Hello RomCon® Readers!
I’m Loren Mathis and I’m a new romantic suspense author. I grew up in a rural town in eastern NC. I went to college at UNC. I started writing my first novel, Pushed to the Edge, during my last year of law school. I am grateful that I’m now able to pursue my dream as a writer, and to share the characters who roam around my head with you.
Pushed to the Edge is my debut novel, and the first novel in my “SEAL Team 14” series. It will be a ten book series and focuses on an elite group of U.S. Navy SEALs.
The U.S.-Afghanistan War has ended, a new Islamic jihadist terrorist cell has formed, and U.S. Navy SEAL Joshua Laurent and his teammates are racing against the clock to stop a bioterrorist attack on U.S. soil. When Joshua’s ex-girlfriend, newspaper reporter Victoria Sanchez, stumbles upon a dangerous web of drugs and money involving a former U.S. Congressman, the two are reunited once again as they attempt to stop the unthinkable.
“Joshua, please,” Victoria said, twisting a long strand of her hair in her fingers, biting her lower lip nervously.
“Please what Vicki?” Joshua blew out a deep breath. “What do you want from me?”
“I want you to talk to me. I didn’t mean for you to get into any trouble today.”
“I already told you, everything is fine.”
He still wasn’t looking at her, so Victoria walked over to his bed. She sat down right beside the open suitcase that he was filling up.
“Joshua, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for dragging you into this with me,” she said looking at him.
She was sure that her eyes were pleading with him at this point—for what, she didn’t know. Finally, Joshua’s eyes met hers.
“Yeah, well, don’t be. There’s nothing for you to be sorry about.”
“When do you have to leave tomorrow?”
“Joshua, just be careful, okay. Tomorrow, I mean.”
Victoria didn’t know what else to do. What else could she say to him? To make him understand how she felt. Well, maybe she could start with the truth. “Joshua, I never meant to hurt you before. I . . .” she trailed off and Joshua looked down into her eyes from where he stood at the foot of the bed, holding her gaze.
Victoria started again, “I gave you that ultimatum a year ago because I loved you.”
Joshua just gave a bitter laugh at that pronouncement, “Yeah that sure sounds like love Vicki.”
“It’s true. I did love you. Very much. But . . . God. I don’t know, I was just—I was just scared.”
“Scared of what?” Joshua stood there looking down at her.
“I didn’t want to get a knock on my door someday from Will or Malcolm telling me that you had been killed. That you weren’t coming back home to me,” she finally answered, tears pooling in her eyes.
He was silent, but he kept staring at her so she pressed on. “It was a stupid thing to do. But you don’t know what it’s like. To sit and wait for months, wondering if you’re still alive. Wondering if I’m ever going to see you again. I just couldn’t take it anymore.”
“Why didn’t you tell me all of this before? You do know that I’m not a mind reader right?” he asked her. At this point, he’d stopped packing his suitcase and she had his complete and undivided attention.
“I don’t know. I thought . . . I thought that you would pick me, I guess. Obviously, I was wrong,” Victoria laughed lightly, running a hand through her long dark hair, using another hand to wipe away the tears that were falling freely from her eyes.
“Shit Tory, if you had asked me anything else . . . I would have done whatever I had to do to make it happen. But to leave the Navy? It’s my career. I can’t. I love it. I loved you too, you know.”
Victoria looked down at her hands, nervously flexing her fingers on her lap. It wasn’t in her DNA to humble herself. She was used to deflecting and avoiding talking about her feelings. At least when it came to those deep emotions. “I really messed up things between us. Your clothes . . . I’m so sorry,” she whispered, shaking her head miserably.
“Yeah, you know I wasn’t completely innocent either Vicki. I could have tried to understand your feelings more. We could both stand a few lessons on communication,” he said softly. He cleared his throat before saying, “About before, you know earlier today before we left to go to the base. About what I said—I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry.”
“Yeah, well I think that you did mean it.”
“No, I didn’t. I was frustrated with you, and I wanted to hurt you. And I’m very sorry for that. I think you’re beautiful. I always have.” Joshua then reached out his right hand, and brought her right hand up to his lips to give it a kiss.
When Victoria didn’t look up at him he reached out his other hand, cupped her chin and tipped her head upwards to look at him. She stared at him—she couldn’t help but stare as he looked down at her, locking his eyes to hers. She wanted him to kiss her. She wanted him.
Joshua wanted her. He had longed for this woman sitting right in front of him for the past year. She wanted him too, right now. He could see it in her eyes. But he wanted to hear her say it aloud. He needed to hear her say it aloud.
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Official Author Site: http://loren-mathis.com