Book: Tough and Tender (Bad Boy Romance Box Set)

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Next: Chapter Eleven

Chapter Ten


Marcus could see how mad his sister had made Hawk. For a woman who was so petite and harmless looking, Bertha always had a lot of guts. No one he knew was ever allowed to speak to Hawk in such a manner and still be standing, but Hawk had taken it pretty well.

He’d warned Hawk not to get mixed up in any of it but being Hawk he’d seen it as another chance to be the hero. Marcus knew he liked the idea of trying to “rescue” a damsel in distress. The thought of making some unknown woman smile or feel better about herself had appealed to the gentle side of Hawk who should have known better.

Marcus sighed angrily. When his sister had approached them with the idea, he’d been dead against it. But then Bertha had explained how low Anna had been feeling ever since being dumped a month before her wedding.

As Bertha laid down the idea, he saw how Hawk would be the right candidate. Girls went gaga for Hawk – literally. He was the kind of guy you may not be too comfortable introducing your new girl to. Not that Hawk was the kind of guy you couldn’t trust; no, it was the girl you’d have to worry about.

Marcus wasn’t bad looking himself but he pulled in no way as many chicks as Hawk could on a good day. If they both went out, Marcus was always used to Hawk ending up with the hotter chick if they met two new girls.

Marcus had known that Anna would be flattered if she thought a guy like Hawk fancied her. But that was all it had been meant to be. Some flattery, an hour or two of flirting. Leave the girl blushing and hot under the collar.

The way it was supposed to work out, Anna would have been happy for the attention but would have politely declined any of Hawk’s attention. But from what Marcus had subsequently learned, Anna hadn’t denied Hawk much that night.

He wasn’t sure what to say that would ease his friend’s obvious anger. He found himself venturing cautiously, “So...are you really going to stay away from her?”

“Hell. No.”

Marcus smirked. It was just as he thought. He shook his head with a deep sigh. “Well, maybe you should. I mean, she’s totally on the rebound. You don’t need that baggage right now. Besides, she left without a word. Didn’t leave you a phone number, nothing. She obviously has no intention of taking it further than this.”

His best friend laughed. “That goes to show you know nothing about women.”

“And suddenly, you know all about Anna?” Marcus said with another shake of his head. “I really doubt that. I’ve known her much longer than you, pal.”

“That may be the case. But I’m the one who’s got to know Anna, the woman. And I promise you, she will want to see me again. However, she needs me to chase her. This is all part of her subconscious wish to be wanted again. She wants me to seek her out; to find her – and claim her. And I will.”

Marcus was staring at him. “You know, that sounds messed up. You and that interfering sister of two should take lessons in staying out of Anna’s head. There Bertha goes thinking a flirtation from a hot Marine will lift her friend’s spirits. And here you are playing psycho-analyst after what, one night with her? Man...I’m not going to want to be around when this bombs in your face. And it will, Hawk. Big time. I’m telling you.”

“So like Bertha, you think I should walk away? Forget I ever met her?” Hawk said through clenched jaws. “I know you and I could be called out at any time...we’ve been home for two weeks already and we’ve even received our deployment details. And yet...I want to see Anna again. I’m not going to deny myself a chance with her. Not after what we shared last night. Will you help me?”

Marcus opened his mouth, stopping short from answering. He observed Hawk’s determined face, but then he thought of his sister Bertha and what she would do to him if she found out he helped Hawk in any way to get to Anna. Bertha was his younger sister and he was a good five years older than she was, but there were still some times he avoided messing with her. Between Bertha and Hawk, he sort of knew which one he’d rather not piss off, especially in this situation.

“Look man, you know I’ve got your back with anything else. And I can tell you hate backing down but this is one operation you’ll have to terminate,” Marcus told Hawk firmly with a slap on the shoulder. “Bertha was right; Anna is off-limits. Now let’s get back to our game. ”

Previous: Chapter Nine
Next: Chapter Eleven