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Joke’s on You (SWAT Generation 2.0 #6)
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Booth Pena definitely didn’t make the smartest of decisions when he was a teenager.
At eighteen, he knocked a girl up and signed up for the military all in the same day—signing his life away in more ways than one. Fast forward six weeks and he’s in boot camp learning that he’s going to be a father while also learning that not only is he going to be deployed, but it’s going to stay that way for a year.
There weren’t a lot of things that the baby’s mother and he saw eye to eye on after that. He honestly wasn’t sure why he even slept with her in the first place.
Okay, that last part is a lie. He knows exactly why he slept with her. Because the real woman he’s in love with, her twin sister, Dillan, won’t give him the time of day.
Five years later, and he still wants her.
Now he’s home for good, being the best father and police officer that he can be, and still he’s not good enough.
Dillan Davidsdottir hated Booth Pena. Immensely.
She hated him because he slept with her sister, then left. Granted, she knew that he hadn’t meant to leave like he did, unknowingly and unconsciously leaving his son behind, but that didn’t change the fact that he had.
Five years later, and she still dislikes him just as much now as she did when he chose the wrong sister to take to his bed.
Maybe if he’d chosen her, her heart wouldn’t be broken, and his wouldn’t be untouchable.
But when a SWAT officer sees his life flash before his eyes, and decides that enough is enough, what’s a girl to do?
Give in, that’s what.
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There appears to have been a struggle.
-My housekeeping style
“Mail day, bitches!”
I grunted when a box was practically thrown into my face, along with about eight letters.
Ever since we’d gotten out of what I liked to call ‘hell month,’ I’d been getting mail regularly. One or two letters a week. Not fucking ten letters and a package.
I carefully sifted through the letters, freezing hard when I read the name on the return address of the last one.
A few years ago, Delanie and Dillan Davidsdottir had moved into our small town, and ever since then, I’d had a crush.
A crush on Dillan.
Yet, I’d slept with Delanie, effectively ruining any and all chances that I would ever have with Dillan.
Which really fucking sucked.
Why my drunk brain had decided that would be a good idea, I would never know.
Needless to say, getting a letter from a Davidsdottir literally sent a shiver of fear through me.
Opening it up, I started reading.
I don’t know when you’ll get this, but I need you to know.
The night that we slept together ended up with a little ‘oopsie.’ I’m pregnant. As of right now, my due date is about eight months away.
I want you to know that I can have this baby by myself. You don’t have to be involved.
However, since your mother saw me coming out of the obstetrician’s office, and asked how I was doing, I broke down and told her everything. She assures me that you’ll want to be in the baby’s life.
I knew you would want to be… but I’m just scared. Anyway, if you have any questions, I’d be more than willing to answer them.
Son of a bitch.
I closed my eyes as a wave of something—horror? Sadness? Regret?—washed over me.
Not at fucking all.
As I folded the letter up, something fell down to the ground that was folded in with the letter, and I bent over to pick it up.
My breath caught at what I saw.
It was a sonogram.
Of my baby.
My heart, that I thought was broken, kicked a stuttered beat.
That was my baby in the picture.
I ran my finger over the black and white photo, brushing the pad of my thumb over the blob that I assumed was my kid. And knew.
I would do everything that I could for this kid of mine.
Everything in my power to give, that baby would have.
Then I thought about Dillan again.
And then there was Bourne. Who really disliked both sisters.
Not because they were bad or anything, but because they always acted like they were so high and mighty.
I’d never been able to understand what it was that they saw in us that they didn’t like.
Needless to say, it hadn’t been easy having a crush on a girl that looked at me like I was a scuff mark on her pristine thousand-dollar heels.
“What’d ya get?”
I looked over at my new friend, Colin.
Colin was a good guy. I liked him a lot.
Even if he’d started a Dungeons and Dragons underground ring while we were in bootcamp and got caught, which then turned into all of us having to pay for his stupidity.
He couldn’t help that he was a complete geek.
“Umm, I haven’t opened the box yet,” I admitted. “I’ll do that in a sec. Still trying to process this.”
I showed him the sonogram photo, causing his breath to suck in fast through his teeth.
God, I wished my brother was with me.
If anyone could talk me straight again, it was him.
Swallowing hard, I tucked the photo into my front pocket and read the letter all over again.
“All right, boys,” our drill sergeant bellowed. “Let’s get to chow.”
Seven and a half months later
I turned to see a man from my unit stopped at the foot of my cot.
“Yeah?” I asked, utterly exhausted.
Being deployed was nothing like I thought it would be.
I expected constant fighting. Battles. Firefights.
What I got was a fuckin’ whole lot of nothing.
Every day was monotonous. A whole lot of sitting around and doing nothing.
We walked. We patrolled. We went back to our bunks. And we did it all over again the next day.
It really, really sucked.
What sucked even more was that I wanted to be back home, in the states, where I was supposed to be.
Instead, I was one of the oh-so-lucky ones that got deployed. According to my CO—commanding officer—while in bootcamp, that almost never happened.
Except, apparently, for me.
What fuckin’ luck I had.
“You got a call from your pop, I think. An emergency,” he said. “Jordan took a message since you were out. He wants you in his office.”
His ‘office’ was actually a tent.
I ran to the command tent and halted outside, even though I wanted nothing more than to barge in and demand to know what happened.
I looked at the man at the door, and he announced me.
I gritted my teeth as I waited for Jordan to allow me entrance.