Her Dominant SEAL (Midnight Delta Book 9)(5)By: Caitlyn O Leary
“You better believe I’m here,” he said as he closed the door. He rounded the car, still looking around the campground to see if anyone was watching them. Satisfied that they weren’t being observed, he got into the driver’s seat, started the car and blasted the heat.
“Thanks for all of the Christmas and birthday gifts. I really liked the Kindle you got me.” He smiled as he looked at her shining face.
“Trenda told me how much you loved to read. I’m sorry we haven’t had a chance to talk more.” God, how he’d missed seeing his younger sisters grow up. Trenda had been great in keeping them in touch with him when they came over to her house. There were phone conversations, and later there had been SKYPE sessions. But still, to have not seen any of them in person for twelve years had been hard.
“Trenda finally told me how you were the one who made sure everyone was taken care of when they moved out of Mom’s. Maddie and the twins wouldn’t have been able to afford college if it weren’t for the money you sent. She even explained you sent money to Mom. I never knew that. Why didn’t Mom tell me?”
“She must have had her reasons. You know how proud she is.” Drake knew how hard it must have been for his mom to take help from a son that she resented.
“Still, you did so much for all of us. Thank you. I’ve always wanted to say that to your face.”
“It wasn’t much.” Drake felt his cheeks getting hot, and it wasn’t from the heater in the car.
“Bullshit. Trenda showed us the check we got from you last December. She said it was the same amount you sent every month for the last three years. We loved being able to gift it back to you, big brother.”
“You ought not of done that,” his accent getting thicker. Drake had received an individual Christmas card from each of his sisters. Each of them had sent back one piece of the torn-up check as well as a piece of a picture of a truck that he wanted. Somehow his sisters had known he had wanted that new truck. Money had always been tight for him, sending half of his paycheck home to Tennessee each month. But it had been the right thing to do. When his sisters had torn up his December check and sent it back to him, he’d been blown away.
“How is Mom?” he finally asked.
“The same. She’s going to be mad that you’re here.” She held out her hand, and he grasped it. “How’d we end up with parents like ours?”
“I don’t know, Tinkerbell.” Drake pulled out of the parking space. “We need to find you a place to stay.”
“How about you?” she asked as he pulled onto the highway and headed back towards Jasper Creek.
“Yep, I guess I need a place too. Got any ideas?”
“There’s a cheap motel near the truck stop,” Piper suggested.
Drake snorted. “I don’t think so. Try again.”
“Eva works at a small boutique hotel near Gatlinburg that caters to honeymooners. She works the front desk and cleans the rooms. There are three other hotels close by, she could probably ask one of them to get us a deal.”
“Sold.” Drake fished out his phone and handed it to her.
“Is that a gun?” Piper breathed out the question, pointing to his gun that she’d seen under his coat.
“You can’t have that here.”
“Piper, I have a permit to carry. You can be damn sure I’m carrying with Dad and his prison buddies around town.”
“But I thought you were in the Navy. What are you doing with a gun?”
Drake shot a sideways look over at his little sister. What in the hell did she think he did for a living, swab the deck of ships?
“You know I’m a SEAL, right?”