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“Are you hungry?” I asked, standing to move in front of him. I was just barely above eye level with him when I reached up to feel his forehead. He was still a little warm, but his fever was almost completely gone.
Instead of answering me, he lifted his hands to put them on my waist, pulling in a deep breath. His eyes closed and I couldn’t resist combing my fingers through his hair. I didn’t even realize what I was doing until he softly groaned.
His breath was minty and I closed my mouth, hoping mine didn’t smell awful.
“That feels good,” he mumbled.
“I’m glad you’re feeling better,” I said, a little breathlessly.
His eyes stayed closed as I kept running my fingers through his hair, over his forehead, and down his cheek. The prickle from his shadow of a beard was rough against my fingertips.
“Can I touch you?” he asked, roughly.
“No. Not the way I want to.”
My pulse started to race, my breaths quickening. “How do you want to?”
Those strong hands pressed firmly into my waist and tugged me forward until I was standing between Merrick’s legs. I couldn’t pull my eyes away from his face. He looked so peaceful with his eyes closed. Then his lips parted on a sigh.
“Any way. Every way.”
His breath tickled my chin and the room was suddenly on fire. I raked my fingers through his hair until I was cupping the back of his head. What am I doing? The grip around my waist tightened, his thumbs starting to move in circles around my stomach. I rested my other hand on his shoulder to keep my balance. Otherwise, I would have fallen over from the dizziness invading my head.
“Okay,” I stuttered.
Those big, strong hands left my waist and lifted so slowly until they ever so gently cupped my face. I closed my eyes, soaking in the feel of his warm skin against mine. His eyes stared straight ahead, as if he were staring at my lips. I knew he wasn’t seeing them, but my breath still quaked with each inhale.
His thumbs drifted over my cheeks, lingering there a moment before moving up to my eyes. His touch was gentle and hesitant, but determined. He wanted to see me any way he could, and this was the only way.
Merrick Thatcher went through a hell that no one could possibly imagine. He fought to protect his country, his family, and the men standing at his side, but it wasn’t just being a soldier overseas that changed him. He watched his friends die in front of him, felt indescribable pain, and lost his sight in the very same moment.
Badly injured, blind, and angry, he’s done with war, but now he’s fighting his own battle. So, he’s waiting for it to end, spending his days and nights in a thick darkness no light can penetrate. Until Grace walks into his life and his broken eyes open to a woman that changes everything for him.
A story about two flawed souls finding love amidst the grief. A love that shines vividly, even in the dark, and discovering that sometimes being broken is how the light gets in.