She slid her hands up his chest, smoothing her thumbs over his nipples and listening to his breath hiss out through his teeth. “Get a move on it, sailor.”
Two days later, with Lisa at her side, Melanie promised herself to Lt. Jack Singer. He’d managed miracles for this moment. The small chapel was filled with flowers, a couple of his teammates were sitting in the pews, and her parents, much to her surprise, were there. While Melanie’s mother sobbed quietly, Jack’s mother sat with Lisa’s husband, Brian, all three grinning foolishly. Beside Jack, SEAL team leader Lt. Commander Reese Logan stood as Jack’s best man, not showing a shred of emotion. It made Melanie see the differences between Jack and his teammates. They were reclusive and almost cold, especially Reese. But Jack, she thought, was an entirely different man. And right now, he couldn’t stop smiling.
In dress whites, he listened to the chaplain, but his eyes were on her. She felt them coat her like warm syrup, touch her in places she didn’t know still had life. And when Jack said “I do” and slid the most incredible ring on her finger, Melanie struggled to breathe. Then she gaped at the diamonds.
“This is forever,” he whispered. “All of this.” And at the chaplain’s command, he kissed her.
Melanie expected her head to scream What have you done? yet her heart was shouting Oh, yes as Jack dipped her back and kissed her like a lusty groom.
They parted, smiling at each other until his teammates muscled their way between them to slap Jack on the back and offer congratulations. Melanie hugged her parents, yet her gaze stayed on Jack. Despite the small crowd around him, he was also looking at her, and she felt cherished and desired. It made her heart stumble, yet she didn’t have time to think as his teammates converged on her. It had to be illegal to have so many good-looking men in one place, she thought, as a SEAL hugged her.
Jack stood back as his teammates kissed his wife, glaring at the youngest member who took full liberty and a little too long in letting Melanie go.
Reese was at his side. “She’s beautiful, Jack.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Does she know what she’s getting into being married to one of the teams?”
Jack frowned, then smiled. “She married me, Reese, not the SEALs.”
“You know what I’m talking about.”
“Yes, I do. And Melanie’s been doing fine on her own, so she can handle military life.” Jack glanced at his buddy. “Is that why you’ve never taken the plunge? Because you don’t think there’s a woman out there who can handle the need-to-know factor?”
“It has its drawbacks,” was all Reese would say.
Jack knew there was more behind that statement, but he wasn’t going to pry right now.
“Well, not every service member is single, Reese. Think about it,” Jack said, then headed toward his wife.
It stopped him in his tracks, and he was filled with waves of pride and something else he wasn’t ready to name. Melanie was leaning down to comfort her mother, who couldn’t seem to stop crying with happiness. Jack’s gaze slid over his bride, her lush body wrapped in a slim-fitting satin gown of the palest lavender. While the top portion was a simple tank style with thin beaded straps, the skirt hit the floor and fishtailed in the back. It was the sexiest wedding dress he’d ever seen, and it showed off her curves to maximum effect. All he wanted to do was push everyone aside and explore each of those curves.
Being in a chapel and surrounded by friends quashed that idea, and he moved up beside her, wrapping his arm around her.
Melanie stiffened for a second, unaccustomed to him touching her so freely after keeping him mostly at arm’s length for the past weeks. As if he sensed it, he rubbed her spine and pressed a kiss to her temple.
“Come on, let’s feed these people, get them all drunk and slip away.”
She tipped her head to look at him, her lips twitching. “Sir Galahad, you’ve planned for everything.”
He grinned. “Just looking out for every contingency.” She smiled and he whispered for her ears alone, “You look more beautiful than I’ve ever seen you, Mel.”
“I feel that way.” She touched the side of his face, ignoring the camera flashes and the people around them. “Thank you for all this.”
His gaze raked her ruthlessly. “I won’t let you down.”
The two words were the start of the trust Jack needed, and he kissed her gently.
But it wasn’t him she was worried about, she thought as they left the chapel and headed to the officers’ club. What if she let him down?