyes stray down to my leg, following the metal trail to my prosthetic foot. I’ve almost forgotten about it. It usually doesn’t take people this long, but I’m going to give Greta credit because she was unconscious for part of the time we’ve been together today.
“Oh, Grisham,” she whispers. Her eyes fill with tears.
“Hush,” I admonish her. “I’m used to it by now. Hey, I’m good as new, Greta. I got out there to pull you in, didn’t I?”
She nods and rewards me with a small smile. My heart stutters, remembering what it was like when I really saw that smile for the first time.
I met Greta well over two years ago when she and my best friend, Berkeley, became roommates. But Berkeley wasn’t just my best friend; I’d also been secretly in love with her since we were kids. When Berkeley moved in with her, I didn’t pay Greta much attention. But after Berkeley got together with her boyfriend, Dare, my heart took a beating. There was one morning when I was at their apartment, giving Dare the business, when Greta walked into the room wearing really tiny pajama shorts complete with a thin tank top.
The image is still burned into my mind.
I couldn’t help but follow the trail of her long legs, past her little shorts, pausing at the small patch of skin exposed on her stomach. Then, when I made eye contact and saw those baby blues, clear as the fucking sky above and filled with desire, I almost lost my mind.
I left, because my head wasn’t in a place to deal with feelings for another girl.
But right now, connecting with her again like this…something inside of me is pulling me toward her like a magnet. I can get lost in eyes as big and as blue as hers.
I think I might even want to.
“I’m sorry, Grisham,” she says sincerely as she blinks.
I’m distracted as she pulls her soft, plump bottom lip into her mouth and bites down. I’m mesmerized as the nipped skin turns pale.
“I said I’m sorry? About the explosion that caused you to lose part of your leg. I heard about it…” She trails off, her eyes closing briefly as if she’s in pain.
I reach out and grab her chin, causing her eyes to fly open and lock with mine once more. A stirring in my suit grabs my attention, but I push my physical reaction to this girl out of my head so I can finish this conversation. Her eyes stay locked on mine, instead of straying back down to my foot.
This surprises the shit out of me, because usually I can’t keep anyone’s attention for more than a few seconds before they’re looking at it again.
“I can do everything I did before,” I tell her, my voice soft. “Except lead my boys out into the damn desert again, that is. My career focus has shifted a bit, that’s all. But I’m okay, Greta. Thanks for worrying about me.”