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SEALs of Honor: Corey: SEALs of Honor, #16

SEALs of Honor: Corey: SEALs of Honor, #16

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SEALs of Honor: Corey: SEALs of Honor, #16

évaluations:
4.5/5 (6 évaluations)
Longueur:
225 pages
3 heures
Sortie:
Nov 19, 2018
ISBN:
9781773360683
Format:
Livre

Description

A voice from the past cries out for help and Corey finds himself reunited with the only woman who'd ever rocked his world straight off the axis. But twelve years is a long time apart. Both of them have moved on, but, tragically, Angela is no longer the lighthearted woman he once knew and loved.

Caught in a nasty divorce and custody battle, Angela will do anything to keep her son with her. After seven years of a rocky marriage, she's only just beginning to figure out what kind of a man her husband truly is.

Angela makes it clear to Corey she doesn't want or need his help. She's got her own insurance to secure her case. But Corey is determined to shield his old flame anyway because she doesn't seem to realize her "insurance" is more than likely to get her dead sooner rather than later. Given that Corey's up against a man with no intention of letting his son go, it's a race to see who ends up in a casket first.

Sortie:
Nov 19, 2018
ISBN:
9781773360683
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It's a Dog's Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series). She honors the stories that come to her - and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres! To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her at http://www.dalemayer.com. Or connect with her on Twitter @DaleMayer or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dalemayer.author. If you like Dale Mayer's books and are interested in joining her street team, sign up here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/402384989872660/ Books by Dale Mayer Psychic Vision Series Tuesday's Child Hide'n Go Seek Maddy's Floor Garden of Sorrow Knock, Knock... Rare Find Eyes to the Soul - fall/winter 2014 By Death Series Touched by Death - Part 1 - Free Touched by Death - Part 2 Touched by Death - Full book Haunted by Death Chilled by Death - fall/winter 2014 Second Chances...at Love Series Second Chances - Part 1 Second Chances - Part 2 Second Chances - Full book Novellas It's a Dog's Life- romantic comedy Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy Broken Protocols #1 Broken Protocols #2 Broken Protocols #3 New adult/adult crossover books In Cassie's Corner Gem Stone (a Gemma Stone mystery) Design Series Dangerous Designs Deadly Designs Darkest Designs Family Blood Ties Series Vampire in Denial Vampire in Distress Vampire in Design Vampire in Deceit Vampire in Defiance Non-Fiction Books Career Essentials: The Resume Career Essentials: The Cover Letter Career Essentials: The Interview Career Essentials: 3 in 1

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SEALs of Honor - Dale Mayer

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About This Book

A voice from the past cries out for help and Corey finds himself reunited with the only woman who’d ever rocked his world straight off the axis. But twelve years is a long time apart. Both of them have moved on, but, tragically, Angela is no longer the lighthearted woman he once knew and loved.

Caught in a nasty divorce and custody battle, Angela will do anything to keep her son with her. After seven years of a rocky marriage, she’s only just beginning to figure out what kind of a man her husband truly is.

Angela makes it clear to Corey she doesn’t want or need his help. She’s got her own insurance to secure her case. But Corey is determined to shield his old flame anyway because she doesn’t seem to realize her insurance is more than likely to get her dead sooner rather than later. Given that Corey’s up against a man with no intention of letting his son go, it’s a race to see who ends up in a casket first.

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Prologue

Corey Handleman woke up, surprised to find it as late as it was. Being in the navy, he rarely slept in. But it was already six-thirty. He rolled over and checked his cell phone for a text from Macklin. Corey was not at all sure what had gone on last night. But he had a suspicion his friend was taking a step that might not be in his best interests. He sent a quick text. Where are you?

There was no response. He frowned, got up, had a quick shower and put on some coffee. His phone rang.

It was Mason. Did you hear the news?

What news?

They caught Marsha’s killer.

Corey let out his breath with a heavy gust. Thank God for that. He frowned. Who was it?

