As more wedding invites pour in, Zane Anderson is happy that he and Missy don’t need a legal document to prove their love. Or at least he didn’t think they did. Lately, he’s beginning to wonder if they’re still on the same page regarding their official relationship status or is he going to have to seal the deal?
Please enjoy this unedited sneak peek into SEAL THE DEAL in eBook & Paperback January 2018
Zane Anderson turned the key in the lock and pushed open the door of the apartment. A smile bowed his lips as the blonde inside turned as he entered.
Melissa Greenwood. The woman who’d tamed him . . . at least according to his friends. Of course, they could just be jealous because Missy was one of a kind.
His gaze roamed down her body as he appreciated the fit of the skirt that outlined her hips before ending at mid thigh to expose the legs he needed wrapped around him again sooner rather than later.
“Hey. You’re early.”
After shutting the door, he moved forward to close the distance between them. “Hey, yourself. Meeting got done faster than I’d expected.”READ MORE
She lifted one well-shaped brow above ocean blue eyes. “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”
“Good.” He dropped a kiss on her lips before continuing, “We video conferenced in Jon from GAPS headquarters. The prospects were impressed. We got the contract.”
“Zane, that’s wonderful. We should celebrate.”
“We definitely should.”
For a company that had sprung from an idea scribbled on a bar napkin by a bunch of SEALs a few years ago to still be in business and actually doing well meant every new contract should be celebrated.
And Zane knew exactly how he’d like to do that. He was about to make a suggestion when he saw that day’s mail delivery on the desk in front of her.
He reached down for the envelope on the top of the stack and let out sigh. “Shit. Another one.”
“Another what?” Missy glanced down at the oversized ivory linen envelope he held in his hand. “Oh.”
No doubt about it. She knew exactly what had Zane scowling. Only one thing came in an envelope that big, that lush, that expensive, that wasteful.
Thick, heavy and oversized with the telltale LOVE stamp in the upper right hand corner and the elaborate calligraphy lettering for the address, this was most certainly a wedding invitation.
At last count they’d received two wedding invitations already so far this month. The invites weren’t even from friends. Hell, these people who’d invited them to be part of the most important day of their lives were barely even acquaintances.
That’s what came from his being an Alexander, he supposed. And from his dating a senator’s daughter. Politicians loved to mix business with pleasure until there was no longer a distinguishable line between genuine friends and valuable contacts.
The latest harbinger of upcoming nuptials—from whom and for when he hadn’t bothered to discover as yet—increased this season’s running tally to three. At this rate, they’d be attending a wedding a week, if not two in one weekend.
And if he wasn’t mistaken, he and Missy were supposed to attend some sort of joint bridal shower this weekend. Christ. It was enough to make a man long for the days of deployments and chow hall food. The whole situation was making him hate the month of June.
“You’d better give me that.” Missy plucked it from his hand.
“Why? Afraid I might accidentally drop it in the garbage pail?” His lips twitched as he hid the smile that idea brought on.
She cocked one brow high. “Or, more likely, the fireplace. I figure you’d prefer that method of disposal. No evidence.”
Zane wasn’t going to deny it was a tempting idea. He smiled wide now. “You know me so well.”
“After all these years, I should know you.” She screwed up her pretty mouth as she pulled open the top drawer of her desk and dropped the envelope on top of the rest.
Her tone and expression of thinly veiled frustration led him to believe she wasn’t referring to the years they’d spent growing up together at the country club their parents both belonged to, but more in reference to the fact she and he had been dating for awhile now and the fact that they had yet to send out their own custom printed and embossed invitations.
Zane had been of the opinion they didn’t need an official piece of paper to make them a couple.
He loved Missy. She loved him. They shared an apartment in D.C., so they were technically living together.
Hell, he was so monogamous his friends from the old days barely recognized him. It had been the topic of discussion amid the guys often enough to piss Zane off.
That it drove Zane’s father absolutely insane that they hadn’t sealed an alliance between the Alexanders and the Greenwood by getting married yet was a nice bonus.
He’d thought that he and Missy were on the same page when it came to their relationship status. Maybe he was wrong.
He pushed his annoyance over that envelope and the friction it was now causing between them even as it sat unopened in the desk and moved closer to Missy.
