It was his keen eyesight and steady nerves that enabled handsome Nathan “Nate” Ward to become one of the Marine Corps’ best snipers. With his long time best friend by his side, life in North Carolina wasn't so bad, yet he was haunted by a growing love he wasn't sure would be acceptable to his family.
She had always been like a little sister to him. At age four, Kristen Jones and her brother were taken in by the same foster mother, in southern Mississippi, that had cared for Nate. When they met he called her "Baby Girl", just like her father had, and she loved him for it.
But now they are all grown up and her love for Nate is becoming something far different - something intense yet unspoken and even the rigors of college can’t lessen her longing for him.
But what if Nate didn't love her? Did she dare make the first move and risk rejection?
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“Eagle where are you?” Bull whispered.
Bull heard a click in his earpiece and knew immediately that Eagle was near danger. He waited for a few
moments and whispered, “Scout, can you get a visual on Eagle?”
“Negative, Bull,” Scout whispered in reply.
“Bull, last visual was thirty yards east of the wall where the patrol is gathered. He was headed west,” added Reb.
“Roger, that. Find him, Reb.” Bull whispered over the radio.
Reb slid silently along the wall a few yards until he had a visual of his teammate. “Bull, he is fifteen yards to the east of the enemy patrol. He is not in the position to respond other than clicks. Do you need a
diversion, Eagle, two clicks for yes and one for no?”
Bull listened close to hear the exact amount of clicks, as did the other two members of the Marine Force
Recon Team. “Scout, I got two.”
“Roger that. Reb?”
“Roger, two here. Bull?”
“Scout, slip over to the other side of the road about fifty yards and set a small blast.”
Three clicks came in response. Bull waited a half second then asked, “Reb, what is happening?”
“We need to move in now. They are ten yards away from Eagle and are moving closer. They must have heard something.”
“Scout you have the soldier to the south. Reb, north. Eagle, you get the one closest to you and I will get the other one. Move in three…Three, two, one. Move.”
The four man team moved quickly and silently to eliminate the threat. Three of the four men were taken alive. Bull’s man was the only one that put up a fight.
“Good work. Leave him and let’s take these three to HQ,” Bull ordered.
“Bull, we have company. There is a jeep about two-hundred yards north and closing,” Eagle informed from his perch on the wall.
“Eagle, get up higher and tell me who it is.”
Eagle silently disappeared into the night. A few seconds later he whispered, “Bull, you are not going to believe this, but it’s friendly. Repeat it is a US soldier.”
“I don’t like it. Stay put and keep an eye on them. We are clearing the area, even the dead.”
“Bull, wait. The jeep is stopping. Another patrol is approaching it. They are talking in the native language. It looks like we have our informant. Permission to stop the meeting.”
“We have these three tied up. In two minutes we go in. Eagle, can you get closer and get some of the conversation on tape. If we don’t get what is being said, then the informant might get off.”
“Sure. Give me five minutes and I should have enough.”
“Go. In five minutes, we take down the informant. Reb, swing around behind the jeep. Scout, you come
“Talk to me Reb.”
“What do you want to talk about?”
“Kris, your brother is on the phone!” Mama Lee called through the bathroom door. Kristen opened the door and took the phone smiling her thanks.
“Hey, Josh. Where are you?”
“We are running a few minutes behind because our dates were late.”
The smile faded from her face as she asked, “Dates? I thought it was going to be just us.”
“Oh, Kris I was under the impression that Nate discussed it with you. Jonathan said that you were okay with it. You know that Jessica wants to spend time with you. She is graduating, too.”
“Nate did talk to me and I told him no one else. It’s my graduation! The rest of you had everything the way you wanted it!” Kristen fumed.
“Kris, we’ve been through this. We have a life in North Carolina!”
“You’ll have a good time. There will be a few friends from North Carolina joining us that you might be interested in.”
Kristen looked at the phone after she heard the dial tone and realized her brother had hung up on her. She said, “So much for the chance to catch Nate’s eye.”
“Kristen Amelia Jones!” Kristen turned to see Mama Lee, her guardian, standing at the end of the hall.
“Mama Lee, I was hoping to finally show Nate that I have grown up!”
“Don’t rush it. You are their baby. I know that Nate loves you, but don’t push a relationship on him. You will only end up pushing him away and then you have lost your heart to a man that can leave at any moment
and be on the other side of the world.”
“But, my heart is already…” The door swinging open downstairs and her brother calling, “Surprise”, interrupted Kristen.
Kristen heard Mama Lee chuckle as she raced down the stairs. As Kristen hugged her brother, Josh barely had the breath to say, “I knew I would get you with that running late bit.”
Kristen looked around for Jessica, Jonathan and Nathan but was surprised when Josh said, “Jessica is meeting us later and Nate waited for Jonathan. I wanted some time alone with you. We need to talk about some things.”
Kristen smiled at him before asking, “How do I look?”
Josh spun her around saying, “Too much legs, arms, chest, and midriff showing, other than that, great.”
Kristen’s startled expression and the sudden tears in her eyes made him say, “If you were anyone, but my
sister, then I would say that you look hot.”
Kristen’s bright smile and hug were welcomed as he caught Mama Lee’s eye over Kristen’s head and shared her look of agreement. Kristen ran back upstairs to grab her purse as Mama Lee shared a hug with Josh.
“Mama Lee, I just wanted to let you know that Nate has finally come to his senses. He is going to give Kris something special for graduation.”
“What?” Mama Lee asked.
“I can’t tell you. You will understand at her party. How is everything coming with that? Does she have a clue that we are planning anything?”
“She has been so busy trying to find the perfect outfit to wear to catch Nate’s eye, that she doesn’t suspect anything.”
“Josh, let’s get going. Mama Lee, are you sure you don’t want to change your mind and come with us?”
“The tradition has always been for you four to go. I don’t want to change anything besides; I would like to be able to watch my show in peace.”
Kristen and Josh laughed as they left the house. After they were in the car and on their way, Josh asked, “Is there anyone important in your life?”
“Oh, Josh. You know that I have my eyes on someone.”
“That’s a secret I have kept for too many years to reveal it to you first. I am hoping to let him know soon, though.”