Justice For Breeze
Team Cerberus, Book 5
by Melissa Kay Clarke
Genre: Romantic Suspense
From the moment Asher "Finch" Finchly laid eyes on a Navy Officer when he was a child, his only thought was to become a SEAL. Every action he took was with the single-minded goal of becoming an elite special forces member. He vowed to let nothing get in his way.
Then one night of revelry changed everything.
Two years into realizing his dream, Finch suddenly found himself as a father. Now, there was someone more important than his dreams or duty. Love for his daughter taught him there was something more to life. He would kill for one of Lolly's beautiful smiles - and then the unthinkable happens--she and her mother disappear without a trace.
Raised in an isolated cult, Breeze knows only her simple life - farming, taking care of children, and paying homage to The Mother Gaia. When one of the members escapes with her daughter, Breeze agrees to go along and help, so she leaves her world behind to face the uncertainty of the Outside. Everything is strange in this unknown world, but nothing is more unusual than the feelings she has for the father of the little girl. He stirs feelings in her she's never known and makes her question everything she stood for. Could her entire life be one big lie?
Finch is happy to have his daughter home, but something is not right. Someone is watching her - waiting for him to let down his guard, determined to take away everything he holds dear. He's in for the fight of his life to get back his daughter and the woman who has stolen his heart. Lolly and Breeze are all that matters. No matter what, he will keep them safe or die trying.
"You don't remember me do you?" Her words were soft, and he barely heard them in the racket of forks being dropped and plates slamming onto tables.
Her words stopped him in place. Should he know her? He turned and searched her face. She was pretty, with large coffee-colored eyes, long lashes, a tiny upturned nose, and cupid bow pink lips that she gnawed absently. Her long dark blond hair was captured in some sort of hair thingy high on her head leaving long wisps to caress her face and neck. He saw a small beauty mark on her shoulder next to the expanse of her neck. He had a flash of pressing a kiss to that mark, but it was gone before he could grasp it and figure out what it meant. Drawing in a deep breath, he let it out and winced. "I'm sorry, I feel like I should, but I can't place you."
"It's all right. We were both pretty wasted that night." She threw her hand out. "Sarah Nolan."
"Nice to meet you, Sarah," he shook her hand lightly. "Asher, but you know that."
"Yeah. I do." She dropped his hand. Glancing at the name patch sewn into his uniform she muttered, "Finchly. I never knew your last name." She chewed her lip as she stood next to him saying nothing.
"So, where do I know you?" he prompted.
"Oh, yeah. Sorry, I sort of zoned out there for a minute. We met a couple of years ago at Shimmy. You and a bunch of your friends came in to celebrate passing some sort of test?"
In a flash, it all came back. Finch and the others had finished their BUD/s training and in celebration, had taken over a local bar. Images of Sarah wearing a short blue dress with spaghetti straps and strappy, high heels played through his mind. They had danced, drank and enjoyed each other's company until his memories became foggy. He did have a faint recollection of waking up in an empty bed in a downtown motel room.
"Sarah, oh yeah, I remember now." He pulled her into a careful half hug. "It's good to see you."
"You too. So, I was wondering if we could go somewhere and maybe talk? I've been kind of looking for you for a while, but I didn't know your last name, and you've not been back to Shimmy's when I was there."
Finch shook his head. "I'm sorry. I've been out of town for a while, and it's just not a good night. Maybe some other time? Give me your number, and I'll call you sometime."
She jotted down her number and handed it to him. He took it and stuffed it into his pocket before dismissing her. The truth was, Finch wasn't looking to hook up with anyone. He rarely dated, if ever at all. He knew he was a good looking guy and could probably have his choice of women, but his personal life was on a back burner for now. Instead, he concentrated on the military career he had been dreaming of since he was ten years old.
He was brought out of his musing by his number being called. Stepping forward to grab his food, Finch turned and saw Sarah standing there, wringing her hands and biting her lip anxiously. He gave her a gentle smile and stepped to the side. "It was nice to see you again, Sarah. Stay in touch, yeah?"
"Asher, wait, I need to tell you something."
"I'm sorry, Sarah, but I'm tired right now. Can we catch up another time?" He started to walk off when her next sentence stopped him in his tracks. It only took four words to change his world in an instant.
"You have a daughter."