Anthology of 8 Navy SEAL novellas by New York Times, USA Today and award-winning bestselling authors: Marliss Melton, Gennita Low, Teresa Reasor, Elle James, Delilah Devlin, Stephanie Tyler, J.M. Madden and Sharon Hamilton
HOLDING ON by New York Times Bestselling author Stephanie Tyler:
(a novella set in the Hold series - originally published in SEAL of My Dreams altho) Jamie Michaels is an FBI Agent, married to a Navy SEAL…and about to give birth while her husband’s deployed. Navy SEAL Chris Waldron’s been on some impossible missions before, but getting home in time for the birth of his son might prove to be the toughest–and most rewarding mission of all.
A quick note from Stephanie:
This story is set approximately six and a half months from the end of HOLD ON TIGHT. So many readers asked about what was happening with the Navy SEAL brothers from the HOLD series (HARD TO HOLD, TOO HOT TO HOLD, HOLD ON TIGHT), I thought this was the perfect opportunity to catch everyone up.
This story has also been featured in the anthology, SEAL of My Dreams.
Chris told her, “I walked ten miles in the snow, uphill. And don’t think this kid will ever hear the end of it.”
His different color eyes stood out in stark contrast to his very tanned skin. Jamie reached out and stroked his cheek, just to make sure he was real. “You just got in?”
“About an hour ago. Roads are impassable.”
“Not for you.”
“Not for you,” he countered as her fingers skittered over the buttons on his jacket before skimming the icy material off him, letting it falls to the floor.
He stood patiently, this familiar act becoming something of a ritual between them. It was like she had to catalogue everything when he came back—every smile, every scratch—and he let her, without complaint.
Her pace quickened as she touched the cold skin on his biceps. She needed to get him warm, wanted him skin to skin with her. At this moment, that was her only mission and the only one that mattered.
She pulled the shirt over his head next, his dogtags clinking and coming to rest on his bare chest, and saw where the blood had come from. The gauze that covered his size was large, but clean.
“It’s nothing,” he told her and she didn’t press even as she continued to memorize the other, numerous bruises and scrapes littering his upper body. He wore them as if they were nothing. He bent and took off his boots, but only because she couldn’t. And then she helped him off with his pants next—he eased them off and laid them on a chair carefully because they were heavy with some of his gear.
“Rough trip home?”
“Not so bad,” he said.
“Why are there chicken feathers coming out of your pocket?”
“Just be grateful the walk home in the storm washed away the smell.”
“Most of it,” she teased.
“Fuck, you look beautiful,” he murmured, a hand on her swollen belly.
“Gorgeous,” he corrected, and he meant it.
“Let me clean you off,” she murmured. “Come on.”
He followed her to the bathroom, sat on the edge of the bathtub while she wet a washcloth and wiped the paint and dirt from his face gently, like she was uncovering the real him again, like she did every time he came back.
It would never be that easy—coming home rarely was for these men, she’d learned—but this helped connect them again.
He let her finish with his face and neck, both knowing he needed more than a washcloth, but he wasn’t complaining. He’d stripped completely before he sat down and it was warm enough to where he’d stopped shivering.
“Thanks,” he said when she was done, and she cupped his clean face in her hands as time dropped away and it was their first time together on the plane or the second in Africa before things went bad and it all blended together in a wonderful way. Their history.
He made her sentimental; she’d never been that way before. “Why don’t you take a nice, hot shower and then—”
“Later,” he said, the way she’d hoped he would before standing and pulling her close.
And then she couldn’t wait—had never wanted anyone more. No words were necessary—he was on her the way he’d been from day one. Logistics were of course trickier but the man and his body seemed to bend in ways that were superhuman. Chris’s hands were weapons all their own—the fact that they roamed her body with such gentle and purposeful need made it all the better. And when he took her, all was right in the world again. His mouth covered her skin, his kisses hot against her neck as he trailed his tongue in a way that made her squirm with pleasure. She exploded, then melted and he was far from done.
She hadn’t known how badly she’d needed this. Beyond the sex, she’d simply needed to be in his arms.
New York Times Bestselling author Stephanie Tyler was a Secondary Ed teacher for grades ranging from middle school to college while she pursued a PhD in English Literature, all while trying to convince herself that she would get back to her dream of writing as a career eventually. When her daughter was born with serious medical problems, Stephanie found inspiration in the fighter her child proved to be—and found her own way back to writing. She’s published in a variety of genres, including romantic suspense, new adult and paranormal romance, and she also co-writes erotic paranormal romance under the name Sydney Croft. She lives in New York with her husband, her kids and her crazy Weimaraner, Gus, and they’re all cool with the fact that she’s permanently on deadline.
You can contact Stephanie through her website: www.StephanieTyler.com for more information on the Hold series and her other books, for news on upcoming titles and more!