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Sweet Compromises

Sweet Compromises

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He wasn’t what she had in mind. But he’s definitely on her mind now. If you love a military man with a soft heart, a heroine with high expectations, and some spicy but clean kisses, you’ll get along great with Sweet Compromises. 

Get your copy today!

Main Tropes

  • Military romance
  • Second Chance Romance
  • Small town Romance

Synopsis

He wasn’t what she had in mind. But he’s definitely on her mind now.

Caleb Matthews is military-grade, that’s for sure. Can someone so gruff and straightforward possibly deliver a dying man’s message of healing and love?

Skye O’Malley thought she knew what she wanted: A knight to help her get over her twin’s death. Will she be able to use what Caleb has to offer and find out what she really needs? With his shy smile and evening jogs through town—that has every woman watching—it will be easy to catch her eye. But his no-nonsense nature, and another man as his competition, may make it tricky to catch Skye’s heart.

If you love a military man with a soft heart, a heroine with high expectations, and some spicy but clean kisses, you’ll get along great with Sweet Compromises.

Get your copy today!

Intro into Chapter One

Chapter
One

 

 

Skye
O’Malley had been dreading this day. A year ago, her fraternal twin, Stephen,
had died in active duty. Today was their twenty-eighth birthday and it was the
first she would be spending alone. She was young, single, and she owned her own
business, she should have been celebrating. All of her friends had tried to
plan something with her today, but Skye had found one excuse after the other to
be alone.

She
and Stephen had come along late in her parent's
life and to have twins was a miracle. They treated them like they were a gift until the day they died. Their parents had
passed within hours of each other, after sharing a love that had kept a fifty-year marriage together. She and Stephen had grown up with that example
and had vowed never to settle for less. Stephen’s nickname for her had been Kitten. He said she was cute but would fight
for what she believed in. Skye had said she understood he was doing what he
believed in, and that’s why she hadn’t cried too much when he deployed.

She
and Stephen had stayed in their birth home together until Stephen decided to
join the Army. Now Stephen was gone, she was alone in the house she’d grown up
in, and for
the first time, she was alone on her
birthday. She had managed to pull herself out of bed, barely. As she stood in
the kitchen looking out the window, she saw someone driving down the lane. Skye
put her cup in the sink and prepared to send her well-meaning friend away.

There
was a plume of dust being kicked up behind the oncoming vehicle. It wasn’t a
small car, so that ruled out her best
friend, Hannah. It was definitely a
truck.  She started to pull out the large
rollers in her hair and put them in the pockets of her robe.  She looked down to make sure her two-piece pink striped pajamas were buttoned
up.

As
the truck got closer, she saw it wasn’t
just a truck—it was a monster truck. It
looked to be about 150 years old.  She didn’t
have any friends with a truck that big.
The gas alone would be ridiculous.

She
was at her front door; sure the oncoming person was a salesman of some sort.
She held the door open, ready to do battle. When the dark blue truck stopped in
front of her house, the windstorm behind it settled down. The door opened and
out stepped a man with brown hair that was cut way too short to be stylish. He
had a nice build that suggested he either worked out or did manual labor. From
looking at his work boots, she assumed
the latter. He closed the driver side door and then reached in the backseat,
pulling out a duffel bag.   

Skye
saw him walk towards the door. When he saw her in the doorway, he pulled an envelope from his back pocket. When he was
standing in front of her, she recognized
him.

“I’ve
seen you in town. In my store,” she said.

The
man took a deep breath. 

“Skye
O’Malley, my name is Caleb Matthews, and
I have a letter to give to you.”  He
dropped the duffel bag and put the letter in the other hand while he pulled out
his wallet. “But first I wanted to show you that I am who I say I am, and you
can hold on to this ID if you want.” He pulled out a driver’s license and his
military id card and held it out to her.

Skye
looked at the card and shook her head.

“Mr.
Matthews, I have to say this is getting weirder and weirder.” He didn’t seem dangerous, just agitated.

“I
have a letter for you.”

“So,
you said. Can I have it? Who is it from, and why would they send you to
personally deliver it?”

He
took a deep breath and looked her straight in the eye. “Your brother Stephen.”

The
words slammed into her as if she had been physically hit. She staggered, and Caleb reached for her.

“Don’t
you touch me. Who put you up to this? How could you—”

Caleb
dropped his duffel. “Listen, I know about Stephen.”

