SEAL My Love:A SEAL Brotherhood Novel

By: Sharon Hamilton

Chapter 1

Navy SEAL Trace Bennett sat down on one of the benches at Gunny’s Gym, picked up a thirty pound barbell, and started his reps, focusing on a straight back and neck so he didn’t pay for it later tonight. He’d been told it was mandatory to do daily PT when they were between deployments. Unless he wanted to do a cool ten-mile run or a swim in the inlet, it was Gunny’s, and a great place to get to know some of the other guys. Since the Team had just come back from a short mission to Baja California, they weren’t likely to be sent out again for several months, unless something flared up. And that happened a lot lately.

Being the newest member of Kyle Lansdowne’s squad on SEAL Team 3, his transfer from Team 8 had been hastened by a messy divorce and a bad write-up on his interim evaluation. He’d told his LPO that he just needed a change of scenery.

“Lansdowne runs a tight ship. They watch for cracks. You wanna stay in as a SEAL, you better not have one,” said Sr. Chief Masterson.

That had brought a smile to his lips.

Masterson barked back at him. “Fuckin’ pervert! I didn’t mean your butt crack, Bennett. I mean your head’s gotta be right, but I’m with most my peers in this. If you can’t fuck, you can’t fight. So I guess I should feel grateful you at least have a sense of humor and a dirty mind. That’s a good sign.”

“Yessir.” He stifled his snicker and gave him a sigh instead. “I just need a break with all the—shit that went down.”

He almost allowed himself to talk like a woman. Who the fuck blames memories for a lack of future? Certainly not any warrior from the Brotherhood.

But it had been part of the reason. The fact that Shayla took up with another Team Guy on Team 4 didn’t help things at all. It was a hell of a thing to come back from deployment and find someone else in your brand new king-sized bed that hit your credit card while you were sleeping in a sandy cave overseas.

So here he was, pumping iron and trying to fit in. Except that the guys on Kyle’s team looked like they were right out of high school. At thirty-four years of age, he’d winced when they’d called him “Grandpa.” He was part of an exclusive club. Only ten other guys on Team 3 were over thirty.

Well, he planned to show them he could probably bench press more than anyone and had taken probably a thousand more HALO jumps in his career. He would make it to fifteen years, two years from now. Then he’d see if he had the stones to stay in a full twenty, although sitting behind a desk never really appealed to him. Older guys who became too senior didn’t do the active deployments. Right about ten years, most of them started moving on to something else, if they didn’t do it at six.

But one thing defined Trace; he was stubborn. He’d leave on his own terms, as long as his body didn’t give out on him. Every jump had his LPOs holding their breath, even though he felt fine. They’d give a younger guy time to heal if something happened. Not a thirteen-year man. And it gnawed at him that some might consider him fragile. He wanted to bust something up.

Just in time, Team 3’s tall medic, Calvin Cooper, entered with a short ugly dude they called Fredo. They were about as opposite as friends could be, but word had it that they were tighter than the ass on a chipmunk. Fredo kind of looked like a small furry creature himself, with his unibrow and a wide, flat nose like an Ewok. These guys were seniors, he was told. He should show them the respect they deserved. They had a few years less service, but they were well-thought-of, and if they liked you, you were in with the rest of the squad.

“Hey, Gramps. You take your Metamucil this morning?” the shorter one asked him. Fredo’s accent was all LA barrio.

“No time. I was doing the tat artist, and she took her time with me, too.” He wiggled his eyebrows at Coop. He’d received intel Coop had been sweet on the little lady with tits the size of balloons. He’d let her do the frog prints up his right arm, like all the rest of the guys on Kyle’s team. He pleasantly recalled how Daisy liked to smooth those knotted nipples against his bicep, and it softened his irritation at Fredo’s jab about his age. So he focused on the medic.

Coop didn’t react, but Trace could almost hear the cracking of granite inside the tall SEAL’s chest. So Trace had to rub it in and displayed his arm, still with the plastic wrap attached, showing off his new, reddened frog print tattoo.

Fredo swore in Spanish. “He’s a clown, this one. Coop, we’re gonna have to watch out for him.” Coop still said nothing. Fredo continued, “Besides, you’re a fuckin’ liar. She wouldn’t want anything to do with the likes of you. She’s got herself a homicide detective who brings his own cuffs. Right, Coop?”