Out of Time Online - Jen McLaughlin

One Night

Dedication

This one is for Tessa, Jill, and Trent. You guys kept me sane during my writing spree, and you’re the best friends a girl could ask for.

Desperate to keep him...

I’ve finally gotten everything I ever wanted: love, freedom, happiness, and, most importantly, Finn. Our love is everything I expected it to be and more. We’ve finally found each other, but the world seems determined to tear us apart. We thought my father was the only obstacle between us, but now it’s the military. With Finn’s departure looming, we’re squeezing in every moment together before we run out of time.

Trying to make every moment count…

Being Carrie’s bodyguard was one thing. Being her boyfriend is another. Every day she’s mine is a day the sun shines in my life. Yet our time together is running out. Her father will never think a tattooed Marine will be good enough, so I’ll do whatever it takes to be worthy of her love. But the road will take me away from the girl who makes me feel alive—the girl I can’t live without.

Time only gets us so far…

Never letting go…

He closed his arms around me and carried me to his bed. He was so hard and solid and it drove me insane every time he moved his tongue over mine like that. His teeth scraped my lower lip, and I whimpered into his mouth. His fingers moved over my butt, slipping between my legs and rubbing against the spot where I needed him most.

As he lowered me to the mattress, he started to climb on top of me, but I broke the kiss and shoved at his shoulders. “No,” I said, locking gazes with him. “It’s my turn. Just stand there.”

He stilled, instantly giving me what I wanted. “Your turn for what?”

“Control,” I said, my cheeks heating. “I want to undress you.”

He fisted his hands at his hips, watching me from beneath his lowered lids. When he looked at me like that—like I was his dessert or something—it made everything inside of me quiver and beg for his touch so much it hurt. I licked my lips and crawled to the edge of the bed on all fours. He twitched and took a step toward me; as if he couldn’t hold himself back anymore, but then he stopped.

He stood there because I’d asked him to.

I ran my hands over his chest, then up over his shoulders. Just touching him made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world, and I wanted to do everything to him. Everything in the romance books I read at night, and then more. Even though my mother had never figured it out, I used to sneak them out of her library after she was finished with them. I’d started it in sixth grade. Now I bought them with my own money.

And I had a lot of ideas stored away in my mind that I wanted to try out on Finn.

I pulled Carrie tighter to my chest, closing my eyes, even though I was fully awake and alert. I just needed a second to hold her. To breathe her in. I wanted to ignore life for a second longer, because today was the day I had to tell Carrie I have bad news, and I was not looking forward to it. But hell, I didn’t even necessarily know what the message was about yet. Maybe I was jumping to conclusions.

Maybe I was full of shit. Or…maybe it was bad news.

The sun came through the curtains, and I opened my eyes again, sighing. When I had woken up earlier, my first conscious thought had been: Please don’t let this all be a dream again. Please don’t make me wake up alone.

But then I’d breathed in her familiar scent that instantly calmed my racing heart, and I had relaxed again. It hadn’t been a dream. Thank fucking God. The real world was just as happy as my dreams—which made sense since she starred in both anyway. The woman I loved had forgiven me for secretly working for her father and all was right in the world. Her bright blue eyes were shut tight, her long red hair lay splayed all across her white pillow, and her soft lips seemed to be begging to be kissed.

Her ginger eyelashes were swept low, shadowing her pale cheeks. If someone would have told me last week that Carrie would be back in my bed, in my arms, and in love with me, I would have laughed