Read Nashville SEAL: Jameson: Nashville SEALs Online

Authors: Sharon Hamilton

Tags: #Military, #SEALs, #Romance, #Fiction

Nashville SEAL: Jameson: Nashville SEALs (2 page)

BOOK: Nashville SEAL: Jameson: Nashville SEALs
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Not on your life!

Today would firmly plant their little family together forever and ever. Charlotte would formally have a daddy now. She would take Jameson as her husband, and she would love the both of them for the rest of her life. Gone were the lonely days being a single mother, wishing she could share all of Charlotte’s childhood milestones with the man who was every bit a part of her as she was. Jameson had missed so much, but he was rapidly making up for lost time.

Kendra Johnson, Lizzie’s Maid of Honor, was in a light pink powder puff gown that made nearly as much noise as Lizzie’s wedding gown. Jameson had told her hearing the fabric rustle was a real turn-on for most men. At least the ones who were not marriage averse.

“You keep staring at the bouquet as if you can’t decide if you like it or not,” whispered Kendra. She brushed imaginary dust from Lizzie’s lace-covered shoulder and slipped an errant strand of hair behind her ear. She followed it up with a kiss to Lizzie’s cheek. “You okay, sweetie?”

Lizzie locked into the honest eyes of her best friend. While not on the same level or basis as the SEALs, they’d shared the horror of having their daughters kidnapped by terrorists, to nearly be sold off to some nutjob in a foreign land who respected women less than his dogs. She shuddered every time she thought about what would have happened to the girls if Jameson and the SEALs hadn’t found them in time.

“I’m just nervous.” As she glanced back down at the bouquet for the tenth time this sunny afternoon in Sonoma County, her eyes filled with tears that burst down onto the scented mixture. “I think I miss my mom too.” She was barely able to get it out.

“Awww, sweetheart,” Kendra said, wrapping her arms around her carefully. “What can I do? You want a drink? You need a Valium?”

“No. I want to remember every moment of this day, every millisecond, Kendra. I don’t want anything to alter what I’m feeling. I want it all. I’ve paid my dues to have it, and have it I will.”

Kendra nodded. “You need to see Jameson, I think. Should I get him?”

“No. I think I’d like to just take a little walk. We have what—ten minutes?” Lizzie turned to smile at Monica and Ellery, two of her friends from college who’d flown in from the East. The girls stopped whispering, adjusting their dresses and strapless bras, turned their backs on the primping mirrors and nodded
yes
.

Like three fairy godmothers, they all surrounded Lizzie, locked arms, and formed a circle. Her heart was filled to bursting. Unlike most the other SEAL wives and girlfriends, Lizzie had spent years thinking about the man who had fathered little Charlotte. She’d held back hope that some day Jameson would come back into their lives, and not because he
had
to, but because he
wanted
to. Because he
loved
her, loved them both.

“Thank you for sharing this day with me,” Lizzie whispered. Her lower lip and chin quivered. “If I don’t stop crying, I’ll be a mess of red blotchiness.”

Then Kendra and Ellery gushed through their own tears. Monica’s eyes were completely dry, as was her sense of humor. “You know, Liz, if you’re not up to it, I could trade places with you. I’ll take Jameson anytime you decide he isn’t good enough for you. I don’t even care if he objects.”

Everyone laughed.

“Seriously, if you have the slightest hesitation…”

“Oh, stop it!” Lizzie was beginning to feel better. Monica’s deep voice and strong personality had made for some interesting times in the past growing up.

“You’re living the fantasy every girl wants, Lizzie,” said Ellery. “We’re just so happy for you. Some day. I keep telling myself,
some day I’ll find that guy who walks into my bedroom in his cowboy boots, picks up his guitar and sings me a love song
. And you get to have that every night, Lizzie. You so deserve this.”

“Thanks so much.”

The door opened and Charlotte, also dressed in white with her own matching veil burst in, her blonde curls bouncing all about her shoulders. She forged her way to the center of the ring of ladies. “See, my dress is just like Mommy’s.”