Her girlfriend.

But nobody said she had one.

Marsha kept her a secret. Even though the girlfriend lived there, she wasn’t allowed to let anybody know. She went in and out of the balcony door. The police only found out at the station after picking her up.

Ouch. Makes it hard to have a relationship if you’re always going out the back door. How long were they together?

Off and on for over a year, but they’ve known each other for quite a few years. It wasn’t somebody Marsha ever talked about.

And I suppose they didn’t go to parties together—do girl stuff?

Never.

And how did you get all this information?

I contacted the station and talked to them this morning. Alex was just leaving. Anyway, she gave me the heads-up on some of the details. She and Macklin were heading to bed.

So that’s why Macklin didn’t answer his phone. Corey chuckled. Well, I could see that one coming.

It’s good for Macklin. He’s waited a long while to find somebody.

Yeah, he has.

Your turn, Corey, Mason said. Isn’t it time for you now?

There’s nobody special in my life, Corey explained. He walked to the window and stared out. Maybe it’ll happen one day.

Mason smiled, his voice laughing as he said, Pretty darn sure it will happen sooner than later. You seem to have a lot of women in your life.

Not really. Although I did meet one for coffee a few days ago. But that wasn’t a girlfriend. She was my sister’s best friend. And it was hardly a social visit.

If it wasn’t a social visit, what was it? What did she want? Mason asked with curiosity in his voice.

Corey hesitated.

If you don’t want to tell me, that’s all right, Mason said. I’m just curious.

The thing is, I don’t know what she wanted. She called me and asked to meet. We sat and had coffee. Then she suddenly seemed to get nervous. Changed her mind. I tried to talk her into staying, but she wouldn’t. She just said she had to go.

Is she okay?

I don’t know. I called my sister, left several messages, but I haven’t heard from her either.

How long ago was this?

Two days. But with all this going on with Macklin and Marsha, I put it out of my mind.

How do you suggest we make sure both of them are okay?

I should have heard from my sister, but she’s been really busy. I don’t know what’s going on with Angela.

Was she looking for help?

I don’t know. She told me that she was fine, apologized for having bothered me. Then she stood and left. I walked out to the car with her. But she wouldn’t have anything to do with me. Honestly, she pissed me off, so I just put it out of my mind.

So it’s not like she was being followed or anything? Mason asked in a sharp tone.

Not that I could see.

So tell me. Who was she?

Corey sighed. He turned to face the small room, walked over to the coffeepot, poured himself a cup and said, Somebody from my past.

This sounds interesting. You sure it isn’t more than that?

No, it’s not more than that. I haven’t seen her since high school graduation.

That doesn’t mean much. Look at Merk.

Corey gave a bitter laugh. Yeah, but he at least married his girlfriend. In my case, a whole lot of other emotions were tied up.

Anything you want to talk about?

Corey shook his head. Nothing to talk about. She was my little sister’s best friend. We fell in love—as strong as first loves are. I was sure she was the one for me. I thought she felt the same way.

That happens, Mason said, his tone neutral. Then what?

She found out she was pregnant. Corey winced, feeling the same old feelings of frustration and pain flow through him. We didn’t have much chance to sort out our feelings and what we would do when she had a miscarriage. Next thing I know, she didn’t want a thing to do with me. When I saw her two days ago, it was the first time I’d seen her in twelve years.

And yet she looked you up after all this time?

Yeah. She did. He frowned. I sure wish I knew why though.

But you saw her after the miscarriage?

Yeah. She had to finish school. I saw her, so it’s not like she had the baby and that I didn’t know anything about it. He shrugged it off. It’s old water under the bridge. He talked another couple minutes with Mason and then said, I’ll catch you later.

