Read SEALED with a Kiss (Midnight Delta #4) Online
Authors: Caitlyn O'Leary
SEALED with a Kiss
Midnight Delta Series
By Caitlyn O’Leary
© Copyright 2016 Caitlyn O’Leary
ISBN # 978-1-944787-12-7
All cover art and logo © Copyright 2016 by Passionately Kind Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Edited by Lynne St. James
Cover by Valerie Tibbs
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from the author.
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, and places portrayed in this book are entirely products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and not intended by the author.
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o all of us who are nervous and need reassurance. Remember people you love will always have your back.
hen Billy Anderson decided to ask Rebecca Barnes to the Valentine’s Day Dance, he had no idea he would be getting advice from six Navy SEALs. All of the men mean well, and some of them really do help, but his real issue is Rebecca.
There is more going on with Rebecca than she is willing to share. She needs help. The men of Midnight Delta will go above and beyond the call of duty to help the young woman Billy cares for. Will they be able to make sure that Rebecca is safe and happy?
Can the advice of Drake, Mason, Darius, Finn, Clint, and Jack help Billy and Rebecca have the Valentine’s Day of their dreams?
This book contains adult content and is meant for ages eighteen and older.
Excerpts from Her Adoring SEAL
He watched his sister rushing to the back of the diner as she took another order. She was in her element. It used to bother him, seeing her working so hard, but Mason, her fiancé, had made him realize this was part of what made her happy. She came back out holding a pot of coffee.
She had a bright smile for him as she breezed by the table where he was doing his homework.
“Hi Billy, how’s it going? Do you have any questions? Darius is going to be here soon. He should be able to help.”
“Nope, I’m covered.” She made as if to fluff his hair, and then stopped herself.
He was going to be fourteen next month.
She went to top off the coffee for some of the regular customers, and take the orders of people he hadn’t seen before. He went back to his social studies homework. He loved social studies. He was paired with Rebecca Barnes for a project, and she was brilliant. She was one of the nicest girls he had ever met. He thought about her, and her long brown hair and golden brown eyes.
He’d traced over the heading of the paper with her name so often the paper had almost torn through. It didn’t matter, Rebecca said she was going to type it up on the school computer. Still he didn’t want her to see how he had messed up their notes.
A piece of pie was suddenly placed in front of him. He looked up and there was Shirley. She owned the diner, and was like a second mother to his sister since theirs had died.
“Working hard I see.”
“Who’s Rebecca Barnes?”
Billy put his hand over their names, and looked up at Shirley.
“This is a project about Martin Luther King for social studies.”
“Uh-huh. Not that he isn’t a pretty interesting guy, but I don’t think he has you mooning over him. Who’s the girl? If you spill it to me I won’t tell your sister.” Shirley sat down across from him.
“What girl?” Billy groaned as he looked up and saw Darius Lane towering over the table. Darius was one of the Navy SEALs in Mason’s unit. Mason was practically his big brother, so all of these guys considered him his little brother too.
“Rebecca Barnes,” Shirley answered. “She’s in his civics class.”
“Social studies,” Billy corrected.
“Order up,” Peter yelled from the back.
“I guess my break is over.” Shirley got up from the booth. She fluffed Billy’s hair, and he hunched over.
“I guess you’re too old for that?”
“Yeah. But it makes her feel good so I don’t want to hurt her feelings. It’s not worth complaining about.” Darius tilted his head and smiled.
“I knew I liked you.”
“I thought it was because we both spent time in foster homes.”
“Well there is that. Speaking of which, do you still talk to the Bards?” Darius asked, referring to the people Billy had lived with for over two years.
“Yeah, Mason, Sophia, and I were just over there for a barbeque two weeks ago. The twins are both in gymnastics. Do you stay in touch with the people you fostered with?”
“Only the last guy we stayed with, Old Henry, nobody else.”
“The two other guys I was in foster care with, Donny and Steve. We were together for over ten years. Anyway, Old Henry took us in when we were about your age, he was great.”
“Is he dead?”
“Nah, he actually wasn’t that old. He was probably fifty, he just seemed old at the time. He was a retired sergeant from the Army. So who is Rebecca Barnes, and don’t tell me she’s nobody.”
“We were paired to work on this project together. We’re meeting at the library tomorrow.” Billy toyed with the pie in front of him. “Dare, she’s really quiet. I try to get her to talk. I know people pick on her.” Immediately Darius was looking at him, really looking at him.
“She’s a foster. She’s in one of those homes, with three other kids, where they do it to collect the checks. She’s always wearing Goodwill clothes. She thinks I’m just being nice to her. When I brought up I was in foster care too, she shut down.”
Darius took a deep breath. “I know just the kind of places you’re talking about.”
“What do I do? What do I say?”
“I take it you want to be more than just a friend?”
It was Billy’s turn to take a deep breath.
“I want to invite her to the Valentine’s Day Dance, but even though some of the girls pick on her, the guys hit on her. She’s turned down two of them already. Hell, Dare, maybe I ought to settle for what I’ve got and stay friends with her.”
