A Soldier For Bella (Love Conquers Life #4)

A Soldier for Bella

 

Love Conquers Life, Book 4

 

 

By Alison Mello

 

 

A Soldier for Bella

 

Copyright © 2016 by Alison Mello.

All rights reserved.

First Print Edition: August 2016

 

 

Limitless Publishing, LLC

Kailua, HI 96734

www.limitlesspublishing.com

 

Formatting: Limitless Publishing

 

ISBN-13: 978-1-68058-785-2

ISBN-10: 1-68058-785-4

 

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prologue

 

 

Bella

 

How It All Began

 

I’m excited that I get to surprise my best friend Patty today. She’s at her boyfriend’s house right now, waiting for furniture to be delivered while he’s at work. There isn’t much of anything in the apartment because he just got the place and he’s moving there from his parents’ house. I’ve decided to bring her some lunch and see how I can help. I make my way to the door, a bag of food in one hand and my purse in the other.

A gentleman standing at the door stops me and says, “Good afternoon, ma’am. How can I help you?” Crap, I didn’t know Carter had a door man that would stop me.

“I’m here to visit Patty. She’s Carter Montgomery’s girlfriend.”

He looks at a list and calls up to the apartment, but she doesn’t answer right away. I call her from my cell and tell her to let the guy know it’s okay to send me up. She does, and I’m on my way. So much for surprising her.

I get in the elevator with the furniture guys who I can see from the reflection of the mirror walls are checking me out. I roll my eyes. The doors open, and as I step out Patty greets me. She shows me around the apartment and makes sure the guys are putting the furniture where she instructed.

When the movers leave, Patty and I take a seat at the snack bar that separates Carter’s kitchen from his living room. The apartment is an amazing open space with a large living room, sliding glass doors that lead to a balcony, two bedrooms, and two full baths. 

A short time later, Carter walks in and I get to officially meet him. He’s a good looking guy, but definitely more Patty’s type than mine. He strolls over to Patty, looks deep into her eyes, and says, “Hey.”

She smiles back up at him, making me feel out of place. I clear my throat to say goodbye, but they invite me to stay for dinner before I can.

“My boss, Derek, is on his way over to help set up the surround sound system. We can order some food and hang out once we’re done setting it up,” Carter says.

I shrug my shoulders. “Sounds good to me.”

Patty calls down to see if they have any takeout menus we can borrow, and of course they do. As Patty has stated a number of times, this place is amazing. Next thing we know there’s a knock on the door, and Carter’s boss enters with the menu for a local Chinese restaurant in hand.

I think my jaw dropped when this guy walked through the door. Holy shit he is hot. Carter introduces us, and I’m awestruck, which is not something that happens often.

“Hi—” The word is barely out of my mouth before he shakes my hand.

Lucky for me, I catch him checking me out quite a few times. I may just have the same effect on him as he does on me. This guy is about six feet one with dark brown hair and the brightest green eyes I have ever seen. He is so muscular that every time he moves, I see his muscles flex. At one point, I catch myself biting my lip as I envision my tongue gliding over his chiseled chest.

Patty calls me so I can help with the food, which forces me to push my thoughts to the back of my head.
God, please tell me this man is single,
I think to myself as I stare in his direction with a huge smile on my face.

She bumps me in the shoulder. “I think he's single.”

Yes!
I give her a smile and bite my lip.

Fortunately, Derek decides to leave at the same time as me. We gather our jackets and say our goodbyes before we take the elevator ride down to the lobby. I swear it felt like we were in that elevator forever. The tension was crackling, and if I wasn’t worried about how I would come across, I may have attacked him. I’m seriously that attracted to him.

We finally get to the lobby, and he says, “If it’s okay, I’ll walk you to your car.”

Holy shit, he’s sweet and sexy. “Sure, I’d like that,” I say bashfully.

Nothing more is said until we get to my car, and surprisingly enough he’s parked right on the side of me. He licks his lips and says, “Listen, I know we just only met, but I was wondering if you’d have dinner with me. That is, if you’re free.”

My smile widens as a blush creeps up my face. I never blush like this. What is wrong with me? “I’m definitely free.”

“Great. Here, text yourself from my phone so we have one another’s numbers and I’ll call you to make plans,” he says as he hands me his phone.