Grasping her arms in his hands, he pulled her against him and dipped his head low, intent on kissing the bad mood out of her . . . until he noticed her bottom lip between her teeth.
Missy gnawing on her lip was just one more indication all was not well.
Pausing his mouth’s downward decent, he frowned. “What’s wrong?”
There had been a time, before Missy, that Zane would have ignored whatever was wrong. That being with Missy had changed him was more apparent than ever—to him as well as his teammates.
“Nothing,” she said, not making eye contact.
Zane knew women and the word nothing when spoken by the fairer sex rarely—if ever—actually meant nothing.
He drew in a breath and let it out, about to push her further for an answer when her eyes narrowed at him.
Missed sniffed out a huff. “Zane Alexander, don’t you sigh at me. I told you. Nothing’s wrong.”
God, he loved how this woman stood up to him. Missy didn’t let him get away with shit. It was exactly what he needed.
Zane smiled. “Good. Then that means I can do this.”
Leaning down he captured her lips in a kiss that didn’t even pretend to be innocent. Oh, hell no. This kiss was going to lead to one place and one place only. The bedroom.
Of course, he was fond of the Jacuzzi tub as well so maybe this kiss could go two ways.
But as he moved his hands down her body to cup her ass, a nagging in the back of his brain robbed him of his usual precoital enjoyment.
He broke the kiss. “I thought you were all right with us not being married.”
Her arms around his waist. The warmth of her body pressed tightly against his. The fact he’d been about to make love to this woman. It all should have had him accepting her words at face value and taking her to bed.
Instead, he shook his head. “I’m not so sure about that.”
Now it was her time to sigh. She raised her gaze to meet his. “What do you want me to say?”
“I want you to tell me what you really feel. Do you wish we were married?”
Missy surprised him by laughing. “Zane. I’ve been in love with you for two thirds of my life.”
That she’d fallen for him a decade before he’d even noticed she’d gone from girl to woman still had him feeling strange. He never knew whether to be flattered or ashamed. If he should thank her for waiting for him to grow up or apologize for making her wait until he finally came to his senses.
Today, he simply said, “I know.”
She lifted her shoulders. “I guess it—us—would feel more real if we were.”
Zane shook his head. “Baby, believe me. It’s real.”
So real she had been all he could think about after being with her the first time. So real it had completely shredded him when she’d been taken from the school where she’d been teaching in Africa. And so real he’d packed up his life and moved from Virginia Beach to D.C. to be with her.
The doubt in her eyes twisted something inside him. He might have been a little slower in discovering his feelings for her but there was no doubt they were on equal footing now in the head-over-heels department.
And if it took a fucking piece of paper to erase that expression from her face, he’d do it. But not right now.
Now, he had other plans for how to prove to Missy that she was all he wanted.
More than wanting her, he needed her.
Zane Alexander, who’d before her had never given a shit about a woman past what he could get from her for the night, wasn’t sure he wanted to live a life that Missy wasn’t a part of. She was his true north. The compass by which he lived. The thought on his mind for every decision he made.
Given that, it seemed like a small thing to do what his father wanted and marry her even when everything in Zane told him to do the opposite of what his old man said.
That was definitely something he’d have to think more about much later because he’d be damned if he let thoughts of his father ruin this.
Cupping her face, he pressed a kiss to her mouth before saying, “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
He could see she didn’t fully appreciate what those words meant to him. How he’d never said them to another woman before her and would never repeat them to any other woman after her. She didn’t see that yet, but she would.
Reaching down, he lifted her up until her feet left the floor. Her eyes widened as she squeaked with surprise. “What are you doing?”
“Taking you to bed.” He turned toward the bedroom as he answered her.
“It’s only four in the afternoon.”
Day and night had ceased to mean all that much to him over a decade ago after he’d joined the teams, except in regard to how it could aide in a mission, so he didn’t quite get her point. For SEALs in night vision goggles, darkness was their best fucking friend.
“Oh, believe me. The time of day has got nothing to do with what I have planned.”
Intent on proving that to her he strode through the bedroom doorway.
Coming January 2018. While you're waiting catch up with the rest of the Hot SEALs
Copyright © 2017 by CAT JOHNSONCOLLAPSE