Darius just stared.
“Yeah, I want more. But I’m going to be fourteen next month, and she just had her birthday last month. It’s not like we’re going to get married. But I sure do think about kissing her. I think about it a lot.”
“You’re on the right track. The part where you need to start out as friends. Have you talked to Sophia?”
“I can’t. She still sees me as her baby brother. She practically raised me. She can’t see me as older.”
“She will. She’s just needs a little more time. Talk to Mason.”
Billy thought about it. Maybe Dare was right, maybe he was doing this correctly. And talking to Mason was a brilliant idea.
Billy finally felt good enough to start eating pie.
Darius went outside to gently lean on his ’67 Ford Mustang Convertible. It was his baby. She was powder blue, and the idea of getting a smudge on his car wasn’t worth thinking about. He pulled out his phone and called one of his friends on speed dial.
“What? You don’t even have time to say ‘hello’ or your first name anymore?”
“Cut the shit, Dare. No, I don’t.” Steve sounded irritated.
“Are you okay?”
“No I’m not, what do you need?”
“How about a beer after work?”
“Can’t. Work never ends.” God, his friend sounded terrible.
“I’m picking you up at seven. You’re leaving the office whether you want to or not.”
“Seriously, Dare, I can’t. I’m up to my ass in alligators. Do you know how overloaded the San Diego foster care system is? I can’t find enough people to foster the kids, and it seems like every single one I do find is shit. I live, eat, and breathe this. I can’t take any time off.”
“Perfect, I want to talk about a case. The difference is you get to eat some dinner with an old friend and have a beer.” He heard his friend thinking.
“One beer. You’re buying. You pick me up.” The phone went dead. Then it rang again.
“Lane,” Darius answered, just to get his friend’s goat.
“I want gossip. You haven’t been serial dating for months now. I want to hear about the woman who has your tail tied in a knot.” The phone went dead again.
Okay, you were right. I needed to get away from the office.”
“I’m always right.” Darius grinned at Steve.
“Don’t make me spit up a perfectly good beer.”
“Hey have you seen Donny’s infomercials?” Darius asked about their foster brother.
“I hear he barely skated by without being indicted the last time. Seriously, this is a Ponzi scheme.”
“You’re tuning him out when you watch those infomercials in the middle of the night, aren’t you?” Darius asked. “This one he’s not asking for investors. Instead you go to the hotel near the airport and pay to hear his investing ideas. You invest in his
. No Ponzi scheme. He’s finally figured out how to sell his bullshit.”
Steve stared with his mouth open in awe.
“You’ve got to be shitting me. People pay our Donny for advice?”
“I know, right?”
When Steve could finally talk again, he asked, “Tell me about the new case you’re wanting me to investigate, and this woman in your life. Not in that order.”
Darius rubbed the outside of his beer mug.
“You wouldn’t believe the woman stuff.”
“She’s almost like a spy. She’s this incredible hacker who robs drug lords to fund shelters. She scares the shit out of me. She’s always in some fucking situation that could possibly get her killed.”
“Oh shit, that’s priceless. You’re the straight arrow guy who wanted to be a doctor. You wouldn’t cross the street against the light until you were thirteen. Even then Donny had to dare you.”
“I’ve learned how to color outside the lines,” Darius defended himself.
“Enough for a girl like this?”
“She doesn’t need somebody who breaks the rules, she does enough of that on her own. She needs a bloody keeper.”
“How long have you been dating?”
“Ha!” Darius’ laugh was loud and bitter. “We’ve never dated. I’ve met her once, and talked to her a few times. I’m pretty sure she lives in Oklahoma. She faked her own death when she was seventeen to get out of an abusive foster home.”
“Sounds to me like you have your work cut out for you SEAL-Boy.”
“Would you not call me that?”
“If the flipper fits...”
Darius pulled a piece of paper from his pocket. “Here’s the information on Rebecca Barnes. I think she’s in a foster farm. She just turned fourteen. She’s coping, but she shouldn’t have to.”
“Ah shit Darius, coping is better than having to live in a group home, which is what a lot of kids are dealing with.”
They sat there silently and drank their beers.
“So how bad is it? I thought it was better than when we were in the system. You were going to clean it up, Steve.”
“It’s all about funding and finding people who will come forward to be foster parents. Good people.”
“You got the Peppers shut down.”
“Fuck that, yours and my testimony got the old man sent to jail.” Steve raised his glass. Darius gave a half-hearted smile. To this day, it seemed too little, too late.
“Yeah, but Mrs. Pepper would still be taking in kids if it hadn’t been for you. Hell, her daughter started to foster, and you stopped her dead in her tracks.” Darius raised his glass again.
“When was the last time you saw Old Henry?” Steve asked.
“Yesterday.” Darius grinned. “He told me you were working too much and I needed to kidnap you. Said I was uniquely qualified for such a mission.” Steve snorted.
“Let’s order food or I’ll never be able to get work done tonight. What else did Henry say?”