I’m standing there smiling ear to ear like I’m some teenager who just got asked on her first date. I finally take the phone, punch my number in, and then text myself from his phone, putting
Derek
in the message screen before I hit send. I hand him his phone back and slip into my car. He shuts the door for me, and I take off. I release the breath I was holding. I really wanted to kiss those soft, luscious lips of his.

 

***

 

A week later, I meet up with Derek for our first date. He’s taking me out to dinner, and I’m pretty excited. After all of the texting and talking we’ve done this week, I’m so ready to see his fine ass again.

I make my way downstairs because he’s picking me up, the gentleman that he is. I see what I think is his car pull up. He parks it and jumps out before running up the steps to find me waiting at the door.

“Hey, gorgeous. Are you ready to go?” Derek says, putting out his hand to me. Normally I hate when people call me gorgeous because I’m a model and it makes me feel like they’re only dating me for my body, but coming from him with that amazing smile spread across his face? I’m one happy lady.

“I’m most definitely ready,” I say, taking his offered hand. When we get to his car, he opens the door for me and I climb in. Once I’m safely inside, he shuts the door and runs around the front to get in the driver’s side. He starts the car and we’re off.

He pulls up to this nice little restaurant called Marco’s. I’ve heard great things about it, but have never been here.

He opens my door for me, and as soon as I’m out of the car, his hand goes to the small of my back, sending goosebumps throughout my body. The look he gives me tells me he feels the surge between us as well.

When we walk in, he tells the hostess his name. She says, “Yes, sir, right this way.”

There’s a line a mile long, but we walk right past it.

He pulls out the chair for me, I take my seat, and he sits across from me. This place has a nice ambiance, and it’s quiet so we can have a conversation without having to be loud. The hostess places menus in front of us and tells us that our waitress will be right over.

“So, what is good to eat here?” I ask as I look over the menu.

“That depends on what you enjoy. I personally love steak, and they have a great steak here that’s always made just the way I like it.”

I scrunch up my nose. “You can have steak, but if I’m going to keep this figure for my next shoot, I’ll be eating chicken, fish, or salad.”

“I’ve never ordered something that I didn’t enjoy. I’m sure whatever you get will be fine.”

I decide on a grilled chicken salad. It has dried apples in it with goat cheese and vinaigrette dressing, which sounds delicious. He, of course, orders steak.

The conversation throughout the night is light.

“You work for the VA with Carter?” I ask.

“Yes, I’m Carter’s boss. That’s how Carter and I met, actually. You mentioned a photo shoot. You’re a model?”

“Yeah, I’ve been modeling since I was small.” I shrug. “When I got older, I made it my career.”

“That must be exciting,” he says, sipping his water.

“It can be.”

Our dinner arrives, and we begin to eat in a comfortable silence. I really like him. He’s sweet, kind, and he has great manners, not to mention he’s incredibly good looking.

I push my plate away, full after only eating about half of my salad. He looks at me and says, “Would you like to take the rest home?”

“Yes, please.”

He calls for our waitress and asks for a takeout container for the rest of my food. She asks us if we’ll be having dessert. He looks at me, and I tell the waitress, “I’m all set, thank you.” He responds the same way, and she hands him the bill.

Once he’s paid for dinner and the rest of my food is packed up, we stand to leave. He takes my coat and helps me slip it on before we walk outside into the chilly night.

As we approach my side of the car, he says, “Thank you for letting me take you to dinner.”

“You don’t have to thank me. I should be thanking you. It was delicious and I had a nice time, so thank you.”

He leans in and pauses, looking me in the eyes. I know he’s waiting for permission. I lick my lips and as soon as I lean forward, our lips meet. It’s one of those kisses that leave your lips tingling for days. Our tongues barely touch at first, but his hand goes to the nape of my neck and I press my body to his as our kiss becomes more heated. Our tongues are dancing and colliding with one another. It’s a kiss that ends all too quickly.

“I’ve wanted to do that since I laid eyes on you at Carter’s house.” I lick my lips, trying to hold on to the way he tastes as long as I can. “Tell me I can see you again.”

I notice he hasn’t let go of his breath since he asked, so I quickly respond, “You can see me again.”

He slowly lets out his breath. “Good. Have dinner with me at my house Friday night?”

“I’d love to,” I say as he opens the car door for me, and all I can think on the way home is how great it is that Patty and I are dating friends.

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