About Deploy: The missing, the murder, the cover up, the abuse, all of it should've been enough to divide and test the love between Declan and Justice, but it was nothing compared to the hell they wreaked on each other’s hearts. Fighting for what she loves is a war Justice cannot afford to lose...her Marine told her to engage and defend.
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“Holy shit,” Kayla said. “Oh my God, is he here for you?”
Justice lifted her gaze from the squares on the linoleum floor she was counting as she walked, an oddity she did when she was just trying to mull through whatever temporary moment she was stuck in.
Instantly the lackluster sheen of her life faded like someone had unlatched her prison door.
He was there. Declan, in uniform, was standing before her classroom door talking to her teacher, one he’d had the year before.
The teacher kept talking, but the moment Declan met her stare the world for both Justice and Declan faded away.
Other students walked into the classroom looking up at Declan with fear in their eyes, and rightly so. He was not only breathtaking in his uniform, he was demanding. Ageless.
It didn’t matter that it had been eight months since she had been in the same room with him, this close, he still had the same effect on her, and she was damn pissed at him for it.
Somewhere in the haze the bell had rung and everyone went to class—everyone but Justice. The teacher who always left the door open, shut it, leaving her alone in the hall with him. The act was meant for privacy, but all it did was put a spotlight on Justice who had all but turned the color of a rose.
Declan’s gaze moved over every inch of her and once he was sure his deep voice would be steady, he held out his hand. In the palm of it was the necklace that matched the bracelet Boon had given her months before. “Happy Birthday.”
She breathed a tight smile. “Um…do you know when my birthday is?”
“Eleven weeks, four days and give or take a few hours ago.”
She furrowed her brow, refusing to take the gift. She wasn’t sure if the hope was worth it, if the way she felt five minutes ago was not better. At least five minutes ago, she knew what to expect. She’d found a way to agree with the pain.
“Better late than never, huh,” she said finally.
He tensed his brow, not sure how to take her reaction. “I was deployed. I told you I would be.”
A short tour, mission, whatever. Yeah, he’d said as much, but it was said in passing. He didn’t say he was going to cut off all communication. Now she was not only mad at him for not telling her, but mad she had been angry instead of worrying about him. This boy drove her insane, he really did.
She searched his gray eyes shattered with blue rays finding a truth. As far as he knew or was concerned, he’d done nothing wrong. “First chance I’ve had.” He reached for her hand and put the necklace in her palm. “I’m not looking for a promise, I get it. This is hard. But I wanted you to know I thought of you.”
Declan gave a shallow nod. He could have called a few days ago, but this was the first second he had a chance to lay eyes on her. He’d been making plans, checking on things with his family as he made his way here. “I texted you, told you it would be a minute—not to worry about me. To stay strong, lean on my brothers if you needed to.” And she didn’t text back.
Shock glinted in her blue eyes.
“You didn’t get it?”
Her relived stare told him she hadn’t.
“I gotta get you a real phone. Fuck that pay by the minute shit.”
All Justice could think was that better be the reason she didn’t get the text. It better not be because he was just trying to smooth things over.
Declan stepped closer. “I’ve got a few days…I was going to head up to around Mt. Mitchell for the weekend, see if there’s anything I missed before.”
She nodded and looked down, wishing he had just mailed the gift. Last time she was face to face with him it was for less than an hour, and it was looking like this time was going to be less than ten minutes.
“I asked Bell already. She said you could come with us if you wanted.”
“Boon, Tobias, and an old friend of Nolan’s.”
He playfully narrowed his gaze. “Am I serious about having you at my side for the rest of this day and the next two, looking at you when I want?” He bit his lip before he went on. “I couldn’t be more serious.”
About Jamie Magee: Jamie Magee has always believed that each of us have a defining gift that sets us apart from the rest of the world, she has always envied those who have known from their first breath what their gift was. Not knowing hers, she began a career in the fast paced world of business. Raising a young family, and competing to rise higher in that field would drive some to the point of insanity, but she always found a moment of escape in a passing daydream. Her imagination would take her to places she'd never been, introduce her to people she's never known. Insight, her debuting novel, is a result of that powerful imagination. Today, she is grateful that not knowing what defined her, led her on a path of discovery that would always be a part of her.
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