Romance

Hot SEALs: The MIA Groom by Teri Riggs

capture

Tuck seems to have vanished off the face of the earth without the courtesy of an ‘I have cold feet,’ ‘I met someone new last night and fell madly in love with her,’ or even a ‘your father offered me ten million dollars to disappear from your life and I always wanted to be a millionaire’ kind of explanation. No call. No text. No Dear Jane letter. Not even a mortifying public Facebook breakup. Nothing. Nada. Zipola.

If any of his friends or family in attendance knew anything, they were not sharing.

And they say Navy SEALs are honorable. Hmph! Shouldn’t matter that Tuck joined the civilian ranks a little over a year ago. He still had the heart and work ethic of a SEAL. According to Tuck, he always will. I guess the expression ‘Leave no man behind’ doesn’t cover women.

My family refers to my wedding disaster as the MIA groom incident. The humiliation and hurt from my missing-in-action man have begun to fade a bit, only to be replaced with anger and a gut-wrenching fear. I’m having trouble reconciling with the way Tuck left me. It isn’t reflective of his character. No matter how badly he may have wanted out of the engagement, he would’ve told me in person. After Tuck opted out of the Navy, he took a job with the Bureau of Organized Crime. Though he may be a tough guy on the outside, on the inside he has a gentle heart. He would never hurt anyone who didn’t deserve it—and when I say ‘deserve it,’ I’m talking about the worst types of criminals Chicago has to offer. Child molesters, serial killers, rapists, human traffickers… the list goes on and on. With the BOC, he’d seen it all.

I want to look him in the eyes and give him a piece of my mind. At the same time, I’m worried about him. I have so many questions I won’t find answers for if I can’t reach Tuck. What if he’s fallen out of a tree, hit his head, and is a John Doe lying unconscious in a hospital? Or been thrown from a speeding train and is dead, toe-tagged, and residing on a slab in the morgue? What I’m getting at is, he may’ve been injured somehow and lost his memory. Or he could be dead. The thought of Tucker dead turns my belly into sludge.

Still, in my new role as an embarrassed almost-bride, I liked these possibilities considerably more than the ‘he’s a lying dickhead’ option. Blaming death or physical incapacity for my unfortunate abandonment sounds much better than the jilted woman-he-probably-never-loved scenario. Yep, I can work with death. Besides, if I find out Tucker put me in this situation for any reason other than he has no memory or he’s dead as a bag of rocks, I will kill him. And when I finish, I will feed his body to the fish in Lake Michigan.

 

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