Command and Control

By: Shelli Stevens


Thank you to my family and friends for your support of my writing, and to those who are my beta readers and critiquers. To my readers, whom I adore and who’ve picked up my books over the years. To my editor, Tera, for making my books all sparkly goodness. Special thanks to my friend Patricia for sharing your experience with the military and the time you spent in Iraq. And most importantly, for this book, thank you to all the military heroes out there who’ve given their time, and sometimes theirs lives, for their country. My characters are fiction, but you’re the real deal. And you don’t get thanked nearly enough.

Chapter One

What the hell?

Trevor Wyatt froze, one foot already outside the coffee shop, his mind echoing with what he’d just overheard.

Megan was getting married.

His chest tightened, almost crushing his ability to breathe as the blood pounded harder in his veins. He moved out of the entryway and back into the store, stepping to the creamer station to slowly add three packs of sugar he didn’t even want to his coffee.

“Bev, I swear to God I saw it with my own two eyes,” Lisa, Wyattsville’s most notorious gossip, proclaimed. “Not even five minutes ago Megan was picking out wedding cakes down at Kate’s Cakes.”

Five minutes ago? That meant she might still be there. Trevor didn’t need to hear another word, just strode out the door—coffee forgotten on the counter—and hurried toward Kate’s shop. The fact that he needed to be at his parents’ house in twenty minutes had just slipped on his priority list.

His fists clenched and his head pounded with sudden tension. How the hell was it even remotely possible that Megan was getting married? Damn it, he hadn’t even realized she was seeing anyone.

Maybe if you came back from Fort Lewis on the weekends as much as you used to, you’d have figured it out.

But coming back to Wyattsville meant facing Megan and the fact that he’d failed her. Failed them. Coming back drove a hot poker into another emotional wound he couldn’t seem to heal, that’d he’d begun to realize would probably never heal. He was a fucking mess. Megan didn’t deserve that. He’d kept telling himself that until he’d finally driven her away.

Right into someone else’s arms it seemed.

“Hey, Trevor, didn’t know you were back in town!” one of his friend’s called out as they passed each other on the sidewalk.

Trevor nodded, unable to form a response to his friend. With each brisk stride he took, familiar faces rushed to move out of his way, their eyes widening, even as more people called out a greeting or welcomed him back.

An image of Megan flitted through his head. The same vision that usually came to mind when he let himself really think about her. An image from two summers ago. She was lying in the grass over on Evergreen Hill, her red hair sprawled out with the wildflowers as she smiled up at him through her lashes. Her blue eyes twinkled with amusement and intimacy, her breasts rising gently with each seductive laugh she made.

Frustration seeped through his pores and into his blood until he let out a snarl of frustration as he spotted the shop with the pink overhang that was supposed to resemble frosting. The shop Megan was hopefully still in.

She was never supposed to marry anyone else. She was supposed to marry him.

He shoved open the door to the shop and strode inside, his gaze sweeping the small confines until he found her.

She stood by the display case full of cakes, dressed in a skirt suit that hugged her curves, laughing as she spoke to Kate, the owner of the shop. But the moment he entered the store, her laughter had died and her lush mouth had parted just enough to show her surprise, even as her gaze remained unreadable. She was always so damn good at that. Keeping her emotions under control. They were one in the same that way.

Longing slammed into Trevor’s chest, hitting him like a two-by-four, clenching his heart with an almost physical pain and stirring his blood with a hot arousal that had become somewhat a novelty.

Beneath his jeans his cock twitched, recognizing the only woman who could just about make him come in his pants when she gave him the look. The only woman who could affect him on such a primal, sexual, male level.

Megan marrying someone else?