Ellery and Kendra fawned over her, examining her headband encrusted with live flowers. Through the crack in the doorway she could see Jameson. Just the gentle way he nodded in her direction, giving her that sexy grin, was so reassuring. She had to see him, regardless of the myth. She turned to ask permission, but Kendra shoved her toward the doorway.

“Go. We’ll take care of Charlotte. Go see him, Lizzie.”

She stepped into the hall that would house their reception, closing the door at her back. The room was quietly being arranged. The wedding cake was being put together. Helpers arranged chairs and cloth-covered tables adorned with flowers.

Her eyes downcast, she felt suddenly shy in front of him. His shadow fell over her, his black boots with the fancy stitching touched the toes of her glittering white ones. His fingers lifted her chin to him, and she saw what she’d always dreamt would be there for her some day: the man she loved, showing her he loved her back.

“You’re crying. I feel like crying too, but don’t tell anyone here or they’ll toss me off the Teams.” He leaned closer to her, until his lips nearly touched hers. “And to think I was so dumb as to not see this angel standing in front of me, the lady who not only helped me grow up, making me a man, but to become a father as well.” He pressed his mouth against hers, and the chemistry between them sparked. She felt like her hair was standing on end. She lost herself in the feel of his kiss, the scent of his aftershave on his smooth cheeks, the way that little groan emanated from way back in his throat and vibrated to his chest. Her hand was against his heart, and then slid higher until both her forearms were resting on his shoulders as he drew her tight against him. He braced her with one large powerful hand splayed against her back. She turned her head and listened to his heartbeat.

“Thank you, Lizzie, for finding me every way a man could be found.” She reveled in the vibration of his voice against her entire upper body.

“I’ve thought about feeling this happy some day. I’ve thought about it every day since you left North Carolina.”

“I never could get you out of my mind, Lizzie. I figured you were better off loving someone else. I hoped you were happy there. But I missed you every day, sweetheart.”

They heard guitar music. Turning together, they watched Thomas singing at the other end of the great hall. “And this is for Lizzie and her Jameson.” He began the familiar words to the song they both loved so. He sang the first stanza, and then launched into the last two lines of the chorus:


Our lives are better left to chance,

I could have missed the pain,

But I’d have had to miss the dance.”

As Thomas finished the song, Lizzie realized Jameson had taken her in his arms and they were slowly dancing. It was quiet, intimate, their hearts beating as their fingers explored each other’s fingers, as she felt his kiss on her neck, as she touched his cheek and slid her forefinger across his lips before he kissed her. He was so slow and tender with her, spinning that fire and warmth in a warm cocoon that was their love. She felt cherished and protected. Honored, elevated and proud he’d chosen to stay. Life couldn’t have been more perfect at that moment.

Jameson’s deep, needy kiss engulfed her, prying her loose from her shyness, from her sense of decorum, and she found herself sailing away with him, risking all for this man, who owned every piece of her heart. Never had she felt so complete, so safe.

Behind her she heard the door open. Little Charlotte came running to their side. Jameson picked her up and the three of them hugged, dancing to music that had stopped.

Devon appeared in the doorway to the garden area where the wedding was to take place. She was holding her baby daughter up on her shoulder, patting her back. “We’re all set. Jameson, you must take your place. All the families are seated.” She angled her head towards the garden, indicating Jameson should follow her.

Reluctantly, their embrace ended, and he slipped through the doorway into the green of the garden outside. Just before he ducked under the doorframe, he turned and winked at Lizzie and Charlotte. “Bye Daddy,” Charlotte blurted out, “See you soon!”

Thomas was at her side, looking more respectable than Lizzie had ever seen him. He rolled his eyes as the bevy of lovelies wafted around him and headed for the doorway, leaving the three of them behind.

“Who’s the brunette?” Thomas leaned over and whispered.

“That’s Monica.”

“Monica,” he mumbled over and over again. “That’s a pretty name.”

