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Oliver chuckled at her grouchiness. “Just my alarm. Go back to sleep.”

She cracked one eye open. “What time is it?”

“Five,” he said.

/> “Why? I thought your shift didn’t start until later.”

“I usually go to the gym now,” he said.

“Ugh, you are disgusting. Come back to bed. Your perfect abs will hold for a few more hours,” she said, reaching out to him.

Screw it. Lying back down, he pulled her against him and closed his eyes.

However, the sensation of dancing fingers working their way down his stomach dissuaded any thoughts of going back to sleep.

“I thought you were tired?”

“Not so much anymore,” she said. “Besides, I thought maybe we could work out together.”

As her hand wrapped around the base of his cock and squeezed, he arched up into her touch with a hoarse laugh. “I’m down with that.”

IT WAS ALMOST noon when Eve walked into her father’s office on base later that day, determined to make him see reason. She was an adult, and no matter what her father thought, she was the only one who knew what was best for her. She’d already called her mom and explained what her dad had done, denying Oliver the transfer, and her mom was on her side.

Besides, above all, her dad wanted her happy. He’d get over any misgivings he had and accept Oliver.

At least, she hoped so.

Knocking softly on his office door, Eve waited for him to say, “Come in,” before she opened it. Inside, her dad was behind his desk, riffling through some papers while her mom sat in front of him, giving Eve a conspirator’s grin.

Her dad’s eyes widened when he glanced up and saw her. “Evie, what a nice surprise. First your mom, then you. Do you want to join us for lunch?”

“Sure, Dad,” she said, “but I need to talk to you first.”

Closing the door behind her, she took a breath to start, but he waved her off. “If this is about you having to leave the fund-raiser early, it’s fine. The whole event was a complete success.” He stood up and came around the desk to hug her. “You did good, kiddo.”

“Thanks, but that’s part of what I need to talk to you about.” Her dad stepped back, and she took a deep breath, steeling her spine as she prepared for battle. “I want you to approve Oliver Martinez’s transfer to Alpha Dog.”


“Please, let me explain,” she said. “I am not a kid anymore, Dad. You taught me to use my head and think things through, and I do every day, but Mom . . . Mom taught me to go after what I want. And I want Oliver.”

“He started a fight with your brother—”

“Dad, come on, you know Hank threw the first punch,” she said. “Oliver was trying to help. That’s the kind of guy he is. He will protect and defend others. I think part of the reason why you are so hard on him is because he’s like you in so many ways. You both step up to defend people, even strangers, no matter the danger or the sacrifice. And I love that about you. It’s that same quality that I love about him.

“I love him, Dad. I know it feels fast to you, but to me, it was like I just knew he was mine. That he was supposed to be with me, even though I fought it at first. He makes me laugh and accepts who I am—the honest hot mess that I am. I get that he might seem cocky sometimes, but it’s okay with me.” Reaching out to pat her dad’s cheek, she added, “And I need you to be okay with him, too.”

Her dad cleared his throat. “Eve, you can’t possibly love him. It’s been less than a month.”

“That’s the thing about being an adult, Dad. You don’t get to tell me how I feel or who I should be with. I want you to give him a chance and get to know him. Maybe we could come by for Sunday dinner next weekend? You can torture him as much as you want then, and he can’t escape.”

Despite his scowl, Eve could tell he was relenting when he asked her mom, “Did you know about this?”

“She called me a few hours ago to tell me about her weekend. Apparently, Oliver took her to meet his parents,” she said.

“His dad was army, too,” Eve offered. “He was honorably discharged and has been a cop for twenty-five years. You would like him.”

“Harrumph,” her dad said. “I’d like to have a little talk with Sergeant Martinez. Alone.”