Cruisin' For A SEALBy: Sharon Hamilton
SEAL Brotherhood #5
Navy SEAL Mark Beale searched the buildings and shops along a quaint Italian street barely wide enough for one very small car. Hitching up his jacket against the cold wind only accentuated the chill in his bones. He knew what it was. Grief.
He would not find her face anywhere in the restaurant and shop windows, or hear her voice up above in the shuttered apartments.
The rest of his band of brothers were having drinks by the inlet, admiring sailboats and catching conversation with some of the colorful seafaring population of Savona. The team guys had brought their wives and girlfriends because they would be deploying within a month, and not coming back was always a possibility. It gave the ladies some quality one-on-one time with their mates, memories to last a lifetime if it came to that.
He liked the melodic ebb and flow of the Italian language, grateful he couldn’t understand a word. It somehow reassured him that life went on, that his life would go on, even though they’d laid Sophie to rest four months ago.
He hadn’t known her well. When his former roommate and fellow SEAL, Nick Dunn, introduced them, Nick’s sister Sophie was in the last stages of cancer, but he instantly recognized that she would have been perfect for him. And he could have rocked her world, given half a chance.
After she died, Mark went into a self-imposed exile. Just seemed hard to be in the company of men and their life partners. Life partners who were getting married. Having babies. Not that he wanted the whole world to grieve with him, but the constant interruption of happier things only added to his dark mood.
He’d also tried to hook up with girls he’d previously enjoyed, but even that hot sweaty sex had lost its appeal. He just wasn’t into it, and the girl usually felt terrible afterwards, just like he did.
He was a shell of his former self.
His LPO, Kyle Lansdowne, was concerned about him. He kept an eye out for all his men on SEAL Team 3. Kyle had a keen eye for when something wasn’t right. If a guy didn’t go out drinking, spend time with the ladies, or had an especially sensitive streak with the smacktalk among Team members, it was cause for concern.
In this case, Kyle had reason to be concerned. Mark had seriously considered just checking out completely.
He decided to sit, have a cappuccino, and watch the passersby. A pretty brunette with long, long, well-toned legs and wearing high-heeled camo boots, got his attention. An older woman who could have been her mother joined her. The two took a table next to him and the Italian flowed all over his body like a gentle rain.
The coffee was delivered to him and he nodded his thanks without speaking, not wanting the ladies to identify him as American. Not that it would make any difference, of course, because he had no intention of talking to them.
The heart-shaped design in the foam on top of his cappuccino rammed a fishhook to his chest. He stared down at it for a moment with a pang, but welcomed the creamy taste, and the shot of caffeine gave him the jolt he needed.
His eyes drifted from the cluster of pigeons dodging scooters and pedestrians to the table next door. The younger woman slipped off her black raincoat, revealing an ample chest delicately restrained by a stretchy black dress that came down low in a dangerous V. She held her water glass in long, elegant fingers with short, red nails. A colorful charm bracelet danced on her small wrist.
Mark followed as she lifted a glass until it mated with her full, red lips. Her large brown eyes darted in his direction, and then she looked back at the woman who shared her table. But then she smiled. He knew that smile was intended for him, just as he understood his dick was interested for the first time in three months.
The Italian language was luxurious. No other way to describe it. An Italian love ballad was playing somewhere down the arched tunnel between the piazza and the homes of the locals above. He didn’t know the words, but loved the feeling it imparted to him. He understood some of the words, like amore. He wouldn’t have tolerated this sappy show or sensual drifting before tonight, but he was caught in a fantasy that the lady was rubbing the glass against her bottom lip for him, as she sucked the ice cube she held in her left hand, popping it inside and out of her lips, wrapping it in her pink tongue.
She smiled at her companion, and he wanted to lick the dimple that dared to peek at him from her left cheek. He knew she’d taste good. He knew just a drop of her juices on his tongue would send him places he’d missed. His little head had the pompoms and the little cheering section going. Was already nekked with the young lady with the big tits and the beautiful, full, red lips. His fingers had already found how her silky inner thighs quivered under his touch.
What the hell are you doing?
She was a pleasant fantasy, and if he was completely honest and thought she might understand him, he’d thank her for the brief respite, since it was becoming a burden to remember Sophie in past tense. Sophie dead and buried in the ground.
This beautiful, seemingly full-of-life woman with the flashing eyes and healthy smile had, for the first time in months, distracted him from the heaviness in his chest.
He wanted to meet her, to actually do some of the things playing in living color inside his head. And, yeah, he was a dog. He was a dog about to embark on a cruise from Italy to Brazil with some of his best buds. He’d never come back here to Savona, and would never see her again. Perhaps that’s what piqued his interest in her after all. In less than twenty-four hours he’d be gone, leaving her behind.
The older woman left amidst a flurry of kissing the way the Italians do it. He recognized the “Ciao, Mama,” as confirmation this was indeed her mother. She took her place back at the little table and finished her cappuccino.
He got up and left some coins on the table, then made the mistake of looking over at her. He gave her a crooked little smile. She’d have to be completely insane not to pick up on the fact that he found her attractive. She arched one eyebrow as he admired her rack. Okay, to be perfectly honest, he was actually imagining what they’d look like released to his hands.
He was normally the gentleman with these types of hot women, when he didn’t know anything about them. It wasn’t proper to admire another man’s lady, and this one was too fine not to be attached. So he closed his eyes by way of an apology and then looked back at her with a small shrug, as if to say Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.
She did the wrong thing. She rose slowly, tilted her head and blew him a kiss with those red lips. The flirtation was delicious. She slung a yellow Gucci bag over her shoulder, stepped up next to him, slipped her soft arm around his and snuggled against his ribs.
She said something in Italian. Mark was stunned. His legs felt like lead, unable to move as she unexpectedly squeezed her body next to his. He could feel her full breasts pressing his willpower to the breaking point. His arm suddenly became the second most sensitive of his body parts.
She was holding him close, but leading him, as if he was reluctant. “Si, si, si…” and then something he couldn’t understand. Well, hell, he was kinda reluctant, because he really didn’t know where she was taking him, but for some reason he followed along anyway.
She looked over her shoulder, checking out the deserted piazza, maybe looking to see if her mother noticed her leaving with him. Why would that be a problem? On second thought, if he were her father, he’d definitely not want his daughter going off with some stranger.
But, shit, he didn’t care. Whatever she had in mind, unless it involved something dangerous—well, hell even dangerous would be fine, since he did dangerous all the time. If it involved some dark, underground cellar and beefy guys with lots of dark chest hair, okay, then he’d get out. But he kind of liked how her tits bounced as she walked in those amazing boots with the highest heels he’d ever seen. She had a fresh lime-spice scent and something else wafting up from her hair, too.