Her
hurt was replaced by rage. She took a step forward, not caring that Caleb was
obviously larger than she was.

“You
know about Stephen? How could you know about Stephen?  If you knew so much, you’d know—”

“I
know he’s gone. I was with him when he passed.”

Those
words took the wind out of her. Her surroundings started to fade, and she had the sensation of falling. Skye
waited to feel the hardwood floor come and greet her.

Instead, she heard a man swear and then she was being snatched up.

She
heard her front door close and then she felt the couch beneath her. 

Slowly
opening her eyes, she expected to see Caleb, but she didn’t. She could only hear
him rattling around in her house. The spigot of water creaked before the water
flowed. Moments later he was back with a glass in his hand, sitting her up on
the couch so he could give her the water.

“I
told him this was going to be a sucky idea, but he wouldn’t listen. I told him
you’d call the cops and have me arrested for harassment. I tried to convince
him this was a really bad idea, but he
just kept saying, ‘No, I won’t leave my Kitten
alone on our day.’”

Caleb kept mumbling over how ill-thought out this
was, but Skye pushed herself up and looked at Caleb.

“He
said what?”

“I
told him this was a bad idea.”

“Not
that part, the part where you said he said something.”

Caleb
looked confused and then said, “Where he
said he wouldn’t leave his Kitten alone on our day?”

Skye
nodded and then laid down and let the tears flow. “I was his

Kitten.”

She
didn’t bawl or cry hysterically. She just let the tears flow down
her cheeks.

“I
don’t know anything else except I'm supposed
to deliver this note.”

She
looked at the note in Caleb’s hand and was conflicted. She wanted to see what
was in the note, but the memory of
Stephen was so close. She warred between needing time to recuperate and needing
to know what was in the letter. In the end, it was the need to know that ruled
and she took the letter.

She
sat up on the couch and held it in her lap.

“Do
you want me to leave and come back tomorrow?” Caleb asked.

She
looked at him through watery eyes and shook her head no.

“You
brought the note, and you didn’t need to.
I’d appreciate it if you stayed.”

With
trembling hands, she turned the envelope
over and opened it.

Hello Kitten,

Skye’s
hand went to her mouth, and a moan
escaped. She closed her eyes and let the words wash over her and bring back
memories. Memories of them playing, picnicking, and camping together. Memories
of him alive. With shaky hands, she
picked up the letter and read on.

If you’re reading this, then I didn’t make it. I went to the army
to find myself and discover if there was more to life than Sweet Blooms. I
discovered that Sweet Blooms wasn’t the only thing, but it had what mattered. I’ve been
having a bad feeling I’m going to see mom and dad sooner than I thought.
People here are jittery, and jittery people cause accidents.

Anyway, this letter isn’t for that. I lived.
I loved, and
I’m happy with my life. If you have this letter,
then let me say Happy Birthday! One of the most amazing people that I’ve ever
met
my
best friend, next to you that is
is Caleb Matthews. He’s been there for
me and helped me through. I know my passing will be hard on you both, and I think the best thing you all can do is
celebrate my life so you can both let me go.

You being
alone on your birthday isn’t the way I want to see you, and I know our parents wouldn’t want that either. So, I have one
last request to make from you and Caleb. Take the next couple of weeks, share
your memories of me, take him to our hidey
spots, ask him to sing, and remind each other how much we lived. Then go on
with your lives, the both of you. We were twins, but I don’t want your body to be walking around and have your
spirit with me in the grave.

Tell Caleb and let him stay in my
room. He doesn’t like people. He doesn’t trust easy, and in some ways, he’s more
fragile than you, Kitten.

I love you, Kitten! We may have been
twins, but you were the best of us both.
Love hard, so when we meet on the other side, you’ve got stories to tell me.

 

Until we meet again,

Stephen “Baby A”

Skye
held the letter and let the tears fall. The heat of unshed tears caused her to
hiccup. One moment she was reading, and
the next tears blinded her. She didn’t know when, but she wound up in Caleb’s
arms as she cried. 

Skye
couldn’t recall how long she had spent crying in his arms, but she knew she had no more tears to give.
Pushing away from his chest, she ran her hand through her hair and looked at
Caleb. What kind of man was he that he would hold on to a letter for a year, and then deliver it on the right day?
Stephen must have meant a lot to him for him to be so dedicated.

That
was when Skye made the decision.

She’d follow her twin’s last request.

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