“She’s a rare flower, like you,” Lizzie said as she slipped her arm through his. “Ready, Charlotte?” She held Charlotte’s little white-gloved hand, and they glided to the doorway.

“Come on, doll. Let’s get Jameson all hot and bothered and jealous as hell. I don’t get to do this often and probably will never do it again, so humor me, okay, sweetheart?”

She was happy Thomas had agreed to walk her down the aisle. His sense of humor was sending the nervous butterflies back from where they came. The trio watched while several of the SEAL children, both boys and girls, spread rose petals down the path of crushed granite covered in burgundy carpet. A large white wicker archway adorned with fresh flowers was the backdrop to an impressive lineup of handsome, well-built men and their counterparts in shades of light pink to rose. Every chair in the area was taken, leaving several people standing.

The minister announced the bride as the harpist began her beautiful rendition of
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
.

She passed by familiar and unfamiliar faces, members of the SEAL community with their families, mingling with cousins and surviving members of Lizzie’s family. Snickers and sighs trailed behind them when Charlotte began waving to the audience all on her own. Lizzie felt she was being ushered down an unknown trail. She knew it would be sometimes a difficult road to travel, but just for today it was perfect. The blending of families was witness to the lifelong commitment she and Jameson were making.

Nothing in the world could take this day away from her. It didn’t matter what was to happen next. Nothing would ever tarnish the perfection of this day.

Thomas released her arm. As she’d been practicing, Charlotte stood between her mother and father, holding hands with both of them, wearing the same fabric as her mother’s wedding dress.

They were all getting married today, a family forever connected by the bonds of love.

Chapter 2


O
f the three
of them, Jameson Daniels knew Charlotte was shaking the most. The nervous titters in the audience sealed it for him. Glancing down on the golden curls and flowers atop her pretty little head, he knew some day she’d make a beautiful bride, and she’d do it the right way. She’d get married first and then have the baby.

But that was okay, he thought. Anyway it worked was okay. Just as long as they were together. He wasn’t judging how their family came to be. It just was what it was.

Charlotte’s little hand was sweaty, and he felt her shortness of breath as she leaned against him, not against her mother. He hoped no one saw it wrong, but in a way she was marrying him. Her mother was forever tied to her because she’d been there since birth, but he, her father, had to earn her love and trust, and right now she was showing him he’d gone a long way toward doing that.

You love unconditionally, like your mother.

When he faced Lizzie, he saw tears streaking down her cheeks. Somehow she knew the depth of his love for her, for Charlotte, and how grateful he was for all the wonderful blessings that had befallen him.

The audience began to chuckle. He turned, thinking he’d see something like a jester or a clown standing behind him, but nothing was there.

The reverend cleared his throat. Jameson realized that it was for the second time.

“You have something to share with Lizzie and little Charlotte, Jameson?” His voice was commanding, gentle and urgent all at the same time. A practiced showman, no doubt he liked to conduct his services efficiently and on time.

And then it hit him. He was supposed to read his statement. And he’d left it in his pants pocket in the bunkhouse. His blank stare into the reverend’s eyes brought a frown to the man in black.

“Something wrong, Jameson?” Thomas leaned into him, whispering.

“I left my paper in my jeans.”

Lizzie’s adoring eyes widened abruptly, and then she too frowned.

“This is just like Ransom’s. Remember when you forgot your second stanza?”

He did remember that. He sang the first one over again, until it came to him. The audience loved it. But he had no first stanza to use in this case. Very slowly, he angled his head, raising his eyebrows and stared back at Thomas.

“Oh, shit.” Thomas wasn’t very careful who heard him. Half the audience did.

Lizzie covered Charlotte’s ears.

“You owe me, Jameson.” With that, Thomas passed by Lizzie and out a side pathway that lead to the rear of the property. Before he ducked out of sight, he pointed to the air. “Be back in a flash, folks.”

BOOK: Nashville SEAL: Jameson: Nashville SEALs
8.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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