He hung up, picked up his coffee and stepped outside on his little deck. Those old memories were hard. He’d wanted that baby something awful. He’d always loved children, always planned to have children. No, he hadn’t been ready for fatherhood back then, but that was what he’d been handed, so he would have made the best of it, and he was pretty damn happy with that plateful. When she’d lost the baby, he’d lost it too. He had never expected to experience grief when it wasn’t even his body, when the child wasn’t even fully formed yet in her belly.

She’d barely been through her first trimester. But it had been a keen loss that, even now, twelve years later, still hurt. With no children of his own, he wondered and worried what would have happened if they had been able to keep the child. He thought back to seeing Angela at the coffee shop—his shock, his surprise.

It had also been a joy, a bittersweet joy. She’d looked exactly the same, and it had taken his breath away. The same angelic blond hair, even in the same hairstyle, straight but curling against her shoulders.

His phone rang. It was his sister. Hey, sis, there you are.

Sorry, she said, fatigue in her voice evident. It’s been a hellish couple weeks.

Work?

Work and studies.

His sister was almost done at Thomas Jefferson School of Law here in San Diego. She had a brutal class and work schedule, but she was coming through with flying colors. Hopefully this will be done soon.

Well, it would be. But two days ago something else happened.

For you too, huh?

Her voice piqued in interest. What happened to you?

Angela walked into my life again.

She gasped. And then suddenly went silent.

Instincts on alert, he asked, Why? What was that reaction for? What’s wrong?

She told me that she might stop in and see you, Bridget said quietly. Something was really bothering her.

Well, she came, but she got up in the middle of coffee, even though we had lunch ordered, and said she had to go, that it was a mistake to see me. I walked out to her car, trying to talk to her, but she wouldn’t have anything to do with me.

Yeah, I was afraid of that.

So why did she come?

Somebody was threatening her. She was hoping you could help.

He frowned. Why me?

I’ve kept her up-to-date on your life. She gave a bitter laugh. To make things worse, Angela’s gone missing.

Chapter 1

Corey ended his call to his sister and dialed Mason. I just heard from my sister, he said without preamble.

And? Mason’s voice sounded unconcerned, as if having moved on to something else after their conversation from ten minutes ago.

Corey understood. He was like that himself. She said Angela, the friend I met, has disappeared.

What? There was a long pause. She has nothing to do with the military, correct?

Not that I know of. She did ask me to meet her at that coffee shop near the base.

So that means the local police. Mason paused for a long moment. Has your sister contacted anyone?

She went to the police and reported Angela as missing.

Let’s get a hold of them first. Find out if a missing person’s file has been opened and if they know anything.

Corey snorted. You know, even if they have anything, they aren’t going to tell me.

Exactly, but we might be able to ask Alex to dig into this too. Get back on the phone. Get every last detail you can from your sister. Again Mason hesitated. What exactly did you and Angela talk about?

Corey stared out the window. Not much. It was just the ‘Hi, how are you? Isn’t it lovely weather?’ awkward conversation that happens when you haven’t seen somebody for years, someone you hadn’t expected to ever see again.

And yet she called you?

Yes, she did. And, yes, I should have been prepared. But I wasn’t. Seeing her again hit me like a punch to the gut.

But you did see her after the miscarriage?

Yes, I did. Several times.

How long since the last time you saw her?

Two days ago. Before that it had been twelve years.

Okay, get back to your sister. I’ll call Alex.

Mason hung up. Corey was surprised to see he was shaking.

What he hadn’t told Mason was the shock of hearing her voice. That slam to his heart and his gut. The reason they’d broken up had been the miscarriage. But he hadn’t been the one who wanted to break up. He’d wanted to get married and try again. And she hadn’t wanted anything to do with that. He understood at the time she had been dealing with the miscarriage and the grief process.

But somehow she’d been unable to separate him from that horrible event. And had walked away. He’d tried hard to understand. He’d tried to stay in touch, but, every time he contacted her, she hadn’t responded. Finally he talked to several of her friends, and they all said the same things. For her, it’s over. Move on.

