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Special Forces Blind Date

Written by Regan Black

Chapter Three

Oh, how she wanted to believe him. The way he held her gaze as though she was his sole focus sent her heart rate into a tizzy. This was hardly her first encounter with a confident and hot man who’d chosen a military career. As an office manager for one of the many doctors on the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center base, she ran across his type all the time.

Well, maybe not men of Alex’s particular caliber, but close enough to recognize the in-it-for-the-minute type. “Are you back on active duty?” she asked, torn between cutting the evening short and indulging in some time with a man who could never be more than a friend.

“I am.” The pride shone on his face. “The knee feels better than new.”

“That’s great.” It was the reminder she needed that he was fantasy, not reality. She reached for her drink again. “I’m flattered you set this up,” she began, determined to let them both off the hook gracefully.

“Why flattered?”

Her gaze landed on the daisies. “You invested serious time and effort to finally get me into this bar.”

“You can’t be surprised.”

“Of course I can,” she said. “I never expected to see you again.”

His gaze narrowed and she felt like a hill he’d been ordered to conquer. “You never mentioned a bias or rule about not dating soldiers.”

“Why would I? We were in a gym, rehabbing injuries.” Her immediate protest ran out of steam as a smile spread across his face, infusing his eyes with that charm that drew her in when she should run away. “Stop teasing me,” she said, suppressing a laugh.

“Oh, Helen, I’m just getting started.”

His low voice rumbled, stirring her senses, igniting her imagination. For most of her recovery, she’d spent two or three hours a week in the gym with Alex. Others, too, counting the staff, but none of them could make her laugh or fight through a trial by turns.

“Did I ever say thank you?” she wondered aloud.

“If you stick with me for the evening, we’ll call it even.” His eyes lit with a gleam that sent desire lancing through her system. “We never had a PT graduation party and I get the feeling we’re both overdue for some fun.”

“You won’t throw any of those silly special ops lines at me?”

“Now, that hurts,” he said, laying a hand over his heart. Then he laughed. “I promise I’ll behave until you ask me not to.”

The wink oversold what he’d surely intended as an earnest pledge and she laughed. The nice guy under the bravado, charm and ripped body appealed to her way more than was wise. Still, it was good to see a friendly face. And nice to pretend her life was normal.

“All right,” she agreed. “Let’s have this date.”

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Regan Black

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