Her Dominant SEAL (Midnight Delta Book 9)(4)By: Caitlyn O Leary
Drake hated to see her moving so tentatively. She peered around the campgrounds looking for any sort of threat. She was doing a shit job of it because her eyes rolled right over him and kept on looking. He started towards her, and then she shifted her glance back at him. A huge grin split her face, she dropped her backpack and started running towards him.
“Drake!” In a nanosecond, his arms were filled with a small sprite of a girl. At sixteen he’d been almost as tall as he was now, but she hardly hit the middle of his chest.
“I thought you were in high school? I didn’t realize you were still in junior high, Piper. Damn girl. Tinkerbell is bigger than you are.”
“Drake?” her voice wobbled. Big brown Avery eyes looked up at him, and he was about ready to kick his ass to the moon and back.
“Oh, baby sister, you’re beautiful. I’ve been so worried about you. You’re just a might on the short side, and the idea of you being so tiny and hitchhiking is making my head want to explode. You’re a gorgeous young woman.” He watched as the tears started to dry up, and he relaxed. “You need to have your butt spanked for pulling such shit.”
“Darn it all, you’re as bad as Trenda said you were.” Piper tried to wiggle out of his embrace, but he wouldn’t let her. “She said that having you for a big brother made it so she was a virgin until she was twenty-three.”
“Hell, Piper, I left when she was sixteen!”
“Exactly, all the boys were still scared that you would come back and beat the shit out of them if they did her wrong. She had to leave town to get the deed done.” Piper poked a finger into the middle of his chest. The little digit kind of hurt.
“I hope all the males in Jasper Creek knew better than to mess with my little sisters.”
Piper turned her head away. “The pixie dust eventually wore off.”
This time when she pushed to get out of his arms, Drake let her down. “Piper, is there somebody I need to kill?”
“No, it isn’t me. I’m still in junior high, remember?” she attempted to tease. Suddenly, he was looking into the brown eyes of the five-year-old girl that he had left. Shit, she had been such a vivacious little girl...until that night.
“Drake, don’t think about it.” She put her hand to his chest.
“Piper, it’s the reason I’m here. It’s the reason I had to leave in the first place.” He took the hand that was touching his chest in both of his and stepped back. He gently pulled her arm straight. “Is your arm giving you pain?”
She looked down at the ground to avoid his gaze.
He knew the break had been bad and that they had done surgeries on it. Trenda kept him up to date on everything.
He tipped her chin up so he could look into her eyes.
“It hurts a little today, it’s just the cold.”
“That fucking bastard.” Even as he said the words, he smoothed the flyaway strands of black silk back from her flushed face. “Come on, let’s get you out of the cold.” Drake really wanted to pick her up and cuddle her, but something told him if he did, she’d be uncomfortable, so he tucked her in close under his arm, and ushered her toward his rental car.
“Wait, I need my backpack.” She tugged at his arm.
They went where she had left it, then made their way to his vehicle.
“I still can’t believe you’re actually here,” she said as he bundled her into the passenger seat. He put her backpack in the backseat and tugged the seatbelt around her slight frame and blanket. It had a musty smell to it, but at least it had kept her warm, and for that, he would be forever grateful to the trucker.