His method of moving on had been to join the navy. It had taken a lot of years to rebuild his life, and just the shock of seeing her walk back into it the way she had, had been very disorienting.

He’d been more than happy to meet up with her. In fact, he’d been excited to see her, hoping maybe, after all this time, they could at least be friends. But she hadn’t acted normal. She’d been nervous, tired, as if under a great deal of stress.

When he’d asked what was wrong, she’d shaken her head, given him a sad smile and said, "Life just is. You head down a path you think will lead somewhere good, only it doesn’t. But you’re too far down to change direction."

He thought about every moment of that very short visit. He realized her gaze had never stopped searching the restaurant. He had even asked her, Are you expecting somebody else?

She had given him a false laugh and said, Expecting? No. Wondering? Yes.

He’d leaned back and stared at her. What’s this all about?

But she’d hedged. What? Can’t I call up an old friend?

Is that what we are?

She’d sat in her seat, stared at him for a long moment, her gaze going behind his shoulder before she said, I was wrong to call you. I’m so sorry. I didn’t want to dredge up bad memories. She grabbed her purse, stood and walked outside.

He’d raced out behind her. "What do you mean, bad memories? I got over it. I was hoping you had too."

She’d turned her glance his way. Of course I got over it. But one never really forgets, does one?

He took a deep breath, realizing just how much he hadn’t forgotten as he stared at the woman he’d loved for so long. But it had been a young love. He’d been an infatuated fool back then. He was much older, much wiser and a whole lot more experienced in relationships now. And what he realized today was that what they had was very sweet.

No, we don’t forget, he’d said quietly. Plus I never went on to have a family.

She’d glanced at him, startled, and then nodded. I’m sorry. In her vehicle, she’d turned on the engine and smiled. Just forget I was ever here. And she’d backed out of the parking lot and taken off. But, as she drove away, she’d turned to look behind her. And it wasn’t to catch another glimpse of him.

Now he realized all the telltale signs he had missed. If only he hadn’t been so rattled to see her, then he would have realized she was in trouble. He picked up his cell phone, just now wondering how she had gotten his number. And then realized his sister must have given it to her. He called Angela. Instead of ringing, the phone went straight to voice mail.

Angela, this is Corey. Call me.

Given that type of a message, the chances of her returning his call were pretty slim. But at least he’d opened the door. It was up to her if she walked through it or not. And then he winced. At least that was what he had thought two days ago.

Maybe not. There was a darn good chance she wasn’t in any position to answer. And then what the hell would he do? He’d just come through a really rough time with Macklin, dealing with the murder of somebody he knew. And that had been somebody who had caused him nothing but trouble. How would Corey feel if somebody he had cared about deeply was in trouble and if he hadn’t stepped up to help?

But she wouldn’t tell me what was wrong, he muttered to the empty kitchen. Remembering Mason’s instructions, he called his sister back. She answered this time.

Sis, Mason is checking with local police here. But I need you to give me all the details, everything you know about Angela. I saw her but only for about ten minutes. She looked pale, worn out, stressed.

Yes. She was stressed all right. She went to you for help, his sister scolded.

Well, we never got to that topic. And it would have been nice if you had given me some warning, he snapped. I get that you don’t care one bit about my history with Angela, but it was a hell of a shock seeing her.

Her tone softened. I’m sorry. Do you still care that much?

It doesn’t matter how much I care now. It was a long time ago. But, seeing her after all that time, remembering how she wouldn’t talk to me back then, it was a bit of an adjustment. He shook his head. No. I don’t have any excuse for the way I acted. I should have forced her to sit down and tell me what was going on right now. Instead, I let her run away. I should have known better. It’s what she’d done before. It’s what I felt like she always did.

She’s changed. That miscarriage really hurt her.

Ditto, he snapped. That doesn’t change the fact she’s in trouble now.

"No. But she wouldn’t tell me exactly what was going on. She was looking to hire a private investigator.

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