I nearly get back to my feet when I slip again, fully expecting to fall flat on my ass. Imagine my shock when my arm is engulfed by a big, strong hand and I’m pulled against a rock solid body instead.
“Easy there, sweet cheeks.” His voice is a deep baritone, with a hint of a southern accent. I’m torn between shoving him away and dry humping his leg. That sweet, southern twang is hot, but then I remember men are scum so I choose to push him away.
“Don’t touch me,” I mutter.
“Sorry, my mama raised me to help a lady in distress, not watch her fall on her face,” he answers, his eyes raking up and down my body salaciously.
“I wasn’t going to fall on my face, it was my ass you saved. So thanks, I guess. Now would you mind telling me who you are and what you’re doing in my house?” I punctuate my statement by popping my hip out and crossing my arms over my chest in the true ‘I am a pissed off woman’ stance.
His eyes wander back down my body, stopping to ogle my boobs before moving downward. He is staring at my hips and I feel a bit put out. I know I’m not the typical thin model type. I have largish tits and my ass reflects my love for maple-iced donuts.
Then I realize the skirt of my dress is pulled up so far he can clearly see the landscaping I had done in order to surprise the douche. I quickly pull the wet material of my dress down over my hips and blush. From the look on his face, I can tell he’s barely holding back laughter. The fact that a sexy as sin man is seeing me at my worst is almost more humiliating than catching the cheating bastard going to pound town on my best friend. The stinging is back in my nose and my eyes are brimming with tears. This time there will be no holding back, the rage that has been carrying me through these last hours finally dropped me on my ass and now I’m left to deal with the fallout. I feel one traitorous tear slip past my lashes followed by another and another.
“Hey, don’t cry.” He reaches for me and I pull away. I definitely don’t need comfort from a stranger who quite obviously finds my situation hilarious. “Look, my name is Hutch. I’m here for a little solitude and some R&R. This is my buddy’s cabin.”
My eyes are wide like saucers at the revelation of who is standing in front me. Lt. Hutchinson—Hutch as his friends call him—was stationed in Afghanistan with my brother and he saved his life many times over. Every time I spoke with Drake, he raved about Hutch and how he was a true hero. Without another moment of hesitation, I fling my arms around Hutch’s waist and hug him close.
“Thank you,” I manage between sobs. Instead of crying over the shit that my life has become, I’m crying because the man who kept my brother alive—and nearly died to do so—is standing right here. I can’t even begin to explain how much gratitude I have for this man.
“Uh... for?” He stutters. I’ve obviously confused him with my mercurial change in mood.
I look up and give him a watery smile, “For saving my brother.”
“Are you Blake?” He asks, dumbfounded. “Drake’s little sister?”
I can’t choke back the laughter, “Yep, by exactly two minutes. Did he not tell you we’re twins?”
“Um, no, the way he talks about you I assumed you were a kid with skinned knees and pigtails. Not…,” his eyes take me in again, “not a grown woman.”
Fuckin’ Drake. He always talks about me like I’m still chasing bugs and digging up worms with him and his goober friends. I never was a Barbie dolls and tea party kind of girl. Total tomboy, through and through.
Hell, sometimes with my name people completely forgot I even was a girl. Well, until I hit puberty that is. The boob fairy was very kind to me at a young age. Didn’t change my tomboy ways, much to my parents chagrin.
I have five brothers; I’m technically the youngest and the only girl out of six kids. Mom was excited to finally have an excuse to buy cute frilly dresses, pink everything, and other girly stuff. Instead, she got me. I wore my brothers’ hand-me-downs instead of those pretty pink dresses and every time momma tried to let my hair grow, I would shear it off as soon as I found the scissors. It wasn’t until I went away to college that I even considered the benefits of my feminine frame.
I smirk up at the handsome hero, “My brother likes to forget that I’m all grown up now, too. We haven’t seen each other in many, many years.” I sniffle at the thought. “He decided to enlist instead of heading off to college with me and he hasn’t been home since.”
Hutch’s arms flex around me. “The life we signed up for makes it difficult. This is the first time in a long while I’ve been stateside myself. It is a major adjustment for sure.”